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Claiming credit

It’s one thing for the Coalition to blame Labor and the Greens for everything – that’s just politics, as ProMo would say – but it’s quite another to claim credit for things you were dragged to, kicking and screaming and resisting all the way, by the persistent and growing voice of the people.

Tony Abbott is claiming credit for marriage equality.

“When all is said and done, I helped to make the thing happen,” the former prime minister told The Sydney Morning Herald . “I set up the process which opened up the possibility and even the likelihood of change. Now that it has happened, I absolutely accept the outcome. It’s the law of the land and that’s the way it is.”

He certainly set up a process which ripped families apart and saw some horrible exchanges and advertising. Apparently we are supposed to forget that, on the day the postal vote began, he urged everyone to vote no.

“I say to you if you don’t like same-sex marriage, vote no. If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote no, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote no because voting no will help to stop political correctness in its tracks,” Abbott said in a televised doorstop.

He wrote in the Fairfax papers that “This debate is about changing marriage, not extending it. And if you change marriage, you change society; because marriage is the basis of family; and family is the foundation of community.”

Then, despite 75% of his electorate voting yes, he ignored their wishes and abstained. He couldn’t bring himself to actually represent the community. He chose his opinion over theirs, and has ever since been fighting to find ways to legislate to allow discrimination to continue.

Not to be outdone, Scott Morrison is claiming credit for setting up the banking royal commission. Not that he intends to act on any of its findings. He’s busy. Not sitting.

As so often is the progression, the Greens were the first to listen to the whistleblowers and the victims and to call for action. Labor eventually came on board as they realised the anger in the community and how widespread the problem was. And then a few backbench Nationals finally grasped that the government’s resistance was putting their re-election at risk.

We also have the Liberal Party talking points claiming credit for getting people off Manus and Nauru.

They left them languishing there for five years. They attacked anyone who reported on the worsening health crisis and the physical danger. They colluded to block any scrutiny. They lied about the circumstances of refugee deaths and the cause of unrest. They fought tooth and nail in the courts to block medical transfers. They rejected New Zealand’s offer to resettle people.

Refugee advocates have been tireless. The Greens have been resolute. The crossbench has stood up. Labor has been given the courage of a majority.

In all these cases, it has been the people who have demanded change. As it will be in taking action on climate change.

For the Coalition to claim credit for what we forced them to do is insulting our intelligence and misrepresenting theirs.

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  1. Kyran

    One of the previous failures is currently feeling the heat, now having to campaign to save his seat by installing more seats on his precious beaches. Ms Van Badham is eloquent in her appraisal.

    The irony. Whilst the git was PM for two painful years, he didn’t even install portaloos. He was cajoled by his masters, the IPA, to ‘Be like Gough’, a link I refuse to circulate any further. Oh, if only he had been like Gough.

    Gough plumbed entire suburbs, and this fool couldn’t even provide portaloos. It sort of says it all really. Abbott may have plumbed new depths, and they’re full of shite, but there is no way he will be like Gough. Perhaps the good voters of Warringah will finally flush this little turd.
    Thank you Ms Lee, and apologies for the attempted latrine humour at this hour of the day. Take care

  2. Kronomex

    I nearly spewed a mouthful of freshly made Colombian coffee, that my friend had put together not long before, all over the monitor when I read that piece in the paper. His reality and truth genes must have suffered a major malfunction not long before he made those, not connected to any form of reality as we know it, statements. It’s also, to me at least, a sign that he’s more than a little worried about the possibility he could be kicked out at the election. Stay tuned as more nonsensical statements and comments will be gracing the papers and airwaves from the mad monk.

    Anyway, if he got the boot he would probably be hired by The Murdoch and could become the dumb part of the Painfully Poisonous Peta Show.

  3. Peter F

    The absolute hypocrisy of the coalition to claim credit for bring people to Australia for medical treatment is exposed by the fact that they spent millions on action in Court trying to prevent this compassionate action. Fortunately our courts denied their attempts.

    It is to this country’s shame that most of our population will never know these facts. The same applies to the other matters you raise. Thanks Kaye.

  4. Rossleigh

    I think Abbott is still suffering from the fact that in spite of all his inconsistencies and misrepresentations, he was still elected PM, and he hasn’t noticed that it all caught up with him to the point that even his own party decided that he was just too incredible to take to another election.

  5. Kaye Lee

    “Welcome to Australia, where vastly more money is spent on non-existent terrorists than the very real dangers lurking in our homes.

    On Monday, Morrison committed a mere $78 million over three years to combating family violence. Compared to the approximate $7 billion the government spends every year on combating terrorism, we’re officially in the Upside Down.

    The fact is, we’re simply not being overrun by homicidal terrorists. But every week, with thudding, ghastly predictability, Australians — overwhelmingly women — die from family violence.

    2018 was a particularly brutal year for women. Sixty-nine died violently, many at the hands of former or current intimate partners. And 2019 is not looking much better. So far, at least six women have been killed and this number will inevitably rise.

    In comparison, the most recent Global Terrorism Index shows that just four Australians died in terrorism-related incidents in 2017. In the entire two decades before that, there were just three deaths connected to terrorism on Australian soil.

    Services groan from overuse and underfunding. And still we stuff our defence coffers full of cash to buy shiny new war machines, ramp up airport security — again — and stop desperate people seeking new lives travelling to our country on leaky boats.

    Mr Morrison said later in his speech that he’s particularly proud of his government’s plan to increase military spending, part of his promise to keep us safe and secure from this supposed global terrorism threat. He bragged that he has been responsible for “the biggest recapitalisation of defence forces since the Second World War”.

    Is that really where our thinking is at in 2019? Stuck in 1939?

    The greatest terror threat most Australians will face in their lifetime is from domestic terrorism perpetrated by someone they know.”

  6. Jon Chesterson

    I agree… the Liberals have a serious epidemic of little Jack Horner syndrome. I hope it is thoroughly lethal and they choke on their Christmas Island cake.

  7. New England Cocky

    Oh dear, Kaye Lee, you have “misrepresented” the Liarbrals best intentions by telling the truth about those intentions and the too obvious consequences.

    How can foreign owned multinational jail corporations be expected to make a profit when genuine refugees are allowed to join Australian society under international laws, and at considerably less cost to the Australian PAYE taxpayers (corporate taxpayers rarely pay tax if they have competent tax accountants).

    How can the Liarbrals extract the “Reds Under the Beds” who have been there since Menzies recognised their “menace” in the 50s and Fraser tried to rejuvenate them in 1983? Australia simply must have more armaments to prop up the profits of US arms manufacturers … if the planes and ship ever get built finally.

    And when did the Liarbrals ever worry about “women”????? Except to vilify Julia Gillard who gave us the Institutional Child Abuse Royal Commission which found the Christian churches, including some Happy Clappers, ran pedophile rings with the kids in their care.

    Naughty Kaye Lee …. your writing is exemplary!!

  8. terence mills


    I’m very worried about these bloody submarines, the first of which won’t be delivered until 2030 at the earliest .

    We are saddling a future generation with a debt of $50 billion on what will be obsolete as robotics and AI replace conventional manned underwater surveillance and missile delivery technology.

    And we have put this contract in the hands of a man who admits that he cried on the plane going back to Adelaide when Malcolm got toppled.

    I have nothing against men crying but he had just voted to unseat Malcolm.

  9. Kaye Lee

    I too am worried about our ridiculous defence expenditure terence. It’s not just the initial outlay but the ongoing maintenance etc for what I agree will be obsolete before it arrives. Morrison boasts about committing us to spend $200 billion on weapons on top of 2% of GDP for defence regardless of whether they need the money or not. They are putty in the hands of the arms manufacturers who make a habit of employing ex-politicians from both sides as well as donating to politicians who then have the power to grant them lucrative government contracts and then block oversight on the grounds of “national security”. The whole thing stinks to high heaven.

  10. Kronomex

    “The fact is, we’re simply not being overrun by homicidal terrorists.” The terrorists are already here and they are the LNP and they’ve been ruining…er, running the country since 2013.

    Kay Lee (@12.36),

    The LNP simply just can’t stand the idea of being thought of as little yappy ankle nipping dogs. The LNP has a serious inferiority complex so buying untold biliions of dollars of weapons acts like a giant viagra for them. “Look at us, our penis is just as big as yours.”

  11. Michael Taylor

    I was at a meeting with officers from various government departments in late 2004 when news came in that G W Bush had won a second term. “Well there goes all our funding for community services,” someone commented.

    The point being, Howard was sure to increase defence spending. (Remember, Howard rode shotgun for Bush).

    Nothing’s changed.

    Defence spending will always be higher under a Liberal government.

  12. Potoroo

    “He couldn’t bring himself to actually represent the community. He chose his opinion over theirs”

    Representation does not mean automatically voting the way a putative majority wants on any given issue. It never has — that’s the delegate model (that the ALP tried and eventually abandoned in the early 20C):

    “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” — Edmund Burke

  13. helvityni

    I told hubby last night that the slippery Libs will let the boats in from tomorrow on, they are fuming. I was right (once again) , now Scomo is opening the Christmas Island, I’ll make you suffer, your Latte-sipping do-gooders….

  14. Kaye Lee


    “Representation does not mean automatically voting the way a putative majority wants on any given issue.”

    I accept the validity of what you are saying but the whole point of the plebiscite was to do what the people wanted. They abrogated their responsibility to make the decision and handed it over to the community.

  15. Michael Taylor

    helvityni, I put a poll on Twitter:

    How long before the government tells us that the boat arrivals have started again and that it’s Labor’ fault?:

    A: One day
    B. One week
    C. One month
    D. Any minute now.

    After 265 votes D is first with 46%.

  16. Rhonda

    We hear them loud and clear – New lies begin today. Better lies start today. I despair

  17. Stephengb

    The I will say that this coming federal election, is going one the most important election since the election of Gough Whitlam in 1972.

    The petulant prime muppet has publicly refused to shake the hand of Bill Shorten.

    The prime muppet, threatens to ignore a law, threats to impose recommendations that know one else can see, pre-empts the expenditure of Christmas Island detention centre, shouts and sulks and envokes the spectre of disaster befalling the nation if Labor gains government.

    The man is crazy, surely?

  18. margcal

    Abbott is brain dead.
    Those who supported marriage equality know he’s lying and those against marriage equality will (should!) now see him as a traitor – however untrue that is.
    Only the brain dead will vote for him. There’s a test for Warringah voters.

  19. lawrence winder

    One can only hope that if Willy Shortstuff wins the election handsomely (both houses) then the next month will make the Night of The Long Knives look like the Teddy Bears Picnic as the apparatchiks who have been placed as “sleepers” within the systems of government are culled and all the IPA operatives within the ABC are sent packing too.

    The damage this Ruling Rabble has manifested on this country since 2013 will take a generation to turn around.

  20. Frank Smith

    Wouldn’t re-opening Christmas Island detention centre require funds to be spent? So is it Constitutional?

  21. Andreas

    if it is unconstitutional, then the signing of a multi-billion$ contract (for subs of dubious value and use) while in quasi-caretaker mode would have to be equally so…? (Shades of WestConnex)

  22. Lambert Simnel

    Abbott ‘s stuff always derives from a sort delusional state dislocated from reality.

    But the Morrison government’s attempts to conflate the medivac legislation, that deals with a specific instance involving this country’s direct duty of care, with open slather borders is sinister, because although it draws on the original Howard/ Abbott/Hanson fantasies of hordes of shadowy people coming to “get” them a la children’s night-terrors but deliberately ignores factors that differentiate only a lunatic could possibly miss, for base political purposes.

    The government knows full-well what it is doing and such evil can’t be tolerated, because it so reliant on actual suffering .

  23. Potoroo

    @Kaye Lee

    “the whole point of the plebiscite was to do what the people wanted”

    To what plebiscite do you refer? Australia had no plebiscite (which is not binding anyway) on marriage equality. We had a postal survey. That also was not binding. Either way, Tony Abbott not voting the way you wanted him to does not mean he did not represent his constituency. He did. He may not have represented his constituency well but that’s another matter. When pundits like you pretend that people like Tony Abbott are not representing their constituents by not voting the way you wanted you are actually undermining our democracy because you are misrepresenting the way it works. Misleading your readership lacks integrity. The fact is that under our system not one of our representatives was obliged to vote according to the opinion polls. You can doubt their judgement but not their representativeness.

  24. Peter F

    Unfortunately for the PM, the people of Australia have spoken, through their representatives. He will ignore this at his peril. the immediate reaction speaks for itself. If boats start arriving, this merely indicates that his ‘border protection’ has failed.

    Perhaps the only difference in relation to boat arrivals will be the information we are give.

  25. Keith


    The voters in Abbott’s electorate were pro same sex marriage by quite a margin is my recollection.
    The boats slowed down in coming to Australia before the LNP took office in 2013 is another matter bypassed.
    The politics of negativity is certainly a matter Abbott gave a fillip too, it has not served Australia well.

    People dying in Detention Centres through suicide, inadequate security, or inadequate medical attention displays how the LNP already have blood on their hands. The other matter is that the LNP have caused life long mental health problems for some children through the trauma experienced in Detention Centres. Something else the LNP can take credit for.

    The robo letters sent to Centrelink clients, when very often the accusations of over payment were wrong is another matter the LNP can take credit for. Meanwhile, major Corporations were not paying tax.

    Virtually creating an oligarchy in relation to the energy market through privatisation of State owned assets, is what the LNP can take credit for. The reason energy prices are going up. The Federal LNP is not communicating this factor.

    Promoting new coal mines and extensions to coal mines firing up climate change are views the LNP can also take credit for. Professor John Hewson, xLiberal Opposition leader states that those who deny anthropogenic climate change are fools.

    The LNP were quite happy not to have a Royal Commission into Banks, existing Agencies could take care of Bank crimes, something else they can take credit for. Members of the LNP threatening to cross the floor is what precipitated the RC.

    The LNP have been in government for nearly five and a half years; yet, still blame Labor. It is getting very thin to constantly blame. It’s not something mature adults do.

  26. Kaye Lee

    ” Misleading your readership lacks integrity”

    I resent that assertion. I agreed with you that when we elect our representatives we are charging them with the responsibility to decide how they will vote. I misspoke in calling the postal survey a plebiscite – both of which are non-binding as you point out. But the point remains, the stated intention was to allow the people to decide.

  27. Peter F

    Kaye, my understanding is that the representative is there to represent the people of the electorate. Abbott did not, whether in ignorance (possible!) or deliberately, by not voting. I DO believe that Abbott failed in being aa try representative for his electorate.

    I disagree with your statement about the point of the ‘plebiscite’: It was delaying tactic, meant to weaken the resolve of those seeking change. Fortunately, it did the opposite.

    I have never believed that you mislead, or lack integrity. Any comment which attacks you on this basis needs to be ignored.

  28. Michael Taylor

    “Tony Abbott not voting the way you wanted him to does not mean he did not represent his constituency.”

    What the … !

    It was widely reported that 75% of Abbott’s electorate wanted same-sex marriage, yet he voted NO in the postal survey.

    “Misleading your readership lacks integrity.”

    I also resent that. It was an appalling slur.

  29. Kaye Lee

    As well as being a delaying tactic, they did not want a conscience vote in parliament as some members were threatening to cross the floor.

    The thing that really strikes me about this government is how they don’t want to find solutions to things. They actively fight against them in fact. They prefer to maintain points of difference than work together to solve problems.

    In all the hyperbole being flung around about the medivac bill, Coalition politicians never mention the people who are the victims of our neglect and pawns in a political game.

  30. Carol Taylor

    As far as making “misleading statements” go, a simple enquiry into facts would have helped Potoroo.

    “Members of Abbott’s electorate of Warringah are more resoundingly in favour of same-sex marriage than they are of him, the survey results reveal.

    The people of Sydney’s northern beaches seat have soundly rejected the anti-gay marriage sentiments of their local member with 75 percent of respondents in support of the ‘yes’ result on the same-sex marriage survey”.

    Hence the reason why Abbott is under threat from centrist Independents; he does not represent the socially progressive/economically conservative views of his electorate.

  31. Matters Not

    Might be helpful if there was a (legal) definition of ‘representative’ in some official document somewhere – but to the best of my knowledge there isn’t – so it’s up the individual(s) concerned to give what meaning they will. In some organisations it is so defined ) – often (by implication) via drawing a distinction between a ‘representative’ and a ‘delegate’.

    Delegates are seen to be bound by decisions taken at the ‘local’ level because the agenda (or whatever) is known in advance of the vote (such as a Convention) and it’s practical to therefore direct the delegate re that vote. No so with representatives who are seen to need freedom to decide on the basis of all the evidence which might only be available (listening to the debate) just before the vote.

    But, to the best of my knowledge, there is no legal guidance or obligation so a Member of the House of Representative is very much the free agent – bound only (perhaps) by party discipline and what members see as electoral consequences.

    Nevertheless in this day and age – particularly with the available technology – it’s crazy that we elect MHRs and leave them to do as they will – playthings only of their parties. Not that vast majority of the citizens could give a flying fu@k. Yes we get the government we deserve – one that is usually bought by non-voting, non-citizens. And we know only too well how that turns out.

  32. totaram

    Lawrence Winder: Do you really believe that Billy Shortstuff and his new government will carry out the purge that is required? Rudd famously made the chief neoliberal rorter Peter Costello the CEO of the “Future Fund”, when he should have been kicked to the kerb.

  33. Zathras

    “The thing that really strikes me about this government is how they don’t want to find solutions to things. They actively fight against them in fact. They prefer to maintain points of difference than work together to solve problems.”

    Exactly. That way they spend their time looking busy while really achieving little and thereby having no initiatives of their own to defend. Despite them being in Government for 18 of the last 24 years it seems everything is always magically the fault of the Opposition.

    It’s like when a country fervently believes in the Peace Process but not the Peace itself because as long as the process exists, they can continue on in the same way.

  34. terence mills

    What a week !

    I hope the media can at least make an effort to hold these liers to account.

    We had Peter Dutton claiming Richard Di Natale and Bob Brown could bring people over (false).
    Tony Abbott claiming there’s already ample medical care available (wrong, tragically); Christopher Pyne claiming the bill would see all detainees transferred on medical grounds (an almost-confession to what years of detention does to people); and Mathias Cormann claiming that “rapists, murderers and paedophiles will still get a free pass into this country” (horrific and wrong). And Dutton orchestrating the whole thing.

    Then we have One Nation fighting it out in the corridors.

    Please bring on the election !

  35. Michael Taylor

    I hope the media can at least make an effort to hold these liers to account.

    Terence, have you gone completely mad? 😜

  36. paul walter

    Truly, a new low in six years of new lows.

  37. Diane

    And today the bastards deliberately extending Question Time so they didn’t have to address a bill calling for a RC into mistreatment of disabled people in care.

    Every day they sink to new depths.

    In any other job they’d have been sacked for dereliction of duty. What a waste of time and money it is having a Governor General who is not neutral. Forget the Republic debate – we need a serious overview of the current system.

  38. helvityni

    terence mills,

    ‘Then we have One Nation fighting it out in the corridors.’

    No,no, Terence, they were not fighting, they were only kidding…Aussies don’t fight, do crime, drink too much,or engage in domestic violence, murder, sexually molest children….no, only asylum seekers are interested in such horrific things…

  39. Pingback: Dutton's naked power grab - » The Australian Independent Media Network

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