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Bishop stays. Goodes goes. Abbott is silent. What is wrong with this picture?

In case you are still in any doubt about what matters and what doesn’t to the Anglo-Saxon hegemony think on this: white Speaker of the House of Representatives and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s personal pick Bronwyn Bishop remains in charge of the House, in spite of decades of financial abuse of taxpayer funds, the obscene details of which are unfolding daily before our disbelieving eyes. The only thing that keeps her in her job is Abbott’s support, because while the Prime Minister cannot actually sack a Speaker, there’s little doubt that if Abbott pressured her to get on her bike, she’d be mad not to obey.

On the other hand, Indigenous football star and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes has been driven from his sport and public life by unrelenting racist attacks every time he shows his face. Goodes’ reaction to a thirteen-year-old girl calling him an ape has been held up by the racist commentariat such as Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt as being the reason footy crowds have taken such a set against him. However, it seems to have escaped the commentators’ collective memory that it was in fact the illustrious Eddie Maguire who at the same time called Goodes “King Kong.”

What also seems to have escaped their racist filter is that Goodes did not know at the time that a young girl was responsible for calling him an ape, and when he did become aware of this he handled the situation admirably, meeting with the girl and her mother, and engaging them in conversation about the wounding and divisive nature of racist insults.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, normally a man with an opinion on everything no matter how irrelevant, remains conspicuously silent on both matters. Ms Bishop’s shenanigans with helicopters and luxury limos have left rotten egg splattered all over Tony’s face, an ungracious response on her part to the man who, when he won government, rewarded her with the prestigious job of Speaker. Getting rid of Bronwyn will cause Tony to lose egg-splattered face, as it will be an admission of his lack of judgement of a woman he’s known for decades, and indeed, has been heard to refer to as his “political mother.”

But as Freud would have it, an adult man must at some point cut ties with his mother, and this could be Tony’s moment to sever the umbilical cord.

Abbott apparently can’t say anything on the Goodes’ matter either, given his demographic is fundamentally xenophobic and racist, and he can’t risk alienating them. While the country engages in a national conversation about racism, our leader remains unacceptably silent, missing in action. While the indignation and outrage at Bishop’s fraudulent behaviour escalates, our leader remains silent, missing in action. The number of topics Abbott can publicly engage with seems to be shrinking daily: he certainly seems incapable of entering into the energetic debates that will shape and reshape our nation in a most concrete fashion. In other words, he’s useless.

Ideology can do that to a man. Render him useless.

This article was first published on No Place For Sheep.



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  1. Clive Manson

    And on the positive side……..

    For just once, Abbott has not made a fool of himself.

    Silence is golden!

  2. roaminruin

    Abbott has a track record of uselessness and ignorance when it comes to indigenous issues – even though he took Aboriginal Affairs on as his own portfolio. But he hasn’t shown any overt racist attitudes to Aboriginal Australians. Pressuring them off traditional lands is kowtowing to his mining masters I suspect. His “lifestyle choices” absurdity is just another of his ongoing series of moronic brain farts as was his Terra Nullius statement. His track record shows he just doesn’t care about Aboriginal Aussies rather than that he’s an active racist. He just doesn’t care about anyone other than the wealthy and privileged.

    Playing the race card to link the disgusting booing of Adam Goodes to the entirely separate issue of rorting by Bronhilda is a tad tenuous. While you make some good points (Abbott apparently can’t say anything on the Goodes’ matter either, given his demographic is fundamentally xenophobic and racist, and he can’t risk alienating them), Abbott and his mob of incompetent nasties provide sufficient material for our collective disgust without needing this shaky connection.

    Goodes and Bishop are entirely separate issues.

    (Also, I’m defending the ‘old white guy’ demographic from the creeping use of us collectively as a synonym for bigotry and privilege. We were the long-haired sex/drugs/rock&roll generation and most of us retain some of that mindset. Peace man!)

  3. Lee

    Clive Manson, Abbott is making a fool of himself. He insisted that Slipper had to go for less than $1,000 but Bronnie’s repeated rorting for so much more is acceptable.

  4. Harquebus

    When someone comes up with a three word slogan that puts a positive spin on racism and bias, Tony will talk.

  5. Michael LaFave

    This is singularly insightful and saddening argument propounded by Ms Wilson.

    If a million more Australians were to read it, we would move significantly closer to being the “Fair Go” society that we have perennially claimed ourselves to be.

  6. Neil of Sydney

    He insisted that Slipper had to go for less than $1,000 but Bronnie’s repeated rorting for so much more is acceptable.

    Slipper committed fraud. He made false declarations about his travel. I suspect he did this many times and was warned many times but continued to make fraudulent declarations on the travel documents.

    But Bronnie should go,

  7. Michael Taylor

    I agree with you Neil, but do we have evidence that he was warned many times?

  8. Pingback: Bishop stays. Goodes goes. Abbott is silent. What is wrong with this picture? – » The Australian Independent Media Network | lmrh5

  9. Möbius Ecko

    Sorry Neil you are wrong unless you can provide proof he was warned many times. Story is that his fraudulent declarations were known to senior Liberals who turned a blind eye to them, and would have continued to do so if he had remained a Liberal. It was only because he became an Independent and a Speaker under a Labor government that the unrelenting attack against him was waged, with the now missing Abbott front and centre back then.

    The other point is that Slipper immediately apologised in the House, unlike Bishop the elder, and he offered to pay back the money immediately but Abbott and co. refused to accept that and referred him to the AFP who took up the case. Different to what is occurring with Bishop the elder where after being referred to the AFP the matter is being referred to Finance under a woman who was knee deep in Howard’s Children Overboard affair. In other words yet another snow job by Abbott.

    Looking at the history it appears that Bishop the elder also deliberately made fraudulent declarations with some copies of those declarations now being posted on the internet. So why is she being treated differently to Slipper? No need to answer, it’s only because she’s a Liberal where double standards reign and a sacred cow because of that.

  10. Lee

    Apparently Bronnie has been claiming travel expenses to attend committee meetings, on dates and in locations when the committees did not meet. The examination of her claims is now going back several years due to the number of inconsistencies found.

  11. John Hermann

    He is worse than useless .. he is dangerous.

  12. Neil of Sydney

    Well i have no evidence Slipper was warned many times but i suspect he was. But he did a lot of trips. And he committed fraud by altering the trip destinations. Fraud against the Commonwealth is a serious offense

    Here is a list of lots of other trips he took. If i have read this right he claimed travel in Australia when he was in NZ.

    By Sunday, December 12, Slipper was conducting meetings in New Zealand with a New Zealand exporter, according to his itinerary.

    While he was in New Zealand, Slipper’s travel back in Australia was apparently continuing, according to Department of Finance reconciliation records. On Sunday December 12, a Cabcharge docket for the amount of $125.00 was signed in Slipper’s name in Australia.

  13. Michael Taylor

    Well i have no evidence Slipper was warned many times but i suspect he was.


  14. kerri

    Thanks so much for raising the Eddie McGuire taunt Jennifer Wilson. I have been complaining for years that anything done in the name of the almighty “footy” is treated as socially acceptable! McGuire, Newman and all the other half wits on The Footy Show think they are terribly funny to dress in black face and wear womens clothes and even appear naked! It’s all good clean fun right?
    The attitude of the AFL towards on field assault is criminal! The injuries given and sustained on the field would be prosecuted on the street and yet they are excused with talk of “brain snaps” and BS about the legality of the tackle! Even after deaths from injuries incurred on the field the AFL goes on to allow dirty play as an everday occurence. And don’t get me started on the whole drugs, players as guinea pigs and the aftermath of an injury that the team Doctor has injected to prevent pain and allow play to continue whilst doing permanent damage to the player? Whenever I hear of a friend or relative whose son is trying out for the AFL I am deeply saddened at what ruination his life may well end in! The entire industry is a racket and the players are regarded as disposable!
    Lee I wonder if Bronnie’s financial records are in an excercise book that got lost in a flood?

  15. Graeme Henchel

    When one is Bronwyn Bishop

    When one is Bronwyn Bishop
    The rules do not apply
    When one is madame speaker
    One simply has to fly
    When one gets caught out rorting
    One does not apologise
    One simple turns one’s nose up
    One tells a few white lies
    When one’s obscene excesses
    Come to the public eye
    One simply ducks for cover
    One hopes it all will die
    When one’s party suffers
    From one’s haughty ways
    One digs one’s high heels in
    To make sure that one stays
    When the plebs remain so angry
    They want one to resign
    One feigns a fake apology
    To save one’s own behind.

  16. diannaart

    Thank you Lee, I can always achieve a wry laugh from Clarke and Dawe.

  17. my say

    Neil of Sydney, if reports are true that the speaker made a false claim, for the use of a chopper, is that not fraud?

  18. Wally

    Jennifer Wilson I didn’t like Adam Goodes before he became Australian of the year or the “Ape” incident occurred does this make me racist? The reason I don’t like Adam Goodes is because he stages for free kicks, can be a bloody big sook when he doesn’t get his own way and he always plays the racist card, as a result he insults my intelligence. As good as Adam Goodes intentions are I think he does a lot of damage by being so self indulgent.

    I must be a racist pig by your standards I guess????

    My stepfather of 40+ years is black and we get on well and he calls a black man a black man. He must be racist as well.

  19. Möbius Ecko

    Neil you do know that Slipper was recently acquitted don’t you?

    Of course his career has been destroyed, his life has been destroyed, his marriage and he’s a financial wreck. All because of Abbott the hypocrite, and purely for political power and not one iota for justice or fairness. If it was for justice or fairness then Abbott would have stopped Slipper when he was in the Liberal party and Abbott knew he was rorting back then.

  20. Wally

    @Möbius Ecko I agree and there was a lot of grubby underhanded dealing by the LNP to stitch up Slipper.

    I think the LNP have done far worse things to bring Slipper down than what Slipper actually did.

  21. Gilly

    I am having difficulty in remembering Abbott ever saying anything of any value.

  22. Graeme Henchel

    @wally. If Goodes “stages for free kicks just like half the players in AFL (Joel Selwood for example) then boo him when he does it. If he is acts like a sook when things don’t work out on the field just like many other players (Reiwoldt for example) then boo him when he sooks. But this of course in not what is happening. What is happening is sustained booing as soon as Goodes is in the vicinity of the ball. This is just plain mob bullying no better than the worst kind of school yard bullying when some morons decide that some person in the yard should be a target. Even if you exclude the fact that Goodes is black. Even if you exclude the suggestion that some of the booers are motivated by racism. The fact that this brainless mob of booers are so ignorant of common respect for our sports people and ANY player brave enough to take the field (let alone a champion) is a national disgrace. If Goodes does not return to the field and if this booing does not stop the behaviour of these booing idiots will,leave an ever lasting scar on our history. As for insulting your intelligence one suspects that would be a pretty easy thing to do.

  23. ISW

    Tones is worse than useless, worse than dangerous, he’s a “useful idiot” in a similar way to George Bush the younger!

  24. gangey1959

    Would abbott be any good at AFL football? He’s good at staging for free kicks, and at making mean comments about his opponents.
    Maybe we could send him over to England to save us in the current Cricket Test. We need someone on in the English team who can’t bat, bowl or field to even things out. I think tones would fill that role perfectly.
    His complete silence on both Goodes and bishop show his complete lack of anything even remotely resembling backbone or moral fiber,
    and the sooner he is gone the better of everyone will be. If he takes his bitch ( sorry, I meant to type witch but my finger slipped) of a “mother” with him all the better.
    Just PISS OFF, tony. Australia doesn’t want you any more.

  25. Peter F

    Slowly but surely the true Tony Abbott is revealed to us.( Even for those who could not see years ago, it must be obvious now.) I am still waiting for the truth to emerge about the circumstances surrounding his departure from the Seminary. I wonder just how long it will take for that to happen.

  26. Phil

    Useless !! That’s it in a nutshell – he’s bloody useless. Well said.

  27. Wally

    @Graeme Henchel After all of your politically correct mumbo jumbo you try to intimidate and bully me. Well done proving that you are “no better than the worst kind of school yard bullying” yourself.

    And when it comes to intelligence who is smarter the intellect who has to engage tradesmen to do all of the manly jobs around his home or the tradesman who pockets over $100 an hour? Intelligence come in many forms, I think people who cannot repair their own cars, fix plumbing or do electrical work are dumb!

  28. corvus boreus

    You think that being unwilling to undertake specialised repairs, that require years of training and experience to learn how to do properly, and instead delegating the task to someone with the necessary qualifictions and experience in that field, indicates stupidity?
    I would not automatically think you a moron just because you likely would not know how to do my job.

  29. xiaoecho

    If the completely unnacceptable mob bullying happens and is only directed at one player then when it starts officials should immediatly stop the game until civility is restored. If they had the will and fortitude to do this when Goodes is set upon it would soon stop. Football lovers would quickly get sick of the circus and turn on those ruining the game for everyone. This must be nipped in the bud before this mob violence becomes the norm for any sportsman the mob decide ‘deserve it’

  30. Wally

    @corvus boreus you have missed the point I was trying to make and that is my fault so I will elaborate.

    Often on this forum and in everyday life people (generally academics) assert that they are more intelligent than people who do more mundane jobs but they fail to see that they are bullies and that they are not as smart as they think they are. Thus my comment above that was directed to Graeme Henchel in retaliation for attempting to belittle me. Belittling other people in any manner is no different to being racist or homophobic but some people don’t get it.

    I believe that we are all as intelligent as each other but we each have different aptitudes that make certain things come to us naturally. If you have an aptitude for something it does not necessarily take years of training to become competent, many people are self taught and if you do not have an aptitude for something no matter how much training is undertaken you may never succeed in that field.

    Without mechanics everything would grind to a halt, no electricians would leave us in the dark and without plumbers we would be wading in our own shit. Tradesman should be the highest paid workers in our society they stop us waddling around cold and wet in the dark knee deep in shit.

  31. corvus boreus

    I respect tradies (the good ones, anyway) and appreciate their essential contributions to the function of society, although, especially with electrical work, I would prefer a ‘natural aptitude’ to be augmented by proper training.
    I just disagree with your statement that those who cannot or choose not to undertake these tasks are “dumb”.

  32. Wally

    @corvus boreus is it OK for someone to claim another person is not intelligent? Calling someone dumb within the context of my comment is exactly the same thing with the shoe on the other foot.

  33. corvus boreus

    One person claiming another is unintelligent is a personally derogatory remark- personally insulting.
    An arbitrary disparagement of the intelligence of an entire group is a much more widely insulting remark- a broader insult.
    If you must retaliate to perceived insult, try not let your retaliations become generalized sledges, this will splatter people other than your intended target.

    For example, I do not have have the inclination to repair my vehicle beyond the basic maintenance (tyres, oil, spark-plugs etc).
    I hire such tasks out to those who possess better knowledge and ‘aptitude’, having chosen mechanical repairs as their career.
    You have explicitly stated that this makes me ‘dumb’.
    Should I now respond by prejudicially disparaging the intelligence of all ‘in the trades’?
    I choose not to do so, partly out of politeness, but mostly because I know that such a sweeping dismissal would be utter bullshit.

  34. Wally

    @corvus boreus I won’t generalise in future comments I will use remarks that are derogatory and personally insulting to a single victim. That seems to be acceptable behaviour on this forum as it happens often and the aggressors never seem to be frowned upon.

  35. mars08

    To paraphrase a comment posted July 31, 2015 at 3:39pm….

    “Wally can be a bloody big sook when he doesn’t get his own way and he always plays the victim card, as a result he insults my intelligence.”

  36. Wally

    @mars08 you are one of the people who do make personally insulting derogatory remarks and just recently you commented about being the victim of racism??? Karma?????

  37. mars08

    Am I racially insulting you, Wally? Am I attacking you because you have the same colour skin as your parents? Am I implying that your unpleasant, obnoxious nature is a result of your DNA? Am I judging every white Australian based on YOUR foolish comments on this blog?

  38. Harquebus

    Considering the state of our world, the control that the big banks and corporations have, the woefully ignorant politicians that have enabled it and fact that the majority of people from all backgrounds keep voting for the same morons, it doesn’t matter which party, no one can claim one group is better or more intelligent than another.
    Disunity is what the oligarchs want.

  39. Wally

    @mars08 an insult is an insult, to me it doesn’t matter if it is racist or not. If you don’t agree with racism but you insult people you are a hypocrite. Skin colour is not the only division in our society but for some reason it is not politically correct to be racist or sexist but most other forms of prejudice go unnoticed.

  40. mars08

    “…for some reason it is not politically correct to be racist or sexist but most other forms of prejudice go unnoticed.”

    hhmmm, such as?

  41. Jake

    Mars, you’re bordering on trolling now. Wally, no point in continuing. You all have the right to have your opinions. Let’s focus on fixing society, not breaking each other. Hugs to both of you!

  42. mars08

    Awwwww… nnaaahhh Jake. I’m nowhere near trolling. Just having a “robust” discussion with Wally about his hypocrisy… in the hope of getting him to harden up and stop playing the victim….

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