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Bolt and Jones achieve full froth in defence of their friend Tony Abbott

Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones are distressed.

Their good friend and hero Tony Abbott is flailing from crisis to crisis, embarrassment to embarrassment. Struggling to develop a cohesive palatable message.

The polls are stubbornly bad for his government and it appears any credibility or integrity he had left in the eyes of the public is all but eliminated. Irreparably it seems.

Bolt and Jones spent years doing all they could to get their man in Canberra into government and it’s gone pear shaped remarkably quickly.

Abbott’s failure is their failure.

The community’s rejection of him is a rejection of them.

They are both, figuratively speaking, firmly in the Abbott Faction of the Liberal Party. The now dominant hard right capital C conservative faction.

They are his media minders, PR department, faciltators and attack dogs.

The last 3 election cycles, particularly since Abbott became leader, has seen a mass exodus of what was left of the small l liberal tradition inside the Liberal Party.

They were out of place and they knew it.

They fled.

This is all an important context to understand the Bolt, Turnbull and Jones affair of the last week.

Tony Abbott is under pressure to turn around his sinking, rudderless ship and his media PR machine in the mainstream media is feeling it too.

The extreme nasty IPA driven budget was supposed to be accepted by the public against their best interests because it was “fixing up Labor’s mess”.

The public weren’t supposed to question it, but they have.

They see it as an assault on the “fair go” and their way of life.

Jones has used his Labor as “fire” and Coalition as “firefighter” analogy innumerable times.

It’s painfully tortured yet he perseveres.

Not surprisingly however it seems Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff Peta Credlin has picked up on it and directed cabinet ministers to use the exact same fear mongering aggressive language to scare people into accepting this shocking budget.

Thankfully it’s not cutting through and people are resenting the broken promises and unfairness of the Abbott plan.

Abbott used fear and division aplenty in opposition but they are finding that it just doesn’t cut it anymore in government.

People want the “adult government” they were promised.

People don’t want to be scared, lectured or lied to by Tony Abbott anymore.

They are sick of the negativity and lack of vision coming from his government.

Enter Malcolm Turnbull.

A popular leader who is well liked in the community but on the fringe of the Coalition caucus.

The dinner Turnbull had with Clive Palmer was all it took to light a fire under the very sensitive and protective Abbott forces in the media. Perhaps at the behest of the Abbott Faction.

Bolt is paid to irritate and rile enemies of Murdoch. That’s his job. He does it well.

Recently however the enemy was a lot closer to home.

Bolt attacked Turnbull for having dinner with Palmer without permission. I wasn’t aware he had to seek permission for who he could socialise with privately?

It was obviously not a “secret meeting”. Canberra’s a small place.

This didn’t stop Bolt saying Turnbull was conspiring against Abbott and being disloyal.

Apparently Abetz and Pyne need to be consulted for Turnbull to have a casual dinner with Palmer.

This is the Bolt/Jones line.

The fact they weren’t told is supposedly the smoking gun.

Turnbull didn’t reject out of hand the idea the Bolt and Jones attacks were coordinated. The idea holds a lot of water.

They are clearly trying to reassert the hard right of the Liberal Party in the face of polls showing Turnbull would be a popular leader.

They want him put in his corner and nervy MPs warned off even considering switching their vote to save their own skin.

The Alan Jones interview with Turnbull was something to behold.

Screeching, heavy breathing, condescending, lecturing and at times hysterical.

Jones is clearly feeling the pinch.

Now he knows what it’s like to be on the wrong end of popular opinion and to have concerted campaigns in the media and public to destroy his preferred leader.

Normally he’s the one dishing it out and dictating what he thinks should be popular opinion.

Not now he’s not.

Turnbull handled a fulminating Jones skillfully, occasionally calming his interviewer down before he erupted uncontrollably and breathlessly again.

The egos of Bolt and Jones are limitless. Their sense of power and self importance renowned.

Turnbull is absolutely correct to stand up to bullies and defend himself if he thinks it’s appropriate.

Was the dinner with Clive more than just casual? My sense is no.

But even if it was it has shown just how close Bolt and Jones are to Tony Abbott.

He relies on these nasty aggressive media characters to convince the masses he’s the saviour.

The masses are ignoring the preachers these days however.

It’s quite clever of Turnbull to push back so strongly against nasty public attacks. He wants to make it clear he won’t put up with it.

It also puts Abbott in a bind.

In a public spat between the three of them, whose side does he take?

His cabinet minister’s or his strong media allies’?

Turnbull is playing them off against each other.

One can’t help but think he’s doing all he can to damage their relationship and the role they will play in the life of the Abbott Government.

Recent articles by Matthew Donovan:

If they don’t know what they’re talking about, how are we supposed to?

Time to end Tony Abbott’s deceitful debt scare campaign

Shock jock fantasy land vs reality

Don’t let the Abbott Government Budget get one over you


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  1. peter kelly

    spawn of Satan, I cast thee out!!!

  2. Lawrence Winder

    Whilst it’s pleasurable to engage in schadenfreude over this sideshowI think the main event is getting a double dissolution.

    “Rabbutt’s Rabble” was not elected to turn Australia into a theoretical “free-market” social experiment as their masters, the IPA wish.
    They lied; not only over their borrowed policies but more importantly about the fact that their real agenda was never spelt out to the nation. Few actually voted for what they are doing now, so supply should be blocked so they can have the opportunity, after “Rabbutt’s” return from his Tour de Farce, to explain themselves and their real agenda to the people, in detail.

  3. Sandra Searle

    Methinks that Turnbull is playing the same game as Rudd did with Julia Gillard. I find it quite hilarious actually. Abbott should be scared, very scared, that’s if he actually has the brains to work it out for himself.

  4. Florence nee Fed up

    Not sure Turnbull is playing the game of Rudd. Gillard was performing and a strong leader, putting the runs on the board, Yes, she never had a easy time from the media and a negative destructive Opposition,

    Gillard manage to carry on and put in place all Labor’s policies that originated under Rudd. She then moved onto her own policies, such as Gonski and NDIS.

    Legalisation was put through the parliament at a quicker rate than normal.

    Rudd had to work very hard at undermining Gillard, This eventually bought Rudd back to power for a short time before the election.

    We will never know how Gillard would have travelled if Rudd had withdrew after he was deposed.

    In MHO Gillard was a good PM, but who the public perceived as chaotic, and worse a liar,. She was neither, as any perusal of her achievements show,.

    When we come to Abbott and Turnbull, there is no comparison,. Turnbull was given NBNCo to bring down, to destroy, Even though I suspect, Turnbull would have supported the scheme, if he had half a chance. Yes, it was a poison chalice for Turnbull. Over the last few years, I have seen no evidence, that Turnbull has done anything to undermine Abbott,

    Abbott’s own behaviour and incompetence has led to the position he finds himself in.

    I believe that many in the party want Turnbull gone, will do anything to bring him down.

    The party is receiving bad polling and media. are looking for scape goats, as bullies always do. Many are becoming paranoid,

    One only has to look at such outlets as the Guardians, reading the comments pages that are full of trolls and abuse against anything Labor. Yes, panic and desperation is setting in,.

    One only has to ask, why is Abbott making a global tour at this time, when the home from is in dire trouble. There are no great reasons why he should be aboard

    The GG was the better option to go to France. Many countries were represented by head of state.

    No urgent reason to go to Canada. As for Washington, if one is to believe his office, he has taken off, without confirming the people he needs to see are available.,

    Personally, I believe he has pulled out of those three appointments. Mainly because Obama has announced he is taking a strong stand on carbon emissions,. Something Abbott cannot comprehend,

    I suspect, this so called global tour, as Grattan describer it, was put together at the last moment, to get Abbott away from the back lash of the budget.

    So quickly arranged, that he forgot he had to go to Indonesia. I suspect Indonesia demanded he come at this time.

    The sad part, those appointments should be one of Abbott’s priories, as the G20 meets in November I think, Then I suspect he would be taking ministers involved, not meeting up with a business group in the USA,

    I do t believe that many expected a budget that is shambolic, makes no sense and is extremely unfair. Simply one can only label it a lemon.

    No, Turnbull is just in a lucky place, because Abbott is so bad,.

  5. DanDark

    It’s called sweet revenge 🙂
    Turnbull has been waiting since Tone’s did’t give him a plum position, (so told him to go away and come back when he had proved himself worthy) Turnbull got leadership and did, in his best judgement what he did, but Tone’s was not happy,

    So Tone’s set revenge on Turnbull, got the numbers bet Turnbull by one vote in the end
    And the rest is history, it’s all on an interview archive, I think it was abc I saw it a few years back now
    And well now it’s playing like I thought it would, Tone’s the boxer has run out of punches, and Turnbulls
    Time has once come again, well that’s what he thinks, I reckon they will all be gone very soon or
    Turnbull will be captain of an already fast sinking ship

  6. DanDark

    Yep was Tones mistake, kept Turnbull where he shouldn’t have

  7. DanDark

    Turnbull didn’t give Tones plum job he wanted
    When Turnbull got leadership, was where it all started
    Last post was even confusing me, it’s late 🙂

  8. DanDark

    The interview was with Malcom explaining what happened with Tones and his tantrum

  9. Florence nee Fed up

    It was more than not giving him the job.. Turnbull told him he was not up to it. I believe Turnbull by his action led to Abbott getting even., To do that, he has to take Turnbull’s job. Without that, Abbott being lazy might has been happy to cruise along,. as he had for years.

  10. Florence Howarth

    Sorry DanDark,I have repeated what you said.

  11. DanDark

    I am glad you knew what I was getting at Florence
    But yes, Turnbull pushed Tone’s and the rest is history
    It was an honest account by Turnbull of what happened, back then
    I will see if I can find interview

  12. sam

    Jones is a moron as is Bolt. Nice to see this lot in Jail as most Australians live in a fish bowl and take this rubbish as fact. All these characters eat from the same trough. We’ve got this latest “age of entitlement” think tank hrase and all the classist fascist ideology behind it.

    And on the bright side:

    Then you get to Turnbull who is essentially the same as Rudd center/center right. (Rudd whom has been the best so far we have had).

    Comparison ideologically Rudd to Turnbull from the issues at the time:

    Carbon Emmission Trading Scheme (with built in flaws) == THE SAME.
    Broadband Network (to catch up with what leading countries had >10 years ago) == THE SAME.
    Macroeconomic policy == THE SAME. (never mind that output gap you morons)
    Super Profits Tax == THE SAME.
    Reconciliation == THE SAME.
    Asylum Seekers == THE SAME.

    But hey you’ve got to be obstructionist Lib and fall in with the rest of the further right. Hence why Turnbull being the idiot he is decided to be obstructionist. Now they are as this article rightly explains: unelectable since Abbott and mafia got in charge.

    Unfortunately the best Australia can hope for is back to the center right (compare to other right wing governments where some of these issues are non-event: just make money out of green energy its pure capitalist afterall), meaning well in an incompetent manner on a raft of issues. Sounds like a good time to get rid of the lot of them.

    This will not solve the unemployment issues, 2 speed economy (output gap, underemployment, hidden unemployment, neo-liberal fascination with running a surplus for no reason), fast track massive industry reform, update the 40+ year old infrastructure, save the public service (the actuators of poplicy in a democratic construct), create an environmental sector to employ hundreds and thousands of australians to catch up by just starting the projects that were done 10 years ago (base load solar) in more foward thinking regions of the world.

    Vote next chance i get will be to vote labour/green then protest the s**t out of them because they wont bring Australia back up to speed unless they completely reverse everything Abbott did for a start…. just a start.

  13. Stephen Tardrew

    Clive Palmer is the issue. Bolt and Jones totally blew it giving Palmer more media time and a chance to further undermine Abbott. The perfect own goal. Makes the LNP look divided and they fell for it.
    The Credlin issue similarly keeps him in the firing-line and because he is not beholden to either party can make it up as he goes along by appealing to stay at home mothers and country women. Palmer does not play Labor’s game and they failed to recognize their vulnerability. Too late my dears.
    LNP are learning Palmer is one foxy fellow willing to play the game of thrones. Thing is Abbott, Bolt and Jones are so full of their own self-importance they miss the hidden assassin playing in the wings. What dummies.
    Watch Palmer’s approval rating grow. Voters are pissed and will use available channels to show their disapproval and our verbose friendly will inevitably provide the ammo. Palmer verses the Liberal party machine and he is winning which shows how fragile the government has become. Bravado does not make for true iron fist. The LNP ironThatcherite fist is staring to look like a rusty paw.

  14. June M Bullivant Oam

    You have got it in one, and of course they hope to hose down the budget objections by making a diversion like Paul Keating’s Australian Flag.

  15. Stephen Tardrew

    Sorry about typos flew into Brisy from Adelaide early this morning bit wasted.

  16. Margaret-Rose STRINGER

    I should like to be able to simply re-blog; but one cannot.
    Top article, Matthew Donovan – thank you !
    I’ll link to it instead …

  17. Michael Taylor

    Margaret-Rose, the reason re-blogs don’t work is because we are no longer with WordPress.com. But having said that, I’ll have a look at if it that facility can be activated.

  18. Bighead1883

    Nice take on it Matthew and I agree with you that Turnbull has made a stance against the demented.

  19. Carol Taylor

    Stephen, I agree they blew it by trying to make Palmer look to be either a crook and a buffoon. Mind you, it is highly likely that Palmer is both, but Palmer does know how to fight and has enough cash to enable himself to do so. Meanwhile, and back at the ranch, the public stays amused by Palmer but little else. Big Fail by Abbott and his Murdoch backers.

    On the Credlin issue, Palmer said what many already suspected, that Abbott’s PPL is a favour to Credlin. After all who else is set to benefit? Just how many women of childbearing age are there who earn in excess of $150,000? As noted, country women/National voters are one of the groups least likely to receive any benefit whatsoever. Meanwhile, a women who graduates with a degree in engineering and who takes time off to have children is likely to see herself paying off her HECS debt for an additional 25 years. Just a tad unbalanced… It’s giving with one hand to one small group (a group which certain of Abbott’s special friends just so happen to be part of), while taking from a much larger and equally well credentialed group.

    As above Palmer often says what others are thinking, niceties be damned.

    Not that I’m a Palmer fan in any way but I think that it’s appropriate to look at which way he’s going. So far he’s refused to support the cut to payments to Veterans orphans, won’t support changes to unemployment benefits, won’t support changes to foreign ownership laws re Qantas, won’t support changes to the age pension etc… No wonder the conservatives hate him and are gunning for him via the media.

  20. Margaret-Rose STRINGER

    @Michael: Sorry, appear to be a dunderhead. I do understand, however.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Margaret-Rose, I’ve been able to add a “Repost” feature at the bottom of each article.

  22. Nuff Said


    Your closing statement is a bemusing one:

    One can’t help but think he’s doing all he can to damage their relationship and the role they will play in the life of the Abbott Government.

    If this is the case, to what end, do you think? Also, if this is the case, does it not automatically legitimise the concerns Bolt and Jones have over Turnbull’s current disposition? Would it not make him the white-anting bomb thrower they are claiming him to be? I’m not sure if we need to theorise about Turnbull’s actions beyond the obvious: a man defending his reputation against a pair of tedious exhibitionists.

  23. Damein

    I’ll take the pain of this neo-liberalism assault on Australia for now as long as I can bask in my schadenfreude of Jones and Bolt imploding as they have no one else to attack except the government and the ideology they have championed .. can’t wait for them to turn on each other !

  24. Carol Taylor

    Nuff Said and,

    …a man defending his reputation against a pair of tedious exhibitionists.

    Who have been given enormous power and credibility by the Abbott/Credlin machine.

  25. Nuff Said


    Jones needed Abbott and Credlin to gain power and cred for himself? You may have that arse about. Jones has been heartily giving us the shits since 1985. Bolt’s case may be a little different.

  26. Margaret-Rose STRINGER

    @Michael: Then I shall use it with the very next AIMN article I re-post ! – thanks !

  27. geoffreyengland

    I’m very surprised that Abbott is not “a bit threatened” by Alan Jones.
    After all he did tell Liz Hayes once he was threatened by……….well you know the rest.

  28. geoffreyengland

    “why is Abbott making a global tour at this time, when the home from is in dire trouble. There are no great reasons why he should be aboard”
    He’s there for the pomp and ceremony and we all know he just loves that. Economics…well maybe not so much.
    He’s like a poor man who has just been given permission to dine at the big table with the rich folk.

  29. Hermann K Kleiner

    not at this moment, however will participate in future discussions

  30. Hiram Rex

    change of FB name . . .

  31. Carol Taylor

    Nuff Said, as per Mike Carlton Sydney’s village idiot, Alan Jones... However if a PM goes sucking up to village idiots Bolt and Jones, it gives them a credibility amongst the masses which is most definitely not deserved. Turnbull quite rightly relegated them to where they belong..irrelevant.

  32. Lee

    “I’m very surprised that Abbott is not “a bit threatened” by Alan Jones.
    After all he did tell Liz Hayes once he was threatened by……….well you know the rest.”

    I’m very surprised Abbott isn’t threatened by Christopher Pyne either.

  33. DanDark

    Who will win……
    Jones, Bolt or…..
    Will it be….
    Malcolm in the middle……. 😉

  34. Stephen Tardrew


    Someone on the outside playing their own game against them is befuddling the LNP. Bluff and deception is catching them out. Labor is not foolish enough to caught in the rabble however Palmer has everything to gain and nothing to lose and that’s what must really cheese of the LNP. Unlike Turnbull he does not have to play the inside track. Its like an inverted One Nation. Very strange however, as you point out, Palmer is very good at coming through the back door and picking up the pieces. Whether you like him or not, which I don’t, it is a smart move. A thing of beauty to see. Newman has fallen into the trap too. He does not see that it’s double edged sword and an unusually strong position can well bring about arrogant weakness and the capacity lose seats very quickly. Tall poppy syndrome soon wears thin. It just looks like infighting even though Palmer’s party is independent he is still aligned to conservative ideology. Palmer does seem to have some understanding of the impact that class warfare has on a political popularity, and cynical exploitation or not, he may yet do us a favour. Newman is not used to fighting someone with deep pockets and a corporate legal team. This is panning out to be quite a circus fought on two fronts which could well damage LNP and benefit Labor.
    It seems if you get on the wrong side of Palmer you have a very focused and vengeful enemy and he is obviously not enamored with Abbott, Hokey or Newman and his teem. An enemy who is not intimidated by failure is a powerful adversary, especially one who holds the balance of power. Labor, though they need to attack on other fronts, can sit back and watch the circus and so can we. At least it counters some of the social justice pain and may help limit the damage.

  35. Florence Howarth

    Who will win. Labor and the people of course.

  36. DanDark

    yes I believe you are right Florence
    libs will be toxic for years to come

  37. Matthew Donovan

    Nuff Said.

    Their current concern isn’t that they will be delegitimised or separated from Abbott.

    They are seeking to stop him even slightly considering ever running for leader or backbenchers considering switching their vote.

  38. Ross Cornwill

    The interview with Alan Jones was a total abomination. The man was interviewing a Minister for Gods sake. He is an idiot. And by the way I am a member of the Labor party.

  39. Florence Howarth

    Could Turnbull be putting distance between himself and Abbott while pleading loyalty. He has managed to leave Abbott caught in the middle, allowing the public to see who Abbott considers as friends.

    Maybe Abbott needs to leave the infant playground habit of bested friends behind, and enter the adult world.

    Would get him into less trouble.

  40. kobymac

    So in this apparent reanactment of Labors time in power – who is Shorten?

  41. jagman48

    Kobymac he is the leader of the Labor party. There now you have your answer.;)

  42. Kaye Lee

    Great article Nuff Said. We must treat the disease rather than the symptom.

  43. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott would love to be able to do this. What is happening to western democracy?

    ……….So when the US government released a landmark report this month on the looming risks of climate change, President Barack Obama did eight interviews with TV meteorologists to defend it. “If you want to try to side with the polluters and argue to the American public that climate change is not happening—today, tomorrow, and certainly in the future—that’s going to be a losing argument,” White House advisor John Podesta told reporters at the National Climate Assessment’s release.

    Now contrast that with Canada, where Prime Minister Harper rarely, if ever, mentions climate change, makes federal scientists obtain permission to talk about it, and bars its own weather forecasters outright from the subject. “Scientists should be allowed to speak openly about their research or anything else because they are people,” young Canadian scientist Stephen Buranyi wrote last year in VICE. People, that is, with the same right to free speech all other Canadians ostensibly enjoy…………


  44. Rex Alfie Lee

    Talk about scum. Jones & Bolt are as much the scum that Abbott is. Both are incredulously alarmist bigots against the boat people, climate change conservation & are radically right-winged tools for the corporations. Their absolute lack of concern for the world is their testament & hopefully will be engraved on their tombstones. Just go & die, both of you. You make Pauline Hanson seem an angel…

  45. cartoonmick

    Fear mongering, a standard weapon of choice for desperate leaders, comes in many shapes and forms. Natural disasters and wars are a couple of handy choices.

    But sometimes none is available, so one has to be conjured up. Hoorah for spin doctors, this is their moment. Dream up the “fear” scenario, create the words and scenery, then hand it out to their masters (the Pollies).

    One can only hope the growing world of social media helps to enlighten the populace, so they are no longer fooled by the trickery of FEAR.

    Cartoon on the Budget con . . . .



  46. Jeremy

    I think a lot of this is wishful thinking unfortunately. It is pretty clear that Abbotts plan was to introduce a scathing budget in his first year and then back it up with two sweeter budgets over the next two years. Now that a lot of his savings measures will be cut out the two sweet budgets wont be quite so delicious but will still garner favour within the broader public.

    I do firmly believe that even if an election were held now he would hang onto power, just not with quite a large majority. If Julia were able to just hang on in 2010 with what happened I think Abbott could do the same at the moment. I also think Turnbull is a secret weapon hiding in the Liberal party just in case everything does go pear shaped over the next year or so, at which point the party would ask him to step up to which I expect he would say, no.

    I am also expecting the Royal Commission into union corruption to be extended so that a scathing (I expect) report can be handed down just in time to do the utmost damage to Bill Shorten before the election. One would assume Albo would then be elected to take over without enough time to gain enough traction to beat Abbott. Plibersek would be a good choice to take over but I think a lot of the failures during her term as health minister would come back to haunt her too much.

    Anyway, I think Bolt and Jones have a job in front of them but I do doubt that a lot of what is happening at the moment, although it seems chaotic, is exactly what Abbott and his cronies were pushing for during the first year.

    Time will tell.


  47. Bob


  48. Robyn Brice

    Honestly who listens to these cheap media whores? Not me, I don’t let these Murdoch mouthpieces do my thinking for me. Really the only ones that listen to these morons these days are their rusted on audience who can’t think critically for themselves. But they will gradually fall away as they go senile or die off because
    they can’t get a decent pension or healthcare.

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