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Day to Day Politics: The clown of Warringah

Friday May 4 2018

In today’s mainstream media I read a report that a group had been formed to try to wrench the nomination for the seat of Warringah from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Most people would assume that it is his forever and a day. But that is not the case.

His performance as the Member for the blue ribbon seat of Warringah has really been abysmal to say the least. What was a 15% margin in the once safe seat has been chopped down to 5% and the local members aren’t very happy. I’m not surprised. Regardless of party I would expect that no group would want to be represented by the greatest liar to ever have set foot on the floor coverings of Parliament House.

And his negative running commentary on the party he once led since losing the leadership has been on the margin of a traitor to the cause. What a dreadful leader he was and member he still is – milking his position for every drop of power and personal advantage he could extract from it.

Warringah, meaning, ‘sign of rain’, ‘across the waves’ and ‘sea’, has been held by the sitting Liberal member since 1994. An affluent seat it was once considered safe with a margin of 16%. It is now 5% and given the quality of governance by both he and Turnbull it must now be considered marginal.

So, given that Tony Abbott stands again for pre-selection there is a strong chance he will not be pre-selected or if he is he might go the way of former PM John Howard. I cannot imagine how any party would want to be represented by such a clown.

“Tony Abbott’s political future could be under threat from a group of activists who have been organising environmentally conscious voters to join Liberal party branches on Sydney’s north shore – a move that could unseat the former prime minister.

Billing themselves as “the counterweight” to the pro-coal power Monash Forum, the North Shore Environmental Stewards have held at least two recruitment functions at which attendees were urged to tap into their networks of environmentally conscious people to join the Liberal party branches in Abbott’s seat of Warringah and on the lower north shore.”

Will he stand or not?

My feeling is that he will. He wouldn’t survive outside of the cut and thrust of politics. He needs heads to kick and faces to insult. His whole background speaks of aggression. It’s what he lives for. He will always need a payback forum. One in which he is able to abuse and snarl at those he opposes. An ego that sits far above his intelligence will not be able to walk away from it until old scores are settled.

My thought for the day

“According to Newspoll the worse they get, the more popular they become” (The Coalition, I mean).

An afterthought from an article I wrote when Abbott was Opposition Leader

Tony Abbott if nothing else is a very colourful character. He is aggressive both physically and in the use of language. His negativity is legendary and he has little consideration for any ideas other than his own and says NO to his opponents policies regardless of their worthiness. He is by evidence and his own admission a liar of some regularity. Added to that he has a political gutter mentality and little respect for the institution of parliament and its conventions.He started the decline of our democracy.


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  1. Graeme Henchel

    Whenever he spoke I felt quite sick
    Did he think I was stupid?
    Did he think I was thick?
    He made false promises, told so many lies
    kept making excuses and he’d blame other guys

    So I stopped listening, over it all
    The lies, the excuses, hypocrisy and gall

    Then he started pleading, said he’d changed
    I saw no difference, he must be deranged
    Yet all of his mates were still right by his side
    But they can’t be trusted, all of them lied

    So whenever he spoke, I just turned off
    I knew he’d be lying, enough is enough

    He became more deluded, like Monty’s black knight
    kept changing the story saying black, now is white
    When called to account, he’d build lie upon lie
    with a wink and a smirk and a bogus blue tie

    So I moved on, tired of the lies
    eagerly awaiting his certain demise

    He says now he’s turned over a new leaf
    But no apology for the pain and the grief
    He wants forgiveness, but no mention of fault
    It’s just a fig leaf for continued assault

    He then pretends he’s the great protector
    Saving us all from the terrorist spectre
    There are no depths that he won’t go
    Division and fear is all he knows

    And long after he was shown the door
    This lying moron continues to boor
    Deluded, deceitful and still full of shit
    Replaced by another duplicitous twit

    This desperate Thug is at it again
    Inflicting abuse, division and pain
    More lies, more hurt with his offensive attacks
    This destructive Thug must be stopped in his tracks

    It’s time this prick was put in his place
    A collective mid finger put right in his face
    To massively fail has always been his fate
    Saying YES to love will overcome hate

    And now as his world is falling apart
    He lingers too long like an unwelcome fart
    A thug defeated, now defending the past
    His “use by date” has now well truly passed

  2. Terry2

    The fact that the Liberal party in Warringah can’t seem to find a better candidate than Abbott says a lot about that branch as is the case with Dickson in Queensland where, even allowing for the pork barrelling currently going on, could easily fall to Labor as Dutton is far from popular – margin 1.6% – and is a very lazy local member and Minister..

    Surely the IPA have some hatchlings they could bring on to assist the Liberals or have the implants not taken ?

  3. Möbius Ecko

    He started the decline of our democracy.

    I contend it was Howard who did that. Abbott exponentially accelerated the decline.

  4. Graeme Henchel

    He started the decline in our democracy.

    Abbott and Howard are the product of Murdoch. In my view Murdoch is the root of much of the evil in the world.

  5. Kronomex

    If he copped the chop I think he could well wind up on Fox along with Peddling Incredulity and Adrooling Burk spewing their bile to a small audience of braindead knuckle draggers.

  6. Frank Smith

    Terry2, it would be wonderful if the people of Dickson oversaw the demise of the evil Dutton. That small 1.6% margin is promising. However, it came about as a result of a very effective GetUp campaign in the seat at the last election. We hope that GetUp will be back in Dickson at the next election. But there is another factor in play that is concerning. And that relates to changes in the boundaries of Dickson which, on paper, would enhance the Liberals chances in the electorate. But of course Turdball might call the election before the changes to Federal seats are introduced given the problems they could pose for the Coalition in WA. And there are also rumours running around that the evil Dutton might jump ship and move from Dickson to a safer Liberal seat.

  7. Michael Taylor

    I’m with you, Möbius. Howard commenced it, Abbott continued it, and Turnbull is completing it.

    What’s after that?

  8. helvityni

    In the past I could not believe that Australians preferred Tones to Julia…now I DO believe Dutton is a possibility…

  9. wam

    wow what a powerful mindset you have. I was convinced today you would reveal your revulsion at trump’s hush-money but, as often, I misjudged the intensity of your ‘if you can’t pick don’t risk a tick’ mindset.

    Murdoch press thrive on public interest which is sex, violence and controversy. In Australia is that not the norm in main stream media?? The rabbott feeds that need. I was thrilled by plibersek on today stirring but little billy announced a tampon tax put on in 2000 and kept on by rudd and gillard will end with him. Wow an important announcement perfectly timed to deflect heat away from LNP woes on royal commissions.(are we sure he is not a blunt instrument?)

    In your first effort, for this blog, titled:
    ‘Abbott in the lodge never’ You declared him worse than howard for nastiness and ‘ Another thing that took my attention was the influence of Catholicism in his private and political decision making. He apparently finds it difficult to make decisions without referral to his faith.’
    The rabbott and catholics believe that ‘opus dei’ cannot lie because they speak for god’s truth. Pure bullshit but god knows what he is doing even if we cannot understand it is an indoctrination beyond reason.

    Sadly howard is revered as the chief arsehole of union hating and his followers blindly support the rabbott.

  10. Susan Lang

    John, TA is sitting on the warm-up bench slowly being drive mad by his ego. He wants to blame everyone for anything, a lazy non-solution that has become increasingly popular of late. Ego thrives on conflict, an attitude much admired by the LNP. One thing I’d disagree with though is that it’s his ego that “sits far above his intelligence”. More like intelligence is universal and that ego sits within it at its lowest level, ie. self-delusion.
    There’s always the possibility that TA might come full circle, extend into wider intelligence and drop the ego, but given the company he keeps – fat chance. There is a bigger chance that the average journalist might come to understand the mechanics of a progressive tax system.

  11. helvityni

    …to tell the truth, I don’t know what to believe anymore; my favourite childhood dish, Swedish Meatballs, is now supposed to be of Turkish origin. Surely at least the Lingonberries on side side of the plate are Scandinavian…

    Is Murdoch old enough to be Johnnie’s dad and Tones’ grandad…?

  12. Florence Howarth

    Abbott was Howard’s chief head kicker. Was proud of the fact. Also expert in digging dirt.

  13. Frank Smith

    helvityni, it will be interesting to see what IKEA replace their very popular Swedish Meatball lunches with. Raindeer stew perhaps?

  14. Meg

    This world, for me – is upside down for most of the past decade. I couldn’t believe the Liebrals would choose that hirsute Neanderthal over the urban Malcolm. Then I couldn’t believe Abbort remained in place after losing in 2010. Then I was proved wrong that he remained AGAIN as a headkicking thug hatemonging knuckledragging primate – and then won in 2013. Since then we have descended into the mire, torturing poor captive refugees who just want a better life living with us. THEN this orange clown appeared… “there’s no way he could win the rethuglicans nomination” I thought… then this sexual-assaulting braggart bully actually went on to win. NOW it seems he is feeding off the seemingly peace-seeking Kim Jung On… and taking credit for what is going on in Korea. I don’t know what to think any more.

  15. Ella miller

    What makes me really mad is that he is laughing all the way to the bank

  16. Zathras

    The reason Abbott joined his local bushfire brigade after his initial election was due to a drop in electoral polling at that time.

    He doesn’t have much to fall back on now, except his backstabbing performance and disloyalty over the last couple of years and I don’t think they would be vote-winners.

    I think some of those North Shore Tories would see a vote for Abbott as a defacto vote for Labor (ie a vote against Turnbull).

    He’s too gutless to take the decent step in resigning from his party and forming or joining another one.

  17. Henry Rodrigues

    Graeme Henschel………. No truer an observation ever made. Murdoch is the root of all evil in politics, in Australia and and the UK and in America. Jerry Hall isn’t working him hard enough, a pity since she stands to make a lot when he finally carks it.

  18. guest

    Graeme Henchell, every line of your poem makes a valid point which condemns Abbott to utter ridicule. Well done.

    But I note that there are those who will support Abbott. One of them is Chris Kenny in the Australian. Surprise, surprise. The Murdoch stable loves to attack anyone, especially from the ABC, on the grounds that such criticism is not balanced. Thank you, Katherine Murphy, for your response. The Murdochians are an aggressive mob. Someone like Graham Lloyd rakes up ancient, debunked anti-climate change skeptics; Janet Albrechtsen attacks other people, especially women…They are a weird mob.

    Meanwhile, the Gonski 2 report has been and gone, but even before it appeared, it was being attacked by Murdoch. On Friday 27/4/18 we had this headline: “Teacher pans curriculum for snubbing knowledge”(p7), signalling an article coming up (p12). The prior article proclaims the Gonski report will be a waste of time if “fundamental flaws in the national curriculum are not fixed” (Whereas we all thought Chris Pyne had “fixed” everything). Of course the reporter is commenting on a report not yet seen, even though she quotes from her guest writer to come: “But in order to evaluate things, you actually have to know stuff to begin with.”

    So the all-knowing author tells us: “…the curriculum fails to spell out what students need to learn and when…instead emphasises the development of general capabilities, such as critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, despite little evidence of improved results.”

    And here we have evidence of some deep ignorance. I remember from more than 20 years back a famous conservative education warrior coming across the idea of competencies. They were designed to indicate the kinds of things students need to do in their learning, such as gathering, ordering and presenting information: working in groups; using technology; working with numbers…The pundit was horrified. He thought this was a new curriculum
    and he hated it.

    What this pundit wanted was a national curriculum which did what this reporter wanted: a curriculum which spelled out what each child was to learn and when. A great deal had been going on since at least the 1980s towards creating a national curriculum. When Julia Gillard went some way towards making a national curriculum, the cry was: Oh, not that kind of curriculum! That is a top down dictatorial curriculum from Canberra. Schools should be able to devise their own curricula!

    So we come to p12 and the promised revelatory article by a head of research at a Victorian private college. The headline is:”Inquiry- learning fashion has us running in a wheel.” Now I do not know what this writer knows about schools outside his own, but I find some of his ideas here more than a little odd. How much is learning in schools highly dependent on inquiry of the kind we might once have called a “project” where we gathered information and delivered it to the class. There is some (in Finland there is a great deal – and in some curricula here in Oz is part of Year 12 assessment) and is no doubt a widely used strategy.

    I would suggest that this writer’s accusation that inquiry learning has crowded out knowledge is false. The conservative education warrior has for years advocated ‘direct instruction” – no computers, no films – only books – and the source of knowledge is the teacher.

    So what does our head researcher know about traditional subjects? He says there is no History, there is only “something” called HASS (humanities and social sciences). He really wants History as a stand alone, John Howard’s great dream. Yet I know that General Science is allowed to be a mix of Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Biology. But HASS? Not allowed. So we come to Science or STEM – “little to do with teaching Maths and Science – more like robotics club time, he says. Is that true, really?

    So the research man suggests a task for students. If they were studying the Great barrier Reef, they could write an “informative piece” about it – or read something about it. Is this suggestion the result of deep research? Yet he claims “This would level the playing field dramatically.” Really?

    Now I mention these things at length because it seem s to me that there is a great deal of chatter about the very important matter of education of the children going into the future and the knowledge and learning for all of us over our lives.

    But it is my contention that there is a great deal of dumbing down of the topic through ideological nonsense promulgated by fear-mongers and sensationalists such as the Murdoch media.

    One has only to look at the weird responses to these articles in the Week End version’s Letters to the Editor, carefully chosen, I imagine, for their, in my view, idiosyncratic and jaundiced views. They are weird.

    I want to ignore the fake news and listen to those people who really know what is going on and say we do well in education with our multicultural mix of people wide-spread across the land – competing in international testing with small (sometimes single cities) of homogeneous population which are well funded in order to boost the economy – whereas education is seen as a cost here in Oz, not as an investment. The idea of actually funding in order to address inequality is anathema to the neo-cons.

    Murdoch merely muddies the waters on everything – and worse – as you say, Graeme.

  19. New England Cocky

    @Terry2: In New England we asked “If Barnyard Joke was the best retail politician then why were all the other National$ politicians so bad”? There was silence in reply … perhaps thinking was beyond their meagre talents.

    The Warringah Wanker has a similar situation: If Toxic RAbbott is the best candidate then how can the pre-selection process in the Liarbral Party ensure the selection of the best candidate for the next Federal election?

    Shades of Bronny Bishop (the departed One) … without the Chopper-gate advantage.

  20. Karl Young

    Henry Rodrigues: Jerry Hall isn’t working him hard enough, a pity since she stands to make a lot when he finally carks it.

    Henry Rodrigues so you think Jerry Hall married Murdoch for his money? She was quite wealthy herself before marrying him.

  21. Kaye Lee


    We must focus on phonics says the “educational expert” who has never taught but just so happens to have a phonics course ready for implementation, for a fee. Let’s start testing them in year 1 because if they aren’t all at the same level when they are 6 there’s no hope for them.

    These are the people who love NAPLAN which gives no value to creativity, communication, teamwork and leadership skills. It doesn’t allow for innovation and lateral or blue sky thinking. It cannot measure emotional stability and resilience. It isn’t interested in individual improvement or personal bests – just how you rank compared to the “norm”. Critical analysis or pursuing interests is to be discouraged.

  22. Matters Not

    The genesis of NAPLAN is traceable to Joel Klein who was once the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Klein came to Australia at the invitation of the Rudd Labor Government when Julia Gillard was the Education Minister. Gillard came to the portfolio without an agenda – no experience in the area – never the Shadow etc -was out of her depth Thus she was easily captured by her Department and Rudd – especially Rudd who certainly had an educational agenda.

    In 2007, Klein installed a computer system called The Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), at a cost of $95 million. Teachers and parents were able to track student progress with the system. As Wiki reports:

    After Klein left his job as chancellor to work at the News Corp., a company owned by the News Corp. got a contract for nearly $10 million to manage the system in 2012. Subsequent News Corp. contracts were worth millions more. Klein denied a conflict of interest. Finally, in 2014, the Education Department decided to abandon the system, due to its high cost, limited functionality, and little use by parents and staff.

    NAPLAN has not been good for the direction of education in Australia but it’s difficult to see how that trajectory will be changed in the immediate future. How Gonski 02 evolves will be interesting – with the prospect of an even worse direction. As always Murdoch will be in search of the dollar. Perhaps Klein will reappear with a new computer program to again show us how it’s done.

    Shakes head.

  23. Donald Diamontte

    Yes Krono, the ATO put out a list of companies and their tax ‘contribution’ to the economy back in 2016. Local movie makers Warner Brothers Entertainment Aust paid $0 on $538M total income. Now the govt wants to give them more concessions. What’s the word for a collective of clowns?

  24. guest

    Kaye Lee and Matters Not, the whole NAPLAN exercise has been hijacked. It was a problem from the start, following the inequities of Klein’s New York scheme and Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”. It was the kind of testing approved by right-wing education warriors here in Oz who advocated testing, testing, testing and it was a boon for Murdoch who turned it into a schools’ Leagues Table.

    We know that weighing the pig does not fatten the pig, but there was a need for systems to gather data about where the needs are. It is often said that teachers know where the needs are, but the problem is to gather the data across the range of schools and systems to enable systems to target the needs more specifically.

    It was all too hard for people like Pyne who simply threw out bundles of cash and told the recipients that they could sort it out. In at least one education system the money was distributed, not for needs, but by region, less for rural and distant schools, more for the flagship schools in the urban areas. Completely inequitable.

    So too was the way some exclusive wealthy private schools, well endowed with investments, properties and high fees, received inordinate amounts of public money to create privileged enclaves and still claim to be “private”.

    What we have is a tiered education system where all the financial resources are flowing to the less needy and the more needy are left in the safety net. Education becomes a commodity to be sold and a source of prestige.

    There was a time not that long ago when “private” meant private. There were also Commonwealth Scholarships for those going onto tertiary education and Apprenticeship schemes for trades… But times have changed and we have the divide between those who remember and hanker for the “good old days” and those who try to look forward to a system which is fair for all.

    How that “system” is achieved is debated by a whole swag of education theory institutes, a range of education systems, a range of education pundits, political administrators and of course almost every citizen in the country. There are vested interests everywhere.

    So the education debate is a farago of interests, theories and misinformation. What to do? We are not a mono-culture like Finland, we are not a sweat shop like some Asian places. But it seems to me we are dominated by those with the money and the power – and their interests are not the same as those who are left to struggle on as best they can. The C19th idea of Self Help and fictionary “Nanny State” and the demonisation of Welfare, leaves us with fractures and a wide-spread lack of fairness – perhaps even a lack of humanity in the rush for material wealth. Charity, love, humaneness, care, community awareness – are all lost in the whirl.

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