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Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

Abbott Tells Another One

abbott-lies

What Tony Abbott tells

A few days ago I posted a piece titled Political Lies: Who tells Them.

Independent Australia’s Alan Austin followed up with Tony Abbott’s Latest 15 Lies.

This was followed by another article from fellow blogger Michael Taylor at The AIMN, Keep Lying, Mr Abbott.

Another blogger who goes under the name of Truth Seeker also posted on the subject, with Tony … Stop the LIES, and Stop the RORTS!

I dealt with the general topic of telling lies with an emphasis on politics. Alan Austin did some fact checking and Michael Taylor addressed Abbott’s lying on the issue of Asylum seekers and Truth Seeker honed in directly on Abbott’s blatant lying.

Was it just coincidence that we all wrote on the subject at around the same time? I think not. No, it’s more likely that we just become frustrated and aggravated by his consistency of untruth. If this means I am saying he is a pathological liar then so be it. It’s not a nice thing to say about anyone but we are dealing with truth here. It’s not so much that he is a serial offender, he is. I think the electorate knows that and factors it in. It shows up in the ‘’Better PM’’ polling. It is why his polling is so poor. The fact that he lies and is easily supported by volumes of readily available irrefutable evidence. (I can provide it if need be). However, what is of equal concern is that the main stream media (the so-called forth estate) who are supposed to be the people’s custodian of truth, condones it.

In a democracy that prides itself on the basics of fair and reasonable expression it is hard to know why we accept his lying. Of course it is perpetuated upon us by a media who believe that truth has a lessor value than the need of its own survival. Where in order to survive it has (across all mediums) sought to become more outlandish-more tantalising-more seductive-more flirtatious-more provocative-more stunning and more enticing. But above all, more manipulative.

The media has enormous power. So much so that it can to a large degree determine who can govern and what their policies should be. And while most of it is owned by a few that is unlikely to change.

Do people ever stop to think how manipulated we have become? Everything the media does, displays or says is done so on the predication that it is doing so for its own self-interest, not ours. It does so because it gives it influence, power and control. Certainly not for the ideals of truth, justice and the common good. It never considers that reporting truth alone might give it all the influence it needs. Finding the truth and reporting it should be more important than creating a narrative where controversy matters more.

We inherit all this of course from the United Stated. The neo-conservative parties in Australia have adopted the principles (or lack of them) as practiced by the GOP and its Tea Party affiliates. Like the Republicans in the US the coalition’s political strategy appears to be to, block, discredit and confuse. On a daily basis the negativity of Abbott spreads like rust through the community. He seeks to muddy the waters with the most outlandish lies. Hardly a day passes when he is not distorting what is said while at the same time telling the most outrageous lies himself. And with a straight face I might add. He has hampered (as do the Republicans) all legislation with a pre-determined NO. Often without even reading it. Abbott has (as have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan did) taken lying and the frequency of it to a level in political discourse we have never experienced.

Daily on Facebook and other social media, questions are being asked about the truthfulness of Mr Abbott’s statements. They are more often than not devoid of facts. At least Kevin Rudd calls him out on them. Bill Clinton did so with great effect during the last election. During that election and during the first debate commentators were of the view that Obama lost it. I watched it and my view was that he was completely thrown by the amount of lies Romney was telling and the adjudicator’s unwillingness to pick him up on them.

In the end the American people saw through all the lies. Let’s hope the Australian people do also.

 

It could only happen in America. Or could it?

Six months out from both the US and Australian elections the polls were adamant that the incumbent administrations were doomed.

At home, Tony Abbott was rubbing his hands with glee at the certain prospect of a permanent move to Canberra.

In America last year, six months out from their election the opinion polls and much of the media were suggesting that President Barack Obama looked destined for only one term of office. America was in damage control and his popularity was plummeting to new lows. In May we saw that:

. . . polls indicate President Obama is trailing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. The Rasmussen poll shows a 47 to 45 percent race with Republicans enjoying a 7 point lead in a congressional generic ballot.  Meantime, the newest CBS News/ New York Times poll shows the president trailing Romney 46 to 43 percent among registered voters. The economy remains the most important issue to voters, with 62 percent voters and most Americans (67 percent) believing the economy is in bad shape, all troubling signs for the president. Romney leads the president among independents and women. The president had been leading with women last month in this poll.

They showed a commanding lead lead to Romney. If the election was held in May Obama would have been swept from office. But just three months later, as the polling day in November drew closer there was witnessed a sharp swing towards him.

Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee’s weaknesses more than the president’s strengths.

Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.

If voters considered that Obama hadn’t handled the economy and was heading the nation down the wrong track, why then did they favour him over Mitt Romney? Sampling of the people who were polled provided us with the answer. It was, simply, Romney’s irreparable image:

A majority of likely voters, 55 per cent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans.

He hasn’t fulfilled a lot of his campaign promises, but I would vote for him (Obama) anyway because Romney would be extremely destructive for this country.

His perspective is you just let the free market take care of everything, and we’ll go right down the toilet drain, and everything — all the jobs — will go straight to Asia.

I think the guy is a little bit out of touch, because he has too much money to understand what a guy like me deals with.

It was crunch time for Romney at home. It was not much better for him on the international stage:

The British were offended, the Palestinians accused him of racism and even in friendlier Poland, Mitt Romney’s union policies drew criticism from the current leaders of the movement that toppled communism.

Romney’s visit to Britain, Israel and Poland was never expected to produce the same media frenzy as then-candidate Barack Obama’s extravagant, eight-country tour of 2008.

Obama received rock star treatment from international media and world leaders as he travelled from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the glittering chancelleries of Europe.

Nevertheless, comparisons were inevitable and much of it was less than favourable to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“The designated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wanted to demonstrate foreign policy expertise and diplomatic skills with his trip to Britain, Israel and Poland,” the Swiss newspaper Tages-Zeitung said Tuesday. “Today, on the last day of the tour, he must be made to admit that he clearly missed this target.”

Despite their previous history of perceived arrogance and assumptions that the rest of the world can be damned, it seems Americans now expect their leader to stand tall on the international stage. Romney doesn’t.

It was clear that as the election loomed on the horizon the blowtorch was finally applied to the alternative President and people were seriously taking a long hard look at the challenger. After a long period of condemnation towards Obama they eventually turned their glare to Romney. When it counted – on the eve of the election – they were expressing doubts about having a President who was out of touch with them, who had no understanding of the issues faced by them, who was unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent them proudly on the international stage.

That’s what happened in America.

In Australia, many of us in the Fifth Estate similarly see in Tony Abbott a person who is out of touch, who has no understanding of the issues we face, who is unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent us proudly on the international stage. Our glare has been fixed for some time, but as the election here looms closer will the public and media blowtorch finally be applied to him.

I have no doubt that, if it is, he will quickly go the way of Mitt Romney. In the year leading up to their respective elections they have traveled similar paths. The stand out is their shared value of being out of touch with the average voter.

The international expectations of being Prime Minister of Australia certainly are not the same league as being President of the United States, however, that should mean nothing to the Australian voters who will be more likely to vote on local issues. At home, to quote Douglas Evans:

To me we stand on the brink of a social/political/economic/environmental catastrophe of unparalleled proportions.

In Tony Abbott we have an unusual case. He is against every social, environmental and economic reform imaginable. Surely this is an indication that he is out of touch with much of the electorate.

How out of touch? Let’s consider some of the issues:

Same-sex marriage: Mr Abbott has said marriage is between a man and a woman not just to fulfill their own personal happiness ”but because we have obligations to the children that come with families”.

Homosexuality: Federal Opposition leader Tony Abbott has defended comments he made about homosexuality on 60 Minutes, saying gays and lesbians “challenge” the order of things.

Mr Abbott said he felt “threatened” by homosexuality on the program, a comment that has angered the gay and lesbian community and something he tried to back track from during an interview on the ABC.

“There is no doubt that it (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things” Mr Abbott told Lateline.

Abortion: “Christians aren’t required to right every wrong in the political arena, but they can help change the nation’s culture, suggests Tony Abbott despite the debt that political institutions owe to the West’s Christian heritage, there is the constant claim that Christians in politics are confused about the separation of church and state. There’s also a tendency among Christians in the community to think that Christians in politics have to sell out their principles in order to survive. Christian politicians are often warding off simultaneous accusations that they are zealots or fakes. Indeed, the public caricature of a Christian politician is hypocrite or wuss, in denial about the ruthlessness and expediency necessary to wield power, or too sanctimonious to be effective. Take the challenge of abortion. The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience”.

Boat people: Tony Abbott claimed boatpeople were acting in an un-Christian manner. So is sinking the boats.

Euthanasia: “Legalising euthanasia in Australia would put elderly people at risk of being “bumped off”, federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has warned, after an Australian man traveled to Switzerland to legally end his life”.

The needy: “We can’t abolish poverty because poverty in part is a function of individual behaviour”.

Women’s rights: Tony Abbott warns women against sex before marriage. And how about this brain fart: “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”.

Recognition of Indigenous culture: “Western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that . . . Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage”.

Climate change: As a climate denier, Tony Abbott is most famous for his statement that climate science is “absolute crap“. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – he actually has a long history of denying climate change science. “The fact that we have had if anything cooling global temperatures over the last decade, not withstanding continued dramatic increases of carbon dioxide emissions, suggests the role of CO2 is not nearly as clear as the climate catastrophists suggest.”

Technology: “There is no way on God’s earth that we need to be spending $50 billion plus of borrowed money on what is going to turn out to be a telecommunications white elephant – school halls on steroids.”

Foreign investment: Tony Abbott made headlines recently when during a visit to China, he declared that “it would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow a foreign government or its agencies to control an Australian business”.

In other words: foreign direct investment by such entities would not be welcome.

Divorce: Liberal Party frontbencher Tony Abbott wants laws toughened up to make divorce harder. The opposition families and Aboriginal affairs spokesman has called for a return to the fault-based system of divorce discarded in 1975, which was replaced by a “no-fault” system. Mr Abbott’s plan, outlined in his book Battlelines, would see a grounds for divorce reintroduced, including adultery, cruelty, habitual drunkenness and imprisonment. It would be similar to the defunct Matrimonial Causes Act.

Pensioners: “Tony Abbott’s Liberals have re-confirmed they will claw back hundreds of dollars from Australian pensioners. The Member for Curtin, Julie Bishop confirmed on Channel 10 Breakfast that an Abbott Government will rip away the latest increase to the pension – $338 a year for single pensioners on the maximum rate and $510 a year for pensioner couples on the maximum rate”.

Low paid workers: “The Coalition has today confirmed that they would re-impose a 15 per cent tax on Australia’s lowest paid workers (earning below $37,000) including 2.1 million women”.

Democracy: In his address to the National Press Club this week he told us he likes democracy and: “Government is important – my colleagues and I are in the parliament because it matters and because we care about our country – but, in a democracy, the people must come first”.

Yes, of course. That’s why he has tried every trick in the book to bring down a duly elected Government; a Government he calls “illegitimate”, “inherently unstable” and “toxic” to name a few.

Small business: “Tony Abbott has confirmed that the Liberals will cut vital tax breaks for Australia’s more than two million small business men and women if elected in September. Mr Abbott has pledged to scrap the instant asset tax write-off, which allows small businesses to claim a deduction for the full value of each new asset costing up to $6,500 after one year”.

With such a suite of archaic views he belongs in a museum, not politics.

According to the opinion polls Tony Abbott now has a more formidable opponent. But this might mean zilch if the blowtorch isn’t applied to him like it was to Romney in the latter stages of the US campaign. As noted above, 55 percent viewed him as being out of touch with average Americans. Locally, how many Australians would consider Abbott to be out of touch with them if Abbott’s views (above) were given more prominence in the media?

The other big move against Romney was the perceived embarrassment he would cause on the international stage. Abbott is more safe in that regards. As yet he hasn’t had the opportunity to make a global fool of himself. It’s up to the Australian voters to decide if they think he would.

Personally, I think there is enough evidence mounting that Abbott will continue down Romney’s path: One that started out leading to the highest office in the land to one that did a U-turn at the last minute. The key of course, is dependent on Australians seeing in Tony Abbott the same as Americans saw in Mitt Romney those negative aspects that they ignored for so long, until it mattered. I will repeat them: a person who is out of touch, who has no understanding of the issues we face, who is unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent us proudly on the international stage.

Could it only happen in America?

 

Will Australia follow America’s lead?

Some months out from the US election President Barack Obama looked destined for only one term of office. America was in damage control and his popularity had plummeted to new lows. Even as early as May we saw, and were not surprised that:

. . . polls indicate President Obama is trailing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. The Rasmussen poll shows a 47 to 45 percent race with Republicans enjoying a 7 point lead in a congressional generic ballot.  Meantime, the newest CBS News/ New York Times poll shows the president trailing Romney 46 to 43 percent among registered voters. The economy remains the most important issue to voters, with 62 percent voters and most Americans (67 percent) believing the economy is in bad shape, all troubling signs for the president. Romney leads the president among independents and women. The president had been leading with women last month in this poll.

If the election was held in May he would have been swept from office. But that was in May. As the polling day in November drew even only one month closer we witnessed a sharp swing towards Obama.

Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee’s weaknesses more than the president’s strengths.

Obama leads Romney 53 percent to 40 percent among likely voters, even as the public gives him low marks on handling the economy and the deficit, and six in 10 say the nation is headed down the wrong track, according to the poll conducted June 15- 18.

Yes, that was June but later polls showed the same results.

If voters considered that Obama hadn’t handled the economy and was heading the nation down the wrong track, why then do the polls begin to favour him over Mitt Romney? Sampling of the people who were polled provided us with the answer. It was, simply, Romney’s irreparable image:

A majority of likely voters, 55 percent, view him as more out of touch with average Americans.

He hasn’t fulfilled a lot of his campaign promises, but I would vote for him (Obama) anyway because Romney would be extremely destructive for this country.

His perspective is you just let the free market take care of everything, and we’ll go right down the toilet drain, and everything — all the jobs — will go straight to Asia.

I think the guy is a little bit out of touch, because he has too much money to understand what a guy like me deals with.

It was crunch time for Romney at home. It wasn’t not much better for him on the international stage either:

The British were offended, the Palestinians accused him of racism and even in friendlier Poland, Mitt Romney’s union policies drew criticism from the current leaders of the movement that toppled communism.

Romney’s visit to Britain, Israel and Poland was never expected to produce the same media frenzy as then-candidate Barack Obama’s extravagant, eight-country tour of 2008.

Obama received rock star treatment from international media and world leaders as he travelled from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to the glittering chancelleries of Europe.

Nevertheless, comparisons were inevitable and much of it was less than favourable to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

“The designated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wanted to demonstrate foreign policy expertise and diplomatic skills with his trip to Britain, Israel and Poland,” the Swiss newspaper Tages-Zeitung said Tuesday. “Today, on the last day of the tour, he must be made to admit that he clearly missed this target.”

Despite their previous history of perceived arrogance and assumptions that the rest of the world can be damned, Americans now expected their leader to stand tall on the international stage. Romney didn’t.

It is clear that as the election loomed on the horizon the blowtorch was finally being applied to the alternative President and people were seriously taking a long hard look at the challenger. After a long period of condemnation towards Obama they turned their glare to Romney. When it counted they expressed doubts about having a President who was out of touch with them, who has no understanding of the issues faced by them, who was unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent them proudly on the international stage.

They voted accordingly in November. The early favourite lost in a canter. The incumbant President stormed home.

The reason for Romney’s defeat was disected, partical by partical, as one would expect from the US media. Here are some of the findings:

Romney lost embarrassingly among young people . . . a brutal reminder for Republicans that their party is ideologically out of tune with fast-growing segments of the population.

Since Obama won basically everyone but nonurban white men and their wives, there are a lot of different groups to hate on, but a clear front-runner in the Blame Game has emerged: single women . . . single women are more interested in topics such as abortion than economics.

. . . top Republican strategists interviewed for this article attribute Romney’s defeat to a combination of factors, including the candidate’s inability to better define himself . . . the country’s changing demographics and a campaign whose tactics seemed stuck in the 20th century . . . In addition, Romney’s policies favoured the rich.

Mitt Romney never articulated a clear vision for America.

. . . an underestimation of their opponents’ talents.

Romney failed because his campaign failed to deliver positive substance.

Romney told one too many lies . . . [he] waged an exceedingly dishonest campaign.

Romney’s views on today’s social issues such as abortion, gay rights, immigration, the poor and the elderly do not coincide with the views of the majority . . .

And this one, from the above link, is very telling:

As the country becomes more divided, and people grow increasingly uncomfortable with the level of animosity, the media darling of the right-wing is seen through less naive lenses. There is real fear, some of it founded, that Fox News is brainwashing a considerable segment of America. Fox News viewers are some of the least informed yet most opinionated television watchers. In the age of social media, Fox News has popularly become known as “Faux News” – an entity to be ridiculed and reviled – along with its viewers. Call it guilt by association, or not wanting to lie down with the dogs, but rational people, including moderate Republicans, are becoming ever-more leery of anything Fox supports, including candidates.

As we aim our sights on our own election later this year, we see Tony Abbott occupying the same comfortable seat that Romney did months out from polling day. But as we saw in America last year, the polls can turn. Romney lost the election on issues that appear to be Abbott’s Achilles Heel. Tony Abbott is a person who is out of touch, who has no understanding of the issues we face, who is unable to generate a feeling of trust and security, and who would not represent us proudly on the international stage. Our glare has been fixed for some time (and if you don’t belong to the mainstream media or blindly follow their every utterance), as the election looms closer will the public blowtorch finally be applied to him?

If it is, then I think that Australia will be following America’s lead. The similarities between candidates, issues and circumstances, are in a word, glaring.

Tony Abbott in the Lodge: Never

David Marr’s quarterly essay “Political Animal” gives an engrossing, even gripping insight into the persona of the leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott. I made many observations as I read it and I cannot of course comment on everything. I must say though (given Tony Abbot’s statement that he finds gays intimidating) that I was a little bemused at how Marr even got to interview him. They apparently spent some time together which must have been excruciatingly uncomfortable for the Opposition leader. And given that Mr Abbott only allowed him to use one quote I should think he probably wasted his time. Another thing that took my attention was the influence of Catholicism in his private and political decision making. He apparently finds it difficult to make decisions without referral to his faith.

What did catch my eye was this short paragraph: “Josh Gordon of the Sunday Age saw the parallels early. Like the Republicans in the US the Coalition’s new strategy appears to be to block, discredit, confuse, attack and hamper at every opportunity.” Do we see any similarities here? Well of course. On a daily basis the negativity of Abbott spreads like rust through the community. He seeks to confuse with the most outlandish statements. Hardly a day passes without referring to the Prime minister as a liar while at the same time telling the most outrageous ones himself. And with a straight face I might add. He seeks to hamper (as do the Republicans) all legislation with a pre-determined NO. Often without even reading it. Abbott has (as have Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan) taken lying and the frequency of it to a level in political discourse we have never experienced.

In the US the Republicans with all this propaganda have sought to create a fictional President who is the opposite to the one known outside the States. Twenty five per cent of the population still believe he is a Muslim and a large percentage still believe he was born outside the States even though the facts prove otherwise. Such is the power of the right-wing media (Fox News) and an accumulation of feral shock jocks. The GOP (the Republicans – the “Grand Old Party”) is even accused of deliberately not passing bills in order to make the economy worse.

In Australia, for two years the Prime Minister has been demonised by a right wing (Murdoch) news media pack intent on creating a false profile and bringing her down at the first opportunity. She has had thrown at her the most vile misogynist ravings un-befitting of the fourth estate but the tabloids and the shock jocks seem to thrive on it.

At this point (since we are talking in part about truth) let me say that I would describe myself as progressive social democrat. Centre-left on some issues and further left on others. I confess this so as not to be accused later of any preconceived bias. I am the originator of this quote “to be a true democrat one has to concede that your opponents have as much right to win as does your side”; I wrote that prior to the advent of this nefarious thing called neo conservatism or neo capitalism. I wrote it at a time when the political divide (despite the ideological differences) had some respect for the common good; when we in Australia admired America’s bi-partisan approach to its politics. The decline of bi-partisan politics and the rise of neo conservatism can be traced back to a third rate actor and a women with a bad hair-do. And in time respect for public office has gone out the window.

Regardless of what political persuasion you are I believe we like to see character in our leaders. Now how do we describe character. I came across this in the New York Times; it is a direct reference to Mitt Romney, however, it suffices as a general observation:

“Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct. It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of a presidential campaign, but unexpected moments can sometimes reveal the fibers from which it is woven.”

When looked in isolation the lies and indiscretions of Tony Abbott, his problems with women and even his negativity could perhaps all be written off as just Tony being Tony. Or that’s just politics. However my focus here is on character and whether Mr Abbott has enough of it to be the leader of our nation. My contention is that because we are looking at a litany of instances of lying, deception and bad behaviour over a long period of time he simply doesn’t have the essence of character which is one of the main ingredients in the recipe of leadership.

The evidence for this assertion follows. None of these events are in chronological order. They are just as they come to mind and are listed randomly in order to build a character profile.

When the President of the US visited he broke long standing conventions by politicising his speech as Opposition leader.

He did the same when the Indonesian president visited.

He did the same when the Queen visited.

He would not allow pairs (another long standing convention) so that the Minister for the Arts could attend the funeral of painter Margaret Olley; an Australian icon. Malcolm Turnbull, a personnel friend was also prevented from attending. There have been other instances of not allowing pairs.

More recently he refused a pair whilst the Prime Minister was on bereavement leave following the death of her father.

At university he kicked in a glass panel door when defeated in an election.

Referred to a women Chairperson as “Chairthing”.

He was accused of assaulting a women at university and later acquitted. He was defended by a QC and the girl defended herself.

Another women accuses him of throwing punches at her. And hitting either side of a wall she was standing against. He says it never happened but others corroborated her story.

He threatens to punch the head in of Lindsay Foyle who disagreed with him on a women’s right to an abortion.

In 1978 a young teacher by the name of Peter Woof bought assault charges against Abbott. He punched him in the face. It never went anywhere. Abbott was represented by a legal team of six and the young man could not afford to defend himself.

And he did punch out Joe Hockey’s lights during a rugby match? Yes, he did.

He established a slush fund to bring down Pauline Hansen and then lied about its existence.

And let’s not forget the role he played also in the jailing of Pauline Hanson. After One Nation shocked the Coalition by winning 11 seats in Queensland in June 1998, Abbott was determined to dig up every piece of dirt he could on Hanson. In his own words, on her demise he boasts this was:

“All my doing, for better or for worse. It has got Tony Abbott’s fingerprints on it and no-one else’s.”

Yes, even after saying that, he still lies about its existence.

He was ejected from the House of Representatives once in obscure circumstances. Hansard is unclear why but it is alleged that he physically threatened Graham Edwards. Edwards lost both his legs in Vietnam.

In 2000 he was ejected from the House along with six others. Philip Coorey reports that he was headed toward the Labor back benches ready to thump a member who had heckled him.

Abused Nicola Roxon after he had turned up late for a debate.

Then there was the interview with Mark Riley where he had a brain fade that seemed like it would never end. I thought he was deciding between a right hook or a left cross. Something that I found mentally disturbing and worrying at the same time. After all this was the man who could be our next Prime Minister.

Together with Christopher Pyne seen running from the House of Representatives to avoid embarrassment at being outwitted.

Being the first Opposition leader to be ejected from the house in 26 years because he repeated an accusation of lying after withdrawing it.

The infamous “Sell my arse” statement verified by Tony Windsor. Will Windsor ever release the mobile phone transcript?

The interview with Kerry O’Brien where he admitted that unless it was in writing he didn’t always tell the truth.

And in another O’Brien interview he admitted lying about a meeting with the Catholic Archbishop George Pell.

During the Republic Referendum he told many outrageous untruths.

His famous “Climate change is crap” comment and later saying that he was speaking to an audience. This of course elicited the question: “Is that what you always do?”

His almost daily visits to businesses with messages of gloom and doom about the ‘carbon tax’ (a scare campaign best described as fraudulent). None of which have come to fruition. His blatant lying often repudiated by the management of the businesses. The most notable being the CEO of BHP and their decision not to proceed with the Olympic Dam mine. Whole towns being closed down. Industries being forced to sack thousands. The end of the coal industry etc.

And of course there is the now infamous Leigh Sales interview where beyond any doubt he lied three times and continued to do so in Parliament the next day.

Then there was his statement that the Aboriginal Tent Embassy near Old Parliament House be closed. To call his statement an error in judgement is too kind. It almost sounded like an incitement to riot.

He is quoted as saying in the Parliament that Prime Minister Gillard and Minister Albanese had targets on their heads. He later apologised.

And of course there is also the lie about asylum seekers being illegal.

Added to that is his statement that the PM refused to lay down and die.

And the deliberate lie he told to the Australian Minerals Council that the Chinese intended increasing their emissions by 500 per cent.

I think I have exhausted it all but I cannot be sure. Oh wait.

We should not leave out his insensitive comments about the attempted suicide of John Brogden. I used to think that John Howard was a mean-spirited, nasty piece of work, but in comparison to Tony Abbott he appears as kind, caring and compassionate as Mother Teresa. Tony Abbott is far, far more mean-spirited. He demonstrates this in the way he ignores human misery and the way he belittles those who are suffering from it. He is, in a nutshell, nasty to the core. Stories surface that he’s been inherently nasty for as long as people have known him, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I first took notice of his extreme level of nastiness and lack of compassion for human misery when it was hoisted onto the national stage. It came only hours after the NSW Leader of the Opposition, John Brogden, had attempted suicide. The Age reported at the time that:

The day after Mr Brogden was found unconscious in his electorate office with self-inflicted wounds, Mr Abbott publicly joked at two separate Liberal Party functions about the disgraced leader’s career-wrecking behaviour . . . Mr Abbott was asked at a fund-raising lunch about a particular health reform proposal and reportedly answered: “If we did that, we would be as dead as the former Liberal leader’s political prospects.”

Nasty. To the core. And to a mate.

He also claimed that Bernie Banton was a mate. Not that he acted like one.

When Abbott was the Minister for Health, the dying asbestos disease sufferer Bernie Banton obtained a petition containing 17,000 signatures of those who supported the listing of the mesothelioma drug Alimta on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This petition was to be presented in person to Tony Abbott. If it wasn’t disrespectful enough to snub the petition, then his verbal response certainly was.

Yesterday, Mr Abbott was quick to dismiss the petition.  “It was a stunt,” Mr Abbott said on the Nine Network.

“I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t necessarily mean that he is pure of heart in all things.”

He loves making fun of dying people. Does he expect we’ll all laugh along with him?

He even has a go at deceased people. Margaret Whitlam wasn’t even in the grave before Tony Abbott used her death to score cheap political points.

The death of Margaret Whitlam caused such an outpouring of saddened fondness that comments by the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, linking her passing with the sins of the Whitlam government appear to have struck an extremely wrong note.

He said she was a ”woman of style and substance” and ”a marvellous consort to a very significant Labor leader and an epochal Australian prime minister”.

”There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam Government but nevertheless, it was a very significant episode in our history and Margaret Whitlam was a very significant element in the political success of Gough Whitlam,” Mr Abbott said.

Nasty. To the core.

If politics is fundamentally about ideas it is also about leadership. In this piece I have deliberately steered clear of policy argument in order to concentrate on character. On three occasions I have invited people on Facebook to list five attributes of Tony Abbott that would warrant his election as Prime Minister of Australia. I have never received a reply. And when you look at the aforementioned list is it any wonder. He is simply bereft of any character at all. He has been described as the Mad Monk and many other things but essentially he is a repugnant gutter politician of the worst kind. In following the American Republican party’s example his shock and awe tactics associated with perpetual crisis has done nothing but degenerate the standard of Australian politics and the Parliament generally. In the public eye he is most effective in attack dog mode. However he is found wanting when he needs to defend himself and simply reverts to stuttering hesitation and lies. Or just walking out on press conferences when he stumbles over tough questions. This is particularly noticeable when he tries to explain the complexity of policy detail.

The future of this country is of vital importance. So much so that its leadership should never be entrusted to a politician of such little virtue and character. A man who has failed to articulate a narrative for Australia’s future other than a personal desire to occupy The Lodge. Given his performance of late he would do well to consider these words: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It’s easy to understand what Abbott says because he only speaks in slogans. The difficulty is knowing what he means.

I have used this line in one of my short stories and it aptly sums up the character of Honourable Leader of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition.

As he spoke, truth came from the beginning of a smile or was it just a sneer of deception.

Please note, this was written prior to the Prime Minister’s now famous ‘sexist speech’ and does not include these snippets of Tonyisms.

His dying of shame comment.

His “lack of experience in raising children” comment.

His “make an honest women of herself ” comment.

His “no doesn’t mean no” comment.

  1. “Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”

  2. “These people aren’t so much seeking asylum, they’re seeking permanent residency. If they were happy with temporary protection visas, then they might be able to argue better that they were asylum seekers”.

On rights at work:

  1. “If we’re honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband . . . you find that he tends to do more good than harm. He might be a bad boss but at least he’s employing someone while he is in fact a boss”.

On women:

  1. “The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience”.

  2. “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”.

  3. “I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak”.

  4. “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year . . .”

On Julia Gillard:

  1. “Gillard won’t lie down and die”.

On climate change:

  1. “Climate change is absolute crap”.

  2. “If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax”.

On homosexuality:

  1. “I’d probably . . . I feel a bit threatened”.

  2. “If you’d asked me for advice I would have said to have – adopt a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about all of these things . . . “

On Indigenous Australia:

  1. “Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage”.

  2. ‘”Western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that . . .”

  3. “There may not be a great job for them but whatever there is, they just have to do it, and if it’s picking up rubbish around the community, it just has to be done”.

On Nicola Roxon:

16: “That’s bullshit. You’re being deliberately unpleasant. I suppose you can’t help yourself, can you?”

I could go on. History is filled with examples of how low this man is; of how nasty he is.

I fear that we may not yet have seen the full extent of his nastiness. We might have to wait – God forbid – for the day he ever becomes Prime Minister.

It’ll be nasty for all of us.

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