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Hypothetically Speaking, Tony Abbott Could Have Won The Election!

When one is speaking about hypotheticals, I’m always reminded of the fact that hypothetically nothing is impossible, so, hypothetically speaking, I may be Prime Minister after the next election.

Granted, I’m not planning to stand for election, but why should I let a little thing like that stop me. Who knows – this piece may go viral and something I write in the next few minutes is so clear, so articulate, so innovative, that both Liberal and Labor decide that they need to put aside their differences and both support me to be PM because only a man of my genius, my insight, my charisma…

Ok, I better stop before I start to sound like Tony Abbott.

Yes, we’ve all had a good laugh about his little piece in Quadrant defending his achievements and complaining that he had a hostile media, as well as “a hysterical opposition” and an uncooperative Senate and disloyalty within his own party. I’m glad he stopped short of actually suggesting that Julia Gillard never had to deal with these things, because then we’d have been sure that he was auditioning for a role as a scriptwriter for Clarke and Dawe and not just someone still going through Denial in one of the stages of grieving!

Reading Abbott’s latest foray into the public arena, I couldn’t help but remember watching the results of the 2002 Victorian election. Labor had managed to depose Jeff Kennett at the previous election by forming a minority government with three Independents. A few months before the election, Robert Doyle had successfully challenged the Liberal Opposition leader, arguing that under Dennis Napthine, the Liberals were heading for an annihilation. When the results came in and the Liberals had their worst Victorian election result ever and Labor were elected in a landslide, I remarked to my wife, “Lucky Doyle took over, because imagine how bad the result would have been if Napthine was still leader!”

Of course my comment was ridiculous, and meant to highlight the pomposity of Doyle’s earlier assertion that he’d be able to save the party. There was no way anybody could have done any worse, given the Liberals were struggling to hold on to “safe” seats. But that’s the thing when you comparing what might have happened with what actually happened, you can say anything you like because nobody can prove you wrong no matter how silly you’re assertion is.

Whatever your feelings about Julia Gillard, you have to give her credit for not staying around like Banquo’s ghost. Neither has she announced that had they not replaced her with Rudd before the 2013 election, she would have won. And, if at any time she lists the achievements of her government, she’s comparing them to an incoming Liberal government, not her own party.

Abbott, however, is implying that there was no need to have replaced him. While he promised not to snipe or undermine, he seems to have just as much trouble keeping that promise as the promises he never intended to keep. He refuses to gracefully move on to the job offered to him, prefering, like the dumped ex-boyfriend, to hang around outside the house of his beloved waiting till she comes to her senses and realises that what he was doing was for her benefit too – even if she didn’t like it at the time.

Unable to accept that anything he did was wrong, he argues that his achievements will be judged correct by history, completely overlooking the fact that there were none. And when he said, “Overall, it was a fundamentally fair budget because it sought to end the inter-generational theft involved in piling up debts for our children and grandchildren to meet”, he overlooks that failing to spend on infrastructure or education merely piles up future bills for our children and grandchildren to meet. It’s like not spending borrowing to spend money to repair the hole in the roof because you don’t want your kids to have debt and just leaving it for them to pay for when your gone. I suppose they could just learn to live in a leaky house, but let’s not get too bogged down in analogies.

Abbott then goes on to demonstrate a rather strange world view by suggesting that he and Smoking Joe had been “careful not to break promises” (?!?!), and that one of the difficulties was his “no surprises” commitment given there had been no pre-election debate about university deregulation or the Medicare co-payment. I guess when you do something like simultaneously promise no surprises and no changes to things that you intend to make changes to, then it’s hard to keep both promises but, hey, Tony thinks that he did it!

When he first became PM, I wrote a piece talking about Tony Abbott and the poem “Ozymandias”. The poem concerns a once mighty ruler whose statue has been reduced by the passage of time to just his legs and the inscription: “Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.” Given that this is all that’s left, then the inscription is ironic. However, thinking back on it, it’s a strangely appropriate poem, given that now Abbott is saying much the same thing, but sadly for him, there are no works of greatness, no achievements. He’s not only left nothing of value like some of Whitlam’s achievements or even Gillard’s NDIS, but it’s hard to think of anything that was worth talking about at the time.

So now we’re left with Turnbull who is likely to be one of a great prime ministers and reign longer than Howard, according to a columnist a few weeks ago. As I wrote the other day, Turnbull’s supposed popularity seems a triumph of shiny shoes over substance. So far, he’s achieved nothing and even his timid toe in the water on tax reform is met with a sudden withdrawal and a whine that the water’s too cold.

“Removing negative gearing will wreck values,” he screeches, without explaining why.

I would have thought that if the market relies on such artificial tax concessions then it’s not the sort of free market that we expected to know and love. I mean, surely the market will adjust so that the values are more realistic.

Or do the Liberals only believe in markets when it suits them?


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  1. francesco

    Abbott is still disillusional…..
    That’s all that need to be said

  2. kerri

    I hope he takes another tilt at the leadership! It can only do the country good to see what a whining bunch of self interested twats the LNP are. Yesterday I was considering visiting the Facebook pages of Nernardi or Christensen and suggesting they throw their hats in the ring. The schadenfreude is delicious!

  3. Roscoe

    but he stopped the boats, well sort of, well maybe not, but he thinks he did

  4. Shaun Newman

    He did stop the boats, that’s the only promise he kept.

  5. Deidre Zanker

    The boats are still coming, they are just being turned back to from whence they came. We only have Dutton’s word that none of them have sunk and no one has drowned.

  6. flohri1754

    It would seem that they didn’t “stop the boats” …. they just have turned many back ….. and put a reporting blackout on that …..

  7. Douglas Pye

    Meanwhile … back at the Ranch ? …? behind the deep ‘hush’, do i detect the (faint) sound of nail biting ?

    With the b-rough pineapple exit stage left, will there be a consequent ( AFP) ripple effect come to bear on up to three other ‘players’ ? …. tho’ manyana seems prevalent!.

    Noticed on the Q’ld ‘front’ s.j. Jones appears set to enrich the legal fraternity and unravel some fanoogling in $$ MONEY $$ circles, relating to the Grantham flooding …. a Federal Minister’s name rates a mention.

    Seriously! … some of this could have easily contributed to Jacqui L’s outburst at ‘ dinner’ the other night!

  8. gangey1959

    Stand. Crowd-fund if you need to.
    Let “We the Voter” decide if you get elected.

  9. Graeme Henchel

    Why did Abbott get the Arse?

    Was it justice, was it Karma?
    Was it Murdoch, was it Palmer?
    Was it lying and conceit?
    Was it backbenchers fear of defeat?
    Was it Mathias and Joe’s cigars?
    Was it because we’ve stopped making cars?
    Was it climate change denial?
    Was it putting Julia on trial?
    Was it the daughter’s scholarship prize?
    Was it debt and deficit lies?
    Was it removing the Carbon Tax?
    Was it trying to give the RET the axe?
    Was it cutting Foreign aid?
    Was it being so retrograde?
    Was it the Minister for Women joke?
    Was it all the promises broke?
    Was it Brandis’s bigots rights?
    Was it prancing around in lycra tights?
    Was it cutting the SBS and the ABC?
    Was it costing more for university?
    Was it imposing a GP tax?
    Was it the disregard of facts?
    Was it the ridiculous Dames and Knights?
    Was it the threats and talk of fights?
    Was it Joe’s “lifters and leaners”?
    Was it cutting the pay of parliament’s cleaners?
    Was it punishing pensioners and the unemployed?
    Was it the total moral void?
    Was it the embarrassing G20 address?
    Was it the ongoing budget mess?
    Was it the book-launch travel rort?
    Was it knighting the Queen’s consort?
    Was it use of the sham inquiry stunt?
    Was it the weasel words of Hunt?
    Was it the 800 Million given to News?
    Was it longer unemployment queues?
    Was it a budget most unfair?
    Was it too much body hair?
    Was it nobbling the NBN?
    Was it lying again and again?
    Was it exploiting terrorist threats?
    Was it job applications of Eric Abetz?
    Was it the sex worker wink?
    Was it being too slow to think?
    Was it Joe’s “poor people don’t drive”
    Was it the polls taking a dive?
    Was it the surprises and constant excuses?
    Was it asylum seeker abuses?
    Was it the work of Peta and the IPA?
    Was it repeating slogans day after day?
    Was it the dog whistle of “Team Australia”?
    Was it the pungent smell of failure?
    Was it wimping Putin’s shirt front?
    Was it because Christopher Pyne is a pain?
    Was it Arthur’s memory at ICAC?
    Was it giving Mr Burns the sack?
    Was it ever declining polls?
    Was it funding Internet trolls?
    Was it Newman’s election loss?
    Was it the submarine double cross?
    Was it saying the “Adults are in charge”?
    Was it making the deficit more large?
    Was it the whole damn useless crew?
    Was it the ties of bogus blue?
    Was it the hubris and the swagger?
    Was it Malcolm and Julie’s dagger?
    Was it saying he would change?
    Was it becoming even more deranged?
    Was it eating an onion raw?
    Was it the data-retention law?
    Was it exploiting Dr Karl?
    Was it frequent smirking snarls?
    Was it the daughter’s low rent at Kirribilli?
    Was it “Fixer” Pyne being silly?
    Was it acting like a bar room yob?
    Was it offering Bjorn Lomborg a job?
    Was it saying “I suppose we must grieve”
    Was it the constant attempts to deceive?
    Was it ditching his gold plated PPL mess?
    Was it then making Labor’s PPL less?
    Was it saying the deficit is no longer trouble?
    Was it increasing your own deficit double?
    Was it a second budget based on deception?
    Was it threatening to call an early election?
    Was it trying to get Gillian Triggs out?
    Was it Dutton acting like a Brussel sprout?
    Was it “get a good job that pays good money”
    Was it laughing at things that just weren’t funny?
    Was it all the talk of double dipping?
    Was it cabinet leaks a constant dripping?
    Was it denying marriage equality?
    Was it Brandis reading poetry ?
    Was it paying people smugglers to turn around?
    Was it the dead cat bounce the polls have found?
    Was it saying how much he hated wind farms?
    Was it lying each day without any qualms?
    Was it Brandis controlling the Arts?
    Was it the emission of smelly brain farts?
    Was it the false outrage at QandA?
    Was it telling ministers to stay away?
    Was it Bishop’s ride in a chopper?
    Was it cos Abbott did nothing to stop her?
    Was it Shorten’s conference revival?
    Was it party room fears for their own survival?
    Was it because we never got the 550 bucks?
    Was it that increasing the GST sucks?
    Was it Dyson being a party pooper?
    Was it trying to nobble industry super?
    Was it wanting to bomb in Syria?
    Was it the Border Force hysteria?
    Was it saying that Nazis are better than ISIS?
    Was it trying to score from the refugee crisis?
    Was it jobs threatened with China free trade?
    Was it leaving 7:30 viewers dismayed?
    Was it rumours of a cabinet reshuffle?
    Was it the Dutton sick joke kerfuffle?
    Was it putting a creationist nutter in Canning?
    Was it jumping the shark more often than Fanning?
    Was it using a slogan six words long?
    Was it getting everything consistently wrong?
    Was it all the renewed challenge talking?
    Was it a minister saying he’s a dead man walking?
    Was it cos Turnbull and Morrison colluded?
    Was it because he was incompetent and deluded?

    Why did Abbott get the shove?
    The answer is, all of the above.

  10. Rhonda

    Oh, Graham. A statue to go with your poem – now, this we oughta crowd fund

  11. Rhonda

    ahem *Graeme. Sorry, really should get your name right if it’s going to be written in stone

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    Love it

  13. Dunno

    Not sure why people feel the need to keep talking about abbott like he has some sort of relevancy.

  14. Alan Baird

    The above article nails it. The only window of opportunity Tony Abbott should be allowed is 5 minutes back in his parliamentary office to bestow a Duchy upon the Queen. I fear she could feel neglected when compared with Sir Prince Phillip. Or perhaps a nice medal would help.

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