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Day to Day Politics: Abbott still living in dreamland.

Monday 23 May 2016

1 “This is my legacy, this is Malcolm Turnbull’s legacy, this is our legacy, and that’s why it’s so important that we re-elect a Coalition government on July 2.” (Tony Abbott).

A legacy as I understand it is a gift by will, of money or personal property, something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor. In political terms it is a set of achievements claimed by a leader after he or she leaves office.

For example, Julia Gillard could claim major reforms like the NDIS the NBN and a price on carbon as her legacy.

Tony Abbott in the above statement always refers to his major achievements, therefore his legacy, as being the stopping of the boats and eliminating the carbon tax. I have no idea as to what he thinks Malcolm Turnbull’s legacy is unless in some twisted way he is suggesting that his own legacy has been inherited by him. Given that Turnbull was in favour of a carbon tax and before becoming Prime Minister had little to say on border protection it would be difficult to sustain that argument.

Gillard’s NDIS reform could be regarded as a once in a generation one and the NBN as one of international importance and the introduction of a carbon tax was greeted with international acclaim at the time.

Later these two major reforms were for political reasons to some degree or another changed or altered to their detriment. The first because Abbott was such a Luddite that he never understood the purpose or potential of the internet and the second because he thought that Global Warming was a communist conspiracy.

And to claim that he stopped the boats is a fallacy because it was Prime Minister Rudd’s deal with Papua New Guiana that ended boat arrivals. If indeed they ever did.

Most Prime Ministers when they achieve Government with a sizable majority set out to put in place policy initiatives that might define a legacy they will be remembered for. John Howard’s GST, Paul Keating’s Native Title and Bob Hawke’s sweeping changes to our monetary system come to mind. They all burnt up their political capital in the knowledge that it doesn’t last for ever. They all focused on big things. Large programmes.

So what is this legacy he speaks of? Well to be truthful I’m buggered if I know. It takes somebody with an exceptionally high opinion of himself to draw such an opinion after his party dumps him mid-term.

The fact is that Australia has never been led by such an unmitigated liar, one ignorant of technology, the environment and science. So oblivious of the needs of women and so out of touch with a modern pluralist society.

I mean who in their right mind would say this before an election and do the exact opposite after it?:

“It is an absolute principle of democracy that governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards. Nothing could be more calculated to bring our democracy into disrepute and alienate the citizenry of Australia from their government than if governments were to establish by precedent that they could say one thing before an election and do the opposite afterwards.” (Tony Abbott).

He is perhaps right in a perverse way to marry his perception of a legacy to Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull, after all, is campaigning on Abbott’s policies.

Never in my knowledge have we had a Prime Minister so willing to cast aside all that for many years he held close to his heart. Policies he was seemingly unmovable on then in the blink of an eye he tossed them aside. He must be Australia’s most hypocritical Prime Minister ever. Power became his a God he worships it and himself dearly. He was the one people expected would move forward on progressive issues like action on climate change, the republic, same-sex marriage and Indigenous recognition. Instead of changing the Liberal Party, which was what most people wanted, and expected, it changed him.

He is now advocating Abbott’s policies as if he to desired Abbott’s perception of what a legacy is.

Quoting Peter FitzSimons in Sundays SMH:

“Of course banging on about the boats, and whipping up people’s worst fears about asylum seekers, a la Peter Dutton – backed by Turnbull – will energise a certain part of the mob, but they were never going to vote with the ALP any way.

Hence, why I don’t get it. When Mr Turnbull was the nation’s foremost progressive, his numbers were off the chart. Now, mimicking a poor man’s Tony Abbott, he might fall over the line, but it will be close at best. What am I missing?’’

2 Whoever wins this election should appoint an exceptional Education Minister. If people are coming here who cannot speak English, read or write are taking our jobs then there is something dramatically wrong with our education system.

An observation.

“If you are not willing to learn then no one can help you but if you are willing too, then no one can stop you.”

3 Two new Polls last week strengthened the case for a very tight election. Teach TEL was 50/50 and IPOS 51/49 to the Coalition.

Turnbull’s popularity is going backwards at the rate of knots. Back in November, Turnbull was 81 points ahead on net approval (approval minus disapproval). Now it’s down to 16.

At 50/50 we could be heading for a hung Parliament or another election if one or the other cannot form a minority Government.

4 This election is about many and various issues. Overriding them all is a choice between two principles pertaining to the economy. Which one will serve our country best? The first is to spend an enormous amount of money in giving the big end of town tax breaks that may boost employment and investment. Secondly by spending that same money on health and education. Personally its education for me. It has the better track record.

My thought for the day.

A reflection on last week’s Murdoch press.

“If a newspaper article is written in a manner to suggest objectivity but subjective words are scattered throughout it together with carefully phrased unsupported statements then dismiss the article as having no cogency.

PS: The intro picture is of Abbott introducing Turnbull as the inventor of the internet during the last election.


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  1. Terry2

    Normally the ‘contributing editors’ to the Australian – Grace Collier, Peter Van Onselen, Gerard Henderson – have a constant Right Wing bias but occasionally they break out when the facts can no longer be obfuscated. Take Judith Sloan in the Weekend Australian – Contributing Economics Editor :

    “One of the biggest porkies uttered by Malcolm Turnbull in recent times is that he is committed to living within our means. No, he is not.
    All going well – in fact all going exceptionally well – the Coalition will oversee cumulative budget deficits of $85 billion across the next four financial years.
    Mate, this is not living within our means – nowhere near it”

    Over to you Malcolm.

  2. Duffa

    An exception education minster – yes please. Someone who can articulate the benefits that education has for all of us. But more than that an explanation of how education is going to do that and not just a squabble over throwing more money
    As for Abbott’s dreamland “This is my legacy, this is Malcolm Turnbull’s legacy, this is our legacy, and that’s why it’s so important that we re-elect a Coalition government on July 2.” on its own it doesn’t make sense, its a conservative appeal to stay the same regardless whether is good or not.

  3. Möbius Ecko

    As bad as Turnbull’s popularity is sinking, think on how much worse Abbott’s would be if still PM. Abbott was lower or only marginally ahead of Shorten when Shorten was in his nadir.

    Not only would the Liberal right that Turnbull is pandering to be rampant under Abbott, they would have expanded. And it is pandering to this extreme right that is causing Turnbull all his grief and having all media, including the rabid right, stating this is not the Turnbull they thought they were getting when he took over from Abbott.

    In the meantime in every public appearance he makes Abbott attempts to rewrite history and spruik of what supposedly great achievements his government undertook. Problem for Abbott in doing this is that the history he’s attempting to rewrite is still current and his supposed achievements are still present for everyone to see the failures they really are. It’s why outside of his small band of hardcore supporters he’s getting no traction, and why Turnbull is being crucified for continuing Abbott’s failed legacy.

  4. Wam

    Well politically he is a zombie(always was?) so could be leaving a legacy or at lease a suppository of one??
    As for labor they have the time to laugh at the cormann’s of the libs for his ‘labor’s debt.
    The rabbott doubled labor’s debt, gave Spain, Korea and the yanks untold billions for planes and boats. Turnball has given france 50 billion to build subs in france not 20 billion to the Germans or Japanese to build them in SA.
    Surely it is time to set some questions for the cormann’s to answer to give proof to their words?? Come on labor start challenging their words and start exposing their suppositories?
    ps lord there are three element to the paper two are vital to the election.
    Background few bottom line voters read the articles beyond bolt and the sport.
    Pictures show bias against labor. Often in juxta position nice positive picture of the libs on odd pages with a negative for lab on the even page. Giving a positive reinforcement to the odd page first seen leaving a negative to the second seen labor?
    Murdoch editors are often completely disingenuous with positive labor stories headed by large print leader with a negative bias. Again reinforcing the anti-labor.
    Another hurdle is the throw away lines by the autocuists on 7/9 about debt or waste or big spend or soft/tough. My bias is as strong and as opposite to ch9 and I cannot bring myself to watch it.
    I don’t remember any positive lines from Koch even when hockey was comparing Gillard/swan to Greece. Sadly, because Murdoch and 9 had made Gillard so toxic that any fair play was dangerous to ratings which were boosted by the anti-Gillard hype day after day(the lemon, fitzgibbon et al were continually fanning the flames)
    Samantha is an airhead liberal who speaks against labor, Aborigines, women and boats without understanding her words or the influence they have. She is not alone on the tele, the sport dribbler is a wide eyed abbottian and as for Andy pandy wow straight off the top of his head and whatever comes into it.
    Well I, with a few exceptions, thoroughly enjoyed the Windsor/Oakeschott experiment with Gillard swan and feel sure, history will show it was the best 3 years of labor.
    What are you missing??
    Fitzsimons is tragically wrong no lib gov can be elected without frightening the workers with economy and invasion. So if labor cannot match the slogans. QED.
    Are we sick off the ranting???
    If labor can distance themselves from the loonies in their ranks (and elsewhere) over moslems and allay any green deal fears. That could be enough to allow a concentration on the debt doublers, the mismanagement of the economy and the threat to AAA?

  5. Möbius Ecko

    By the way I heard this morning that the decline and failure of the TAFE and Vocational Education sector is being squarely blamed on Labor, who apparently left it in such a mess it’s irredeemable.

    Talk about rewriting history.

    The history of this decline can be traced back to Howard, but it’s current plunge into decay lays directly with the decimation by Liberal State governments and the Abbott government’s gutting of it for propping up the now failing elite private vocational centres, of which his daughter was a part.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Oh and I love this one. It might be over confidence and hubris but it was good.

    As Turnbull was campaigning in his safe seat of Wentworth on the weekend, Shorten’s campaign bus drove into the electorate and set up in a prominent spot for all to see, including attracting the attention of the media away from Turnbull’s campaigning.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I have just received a postal vote application. When I googled the address on the reply paid envelope, it led me to a comment I made on an article of yours in August 2013 John. (small world)

    “Kaye Lee
    August 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm Edit
    The plot thickens.

    I just received in the post a postal vote application form accompanied by a reply paid envelope and a letter from Tony Abbott urging me to vote for my local Liberal candidate who is mentioned by name though no other candidates are. The letter is addressed to me and my family by name and it contains an outline of “Our Plan”.

    1. Deliver a stronger, diverse economy with more opportunity and two million more jobs

    2. Free you from the world’s biggest carbon tax to reduce electricity and gas prices and protect local jobs

    3. Keep income tax cuts and fortnightly pension and benefit increases – without the carbon tax – through stronger budget management and less waste

    4. Build more modern roads to improve our transport system

    5. Secure our borders and, once again, stop the boats.

    Aside from an envelope that does not mention the Liberal Party and appears to be from the AEC, the Reply paid Envelope address is NOT that given on the postal vote application form.

    My envelope says

    Postal Vote Centre
    Reply Paid 223
    Sydney South NSW 1234

    The postal vote application form says send to

    Australian Electoral Commission
    Reply Paid 9867
    (Your Capital City)

    Surely this is illegal. Where is my application going to?”

    As it turns out, it isn’t illegal, much to the chagrine of the AEC.

  8. Terry2

    Same here, Kaye and quite possibly every voter in Australia is getting one of these Postal Vote Application (PVA) forms from the Liberal party.

    It’s a sneaky data harvesting ploy which surprisingly is not illegal, this is how it works :

    ‘The major parties send out official-looking envelopes in the mail, containing an application form for a postal vote, a reply-paid envelope and in this case a letter from Malcolm Turnbull asking for your vote. The householder fills in the required details and posts the form in its handy prepaid envelope to a rather official looking address.
    Far from having just mailed one’s name, date of birth, mobile phone number, home number, email address, enrolled address, postal address, place of birth and employer details – and signed the lot for good measure – to the Australian Electoral Commission, you have just provided the Liberal Party (or sometimes the ALP) with all of the above, post-paid.’

    We all need to be on the alert for these deceptive attempts to harvest personal data. By all means return the PVA to the AEC but you would need to change the address on the prepaid envelope to the AEC at Reply Paid 9867 in your capital city.

    I urge anybody who feels that this data harvesting is unacceptable to write to the AEC, I’m going to.

  9. mark

    psychoanalysis,tony. Do yourself a favour.mark

  10. Kaye Lee

    Not only are they harvesting your details, they are advertising on a government form. Don’t throw out their reply paid envelope – send it back with something really heavy in it.

  11. Mercurial

    Not only that, Terry2, but what is stopping the LNP opening the vote, and deciding if it’s a vote for the LNP, forwarding it dutifully to the AEC; if it’s not a vote for the LNP, holding on to it until it is too late to make the cut.

    That’s what happened to me in the 2007 election; despite posting Malcolm’s ‘postal vote form’ before I left for overseas and well in time for the election, I received a notification from the AEC months after the election saying my postal vote form was received ‘late’ and therefore wasn’t counted.

  12. Sue Whelan

    I am going to send their postal vote envelope back to them with their rubbish and some Greens and ALP propaganda in it for good measure

  13. sandrasearle

    This is interesting because a last week we also got a PVA sent to us. We live in a safe Labor electorate and it something that we have never had sent to us before.
    We’ve already made up our minds to put the LNP last when voting on both ballot papers so tossed that info into the garbage.
    This time when we vote we can hopefully vote a bit earlier like we did last time because this time we want to make sure that we get better people in both houses – ones who care what happens to the people in their electorates, are progressive and want this country of ours to return to some better form of democracy because it sure has been lacking in the last 3 years since the LNP (Abbott/Turnbull) mob got it.

  14. Terry2


    It’s not actually a Postal Vote form so you are not voting ; when they send the form on to the AEC, having harvested your personal information, the AEC then send you the actual ballot papers.

    But, you’re right, if they sit on the application form it could prevent you from voting particularly if you are disabled etc.

    The dodgy prepaid envelope reminded me of Vito Corleone’s olive oil business; it was just a front for his more nefarious activities – sorry I’m a Godfather nut.

    Whilst on the subject of dodgy activities, I see that Michael Yabsley a heavyweight in the Liberal Party and former national treasurer, has confessed to being aware of money laundering on dodgy donations to the NSW Liberals where Arfur was Teasurer – the money was sent from NSW Branch to be processed through the Free Enterprise Foundation (the Corleone’s olive oli business analogy) and then sent back to Arfur in Sydney having been ‘cleansed’.

    All to be revealed on Four Corners tonight : could mean further funding cuts for ABC if coalition are returned. In the meantime it’s, goodbye Arfur.

  15. Vicki Cox

    I crossed out turnbulls name and wrote turdball with a few more adjectives like shit and sent it back

  16. Jack Russell

    Kaye Lee…you are a delight!

    Yes, do return their form, complete with any insult/s you deem appropriate for this mob of Liberal excrement, and don’t forget to not only over-stuff the R-PE, but also make it super-heavy (they will probably be charged even more).

    I confess I have a long history of doing this with all unsolicited mail sent to me that included a reply-paid…it’s a great way to repurpose junk mail.

    I’d like this practice to be made illegal, with LARGE “don’t do it again” penaltie$ applied.

  17. Terry2

    I got an instant response from the AEC, it didn’t actually address the questions I asked but , like so many others these days, they just hit the default button. Here it is for what it’s worth :

    “Thank you for your email.

    Political parties are allowed to send postal vote applications to electors, however you do not have to use it.

    If you decide to fill out one of the forms sent to you by a party, the party or candidate is required to forward your completed application to the AEC for processing.

    Alternatively, you can apply for a postal vote on our website, or download an application form from our website and send it in.

    We are required to supply the electoral roll to sitting members of parliament and registered federal political parties. Candidates are also entitled to receive a copy of the certified list of voters for the division in which they are standing. As the law stands we are unable to prevent political parties or candidates from mailing postal vote applications to you.

    Under section 184AA of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, an application form for a postal vote may be physically attached to, or form part of, other written material issued by any person or organisation.

    If you have any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us on 13 23 26 or via reply email.

    Yours sincerely

    Public Enquiries Team
    2016 Federal Election Contact Centre
    Australian Electoral Commission

    So, there you go : no mention of whether the information on the completed form can be harvested by a political party which was my central question and , of course, why does the completed form go back to the Liberal Party without full disclosure of that fact..

  18. Faye Cox

    We received a postal vote application from our local member the useless Environment Minister Greg Hunt. The address on the pre paid envelope is
    PVA Flinders
    Reply Paid 90302
    Sunshine Vic 3020.
    It’s been used as a firelighter.
    Sunshine is a long way from the Flinders Electorate, so I suspect it’s a Liberal Address.
    I have applied for a postal vote through the A.E.C. I do not trust any mail from Greg Hunt.

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