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.
“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.