The Abbott Pretorian Guard at The Australian – and all other Murdoch newspapers – have closed ranks around their man in The Lodge. A man under siege from all sides.
He accrues baggage every single time he opens his mouth. The outrage on social media is palpable.
The Australian likes to conveniently disregard Twitter as being “Left biased”.
The same can’t be said for Facebook with its much larger user base.
Facebook is also lighting up with fury over the regressive agenda of the Coalition.
The nation wide community organised rally movement March in March has been gathering momentum almost entirely on Facebook.
People are unimpressed and they are angry about Abbott’s vision of helping the big end of town at the expense of the social safety that everyday Australians rely on.
The Australian way of life is being severely damaged and in record time.
I am absolutely hostile towards Tony Abbott and all he stands for. I have made that clear time and time again. I wear it as a badge of honour. We deserve better than the sorry lot we have in charge now.
The Murdoch media is busily trying to spin Abbott’s horrendous showing at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It’s made worse by the fact he is currently the President of the G20.
Unfortunately, the man whose turn it was in The Weekend Australian to plead Abbott’s case, Dennis Shanahan, isn’t so clear about his motives and objectives when writing his opinion pieces.
He spurns Labor every time he mentions them no matter what the issue. He praises the Coalition at every opportunity. Just the way Murdoch likes it.
It would not surprise me if he, along with Paul Kelly and Henry Ergas, is in regular contact with Murdoch about what to write and how to write.
They are Rupert’s de facto voices in The Australian.
I would say Rupert writes them himself but I have seen his writing and I wrote better in my first semester of journalism school.
Dennis at least can string his words together.
I also assume Dennis talks to Abbott frequently. Mr Abbott only talks regularly to those in the media who are friendly towards his warped agenda.
This would easily explain why he relishes talking to 2GB and other divisive, biased and deceptive shock jocks who pander to the lowest common denominator.
Abbott, along with his ministers, is not as keen to appear on Lateline, 7:30, ABC or Q&A.
How many days since his last appearance on Q&A again?
This can mostly be put down to the overly controlling Chief of Staff Peta Credlin, the wife of the Liberal Party head Brian Lougnanne.
This woman has more power than the hapless and effectively irrelevant Deputy PM Warren Truss of the disregarded National Party.
Credlin is the woman to blame for several ministers in hiding, most prominently the disgraceful Scott Morrison.
Truth, facts, scrutiny and accountability scare this government witless. Disregard any election commitment in this regard.
Shanahan’s characteristically fawning piece is hard to take seriously.
A quick look at the latest polls suggests all is not “beer and skittles” for the Abbott Government, as Dennis tries to suggest.
Dennis seems to laugh at the concept of Abbott being presented as “old-fashioned, unthinking, ‘innumerate’, and uninterested when it comes to economics”.
A quick Google search of Tony Abbott or a visit to YouTube would suggest Dennis either hasn’t done his research on this man, believes in his agenda or is utterly clueless and blind to reality. Maybe all of them.
Tony Abbott is the most conservative – and pathetic leader – Australia has had since the early 70s under the hopeless and out of touch Billy McMahon.
That’s right, Billy McMahon. The same Prime Minister who was so abysmal Murdoch refused to support him during the 1972 federal election.
Nobody with any sense can dispute Abbott’s conservatism.
His notorious history at Sydney University is enough to suggest he is completely out of step, destructive, negative and aggressive.
He happily and cunningly walks the path of negative fear politics and brings out the worst in people.
Typical divisive Tory politics.
This might be expected in university but at the highest level it disgraces the good name of our country.
Some Young Liberals have followed his lead. Nasty trolls with no policy clue whatsoever and a backward view of the world.
Dennis says how happy “senior business people” were with him and his speech.
He says foreign business leaders were all saying they wished they “could have one of him”.
They want him? They can have him!
Tony Abbott is the leader that the business community wanted desperately and helped elect.
Why wouldn’t they be happy?
While business falls over itself to take advantage of Abbott’s selfish business orientated agenda the attacks on ordinary Australians and nasty surprises keep piling up.
Do you get this from Dennis?
No, of course not.
He’s too busy praising the agenda of “smaller government”, “less red and green tape”, and Abbott’s belief “government doesn’t always know best”.
Abbott’s attacks on Medicare, social security, the disabled, the environmental movement, education, the LGBTI community and health, among many others haven’t gone unnoticed by those who matter. The voters.
Abbott refuses to engage in the international efforts to mitigate climate change and declined to be involved in the CHOGM climate change fund.
Let’s not forget that this government failed to send Environment Minister Greg Hunt to a key climate change conference recently and irritated many nations with their obstructionist attitude to measures to address climate change.
His government earned Australia the “Colossal Fossil” Award for being the most retrograde nation at the conference.
Makes so many of us so proud.
Dennis obviously agrees government should “get out of the way” of business and let them make their money in peace as Abbott suggests.
I ask Dennis to wind his mind back to 2008. The world economy was in compete free fall.
Why? Deregulation and inept oversight of unfettered capitalism in the United States.
Tony Abbott actually criticised Australia’s action to halt the impacts of the GFC on Australia. That would have had many eyes in the room rolling.
A true economic innumerate and a man who himself has said he has no interest in economics.
Not to mention his continued, impertinent and quite frankly childish efforts to drag domestic politics onto the global stage despite being against all accepted protocols.
I sometimes wonder why I read and support the News Corp Australia monstrosity.
I have to remind myself it’s to call out the completely biased drivel of “journalists” like Dennis Shanahan.
A man who passes off free advertising for the Coalition Government as well thought out and impartial analysis.
Pull the other one Dennis.
You may be a writer but you are not a journalist and your analysis – in written form or video – is truly hopeless.
In closing I share my one and only interaction with the man of the hour:
I can’t for the life of me understand what goes through your head.
Everything is geared around Labor being bad and or doing bad.
Labor drops in the polls. Bad.
Labor rises in the polls. Still bad.
What universe are you in?
You expect Labor to go from 42% to 51%?
It is just blatant inability to try and pretend there is some ounce of balance at The Australian.
You just end up looking like a political hack and damn right fool.
As a disappointed and frustrated Labor supporter your anger is understandable.
But your baseless allegations of bias are unacceptable.
You clearly can’t read or accept polling figures which Labor MPs understand and for which they don’t stupidly blame me.
You are clearly loyal to Labor but your loyalty blinds you to reality and your ignorance, both of polling and manners, makes it necessary for me to block you along with a lot of cranks and nut jobs as Julia Gillard would say.
I’m always happy to have sensible political discussion with readers but your abusive comments put you outside that realm.
Rest assured the PM’s office does know how to have a sensible conversation about the polls and note that I wasn’t fomenting leadership destabilisation.
Dennis is more than happy to cast the first stone but when the same level of analysis is turned back on him he has a propensity to become indignant.
A typical Tory trait in my experience.
This article has also been published on Independent Australia under the title Shanahan’s unimpressive drivel about Abbott’s Davos debacle.
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.