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Who needs experts when we have Tony Abbott

If there is one thing Tony Abbott hates, it’s consensus. He would much rather have a fight than fix a problem, as shown by his speech yesterday to the IPA where he said Australia “plainly, is not working as it should” and that “we are letting ourselves down”.

So what are his suggestions?

Whilst bemoaning the vulnerability of political parties to populism, he went for that most populist of ideas that slashing immigration would reduce pressure on housing prices and congestion in our cities.

But at what cost?

When he was Prime Minister, his government commissioned a Productivity Commission inquiry into the issue. That inquiry did find that high migration rates put pressure on housing costs, but the inquiry also found that maintaining the migration intake helped the economy overall. If the rate of net overseas migration was cut to zero, the modelling said, the cost to the economy would be about $7000 a year per person.

Glenn Withers, professor of economics in the Crawford School at Australian National University in Canberra, said “We know it has a substantial economic expansionary affect. We would not have weathered the GFC as well as we did without a strong expansionary migration program. What is very clear from the evidence is that they contribute more to the public purse than they take out from the public purse.” One of the reasons is that migrants tend to be younger than the population as a whole.

Head of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe, said “Our immigration program I see as a source of national strength. To give that advantage up just so that we can take some pressure off housing prices, I find kind of problematic.” The “best” housing affordability policy, Lowe said, would be investment in urban transport infrastructure. This investment would increase access to cheaper land, and provide the amenity needed as cities become more dense.

The other obvious solution is to remove the tax incentives that skew investment towards property and away from more productive enterprises but, with the rate at which government politicians are building up their property portfolios, that is unlikely to happen while the Coalition is in power.

Abbott then took aim at Turnbull’s success in passing his needs-based funding model for education saying “The risk with compromises designed to end policy ‘wars’ is that the war doesn’t actually end, the battleground just shifts; and in the meantime, principles have become negotiable, and the whole political spectrum has moved in the wrong direction.”

No mention of the benefit to children, just the detriment to his political wars.

But it was on energy policy where he really let fly. He wants to freeze the renewable energy target at 15 per cent, to have a moratorium on new wind farms, and for the federal government to go it alone and build a new coal-fired power station.

According to Abbott, a government that’s “serious about keeping the lights on should get another big coal-fired power station into action as soon as possible”, and be prepared to “go it alone” if “political risk means the market won’t do it”.

What he seems incapable of understanding is that it isn’t “political risk” that is holding back new investment in coal – it is economically unviable.

But Tony doesn’t care about that. He just wants to use rising energy prices as a weapon against Labor.

“Maintaining that Labor will put power prices up and that the Coalition will put power prices down will be much harder, though, if our renewable-energy target goes from 23 per cent to 42 per cent, as flagged in [the] Finkel [review],” he said. “We should stop any further subsidised renewable power and freeze the Renewable Energy Target at the current level of about 15 per cent.”

This ignores all the expert evidence that wind and solar power are now cheaper than power from new coal plants and that business as usual will lead to continued price hikes. Energy Australia and Origin agree, urging for Dr Finkel’s recommendations to be translated into action.

For those of us who hoped that Abbott would retire gracefully, he had another message.

“I’m in no hurry to leave public life because we need strong Liberal conservative voices now, more than ever.”

Perhaps someone should remind Tony that it is not his choice alone. It is up to the people of Warringah as to how long we must endure this pugilistic wrecker. Here’s hoping they will put the well-being of our country before Tony’s selfish mission to bring Turnbull down.

 

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32 comments

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  1. Peter F

    Kaye,
    I have been saying for some time that the world will not be in a better place while Murdoch remains: I now feel I must include Abbott in that claim. He has been the most destructive person in Australian politics since his first campaign against Turnbull.

  2. Peter F

    Kaye,
    I have reason to believe that there is more we need to know about TA’s departure from the Seminary. Do you have any means of delving into this?

  3. Kaye Lee

    Peter, a few years ago I wrote this about Tony’s time at the seminary which sheds some light on it.

    Seminary similarity

    The Bishop of Broken Bay wrote to Tony saying “Along with others, I admire several qualities which you obviously have shown. However, there are some radical attitudes about Church and priesthood … which will have to be worked through before you would be accepted for the diocese or profit from seminary formation.”

    Tony was asked to see a psychologist who concluded that “he had developed an inability to be really intimate and that without the warmth and trust of real intimacy he would find life in the celibate priesthood too frustrating and lacking in peace”.

    Tony said “it was really the seminary staff who needed psychological investigation”

  4. Terry2

    Seeing Abbott spouting the IPA manifesto from their bunker – the camera didn’t pan the audience, that would have been revealing – was a back to the future moment and quite disturbing.

    For those not aware of the IPA manifesto that the Abbott government were supposed to implement , this is it :

    https://archive.ipa.org.au/publications/2080/be-like-gough-75-radical-ideas-to-transform-australia/pg/7

    Clearly the IPA want to get rid of Turnbull and reinstate their puppet but in the meantime they want to lock Turnbull into a right-wing dominated Cabinet hence the move to unseat Pyne and replace him with Dutton which would mean that Dutton would become Leader of the House and responsible for the management of government business : a very real threat to our democratic arrangements such as they are under this government.

    By the way, do we know where the guy is who is biffing Abbott in the photo ; his work is unfinished.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Terry, the guy in the photo is Nicholas Stafford-Deitsch. He became a boxer to cope with an abusive stepfather.

    https://www.countryandtownhouse.co.uk/culture/nick-stafford-deitsch/

    Re Abbott….”He was crude, with very little technique,” says Stafford-Deitsch, then the university’s best fighter. “He wasn’t a huge puncher. He hardly ever touched me.”

    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/static/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2013/8/14/1376440496030/tony-abbott-oxford-boxing-004.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=b642fd84f6dfcf4b78e9ce0b3766c39e

  6. Freethinker

    The reality is that Abbott will be irrelevant without the support of some powerful people inside and outside the party.
    How are they?

  7. Blair

    Message to the good burghers of Warringah
    Please rid us of this fool, we are counting on you.

  8. Freethinker

    Blair, he will move to Qld and will be set again.

  9. Keitha Granville

    Waringah it’s all on you. This fool doesn’t represent you, he represents the IPA. Work it out, dump him – then he can go and join Pauiline

  10. helvityni

    Is it Abbott’s birthday today, two excellent posts on AIM in his ‘honour’…

    I’m prepairing my bunker in fear of a Dutton Arrival…

  11. stephengb2014

    Kaye Lee,
    You never cease to amaze me with your insightful writings, please please enter politics, you would be devestating to those numnuts we currently have to suffer.

  12. townsvilleblog

    Freethinker, he would have to move to south west Qld to be in the company of those who would agree with his every word.

  13. Freethinker

    townsvilleblog, when the end of Pauline and ON come there will be a good opportunity to feel that hole in the QLD political landscaping.

  14. Matters Not

    Seems to me that we need many more Liberal Party parliamentary members like Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott. Dutton, for example, is an intellectual giant. He crosses the divide between the Legislative, Executive and Judicial spheres and does so without even a backward glance. Think of the savings when we no longer need a Judiciary nor a Legislature – just an Executive. Efficient and effective.

    Abbott, of course. must be returned to Cabinet. Rather than pis@ing from a distance he needs to be much closer to the action so his aim is much more accurate. Dutton for PM with Abbott as his Deputy. The Dream Team .

  15. helvityni

    stephengb2014, I have suggested the same, no doubt many others.

    MN, keep on dreaming; I’m having nightmares.

  16. Peter F

    Thanks Kaye, That sheds a little light on the subject. My source suggested that there were aspects of his departure which the Australian people should know about: intriguing.

  17. kristapet

    The “Dream Team” ( Dutton for PM with Abbott as his Deputy. The Dream Team!) is dangerous, noxious, to our health and should come with dire Health warnings.The very idea is sending me vomiting all the way to the bathroom!

  18. wam

    it is hard not to admire the power of faith that emanates from this man. A faith that allows him (and most catholics) to accept that he is opus dei and cannot lie.
    If ever a man needed his reality to be publicly shown it is the rabbott.
    Will shorten, trumball, albo, pyne, all catholics, challenge their faith???

    I love my rabbottian friends who can support the notion that Gillard and Obama did nothing and that the rabbott and trump have undone what they achieved,
    ergo: the new boys have done something by undoing the nothing done by the previous government.

    Helvityni,, don’t worry, no coppers have made the cut. One got close and was shunted to GG. leaving the chance of dutton as that of macbeth and murder is more difficult these days.

  19. jim

    A good post it takes something to get me to even read about Mrabbit but he is the one that ordered the 52 extra F35s anyways well Australia will be called on in the next few months, to “donate” to the USAs Syria attack it’s part of the Bush’s New World Order agenda given to them (US Politicians) by Bush Senior way way back.
    I’m not alarmed hell no this could be WW3.
    Back to mrabbit, I heard he call himself a genius on Fox, wTF why would a genius sack over 300 scientists from our defense force dunno mrabbit did it ask him, Please explain! mrabbit.

  20. Wayne Turner

    Abbott = Delusional,serial lying moron.

    The only thing Abbott should be leading,is being a test subject in a medical experiment on people that are “delusional” and are “out of touch” with their abilities.(Lack of in Abbott’s case.A known hopeless failure as PM.)

  21. Kyran

    Thankfully, Ms Lee, the NSW government has a solution to the abbott problem.

    “A new phone and online support service for those who are worried people they know may be at risk of radicalisation or violent extremism has finally been launched.”

    Perhaps the article would have been better if it included the phone number. Abbott could get the help he so desperately needs sooner rather than later.

    “During that time, governments around the world have been under pressure to do more to combat radicalisation, as low-tech terrorist attacks hit Melbourne, London and several European cities.”

    Let’s be honest about this. You couldn’t possibly get lower tech than abbott. He regards it as one of his virtues.

    “He said it was important to set up a service that families felt comfortable calling without fearing the consequences.
    “This is a support line, not a report line — this is to provide support and advice to individuals who are concerned,” Mr Elliot said.”

    We need not fear for the outcome on poor abbott. Hopefully, he can be supported and it will stop him being reported.

    “The Government said the phone line was equipped to deal with concerns about different kinds of radicalisation, including people whose relatives are involved in far-right or religious extremism.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-28/helpline-for-relatives-of-violent-extremists-launched-in-nsw/8658422

    Could there possibly be a better candidate for reporting? The important thing for NUPH-NUPH’s (Needing Urgent Psychiatric Help) is that they get the help they so urgently need. Come on, Warringah residents. Do the right thing. Please? Pretty please?
    Thankyou Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  22. havanaliedown

    Politics does attract some curious characters, I will admit.

    Latham – is there a more hated figure by the Left today? Back in 2004 he was hailed by all and sundry as the greatest leader since Gough. Very unfairly dumped with the catalyst being his refusal to appear in the media declaring how terrible the asian Tsunami was. The Latham Diaries is a fantastic read, especially in context of his “anti-Leftist” blooming of late.
    Rudd – clever but unhinged. Shelved his glorious ETS. Sacked by his own party.
    Gillard – AWU puppet, with a very questionable conduct in her past. Sacked by Slater and Gordon. Ultimately sacked by her own party.
    Rudd Redux. Entertaining. Sacked by Australia.
    Big Power Bill Shorten: the emptiest suit the AWU and CFMEU puppeteers could have chosen. Takes gifts from employers whilst selling out his “precious” union members. Looks like a leader only due to Turnbull’s terminal weakness.

  23. kristapet

    The curious politics of coal:
    This enlightening podcast reveals why we do not want new coal power stations
    [audio src="https://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/radio/local_brisbane/audio/201706/aaj-2017-06-27.mp3" /]
    How wrong Tony Abbott is!

  24. Ken

    This pugilistic wrecker has got to go.

  25. Jack Straw

    Abbott was never going away. He’s a crazed fundamentalist.Backed every day by the equally crazed Alan Jones.I am so glad these guys love free abuse.Though political subterfuge now enters the ABC and Radio National. I heard the latest Big Ideas program on RN.They had a very young sycophant from HR Nicholls Society a free market think tank; reading out propaganda that could easily have been authored by Alan Jones or any other IPA hack. Interesting Alan had the same spray on the same subject today.I am sure he host’s tea parties with pep talks with the Bring back The Tony Abbott secret militia team.

  26. totaram

    “”He was crude, with very little technique,” says Stafford-Deitsch.

    He should have pointed out that Abbott closes his eyes at crucial moments as seen in both the photographs. That is a serious shortcoming in a boxer. No amount of technique will overcome that flaw.

    I’m with MN about the dream team. It would be nice if both the top honchos in the govt. lost their seats at the next election, along with many of the other luminaries so beloved of this blog.

  27. diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    Thanks for the link to Stafford-Deitsch, a shame he actually stood in the same ring as the waste of oxygen that is Abbott.

    Abbott’s technique is to close his eyes, windmill his arms and hope he lands on something – he boxes the same way.

  28. economicreform

    People like Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce are stuck in the past, and are incapable of understanding or embracing the changes that are inevitably occurring in energy markets around the world. Like King Midas, they are foolishly attempting to resist the tide. In doing so, all they will achieve by their actions is to inflict damage on Australia’s economic performance.

  29. Terry2

    econo

    I think that should be King Canute (Cnut) but I get your point.

  30. guest

    Oh, havanaliedown, look over there! So short sighted. Too much fake news.

    Latham – political opinionista following the money. Who cares?
    Rudd – saw Abbott coming with his anti-ETS/Carbon “Tax” lies (Credlin has confessed the “tax” was not a tax and the campaign against Gillard was a fraud.) Rudd was ahead of the electorate who are still in a fog about the reality of Climate Change. Thanks, deniers.
    Gillard- “puppet”? Hardly. “questionable conduct”? Never proven, not even in the Union Royal Commission.
    Shorten – “selling out his ‘precious’ union members”? Recently praised by business leaders for his union role. Something about compromise, something Abbott knows nothing about. And it was Shorten who nearly rolled the “terminal” Turnbull in the last election. Now Turnbull is stealing Labor policies – and getting the bullets for being too far to the Left. LOL.

    Abbott? A proven failure driven by delusions of grandeur.

  31. totaram

    Guest: You shouldn’t bother with this troll. Waste of electrons and your time.

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