Thursday 6 April 2017
1 Trump and Abbott are very much alike in so much as they are liars of the highest standard. What separates their uniquely nefarious qualities is that Abbott admits to it while Trump cannot see that he ever does.
That aside I wanted today to discuss the future of the former Prime Minister Abbott. What is it that makes him hang around? Is it that as a former PM he is still listened to. Does he still cling to the forlorn hope that he might regain the top job. I think it fair to say that he has no hope of doing so.
I give four reasons for his unsavoury uselessness in occupying space that someone else could usefully inhabit. First is the capacity to inflict wounds on one’s predecessor Two he is so deluded that he truly thinks that if Turnbull were to go his party would welcome him back. Thirdly, he is not trained to do anything else. And fourthly he just craves attention.
There is ample evidence that he is the greatest liar to have ever walked the floor coverings of the House of Representatives. Albeit with a “cowboy walk” more befitting an exit from a rodeo toilet. (Look it up).
After a gilt edged guarantee that there would be ”no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping” when he lost the leadership to Malcolm Turnbull in September, 2015, we now find him deliriously discontent with the government’s Xenophon agreement to pass billions of dollars in company tax cuts.
”You should never agree to do something which is wrong to get something which is right.”
”We all want to be in the sensible centre but you’ve got to have things that you are fighting for.”
It was Abbott’s way of giving Turnbull a shirtfront after he implored the party, last Saturday, to make for the center of Australian Politics. It also comes after the Essential poll and Newspoll returned the Coalition to a 6 point disadvantage.
The comments of course are a follow-up to his February comment that the government was ”Labor-lite” and suggested it was ”drifting to defeat”.
Turnbull rather sarcastically responded by saying that Tony was an ”experienced politician” who ”knows exactly what he’s doing”.
A very angry and upset Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said:
”I am just saddened by what self-evidently is his decision to provide more and more destructive commentary. He is not helping our cause.”
So what will happen to the politician with the cowboy walk? It seems likely that if he decided to retire at the next election he would not do so without drawing both Colt 45s and hitting as many targets as possible. He is untrained for anything other than politics and no one would employ a liar of his enormousness. I would suggest a Texas ranch where blue jeans, the appropriate boots, the cowboy swagger and a flair for the uncouth are much more appreciated.
If the Coalition happened to win there would be no future and if they lose, less so. No I think, either way Australian Politics will see the last of the liar with the John Wayne swagger.
September 22, 2015 In his first post-spill interview, Mr Abbott claims new Treasurer Scott Morrison ”badly misled people” after he’d suggested he had warned the former PM about the coup on his leadership.
September 29, 2015 Two weeks after the spill, Mr Abbott appears on Sydney talk radio with a cheeky swipe at the new government. ”If you listen to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, they’re even using the exactly the same phrases that Joe Hockey and I were using just a fortnight ago,” he tells 2GB.
September 9, 2016 Malcolm Turnbull announces an inquiry into youth detention in the Northern Territory following revelations of alleged abuse by Four Corners. Soon after, Mr Abbott appears on Alan Jones’ show. ”But you’re right, Alan — normally governments should not respond in panic at TV programs,” he says. October 18, 2016 The backbench MP is at the centre of controversy over speculation that the Turnbull government is considering a Senate deal on the Adler shotgun in return for passage of the ABCC.
February 24, 2017 On a Friday night in February, Mr Abbott sends Coalition ministers into a spin, labelling the government ”Labor-lite” and suggesting it was ”drifting to defeat” in two separate public appearances.
March 24, 2017 In the week Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is slated to close, Mr Abbott offers his successor some unsolicited advice. The PM should try to keep it open, he writes in a piece for the Herald Sun.
March 31, 2017 After helping to scuttle an extradition treaty with China being pushed by the government but opposed by some Coalition MPs, Mr Abbott lashes ”senior government sources” who had briefed against him.
“Plainly, the whole extradition treaty business was badly mishandled by senior members of the government,” he tells 2GB.
April 3, 2017 The government is overjoyed after it strikes a deal with crossbencher Nick Xenophon in the Senate to pass its company tax cuts. Later on Sky, Mr Abbott is less impressed.
2 Both Turnbull and Morrison in interviews over the past couple of days have been loath to say how many jobs will be created by the tax cuts for business.
In my daily reading I came across a piece by respected economics journalist Ross Gittens. In it he was discussing the credentials of the Tax Cuts for business. His summary was succinct
”This is economic nonsense. ScoMo regards it as a self-evident truth that cutting taxes creates jobs whereas raising taxes destroys jobs. Unfortunately, no one’s told the Scandinavians.
In fact, there’s no empirical evidence of a relationship between countries’ level of taxation and their success in creating jobs.’”
ScoMo’s own Treasury modelling predicts that the full company tax cut would do almost nothing to increase employment.
Beware of politicians trying to sell propositions on the basis of all the jobs they’ll create. They just know which of your buttons to press.
3 So One Nation has made the decision to restructure its political Party. In doing so they have made federal leader Pauline Hanson President and her chief of staff, James Ashby secretary of a new incorporated body.
I’m interested as to how a shady character like Ashby is able to, despite confessing on National Television that he intended stealing the Speaker of the Hose of Representatives diary, could be appointed to such a post. There were more sinister allegations of bringing down the government of the day.
Not only that however. In 2016 he was alleged to have had sex with two 15-year-old boys.
Hear is part of an email used by 7.30.
7.30 has also seen Facebook messages that Mr Ashby sent to the young man confirming their relationship.
“I really never gave an explanation behind me f***ing off and not saying why,” Mr Ashby wrote.
“Strangely enough the reason was so pathetic but I thought I’d share it with you.
“Your mum freaked me out one night when she walked in on me in your bed. That did my head in for some strange reason.”
As I said it was all alleged and the Queensland Police cleared him regardless of the email. The same with the 60 minute interview.
Perhaps it’s just the standards that have slipped.
My thought for the day.
”Death is not the mystery it is made out to be. It is simply the reverse of the other mystery we call birth”.