An Abbott in the Lodge – Never
In my collaborative piece with Miglo – Michael Taylor titled “An Abbott in the Lodge – Never” and subsequently re posted as Its still “never”. https://theaimn.com/2013/03/27/its-still-never/
It’s worth a read if you haven’t already.
We explored in that piece the character and qualifications of the leader of the opposition Tony Abbott, reflecting along the way on his suitability to lead our our nation at the highest level.
Over the years in my Facebook discussions with supporters of Mr Abbott I have on numerous occasions requested them to name five of his personal characteristics that would eminently qualify him for this illustrious title. I have never received one.
So let’s not kid ourselves here. Leadership is important. Around the world there is much debate as to whether people have lost faith in our institutions (of all complexities) and the lack of inspirational leadership.
We must demand the highest standards of our leaders and we must have available the information that will enable us to make judgement on their character. That is the purpose of this post. In addition to what is contained in our original post I hope this helps you form a judgement. If you agree share it with others.
This is a laundry list of Tony Abbott’s gaffes since June 2010 so they’re not forgotten. It’s also intended to help journalists frame questions if and when Tony Abbott fronts up for interviews. His gaffes are more than getting a word wrong, or slipping up on a date. Cumulatively, they demonstrate that Tony Abbott is not fit to be PM or represent Australia on the world stage. Between June 2010 and March 2013 Abbott insulted, offended or annoyed to varying degrees Africans, Irish, Indonesians, Chinese, Finns and Luxembourgers.
Here is a list of Tony Abbott gaffes as shown in the original post (as linked).
Abbott offended thousands of people with disabilities by suggesting that discussions in parliament about accessibility were a waste of time.
Abbott misread Andrew Wilkie during the post-election negotiations about which party the independents would support to form government. Wilkie rejected a billion dollar offer from Abbott to build a hospital, labelling it as over the top and irresponsible.
Abbott turned down an offer by PMJG to visit troops in Afghanistan with her on his way to UK. He said that he wanted to arrive fresh in the UK for meetings with the UK Conservative government which drew criticism from many, including the mother of a soldier who died in Afghanistan: “It’s all about him”. Abbott went to Afghanistan later in October. Despite him asking the ADF not to do so, photos of him firing machine guns were released. Neil Mitchell labelled him a dill, adding: “He looks like a schoolboy playing with guns . . . This is not a game. This is war and Australians have died. Guns are dangerous and our soldiers carry them to protect themselves. Tony Abbott didn’t need a gun.
At a press conference, Tony Abbott refers to NBN as “essentially a video entertainment system.”
At the time of the QLD flood crisis, Abbott rejected PMJG’s proposal for a flood levy, a decision seen by some Liberals as ”hamfisted and half-cocked”. To make it worse, Abbott emailed Liberal party-members asking for campaign contributions to fight ALP’s proposed
Arranged by month, may not be chronological flood levy on the same day that cyclone Yasi bore down on NorthQLD.
Mark Riley interview with bizarre sight of Abbott speechless for extended period of time with his head nodding after being asked about his ‘shit happens’ remark in Afghanistan.
Abbott, having called for a ‘people’s revolt’, was reluctant to address assembled crowds displaying signs saying “Ditch the Witch” and the like, for fear of being judged by keeping such company. But he did address them and has been judged accordingly – despite claiming he didn’t see the worst of the signs even though he was alongside them in some pics.
While in Whyalla, Abbott claims it will be wiped off the map by the introduction of carbon tax, risks becoming a ghost town and an economic wasteland.
Reports of tensions in the Liberal party, caused by Abbott making announcements that embarrassed and undermined Joe Hockey in the lead up to the budget and ending up with a slanging match between them.
NZ Prime Minister Key visited Australia and Abbott breaks convention by inserting domestic politics into his welcoming speech, he congratulated Key for ”dramatically watering down” the emissions trading scheme his government inherited.
Ireland’s ambassador to Australia and leading members of the Irish community complained after Abbott told a not very funny Irish joke during a speech. Prof Ronan McDonald, Chair in Modern Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales said “The ‘stupid Irish’ joke might get a laugh in a Bradford comedy club circa 1973, but seems astoundingly ill-judged coming from an aspiring world leader in 2011″. Abbott apologised to the ambassador.
Abbott wins the Sans Science comment of the month award for his ignorant comments (he said much the same thing on different occasions) in relation to how CO emissions are calculated: “It’s actually pretty hard to do this because carbon dioxide is invisible and it’s weightless and you can’t smell it.”
President Obama visits Canberra. Abbott makes a speech in parliament and cannot resist taking a swipe at the government rather than remain apolitical as per convention on such occasions. Some Liberal MPs were . . . unhappy. “We were squirming in our seats” one said.
Abbott jokes on radio ‘Well, that was one boat that did get stopped, wasn’t it” about the Costa Concordia. Somewhat insensitive, as 11people were dead and 21 people missing. He later apologises but qualifies it by saying ALP should recognise banter.
Abbott apologises for saying in question time that PMJG has a target on her forehead.
When in WA, Abbott agrees with WA premier that WA gets too little of the GST pie. In response to outcry that ensues from elsewhere in the country, in particular Tasmania, he has to backtrack.
Tony Abbott distinguishes himself by running out of parliament to avoid his vote being counted, after Craig Thomson – he of the tainted vote – indicated he would be voting with the Coalition.
Abbott says effect of carbon pricing will be a python squeeze rather than a cobra strike on the economy. This was of course utter nonsense as has become obvious over time, adding to the perception that what he says can’t be believed.
Abbott goes to China. He is photographed shaking hands with Chinese dignitaries; it looks very awkward.
Abbott makes a speech in China which is widely criticised. A Herald Sun article by Steve Price is headlined “Abbott’s visit like a bull in a china shop”. It takes weeks of ‘clarification’ to calm it down.
Leigh Sales interview during which Abbott denied reading BHP statement when commenting on BHP, and falsely claiming that carbon tax was the reason it was reducing investment.
Lisa Wilkinson interview where Abbott says PMJG still has questions to answer on the AWU/Slater & Gordon issue from about 1995. He can’t articulate any questions, didn’t watch the marathon presser where PMJG took questions for almost an hour and didn’t read its transcript in 2012.
On 2GB radio Abbott says “our Prime Minister should not be swanning around in New York talking to Africans, she should be in Jakarta, right now, trying to sort out the border protection disaster”. He said she should be in Jakarta talking to President Yudhoyono. This was at a time when PMJG was attending UN meetings as were the Indonesian President and Foreign Minister. What he said was offensive to African nations as well as plain stupid.
Abbott says what he offers the Australian people is “a return to economic growth” ignoring the fact that Australia has had 21 consecutive years of economic growth.
Australia wins a seat on UN’s Security Council. Before the ballot Tony Abbott says “If Australia can’t come first or second in a three-horse race involving Finland and Luxembourg, there’s something wrong with us . . . Let’s face it, it shouldn’t be too hard to win a race against Finland and Luxembourg.” Hardly appropriate words for someone seeking to represent Australia in international forums with world leaders.
In question time during a speech about Peter Slipper, Abbott says that the ALP government should be dying of shame, echoing Alan Jones’ comment of the previous month that PMJG’s father died of shame. Maybe not said purposely but if not, where is Abbott’s presence of mind, acuity, that he used the phrase at all?
Abbott demonstrates that he is unable to understand a WA electricity bill, claiming carbon price led to more than doubling of cost of electricity when in fact it was apparent from a bar chart on the bill that power usage had doubled.
Visiting a family home in Indonesia, Abbott puts his foot, complete with shoe, on the table near a bowl of food. So rude it’s hard to know where to start: BODY LANGUAGE AND BEHAVIOUR many western modes of behaviour and body language are taboo in Indonesia. Be very aware of how you act in the presence of Indonesians in all situations. Some general rules to follow –
Never show the sole of your foot or point your toe at someone.
Keep both feet on the floor when sitting, don’t cross your legs.
Lisa Wilkinson interview where she challenges Abbott on his strident claims that he can bring power prices down. Soon becomes clear that he’s repeating slogans about getting rid of carbon tax which would have minimal effect, and has no idea how to bring down power prices in any significant way.
Abbott is understood to imply ‘authentic’ Aboriginal people are those who live in the bush rather than elsewhere: “I think it would be terrific if, as well as having an urban Aboriginal in our parliament, we had an Aboriginal person from central Australia, an authentic representative of the ancient cultures of central Australian the parliament”. A reporter who was there said that he has been misrepresented which then begs the question – why did Abbott not express himself more clearly.
Abbott endorses, defends, backs Mal Brough while admitting he has not read Justice Rares’ scathing findings about Brough.
At an Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony in Adelaide,reading from a prepared speech, Abbott completely disregards and disrespects Indigenous people, by saying “The first lot of Australians were chosen by the finest judges in England, not always for good reasons . . .”.
Abbott was at a press conference at Salvation Army in Brisbane, praising the good work of organisations like the Salvation Army, and in response to media questions took the opportunity to put the boot into asylum seekers, vilifying them, even though they are one of the groups the Salvos assist. Being apolitical and unlikely to comment, one can only assume that the Salvos did not appreciate being linked to hate speech.
Abbott claims the GFC finished 4 years ago, as US and Europe struggle to recover, and Cyprus experiences banking crisis.
Hamish McDonald interview, Channel Ten late news. Abbott says he does not do deals, seemingly forgetting the 17 days of negotiation with independents following the 2010 election.
Heckled at Forced Adoption apology for using terms some find offensive. If he had read first few pages of Senate Report he would have known that. Interviewed by Sabra Lane the next day he didn’t acknowledge he was at fault in any way. His words: “. . . it was quite an emotional group in Parliament House yesterday”.
As he did almost a year ago, Abbott tells WA one thing about its allocation of GST and tells Tasmania another.
Footnote: Arranged by month, may not be chronological flood levy on the same day that cyclone Yasi bore down on NorthQLD.
Hope it all helps.