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Good Government. Abbott Style


After surviving what he describes as a near death experience on Monday, Tony Abbott with feigned penitential self-indulgence, declared that Tuesday 10 February was the beginning of good government. With tempestuous dexterity he decided that all the previous ideological wrong he had committed on the Australian people would be overlooked. A new start would take place the following morning.

Well I’m all for forgiveness. “Let’s celebrate” I said to my wife. She was as equally delighted with the prospect of good government as I was. Lunch and a bottle of Merlot was in order. We were both so happy that overnight the Prime Minister had had a near death experience that convinced him good government was not only possible, but necessary. And with a quick fix personality transplant it would be accompanied with good leadership.

What a waste of a bloody good bottle of Annie’s Lane, Clare Valley, it was. It became apparent the next morning that the good government we had become so excited about was indeed premature.

It seemed there was some confusion as to what Tony Abbott had promised the South Australian senator Sean Edwards. Was it a promise for the subs to be built-in SA, or was it just a ploy to get his vote in the leadership spill?

Good government had made a less that conspicuous start. A bewildered Defence Minister, Kevin Andrews, could not shed any light on the difference between a tender and a “competitive evaluation process”. The PM in a fit of calm reassurance and good governance suggested that if Labor was in power the subs would be built by Putin or Kim Jong-Il. The fact that the latter was deceased seemed irrelevant. The conspiracy theorist in me somehow thinks that the Japan Trade Deal and building the submarines might be interwoven.

On top of that the Prime Minister for good government and the Treasure wishing for it, were singing from different hymn sheets as to policy and future budget direction. Hockey seemed to be saying that good governance required that the existing policies of hitting the poor to help the rich was indeed good governance, where as the Prime Minister was suggesting that political expediency was good government at work.

And after much controversy and public disdain they cannot tell us whether the Medicare co-payment is in or out. Good government necessitates the explanation of policy, not the absence of it.

On Wednesday there were 40 youth leaders in the gallery for question time. “What must they be thinking”, I thought? The Speaker and the Government have turned Question Time into a disservice to the Australian people. Is this what he means by good governance? By this stage I had given up that good government was remotely possible from this lot.

The following day in an answer to a question, the Prime Minister repeated his oft-repeated lie that “every family in Australia” had received $550 as a result of the repeal of the carbon tax. And silly me thought that lying wouldn’t be necessary now that we had good government.

In another display of good government (or in this case bad government), Government members walked out on a reply speech by Bill Shorten to the “Closing the Gap” annual report. The Government became outraged when he dared to suggest that the $500 million taken from “Closing the Gap” programs should be reinstated, suggesting that he was being blatantly partisan. When Tony Abbott raised matters of local political controversy in speeches during visits by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Queen, and President Obama . . . they sat in muted silence. Perhaps they thought, that’s good governance. Anyway, Indigenous leaders clapped the speech while the PM suggested they should take on more responsibility. “He’s good at that”, I thought.

Then on Thursday we had the Prime Minister’s hysterically belligerent reaction to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) over its damning report into children in detention, saying it should be ashamed of itself for conducting “a blatantly partisan politicised exercise“. A good government might have taken a more considered and diplomatic approach to a report they have had since November. However, Abbott made it clear his government would continue to shoot the messenger Gillian Triggs, who seems to be the target because she is a trifle upset about the way in which successive governments have treated our fellow human beings. He said we should all be grateful for the job Scott Morrison had done. “Goodness”, I thought; I hope he didn’t include me.

Abbott’s behavior since his declaration of good government rather reminds me of the tennis player whose only reaction to adversity is to hit the ball harder when thoughtful measured dexterity is what’s needed. Or the boxer who brings on his defeat quickly by being more aggressive than the fight requires.

He then followed that up in question time with that word never to be used out of context. As if his week hadn’t been bad enough he uttered the word holocaust when he attacked Labor over some deplorable jobless figures:

“There was a Holocaust of jobs in Defence industries under members opposite … that’s what there was,” he said.

He certainly apologised very quickly but good government wasn’t being backed up with good judgement. His performance in question time was that of a punch drunk man desperately trying to impress his followers with his pugilistic acerbic tongue, rather than sagacious intelligence.

That wasn’t to be the end of it. He then went on to openly talk about two males facing terrorism charges. Comments that prominent lawyers said were highly likely to prejudice their cases. In an effort to inflame the terrorism debate both Abbott and Minister Dutton, in what I assume is their version of good government principle, used low rent grubbiness to say the two men in question entered Australia under Labor’s watch.

His week wasn’t made any better when US think tank ‘Council on Foreign Relations’ declared him “the least competent leader of any rich democracy and appears unaware of how poorly he comes across at world events.”

“Abbott has proven so incapable of clear policy thinking, so unwilling to consult with even his own ministers and advisers, and so poor at communicating that he has to go,” wrote the CFR senior fellow Joshua Kurlantzick, a US specialist in south-east Asian politics.

Maybe good government by the captain of team Australia might right the ship.

If this wasn’t serious it might be considered funny. At a time in our history when the benefits of a never to be repeated resources boom have come to an end and new ideas are needed to re invigorate our economy. When some of the economic revenue answers stare us in the eye and new green industries await good government approval. When science, education and technology can provide many of the solutions. When indeed what is required is not only good government but good leadership we find ourselves being led by a man who has never really grown up.

When our voices are silent against unfair, deceitful and dishonest government we get what we deserve.

Good government was just another lie by an incompetent lying fool.

PS. For those who think this piece might be a little sarcastic for their taste I give an unconditional guarantee that is fully intended.



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  1. thevenerable1

    I can’t think there to be anyone who reads this blog who would hold such an attitude, John … but perhaps it isn’t quite sufficiently sarcastic.
    “Good government was just another lie by an incompetent lying fool.”
    You took the words right outa me mouth …

  2. Aortic

    What to do Lord John? DD?

  3. stephentardrew

    To have good government you need good people.

    This lot are so implicitly bad, immoral and corrupt so there is absolutely no hope of that.

    Welcome to government at its most cynical and self-serving.

    Where have all the good people gone?

    You can be rest sured there is no room for them in the Liberal National coalition.

  4. Awabakal

    “The conspiracy theorist in me somehow thinks that the Japan Trade Deal and building the submarines might be interwoven” – that is guaranteed, called ‘trade-off’.

    Wait until the SA govt hears that the “there is no secret deal with Japan” mumble is actually an agreed trade-off for a Free Trade Agreement.

    Another upper cut to your own jaw Abbott. Well done.

  5. Florence nee Fedup

    Sadly not sarcasm but truth. How much longer can this farce continue. Maybe after facing the wrath of their electorate, many might be willing to finish the job, they should have done last week, next Tuesday’s party room meeting.

  6. gpfloor

    “There was a Holocaust of jobs in Defence industries under members opposite … that’s what there was,” The cat, she has escaped the bag.

    Defence industries. What do they need to thrive? War. Terror. Or the imminent threat of either. Thus Tones’ rush to spill the beans on the contents of a certain video which is evidence in a certain case. The prisoners have a right… to be used for party political purposes. And for the ultimate benefit of “defence industries”.

    This government is so rancid, so bereft of human decency, so cold cocked by their own incompetence and lies, that a mere change in the head yahoo, will make little if any difference.

    Labor under Shorten doesn’t exactly thrill me, but the reality is, it is probably the best we can do for now.

  7. John Fraser


    "On Wednesday there were 40 youth leaders in the gallery for question time.."

    Should that be allowed ?

    If Australia as a country is trying to stop bullying should those youth leaders have been exposed to the pig Abbotts behaviour ?

    Or was it designed to show youth leaders how not to behave and to get them to vote against it.

    I'm trying to come to grips with how the N.S.W. police were able to make an alleged bust on terrorism then have the AFP step in and within 12 hours of the N.S.W. police bust give the pig Abbott a brief on the N.S.W. police bust as well as giving the pig Abbott N.S.W. State evidence that had not been presented to a N.S.W. Court as a Brief of Evidence.

    The real "Terror" is how Abbott has corrupted the Westminster system for his own personal ends.

    Sleeping with the AFP certainly carries a price ….. far more than the most expensive whore in Australia.

  8. Clean livin

    John, we are all being a bit hypercritical of our good PM. He has made it quite clear that none of the governments failings are actual failings! He has told you time and time again, that the problem lies with the people, in that they misinterpreted his words!

    Take for example the “no cuts to ABC, SBS, Health, Education and Pensions”. These Responsible Departments and organisation have not had their name changed, therefore it follows that there has been no change to ABC, etc.

    We, the people believed that he meant $$$ cuts, but that was our silly misunderstanding.

    With regards health, specifically, there has been no change, and there is not likely to be change. Once again, he has kept his word.

    Finally, we should rest assured that the PM is governing for all the people. He has told us, and his disciples, (15 times at least, and counting) that he will listen and consult.

    We should give him a fair go, what, with the Murdoch Press giving him bad times, the ABC continually embarrassing him, people not understanding the importance of foreign knighthood, etc, is it no wonder our PM lets loose on young backbenchers.

    Please, give the man time, and a bit more rope!

  9. Lyle Upson.

    looks like good government has turned out to be very funny comedy

  10. Kerri

    As for Gillian Triggs, one can’t help but wonder if she would recieve the same treatment if she were Geoffrey Triggs? Always a bully his misogyny is uncontrollable! I really want to see the media play games with his head! Pick him up on every little utterance. I am picturing something like the Picadores and Bandarilleros with the finale by the Matador. Except they will be killing off the bulls**t rather than the bull.

  11. DanDark

    It’s history repeating itself, tones said something along the same lines about Julia Gillard
    “Her father died of shame because she was his daughter” then it was ” this gov is dying of shame”
    to deflect something he dosnt feel like shame so he attacks others of not having any, it’s what’s called projecting
    Past behaviour predicts future behaviour, Tones is lacking in many human attributes and shame is what only other people suffer from but never him, he is one sick twisted individual and always has been…

  12. Kyran

    Interesting thought process. The opening sentence contained “Tony Abbott” and “good government”, so I naturally thought Mr Lord was channelling Rossleigh. Then I was surprised that you prematurely celebrated “the morphing” with such a nice drop, when, based on the cretin’s performance to date, you should have started with red vinegar. Regrettably, John Fraser pinged my next thought. Those 40 youth leaders should have right to legal counsel for a class action as to what they witnessed. Bullying would be only one aspect. Stephentardrew mentioned “to have good government, you need good people”. In furious agreement, I suggest we are good people, we deserve better. If you are going to self medicate in anticipation of the cretin’s next utterance, Annie’s Lane is a good drop, but you will need to buy it in bulk. I suggest cask wine for the minute. Take care

  13. JeffJL

    On Thursday with the PMs Holocaust and “cut their heads off” foo-pars did any body else notice his attack on the opposition accusing them of attacking Japan for questioning the subs deal?

  14. cartoonmick

    They are failing in “good” government on so many fronts. Compassion, respect, wisdom, trust, leadership, and so it goes.

    They’ve got no idea in how to be “up front” with the people of Australia, and are as bad as they accused the Labor Gov’t of being.

    We were promised early this week of a changed (=good) Gov’t.

    Has anything changed? See this cartoon . . . .



  15. crypt0

    Tony Abbott’s parliamentary revelations re alleged terror plot … apparently approved by the head of the AFP, but which prominent lawyers said were highly likely to prejudice any eventual court cases.
    I wonder what that epitome of legal expertise, the highly esteemed A-G thinks of all this?
    Did Tony ask him? Has anybody asked him?
    What a bloody circus !!

  16. Trevor Webster

    The sarcasm is richly deserved. The man is a real worry and the whole situation makes me feel very pessimistic about Australia`s future. I now believe that Tony Abbott has an idealogically-driven adversarial mindset to such an extent that he is incapable of fulfilling the role of Prime Minister and could be dangerous.

  17. stephentardrew

    Loved the Video Graham.

  18. Graham Houghton

    Yes, great satire. Problem is that the premise behind it – that you can elect a lunatic to power and they can then get away with murder – is a bit too close for comfort to the situation we find ourselves in right here, right now.

  19. Pingback: ‘Good government’ coming soon? – Australian Open Government Partnership Civil Society Network

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