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Good Government Starts Today … Or Tomorrow, But We’re Definitely Committed To It!

There’s an old cartoon where the couple in a car are speeding down the highway while there’s hundreds of cars stuck in traffic in a lane beside it. The wife says, “Look at the sign – we’re going the wrong way!” To which the husband replies, “Who cares, we’re making great time.”

Every few days someone in the current Abbott Government makes me remember that cartoon.

Of course, unlike the man in the cartoon, most members of the government seem completely unable to acknowledge that they are going the wrong way, even though that’s what the sign clear says.

“We’ve made great progress on the Budget!”

But the deficit is growing and it’s not predicted to get back to surplus any faster than Labor planned.

“But you’d be a fool to trust what Labor said. They promised to get it back to surplus a couple of years ago and they still haven’t done it!”

But you’re the government now; you’re the ones promising to have it back in surplus, then changing the date.

“Yes, but I’m not a quitter. I’m determined to see this through, as is the PM. He’s a nice bloke, you know. A terrific guy. Family man. Athlete. He pedals really fast. Firefighter. And he’s a fighter. He’ll get back up. Really, I can’t think of someone with more attractive daughters. No, he’s certainly the best person to lead the country. “

Of course, Hockey did acknowledge that having the highest unemployment since John Howard was PM wasn’t great, but attempted to argue that it could be worse. Basically, his point was that if there hadn’t been so many jobs created last year then unemployment would have been over seven per cent, so we were really, really lucky that we’d rid ourselves of that Labor Government who wouldn’t have grown the economy.

He went on to argue that the best possible way to improve the unemployment figures was to get the economy growing faster. Which, to me, is a bit like a mechanic saying that the best possible thing for your car is to get it moving again, because once it’s moving then you won’t have this problem with it stalling. And if it keeps stalling, well, that’s because it’s not moving. At this point, don’t be tempted to ask the mechanic how you’re supposed to get it moving again, because he’ll just tap his nose and tell you that he has a plan, and, though it may not be popular, the best thing you could do is to pay his bill.

In fact, that’s more or less what Hockey said:

“I’m trying to get it to shift and things that have been unpopular but necessary have helped.”

I’m still trying to work out how sacking large numbers of public servants is meant to stimulate the economy and lead to an increase in employment numbers in the short term, even if one accepts the rather dubious argument that it’ll help get the Budget back in surplus and once the Budget is back in surplus, all will be well. (And once the car starts moving, it’ll no longer be stalled. $739, please, for parts and labour!!)

But, of course, the week truly belongs to Tony Abbott. Now I’m not going to mention the war – in particular, I’ll say nothing about the holocaust; neither will I make cheap shots about him not being able to stop Japanese subs from coming to Australia. (Actually they’ve announced that it’s no longer the case that Adelaide can’t build them, and that the they’ll be allowed to put in a thing that nobody seems to know what to call, before the contract is given to the Japanese under the free trade deal that’ll lead to jobs, jobs, jobs in whatever part of the world we’re trading with, and now that we have a free trade deal, well, what benefits them, benefits us, because we’re all just one happy free trading partnership where we’ve managed to break down the borders. Actually, change that to barriers. We want STRONGER borders, but no barriers to the movement of money, trade and anything else you care to name, if your donation is big enough.)

So after we’ve had the barnacle clearing, the learning, back to work Tuesday, more learning, and good government starts today day, we were treated to the government’s attempt to bury a report by waiting six months then releasing it late in the day, only to have Tony attack the Human Rights Commission for all he’s worth (no, actually, probably a bit more than that!) A report that was apparently partisan against his government, yet Mr Abbott suggested only minutes later that he was doing the Labor Party a favour by not following its recommendations, because if he implemented a Royal Commission “… it would condemn them (the former Labor government).” Strange that a report that was so ‘blatantly partisan’ report should also condemn the Labor Government, but, never mind, Abbott’s attack on Gillian Trigg’s managed to create enough attention that the report didn’t go the way of so many reports: We’ve got it, thanks, we’ll read it and get back to you, unless it’s the Gonski Report which Christopher Pyne refused to read because there were no pictures.

But just to cap off the week, we had the sacking of Phil “Smiley” Ruddock. Undertaker Ruddock, the Father of the House (do we know who the mother is?), the third longest serving member ever, Uncle Phil, the Liberal Party Whip was sacked. Make no mistake, Abbott wasn’t going to give him the dignity of resigning to promote generational change, or because he wanted to spend more time nursing a family member’s ingrown toenail, the PM made it clear that the decision was his. (I don’t think that he added and his alone, because that may have necessitated another announcement about how he intended to be more consultative in future, and people tend to grow a little cynical when you announce the same intention to change on a weekly basis, instead of the monthly basis that we’ve grown used to.)

Yep, I’ve heard people argue that the term, “forward progress” is a tautology, because you can’t have “backward progress”. That, of course, was before the Abbott Government.




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  1. Peter Ball

    yep Abbott sacked Ruddock on Credlin’s advice , she runs the Government – make no bones about it , this is a case of Abbott and his revenge – the sooner Abbott is gone the better the country will be the same goes for Hockey too

  2. Loz

    Absolutely agree.

  3. Pappinbarra Fox

    That last paragraph is a classic! I am going to steal it and use it everywhere. Particularly at all the toff functions I go to. Yeehaa!

  4. stephentardrew

    He actually sacked one of the respected heroes (choke) of conservatism.

    The mind boggles at the ineptitude of this lot.

    Ruddock today Triggs tomorrow, just watch out you back bench trouble makes.

    Message? Next comes dis-endorsement.

    This is undoubtedly a case of egos gone absolutely mad reaching the level of self-destructive myopia and dictatorial absolutism.

    There are none so blind…

    See what change and listening to the people does.

    Makes things a bloody sight worse.

  5. CMMC

    Can’t wait for the next sitting of parliament. Wonder what gaffe/insult he is going to make next.

    Situation-comedy for a government.

  6. Adnil

    There’s a proverb – while the word Is yet unspoken, you are the master of it, when once it is spoken, it is the master of you. Even a fish wouldn’t get in to trouble if it kept it’s mouth shut. Abbott has to go!!

  7. Matters Not

    Next comes dis-endorsement.

    Perhaps. But what we are witnessing is probably the Great Unhinging. (With apologies to Possum.)

    Let the Great Unhinging begin

    But one hopes he stays right where he is.

  8. stephentardrew

    Here I was thinking Borat was a fictional character.

  9. stephentardrew

    Damn Matters Not I really miss Possum.

  10. Sad sack

    Peter’s principal is an affliction that, with the power of today’s media, is exceptionally cruel on politicians.
    Once inflicted with the disease the pollie is constantly reminded of the symptoms.
    Print, radio and TV are ever vigilant for any error and are armed with files that can instantly embellish a pimple into a boil that they, in rampant exploitation, take great care to expose and lance over and over.
    Fortunately it only affects men, like the poor old Abbutt and, as the disease has no noticeable effect on them, internally, it has the effect of allowing the victim to continue daily life on the job, oblivious to the train wreck he presents.
    As an illustration, the mind of victims focus on that which makes them happy, so when an opportunity arises to feel good, the best word available springs from the frontal lobe to the mouth in the form of a gaffe.
    Words such as, suppository, Canadia, shit happens and, recently, holocaust are interspersed with self praise and forceful reinforcement of power like the sacking of Ruddock and the re-surfacing of the rumoured attack on, his erstwhile shining example, Wyatt Roy, who had suggested that the rabbott ‘apologise a la Peter Beattie and move on’.
    Still that is all water under the bridge because now that Ruddock has the time to prepare abbutt’s redundancy papers, the ex-PM will soon be free to pursue his other interests.
    Lucky for him, the payout will be enormous because he is clearly not suited for a job in diplomacy.
    Although he has appointed many people, like Sophie and Tim, to plum positions, it is unlikely, any of them will resign in his favour.
    Murdoch may be moved to give him a desk somewhere out of harms way?
    What ever he does, I expect him to maintain his standard and to be equally as vindictive, negative and inept as he has been as PM.

  11. stephentardrew

    Abbot reminds me of the captain of the Costa Concordia.

    I wonder if he will get the same treatment.

    Hope so.

  12. diannaart

    Ruddock was the easiest, most expendable target for Abbott to release that pulsing blood vessel building up in his reptile brain.

  13. Awabakal

    Is Abbott going down the plug hole?

    You bet you are; you bet I am.

  14. David

    This new Govt that began after Abbotts near death experience last Monday, died within hours and has been confirming the death daily.
    Today a further group has atacked Abbott and his criminal mate posing as the AG Brandis.
    Having the AMA scrubbing their hands of his GP Tax and today the Australian Bar Assoc and Law Council have prosecuted him


    He will not see this month through as PM and Brandis must follow him.

  15. Anne Jones

    Abbot is just a want to be dictator..he has no vision for this country, only vision for his own personal glory and betterment..oh and free university education for his children and the so called ‘scholarship awarded based on merit’..that his daughter was awarded…hahahaha, his extremely far right liberalist views are so far wrong that even his ministers and many liberal supporters are shocked and becoming bemused at this twit’s antics and behaviour. The problem with liberalism is the fact that not every person is able to fend, earn, work and pay for themselves..it is an unfortunate fact of life..even tony gaffe abbot has not earned his placeas prime minister..all throughout his life he has been given things without earning and sucking up others clackers to get what he wants, even belittling himself..I for the life of me do not understand how he became prime minister, even if it was by default.I am not a liberal supporter but even John Howard..abbotts idle..had empathy and treated pensioners with respect but this guy is unreal…these neoliberal bastards do not give a damn about the public or this country..it is all about what they can get..I guarantee most were born with the silver spoon syndrome. Nobody expects to be automatically entitled to something except these liberal goons ..Oh how I would adore seeing this idiot and his cronies live the way many are forced to live.I wonder if they would enjoy having to feed their children plain rice as in the poorest third world countries..in many homes in Australia its becoming a familiar pattern..The age of entitlement should be over for these bastards and their free travel, meals, private charters and ridiculous retirement pensions for life they receive..I think this dickhead Abbott only got into politics to claim this and his free lifestyle, which he enjoys now after a life of kissing ass to get where he is…Mr Tough needs a good punch in the head and if things don’t change, I believe there will be anarchy in this country regarding this moron and his moronic team as people will soon have a gutful. This democratic peaceful society that once was will not be peaceful anymore.

  16. Mike

    Wow Anne Jones,
    I sure hope you’ve got some more comments up ya sleeve. Oh and the term clacker was a cracker.

  17. Deena Bennett

    How did one of the two major parties in Australia become hostage to such an arrogant bully boy, and group of self-centered, empty headed idealogues? Where does it go from here?

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