Greg Sheridan’s eulogy of the Abbott Prime Ministerial era in The Australian yesterday, says a lot about his loyalty to a close friend, but little by way of a believable appeasement for what was probably the worst performance by any national Australian leader in our short history.
Sheridan is brave in predicting that, “History will be much kinder to the Abbott prime ministership than today’s analysis would suggest.”
History, I suspect, will do no such thing. And why should it?
For Sheridan to put stopping the boats at the top of Abbott’s list of achievements denies the possibility that unaccounted-for bodies lie at the bottom of the sea as a direct result of a policy enactment that forced boats back without caring for what happened next.
Sheridan claims that no lives were lost with this policy. How could he possibly know that?
To suggest that the “crisis engulfing Europe would have engulfed Australia” is pure speculation and takes advantage of a massive human tragedy to accord Abbott a dubious honour.
His biggest mistake was his blatant disregard for election promises. No matter what he thought personally about the 2014 budget, to think that it would not be seen for the deceptive, vindictive and one-sided document it was, suggests either contempt for the Australian people or ignorance beyond explanation. Either way it was the mother of all blunders.
Abbott’s loyalty to the Queen might well have been his motivation to both restoring knighthoods and awarding Prince Phillip one, but in doing so, he forgot which country he was supposed to be serving.
The issue of Abbott’s dual citizenship has been raging on social media for two years without raising an eyelid in the mainstream media. If ever one’s divided loyalty was made self-apparent, surely it was the Prince Phillip fiasco.
Several attempts made to have Abbott produce his RN Renunciation Form to show that he had renounced his British citizenship have met with a brick wall. Why? Surely if he did renounce, he would be happy to show it.
In considering his future, if he chooses to stay on, Abbott should know that there is a long line of Warringah constituents who will be waiting to challenge his re-election immediately the poll result is declared.
Sheridan says, “Generally in foreign policy, Abbott’s record is outstanding.” Really? He was a laughing stock among most international observers and severely criticised by the United Nations for human rights abuses.
Committing Australia to join the fight against ISIS was of no consequence and the subject of questionable motivation. Worse still, it could well motivate some mindless numbskull into taking unilateral action here in response.
But Sheridan’s comments about Abbott’s handling of the economy were really just too precious. He says, “On economic policy, Abbott also racked up significant achievements.”
This is where I fell off the chair.
Our economy today is basket case of failures compared with its position when Labor were ousted. I dare not compare it with the conservative rhetoric leading up to the last election for fear of falling off my chair again.
But the 22 economic indicators that the Coalition claimed they would improve including employment, debt, deficit, taxes, productivity, wages, infrastructure, income and many others are all in a worse state now than when Abbott was elected.
Blaming the media won’t stand the pub test either. Sheridan says, “He has been vilified by the Left for many years and could never expect a fair shake from much of the media.” Much of the media? Just what is the level of dominance the Murdoch press has in Australia?
The Left has been relentless, yes and most of it displayed in social media but that has simply been a counter balance to the extraordinary bias shown by The Sydney Daily Telegraph and The Australian.
Ironically, the current mood on social media seems to suggest Malcolm Turnbull is the new Diablo, only this time the rants are coming from the Right. Strange times, indeed.
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