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Abbott’s ‘Team Australia’ has a tinge of Howard about it

‘Don’t migrate to Australia unless you want to join “Team Australia”’, declared our chest-beating Prime Minister. “Everyone has got to be on team Australia” he carried on.

Now I really don’t know what ‘Team Australia’ is. I suspect it is nothing more than a slogan aimed at stirring up patriotism. And/or votes.

Either way, I don’t like it.

It reminds me of John Howard’s famous (and stunningly racist) comment that “we will decide who comes to this country …” – which he used rather effectively to set up his 2001 election win.

Tony Abbott appears, on the surface, to be channeling John Howard. What might he have on the agenda?

Let us be reminded of what Howard’s was. It might tell us something.

In 2007, as the then Prime Minister, Howard officially scrapped multiculturalism. Need I say more?

In 2012, more willing to embrace a multicultural Australia the Gillard minority government established a Joint Standing Committee on Migration. Some of the key issues addressed were: the role of multiculturalism in the Government’s social inclusion agenda; the effectiveness of settlement programs for new migrants, including refugees; how Australia could better utilise the skills of migrants; and incentives to encourage small business development.

Focusing on the economic, social and cultural impacts of migration in Australia, the Committee made further recommendations to maximise the positive effects of migration.

Initially, the inquiry was commissioned to examine and report on:

Multiculturalism, social inclusion and globalisation
  • The role of multiculturalism in the Federal Government’s social inclusion agenda; and
  • The contribution of diaspora communities to Australia’s relationships with Europe, the UK, Middle East and the immediate Asia-Pacific Region.
Settlement and participation
  • Innovative ideas for settlement programs for new migrants, including refugees, that support their full participation and integration into the broader Australian society; and
  • Incentives to promote long term settlement patterns that achieve greater social and economic benefits for Australian society as a whole.
National productive capacity
  • The role migration has played and contributes to building Australia’s long term productive capacity;
  • The profile of skilled migration to Australia and the extent to which Australia is fully utilising the skills of all migrants; and
  • Potential government initiatives to better assist migrant communities establish business enterprises.

Not surprisingly, this appears to have been scrapped. Well, the link is dead, so I can only assume it’s been scrapped. Can I also thus assume that Abbott has it somewhere in his agenda to follow Howard and also attempt to scrap multiculturalism?

I certainly hope not, but I fear that he will. The fictitious ‘Team Australia’ and what it is trying to represent has that distinct smell about it.

I quite like a multicultural Australia.

With over 6 million immigrants since the end of WWII, we have one of the most successful culturally diverse societies in the world. The Inquiry into Multiculturalism in Australia provided a framework for strengthening community harmony and promoting the economic, cultural and social benefits of Australia’s cultural diversity for all Australians. Australian multiculturalism also embraces the heritage of Indigenous Australians, early European settlement, our home-grown customs and traditions and the experiences of new migrants coming to this country, and promotes mutual respect and equality, aiming to enhance social cohesion.

Image by meetville.com

Image by meetville.com

Our multicultural policies have also affirmed that all Australians have the opportunity to be active and equal participants in society, and are free to maintain their religious and cultural traditions within Australian law. There are other benefits of multiculturalism for Australia – we are not only considerably richer in experiences, but we enjoy much closer economic and social links with other nations as a direct result of our diverse multicultural population.

John Howard didn’t like it that way, and Tony Abbott’s ‘Team Australia’ has a tinge of Howard about it.

I wrote recently that the Abbott Government has been a very easy one to predict. I could be right again.

 

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72 comments

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  1. David Stephens

    Team Australia is early onset fascism with a suntanned Australian face

  2. Garth

    I am extremely concerned at the direction our country is taking (through it’s narrow minded and ill informed leaders). Thank you Michael for a timely and poignant reminder of what is going on. I just saw Clive Palmer on Q&A unashamedly bagging the Chinese race as it clearly serves his personal business interests. I am not going to repeat his words as I’m not sure I could without vomiting. This guy holds the balance of power in our national parliament, if this is our saviour then God help us all.

  3. John Fraser

    <

    A "tinge" ….. a bloody "tinge".

    Migs my good fellow have you gone blind ?

    Are you suffering the early onset of alzheimers ?

    Fcuk it !

    I'm putting this countries interests, its values and its people first and thats why i am not joining any "Team Australia" run by Capitan moron.Abbott.

    Any idea which companies are sponsoring the moron Abbott's "Team Australia" ?

    Is Gina a big contributor ?

    Will Murdoch be offering free advertising ?

    Will the moron Abbott be claiming expenses on the taxpayer's credit card ?

    How many multinationals are contributing to the upkeep of "Team Abbott" and will there be "prizes" awarded for their "contributions" ?

    How about starting an "FOA" team ?

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    Do not like or respect team leader.

  5. Garth

    Further, re:Abbott’s recent populist rants regarding ‘terrorists’, ‘team Australia ‘, etc, isn’t it just the lowest of the low for someone to deliberately stir up divisiveness in a generally peaceful and tolerant society for your own selfish political ends. The man has no shame and definitely no regard for Australian society and cohesion.

  6. Carol Taylor

    I’m inclined to agree with Wayne Swan..

    He (Swan) said the goal of the vested interests “is to seek radical change to the distribution of wealth through the accumulation of even more political power in their hands”.

    Mr Swan said Australia was witnessing an “Americanisation” of those on the right of the political spectrum.

    “As the budget in its aftermath has demonstrated, everything that the Abbott government now does is a search for a political strategy to sell that divisive unfair, un-Australian agenda to a disbelieving public at large.”

    Abbott, always the snake oil salesman and under the direction of Credlin would have us believe in some warped and twisted way, that creating a “divisive unfair, un-Australian agenda” is all about Team Australia when Abbott’s “team” consists of no more than a very privileged elite.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/wayne-swan-blames-government-woes-on-contradictions-at-heart-of-budget-20140818-3dw63.html#ixzz3AkTCbNDr

  7. John Fraser

    <

    @Carol Taylor

    Thank god !

    I'm at a loss to understand how anyone could describe the moron Abbott and his "Team" as having a "tinge" of Howard.

    Bishop (the younger), BIshop (the elder), Pyne, Andrews, Brandis,Hockey,Abetz,Hunt.

    All of the above idiots people worship Howard and all are in the moron Abbotts Cabinet as well as being the most biased Speaker in Australia's history.

    Bishop (the younger) according to the MSM is the best performer …. the bitch who appealed to the Federal Court to try and stop Aussies dying from asbestosis from jumping the queue ……. the best performer at what ? …. lying is my answer.

    The day that I accept Abbotts "Australia" will be the same day I renounce my Australian citizenship …. never going to happen.

  8. janice henry

    Troubled Families scheme extended to help half a million households

    By Rosie Niven | 18 August 2014

    A programme supporting families facing multiple problems will be expanded by more than four times to help some 500,000 households, the government announced today.
    A programme supporting families facing multiple problems will be expanded by more than four times to help some 500,000 households, the government announced today.
    Photo: Alamy

    The announcement came as Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a range of measures focused on supporting family life, including the introduction of a ‘family test’ to examine the impact of government policies on family units.

    Cameron said that through his own experiences of family life he learned about the way that family and politics are ‘inextricably linked’.

    The prime minister launched the Troubled Families Programme in 2011. It focuses on 120,000 households facing multiple problems, including unemployment, antisocial behavior, debt and truancy.

    In the June 2013 Spending Review, the government announced that it would provide £200m to expand the scheme to cover 400,000 families.

    Following today’s announcement, 500,000 families will receive help, with work starting immediately in 50 council areas before spreading across the country.

    Government figures published in March revealed that some 40,000 families’ lives had been turned around after taking part in the programme, which is led by Louise Casey.

    Cameron said: ‘For someone from my political viewpoint who believes in building a stronger society from the bottom up, there is no better place to start than with family.

    ‘So I think it’s absolutely right that government should do everything possible to help support and strengthen family life in Britain today.

    ‘I want every government department to be held to account for the impact of their policies on the family.’

    Cameron suggested that in the past, the family had not been central to the way the government thinks, which had led to policy decisions that took no account of the family and in some cases had made things worse.

    Under the plans announced on Monday, the family test on all government policies will be formally introduced into impact assessments from this autumn, with see every single domestic policy examined for its impact on the family. Policies that fail to support family life will not be allowed to proceed.

    Other measures announced on Monday include doubling the annual budget for relationship counselling and support for new parents to £19.5m and a £19m fund for councils to help speed up the adoption process.

  9. Johan.haafkens

    As much as I don’t like Howard and a the Monk . because that one clearly is a non intellectual.
    Multi Culturalism does not work . It is being abandoned by other countries . It devides rather than form a cohesive society . especially so with Islam .where sooner or later they want their own rules and laws as the radical elements gain influence.
    You want to live here abide by the Australian ideals or get Out. Nobody is forcing you to stay.
    Learn the language dress like Australians no burka. or other means by which it will prevent you gaining employment.
    I support Labor but will not support pandering to minorities that always seem so hard done by . You don’t speak the language after 2 years and exams they should be deported. don’t worry it happens elsewhere. Sorry if this upsets people but try and go and live elsewhere and see how you get on.

  10. John Fraser

    <

    UK unemployment : 6.4%
    Australian unemployment : 6.4%

    UK National Debt : £1.5 Trillion (roughly equivalent to $AU 2 Trillion)
    Australian National Debt : $629 Billion

    UK Population : 64 million
    Australian Population : 23.5 million.

    UK Natural resources … bugger all.

    Australian Natural Resources …. hardly touched.

  11. John Fraser

    <

    @Johan.haafkens

    How about Chinese food …. got anything against that ?

    The old kebab goes down well after a night on the piss arguing with redneck ideas that the world can be segregated.

  12. Garth

    Johan…. Really not worth responding to, but I just gotta ask, exactly how do Australians dress?

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    “Multi Culturalism does not work .”

    Have to disagree. 72 year old fifth generation Australian I have four children, eleven grandchildren, and eight grandchildren.

    When there are family gather, there are people from many races. Yes, my kids have married from different cultures. There friends add to the multicultural gatherings we have. Yes, the food is wonderful.

    I spent a greater part of my life from the seventies in such places as Guildford and Cabramatta.

    You are wrong. Multiculturalism does not only work, but has added to the rich fabric of this nation.

    If you look around you, the world has become very small. People move between countries with ease.

    Economies and trade has become global. Borders mean little.

    By the way, since the first fleet this country has always been multicultural.

    Yes, and sadly racist. Racist people that use the same arguments as you, with every new wave of migration. The language and words of gloom never change.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Johan, which countries have abandoned multiculturalism? I’m sure there are some, but what have they gained?

  15. Anne Byam

    Michael … a great article again – thank you.

    @ all commenters ………. interesting …. VERY interesting.

    p.s. Multiculturism sure DOES work – it’s what this country has been built upon – from the earliest days of settlement.

    Agreeing with Florence nee Fed Up.

  16. Carol Taylor

    Johan, you must lead a very sheltered life indeed. I grew up in Hawthorn which in those days was a hub for post-War migration and so went to school with Greeks, Italians, Polish and Slavs. It was nothing for people especially women to be subjected to a tirade of abuse to dress ‘like we do’ and ‘why don’t ya’ learn the language, ya wog!’. These people were ‘different’, many women always dressed in black and many men wore beards, drank ‘plonk’ and ate ‘wog food’, and it was suggested in the screaming press that they would never integrate, never become real Aussies. A stand-out was the fact that migrant men carried their babies (shocking wasn’t it! and something Aussie males would never do), plus many were ‘a different sort of Christian’. Protests were held to stop Greek Orthodox Churches being built. All sounds very familiar doesn’t it.

  17. corvus boreus

    Like Johan.haafken I have a strict dress code with narrow definitions of acceptable national attire.
    I have no tolerance for males being clad in purple or pink lycra, particularly when covered in corporate logos, and especially when topped with a false and creepy rictus grin.
    I also think there should also be a stringent test for public officials, with a strictly set minimum number of intelligible, if not intelligent, words per minute required in public speaking to retain office.
    Johan, I have two questions.
    What, exactly, are the Australian ideals?
    Whereabouts, exactly, is elsewhere?
    Meanwhile, your own English is progressing moderately well, although still riddled with spelling, syntax and punctuation errors. For your efforts and improvements, you are granted a temporary reprieve from deportation, but you must work on that diction.

  18. mars08

    …a tinge of Howard…

    A tinge? Fekkin hell?!!???!!?!?! He’s screaming it from the suburban rooftops! This is Abbott’s “we will decide who comes to this country” moment.

    Unscrupulous, scum-sucking, self-serving, hate-mongering, short-sighted douchebag!!!

  19. stephentardrew

    Abbott’s call to team Australia has echoes indicative of the US obsession with patriotism a wonderful tool used by the right to denigrate any criticism leveled at the rabid right and its Tea party wing of nut jobs. Hiding behind patriotism is the scheme of scoundrels intent upon using nationalism as a tool of indoctrination and control. George Orwell or Marshall McLuhan anyone? It is an area in which Obama knows he must tread lightly or suffer the consequences. It is no accident that Abbott reveres the methodologies of the US far right. Immigration is a similarly weapon of decisiveness and intolerance

    Anything to deflect from his draconian budget and the ineptitude of Hockey and the front bench. Credlin is in panic mode knowing they cannot roll back or move forward to achieve their greed infested redistribution of wealth upwards. It is obvious Hockey is the fall guy while Abbot and his Credlin team struggle to find relevance in international affairs at which they seem totally inept. Infantile criticism of Scottish independence anyone?

    Thank heavens they are so transparent and just plain dumb. Organized stupidity eventually exposes itself for what it is.

  20. billy moir

    beauty flo, multiculturalism does work. I can remember my first goulash and the explanation of its construction. In my first teaching post having rice that wasn’t a pudding, discussing teaching, politics and culture with southern, northern and eastern europeans/asians (no Africans or Aborigines). Discovering, reflecting, refining, removing or reinforcing my prejudices, racism and beliefs. Usually accompanied by a feast of new tastes. Oh such great memories to share but the pynes, morrisons or the rabbotts. menzies, howard and the rabbott are of one pragmatic mind ignorant of such memories and driven that energy must be to rule by hook or by crook. The rabbott knows anti-multiculturalism slogans will work and he will not risk waiting for a tampa. He will tampa every day to ensure victory at the next election. Facts are irrelevant, evidence unnecessary and honesty ignored to that aim. Oh, how I wish little billy and torpid tanya would find the strength to expose this amoral nasty man and free those in his thrall.

  21. mars08

    This is an example of what I have suspected/feared for a while. The shameless, amoral tossers in the LNP will launch a “scorched earth” campaign if they feel they are losing control of their “base”. They will do whatever it takes to hold power… and never mind the damage done in the process.

  22. Garth

    I was actually stunned when I first heard Abbott use the ‘team Australia’ call to arms. Apart from the sheer inanity of the term, has neither Abbott himself, or any of his media advisors seen Team America : World Police? This was clearly a planned comment so didn’t anyone pick up on the fact it’d be ridiculed for the idiotic nonsense it is?! Not only can they not govern but their spin is also ludicrous.

  23. Phi

    Abbott is an atrocious speaker and more than capable of mangling his english – I think he means ‘White’ rather than ‘Team’ – in which case it all makes sense because all the elements of the White Australia Policy were present with Howard, and are ‘hidden’ in full view with Abbott.

  24. Lee

    Team Australia – where the drug cheats are welcomed with open arms!

    Multiculturalism is one of the things I love about Australia. It’s a much better alternative to being overrun with whinging Poms.

  25. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes, Carol, t5he same outrage and dire predictions for every wave, I know of since the 1940s. Each wave disappears in to the fabric of our society, improving it in the process.

    Sad thing, that those who came earlier sometimes join in with the racist within our community.

    It is our history of welcoming each new wave of people from many countries that has made us what we are.

    I, for one do not want to go back to the Australian society of the 1950s. The one that Abbott has never seem to have emerged from.

    Of course there has been problems. Few when one takes into mind the diverse cultures and backgrounds they came from. Most escape from war and trauma.

  26. Kaye Lee

    I refuse to be associated with any “team” that contains that moron. I don’t play with liars, cheats, and bullies.

    “I don’t know what the legal position is but frankly the only flag that should be flying is the Australian national flag,” Mr Abbott said.

    I am wondering if the many groups that have their own flag (Indigenous Australians, the Navy, states, the Governor General etc etc) will be forced to take them down.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_flags

    He truly is a wanker.

  27. Dan Rowden

    “Team Australia”. I don’t think, in my experience of Australian politics, I’ve seen a more fatuous, vapid, patronising, jejune, manipulative, saccharine, insular, jingoistic piece of tripe. I can’t decide what position I want to play, but I’m leaning towards “left right out”.

  28. Kaye Lee

    My father would have suggested that we put up a high ball to Tony and charge.

  29. John Fraser

    <

    @Dan Rowden

    You will be welcome in "Team FOA".

  30. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Seeing as how semantics has been all the rage this week in The AIMN I suggest we put a ball "up" Abbott and charge.

  31. Florence nee Fedup

    No culture is set in stone. It is always changing. From within the culture and influences from outside. No culture is superior.

  32. Dan Rowden

    You will be welcome in “Team FOA”.

    Fiber Optic Association?

  33. diannaart

    Require a definition of Abbott’s “Team Australia”.

    Does it include indigenous, women, The Greens or even Labor? Thinking of Groucho Marx’s ‘Resignation Joke’ – would I really want to be a member of a team like Abbott’s?

  34. Kaye Lee

    Ruh Roh,

    Some of our Team are boycotting training…

    “The Islamic Council of Victoria will boycott a planned meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Melbourne on Tuesday, saying his comments about migrants being part of Team Australia “indicated the meeting was a media stunt”.

    Council secretary Ghaith Krayem said on Tuesday that the organisation was upset at comments by Mr Abbott on Sydney radio on Monday that “you don’t migrate to this country unless you want to join our team”.

    Mr Krayem told radio station 774 ABC Melbourne that the council had initially agreed to attend the meeting but pulled out after hearing Mr Abbott’s comments.

    “The Prime Minister made comments, which from our perspective indicate that this consulation was a media stunt, to be quite honest,” Mr Krayem said.

    He said Mr Abbott’s comments showed a lack of understanding of the Muslim community, saying “half our community was born and bred in this country”.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/islamic-council-of-victoria-to-boycott-media-stunt-meeting-with-tony-abbott-20140819-3dx8v.html

  35. my say

    Team Australia,all of you who join should be very afraid,God only knows where this lunatic and his cronies are going to take us.
    How quickly one seeme to forget the children overboard scandle,Weapons of mass distruction.
    Now he is spreading the fear of terrorism,and singleing out Muslims,and all those men women and children seeking asylum who could be a danger to our society,
    His master was john howard,and i truly believe he won’t be happy until he takes us to war,We have more to fear from the Abbott government than any other group in our country,

  36. Anne Byam

    Frankly, when I heard the term “Team Australia” I felt ill. … The term has been used by many countries – “Team – whatever” … most always to do with sport. … And here he comes – spouting “Team Australia” …. it’s frankly offensive.

    Is what the Abbott playing, sport ? … At our expense? … Is he showing that inane grin and laughing at us all ? … Nothing would surprise me anymore.

    Dan – your many words to describe his tripe had me giggling for a moment. … Then I realised that every word you used was so very appropriate, to the seriousness of this ridiculous situation. … There’ll be a lot of people on the side-lines booing when he fields his proposed ‘Team’ ? …

    Ye Gods – what next ? … I doubt we will have to wait too long to hear the next bewildering and bewildered statement from the little chap in the high chair. !!!

  37. John Fraser

    <

    Team "Fcuk Off Abbott" …. (Team FOA) … is open for all who puts this countries interests, its values and its people first .

    All of these criteria instantly excludes the Abbott gang from joining.

  38. Dan Rowden

    That’s gonna be one hell of a big team.

  39. John Fraser

    <

    @Dan Rowden

    A winning "Team".

    An inclusive "Team".

  40. Dan Rowden

    I’m of the increasingly strong view that a “winning team” is exactly what it’s going to be. I really should have put Tom Waterhouse on speed dial…. the odds are getting too short to make a profit.

  41. Kaye Lee

    “Mr Abbott’s comments showed a lack of understanding of the Muslim community”

    The ONLY community Abbott is even vaguely interested in is the business community and most of them they think he is silly too.

    When Tony was at Riverview he wasn’t picked in the First XV…a decision that really rankled both him and his father. He got kicked off the Oxford First XV rugby team early in 1982, only a few months after he won a Rhodes Scholarship, supposedly for academic and sporting expertise. I think perhaps his recommendation was a tad overblown?

    “Determined to prove his mettle, he agrees to fight for his university against Cambridge in the annual varsity challenge. Abbott has never been in a boxing ring before. He tries to slow his heart rate, swallows hard, gulps in the sweaty air of battle and resolves that, with no real idea of what to do, all-out attack is his best form of defence. So he goes straight for the throat, aiming to tear his opponent to shreds.”

    Tony longs to be part of a team…correction…Tony longs for a Team to laud his talents. Sadly, our selection board was also duped by false references.

  42. Wayne Turner

    It’s what these predictable FASCIST’S do – Hide behind and exploit this country.

    More like: Team Idiots

  43. David Linehan

    May I say Credlin is a huge part of the problem. She has been from day one of her association with Abbott. He is so bloody weak, so cowardly (as Julia proved) now, the decay that set in when the sniveling immature liar started reciting her 3 word slogans, is becoming terminal.
    Once again Abbott shows he lacks any pride, any self respect, any real care for the people he promised so much to and has demonised through lies and deception.
    Instead of sharing, Credlin is escaping much of the anger, frustration and hate being directed at Abbott. That she is making the bullets for him to fire from behind a barricade says it all about her lack of character. Dangerous dangerous individual.

  44. Florence nee Fedup

    What is worse, Abbott has no insights to what a big majority of our community is about.

  45. Dan Rowden

    An Open Spray to Tony Abbott,

    Australia is not a team, Mr Abbott. Please don’t try and impose such a pathetic and onerous metaphor upon me. Australia is a place of great cultural, political and philosophic diversity. We are not a “team” and you, Sir, are most assuredly not O Captain! My Captain!

    Appeals to cultural, political or philosophic homogeneity are more often than not, and in this case, most certainly, a sign of a will to political control, forged in the fires of devious appeals to patriotic fervour and fear, invariably intertwined with the morally and intellectually bankrupt tribalistic balderdash of “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” style jargon. How I hate that sort of pillockery. Yes, I just invented a word to describe the manner in which you carry on. Suck it up.

    Don’t try to tell me what my values and ideals are, or should be, mister. If I were to begin to tell you of what mine actually are I know full well you’d be incapable of beginning to understand them – not because you are entirely bereft of humanity and intellect, but because you direct what little you possess into zones of human existence that are mostly anathema to me. I do not share your vision of the world to any degree whatever. I’m not interested in your insipid patriotism and nationalism. I’m not interested in your vapid cultural chauvinism (that’s not a gender reference, by the way). I’m not interested in your shallow capitalist consumerism. In fact, I’m utterly and vehemently opposed to it. I will not stand with you on any such front and I will not have some pumped up Pommy migrant tell this 4th generation Australian that I am involved in some sort of national team sport and being less than a team player if I do not follow the coach’s or captain’s edicts. I frankly, don’t do “team”. That is my right and prerogative.

    Oh, and screw your ideals. They make me want to puke – projectorally. You took a philosophy course at Oxford yet you know nothing of how superficial and crass your notion of “ideals” is. They are beyond mundane; they are quite simply, banal.

    You, nor any person gets to tell me what my values and ideals ought be; you, nor any person gets to tell me, or even suggest to me, what my view on any issue should be. That includes matters of security and migration. If I disagree with you on any such issue, you will not state, or imply to any degree or in any form, that I am being less than “Australian”. Indeed, you will not attempt to tell me what it means to be Australian. You can ask me what I think, but don’t ever presume to instruct me in such a matter. There is not, and cannot be any obligation on my part, or that of any Australian, to follow or ratify your particular views regarding any of those matters. No doubt, if presented with this fact you’d disingenuously offer concession, but it wouldn’t be credible because your actions and political rhetoric reveal where your true thoughts on that matter lie – and lie and lie and lie …

    You stated, with all the unconscious tyranny you could muster: Everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first [..]. Actually, no they don’t. Setting aside the question of what its “interests” and “values” actually are, you have zero right to assert that I must care about such things. What if the “interests” and “values” of average Australia are things I want nothing to do with? As it happens, that’s mostly true. It’s in every respect true with regard to conservative Australia. Does that make me less Australian in some fashion? There appears to be some part of your miniature mind that holds this to be so. To that I say, with as great an absence of equivocation as the word “unequivocal” can accommodate: rack off.

    Your mindless tribalism would be quaint if it didn’t carry a host of disturbing baggage. Everyone with a functioning brain appreciates the need for national security. Coincidentally, everyone with a functioning brain is also immediately and naturally suspicious of national security oratory couched, specifically, in pseudo-jingoistic, consanguineous terms. You’re supposed to be the head of an “adult” Government; adult Governments don’t talk to their constituencies as though they were ten year olds. The substitution of infantile invocations like “Team” for mature, substantive and informed debate about genuine national security issues is an insult to the Australian community of incalculable proportions.

    Please desist. Pretty, please? With sugar on it, if I must …

  46. abbienoiraude

    Nope.
    I am not a member. Hate sport, hate slogans, hate manipulations, hate Nationlism ( makes me feel ill, and I have served in the WRANS).

    Loved the link to the “Flags of Australia”
    Didn’t know we had so many.
    So which one does he want to get rid of?
    Delicious to contemplate….Laughing all the way down the list as I imagined Abbott stuttering….”No no not that one…no no not that one”.

    He truly is ignorant isn’t he?

  47. Anne Byam

    To : Dan Rowen. Good onya for the spray. His scholarship was philosophy and sport at Oxford ? Boy has he ever got those two mixed up. … May I suggest that, instead of sugar – you use a tiny bit of saltpetre …….. and ignite it ?? preferably on a comfortable cushion the current ” wannabe world leader ” might use ?

    ***

    To : David Linehan …. I couldn’t agree more. Credlin must take a large amount of responsibility, as she is the one whispering in his ear. She hides – pretty much like the entire LNP does – behind facades covered in lies, double speak, half explanations, and inane rhetoric.

    ***

    To : My say …… Fear is the key word. If a regime can instil fear in increasing amounts into the populace, they are at least half way to achieving their diabolical aims. One can only hope that this ‘Guv’mint’ , are not at all clear yet what their aims are !!! …. and from much of the idiocy that escapes their mouths, I rather think they don’t have a clue. Fear is used to divide and conquer – always has been, always wlll be. And when all else fails ….. !!!

    ***

    To : Garth – I had never heard of the animated film “Team America – World Police ” … but now I have, and have researched it. You know, it’s just possible that something very Freudian went with that outlandish statement by the Abbott. Perhaps he does know the film, and it appealed to him … in some obscure and very twisted way.

    He flouts science and calls it crap. He interferes in international affairs – making comments that at the very least, offend. He delivers speeches that upset Australians ( constantly ) … and he permits ( freedom of speech for the privileged few ) his ministers to make utter fools of themselves, from time to time. Pyne, Bishop, Hockey, Morrison et al. Not to mention his loathing to compromise, negotiate, or apologise. All the earmarks of a bully, a dictator, and a person who seems to want to control everything and everybody.

    Team Australia ? My a**e. Someone should pepper HIS a**e with a very big load of buckshot. We might then see the marionette that he truly is. ( I am SO tempted to try my hand at a cartoon ! )

    I shall leave the visual interpretations to the readers.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Mr Abbott did most poorly in the subject “General philosophy from Descartes to present day”, for which he received the mark CCB.

    In “Theory of politics”, a subject clearly closer to his later interests, the enthusiastic pugilist and arch monarchist registered a B++.

    In “Moral and political philosophy”, Mr Abbott scored a BBC.

    The future prime minister completed the course and was placed in the “second class” of the “Final Honour School of Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)”.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbotts-oxford-transcript-released-20131125-2y6a1.html#ixzz3AoxAMRiM

  49. corvus boreus

    Abbienoraude,
    He is in a position beyond his capacity on any level, and is obviously disintegrating physically and mentally.
    I would almost feel sympathy if he didn’t have such a record of being a vindictive, divisive, deceptive, simplistic and opportunistic arsehole who back-stabbed and lied to get the lucrative position he coveted (for his own benefit).
    I have no confidence in being in a team when the captain doesn’t seem to know what game he is playing, nor do I feel compelled to show loyalty to a captain who breaches both the laws of the game and the parameters of decency.
    As someone who respects and admires fair play, I vote for a referee to send the ‘king-hitting'(aka pollie punching) turd off the field.
    Ps consider my vitriolic spit-ball added to your admirable spray, Dan R; I dug that.

  50. Lee

    It just goes to prove that any numb nuts can graduate from a university.

  51. mars08

    There is no I in team… but there is an i in halfwit, dickhead, simpleton, nincompoop, pea-brain, ignoramus, airhead, git, pinhead, lamebrain, and twit. Even better, there’s TWO of them in nitwit, idiot, dimwit, imbecile and dipstick!!!

    “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
    ~Theodore Roosevelt

  52. Lee

    @ mars08

    Pure gold! 🙂

  53. stephentardrew

    Says it all Dan.
    Great post.
    Could not agree more.

  54. corvus boreus

    Mr Tony Abbott,
    There is no ‘I’ in team, but there is definitely a ‘U’ in ‘*u**’.
    (I said ‘grub’, honest)

  55. mars08

    I don’t know what’s more disturbing… that the Coalition brain-trust though this transparent, self-serving, insipid, vapid bullshit would unite the voters behind Major Dumb Dumb …or… that (in many cases) they may be right.

  56. Don Winther

    Tony Abbott lived here for more than 20 years before he reluctantly joined “The Team”

  57. mars08

    Team (noun) :two or more animals harnessed together to move a vehicle.

  58. Garth

    Dan… That was just brilliant. Thank you for summing it up in such a cogent and forceful way. Well done!

  59. Anne Byam

    I read the link Kaye. Thanks. One statement on that link ” In “Moral and political philosophy”, Mr Abbott scored a BBC. 😉 ( which is rather a coincidence, considering his latest off-base comments in the United Kingdom ” ??? ) The BBC Scotland were NOT impressed.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28814936

    Moral and political philosophy ? Moral / political ? An oxymoron if ever I heard one. Especially as it is applied – here and now – to the current leader ?? of our country, in his efforts, Rhodes scholar or not. Sheeesh.

    The link to Abbott’s results – as you all would have seen … is posted in Kaye’s reply.

  60. David Linehan

    corvus the more Abbott’s dark side is revealed, the more I ponder on exactly what went on at Sydney’s St Patrick s Seminary with novice Abbott. He insists he left as he realised he couldn’t conform to the vow of celibacy. Ok that’s a start, but we are not aware he was your A1 Don Juan, no writings anywhere. Only suggestion is he had one serious cohabitation with a young lady who had his child and he deserted her. Margo appears to be the only other serious encounter?>?
    So is there a dark side to his sojourn at the Jesuits House of Learning and it is more than of passing interest, none of his fellow seminarians have ever come forward with stories of friendship, like experiences, comrade outings and the like.
    Anything I have read is from his mentor the late Father Costello who ‘arranged’ his Oxford entry. Or should I say encouraged!!
    Well the Rev Costello must have seen something within Abbott that ensured his Economics Scholarship at Oxford, because for the life of me nobody else ever has.
    Perhaps the selection panel knew more than is known. Only Father Costello has that information and what’s that old saying from the Wild West? Dead men don’t tell tales. How true 🙂

  61. Anne Byam

    mars08 ….. borrowing your quoted statement :

    “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
    ~Theodore Roosevelt

    I think this says much, much, much. I am not a great lover of America or it’s collective aggression …. however, this statement is as true as anyone there, has ever uttered.

    Now – how might we incorporate this thinking / thought / wisdom into saving our country, our integrity, and our national pride in what we are, who we are, and how we live ? ……. NOW ?

    I would really like to know.

    And – to David Stephens – first commenter … I agree completely.

  62. jimhaz

    [Multiculturalism does/doesn’t work]

    I don’t think we can say that either way. It’s hypothetical as you have nothing to compare it with. Without multiculturalism, we would still have had migration.

    I don’t actually know what multiculturalism is in contemporary Australia. I suppose it just means we spread immigration around between a much larger range of source countries. Perhaps this is geared to avoid any minority group getting too large to be an issue.

    To me multiculturalism has been used as the big “behave children” excuse to cut off debate about suitable immigration levels AND sources.

    For me, its well time to decrease muslim immigration. Although accepting 100,000 US Texan republicans would be a worse outcome, I see no need to add more of Muslim spice to the Australian stew. Makes the dish too fiery.

  63. Lee

    “Only suggestion is he had one serious cohabitation with a young lady who had his child and he deserted her. ”

    Many years later he learned that the child was not his. Although at the time he genuinely thought the baby was his and decided at 22 years of age that he was too young for the responsibilities of parenthood. His actions speak volumes about his character. He probably blames the Labor party for that too.

  64. Anne Byam

    jimhaz. …….. Sure do agree with 100,000 Texan republicans NOT coming here. Sheesh … can you imagine ???? We have enough hard right ‘tea party type’ extremism bods in our own Government — without the notion of THAT. I have noticed though, a bit of a rise in immigrants from the U.S. – in recent times. One actually told me ‘they’d escaped’ ????

    I do believe, that in the spirit of fairness, and equality – if one were to decrease the influx of Muslims to this country, the same should apply to all immigrants seeking entry. I am not on the side of ANYBODY here …. not Indians, Muslims, Chinese, British – not nuffin’. In the most simplistic of terms … it should be divided equally. 100 of this, 100 of that – or multiples of …. !!

    However, in the case of the Muslim population, things may be a tad too late to bemoan. IF one were to take notice of all the garbage sent throughout cyber-space ( I get heaps of the bloody stuff in my inboxes ) …. the Muslims – or indeed possibly Middle Eastern anything, are busy being active in producing offspring, to bolster the rising congregation of a particular religion, or religious pursuit. Multiplication … on the advance. In the case of the Musliim community, that can mean at least two things. Sharia and Sunni. With one other given. The medium thinking / believing Muslim who wants to live peacefully and respectfully in our land. And there are many, many of those. I believe, more than the others. We just don’t know who is what – do we ?

    As for multi-culturism. It is obvious. We were built on it. Scratch the surface of any 3rd or 4th generation Aussie, and a plethora of blood ties and ancestry will be revealed. I have a beautiful, if delightfully eccentric, Greek daughter-in-law. Love her to bits. She speaks English the way I do. Her parents who emigrated at a fairly young adult age, still speak to one another in their native tongue ( they are very polite and speak English with somewhat heavy accents – in front of the English speaking family ) …. and my grand-daughters – one would not ever know the ethnicity in their backgrounds.

    There are sooo many people here now of different origins. We can only try to tell by observation of skin colour, face, eyes, hair colour etc., all together, to decide whether someone is of Middle Eastern descent, or Chinese / Japanese ( that’s a tad difficult ) Pacific Islander, New Zealander ( caucasian or Maori ), Indian, Indonesian, Sudanese or whatever. And even then – we may get it wrong. By “we” I mean all integrated Australians. An Indian immigrant might try to decide whether I am Aussie or Spanish. ( I was questioned many times on my own ethnicity when in the U.S. many years back ) because I had almost black hair, and a very tanned complexion. ) Today, anyone would say – “ah – she’s an oldie with grey hair…. that’s cool”.

    Anyway, mix all that lot in with people like myself, whose ancestors go back to the mid 1800’s …. ( Irish, English, Scottish ) …. and presto – we have multi-culturism – in it’s truest form. In fact, I venture to suggest we are most likely one of the very very few TRULY multi-cultural societies in today’s world.

    There endeth the lesson !! 🙂

  65. lawrencewinder

    Oi Vay…. “Forza Italia” = “Team Australia”….. ?…… Anthony Abbott’s Asinine and Abhorrent Aphorisms have just plumbed another depth of banality in the search for shoring up their Aspirational Bogan vote. Textor’s Slogan Bogan’s really should just pack it in as it is obvious to all that running a country is not their forte… or should that be Forza?

  66. Lee

    What really disturbs me is that after all the lies that have been exposed, all the corruption and all the pathetic reasons to blame the Labor Party (with the ultimate being blaming the Labor Party for the Liberal Party members who are breaking the law), there are still lots of people posting comments on news site articles saying they are happy with Tony Abbott and the LNP government. Australia has turned into a nation of fcuktards.

  67. David Linehan

    I am trying to dismiss my increasing realisation, a good deal of the problem is Bill Shorten. I know I will be told to be loyal, give him time, he will grow into the job etc etc etc.
    Well i am loyal, always will be. I have given him a year with little obvious improvement in his demeanor, time is something Bill has had, lots of it. A Union leader, shadow Minister, a Minister leading a large Dept, now leading the Opposition.
    I regret, try as I can, I cannot warm to him. Damn he is obviously a good bloke however leaders have to have that extra oomph, that inner something that bursts to the surface when needed, a natural ability to be a leader. I’m sorry, attack me if you will, but Bill is the reason many are not returning to the fold. He is not the peoples choice and the longer he stays, the polls as they are already starting to do, will move back toward this disgusting PM and his lying deceiving rabble. It is what they are banking on.
    Only one person can do anything about it, for the Labor movements sake I hope he realises it.

  68. Florence nee Fedup

    “bursts to the surface when needed,”

    All Palmer did with his outburst was take the focus off Abbott and his toxic budget.,

  69. Anne Byam

    @ David Linehan. You are right – in many respects. I agree with you on most.

    However ( there’s always a ‘however’ in most posts and debates ) …. I have the suspicion that Bill Shorten ( Gawd – I hope I am correct in this thought ) … is sitting back waiting for Abbott and Co to hang themselves from the highest of rafters – on a permanent basis. So far – the Coalition are doing a superb job of that.

    I am sincerely hoping Shorten is playing the most clever of political games, at this time.

    That does not mean however, that he can sit on his hands and say nothing – forever. We all want to see more from him – but …. he is not obliged to give it at this time, any of his projected policies, or intended changes to cultural, financial, social, educational or any other management of our country. To come out swinging with policy and projections and how much better Labor would be, would now only give the current Government something else to take wild swipes at. AND at the same time, to DIVERT the people from the Coalitions’ dastardly deeds. They take that opportunity, every time it presents itself. The Government is seriously, out of it’s depth.

    Bill Shorten [ I hope ] is not going there – for a reason.

    It does bother me from time to time however, that Bill Shorten is maybe a bit too ‘nice’ for politics. That might be why you cannot warm to him David, ( no offence intended ) … it is unusual to see anybody too ‘nice’ in politics. Politics is a grubby and very nasty game, played out by greedy participants – ultimately for their own satisfaction, hunger and power. Past Labor, past Liberal, past any party – can all stand accused of these obscene tactics.

    We can but hope …

    ****

    @ Flo nee Fed Up …… Bill Shorten does need to ‘burst to the surface when needed’. I am hoping he will do so, when the TIME IS RIGHT.

    Timing is everything in politics.

    I don’t think Palmers’ crass outburst has anything much to do with Bill Shorten or the Labor party. If, however, it has – then he is in the pockets of the Coalition and cannot in any way be trusted.

    Mind you, Palmer is also playing a very cunning game. Remains to be seen ultiimately, which way he REALLY jumps. I believe Palmer is playing his cards close to his chest, and is leading the Government on a merry chase – but only for his own ultimate power ? He won’t however, get very far with comments like the one he made against the Chinese ( although he has half apologised for that now ).

    He seems to be deliberately confusing whoever it is he wants to confuse. Again – it remains to be seen just who that might be.

    Just a few thoughts ……….

  70. David Linehan

    Anne, thanks for your observations, just small one in return. Simon Crean and Kim Beazley were nice guys, they remained just Leaders of the Opposition and nice guys.Appreciate your thoughts.

  71. mixed up

    A few years ago, maybe about twenty, the Department of Immigration gave out posters.
    Each poster had a picture of a smiling person with captions like :
    25% Greek, 25% English, 50% Polish = 100% Australian.

    Maybe I could use my childrens’ heritage, but I am still counting – ten parts so far – and I am not going to try and work out percentages!
    .

  72. Florence nee Fedup

    Michael, not only a twinge. Most ministers come from Howard’s front bench

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