Image courtesy of 4bc.com.au
I’m growing increasingly and unbearably exhausted by the track one reckless and irresponsible man is taking our country.
The man: Tony Abbott.
A man I would consider to be one of the most destructive and deceptive politicians in our history.
I’ll make my case and you can make your own judgment.
Tony Abbott is dangerous and completely captured by corporate interests.
He’s a populist politician with no policy interest or conviction. A “weathervane” that does and says whatever he thinks he needs to to acquire and keep power.
It’s not just me saying this. Ask those who have seen him up close.
John Hewson, Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating. The list goes on. Their views are on the record.
I’ve spoken to people who went to university with him. The stories are true. He’s a complete and utter disgrace.
I’m not sure if he knows what he’s doing but he must be removed democratically as soon as possible.
He is ripping up all the hard work of the last 40 or so years.
Ripping up the progress that has made us the envy of the world
But first we need to go back a few steps.
Since he was first elected in the mid 90s he has developed a reputation for being an aggressive brawler and his history up until his time as Opposition Leader serves as witness to this.
When he became Opposition Leader in 2009 his quest for power ramped up dramatically as he sensed his preordained destiny.
He lurched the Liberal Party to the far right and all of a sudden you are hard pressed to find a moderate among them.
They all fled knowing Abbott’s Liberal Party was not the Liberal Party they once knew and loved.
Menzies must be rolling in his grave.
Abbott ran around the country like a mad man spouting cheap and tacky three word slogans for years.
Anything he thought would play well in the public’s mind he used.
The ultimate master of deception.
He was and is ably assisted – as we know – by the likes of Alan Jones, Steve Price, Ray Hadley and their fellow far right shock jocks. They too spouted and continue to spout his lines as if they are being fed to them by the Liberal Party.
Rupert Murdoch was onside with him from day one. News Corp Australia never wavered in its support and Murdoch irresponsibly used his vast media interests to create a sense of chaos in Labor’s ranks.
Tony Abbott was given a free pass by the Murdoch press.
The spotlight always firmly on Labor.
It was a highly successful smash and destroy campaign by big media vested interests.
Murdoch, however, didn’t do this for no reason. He surely, as with previous governments, expects something in return.
The Tony Abbott recipe has a few main ingredients.
Create fear of asylum seekers, as Howard did successfully in 2001. Make them a ‘border security’ threat and a financial burden, not a humanitarian issue. Stop the Boats!
Attack the Labor Party for introducing a price on carbon after allegedly knowingly lying. Big New Tax!
Attack the mining tax in order to look after rich mining interests and keep his donors on side. Axe the Tax!
Attack Labor relentlessly everyday and say “no” to everything no matter what, making it as hard as possible to govern the nation.
Create chaos and dysfunction by constantly suspending standing orders during Question Time, in order to rant and rave as he ran his focus grouped political lines for the day.
He used his media friends to ramp this up of course. They willingly obliged.
Chaos! Dysfunction! Tainted vote!
He desperately sought to take down the government with his blind recklessness but he failed.
The confidence of the nation in politics was damaged and remains so. It is now at record lows and shows no signs of bouncing back.
He destroyed the joint.
Labor aren’t faultless but Tony Abbott conducted himself in his own interests, not the nation’s. He should be condemned for such deplorable conduct.
Now he’s reached his goal. He has his own government. He quite frankly has no clue what to do next.
What do you do when you finally catch the seagull?
What does a dog do when it catches its tail?
He has wasted no time continuing his seek and destroy mission. Going after Labor Party policies vindictively, attacking and smearing unions relentlessly, making international news for all the wrong reasons and severely weakening key international relationships.
The carnage is intimidating but this is the man people supposedly voted for.
It’s my opinion people naively voted against Labor to restore stability.
Sadly they didn’t research this man as I have.
If they had informed themselves we might not be enduring this nonsense.
All of us who did do their research are shaking our heads, shrugging our shoulders knowingly, looking at each other and sighing in exhaustion.
This isn’t news to us.
Many who made the foolish decision to vote for Tony Abbott are starting to feel regret.
Social media of all kinds is full of anger and people at breaking point.
I see hardly anybody inspired now this man is our leader.
Sir Tony Abbott is yesterday’s man for today’s Australia.
His government so far has been an omnishambles. He has barely managed to keep his caucus in line. Lurching from drama to drama, crisis to crisis.
The 18C Brandis “Right to Be Bigots” line repulsed the nation.
Members of the government backbench have been actively speaking out against the stupidity of the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.
Some are willing to cross the floor for the vote on the issue and some government members are drafting their own changes to put to the caucus because they reject the draft exposure amendments completely.
The community are rightly outraged at this ideological and unnecessary change. 88% are against it. It won’t pass muster.
The issue of GrainCorp being taken over by US multinational Archer Daniels Midland showed up fault lines in the National Liberal Coalition. Hockey was forced at last minute to reject the bid as Truss and Joyce ramped up their public dissension. The Nationals are completely disregarded with the Coalition ordinarily. A rare win for them.
Numerous critical leaks have occurred from caucus and anonymous critical assessments of the Abbott Government and it’s processes are common place.
Tony Abbott unilaterally deciding that he wants Sirs and Dames again sparked incredulity among colleagues. Even John Howard called the move “anachronistic”.
Peta Credlin, his Chief of Staff, controls the entire government media message. Abbott leaves it to her. She’s the most powerful woman in the nation. Leering over Abbott at all times. She decides who speaks to the media and when.
More often than not they aren’t allowed to speak, allowing the Opposition willingly into the void.
When it comes to not speaking Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has made it an art form. Every part of the Operation Sovereign Borders policy is secretive to try and kill it as an electoral issue.
Despite their best efforts to avoid accountability of what they are doing to the world’s most vulnerable in our name, leaks are occurring.
People are speaking out. I’ll bite my tongue on this issue because I think Morrison is a scourge.
He uses chest beating, thinly veiled racism and bullying rhetoric to attempt to achieve acceptance within a tragically bigoted section of the community.
Somebody died at Manus on his watch. The truth will come out. He will face his day of truth in good time.
I could go into all the crises of this government – and thus the country – has endured but the list is incredibly long.
Let’s just say it’s not all “methodical”, “calm” or “considered” as Abbott tries to claim unconvincingly.
No matter how many times he tries his doe-eyed, slow talking plea for people to accept the words out of his mouth people know better.
This brings us to the latest development: the Commission of Audit.
Tony Abbott once again appointed mates and sectional interests to give him the big bad scary report he wanted.
He has done this in other areas of government.
He appointed vested interest climate sceptic friends, Maurice Newman and Dick Warburton to key extremely high paying roles, in this the end of the “Age of Entitlement”.
Tony Shepard, Amanda Vanstone and a few other acolytes make up the Commission of Audit.
The report, dropped recently, was a complete and utter stitch up.
Hidden from view until after the Tasmanian state election and WA Senate by-election. Having read it, I can see why.
It’s a blueprint for the destruction of the social safety net in our nation.
Who’s surprised? Tony Shepherd is the former head of the Business Council of Australia. A big supporter and ally of the Liberal Party. He has donated to them before.
One donation was to a fund being investigated by ICAC in NSW.
The least well off are told to take the full burden of what the Abbott Government term “heavy lifting”.
The reason? We’re in a supposed “budget emergency”.
Once again, they use fear to herd the masses. Or so they hope.
The “distinguished” panel of the Commission of Audit loyally delivered the exact outcome they were told to deliver by the Abbott Government. This is Liberal Party 101.
I won’t go into all aspects but it can be read at www.ncoa.gov.au. Brace yourself to be stunned if you dare read it.
They will use this “independent” report to say how supposedly bad things are. A cover for massive cuts to the least well off that will risk recession.
In a rare episode, the big business community has spoken out about massive cuts. Why? Concern for the community? Nah. They are worried about their bottom lines and recession.
Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.
The government – supposedly scared about the state of economy – is now at risk of plunging us into recession by cutting too hard and too fast against all the best advice.
Why? They are reckless and deceptive ideologues.
Let’s go into the idea of a “budget emergency”.
It’s a calculated lie.
No rational economist believes this to be true. Not one!
For goodness sake! Even Tony Shepherd admitted there is no emergency. Begrudgingly.
The facts point to there being a revenue problem, not a spending problem. The roots of which go back to John Howard.
John Howard blew the income from the mining boom with eight consecutive tax cuts.
He created the “Age of Entitlement” and “middle class welfare”.
The only reason his government left “money in the bank” was because of the sale of public assets.
In 2004, Costello, flush with mining boom money created the Baby Bonus in an election year to keep voters happy.
It was manageable when times were good but when the GFC hit and revenue plunged, you have another huge black hole.
People became accustomed to this payment and it became hard to take off them or even reduce.
What was also politically very difficult was the massive Howard tax cuts floated in the 2007 campaign. A blatant wedge issue by Howard.
Labor was all but forced to match them against their better judgement.
This was another massive black hole when the revenue vanished during the GFC.
I have spoken to an opposition federal MP who thought that was one of Labor’s biggest mistakes.
Labor has no doubt contributed to the need to raise increasing revenue but Howard contributed substantially to the so called “budget emergency”.
Don’t forget this fact.
A recent International Monetary Fund report said that the Howard government was the most profligate government in Australia’s history. The IMF know what they are talking about.
All the Abbott Government’s blatant lies are being used once again to create fear so people will hopefully swallow the poison pill of attacks on their way of life.
Attacks on the very people who voted the Abbott Government into power. What gall. What arrogance.
A true nightmare for those of us that saw this man and his ways coming a mile away.
After years of saying politicians should never lie and breach faith with the people he has done just this.
He is further eroding people’s trust in politicians.
He will be mucking with the disability support pension and the aged pension despite specific commitments to the contrary.
You can’t make not lying such a virtue before an election then flip around after you win and say “Yeah but . . . “. It won’t fly.
The biggest betrayal is that he now looks like he’ll be imposing a “levy” or tax on incomes over $80,000 of $800.
A complete and utter broken promise.
He ran on the mantra of “lower taxes”, scrapping certain taxes and imposing no new taxes.
$80,000 is not a lot these days. These people aren’t rich. They are middle Australia.
Imposing a tax on them to pay down debt unnecessarily and in a rushed manner is foolish and highly resented.
The “budget emergency” is spin and this new tax will hurt our economy.
They knew the situation before the election and made pledges in that light. They have no excuse for breaking commitments or backflipping.
It is indeed frustrating to see the level of debate online. Liberal supporters are on high alert and highly defensive.
They refuse to acknowledge that this government is a shocking display and highly unpopular.
At every opportunity they spout the same lines they have used against Labor for the last 6 years.
It’s time they acknowledged they were elected based on certain specific commitments.
They will be held to account for the years they spent spouting populist talking points instead of engaging in constructive debate.
People are offended. People are indignant. People are mad as hell.
Those who love our country and do not want Abbott destroying the middle class based on blatant lies, while giving the rich a free pass, will be publicly standing up to him and his disgracefully inept government at every single opportunity. Every single one.
Hopefully Abbott’s deceptive and offensive betrayals that are by far worse than anything they claim Labor ever did will be a bad memory after the next federal election.
Here’s to this happening sooner rather than later.
Matthew Donovan (pictured) is a former Labor candidate for the seat of Surfers Paradise in Queensland as well as a political commentator and freelance journalist. He’s an active Labor campaigner from Burleigh Branch on the Gold Coast. His interests are progressive politics, policy development and media/social media strategy. Matthew’s studied Journalism, International Relations and History at the University of Southern Queensland. He plans to study Political Science in the near future.