Friday 11 December
1 Tony Abbott as opposition leader was considered by many commentators as the best ever. What criteria they used for making this judgement is beyond my comprehension. He was however, successful at grabbing headlines with slogans.
How anyone could be judged efficacious by being constantly negative, sexist, ill-mannered and devoid of any policies is difficult to understand.
For me his negativity and lying made him unfit for public service.
That said, he did become Prime Minister. Then something truly remarkable happened in Australian politics. The Australian Prime Minister who was as opposition leader a person devoid of character, attempted a personality conversion to rival nothing hitherto seen in an Australian leader.
During his tenure as opposition leader he used colourful aggressive language. He was bullish in his attitude to others, particularly to the female Prime Minister of the day. His negativity was legendary. He was a repetitive liar by evidence and by his own admission. He held in contempt procedures of the House of Representatives and the conventions it upheld.
Prior to becoming opposition leader his reputation was of someone with a gutter mentality determined to obtain power at any cost.
One month into his term of office we were expected to believe that he had transformed into a mild-mannered, cultured man of some distinction. Walking the global stage as a gentleman with noble intent.
We were expected to put to one side the old Tony Abbott and embrace the new one with unbridled fondness.
We now know the attempt was an abysmal failure.
So lacking in leadership skills was his performance that his party did something it had never done before. They sacked him.
In his farewell speech he indicated that there would be no recriminations, no back stabbing or gossip. In true Abbott style he was just telling more lies. Just laying the groundwork for a future comeback. Well in his eyes anyway.
Every utterance since gives every indication that rather than exit the door of public service with dignity and grace, he plans to hang around, write opinion pieces, make speeches and generally make life as hard for Turnbull as he possibly can.
He intends to be himself, offering an alternative, probably negative view on everything. It almost seems like he has elected himself as the de facto PM in waiting for a bunch of weird right-wing supporters whose world view is a relic of a time long past.
From now on we should become used to Turnbull promoting his and his government’s views followed by Abbott’s conservative version of the same thing.
And I don’t think it will be just the occasional comment. He will adopt his opposition style of gutterish, in your face politics. He will say that we play our politics hard and in his own deluded way pretend that in some strange way it is legitimate.
Should make for exciting times. Andrew Bolt will of course appoint himself to the position of media advisor.
2 Australia wins ‘fossil of the day’ for Julie Bishop’s coal speech at Paris climate talks.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has told a sideline event at the climate talks in Paris that there is a long future ahead for fossil fuels.
At an Indonesian event on transitioning to a low-carbon economy, Ms Bishop indicated long-term change would come not through immediate action, but through as-yet-undiscovered or undeveloped technologies.
Technological breakthroughs and innovation will drive much of the change that will underpin the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Ms Bishop went on to underline the importance of fossil fuels for economic growth.
3 As if to empathise the so-called ‘Broad church’ absurdity of the Liberal Party, Bronwyn Bishop says she will recontest her seat of Mackellar, telling Liberal Party supporters on Sydney’s northern beaches that the “threat of terrorism” had convinced her she needs to remain in Parliament.
The 73 year-old former Speaker told guests at a Christmas drinks party at her Newport home on Tuesday evening that she had been “exonerated” over the “choppergate” expenses scandal and was energised to serve another three-year term as an MP.
4 Diagnosed with early onset dementia young Wyatt Roy says he can’t recall asking Peter Slipper’s staffer James Ashby to illegally copy his official diaries.
5 In Victoria the acting Auditor-General Peter Frost found the business case for the East West Link:
. . . did not provide a sound basis for the government’s decision to commit to the investment.
Key decisions during the project’s planning, development and procurement phases were driven by an overriding sense of urgency to sign the contract before the November 2014 state election. Signing the contract in these circumstances was imprudent and exposed the state to significant cost and risk.
6 I quite liked these lines, amongst others from Bernard Keane on the Abbott prescription from Islam:
“Islam never had its own version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment,” Abbott wrote in the Telegraph.
“It’s commendably broad-minded of Abbott to suggest that the two signal anti-Catholic events of the last 500 years were such good things that Islam should ape them. But perhaps Muslims in the Mediaeval era were too busy developing algebra, inventing effective surgical techniques, revolutionising optical theory, understanding that the Earth revolved around the sun, trading with China, discovering coffee and keeping key classical texts that the West had lost so they could be rediscovered in later centuries, to fit in a Reformation.”
“Oh, and the Reformation had a death toll in the millions as Europe tore itself apart over nuances in superstition, including perhaps 11 million casualties in the Thirty Years’ War, during which the population of many German states was reduced by up to 40%. Is that what Abbott has in mind for Muslims?”
And on that subject the Grand Mufti says Tony Abbott’s call for Islamic Reformation plays into extremists’ hands by conflating Islam with terror. He is correct of course.
7 The unemployment rate fell to 5.8 per cent in November after the jobs market added another 71,400 positions to October’s extraordinary gain of almost 60,000.
The only negative is that the ABS is still working on its methodology. These don’t add up.
MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“Our lives should be subject to constant reflection, otherwise the way forward is locked into the constraints of today’s thoughts”.
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