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Abbott’s thus far Annus Horribilis

Image by indepedentaustralia.net

Image by indepedentaustralia.net

Most Prime Ministers when they achieve Government with a sizable majority set out to put in place policy initiatives that might define a legacy they will be remembered for. John Howard’s GST, Paul Keating’s Native Title and Bob Hawke’s sweeping changes to our monetary system come to mind. They all burnt up their political capital in the knowledge that it doesn’t last for ever. They all focused on big things. Large programmes that remain indelible in Australia’s historical political discourse.

Tony Abbott on the other hand seems more intent on burning up his political capital on issues of ideology: on his hatred of all things associated with Labor. With him it’s personal. This can be seen in his undoing of Labor polices regardless of merit or common good worthiness. His politically based Royal Commissions that will trash long held conventions for the sake of a personal vendetta. Commissions that may well come back to bite him on the tail.

On top of that there is the deliberate attempt to downgrade Question Time, inflict his own moral compass on the community and redefine free speech in order to give greater licence to those with the power to influence public opinion. All this in the absence of any serious policies of his own. All we have is a Government of undoing, unable to present a coherent narrative. One that seems immersed in some sort of cultural battle that it must win before it can focus on real issues. Things that might enhance our society.

For all its criticism, the Whitlam Government came to power with a sense of direction, of purpose and for its short time in office achieved some good reforms. Among them were:

• End conscription
• Withdraw troops from Vietnam
• Begin to work towards equal pay for women
• Establish a single department of Defence
• Grant independence to Papua New Guinea
• Abolish tertiary education fees
• Raise the age pension to 25 per cent of average male weekly earnings
• Establish Medibank
• Introduce no-fault divorce
• Pass a series of laws banning racial and sexual discrimination
• Extend maternity leave and benefits to single mothers
• Establish the Legal Aid Office
• Establish the National Film and Television School
• Launch construction of the National Gallery of Australia
• Reopen diplomatic ties with China
• Establish the Trades Practices Commission
• Establish the National Parks and Wildlife Service
• Establish the Law Reform Commission
• Establish the Australian Film Commission, the Australia Council and the Australian Heritage Commission
• Create Telecom and Australia Post from the Postmaster-Generals Department
• Devise the Order of Australia to replace the British Honours system
• Abolish appeals to the Privy Council in the UK
• Change the national anthem to Advance Australia Fair
• Institute Aboriginal land rights

For its part the Abbott Government’s plan appears to be to diminish government’s role in society and replace it with free market business principles based on a Thatcher/Reagan philosophy from a distant past. They have decided that a war on ideology matters more.

The Most Biased Speaker Ever

Take for example this week’s move (the first since 1949) by Labor to move a motion of no confidence in the speaker. Public opinion regarding Question Time has always been one of derision. Without a care the government has shown a complete disregard for the democratic process and has sought to downgrade it even further. Bronwyn Bishop has been universally condemned as the most biased speaker the Nation has ever had.

“The Speaker of the Lower House of the Australian Parliament can only be described as a nasty bitch. Unnecessarily so” (John Lord).

This week we had the ludicrous situation of a shadow minister being thrown out of the house for saying ‘Madam Speaker’. The first since federation. Had she wanted, she could have, with her self-professed knowledge of the standing orders become an acceptable speaker or even a fine one. Instead she has put party before independence and set out to crucify Labor at every sitting. To the point of exasperation.

She acts like some sort of medieval evil schoolteacher intent on provocation with intent to alienate rather than mediate. Constantly with a look of contempt that would kill. Her manner of speaking is disingenuous and full of nasty implication. She seems to have little interest in adjudication wanting to be a player in the process. Any Speaker who attends her own parties Parliamentary meetings (or takes part in) to listen to tactics cannot be unbiased and is unworthy of the position.

The question this all raises of course is; What is the point of Question Time? Ministers are now not even remotely required to answer questions with any relevance. Labor would be better to just boycott Question Time until they get some form of guarantee that some semblance of the Westminster system would be adhered to. It surely cannot go on this way for another two and a half years.

Anyway I will leave the last word to conservative commentator Peter Van Onselen:

“Bronwyn Bishop has been a disgraceful Speaker, plain and simple. A shocking selection”.

Titles. On my Selection

Further, the Prime Minister has sought to impose his own cultural interpretation of Australian society with the reintroduction of titles, even though he ruled them out in December. The shock, ridicule and disbelief has reverberated across the nation, even from perpetual sycophantic anglophiles like John Howard who in effect Abbott has demoted in title recognition. Social media was inundated with self-titled Sirs. I refrained because I am already a Lord.

The cringe from both sides of politics has simply reinforced the belief that Abbott has a cultural and moral view of Australia that is supported by few Australians regardless of the political divide. One that we have long since moved on from. All he is doing is highlighting the negative view people have of him.

On The Drum Friday night when the subject was raised all the panelists started laughing such was their incredulity at Abbott’s stupidity. This is reinforced by opinion polls that show him and his government to be the least popular newly elected government in forty years. In fact it is the only newly elected Government in forty years not to enjoy a honeymoon period.

In announcing his new titles he further empathised his deep seated Catholicism by using the term ‘Grace Notes’. A term I recognised in musical expression but deeper searching revealed the church connection. He has now placed future recipients in an awkward position. If they accept will they face public ridicule? My guess is that the individual calibre of person he selects will speak volumes for his judgement. But then this is a Prime Minister born in England and only taking out citizenship at the age of 24 to ensure an Oxford education. Not only has he downgraded Australia’s current tiles but his Knights and Dames of the future will be tarnished with the fact that is was Abbott that selected them.

“The return of imperial honours defies the spirit of the nation we have become” (Michael Smith).

Free Speech

Then we were subjected to the idiotic ramblings of the blunt and confronting Senator (John Howard is a lying Rodent) Brandis who suggested that anyone was perfectly entitled to be a bigot if they wanted to be and that outright free speech, as he proposed would give them that right. The general response has been one of condemnation.

“Something drastically wrong with the moral compass of a nation when it legislates to make bigotry a right” (John Lord).

I have written much on this subject with an open mind and appreciation of both sides of the argument. I don’t propose to express any more except to say that in all the discourse there is a point that seems to be overlooked. It is this: Who are the proposed changes supposed to benefit? Do I need more free speech than I already have? On this blog I have repeatedly called the Prime Minister a pathetic liar. And I think, with justification. I could probably say worse but I have no desire to do so. Many writers on this blog express their views aggressively but never overstep the line of decency like Andrew Bolt does. If we did I doubt that any of us could stand up to the might of a Murdoch for example.

So who would benefit from the proposed changes? Not the average citizen or writers of my ilk. People with a voice who had a vested interest in influencing the intellectual poor would. And those who are like minded. All the conveyers of subtle hidden persuaders would. In essence the likes of Murdoch and his hate press.

All of this preoccupation and philosophical hatred of the left is not serving the country well. Abbott should stop and reflect on his culture war. He is shooting bullets at those who don’t deserve it.

These are but a few examples of what the March in March rallies were about.

62 comments

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  1. contriteshadow

    From the big man himself: “Maintain your rage and enthusiasm.” – Gough Whitlam

  2. Steve

    Well said once more your Lordship. I think the LNP strategy was always designed to provoke and enrage the left because it would make Abbott look like he was being reasonable, you can see this by the way he speaks now, Mr calm and reassuring.
    This also takes advantage of the general publics post election disengagement.
    I wonder how long it will be before this leads him and the LNP down the path to even more extreme right, ideologically extreme policies because they think, arrogantly, they got away with the other changes so what else can we slip in ?
    Hubris will the final nail in Abbotts electoral coffin, unless of course his own party puts him to the sword, politically speaking of course.
    When you think that you speak for the majority, you are done as a leader. Imho

  3. bjkelly1958

    Could some please send Tony Abbott a T-Shirt with the slogan “It’s all about ME!” emblazoned on it so as to make clear to the general public exactly what his agenda is?

  4. Billy moir

    It is churlish to lambast the immoral but how lovely would it be to have a Keating style basting.

  5. Hotspringer

    Edward Gough Whitlam dragged Australia, kicking and screaming, into the twentieth century. John Anthony Abbott is dragging it, mainly uncomplaining, back into the nineteenth. I know which I support and which I detest and have a feeling history will prove me right.

  6. lawrencewinder

    Sober and sad… “… a government of undoing..” Policy free, pre-election. Assistant managers to that most vicious charity cabal the IPA, post election. A hate-filled clueless rabble hell bent on returning this country to an almost medieval serfdom.
    My disgust at their mentality and their supporters is total.

  7. Dan Rowden

    John Lord,

    I’m deeply disappointed that you chose to repeat this idiotic and embarrassing slur:

    But then this is a Prime Minister born in England and only taking out citizenship at the age of 24 to ensure an Oxford education.

    Firstly, I’d like to point out that another PM, namely Julia Gillard, wasn’t born here either. Secondly, I’d like to point out that until Abbott required the formal paperwork (to pursue a Rhodes Scholarship or to travel overseas at all) there was no real reason for him to have his citizenship formalised, given the rules of citizenship by decent. He did not “take out” citizenship at all. He had it formally declared for certain practical purposes.

    Does it mean anything that Abbott wanted to attain an Oxford degree? I seem to remember a couple of Labor icons who did the same thing. How horrendously Anglophilic of them.

  8. Roswell

    Dan, I’m deeply disappointed that you chose to berate John over one sentence. What did you think of the rest of the article?

  9. Ana Milosevic

    Abbott is sort of PM that general public will want to erase from memory all together, asap. He has taken ADVANTIGE for his own personal gain. Not a public servant, but a tool in hands of extremely wealthy and totally selfish individuals. His choice of speaker for the House of the Representatives is a clear picture of what he thinks of average Australian.

  10. Dan Rowden

    Roswell,

    That one sentence is extremely important. It sets a tone (no pun intended) that is highly detrimental to the rest of what it claimed.

    The rest of the article is fine although I worry a little that we’re inadvertently demonising the notion of “ideology”. There’s nothing wrong with ideology at all. The Whitlam Government was one of the most ideologically driven governments this country has seen. the problem isn’t one of ideology or the pursuit of it; the problem is the neo-con worldview.

  11. Roswell

    Dan, it was interesting to be reminded if Whitlam’s initiative. He introduced changes that we have happily lived with for 30 years. It makes a big comparison to what Abbott wants to achieve. I don’t think we will live them as happily as we did with Whitlam’s.

    Anyway, must dash. Thanks for the reply.

  12. Fred

    I would like to erase the Abbott government from memory right now. Me and around 100,000 other Australians who have been spurned into becoming activists, many for the first time in their lives, marching against the tyranny, injustice and sheer stupidity this government is becoming internationally recognised for.

  13. wrb330

    Reblogged this on Curiosity and Challenge and commented:
    Good article with many relevant points

  14. deanyz1

    Speaking of mentality, I noticed the real Abbott in QT when his mean, nasty streak shone through. He railed against the opposition, telling them to “Speak the truth; speak the truth for once!”
    I wonder if there is a term for the mental condition he suffers – delusion? Denial?

  15. Dominic Gladheart

    I feel Mr, Abbott is so competitive that having won the election, he now doesn’t know what to do. Having re-instated these outmoded knights and dames into a country that plainly doesn’t want them is a strong example. He’s trying to be Mr Popular but is failing. Makes me sad that he was born in England as I was. I wonder if we could start an inquisition of the Spanish kind. I reckon that’s where he’d like to go. Get rid of the infidels and all that. Reminds me a bit of Monty Python.

  16. Dan Rowden

    Roswell,

    It’s always a good thing for the Left to be reminded of the halcyon Whitlam days. Not sure they’re in any way repeatable though. As for Abbott, we’ve yet to see anything but damaging tinkering. When the Senate changes we might get to see what real change this Government has in store for us.

  17. Fed up

    Did our mint new GG, Sir Peter Grosgrove did the PM and his government a serve yesterday, when he said words along the lines, that he would be standing for, during his term, that Australia reamin a fair, compassionate society.

    PM Abbott’s reasoning for GG’s Knighthoods and Dameships, is that after they do the job, it is impossible to return to a normal occupation. Does this claim hold water.

    Most take on this role at the end of their career.

    Even so, surely the $235,000 something per annum for five years softens this hardship.

    No, there is only one reason for his actions, his obsession of repealing everything Lasbor has done, in this and the last century.

    Abbott is now out, telling us how methodical……………………..government he has been., Yes, promoting the stopping of the boats. No talk or recognition, if he has succeeded,l about the cost. Still claiming they are illegals, and I assume less than human beings.

  18. Fed up

    It will be interesting to see if there is any increase in those who come by air. Desperate people always find a way.

  19. Fed up

    Abbott is still saying turning boats around, when it is safe to do so. Another lie, he is towing boats back.

  20. Fred

    Dan, I agree. There are plenty of other more valid slurs that could have been used against this so-called ‘Prime’ Minister.

  21. Fred

    This government has such a huge resume of unacceptable activities, it’s impossible to keep them all in mind. I cannot accept that our system of government allows this level of power abuse without intervention.

  22. Evan

    John, loved the article, beautifully written as usual. Only one correction I would make, I would remove one “N” from the title.

  23. Fed up

    One could see it as intriguing, that the IPA has so much influence on the day to day running of government, when many of it’s biggest supporters are leaving in droves.

    Yes, big companies are deserting the IPA ship, to be replaced by the likes of Gina Hancock.

    So much so, that she and her ilk now control; the agenda of that organisation.

  24. greg toland

    My Cynical yet Analytical Mind has come to the conclusion that this weeks furore about Bronwyn Bishop suits Abbott because while the well earned rantings about her Biased and Pathetic performance created a major Distraction. The Government actually Are left in a position of NOT answering any questions of Importance In short its been a stunt , Much as I dislike her Role as speaker she has been around long enough to know she is out of order as she used to wave her rule book around in the Last Parliament . Abbott is Conning everybody Yet again, The Master of deceit has done it again, Labor has done the right thing to broadcast the Issue But as Usual The Chameleon man is setting the Agenda. ,

  25. AnnieM

    Thanks for your thoughts, so good I re-blogged this on my blog.

  26. Pingback: Abbott’s Thus Far Annus Horribilis « The Australian Independent Media Network | AnnieMOnline

  27. pvcann

    retro-retardation and a group of dull thinkers for a cabinet

  28. Totaram

    The ideological “culture war” is all-important. It is the only thing that will ensure an election victory for the coalition in 2016. 11 years of culture war by John Howard pushed even the labor party to the right and made 3 word slogans sound like “common sense”. The entire “political narrative” is now run by the neo-cons. You would be mistaken to underestimate its importance.

  29. diannaart

    @JohnLord

    Have been thinking that Tony Abbott appears to be exceedingly vindictive (especially for a PM). Even though he has won the battle – he is not about to forgive, forget and get on with caring for Australia. I know I am not the only one – posting such statements at AIMN is not about to startle anyone.

    Your comment:

    With him it’s personal.

    His actions against Labor have been purely vengeful coated under the guise of “Labor stuffed it up”. The only explanation given that whatever the Labor policy or program it is far too “costly to implement” Sheesh – PPL? Orange Boats?.

    I have also been watching and waiting for Abbott to wear a tie that is not either completely blue or primarily blue.

    How long does Tony Abbott hold a grudge? How long is a piece of string?

  30. mark delmege

    Abbott is front man for the mob.

  31. johnlord2013

    Dan Rowden. My comment about Abbott and Oxford was not intended as a slur. If it came across as one I regret it. my information came from this.

  32. Letitia McQuade

    It seems that we are on the same page today…..snap!

  33. mars08

    Totaram:

    The ideological “culture war” is all-important. It is the only thing that will ensure an election victory for the coalition in 2016…

    EXACTLY!!!

    John Lord says: “Tony Abbott on the other hand seems more intent on burning up his political capital on issues of ideology: on his hatred of all things associated with Labor…”

    Yes! For now, it is about ideology. It is about about Abbott inflicting “his own moral compass on the community and redefine free speech in order to give greater licence to those with the power to influence public opinion.” For now, it’s about ensuring the poitical environment remains favourable. It is about reinforcing an Australian culture where his version of and LNP government can continue to exist… and THRIVE. The rabid right are setting themselves up as the natural leaders of Australia. The aim is to empower and embolden their base… to recruit more disengaged, disillusioned, disenfranchised, misinformed, frightened and angry voters to their cause. After all… they’ve been told that THEY HAVE A RIGHT to be bigots!

    No… this isn’t about Tony Abbott. That clueless neanderthal is just a tool (in more ways than one) of the powers that be. He is the narrow minded, amoral thug used to get the ball rolling. His cabinet are the shock-troops. Eventually someone more restrained and banal will take his seat. But the powers that be will still run the show.

    I think that John is wrong is saying that the current government is “unable to present a coherent narrative.” The narritive is right there… it is of a conservative, self-absorbed, “relaxed and comfortable” Australia devoid of any significant opposition.

  34. Dan Rowden

    mars08,

    I think that John is wrong is saying that the current government is “unable to present a coherent narrative.” The narritive is right there… it is of a conservative, self-absorbed, “relaxed and comfortable” Australia devoid of any significant opposition.

    I think both statements in that paragraph are perfectly accurate. Australia has been engaged in an ideological battle since the Howard Government (that is the most important one in post-war Australian politics) and the conservative forces in our culture are winning it hands down. If we neglect the decreasingly meaningful internal Liberal Party battle between the neo-cons and the small “l”s, their approach has an internal consistency and coherence that is undeniable. Labor, in response, has no such thing. That is their problem.

    We know who and what Tony Abbott is, more or less. Do we know the same for Bill Shorten? I don’t think we do, and that’s part of our problem. Certainty and consistency are valuable commodities for a political party to present and the populace will buy into that even if the small print in the 3 year warranty contains a few dodgy elements. Conservative values and viewpoints are becoming socially normative in this country and the more that happens the more likely a marginable slip further to the Right will not be noticed.

    We need to arrest that slide NOW. The scariest part of that is only Labor can do it. Well, in my view anyway.

  35. mark delmege

    I disagree Dan – I think it was Bob and Paul who handed over Australia to the mob. Whatever they do now is just maintenance.

  36. mars08

    Indeed, Kaye. My mind always drifts back to this bit:

    What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security…

    …this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

    It’s frightening and it’s happening. Now.

  37. David Giles

    For John Lord as well as Dan and Roswell: I had been blissfully ignorant of the work of the IPA before Tim Wilson’s appointment as Human Rights Commissioner. I went to have a look. Sort of breathtaking. One article which I could have sworn was co-authored by Tim Wilson but does not [now at least] carry his name is posted below. It urges Abbott to come in with the same whirlwind speed as Gough Whitlam. The article implies the need to get rid of any sense of entitlement to aged pensions, for example, as there are too many old people for it to be affordable.

    The 75 ideas are described by the IPA as radical: Mr Abbott is already in the process of putting, from a quick count, about 25 of them into play. They are indeed radical and will transform this country dramatically into a political and social basket-case, as has been achieved by those with similarly right-wing views in the USA.

    I was not a fan of Paul Keating but I miss him and his vigour today. He said before the election, ‘God help us if Abbott is elected, God help us.’ Indeed.

    http://ipa.org.au/publications/2080/be-like-gough-75-radical-ideas-to-transform-australia

  38. scotchmistery

    The indication I got during a recent whistle stop with a group of Year 9 students on youtube ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5fDqDA8K2s would indicate that he thinks all school children are dumb and his annus is only partially horribilis, else why offer it to Tony Windsor, in payment for a prime mincership?

  39. Stephen Tardrew

    Absolutely Dan the LNP do not care about logic or moral responsibility simply repeat talking points add nauseum until people come to believe you. Vilify your opposition relentlessly while hiding policy objectives by triggering visceral emotional anger and fear responses inferring that the Government that got us through the financial crisis (they killed people with pink bats: non-unionized) is going to rob from the rich and take jobs from the poor. Bit of an oxymoron that. Its those corrupt unions and their greed (Craig Thomson). The big bad ETS ( you don’t have to pay for destroying the environment that’s a lefty socialist conspiracy) and the nasty mining tax on job creators. No matter that inequality is on the increase.

    Your point that the LNP has internal consistency and relentless attachment to even the most irrational policy provides, what appears to be a solid foundation, though built upon shaky ground. People don’t see the cracks all they see is consistent and persistent conservative narrative while labor self destructs in a nightmare of internal conflict.

    Stop kidding yourselves Labor acolytes it did happen and is still not fully resolved. Why the hell are you not the majority? Because you stuffed up. Admit it and there is hope. Deny it and remain in a morass of self-rationalization.

    The right and the left of Labor did themselves in with their public faction fighting. The majority of Australians are either not very bright or they felt they were trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea.

    Media bias, though present, was not the main factor in Labor’s defeat.

    It is clear LNP = corporate sector profitability and wealth creation for the few; reduction in work conditions and wages; denial of science; reduction in regulations that protect the middle class and poor; reduce welfare for the poor; increase middle class and corporate welfare: I mean what use is it going on?

    Labor has to lay much of the blame squarely at its own feet. It wouldn’t hurt to apologize to the general public for internal factional mismanagement and promise to produce a new and revised policy document founded in coherent ethical principles. As noted before we all have a bad taste in our mouths about the awful treatment of refugees (illegals). Labor has been caught flat footed while the LNP has shredded the English language and the UN Declaration of Human Rights

    Many moons ago I suggest Labor needs a revisionary modern policy platform including clearly defined moral obligations and a coherent mission statement to boot. At the moment left pretends the last four Rud, Gillard years did not happen. Yeah that’s going to succeed. The public want something from you and it is time to deliver.

    If you can maintain internal consistency and a strong public profile people will vote for you. Waiting for failure is a fools game while the internal ructions that led to the last debacle remain a partially open sore.

    Its time to be honest and close the wound. you would be surprised how many people respect honesty and humility.

  40. mars08

    I remember being very uneasy then the term “economic rationalism” first started being bounced around in Canberra.

    Even though I was far less cynical than I am today, it still sounded like they were trying to hide something…

  41. Kaye Lee

    “You see, one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow.”

    Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’

  42. cartoonmick

    As he tromps across the downtrodden, to reach out and cuddle the rich and mega business folk, I feel this will be a black area in the history of Australia’s society.

    The lower you are on the ladder, the worst off you will become.

    I could be wrong, but I doubt it very much.

    Malcolm Fraser once said “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”. I get the feeling that it has recently become law.

    Maybe I would be viewing it in a different light if I’d been born rich, but I wasn’t, so I don’t.

    Media headlines over the past 6 months have prompted this cartoon below . . . . . . .

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-851

    Cheers

    Mick

  43. FryaDuck

    Just a quick question, where is it written in either law or the constitution, that Australians have “Freedom of Speech”?

    Certainly there is an implied freedom of political communication but nowhere is there “freedom of speech”.

  44. johnlord2013

    Well said Stephen Tardrew

  45. mars08

    Stephen Tardrew:

    …Vilify your opposition relentlessly while hiding policy objectives by triggering visceral emotional anger and fear responses…

    Stephen, you entire comment made a lot of sense. But I believe you skipped over the above quote much too quickly. It’s at the core of the LNP strategy. It’s their most potent weapon. They can give the voting public specific targets for their anger. They can identify the problems and offer rapid solutions.

    Given that you think that the “majority of Australians are either not very bright or they felt they were trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea.”… How is anything supposed to cut through the clear, uncomplicated LNP storytelling? It seems that most Australians are not keen on fact checking, context or nuance. They’d rather go with their gut or the mob.

    John Howard would rarely propose anything that couldn’t pass the “pub test”. He knew that arguments had to be simple and (apparently) based on common sense. Oddly, his devotion to WorkChoices made him ignore his own wisdom. How is any opposition party going to capture the “pub test” crowd? The Australian electorate have been conditioned for decades. It is now an article of faith that our way of life is constantly under threat. So… how does one reach people who are driven by anger and fear?

  46. Fed up

    I think that was only half of what Feaser said. Is there also something about, that it should be fun .

    David, one sees IPA members each day, on any panel on ABC 24.

  47. David Giles

    Hi there Fed up – I am becoming aware of the IPA. How they are regarded as representing anyone but the hard right is amazing. Are the ABC wheeling them onto the news in the interest of balance? It is ironic that one of the IPA’s 75-points is to remove any rules about making news balanced! Of their plans, this is most obviously sponsored by Murdoch and potentially one of the most destructive. Or is the ABC trying to appease the IPA? That will not work – any concession to bullies is always regarded as and exploited as weakness.

  48. olddavey

    “scotchmistery
    March 29, 2014 • 5:35 pm

    The indication I got during a recent whistle stop with a group of Year 9 students on youtube ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5fDqDA8K2s would indicate that he thinks all school children are dumb and his annus is only partially horribilis, else why offer it to Tony Windsor, in payment for a prime mincership?”

    Isn’t the Prime Mincership reserved for Her Loyal Highness Chrissie Pyne?

    After all. he has never sooked or spat the dummy.

    I wonder what he was like as a child. I would imagine friendless.

  49. Stephen Tardrew

    mars8:

    Agree the problem is one of psychology. The only solution I think is to be clear and unrelenting but you must have clear policies and goals. The LNP will help as time goes by however if Labor are at all complacent the LNP will run all over them.

    Labor needs the killer instinct. If they bash on now about inequality day after day and the economy does not improve or wages remained depressed the Libs will be in trouble. Albanese and Wong have the potential Shorten does not.

    Be as manipulative as Abbot. Meet the People. Go to industries and shopping centers but start now as if you are in election mode. Howard and Abbott dumb down for public consumption though sometimes I think Abbott’s is effortless and to some extent real. Hawke was good at it.

    You got to appear to be one of the girls and blokes. Its not dumbing down its knowing your audience and consumers.

    Ordinary folks are not stupid however they love to feel like they belong.

    Attack the lies relentlessly. Critically don’t feel guilty or like its not fair. Life is not fair and politics is down right brutal.

    Do to Abbott what he did to Julia. Fortunately his lies are provably real.

  50. Fed up

    David, I do not know. All I know, is for the last few years, they turn up daily on panels on ABC24, along with the likes of Reith and Sloan, among others. Paid seven hundred dollars an appearance I believe.

    The Drum is one of the worse offenders. I often wonder if they pocket the money, or does it go to the IPA.

  51. mars08

    Stephen… I forgot to mention the hyper-masculinity factor. The LNP is the party of aggressive, courageous action men. It’s about sport. It’s about red meat and lots of it! No tofu munching, bleeding-heart, latte-sipping, tree-hugging, book-reading, basket-weaving, commies!

    If you want to win those votes, you will have to get gravel-rash on your knuckles. In that area Abbott has an unassailable lead .

  52. Stephen Tardrew

    Mars8: Too bloody right mate.

  53. Dave

    Where do i start! firstly thanks John Lord for a well written article outlining the thoughts many Australians already feel about the worse government we have endured for as long as i can remember. I agree with all the points you have raised and feel the above comments to be right on the mark.
    The situation we now have is convincing the public to take a stand and make sure this terrible excuse of a government only has one term. They need to be constantly reminded that it is us the Australian public who has the final say in who runs the show. Not a bunch of backward thinking clowns hell bent on turning back the clock to draconian times,mainly because of Tony Abbott’s hatred of all things labor.I have a very long memory and recall in 2010 when both parties required the support of independents to enable them form government. Tony Abbott is on video meeting with Tony Windsor and sprouting so much crap claiming “I love the bush,I have always loved the bush” but the thing was that Mr Windsor not being an idiot did not buy the rubbish the snake oil salesman was peddling. Needless to say nor did most of the independents.Which sent Mr Abbott into tantrum mode which continued until the 2013 election.The way he behaved in opposition should have been a clear indication that he was not fit to be PM.The election was really won by the LNP but lost by Labor due to in fighting and the ridicules game of musical chairs they ended up playing.
    People of Australia it’s up to you! We have another two and a half years of this crap,please do not let them have one more second of power than is required.

  54. Trevor Vivian

    Abbott is Australis present representative of global Predatory Capitalism.
    Abbotts political mentor is entitlement, mostly his. Abbott the master of spin trained by and for Liberal Party ideology.
    Correct again Stephen Tardrw. Mark Delmarge coherant and succint as usual.
    Abbott the bully and thug in the bullpit of Parliment shows how fuked parliment really is/ has always been from a mythical Australian way. What a fuken sick joke and ordinary oz people look on as though it must be this way. Demand change. Take the control of parliment away from polititans and political parties including speaker and have professional officers run it. Dont continue to listen to the jerks who claim it cant be done/not constitutional etc.
    Until then suck it up you wilting daisies and recognise that YOU. EACH OF US CAN BE A PART OF A SOLUTION WORTHY if we each cease to act daily as part of the problem.
    Keep up the good works those who “get it” here, the rest of youse take a hood hard look in the mirror.

  55. Pingback: Abbott’s Thus Far Annus Horribilis | lmrh5

  56. Wayne Turner

    Well written article 😉 Abbott seems to be stuck in opposition mode.This Liberal party is all ideology,but NOT policy driven.It’s about looking after their backer mates egs: Tim Wilson the NON-EXPERT from
    the IPA as head of Australia’s human rights commission,right wing mates look into education,etc,etc,etc…..

    Plus,as mentioned an obsession with wasting time and money on Royal commissions into attacking Labor.So much for a “budget emergency”.

  57. abbienoiraude

    An important piece written by John as usual.
    Great comments and have to agree with Stephen Tardrew.
    I have to believe ( after all these years of interest in politics) that the Australian voter is extremely stupid… or is it ignorant, or is it dumb, or is it foolish? I have tried for decades to believe they are not, but after 11 1/2 years of Howard I am tired of trying to put a square peg into a round hole. The average Australian is missing a huge piece of the living puzzle. Politics matters and you ignore it at your own and your country’s peril.

    The Labor Party must apologise.
    It must privately re visit the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years and recognise what went wrong. Without knowing where your mistakes are you are bound to repeat them. ‘Divide and conquer’ is the LNP’s strong suit when it should be Labor’s strong suit since they, the Government, are the Coalition. Pit Libs (business) against National’s(rural-regional) and you may have a ground swell of discontent.

    I will never again estimate, positively, the intelligence of the Australian public. They enjoy the simplistic three word slogan so a pox on their ( ie OUR) house. More fool us. We will indeed pay for their laziness, their selfish hip pocket knee-jerk reactions.
    I, too, never ever liked Keating, but by god he was good in debate. That is what is needed now more than ever. A vision to fight for, to explain, to sell and to yell about.
    Let’s Go!!

  58. diannaart

    I would appreciate anyone out there who can explain the psychology of Abbott’s continued wearing of the blue-tie since June 2013 – without exception.

    I am not alone in my concern:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-23/green-when-is-a-blue-tie-more-than-just-a-blue-tie/5214296

    OK – I understand how people have a fondness for a particular colour and this can be taken as an adorable or at least interesting quirk of personality.

    In Abbott’s case that his blue tie wearing started with the jibe from Gillard and has continued to date, even after winning his goal of PM…..

    I am already aware from my following of comic-book villains that high-cheek bones are a common feature among the truly dastardly … (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VillainousCheekbones) plus they always tend to dress in a very particular style… never changing… such as blue-silk ties…

    …. now I’m developing an obsession…. someone please help – am developing phobia of blue-ties.

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