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Abbott, Bolt And The Stages Of Grief

Most people will have heard about Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and the five stages of grief. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been having trouble working out where Tony Abbott in terms of what stage he’s at.

Listening to some of his comments, I have to conclude that he’s just like he’s always been: all over the place and not at all consistent.

Then we also have his great friend Andrew Bolt. Bolt is easier because, consistent with nearly everything else in his writing, he’s fluctuating between the denial and anger stages. I call Bolt, Abbott’s friend because that’s exactly what Bolt wrote earlier this week.

“See, I don’t think Abbott is a great man because he’s my friend. He’s my friend because he’s a great man.”

So, in Bolt’s world, greatness is a prerequisite before you attain his friendship. Mm, anyway back to Mr Abbott.

Evidence of the first stage is everywhere.

Denial — The first reaction is denial. In this stage individuals believe the diagnosis is somehow mistaken, and cling to a false, preferable reality.

This explains his non-attendance in Parliament, although this could be more consistent with a much later stage, depression:

Depression — “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” During the fourth stage, the individual becomes saddened by the mathematical probability of death. In this state, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time mournful and sullen.

The denial stage also explains his rather bizarre interview with Ray Hadley where he expalined that he could have won the next Federal election because – in spite of a losing poll streak resembling The Generals against the Harlem Globetrotters – people were going to change their minds and vote for him in the only poll that counts. Just look at the great result in the Canning by-election. A mere seven percent swing. The change to Turnbull had no effect. No sir, I, Tony the Great would have achieved a similar result.

And in the same interview, we have a swing to stage two:

Anger — When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, it becomes frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.

According to Tony, the forces plotting against him knew that they had to move before Canning because if they waited, there’d be no reason for a change. A mere seven percent swing would have been viewed as time to pop the champagne and dance in the street. As for replacing Credlin or Hockey, well, it was a myth that doing that would have changed things. You see, this was brought about by individuals “keen for advancement”. It was nothing to do with his performance because, well, none of the policies have changed.

See, it wasn’t because of his performance as Prime Minister that anyone moved against him, The lack of a change in policy just proves what a commendable job he was doing. Said quickly this sounds all right, although to me it’s a bit like a sacked policeman arguing that the law hasn’t changed so there was no reason to remove me from my job. Actually, it’s probably more like a sacked football coach telling us that the game plan hasn’t changed in the week since his sacking so the score is irrelevant.

As for the other two stages, let’s start with stage three:

Bargaining — The third stage involves the hope that the individual can avoid a cause of grief. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. People facing less serious trauma can bargain or seek compromise.

Mm, now isn’t this what he did when he survived his “near death experience” back in February? “Give me another six months and I’ll change. I’ll turn things around. Just give me another chance.”

Of course, the final stage, acceptance, doesn’t seem to have happened unless one counts his speech the day after his party room defeat. You know, the one where he promised no “sniping”. Still, this one does take time and maturity, so I don’t expect to see it in the days before Christmas.

But I’ll let Andrew Bolt have the final word:

“Those I love best are people of honour, warmth and kindness.

“Tony Abbott is one such man, and that he has been betrayed and deposed doesn’t just break my heart. It makes me fear for this country. I can only hope that Australians will one day wake up to what they’ve tossed away.

“Sorry to sound so melodramatic, but here are some glimpses of the man I know — ones that put the lie to the trash that even big-name correspondents peddled about him.

“A woman hater? Ask his daughters or female chief of staff. Ask the many women on his staff, so loyal that he had one of the lowest turnovers of modern prime ministers.”

Yeah, sort of gives new meaning to the term “hard right”…

Actually, I wonder why his wife was left of the list of people to ask in that “woman hater” paragraph.



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  1. David

    Here’s a first, I agree with the tosser Abbott, nothing has changed in the policy area. Turnbull knows he must be very careful because many of the goons in his Cabinet voted, as he did for the Status Quo.
    OK Mr Snake Oil PM, about that walking on broken glass?

  2. Marlin101

    Wow. That’s disturbing. Too true to be ‘hahaha’ funny… But it is truthful and therefore amusing. Like watching a puppy fall off the bed, or a donkey fall into a pool. Abbott needs to fall into a wood chipper, that would be hilarious.

  3. kizhmet

    Scary isn’t it David? I actually agree with Abbott too – nothing has changed except for having a PM who can string together a sentence using more than three words without repeating himself three times. Abbott definitely had to go, so too do the policies/ideology the Coalition is peddling.

  4. David

    @kizhmet… I wonder how long before Turnbull’s conscience re climate change overrules his ambition and he tells the slimeball Hunt ‘policy change lad’. He has the majority of the country support on this one, so his battle will be not only be with his conscience but the incompetents who he has in his cabinet.
    Not as easy as destroying Labors NBN is it Mr PM?

  5. Lee

    Things I learned from Andrew Bolt: Honorable people lie their arses off.

  6. babyjewels10

    Bolt must be from a parallel universe.

  7. metadatalata

    I read for the first time Andrew Bolt’s column in a Murdoch rag left in an airline departure lounge and it just happened to be the article discussed here. I was pretty gobsmacked at the gibberish in that column in his name. Wow. It was just so full of fantasy it seemed like a perfect parody. Is this what people call Main Stream Media? Looking through a bit more of the paper, it really did seem like the whole lot was a parody. I guess that will be the first and last time I bother picking up MSM for a light reading experience. I will opt for fantasy fiction at the bookshop if I want control of the light entertainment I want to read.

  8. Roswell

    That Bolt article nearly made me throw up. But that’s fairly standard.

  9. bobrafto

    Anger — When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, it becomes frustrated, especially at proximate individuals. Certain psychological responses of a person undergoing this phase would be: “Why me? It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; ‘”Who is to blame?”; “Why would this happen?”.

    Most of us will go thru life without much ado, being hit by a Council bus or taken by a shark and other ghastly misadventures only happen to other people.

    Then one day a few years back I became one of those other people and I did ask that question ‘Why me?’

    Yes, there was rage and anger and yes I bargained with the devil with my soul in exchange for justice only because I don’t believe in the devil.

    And although the circumstances of my misadventure was out of my control I developed a deep seated feeling of guilt, of letting the family down.

    However, my take on the Tone is that he is trying to come to terms that he is a National Failure and booted out by his own party. And so we have this exercise of the Tone trying to portray himself as a victim who did no wrong, ‘all the policies are still in place’ and please like me, pleeeaaaase!

    Then you have the Abbott lovers who say Tone is a decent guy, but I bet there’s a conga line stretching kilometres who would utter one word of the Tone and that would be arsehole. Ask Gillard, Hanson and Bernie the asbestos victim, decent doesn’t come close.

    I believed he was delusional when he was PM, he is even more delusional now that he thinks after 30 consecutive negative polls that the electorate would embrace him at the next election.

  10. Ken Butler

    Bolt used to have a tag heading: “Andrew Bolt the most read journalist in Australia”.
    I don’t know if it is still used because having read a bit of one sniping diatribe and thinking to myself that the heading needed to add: “and the least credible”, I have moved on..

  11. brickbob

    I dont think Tony will slip silently into the night,at the moment he is wounded but when the stab wounds heal he will rage like a demon released from Hell.”

  12. Aortic

    Andrew, I think most Australians have already woken up to what they have tossed away. An opportunistic, untruthful ideologue who never successfully transitioned from opposition to government. He may well have some endearing qualities as a man, but he was way out of his depth as Prime Minister devolving eventually into national ineptitude and international embarrassment.

  13. keerti

    “Yeah, sort of gives new meaning to the term “hard right”
    I didn’t know that bolt (there is no “b” small enough) is right handed!

  14. Ella Miller

    I love the saying ‘what goes around comes around’…. hope Mr. Abbott remembers how it felt for Ms Gillard, G. Triggs and many others whom he tried to destroy without a second thought. I don’t believe he is going through the stages of grief. He became upset when he realised (or did he?) that he is NOT the best thing since scliced bread…not even to his own party.

    As for Mr. Bolt what a hypocrite , what a fraud…a sickening one at that.

  15. Peter F

    I have been through many of the stages of grief since Abbott became leader of the Liberals. I am trying to get used to the new circumstances, with some lingering doubts.

  16. Florence nee Fedup

    His wife, the person he described as an adornment to his role of being PM?

  17. Matters Not

    Many, if not most, celebrate the demise of Abbott. A bit of ‘pop psychology’, suggests that for Tony, this is simply a blip on his historical radar. He knows that comebacks happen. Indeed his religion is based on ‘resurrections’ (and death cults). He knows that resurrection from political death possible.

    He saw it with Rudd. More importantly, he saw it with his mentor, John (the Rodent) Howard. It’s a dream about to be realised.

    He’s now a ‘martyr’ (albeit self proclaimed), crucial to becoming a ‘saint’. Saint Tony will be the next Prime Minister of Australia.

    But there’s some way to go. it’s why Tony is recreating himself. Returning to what he knows best. What made him ‘great’. It’s about stunts. Also about correct attire, (‘fancy dress’). It’s also about the MSM. The ‘wet suited’ Tony emerging from with surf board underarm, met by a Telegraph reporter is simply a harbinger of the future. As was Tony in his fire brigade suit, at another recent time.

    In the weeks and months ahead we will see the ‘action man’, always in ‘fancy dress’, in more stunts, but only if a camera is nearby.

    It makes me happy. Bo Saint Tony.

  18. Florence nee Fedup

    Agree, Abbott is continuing on, as if nothing has happened. Stunt a day.

  19. jim

    Hi found this little gem on The Australian institute;fits in with Abott I think;(For political debate to strengthen our democracy the political cost of deception needs to be far higher than any political advantage that flows from fabricating the facts). Oh please let Australia be rid if this corporation led Liebral party.

  20. worrierqueen

    Very good question about Margie, one that I suspect will be answered in the coming months.

    You can see Abbott is about to do a Rudd. He’s never lost a fight and doesn’t intend to lose one now, especially not to Turnbull. He’s done him once and he can do him again. As his good friend Winston Churchill once said “ahhhhh the Battle of France is done (we came second), the Battle of Britain has only just begun” or somesuch.

  21. Zathras

    The continuation of all the previous policies indicates that Turnbull is being kept on a very short leash by his masters.

    He was given some lee-way in rearranging the Cabinet but without any subsequent policy changes it was essentially just a cosmetic PR exercise.

    Perhaps he will be granted some further freedom if he wins the next election but it’s clear the he’s not really the one in charge.

    Meanwhile it will be interesting to watch Abbott smoulder away on the back bench and wonder what his next move will be.

  22. David

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Abbott has already appointed a ‘cabinet in exile’. He has plenty of nutters to chose from as Turnbull has by no means exhausted the supply. I heard Abbott spouting more nonsense this morning and I’m convinced he seriously believes he will return as leader, it’s just a matter of time.
    Toxic recalls to mind this little ditty…’Yesterday, upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there He wasn’t there again today I wish, I wish he’d go away’.

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