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The Blame Game

Tony Abbott came to power promising to be a “no surprises, no excuses” government.

REPORTER: “The condition of the budget will not be an excuse for breaking promises?”

TONY ABBOTT: “Exactly right. We will keep the commitments that we make. All of the commitments that we make will be commitments that are carefully costed.” –Joint press conference, Colo Heights, NSW, 13 August 2013

This statement was made 11 days after Chris Bowen’s Economic Statement was released (Aug 2) and the same day that Treasury and Finance released the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Both of these documents updated the current year deficit estimate to about $30 billion so Tony was well aware of the state of the books when he made this statement. Yet on the 7:30 report a couple of weeks ago Tony said:

“the then Government was saying that the deficit would be $18 billion. It turned out to be $48 billion. There was a $30 billion budget black hole that the Labor Party had created, should’ve known about and wasn’t telling us about. Obviously, when the circumstances change, there are some things that have to change with them.”

But when we look at Joe Hockey’s MYEFO from December 2013 he says:

There has been a marked deterioration in the fiscal outlook since the 2013 PEFO.

The underlying cash balance has deteriorated by $16.8 billion in the 2013‑14 year

The deterioration in the budget position since the 2013 PEFO reflects the following key facts:

##Slower growth in real GDP, together with softer domestic prices and wages, have resulted in significantly lower nominal GDP, which has largely driven the reduction in tax receipts by more than $37 billion over the forward estimates.

##The softer economic outlook, coupled with changes in demand‑driven programmes and the revised assumption for projecting the unemployment rate, has increased total payments by $11.3 billion over the forward estimates.

##Actions by the Government to address the legacy issues inherited from the former Government have impacted on the budget position over the forward estimates, with the largest of these elements being the $8.8 billion grant to the Reserve Bank of Australia.

In order to blame Labor for his broken promises, Tony has completely ignored two fiscal updates and his own Treasurer’s admission of adding almost $17 billion to the deficit.

Before the election, Abbott was so watertight on never breaking a promise that he even denied himself any wiggle-room on the question of not getting his legislation through the senate:

“The government knew going into the election that we didn’t support any spending associated with the mining tax. So, she knew that we were going to be opposing this because we said we were going to oppose it. Now, she shouldn’t have made a promise that she couldn’t keep.” -Joint doorstop interview with Craig Laundy, Auburn, 4 March 2013

Yet when he struck resistance in repealing the carbon tax, Abbott blamed the inexperience of new senators for the repeal’s defeat. A couple of days later, realising that he should not alienate the cross-benchers, Tony swung the blame to Labor.

Mr Abbott told a Liberal National Party conference in Brisbane yesterday that it is Labor that is keeping the Government from fulfilling its commitment to repeal the tax.

“When you look at things in the Senate, sure, Mr Palmer has three senators, but Mr Shorten has 25 and we know that Mr Palmer will change his mind come Monday, but Bill Shorten will still be there supporting putting your power prices up,” he said.

Funny, I thought Labor went to the election saying they would not repeal carbon pricing so Tony shouldn’t have been making promises predicated on their support.

Having eventually won that battle, Tony is now blaming the Senate for not passing the more draconian measures of the worst budget ever, and for the rapidly increasing debt and deficit. As one commenter at Crikey put it:

Blame it on the “opportunists” Labor. Blame it on the “economic vandals” Greens. Blame it on the “recalcitrant” Senate. Didn’t Abbott say that putting the adults back in charge would mean an end to the blame game?

And it’s not just on economic matters where Tony seeks to apportion blame. In yesterday’s speech on national security, Tony seemed to blame terrorist atrocities on Muslim leaders not speaking out.

“I’ve often heard western leaders describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace’. I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it.”

Unsurprisingly, Muslim leaders were furious

Even Tony’s own leadership woes also had to be someone else’s fault so Philip Ruddock had to field the blame for not telling Tony what every person in Australia already knew – he was unpopular and Credlin was too controlling.

When it comes to corruption, Tony blames the rules.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has blamed confusion over the former NSW Labor government’s ban on political donations from property developers for some of the Liberal Party’s woes at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, including the resignation of two state MPs last week.

“Who exactly is a developer?” Mr Abbott asked. “That can sometimes be a difficult question.”

Even when Tony was caught fraudulently claiming expenses for his book-signing tour, he blamed it on an administrative error, repaying the money only after being contacted by Special Minister of State Gary Gray after an article appeared in the Drum.

The repayment occurred after Mr Abbott publicly denied the allegation through a spokesman, who stated: “All travel undertaken by Mr Abbott has been within the entitlement. This is a blatant attempt by Labor to smear and mislead.”

Ahhhh….back to it being Labor’s fault – regardless of it being Tony who had lied.

And if it’s not Labor, it’s the media’s fault.

When Mr Abbott was asked if he owed Mr Newman an apology for creating the knighthood distraction with his captain’s pick during the last week of a tight state election campaign, the Prime Minister shifted the blame elsewhere.

“He wants to focus on his strong team with a strong plan,” he said. “I suspect it’s the questioners that have stopped him from doing it.”

When my children were little I stressed to them the importance of personal accountability. Don’t come and tell me what he did…tell me what you did. When they squabbled I would say I am not interested in who started it or who is to blame – sort it out or, instead of going to the beach, you will be going to your rooms.

Someone should have sent Tony to his room a long time ago.

 

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31 comments

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  1. CMMC

    Eat some blueberries, Tony.

  2. Mieke

    When Tony Abbot was asked why he did not speak to the hostage taker on the phone, he said he asked advice from the police … no captain’s call when things go pear shaped !

  3. Kaye Lee

    Even the Church gets blamed for not living up to his ideals.

    “Looking back, it seems that I was seeking a spiritual and human excellence to which the Church is no longer sure she aspires. My feeble attempts to recall her to her duty — as I saw it — betrayed a fathomless disappointment at the collapse of a cherished ideal.

    In addition, a “cooperative” style of management ran counter to the Church’s age-old hierarchical structure.

    The more they played up lay ministry and ecumenism and played down the unique role of the priest in the one true Church, the more the struggle seemed pointless and the more I wanted to participate in worldly activities which were much more to my taste.

    l felt “had” by a seminary that so stressed ”empathy” with sinners and “dialogue” with the Church’s enemies that the priesthood seemed to have lost its point.”

    http://nofibs.com.au/2013/03/28/tony-abbott-on-why-he-left-the-priesthood/

    When he was asked to see a psychologist who concluded that “he had developed an inability to be really intimate and that without the warmth and trust of real intimacy he would find life in the celibate priesthood too frustrating and lacking in peace”, Tony said “it was really the seminary staff who needed psychological investigation”.

    “I was not naturally drawn to the life of the priesthood…..the modern Church — by minimising its mystique and spiritual elan — had eroded any other basis for its undertaking.”

  4. John Fraser

    <

    Fortunately for the church it has had fires in most of its child abuse records.

    The pig Abbott is most likely praying for St Elmos fire in email correspondence and web pages.

  5. stephentardrew

    Persona accountability? Good lord are you off of your sweet little mind. I’m a winner and winners take all. Bloody personal responsibility.
    Hint you don’t need it if you are infallible. Now I could sort out the Vatican given half a chance and take it back to the twelfth century.

    Dad told me I was born to rule and by God (you see I know him personally: God that is) he was right.

    Today Australia tomorrow the world.

    Ask my mate Phil the Greek he will tell you.

  6. DanDark

    Who will he blame for the latest polls, the dog, the cat, his pimp, Tones will think of something because he is good at blaming others for his misfortune, he has being doing it his whole useless life, taking resposibilty is not one of Tones strengths, he is a gutless wonder and the country knows it…

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/

  7. Graham Houghton

    Spot on, Kaye, a man who has taken responsibility for precisely nothing in his entire life. Delusional and in denial. I wouldn’t send him to his room, I’d chain him to his kennel.

  8. Kaye Lee

    Abbott blamed Labor for the deaths of four young men during the home insulation program, even taking money from the child abuse RC to put it into a pink bats witch hunt. In the wake of his deregulation frenzy, mining deaths rose in 2014 by 50% over the 2013 number, from 10 to 15. Construction deaths in 2014 increased 70% over 2013, up from 17 to 29.

  9. Clean Livin

    Ah, you are all being to critical. Look at the realities! Inexperienced senators. The Senate saying no!, poor questions from Journos, an electorate that simply does not understand, an economy in decline thru no fault of the PM, silly Queenslanders voting labor, silly Victorians voting labor.

    This is not Tonys fault!!!

    It’s us!

  10. Möbius Ecko

    Tony Abbott’s approval ratings have not improved, with approval on 25% and disapproval on 68%. The surprise is the poor ratings for Bill Shorten who is on at 35% approval and 49% disapproval, although he maintains a 43-35 lead over Abbott as preferred prime minister.

    From Poll Bludger.

    Without fail every news story I heard this morning spun the latest Newspoll as being a huge positive for Abbott and the government, especially that people think he’s better than Shorten on security and the economy. How they got this government better at the economy has me stuffed and worried.

    They also spun the last really woeful Newspoll as being an outlier and things are now going to improve for Abbott.

    Ignored was an Essential poll around a week ago showing Abbott and the government still in disastrous territory.

    Looks like the media are back to their old poll reporting tricks. Hello media this is only a 0.1% improvement for the government, 8.9% down on the election, and Abbott hasn’t improved at all. It’s still a disaster, not a positive.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Mobius, Shorten’s polling should be a worry rather, than a surprise.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Since Shorten is giving us nothing it is hardly surprising. I cannot understand their silence. I know conventional wisdom says don’t tell the other side what you are doing but Abbott’s absolute failure has left a void that should be filled by alternative ideas.

  13. John Fraser

    <

    The only good thing about the MSM, currently, is that they can taste blood in the water.

    And i'm happy to keep feeding the burley.

    "The Abbott eulogies continue, now the Australian public are waiting to throw the body into the grave and cover it as quickly as possible".

    “It’s now drier outside the Abbott party tent than it is inside”.

  14. gangey1959

    I reckon that if we tried to use TA as shark bait, the sharks would tell us they would prefer to eat their own excrement thank you very much.
    Shorten, or anyone else from Labor, or the Greens/Independents needs to stand up and say something, just to let us all know they are still there. Their silence is deafening, and totally mystifying.

  15. Graeme Henchel

    Why is Abbott a Dead man Walking?

    Was it justice, was it Karma?
    Was it Murdoch, was it Palmer?
    Was it lying and conceit?
    Was it backbenchers fear of defeat?
    Was it Mathias and Joe’s cigars?
    Was it because we’ve stopped making cars?
    Was it climate change denial?
    Was it putting Julia on trial?
    Was it the daughter’s scholarship prize?
    Was it debt and deficit lies?
    Was it removing the Carbon Tax?
    Was it trying to give the RET the axe?
    Was it cutting Foreign aid?
    Was it being so retrograde?
    Was it the Minister for Women joke?
    Was it all the promises broke?
    Was it Brandis’s bigots rights?
    Was it prancing around in lycra tights?
    Was it cutting the SBS and the ABC?
    Was it costing more for university?
    Was it imposing a GP tax?
    Was it the disregard of facts?
    Was it the ridiculous Dames and Knights?
    Was it the threats and talk of fights?
    Was it Joe’s “lifters and leaners”?
    Was it cutting the pay of parliament’s cleaners?
    Was it punishing pensioners and the unemployed?
    Was it the total moral void?
    Was it the embarrassing G20 address?
    Was it the ongoing budget mess?
    Was it the book-launch travel rort?
    Was it knighting the Queen’s consort?
    Was it use of the sham inquiry stunt?
    Was it the weasel words of Hunt?
    Was it the 800 Million given to News?
    Was it longer unemployment queues?
    Was it a budget most unfair?
    Was it too much body hair?
    Was it nobbling the NBN?
    Was it lying again and again?
    Was it exploiting terrorist threats?
    Was it job applications of Eric Abetz?
    Was it the sex worker wink?
    Was it being too slow to think?
    Was it the surprises and constant excuses?
    Was it asylum seeker abuses?
    Was it the work of Peta and the IPA?
    Was it repeating slogans day after day?
    Was it the dog whistle of “Team Australia”?
    Was it the pungent smell of failure?
    Was it wimping Putin’s shirt front?
    Was it because Christopher Pyne is a pain?
    Was it Arthur’s memory at ICAC?
    Was it giving Mr Burns the sack?
    Was it ever declining polls?
    Was it funding Internet trolls?
    Was it Newman’s election loss?
    Was it the submarine double cross?
    Was it the whole damn useless crew?
    Was it the ties of bogus blue?
    Was it the hubris and the swagger?
    Was it Malcolm and Julie’s dagger?
    Why will Abbott get the shove?
    The answer is, all of the above.

  16. John Fraser

    <

    Graeme Henchel

    I thought it was Abbotts fault that he was " a Dead man Walking".

    Your list shows that he used a shotgun.

  17. Wayne Turner

    Buck passing LYING Abbott is arrogant and delusional.

  18. totaram

    I don’t think we should focus so much on TA. By that I mean that all these tactics are standard coalition procedures. Didn’t JWH do the same things? And if it’s Malcolm Turnbull tomorrow he will do the same, perhaps with more sophistication. These are the party’s policies, and these are the ways they fool people to let them get away with working against the interests of the majority.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott faced a “cavalcade of complaints” in Tuesday’s Liberal party room meeting, including repeated questioning from WA MP Don Randall about why former chief government whip Philip Ruddock was axed.

    Mr Abbott was also confronted by South Australian MPs Andrew Southcott and Rowan Ramsey about the future submarine project, with Mr Ramsey warning the Prime Minister he would be breaking an election promise “if the hulls aren’t welded” in South Australia.

    And Liberal MPs Craig Laundy and Andrew Laming raised concerns about attack on the Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs and on the issue of children in detention.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-faces-cavalcade-of-complaints-in-liberal-party-room-20150224-13n6ix.html

  20. Phi

    I’m not inclined to write Shorten off so quickly, nor to criticise him for not acting as Abbott did in opposition (and continues in government).

    As long as Shorten says little, then it’s Abbott’s voice that the nation hears and he has shown that every time that ugly mouth opens we get contradictions, gaffes and then more gaffes.

    If Shorten was to say anything let alone put forward policy ideas to counter the absolute failures of Abbott’s entire policy suite, then Abbott and puppet master Murdoch would instantly shift the debate off Abbott and onto Shorten. Now, that would not be in national interest since Abbott must be allowed to progress unhindered along his path to self destruction.

  21. diannaart

    Yeah, Phi

    I get that Shorten believes he needs to play his cards close.

    However, Australia desperately needs hope;

    hope of an alternative to this authoritarian ship of fools

    hope that we can repair the damage.

  22. John Kelly

    Kaye, your eye for detail puts the entire cabinet’s researchers to shame. It puts the entire MSM researchers to shame. You expose, even without saying it, the hypocrisy, denial and media bias inherent in our supposed 4th estate. If it was Labor that was guilty of these contradictions, the MSM would be hyperventilating.

  23. Graeme Henchel

    I read an interesting quote from Betrand Russell. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt”. I’m pretty sure that Abbott is in the stupid category, but I could be wrong.

  24. sandrasearle

    I agree with Phi. Diannaart, perhaps what the country needs is not just hope, but to be able to trust the people we vote for.
    With the Murdochracy right wing media in the LNP corner being so dominant, it would indeed imprudent for the ALP to divulge what long term plans they have for this country, except those that so many people voted them into power for.
    Those ideals such as education for everyone, universal health care, the environment & global warming & those people who need a helping hand up from the bottom rung of life.
    We should keep focused on those things & keep letting this idiotic government that it these policies that we want & expect from proper government nor the sham one we have at present.

  25. diannaart

    Sandra, completely agree we need to trust our politicians.

    I am not into trusting Labor or the Libs right now. I believe Shorten could do a great deal to improve his image of trustworthiness – which would give myself and others, hope.

  26. townsvilleblog

    This LNP government have become as many others became a disunited rabble of factions who can’t agree on compromise and each is pushing their own barrow to the detriment of the nation. Where is the fairness, honesty or integrity in allowing big business to dodge $8.4 billion in taxes every year?

  27. stephentardrew

    The night of the long sleep and small target.

    I just hope it works. You cannot trust the voters if Turnbull gets in so I hope to hell that Labor has a strategic plan.

    If not they may well be hung out to dry.

    Turnbull is a smooth tongued con-man and many Australians are gullible to Mr Smarmy duplicitous nice guy.

    Just a second while I throw up.

  28. Kaye Lee

    The criminal code says it is an offence to offer “a benefit, or the promise of the provision of a benefit … with the intention of influencing a public official”.

    the secretary of the attorney general’s department, Chris Moraitis, asked Gillian Triggs to resign at the request of George Brandis and offered her “other work with the government”. He denied he had used the word resignation, but he agreed he had offered her another, specific “senior legal role” and that accepting that role would have meant she would have had to leave the human rights commission, that “one would follow from the other”.

    In 2011, the Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity recommended a full review of the Commonwealth’s integrity framework with a view to establishing a generalist, dedicated anti-corruption body. The Joint Committee noted that the lack of such a body to date meant “there could be a lot of ‘undisturbed rocks’ that need to be overturned if the public is to be fully assured that integrity in the public sector is being properly maintained and safeguarded.”

    Federal ICAC NOW!!!

  29. diannaart

    Brandis, Abbott et al of the Lie ‘n Pillage Party, shouting look over here, no not the children over there – a woman told us stuff we didn’t want to hear.

  30. Kaye Lee

    “Everyone’s still pretending nothing unusual is going on and that Abbott’s speeches – such as his latest take on terror – are sensible reactions to the real world. They’re rubbish. They only possess meaning as increasingly desperate attempts to staunch the tide of support flowing from him. He’s banging cymbals and creating noise to prevent us focusing on what’s going wrong.”

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/tony-the-mad-hatter-lies-falsifications-and-mistakes-20150223-13m36p.html

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