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Abbott, “skills beyond his years”

Mark Kenny has been effusive in his praise of Tony Abbott, writing: Abbott in China shows skills beyond his years.

My first response was a quizzical one; skills beyond his years? Kenny is writing about a person who is 56 years old and who has been in politics for just over two decades. Surely some sort of “skills” should have already emerged during that length of time… or at least one would have thought so.

Kenny, who clearly is or rather was, aiming for some boost in Abbott’s popularity arising from Tony’s overseas sojourn, then added:

But Abbott has spent a political career surprising those who underestimate the power of HIS intelligence, HIS people skills (funnily enough), and perhaps most importantly, HIS directness.

Is this all about the person and not the country?

Abbott clearly has been hiding these of his particular lights under a bushel, with the above going mostly unnoticed by a public who sit and watch… and learn, as Abbott does such things such as break his word on a regular basis, runs when in tight corner and offers nothing for an increasingly cynical and somewhat saddened electorate. Directness without empathy is a poor skill indeed.

We then learn…

A record high vote of support for the Greens and a slump in support for the Coalition in regional Australia has left Tony Abbott’s seven-month old government trailing Labor by four points after preferences, for the second time since being elected.

The Coalition now trails Labor by 4 percentage points on a two-party-preferred basis on 48 to 52 per cent, with the Greens primary vote rising sharply to a highest-ever share of 17 per cent.

It was therefore with some deal of obvious confusion that Mark Kenny wrote: Tony Abbott slumps in polls despite best week yet.

OMG, how could this be when Tony has shown “skills beyond his years”?

Best week yet? I am not sure how the week might have been Abbott’s ‘best’, perhaps because he failed to make noticeable forced and unforced errors. Abbott’s ‘best week yet’ must be by Mark Kenny’s own criteria, as it certainly doesn’t seem to be shared by an ever-increasing number of Australians.

Does Kenny believe that photo ops of Abbott swanning around ‘abroad’ wins the accolades, and that Australians believe that this will take people’s attention away from the threats contained in the forthcoming budget? Does Kenny think that photos of Abbott shaking hand with World Leaders might somehow give credence to his broken promises?

Kenny however does add a few ‘possible reasons’: “the surprise restoration of the royal titles of knight and dame; the furore surrounding the suspended Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos and his links with the disgraced Obeid family and the government’s divisive efforts to weaken racial anti-discrimination laws at the urging of a tiny but powerful group of shock-jocks and libertarian fundamentalists“.

Here is some assistance, some other items as to why ‘intelligent’, ‘people skills’, ‘direct’ Tony Abbott and the Liberals have once again faced a slump in the polls. Below is certainly incomplete.

  • “Long-term youth jobless rate triples”. A headline such as this, plus multiple headlines of ‘job losses’ and public service sackings do not add one iota to instilling any confidence.
  • Nationals MPs warn against ABC budget cuts – “… breaking a key election promiseno change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.”
  • Thousands rally for refugees – “church-goers, activists come together for Walk for Justice for Refugees rally“.
  • Public servants will be urged to ­dob in colleagues posting political criticism of the Abbott government (Australians do not like ‘dobbers’ much less being threatened into having to do so).
  • … by abandoning the NBN and replacing it with a patched-together mish-mash of multiple technologies, Turnbull has settled for second or third best”. (As reported in The Australian; that one was a surprise criticism… nay, call it ‘a shock’).
  • Mr Downer joined the board (of a Victorian oil and gas company) 14 months ago as a representative of Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting. (It all becomes very incestuous doesn’t it). This might not be *Abbott’s fault*, but it is certainly indicative of who is pulling the strings of this government.
  • “I also want to stress that the government’s approach will be roads first, airport second… ‘people’ the also-rans. Abbott also added a comment which would have perplexed most; he has promised a new airport with “no noise“. Abbott has now been accused of misleading the people of Western Sydney, ‘duped’ being the description.

Barely a day goes when there are not issues which will impact us for the rest of our lives. The media has not time to play this game of the Abbott government’s. But perhaps that’s the ploy, hit ’em so hard and so early, and with so much data that it’s impossible to keep track of what this government is deleting- cancelling – re-strateg-ising.


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  1. mark delmege

    I was watching a John and Yoko youtube the other day and I couldn’t help thinking of TAbbott every time Yoko made a sound. She was however entertaining.

  2. Matters Not

    Jackie Kelly thinks that the Tony Abbott Airport is a great idea.

    The former Liberal member for the key Western Sydney seat of Lindsay, Jackie Kelly, has launched a blistering attack on Tony Abbott, warning she will “do the prime minister over” with a “soccer mums” grassroots campaign against his plan to build a second Sydney airport in her old electorate

    Dear oh dear.

    “I’m already calling it Tony Abbott’s airport. They’re all saying we want a nicer name, well if you think Badgerys Creek has got bad connotations, let’s call it Tony Abbott’s airport,” she said.

    Ms Kelly confirmed she was a close friend of Mr Abbott’s during their time in Parliament together as members of the Howard government, but said that would not stop her campaigning against his infrastructure plan.

    Yep, he always had those people skills.


  3. Dick Greaves

    Never confuse political skills with the power of being in the back pocket of the Murdoch press. Clearly we are now in the grip of “tea party” politics and policy, Tony’s little thank you to Rupert. As for the airport non announcement what a scam. Somebody else will build it (unlikely as the preferred bidder thinks it a waste of time – we don’t need it- a view which will no doubt temper other potential investors – the state to provide transport infrastructure again unlikely. Truss is himself unsure of what volume of traffic and the mix of potential users – the old mantra “just trust us “. Me thinks with an annual growth rate of 7% the people of Western Sydney might have deserved decent infrastructure anyway.

  4. Carol Taylor

    Matters Not, that could be good… the Abbott Airport, the runway to nowhere..

  5. Mike Wilkinson

    He only has skills with people who are fleecing the treasury of billions of dollars and are in a position to give him a gravy train to ride when he leaves politics behind. Yup! Sucking Gina and Rupert’s genitals is certainly a skill to admire! :/

  6. john921fraser


    Is Mark Kenny a lapdog ?

    Woof woof.

  7. Sir ScotchMistery

    I find myself wondering whether Mark uses those padded knee guards designed for gardeners that you can get from Bunnings for $19.95 when he meets with Tony to get updated on the prime mincers skill set.

  8. john921fraser


    I now take this opportunity to apologise to the Hamster (Chaser) Team.

  9. john921fraser


    @Sir ScotchMistery

    I thought he was belly down on a skateboard, barking and chasing after the moron Abbott.

  10. john921fraser


    I wonder if Kenny has to submit his jottings to Credlin for approval ?

  11. john921fraser


    I wonder if Kenny will use this for a headline :

    "Barry O'Farrell wiser beyond his years".

  12. Carol Taylor

    John921, Mark Kenny’s articles are a wee bit odd (just my opinion). He starts off with effusive praise, then buried somewhere, around the 2nd drawer he comes in with a logical assessment. That is, the headline does not correlate with the facts.

  13. margaret Millar

    Well i have not noticed PM Abbott displaying any great statesmanship –He seems to simper around World Leaders like someone very much full of gratitude for being recognised..He exhibits no leadership skills whatsoever and I believe that his speeches are altogether incomprehensible to other UNMembers! they seem not to make head nor tail of what he says ! Well anyway –neither do any of us!We take little notice-
    He is floundering–and so are his allies–NSW Libs party is slowly unravelling –ICAC is revealing all!!

  14. john921fraser


    $3,000 bottle of wine …. Barry O'Farrell resigns.

    $900 expense account overclaim … Peter Slipper gets dragged through the Courts.

    $10,000 expense account overclaim …. Abbott becomes Prime Minister.

    It just a matter of money.

  15. john921fraser


    @Carol Taylor

    Mark Kenny is a thin skinned opinion writer who doesn't have a principal to stand on.

  16. Matters Not

    Yes, it’s a pity that Barry’s gone. Should have learnt from Abbott. When caught, just pay it back and continue on.

    There’s always another day. And a new rort is just around the corner.

  17. Terry2

    Mark Kenny , sadly, is not a credible journalist; I say sadly because there is a pattern of this unprofessional behaviour at News Ltd in Australia – not to mention in the UK.

    We have just seen Phil Jacob at the Telegraph get the sack for brazen plagiarism over a number of years.Something that should just not happen in a well run organisation with proper oversight and an ethical culture

    There is something rotten within News Ltd and it needs to be recognised and addressed.

    Several impartial commentators have noted that Abbott’s performance in Asia was, in many instances, cringeworthy but at least it didn’t do us any long term harm.

  18. lawrencewinder

    Kenny is a delusional sycophant to think that Prime Miniature, “Rabbutt-the-Hun” has thought any of this up for himself. It’s all from the “Coot’s-With-Queer-Ideas-From-a-Parallel-Universe” (IPA) script and their faceless backers. They even foretold months before the election that he should “go-in-hard” to ,as they see it , “transform the nation”.

  19. Carol Taylor

    John921, Mark Kenny is confusing at best..effusive praises followed by factual information, and mostly in the negaitve. As a summary, ‘it does not compute’.

  20. edward eastwood

    It is always somewhat of a mystery how Mark Kenny became Fairfax chief political reporter, perhaps it was due to the purchase of those Bunning’s knee pads or perhaps he’s closely related to someone in management. Whatever the case, the article is a mish mash of effusive praise for Abbott combined with a potted history of Prime Ministers from Keating onward according to the gospel of Mark Kenny, which appears to be written after a heavy session of partaking in a liberal (no pun intended) amount of Tsingtao.

    Regular readers of his column will clearly remember his barely disguised glee at the leadership ructions plaguing the ALP during Gillard’s term in office, and his determination to whip up anti-Labor, anti-Green sentiment.

    Perhaps Kenny secretly desires to be a comedy writer for a revised version of ‘Puppetry of the Penis’. The act would be retitled ‘The Puppet and the Penis’, in which Kenny and Abbott could perform a double act.

    Mark could write the jokes, and all Tony would have to do is turn up – he wouldn’t even have to take his trousers off.

    Kenny’s article can only be described as drivel written by a non too discerning hack.

    As a political analyst for a struggling media outlet, Kenny would make an average sports writer for a local rag.

  21. VoterBentleigh

    Regarding the latest example of Tony Abbott’s failing skills: his response to O’Farrell’s resignation. The PM’s memory of his own inability to uphold standards of decency even in parliament is clearly failing. “Oh yeah!” (as he sneered at Gillard) Let’s see him lecture the Murdoch press on decent standards in the media. If that female reporter had been close to hand beside a wall, I suspect the PM would have punched the wall either side of her head. Then he did not answer the question! It’s really just proof of how utterly feeble his hold upon the truth is.

    O’Farrell only resigned when the proof of his lying was produced. It is more than just about memory, because he maintained that he was in Queensland at the time of the receipt of the wine and there is still the question of why he did not register the gift as a pecuniary interest at the time that he received it -that has nothing to do with memory. There are clearly more questions for O’Farrell to answer, but the LNP response is to get the person to stand aside or resign (Mary Jo Fisher, Alistair Furnival and Arthur Sinodinos) and then claim that no more questions need be answered – especially by Tony Abbott, who appears to be incapable of answering any difficult questions in any honest manner..

  22. cornlegend

    Even that nasty bit of work, Jackie Kelly the former Lib is out for Abbott.

    The former Liberal member for the key Western Sydney seat of Lindsay, Jackie Kelly, has launched a blistering attack on Tony Abbott, warning she will “do the prime minister over” with a “soccer mums” grassroots campaign against his plan to build a second Sydney airport in her old electorate.

    Speaking to the ABC from London where she is holidaying, Ms Kelly told the ABC she is “ballistic” with Mr Abbott’s decision to okay a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek.

    She said Mr Abbott has signed a “death warrant” and writing on her Facebook page has warned the Prime Minister will come to “regret this epitaph”.

  23. "Sir" Mic

    Airports with no noise? I wasn’t aware that anti-grav technology had been released into the public arena.

    When it comes to unemployment, one must reluctantly admit that it isn’t entirely Tony’s fault. I live out in the sticks. The largest local employer has an OH&S record that makes shoving children up chimneys (or down one of Gina’s mines) look positively humanitarian meaning it turns over staff faster than product. Don’t they love those 457 Visas!

    Newstart recipients are required to apply for four positions each fortnight. This means that when a small business puts forward a position to be filled, it is inundated with 400 applications, 300 of which are unsuitable, 80 who don’t want the job anyway and the remaining 20 are probably under-qualified*. Imagine the ludicrous workload on the (stand-in) personnel officer who has to sift through those 400 applications to find the one or two people who seriously want that position.

    *When I was in the job-market, I was constantly annoyed at the number of rejection letters I received stating that I was OVER-qualified for the position and therefore would probably be bored!

    Many areas of Australia are becoming ever more reliant on tourism. Yes, it’s great that the money stays in Australia, but tourism is very transient and can collapse at any moment. What value is there in a souvenir of Sydney that has “Made in China” stamped on the bottom?

    We don’t produce anything! Farmers are going broke and walking off the land or committing suicide because they can’t compete with embarrassingly cheap imports. Manufacturing has collapsed. I need a new earpiece for my phone. Why am I going to spend $20.00 locally, when I can mail-order it from that very same China for $2.00?

    With Ford, Holden and Toyota all preparing to pack up and leave, I have suggested several times that the abandoned factories be retooled for the production of wind turbines, as the cost of wind generated electricity has dropped below the cost of burning coal. The idea keeps falling on deaf ears.

    People are laughing at the re-introduction of the titles “Sir” and “Dame”, and I see many people taking the mickey on this one by self-titling on facebook. Methinks that Tony re-introduced them because he considers himself worthy of a Knighthood.

  24. Stephen Tardrew

    Shit now where the hell can I hide the bad stuff.

    Hierarchy Map:

    1. Effusive claims of achievement

    2. More Ass licking

    3. Hero worship knee bending and maybe knighthood one day

    4. Soft entry to nasty otherness

    5. Little bita bad shit

    6. Reclaim the day with grand flourish of bowing and scraping claiming the return of little DogGod.

    Damned balance. If only I could do away with the bad shit Tonsey Wonsey would let me play with his Royal thingy.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Hey I just noticed…..the site is rapidly approaching 3 million hits. Could happen tonight. I wonder how many of those people think Abbott shows skills beyond his years. What skills exactly are beyond a 56 year old….I mean one suited to their task….that they will acquire in the future?

    I have a theory Carol. Make the headline complimentary and you get a seat on the VIP jet for tame journos. No conservative will read further into the article so you can hide facts for progressives a few paragraphs in without jeopardising a free ride and access to “leaks”.

  26. Conrad

    What skill ‘beyond your years’ does it take to get foreign leaders to sign trade treaties that in the future will work against Australia’s own economic interests?

  27. mars08

    Conrad, that skill would be the ability to look at himself in the mirror every morning…

  28. "Sir" Mic

    Kaye Lee: Skills that TA could still acquire:
    “See Spot’s ball.
    “See Spot’s red ball.
    “See Spot’s big red ball.
    “See Spot run.
    “See Spot run after his big red ball.”

  29. pvcann

    What a load of rubbish, zero skills, Abbott is a rank amateur

  30. Maree Elizabeth

    love the AIMN… super stuff folks…

  31. Roslyn

    Agreed with everything above. It is a pity that most Australian do not read this.

  32. Katie08 (@Salstarat)

    What skills? Pfffft! The manner in which the pathetic, arrogant Abbott struts and stutters his way around south east asia at the 11th hour taking credit for hard fought for negotiations that were initiated by the RUDD and GILLARD GOVERNMENTS is completely dishonest and totally repugnant!!! All he did was make a staggering fool of himself with his fawning, insincere and unbearably childish statement “You’re my best friend” to each political leader of Japan, China and South Korea! How embarrassing … Abbott’s obsequious, trite comment didn’t fool anyone and was received with the scorn and contempt it deserved! Abbott is a slithering psychopath and a pathological LIAR – a mindless hollow little nobody with delusions of grandeur! He has not achieved a SINGLE thing since he crawled across the electoral line EXCEPT the ongoing vandalism of our environment, the horrific sociopathic vilification and torture of innocent asylum seekers (and their vulnerable children), the slash and burn cut backs to vital scientific and medical research, the defunding of essential social programs and cut backs to education (including his notorious deception about the Gonski reforms). Abbott and the totally inept idiot, Hockey, are determined to sell off EVERY single publicly owned asset in order to make a transient, quick profit that will be spent within a year. Their decision to sell our prized and much valued Medicare system is yet ANOTHER staggering lie to add to a list of lies that is growing daily. Abbott’s ruthless sycophancy to billionaire miners, multinational corporate predators and malignant media moguls and his open favouritism and “jobs for the boys” reveals the magnitude of his corruption! Abbott is, beyond doubt, the WORST most internationally despised and reviled PM in our history. He is a laughing stock overseas with his revolting deference to English imperialism bringing back the elitist, pretentious system of knighthoods – a system loathed even in the UK! Abbott is an unbearable fascist who has absolutely no regard for our democratic process and, like the Howard minion that he is, rules by division, hatred, unbridled misogyny, outright xenophobia and fear. Abbott and his truly vile cabinet have this astronomical sense of entitlement and egos that are in stark contrast to their moronic imbecility and knuckle dragging Neanderthalic regressive policies that will put this country back 50 years! Abbott and his self-seeking Machiavellian cabinet’s unbridled and misguided sense of superiority is only exceeded by their sneering, condescending contempt for ordinary Australians. They rule, like Nero, watching Australia burn!

  33. Gai Anderson

    The Governor General’s assistance to remove – dismiss – a prime minister can be sought by a motion passed in the House of Reps regarding “No Confidence”. Surely this man, Tony Abbott (with many personality traits and issues that others above have pointed some of out) is the epitome of someone that we, the majority of Australians AND now a large part of the world (any that care about accelerated climate change, acidification of oceans, the Great Barrier Reef, old growth forests – and getting DE-listed by request of World Heritage Listing ……. who does THAT, for goodness’ sake!? ……etc, etc, etc) perceive as someone we can have no confidence as a leader, or even as a minister (in charge of anything). I am willing to say yes…I am one of that majority of Aussies who voted, not for Tony Abbott for PM, but for the LNP Coalition to come into government. I truly thought that by now his own party would have dispensed with him, once we’d all had a month or two of suffering watching and hearing him in action and obviously not going to compare the Libs holding a leadership challenge to anything that went on in Labor over their last 6 years. When it was a vote between him and Malcolm, back in the time when I could feel ok about paying very little attention to politics, I vaguely recall that it was only one or so votes between them? If say even 30 of the LNP MPs still would vote for different leader and all of the Labor Party, Greens and PUP and Independents, and any other party with a sitting member (sorry – I don’t know the names if so) would too then such a motion of no confidence would be passed. We simply MUST, for so many reasons, be rid of him as our PM, and as soon as possible. Write to Bill Shorten, write to Greens and other MPs, write to Libs and Nat Party members……and write to the new Gov General. I don’t think that I, and so many others, can stand living in the nightmare that being Australian under TONY ABBOTT’s LNP Coalition for much longer……..

  34. Hobo Sapiens

    Mark Kenny’s bias is definitely showing. In http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-slumps-in-polls-despite-best-week-yet-20140413-zqu9c.html he wrote that the govt is ‘crafting a fiscally responsible budget”.

    Who’s to say it will be a “fiscally responsible” budget? I think it might behove Mr Kenny to judge the budget on its merits once it is announced, rather than on the declared intentions of a government which is setting Olympian standards for promise-breaking and protecting its own special interests.

  35. Paul Raymond Scahill

    On Tony Abbotts list it may well have been his most successful week. However, with anybodys scruples and tick sheet it came up as only photo shoots and hand shakes for only his own scrap book. That should probably read S CRAP book. Abbott would have to be the most see through politician the world, apart from Mark Kenny, has ever known. He is an absolute disgrace, particularly when he is angry!

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