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Abbott blames the system. Bishop is its victim. Oh, that’s so funny

Prime Minister Tony Abbott today absolves his “political mother” Bronwyn Bishop from all wrong doing:

What has become apparent, particularly over the last few days, is that the problem is not any particular individual; the problem is the entitlement system more generally,” he said.

“We have a situation where spending is arguably inside the rules, but plainly outside of community expectations, and that’s what needs to be dealt with once and for all.

Surely it is not too much to expect that politicians will exercise ethical and moral judgement sufficient to contain their expenses within “community expectations,” aka the “sniff test?”

Obviously it is, as has been so spectacularly brought to our attention by the revelation of decades of indulgence and extravagance practiced by Bishop, who seems to be enchanted by the fantasy that she is a reincarnation of Marie Antoinette.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m over Tony Abbott’s sophistry, his constant use of specious and fallacious argument to deceive and obfuscate. If Bishop hasn’t done anything wrong, why has she resigned, and why has Abbott accepted her resignation? If Bishop is a victim of the system, as Abbott apparently alleges, why did she have to go?

And how can Abbott and his henchmen and women expect to escape charges of hypocrisy when the comparison is noted between the excuses made for Bishop, and the ruthless hounding of “particular individual” former Speaker Peter Slipper, over less than $1000 abuse of travel expenses? Slipper made a number of attempts to resolve his matter administratively, that is, to pay the money back, as does everybody else, but these attempts were thwarted and he found himself in court.

Will we see Bronwyn Bishop in court over her outrageous excesses? If not why not?

Abbott’s attempts to spin Bishop as a victim of a system that allows politicians far too much leeway is adding insult to injury as far as the electorate is concerned. Bishop’s sense of entitlement and privilege allowed her to abuse the system to such an extraordinary degree: she is not the system’s victim, she is a practised exploiter who would have continued her exploitative practices until the day she expired, if she hadn’t been caught.

Bronwyn Bishop loves the Australian people, she claims in her resignation statement. So why did she squander so much of the people’s money, and why has it taken her this long to express remorse, and sod off?

This article was first published as Abbott blames the system. Bishop is its victim. Ahahahahahahahahahahaha! That’s funny on No Place For Sheep.


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  1. eli nes

    The ‘bishopric’ week can be directly related to the arrogant rorts of the Rabbutt(any research will give details) who considers, flying to melb for a liberal fundraising dinner then calling in to a Victorian cancer clinic on the way to the airport as evidence of the trip as work related to qualify for a claim for the airfares and accommodation, not a cynical misuse of privilege but an entitlement.
    A comparison of the speakers’ trips to fundraisers and the rabbott’s fundraser and book selling trips show that one is a deliberate, calculated and cynical rorter and doesn’t deserve respect and the others is/was merely a greedy, arrogant abuser of the system.
    The solution is simple, if travel is directed by the parliament, we pay. If it is local the electoral allowance pays and if it is personal the pollie pays, On this point, a senator told me that the points cannot be separated and all the flying points are taken by the pollie(at pointy end prices that must cost us millions of points???)
    If it is a combination the pollie pays the holiday proportion ie a pollie who goes to a 3 conference and is away for 10 days can claim 1 day travel each way and the conference. We pay half and the pollie pays half.
    We need evidence of the work our politicians do, to deserve being paid at the top 1% of Australians.
    Most of the work done can be recorded and posted on a website, showing where, who with, how long and, if applicable why??

  2. Shevill Mathers

    Sadly, Abbott is not into this high tech ”Inter-webby thingy”-means of communication, he still goes the 1850’s way.

  3. Harquebus

    To me, Tony Abbott’s problem is that, he thinks that the general public is gullible and stupid when in fact, it is he who suffers from these characteristics.

  4. Matters Not

    he thinks that the general public is gullible and stupid

    Actually I can understand his ‘thinking’. After all he was elected and probably will be re elected.

    Maybe he’s not that stupid? And perhaps the ‘general public’ might accept ‘responsibility’?

    But probably not.

  5. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    I see your point.

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    With Bishop gone, have we seen the end of this sad trashing of the house, undermining our Westminster system. Has Abbott laid it to rest, with his white washing of the Speakers behaviour over the last two years. Will labelling her a victim of the system, means he lives to fight another day.

    My gut tells me no, as we all know he is nuts.

    It doesn’t feel like it is over. Feels more like the beginning of the end. That there is much more to come.

  7. Suziekue

    Does Abbott’s statement that the system is at fault rather than Bronwyn Bishop mean that he has preempted the outcome of the Departmental review of Bishop’s travel claims?

  8. Matters Not

    Does Abbott’s statement that the system is at fault rather than Bronwyn Bishop mean that he has preempted the outcome of the Departmental review of Bishop’s travel claims?

    Interesting question Suziekue. Labor made a complaint to the Australian Federal Police. As you know the AFP past it on to the Department of Finance for ‘investigation’. It seems to me that the Finance Department, under the Ministerial control of Mathias Cormann, will have to ‘respond’ and that response will have to be part of the ‘legal’ record.

    While Cormann will want the ‘investigation’ to be confined to the dustbin of history, the public servants concerned, including those at the top, will want to protect their reputations and produce a ‘valid’ report.

    The current head of Finance is Jane Halton who played a significant role in the ‘children overboard’ (cover up) affair under the Howard Government. (She actually boasted about it). But she was also ‘valued’ under the Labor Government.

    It would seem she walks ‘barbed wire’ fences with comparative ease. I know not how nor why.

  9. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    I do not think that Abbott thinks about anything that does not directly affect him. He merely takes direction on other issues from Murdoch and the IPA.
    As far as expenses are concerned the rules should be:
    Must attend as a minister – fares and accommodation on the same terms as business travel for public servants (which might sometimes include business class).
    Attending a party matter of any type – electoral allowance must cover it until it runs out then they pay their own way.
    Fund-raising events and other travel – pay their own way.

  10. Matters Not

    AFY ‘past’ LOL when ‘passed’ was intended.


  11. Catriona Thoolen

    I think that they should put in a process where if just one claim is submitted and is queried and/or rejected by Dept of Finance then that Senator/MP should have all their claims reviewed going back ten years.

    There should be no pretence that this rorting belongs to all parties, the thing that made it different this time is the hypocrisy of a government stating that ‘the age of entitlement is over’ and (attempting at least to) cut services, welfare and undermine the lives of the poorest.

    Over the years/decades many have had to repay ‘mistakes’, but if a ‘mistake’ is the trigger to all past claims…it would put the wind up many and we would probably find a lower level of claims overall.

    ‘Entitlements’ claims cost taxpayers $100 million every year, far more than their salaries.

  12. Peter F

    The system must be at fault. After all, if Abbott can claim more expenses as opposition leader than the Prime Minister of the day without anyone asking ‘how come?’, then there IS something wrong. The long drawn out discussion about how to ‘improve’ this will no doubt bury forensic investigation of what has been allowed to happen

  13. Möbius Ecko

    And it’s not just Abbott blaming the system.

    Turnbull on ABC News 24 blaming the huge cost blow outs for his Fraudband on Labor saying they left him a mess of a business that didn’t have a clue as to what it was doing or costing, and he’s fixed all that but it’s cost a lot more than predicted because of that.

    This forever blaming Labor for the Liberal’s own stuff ups really has to be pulled up by the MSM once and for all, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen from what I’ve seen of the soft Brissenden interview with Turnbull.

    Howard was the first leader to implement this type of blame shifting and misdirection on a major scale as a strategic SOP, and we see it expanded by this deceptive government. Howard, like Abbott, would always say he took full responsibility whilst not actually taking any at all by buck passing, claiming ignorance and blame shifting for all the failures whilst taking full credit for good news, even if it wasn’t his doing. His other major tactic, at which he was an unsurpassed master, was too create a crisis and then come in to rescue it by throwing huge buckets of money at it and then claiming to be a saviour. To the detriment of the nation this often worked.

  14. Graeme Henchel

    When one is Bronwyn Bishop

    When one is Bronwyn Bishop
    The rules do not apply
    When one is madame speaker
    One simply has to fly
    When one gets caught out rorting
    One does not apologise
    One simple turns one’s nose up
    One tells a few white lies
    When one’s obscene excesses
    Come to the public eye
    One simply ducks for cover
    One hopes it all will die
    When one’s party suffers
    From one’s haughty ways
    One digs one’s high heels in
    To make sure that one stays
    When the plebs remain so angry
    They want one to resign
    One feigns a fake apology
    To save one’s own behind.
    When one’s party is bleeding
    as one’s excesses turn to farce
    One’s snout gets taken from the trough
    to save one’s leader’s arse

  15. Harquebus

    Well done GH.

  16. Lee

    It is now alleged that Bronwyn Bishop claimed travel expenses to attend committee meetings on dates and in locations when the committee did not meet. How is that the fault of the system? It’s just plain fraud!

  17. Möbius Ecko

    Lee she is now claiming they were “secret” meetings.

  18. khtagh

    Have a laugh, copied from the guardian comments, so good I had to share it.

    Saturday 1st August.

    Ring, ring.

    “Good evening, Bronwyn Bishop’s residence.”

    “Ahh, umm, is Bronwyn…ahh, there?”

    “Yes she is, may I ask who’s calling?”

    “It’s, umm, ahh… Tony.”

    “Tony who?”

    “Abbott, the ahh… Prime… umm… Minister.”

    “Oh, you.”

    Background conversation.

    “Excuse me Ma’am, there’s a Mr. Abbott on the telephone.”

    “What’s he want?”

    “He didn’t say, but he needs to speak with you.”

    “Goodness gracious, doesn’t he know how busy I am?”

    Bronnie picks up phone


    “Mothe… err, umm, Bronwyn, we need to have a chat about your position as Speaker.”

    “What’s to discuss? I’ve made it perfectly clear I’m not going anywhere.”

    “Well Bronwyn, I’ve ummm… just had a call from the Department of Finance regarding your ahhh… use of errr… travel ummm… entitlements.”


    “I’m ahhh, not sure how ummm… to put this, they’ve errr… found you’ve made quite a few ummm… “errors of judgement” and could be in the ahhh… manure.”


    “To be ummm… perfectly ahhh… honest…”

    “That will be a first.”

    “… they say you’ve made claims that don’t pass the sniff test and they may have to get the AFP involved.”


    “Not quite, I’m Tony.”

    “So how can we cover this… how should we deal with this?”

    “Well if ahhh… you were to ummm… resign…”


    “I may be able to ahhh… get them to ummm… drop the matter.”

    “And if I don’t?”

    “Then I’m ummm… afraid the public ahhh… may demand the outcome of the DoF enquiry be released.”

    “Fuc… damn nusience peasants, why would they be interested?”

    “Well it seems errr…they’re ummmm… a bit ahhhh… worried about how ummm… their errr… taxes are being spent.”

    “Their taxes? THEIR TAXES? What are you on about, that’s our money Tony.”

    “Well ummm…technically no, it ahhh… belongs to them.”

    “Really? When did this happen?”

    “It’s ahhh…always been the ummm… way.”

    “Gosh, twenty-eight years in I’ve sat in Parliament and you only tell me that now?”

    “I ummm… thought you may have errr… already known that?”

    “Oh, sure. You know how busy I am Tony? And here you are bothering me with trivialities. You expect me to try and understand every minor detail. You do know how confusing I find those guidelines?”

    “Sorry mu… your Majes… Bronwyn.”

    ” It’s not your fault Tony, it’s those fuc… those damn Labor scum and the commies at The Guardian and Fairfax. Always trying to look more honest than me. Than me I tell you!!!”

    ” It’s not only the ahhh… Left that want ummm… you gone, been some errr… village gossip inside our ahhh… party room too.”


    “Well Malcolm for one.”

    “That’s what I said, f*ckin’ Lefty pinko commie greenie know-it-alls.”

    “Anyway umm… Bronwyn, I’ve ahhh… been ordered to ask errr… for your ummm… resignation.”

    ” By who?”

    ” Uncle Ruper… Sir Rupert Murdoch.”


    “Shhh, next years’ Australian Honours List.”

    ” And if I don’t resign?”

    “Well ahhh, the AFP might umm… go after you. I was having a quiet chat with ummm… a cove in my ahhh, digs last night. He said you might even ummm… face errr… prosecution and lose your ahhh… parliamentary pension.”

    “Shit no. Okay I’ll go, but on one condition.”

    “What’s that?”

    “You must put up Russell Broadbent as your Captain’s pick for my replacement.”

    “Russ? You do know they ummm… call him Broadly Bent? Why him?”

    “Well Russell and myself were at a little soiree I’d organised to raise cash for my… our party and I noticed him chatting with a few gentlemen from the Italian community. He must have impressed them because they gave him a brown paper bag and promised they’d teach him how to keep our party colleagues safe from damaging scrutiny in the House.”

    “Okay Mum… Err, ahhh, ummm… Bronwyn. I’ll see what I can do.”

    “Make sure you do.”


  19. khtagh

    Written by HumbugHill Sorry I didn’t realise it had not been copied with the original post.

  20. lawrencewinder

    How can the AFP NOT investigate these frauds? I have not heard one question put to them or one explanation from them as to why Slippery Pete’s $980.00 can be looked into and he’s charged and Bishop who’s in it to the tune of $90,000.00 gets hand-passed to someone whose past actions (children overboard) seem to make them unsuitable to providing an honest outcome.
    The AFP need to be questioned.

  21. Bronte ALLAN

    If “they” can take Peter Slipper to court over a “measly” $1,000, then at least, Bronwyn High-hair & Tony Abscess should get jail for the huge financial rorts of this travel “system”: (sic) they have both been doing now for years! Bastards, both of them!

  22. totaram


    You always rise to the occasion! I’ve no idea how you do it. Talent indeed!

    @ME: As for Turdball’s “Fraudband”, everyone knew what would happen. It will turn out to be a white elephant crossed with a white mule (in case you don’t know mules are sterile and can only be produced by crossing horses with donkeys – great animals, the mules, especially for carting stuff up mountain slopes). Turdball will go down in history for all the wrong reasons.

  23. paul walter

    The real reason why Bishop had to go turned up today with the story of an assault on worker overtime announced by a stooge presiding over one of Abbott’s IPA type “committees”. Think about that. The abuse of expenses had a decided provocateur element in the honeymoon period after the Abbott election victory, but the Tories have been slow to realise that the public is no longer amused.

    The thing is, if some variation of Serfchoices is the best/last they have to offer, they go to an election an agenda-naked, policy void.

    The public know how ruthless they can be in the wake of asylum seeker policy, they begin to wonder, if they can be that harsh to asylum seekers, how long before they turn on the rest of us in earnest , now that they have the taste for blood?

  24. Möbius Ecko

    totaram @ 8:09 pm

    A productivity flaw has been revealed in Turnbull’s Fraudband, and that’s high speed symmetrical speeds. NBN fibre to the premises accommodates symmetrical speeds, that is equivalent download and upload speed, but the other technologies Malcolm is polluting NBN with don’t.

    The argument is that symmetrical broadband is only really relevant to business who upload as much or more than they download. The average home user predominantly downloads so doesn’t require symmetrical broadband, which is more expensive than asymmetrical broadband.

    So many businesses to keep or enhance their productivity will want symmetrical broadband, but if they don’t have fibre to the premises will need to pay to have that connected. Under the original Labor NBN everyone would have had the option for symmetrical broadband if they wanted it.

  25. paul walter

    A song for Bron.

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