As many of you are aware, before becoming Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott put his brain to work penning a manifesto which he published under the name “Battlelines”, which according to the spell check on my comuputer is incorrectly spelt because it should be two words.
Apart from that, there’s nothing wrong with the title. except that it does suggest a rather combative approach for someone who wants to us all to be on “Team Australia”. And it does tend to suggest some sort of class warfare. Flicking through the book in 2015, there are some interesting little snippets of how our beloved leader’s brain works.
“Last October’s notorious leaked phone call had a savvy Prime Minister Rudd browbeating an ignorant President Bush. There’s something unsettling about an Australian prime minister who needs to big-note himself by appearing to ‘verbal’ the American president.”
Unless, of course, the American President happens to suggest that we should do all we can to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Well, them’s fighting words, because clearly that Obama guy is suggesting that we’re not managing the Reef well. Yeah, yeah, he never said so, but we all know that he’s hinting that dumping crap into the ocean near the Reef will somehow have a negative effect!
Of course, Abbott’s views on Climate Change are interesting too:
“Finally, (in 2020) there will have been bigger fires, more extensive floods and more ferocious storms because records are always being broken. But sea levels will be much the same, desert boundaries will not have changed much, and technology, rather than economic self-denial, will be starting to cut down atmospheric pollution.”
Mm, bigger fires and floods and storms can’t be used as evidence of climate change because, “records are always being broken” and “sea levels will be much the same” because… um… ah… well, they just will, ok. Like the deserts – their boundaries won’t change either, because well, nothing changes, does it?
We get an inkling of his attitude to pensions with this:
“Given that people invariably earn more working than on the pension and can access other forms of social security if they can’t work, delaying access to the pension does not raise issues of fairness comparable to those potentially involved in changes to existing superannuation entitlements.”
And, as for education, parents are in the best position to judge what works because they care about their children.
“As with public hospitals, better public schools are likely to emerge when local teachers and parents have more say over how their schools are run. It’s especially important to give parents a direct say in the running of schools rather than just an advisory role. Even though classroom teachers are often among the highest-minded of people, the one group to whom the interests of children are invariably paramount is those children’s parents.”
Does this mean that the families of patients should have final say over the treatment, because even though doctors might be high-minded, it’s the families who have the patient’s best interest at heart, and nobody should worry about their decision to use leeches because traditional methods are best?
But it’s his statements on economics which are truly troubling:
“Quite soon, the Rudd Government’s attempts to stave off a recession by fiscal sugar hits and propping up uncompetitive businesses will come to seem like putting off the inevitable at unsustainable cost.”
Putting off the inevitable, eh? Yeah, “inevitably” the Liberals will win government and then we’ll “inevitably” have the recession, because:
“The real question is how much damage will be done in the process of trying to avoid the recession that is almost inevitable. My instinct is that Australians who were dismayed by the seeming harshness of the original Work Choices legislation could be much less sentimental about ‘hard-won conditions’ when businesses are struggling to survive and jobs are disappearing”
So, they do have a plan – stifle economic growth, reduce jobs in the public service and manufacturing by buying submarines and cars from overseas, and use the economic conditions to make us less “sentimental” about things like a minimum wage and work safety! Still perhaps this next quote will end up being more profound than he realised at the time:
“If Australia had large and growing gaps between rich and poor, if minorities were persecuted, if we were struggling to meet an existential challenge, there’d be every reason to want fundamental change.”
There many other interesting little ideas that Abbott, the backbencher, shared with his readership. But they’re not so interesting that I’d recommend buyiing the book. Even at the cut price of $2.95!
401 total views, 2 views today