The Cassandra Effect, Abbott and Boiling a Frog. Dr Who?

I step out of the phone box. I look around. Picking up a paper, I see the date September 16th, 2009. Either the time travel has worked or this newstand is selling very old newspapers. Rudd is enormously popular. There is a headline that the lastest polling has Labor ahead 60.5 to 39.5 two party prefered. It’s not too late. I need to warn people. Perhaps we can stop this happening.

I make my way to the pub opposite Trades Hall. I stick my head in. “I’ve come from the future to warn you all.” A couple of people look up, but most people go on drinking. “I come from the Year 2013 and Tony Abbott is PRIME MINISTER.” A couple of people look up and laugh.

“Have another drink,” shouts somebody. There is more laughter.

Obviously, this is not an effective way to communicate. I go to the bar and order a scotch. One of the men smiles and says, “Good one!”

I shake my head. “I know it must seem incredible, but it’s all true.”

“So just four years after Labor save us from the GFC, we elect the Liberals. And not just the Liberals, Tony Abbott?”

“Yes,” I say, gulping my drink quickly.

“Fascinating, so why do we elect him?”

“Because the economy’s a mess and the borders are weak,” I repeat the Abbott mantras.

“Oh, inflation get’s out of control and interest rates soar?”


“Unemployment goes through the roof.”

“No, um, it’s lower than it is now, I think.”

“We’re invaded by a foreign power?”

“No, there a lot of asylum seeker boats. Well, a few anyway.”

“That’s no reason to vote out a government.”

“Well, it happens. Shortly after Rudd is returned to the Leadership.”


“Yes, Julia Gillard replaces him, because he becomes very unpopular after Abbott becomes Leader of the Liberals and the Senate block the ETS.”

“So why does he become unpopular if it’s Abbott that blocks the ETS?”

“Um, I don’t know. Anyway, all this is unimportant, I’m here to try and stop it happening!”

“Sort of like Arnie!” I look blank. “In The Terminator,” he explains.

“Sort of.” I remember the instructions for boiling a frog. If you do it slowly, the frog doesn’t notice.

“Ok, so what’s he like? As PM.”

I can tell that he’s humouring me, but I continue. “Well, one of his first acts is to abolish the Ministry for Climate Change.”

“I suppose that he incoorporates it into one of the other departments like Science.”

“Oh, there’s no Ministry for Science, that becomes part of Industry.”

He smiles, “Next you’ll be saying he gets rid of all the women in the Cabinet.”

“He does. Well, Julie Bishop’s still there. She’s in charge of Foreign Affairs.”

“I see,” he smirks.

“It’s all true. And Abbott takes over as the Minister for Women’s Affairs.”

“You’re from the future, you say?”


“And I suppose that you’ve got some explanation for how you got here?”

“Yes, Dr Who lent me his TARDIS. How else?”

“Ah,” he says, “at last you’re telling me something I can believe.”

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Categories: General, Politics

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20 replies

  1. Rudd bottled it on climate change and it all went down hill from there, if he’d gone for the double dissolution he wouls still be there

  2. @rossleigbrisbane, I enjoyed reading your article. You and I, we may have had some experience with “future thinking” and “game theory”. My namesake Adam Smith who published “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations” was an early inventor of future thinking and the rise of modern capitalism. Of course other great thinkers like Mills, Marx, Keynes et al followed. But as for the current membership of the LNP, they, with their mores, are so predictable.

  3. Mark, I firmly believe too that Rudd blew it by not calling a DD.,

  4. And I firmly believe that Labor blew it by not sticking by their decisions starting with Rudd allowing former Minister Garrett to be the fall-guy for the insulation scheme, followed by pandering to Abbott and the shock jock brigade on climate change plus on asylum seekers. Labor was never ever going to win the red neck vote so should have stood by their original beliefs and policies.

    Such is the tyranny of the polls – Australia went from 85% belief in taking action to combat climate change to around 45% due solely to the Murdoch media going along with Abbott’s scare campaign.

  5. Carol that is what has hugely frustrated me too. Somewhere along the line, polls took over from policies and performance. Abbott and Murdoch successfully manipulated public opinion by misrepresenting the facts and no-one had the guts to stand up to them.

  6. At home they call me Cassandra and except for the tardis part this is my story. Depressing, it takes all the joy from being right when you know your fellow Australians are such morons that they cannot see what is happening.

  7. I’ve been wanting to write about the way in which Labor are too ready to take the blame when they get voted out of office but I need to do more research. From Whitlam onward, there’s been a tendency to say, “Yes we made mistakes, but we’ve learned.” Rudd suggesting that the Carbon Tax was a mistake in the dying days of the campaign is typical of this.
    Liberals, on the other hand, seem to fit into the never explain, never apologise camp.
    It seems to work for them better than it should.

  8. Ross….I’m with you on that comment. The ALP are mostly just too damm nice and willing to accept blame. Unlike the Coalition who so firmly believe that they are in fact the Suppository of all Wisdom. Self belief, whilst admirable, can be a two edged sword if you believe your own bullshit as the coalition clearly do. Conviction politics if grand up to a point, but what happens if that conviction carries with it 18th century notions about society, religion, and our future?
    Abbott’s a man walking forward whilst facing backwards and all the while talking out of his arse.

  9. I enjoyed this piece immensely! Thank you

  10. love it but when I see the cabinet photo and see the bishop in the sea of suits. I gag at her rationalising that she is not the token female? I chuckle at the rabbott being the minister for women’s affairs and remember joh’s queensland minister for women’s affairs. Still are the women in shock??? No uproar?

  11. IT’S NOT FUNNY! IT’S TRAGIC! Don’t laugh at it .. it gives Evil a feeling of superiority if they can make you laugh! :’(

  12. For his next trick, T.A. will steer the ship of state whilst watching through a rearview mirror.

  13. It is great I like it,but your last post above is very important,it is what I’ve been saying all along,Labor must become more MONGREL,with coalition and the medial,not this pussy footing BS,like you say almost apologetic,when called a liar must bit back,turn it around and point out coalition lies.There are many examples but I won’t go on,getting late and bed is calling,but will say I think Anthony Albanese is the best man for it.A true blue Labor man,left wing,with old grass roots standards,respected by all true down to earth people,not just Labor voters,and he can bring out the mongrel needed when,not if,but when the need will for sure arise.Shorten is not half the man Albo is.Maybe in 20 years time Shorten and Howes can team up and have their crack as leader and deputy,but not for now,please.

  14. Great Piece. Very enjoyable in this land of blackness we now inhabit.

  15. GodDAMN but this one’s a little ripper, Ross! I love it! How did I bloody miss it, that’s what I can’t work out.
    Oh well, BLTN and all that. But thanks for the headsup, me old china!


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  3. When Words Fail… « The Australian Independent Media Network

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