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Abbott admits he’s wasting 4.3 million taxpayer dollars

Tony Abbott “continues to make the most astounding, cringe-worthy gaffes that stretch all credulity” writes Jennifer Wilson.

This, today from a Prime Minister who spends 4.3 million of taxpayer dollars monitoring social media, and employing spin doctors to “offer strategic communications advice” from the information gleaned:

I’ll leave social media to its own devices [said Abbott today]. Social media is kind of like electronic graffiti and I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media,” Mr Abbott said. You wouldn’t report what’s sprayed up on the walls of buildings…

In spite of that 4.3 million taxpayer dollars’ worth of strategic communication advice, in spite of the iron control reportedly exerted over the PM by Chief of Staff Peta Credlin, Abbott continues to make the most astounding, cringe-worthy gaffes that stretch all credulity, and nobody wants him anywhere near them.

So it would seem the spin doctors and Ms Credlin are catastrophically useless at their jobs, because just when you think Abbott can’t get anymore bizarre, he goes and smashes all his previous records of stupid.

If Credlin and the strategic communications advisors were employed by anyone other than the LNP government they’d be sacked. I wonder how any of them will ever find alternative employment, given their unbroken record of spectacular failure with the Prime Minister.

Please do leave social media to its own devices, Mr Abbott, and stop wasting our money on monitoring it to see what it’s saying about you. It’s never anything good, you can be sure of that. How many millions of our dollars do you need to spend to find out what an absolute fool we think you are?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. No matter how many dollars and spin doctors you throw at it, you just can’t. A pig’s ear is a pig’s ear and right now, on Australia Day 2015, we have a pig’s ear in charge.

(I suppose I should say sorry to pigs, who are really pretty smart animals.)

(Which Tony Abbott is not. A smart animal, that is.)

Image from noplaceforsheep

Image from noplaceforsheep


This article was first publish on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. John Kelly

    To the best of my knowledge this is the first time Abbott has mentioned social media as a potential source of political influence. This means only one thing. He recognises that social media has an audience and that it is hurting his government and him in particular. Having him call it ‘electronic graffiti’ should be taken as a compliment

  2. RosemaryJ36

    I guess if he intentionally told the truth some time in the future, we might see pigs flying!

  3. Carol Taylor

    Tony Abbott “spends 4.3 million of taxpayer dollars monitoring social media” but then states that taking notice of the social media is the same as taking notice of graffiti on a wall. I wonder how many taxpayer dollars Abbott spends on his graffiti army whose job it is to run around checking out walls?

  4. Pudd'nhead

    Team Oz are wondering wot they should do in the second arf. I know says the Captain I’ll bring on the Prince as a sub.
    The uver mob will lay down and let us run all over ’em once they see oove we got on our side.

  5. Lyle Upson.

    how would society respond to this nonsense being used by a magistrate to describe social media communications ??

    Mr Abbott said. You wouldn’t report what’s sprayed up on the walls of buildings…

  6. stephentardrew

    Well he sure wasted the cash because he certainly ignores the reports.

    After spending all that money he still flounders around like a lost sheep while making it up on the run.

    Tony I am the big kid in charge but lack the brains to succeeded.

    Damn money can’t buy you intelligence and certainly won’t cover the lies.

  7. Nodlew

    Who will rid us of this troublesome priest?

  8. Kaye Lee

    The Liberal Party if they have any sense.

  9. Jexpat

    Stephentardrew wrote: “Well he sure wasted the cash because he certainly ignores the reports.”

    Not if they’re coming from public servants- even off duty.

    Then there’s an “is an expectation” to dob in colleagues if they see them do anything on social media that might be “critical or highly critical of the Department, the Minister or the Prime Minister”.


  10. keerti

    bugger! Kay Lee, that means we are stuck with the fool!

  11. Kaye Lee

    While the Australian Treasury is seeking to shed nearly one-in-three employees by 2017, reducing its staff from around 1,000 staff to 700, and the taxation office is getting rid of 3,000 people, the Coalition has loaded itself up with 300 extra employees taking their total ”army” of spin doctors and communications staff to 1900.

  12. Mic

    The Ministry of Truth (MiniTrue) has finally arrived.

    Please don’t call Tony Abbott a “fool”. Fools are at least entertaining.

  13. kasch2014

    Have a look at Abbott’s Face Book Page, and follow the I.D.s of the “people” who post there. How much does our Prime Monstrosity pay for positive feedback from virtual people?

  14. Anomander

    Abbott is clearly a Neanderthal, stuck firmly in the stone age, unable to grasp social media or any of the major technological developments or social changes that have occurred over the past 40 years.

    His obvious impression of women being stuck at home, doing the ironing, cooking the Sunday roast and making babies.

    His lack of comprehension that social media is more than just a passing fad or something to be lightly dismissed.

    His denigration of science and technology in favour of religion – don’t question, it’s god’s will.

    His refusal to believe in climate change despite the overwhelming evidence.

    His homophobia, sexism and xenophobia toward people who aren’t white, middle-class and don’t move in the same insular circles as him.

    His failure to protect the environment – instead he wants to pave it all with concrete so more cars can drive all over it

    His belief the destructive practices like coal mining and fossil fuels will be our saviour.

    His slavish commitment to media moguls and the uber-wealthy as means to enable trickle-down wealth.

    His conviction to outmoded awards, the monarchy and the maintenance of a class system that favours only the privileged.

    This is the 21st Century and we need a leader capable of comprehending and embracing change. Abbott is clearly not that person, he is a remnant of a distant age, incapable of adapting and being the figurehead that leads our nation into the future.

  15. corvus boreus

    I would imagine that the recruitment of the IT snoops would follow standard Abbott SOP(‘Commission of Audit’ model) and the ‘right people’ would be hired for the task in order to achieve the ‘right’ results.
    The odd input from fawning toadies expressing smarming praise of Tonys’ performance would be accurately passed on as a balm for his ego, and some contrived and constructed criticism of his ‘over-cautious moderation to appease unappreciative leftists’ would be offered as incentive to goad and incite him to implement more radically anti-social/pro-corporate policies.
    The rest (what most of us are actually saying) would be dismissed as ‘meaningless graffiti’ and passed on to the AFP/ASIO spooks.

  16. John Fraser


    What's gotten lost in Abbott's shit is the Australian of the Year's Rosie Batty's message.

    The scourge of domestic violence.

    From Australia's Prime Minister who has had accusations of intimidating woman levelled against him.

    Thanks a lot Abbott !

  17. Möbius Ecko

    Carol how much of that $4.3 million is spent on not just having his graffiti army running around checking walls, but on writing his messages on them? Worse, how much of that $4.3 million is used to gather information on the graffiti writers and on ways to stop the walls from being written on?

  18. corvus boreus

    I am a little surprised that the Minister for Women didn’t expressed his admiration for the ‘generous spirit of tolerance and acceptance’ shown by men who don’t bash their wives. Particularly the ones who try to deny their husbands sex.

  19. Geoff Read

    If he is so unconcerned about social media why did he block me from his facebook page because I ridiculed him about Phil’s knighthood and have posted several things highlighting his lying and hypocrisy? Apparently he only wants to read statements from sycophants and brown nosers.

  20. pilgrim

    Actually Abbott’s knighting of Prince Phillip is predictable, given his record.. One of his characteristics is a dogged ( and childish) defiance towards anyone who affronts him. So when a woman who had had the effrontery to defeat him for the leadership of the SRC at Sydney University requested the committee to address her as chairperson, he persisted in calling her chairthing. . Likewise the wearing of blue ties exclusively is directed at a comment from Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech about reactionary men.
    Thus this latest action is directed against all those who criticised his introduction of knights and dames.
    Abbott never forgets any perceived injury and .is both punitive and defiant towards those who he considers perpetrators. Unfortunately, Australia is currrently “led” by someone so dramatically immature, yet such manifestations of his “power” as these are a joke. There are much more serious implications of his intrinsic weakness when he turns to major issues like climate change,and treatment of refugees. Hopefully, as with recent backflips, these important policy areas will .also be modified as the good sense of Australians prevails over Abbott’s extremist vindictiveness.

  21. Keith

    Yep, Tones, there are cringe worthy graffiti spraying comments being sprayed on social media; the Liberal Party have pages, my local Liberal who is meant to be representing us has a page, and there are a number of other Liberal sites with nothing else to do but spray graffiti on social media. It’s not even 1 April yet, it seems Abbott is practicing for the big day. He managed to get a reaction already with his announcement about Prince Philip.
    One would expect that Abbott’s nomination of Prince Philip for a knighthood created some embarrassment for the Queen and Prince Philip.

  22. corvus boreus

    Geoff Read,
    Step into the shoes of a climate research scientist.
    “Shut up with and piss off with your boring, gloomy crap, egghead. Now, Mr Jones, what was that you were saying?”

  23. Keith

    Abbott clearly does not realize that there are epapers/journals such as AIM that run rings around traditional media. Science Agencies such as CSIRO and NASA have pages etc etc; but then, Abbott doesn’t have interest in Science does he.

  24. John Fraser


    And the Liberal Party of Australia is standing by Abbott.

    Bunch of dogs.

  25. Linda

    This is a knightmare of epic stupidity….Tony abbott is out of his depth in a carpark puddle, we’re witnessing this court jester and his clowns make fools of themselves on the world stage…..he is royally screwed, and it’s all his fault. Can’t work out what part Mark Simkin, his brand new media advisor had in this latest sorry episode.

  26. Geoff Read

    Corvus boreus, that is gold and all too true, unfortunately.

  27. aortic

    For the simple cost of a phone call, I could have saved the taxpayer millions and told this buffoon exactly what most people I know are thinking.

  28. Kaye Lee

    “Electronic graffiti” also allows us to revisit and share Tony’s pearls of wisdom. I wonder if Rosie Batty would agree with Tony who said in 2002 “If we’re honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband … you find that he tends to do more good than harm.”

  29. John Fraser


    Kaye Lee

    Oh god !

  30. Michael Taylor

    Abbott also seemed to mock social media because quite often the user has complete anominity.

    Well what does he expect?

    Public Servants, as a prime example, face disciplinary action or even dismissal if they take to social media and bring the government into repute. So it’s my guess that a quarter of a million public servants are doing just that, remaining anonymous, of course.

  31. Matthew

    Of course Tony would hate on social media and the internet in general.

    Real people giving real opinions(valid or not) is dangerous to the status quo.

  32. Paul G. Dellit

    My complaint about the Government’s spending on social media monitoring is that it is not enough. How are such a paltry few public servants supposed to keep up when their Prime Minister provocks so much of it. And of course, to add to the workload, the Prime Minister is also an active participant. It’s not graffiti, though, when he takes spray can in hand. It is artful public spirited communication.

    But there is one issue I would like the Prime Minister to respond to: why he again engaged in sexism by Knighting the husband when he admitted it was principally because he was married to the more deserving wife!? Well, that milk has now been spilt from the silver creamer. But the least our Prime Minister can do to make amends is to set the processes in train to ensure that Her Royal Highness, the Queen has bestowed upon Herself by Herself in the personage of Sir Peter Cosgrove the title of Dame Elizabeth, Queen of Australia, its States and Territories. Our head of state and the man with whom she is consorting will be Dame and Knight first instead of Queen and Duke thus bringing them closer to us common colonial folk, a further step towards the democratisation of our monarchy.

    You see, Mr. Abbott, with the excision of misogyny, how much better the Australian people will come to understand the selfless democratic concerns you have for the ordinary people. In fact, the more often your unencumbered judgement is allowed to run free, the more we will all come to understand what a role model of ordinariness you really are!

  33. Phi

    Holy White Man, Kaye Lee – “the Coalition has loaded itself up with 300 extra employees taking their total ”army” of spin doctors and communications staff to 1900.”

    1900 !!! Really? You serious?

  34. Vix

    A pig’s arse, not a pig’s ear. John Ellliott got it right years ago. The only thing I liked about him.

  35. Sunnyboy

    If there is an award for gross failure, chronic gaffes, idiocy, incompetence, total incompatibility with Australians’ values, inability to lead and constant lying, it surely must be bestowed upon the current prime minister of Australia.

    I once lived in very faint hope that he and his team might just see the errors of their ways, do a complete turnaround and begin governing our country with some shred of intelligence. Sadly this will not happen. His Australia Day clanger of awarding a British prince an Australian knighthood takes the cake.

    The chronic embarrassment felt by LNP supporters at the actions of their leader must be almost unbearable. It is for the rest of the population.

    He and his team of incompetents have to go.

  36. Kezza

    I agree that $4 odd mil sounds bad – yes, but nowhere near as bad as the $30 mil per day interest we are paying on our huge national debt passed on by the ALP who now will not agree to any measures to reduce such debt and ridicule the LNP when they try to reduce it. Ha ha ha you fools you are stuck with it.
    Also didn’t the ALP have a rather large group of expensive spin doctors during their rule?

  37. Kaye Lee

    To answer your second question Kezza, yes – not as many and not as vile as the odious Mark Textor, but yes. Spin doctors, image consultants, and marketing gurus have no place in our government if you ask me.

    As to your very naïve first statement, you must be absolutely fuming that the Coalition have substantially increased our debt since you voted them in. When the Abbott Government came to power in September 2013, there was $270 billion in Commonwealth securities on issue. As of today, CGS on issue is $351.5 billion. In other words they have ‘borrowed’ more than a billion a week since they took over.

  38. Choppa

    Short memories, small minds.

    Kaye – they are still borrowing to meet the promises that labor made that they have tried to abolish. Guess what would happen if labor was in office? They’d keep borrowing.

    I would give my left foot to see labor back in government to finish the job they started. I’ll be OK. ..but the ones you supposedly are trying to protect will be screwed. We can finally say they deserve it.

  39. Kaye Lee

    Thank you once again for your partisan fact free thoughts Choppa. Could I point out that Labor never promised to give the Reserve Bank $9 billion or to give Rupert $1 billion as a bonus for successful tax evasion. Labor didn’t agree to buy 58 more lemon jets. Labor did not promise rolled gold paid parental leave. Want me to go on?

  40. Michael Taylor

    The Coalition appeals to those with short memories and small minds.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Labor didn’t attack Medicare. Labor didn’t suggest that our unemployed youth be thrown to the wolves for 6 months of the year. Labor didn’t decrease pensions by using CPI rather than AMWE. And Labor didn’t try to increase the borrowing limit to $500 billion and then discard it altogether.

  42. Kaye Lee

    Labor didn’t suggest we give billions to our worst polluters to pay for their factory upgrades, Labor didn’t say to the miners oh you don’t need to pay any tax on the billions of profits you make from the resources we own. Labor didn’t say to global corporations that it’s just fine and dandy for you to make loans to yourself at exorbitant interest rates in one direction and interest free in the other direction. Let’s get real here Choppa.

  43. gangey1959

    Settle, Kaye Lee. We need you.
    Maybe TA should have spent some of that $4mil on a membership here. Then he could have asked for advice, and received it.
    From people who know what they are talking about.
    Except from me, who would have just told him he was a dickhead. And to take his family back home where they belong.
    Open Question.
    Is HRH Phil the Greeks new title “Sir Prince Phillip, Queenie’s whipping boy but still better than a whiny brit who has lied his way into PM of Australia but who is trying to make amends and don’t spank him too hard, Duncan of the colonies,…….”
    Prince Phillip, Sir Duncan of the colonies, Queenie’s whipping boy but still better than a whiny brit who has lied his way into PM of Australia but who is trying to make amends and don’t spank him too hard, ,…….”
    On the off chance that he might cast an aspersion my way I would like to get the response correct. One would hate to be ill mannered in such company.

    Meanwhile, somewhere on Aegean peninsula, a small band of local rebels are trying to re-write “Deutschland uber alles” to the strains of a bouzouki, and with a more Grecian feel. We all know what happened the last time austerity measures went seriously sour in Europe.

  44. Owen

    It seems to me that the real electronic graffiti is every time his mouth opens in front of a microphone !

  45. gangey1959

    I just realised I out-smartarsed myself, and that those two titles above should be “Anguses”, not “Duncans”. Sorry.

  46. Möbius Ecko

    Labor didn’t try to pay off debt by spending more than double the debt.
    Labor then didn’t try to make the less well off pay for that more than doubling of the debt.
    Labor didn’t more than double the debt so as to overwhelmingly advantage the wealthiest not only in this country but some foreigners as well.
    Labor didn’t more than double the debt for stupid brain fart policies and then make ordinary and less well off Australians pay for the policy idiocy.
    Labor didn’t get rid of working revenue raising policies requiring the debt to be doubled to make up the shortfall, and then punish ordinary and less well off Australians for the stupidity of getting rid of revenue.

  47. crypt0

    Choppa …
    You might like to google “howard profligate”
    Just to give you a bit of non murdoch perspective …
    As for your left foot, come late 2016, I expect you will be giving it up …
    I do hope Toxic hasn’t destroyed Medicare by then …no, not for your sake, because you’ll be alright,
    but for everyone else

  48. crypt0

    Oh, and Kezza …. ditto … except for the bit about the left foot.

  49. corvus boreus

    Small minds believe repeated liars saying ‘axing some taxes will help fix the debt’ (solve insolvency by slashing income!).
    But what kind of ‘mind’ expresses a rhetorical willingness to sacrifice their own extremities in exchange for a theoretical outcome that they claim would be nationally disastrous, in order to obtain the imagined opportunity to gloat gleefully over the suffering of others?

  50. rikda

    Having spent most of my life as an active Trade Unionist, Tony is no stranger to me.
    The Tony Abbotts I have came across numerous time. They are political thugs with an immorality that intimidates the shit out of people.
    They come thru the ranks & one day they find themselves in the lead & they are out of their depth. They have to force other people to make them shine, because you can’t head butt during cross examinations.
    He reminds me of some advise I got when i was training greyhounds. “You can’t frighten a dog into winning”

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