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An open letter to Tony Abbott

Independent journalists are finding it difficult to keep up with the supply of stupidity this government has been feeding us. If Tony Abbott could only keep himself and his Ministers away from a microphone – even for only a day or two – we could all draw breath, suggests Damian Smith.

To The Member for Warringah,

Mr Abbott I wish to invoke the rite of parlay.

I am a writer, comedian, satirist and social commentator. I am an environmentalist, a socialist, an intellectual and a free thinker. In short I am as diametrically opposed to your regime as you can possibly get. And oppose you I do, regularly, loudly and sometimes vehemently. But I write this missive under a banner of peace.

I wish to propose a ceasefire. I would like a period of calm – a month, a week, even a day would be something – where I don’t have to devote my spare time to applying logic and reason in the opposition of your quote/unquote “policies” and you don’t have to spend every waking moment trying to destroy human civilisation. A time where neither of us appears in public espousing our ideologies, where we can spend that time on other projects. A brief recess for us to catch our breath.

Because frankly Mr Abbott, I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I simply cannot keep up. I’m one of the most prolific comedy writers on the scene and even I’m struggling to swim.

For the last two weeks I’ve been trying to write an article on one of your obscene, disastrous and destructive policies and I have not accomplished anything. Because as soon as I get two paragraphs in, you or someone else in your cabinet does something so remarkably stupid or obscene that it takes precedence over the issue I was originally trying to address. Then I begin writing about that and something even worse happens. It’s like trying to be a triage medic on Juno beach.

A few days ago I was going to be writing a piece on the racial discrimination act. Then George Brandeis piloted your Big Brother agenda on to national television like Randy Quaid in Independence Day and I suddenly had to do something about that, because it was more urgent. I had half written that article when the news broke that Russia had imposed sanctions on Australian imports, for an estimated $750m hit to our economy, simply because of you being a bombastic idiot with a John Wayne approach to international diplomacy. In the time I was writing that Eric Abetz donned his tinfoil hat and went the full misogynist, proselytizing, flat-earther and used a discredited 1950’s study to link abortion and breast cancer. No sooner do I try to jump on that does the news break that Australia’s unemployment is the highest it’s been since you were the Minister for Employment and consumer confidence hits a record low in response to you and your party being unable to manage an economy, a government and, apparently, your own mouths.

I’m exhausted, Mr Abbott.

It used to be when you were (thankfully) in opposition that we’d have something to take you to task on about once or twice a week. Ample time to cover every issue if you were diligent in your work ethic, even if sometimes you couldn’t devote all your resources to a particular subject because you were waiting for the other shoe to drop. But now we’re getting a national, and increasingly more common an international, scandal roughly every eight hours.

Since you own the mainstream media, or more to the point the mainstream media owns you, it’s up to us – the comedians and bloggers and independent journalists – to hold you accountable and we simply do not have the manpower to cope with this avalanche of stupidity and gormless cupidity.

The entirety of the sins of the previous government during the hung parliament of last term you and your cohorts are outdoing in less than a week. And it shows no signs of letting up. Indeed the embarrassments and evils appear to be snowballing to the point where society is about to collapse.

So please, Mr Abbott, I implore you, take a break. Have a week off where you don’t do anything or say anything. Where your entire ministry just doesn’t appear in public. And I promise to do the same, because I need it. We all do, those of us with a social conscience and a platform to be heard. We’re exhausted and we deserve a break.

Truce?

Damian Smith

This article was first posted on Damian’s blog and has been reproduced with permission.

 

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35 comments

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  1. Kaye Lee

    I so agree Damian. I am angry, frustrated and tired and the taxation department are eagerly awaiting paperwork from me that is increasingly overdue. I am also eagerly awaiting the housework fairies. The only way to have a break is to not listen to or read any news because everything I hear makes it even more imperative to keep writing.

  2. Florence nee Fedup

    I thought I was the only one that felt like I cannot keep up. No time to digest anything Abbott does

  3. Keitha Granville

    The only reason to keep reading and listening is to MAINTAIN the RAGE. Otherwise we will forget how horrendous they are.
    Or is that what they’re doing ? Boring us to death ? In the hope that we will just stop listening and be so sick of it all we won’t bother to vote them out ? Or even vote at all ?
    Aarrggghhhh !!!!

  4. Mike Wilkinson

    If that was an offer of peace I’d hate to see your declaration of war… on the other hand I think I’d love it! 😉

  5. ilucam

    PS. Please keep Bolt out of the public eye, too.

  6. David Linehan

    Damian you no doubt are familiar, even in these metric times, with the phrase ‘give him an inch and he will take a mile’. You are offering that inch to the madman….as my dad used to say about fools, “tell him nothing, take him nowhere”.
    I would suggest the first quote runs appropriately into the second.
    May I add, in the modern vernacular, sod the bastard.
    You may be tired, but the battle is not yet won.

  7. Rob031

    I remember in an episode of Rumpole of the Bailey when his wife, Hilda, exasperated, asked: “Why do you argue and argue and argue?” His reply was “What else is there to do?”

    (BTW if you are a Rumpole fan all the DVD’s are available at Amazon.co.uk at a very reasonable price.)

  8. Ana Milosevic

    Maintain the rage PLEASE !

  9. Anne Byam

    While I totally agree with your article Damien, you have written in a particular parlance … and it’s appreciated, as we are all obviously feeling much the same. When the Abbott – yet AGAIN, appears on the tele, or wherever, — I too am now at the point that I might vomit – just at the sight of him.

    I have stepped back and thought about this … very often recently, and realised that actually, my physiological being was being compromised. You would have to ask my husband, just how compromised I have allowed myself to become at times …. to the point of ranting at him ( my husband ) when he didn’t deserve it whatsoever. Such is the insidious effect the Abbott has on a majority of people.

    Such is the insidious effect anyone who is a dictator, fascist, cruel dominant, can have.

    Thing is, this is PRECISELY what he is aiming to do. Some form of reverse ( and perverse ) psychology ? To WEAKEN resolve, to try and make us all think so desperately, that all we want is a break. AND he will continue to do it. It’s part of his ‘game’ plan — to WIN. And he doesn’t give a tuppeny stuff how he achieves it.

    Believe me, I am not paranoid, or into conspiracy.

    It is a known fact, that the more one ( anyone ) can be confused by a person who’s main aim is dominance, fear, and cruelty, the more weakness is observed in the recipients of this obsequious aim. Until, that is, the recipients of it —- WAKE UP. And STAND UP.

    Interspersed with all his heinous rhetoric, are the days he puts his ‘good hat’ on … and appears to be genuinely concerned about something. …. anything will do. He swings the pendulum to and fro, and tries to cause cross-eyed consternation. Which is exactly what a brutal spouse does to a beaten woman or children. Fear, fear, fear …. and then the nice guy appears with gifts and promises.

    Think about it.

    WE … can take our breaks. In fact, as one would do with a tantrum throwing child, we should IGNORE him. But not for long. Only for as long is takes to catch our breath and with renewed and firm resolve, fight the bustard, and his pitiful ministry.

    Um … I think maybe I have said more than enough for now. !!!

  10. Julie

    …and this was before Hockey and the “poor don’t drive” debacle and idiot Abbott and the Scots kerfuffle!!! Bronnie chucked out 7 Labor MP’s today too. It would all be funny if it were not so tragic and then on the sidelines we have PUP!!! if you want to be really depressed go and look at the idiot comments on the LNP FB page. They must all have their heads up their bottoms.

  11. Dan Rowden

    Clever piece of writing. I do appreciate the style. It does leave me wondering, however (on a small but, for me, interesting note, as I’m seeing it increasingly) why some people are referring to the previous government as a “hung parliament” instead of a minority government. I don’t get it. It’s popping up in leftist memes and I’m a little uncomfortable with it.

  12. Natasja

    Here’s hoping that someone actually covers the March In August on Sunday. No trusting the Liberal Media to do it.

  13. stephentardrew

    Damian I feel exactly the same. Though not prolific writer I have found myself sitting in a stupor or devoting time to something else just to escape the idiocy. Having worked in welfare I feel deeply for those who are going to suffer interminably because of these greed infested Neanderthals. To feel the hurt and pain of those who are being marginalized and vilified is often downright depressing and numbing. There are certain emotional cost working with the underprivileged and this idiot has managed to, not only, make citizens life hell he has put untold pressure on those who are trying to patch up the wounds. Thank heavens I am retired. One days less cruelty and inhumanity would be a blessing.

  14. Ranger Ginger

    As is said above, I am worried that we will become blasé about this ongoing stream of stupidity and it will no longer allow us to feel the frustration, shame and disbelief that there are so many uninformed people in power!

  15. John Kelly

    Then again, if he suddenly did something remotely smart, we’d probably all have a heart attack.

  16. ColinSC

    Revolution anybody?

  17. Kath Malcom

    “Revolution anybody.”……. Hell Yeah
    we pay tickets to see a circus, this circus running the country is costing us more than money, they are wrecking the joint minute by minute….. I reckon a week is not long enough I would be soooo happy if I never saw any of the clowns again in my life time, well what I got left anyway and in peace and quiet not fending off a feral fed gov… Great letter to Captain Confrontation and his henchmen 🙂

  18. kerri moss

    #marchaustralia #marchinaugust…….everyone and i mean everyone needs to take to the streets this weekend in a city near you…sydney, melbourne, adelaide, perth, brisbane, canberra, hobart, and many towns across the country are marching this weekend..please join us…

  19. Trevor Vivian

    Meanwhile on planet Abbott the rabble- the indefatigable insane Abbott wishes is all harm to all especially Laborites, Greens, Pups, Students, Unemployed, Women who aren’t Lieberal, Scientists, Educators, and a slew of the “other”, and unnamed Professionals and the unskilled to name a couple or two. That much is easily defined and yes the LNP Do Have Their Heads up their Arses and the cult of Tone Time lives, breathes, and has true evil intent on anyone who doesn’t agree its Tone’s Time To Rule Orstraya. Don’t please Don’t go back to sleep or imagine that you can avoid the Cant, stupidity, criminality, and punishment metered out hourly , daily to the minute by Abbott Rabble, Central Kontrol(Credloughnamelin) and old white men who think and believe they are the swinging dicks of Demo-cracy (as the Asians express it). March for your lives. See you Saturday.

  20. Ruth Lipscombe

    Hear! Hear?
    The Saturday Paper should devote a page a week to the best AIM blogs of the week.
    Yours and Kaye Lees deserve wider readership.

  21. George Von

    Best blog I ever read, well done Damian

  22. captainwise

    We’ll done Damien, but you have to keep going for prosperity sake.
    It is only 1 year into this Govt. I must keep reminding myself and already there is enough material to fill a library.

  23. flabbergast

    Thankyou, Damien, it’s hard to process these feelings when they keep coming so thick and fast. It’s a relief to read such a well written summary of recent events. I have struggled to find the right words for my constant state of WTF?? We all get a chance to voice our collective disgust this Sunday. You can bet your bottom dollar there’s an event in every capital and regional area. Facebook March Australia if you’re not up to speed. Maintain the rage!

  24. Gilly

    Excellent Damien, facts, science, integrity or social conscience are not working. Time for comedy and satire to have a go, if nothing else it gives a relief to “real Australians”. I would, however, suggest that Mr Abbott be also sent an audio transcript. I am not convinced of his level of literacy.

  25. Truth Seeker

    Damien, well said 😎 and me too! 😉

  26. Helen in NQld

    So agree Damian! North Queensland has a March in Townsville and a March in Cairns. Even ‘nothing-you-can-do-about-it’ hubby is incensed enough to go – first time since we lived in VIC and marched against Kennett! As many as possible must get out and protest – even MSM can’t ignore it if there are enough people marching.

  27. lawrencewinder

    That’s it! I was wondering why I couldn’t get my weekly blog entry going…this sums it all up. … beautifully.
    Although I am also wondering when G. Henderson of the Sydney Geriatric Institute is going to complain about Clarke & Dawe having Joe, Tones, George and Eric writing for their “lefist” ABC?
    Revolution …yep! Let’s March on Canberra.

  28. Hankerin' Hank

    Is the purpose of this blog to discuss Tony Abbott or is it just an excuse for the author to repeat how prolific, intellectual and free thinking he is?

  29. jj

    I have maintained the rage since 1975. It’s not difficult. Well said Damian Smith.

  30. Konstantina

    Such a relief to read this Damian, thank you. I think the Member for Warringah is trying to make us all ill. The more we read, the more we hear, the sicker we feel. I am having enough difficulty trying to process the 8 hourly, as you say, wretched imbecile proof updates (kind of like inverse medicine, take 3 times a day to maintain pain and affliction), let alone having to write about them. Very grateful for writers like you, Kaye Lee, John Lord, Ross Leigh and all the contributors to AIMN. I sincerely don’t know how I would stay sane without you. Sometimes (often) I feel that this government is gaslighting us and if it were not for writers like you, I am certain I would feel as though I were losing my mind.

  31. pethan35

    It would
    be even better if Abbott takes his bike and goes on a ride into the Never-Never.

  32. Anne Byam

    @ Konstantina …. I understand completely. Feel much the same… ‘The sicker we feel’….. I have taken to turning as much away from the TV now as possible … such is the negative impact this … um .. ah …. indescribable something or other, has on me. Mind you, he often comes on newscasts at around the time I am preparing dinner !!!

    I just shut my eyes, close my ears ( using a Bamix or the Microwave helps ) and hope for the best !!

  33. Konstantina

    Anne, seeing and hearing him umming and ahhing with that demented boxer’s stance truly is too much to bear. Thank you for the heads up – I shall put the Bamix up to 11 :).
    I hope this country survives this thoroughly horrid government.

  34. Kym Afford

    Politically, I am dumbfounded at what is happening, today I got the Sunday Mail to see, pig, Chris Kenny raving on about there being no heating of the planet for about 15 years, that there is a hiatus!

    June was the 252nd month in a row that was hotter than previously, this month though cold has still been 1.2 degrees above average. Around the world ice retreats on land, the Arctic and Antarctic are both warming in fact the Antarctic is going at .43 deg per decade v. the land average of .13.

    And here we have the paper that most read, Murdoch’s press, going against the scientists.

    Disgusts me.

    That was a good article I sent around,( of Damians) and if you want to see more the other side, ornwhat he wrote…

    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/author/admin/

    Make him a daily look up before you read Murdoch.. you will see how rotten they are then.

    He lays it on the line and makes the government look like the idiots they are.

    What I find sad is that we do not have good leadership for what faces us, Labor is now standing up for climate, as are the Greens ( whose policies I like the best – any one earning over a million should be taxed to the limit), but the political persuasion comes from the Liberal party’s paper, The Advertiser et al. and over 70 % of Australians only read Murdoch press.

    But I like to way up my thoughts by reading

    https://theconversation.com/au

    It is free and free of bias as I see it.

    I also subscribe to

    http://www.crikey.com

    but it is expensive and I think The Conversation does all and more than they do.

    Then it is worth subscribing ( free) to this to have it come in on your mailbox ;

    http://www.dailyclimate.org/

    Then there is The Guardian and on weekends, not this one, I read The Age – a lot of reading does not get done, but I find their thinking feeds what I want.

    Whilst we were away, recently, I did not like to read Sydney’s “Advertiser”or even Fairfax’s SMH with any pleasure, so reverted to The Australian for three days. Very quickly I realised it was a mistake as articles propounding current doctrine of neoliberalism, “Bugger the poor, the country belongs to the rich” just for the Libs, dominated the paper. It drooled of it.

    Massive misinformation on climate change too.

    I have cut some of these articles out and kept in my diary as proof. Not worth putting here, but a form of indulgence where we need leadership, the Bolt smart- arsed- ness articles Murdoch calls for.

    So there you are.

    Kind regards
    Kym Afford
    http://www.kdafford.com

  35. Sonny Navaratnam

    Dear Damian, Well spoken. I am from Sri Lanka and as a callow youth, watched the chicanery of the conservative politicians turn a once beautiful country into ashes. The similarities of what happened there in the early 1980’s that resulted in the bloodbath and destruction of civil society, with what is happening in Australia now, is striking. I fear for Australia….

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