I remember when the United States Congress gave our Prime Minister a standing ovation.
I remember when men and women around the world were touched by her passion in championing the rights of women.
I remember when our Treasurer was hailed as the best in the world for saving our country from the collapse felt around the globe.
I remember when the world was praising our leadership in action on climate change by introducing carbon pricing.
I remember when we reached agreement with the states to implement education funding reform.
I remember when we looked forward to every home being connected to world class NBN.
It wasn’t that long ago.
So how did we end up in our current position, represented by fools and vilified globally?
The people who are paid to inform us, whose job it is to hold politicians to account, failed us, that’s how.
On the eve of the election, every major newspaper in the country, with the exception of Melbourne’s Age, endorsed Tony Abbott to be Australia’s 28th prime minister.
Queensland’s Courier Mail ran a front page picture of a clown’s hat, emblazoned with the ALP logo, toppled in the centre of a circus ring under a headline ”The circus is over.”
”We believe Tony Abbott stands ready to seize the day,” read Melbourne’s Herald Sun editorial, beside a front page headline ”Tony’s Time”.
The Adelaide Advertiser told Australians that ”tomorrow [they] finally have an opportunity to set our nation on a new path”.
The Canberra Times also came out in favour of the Coalition telling us it was “Abbott’s time”.
On the first day of the election campaign the Daily Telegraph ran a front page photograph of a distressed-looking Kevin Rudd accompanied by the headline: ”Finally, you now have the chance to . . . Kick this mob out.”
And the Sunday Telegraph published a front page picture of a statesman-like Tony Abbott standing in front of a billowing national flag, with the headline: ”Australia needs Tony.”
The Sydney Morning Herald said ”Abbott does not so much deserve the chance to do what Labor could not do in the past six years. But the party he leads is untainted by scandal and infighting, and therefore has the best chance to unite a tired and despondent electorate.”
The AFR judged that ”Australia’s prosperity would be better served by a Coalition government”.
The Australian pushed for the Coalition to be given a majority government and for Mr Abbott to seek a ”mandate for reform”.
The newspaper praised the Opposition Leader, saying: ”Rarely in the modern era has there been a more grounded prime ministerial candidate than this volunteer firefighter, surf lifesaver, endurance athlete and charity cyclist.”
The Northern Territory News compared Labor’s reign to natural disasters afflicting the NT.
”Territorians cope with a lot compared to the rest of Australia. Searing heat, torrential downpours, cyclones and the tyranny of distance,” the NT News editorial read.
”One thing we cannot, and should not, have to cope with is when a government . . . goes troppo. The Labor Federal Government has gone troppo. And that’s being kind. It has lost the ability – and the right – to lead.”
But ”fortunately”, the newspaper concluded, “there is a candidate to bring the country to its senses”.
Melbourne’s Age was the only paper in the country to back Labor.
The Age judged that Labor’s policies – especially the national broadband network, better schools plan and commitment to a price of carbon – meant the government deserved to be returned, but they had already cruelled any chance of that when, in June their headline read “For the sake of the nation, Ms Gillard should stand aside.”
How can every single one of our journalists have got it so terribly wrong? These people are trained and paid to do a job. They have access to the inner workings of Parliament and they are fed briefs, press releases and leaks. Perhaps, rather than slavishly believing and printing what they are told, they would do better to stay in their jammies and do a little research for themselves.
We are owed an apology.