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The gift that keeps on giving

The media is in a spin over all this chatter about the possibility that former PM Tony Abbott might make another run for the top job.

Abbott has announced that he will re-contest pre-selection for the safe seat of Warringah.

Meanwhile he is off to speak to the Alliance Defending Freedom in the US where he will be among like-minded souls. They want to return the world to the Christendom of the Dark Ages.

Good luck with that. The US has long held a special place in its heart for ultra-right wing, religious nut cases. Abbott will be among friends.

His maverick like attitude, however, will be under close watch by a party already deeply divided and highly exposed.

Labor should be delighted to hear it. It truly is a gift from the gods. Imagine what their spin merchants could do with that in an upcoming federal election.

They not only have a proposed increase in the GST to exploit, but can now develop a narrative around the Liberal party disunity and the prospect that should Turnbull win the election, we might see Tony back as PM.

Make no mistake about it. The Liberal Party is in a state of war from within. There are so many colleague’s knives ready to be thrust into Turnbull’s gizzards, they make Brutus and Cassius look like children playing in the backyard.

There’s one huge proviso on Abbott remaining in Parliament though. He will first have to show that he has renounced his British citizenship. Within 14 days of the declaration of the Warringah result (assuming he wins), Tony’s eligibility will be challenged on the grounds that he holds dual citizenship.

If, however, he is able to overcome that challenge by producing his Renunciation Form, then it will be an uncertain future for Malcolm Turnbull, given the party’s economic failures, policies that favour the top end of town and a natural antipathy for Turnbull that runs deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The date on that Renunciation Form will be all important as well. It will tell us whether or not Abbott has served in the parliament during a period in which he was ineligible.

Won’t a battalion of constitutional lawyers love that?

And then there is the debt and deficit disaster? Where is that today?

Using Neo-liberal language, the Coalition debt is a much bigger disaster than Labor gave us. Whatever brand of maths you use, Labor averaged $36 billion in borrowings per annum over the six years they were in government.

The Coalition is averaging $48 billion in borrowings per annum for the two and a half years they have been in government. So who is the bigger spender? And what opportunities does that offer Labor?

If Labor cannot see the opportunities Abbott’s continued presence in parliament offers them, they need counselling. They have superior economic and social policies, they have the personnel capable of delivering them.

“A vote for Malcolm Turnbull is a vote for an increase in the GST, for policies that favour the rich and perhaps Tony Abbott as PM again.”

They can easily launch a rear-guard action with the sole purpose of destabilising the Liberal party just by concentrating on the internal poison that currently exists within it; a poison that seeks to undermine Malcolm Turnbull and ensure his progressive policy preferences never see the light of day.

So what are they waiting for, up there in Labor heartland?


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  1. Florence nee Fedup

    Triple AAA rating is in danger of going according to Fraser. PM popped up to disagree.

  2. astra5

    John, it’s good to see you giving Labor some clues about how to frame the political debate as we approach the 2016 election. That’s what Bill Shorten and his minders need to be doing: getting the framing right, getting the language right, getting the words right, and getting the slogans right – pithy and memorable.

    Regarding an Abbott revival, if one can take anything from Turnbull’s statements this morning about his cabinet reshuffle, it is that his avowed intention is ‘renewal’. This leaves Abbott out. I believe that would be the best result for Labor. His seething, resentful presence on the backbench will be a continual source of irritation to Turnbull and the LNP. It will exacerbate tensions between the reactionaries – Abetz, Bernardi, et al – and the more moderate ‘liberals’. It will accentuate the growing aura of dissent within the government. The people dislike dissent.

    The chances of Abbott becoming PM again seem minute, but in this crazy world of federal politics, nothing much is impossible. That grotesque scenario, if it ever eventuates, would be the greatest gift Labor could wish for. The people, thoroughly repulsed by this man, would record a massive ABA vote: ‘Anyone but Abbott’.

  3. Deidre Zanker

    John please sent a copy of your article to the Labor party head quarters. Also copies to Bill Shorten and all shadow cabinet members. Perhaps you should volunteer to help form Labor’s election strategy.

  4. Geoff Andrews

    Wot? Labor has spin doctors an’ PR thingamies an’ strategists? No… never. Who’d ‘ave thought!
    What the party needs is politicians with passion and conviction AND the ability to transmit those emotions so that we know they mean what they say; that they have fire in the belly. Hire some drama coaches particularly when reading from a script.

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Abbott all but screamed he will be contesting the Prime Ministership again when he pulled one of his SOP photo/video ops the moment he hit New York. In front of a Visy recycling centre resplendent in blue tie and the usual pursed lip grin it was as if Abbott had not left the top job (or opposition leader for that matter) at all.

    The real reason for the photo op was his usual rort of using a PR visit to anything so as to claim expenses for the trip that has another personal or party purpose. Whether it’s attending an AFL grand final in Melbourne or an extreme right wing religious function in the US, you can be certain Abbott will spend a half hour with media in tow at some place or other to justify his claiming it as an public expense.

    What this so starkly demonstrates is that Abbott hasn’t changed a single bit, or at least the PR advice to him hasn’t. He’s still doing the same things he’s always done in the same way he’s always done them.

  6. astra5

    Möbius Ecko
    Abbott will never change. His behaviour is hard-wired into his neuronal apparatus.

    All we will see from him is different strategies to achieve his inbuilt and unchanging agenda.

  7. John Hermann

    Florence, the AAA rating given by the corrupted ratings agencies to those silly enough to take them seriously should be of little concern to a sovereign government. I am mindful of the AAA ratings given by these agencies to mortgage-backed securities, which were hawked all over the world and sold to vast numbers of gullible people who trusted the ratings agencies to get it right. Leading eventually to the global financial crisis, from whose effects we are still suffering. Their ineffectual attempts to influence Japanese economic policy by downgrading their rating of Japanese Treasury bonds demonstrates that a monetarily sovereign government who issues bonds to domestic borrowers denominated in its own currency has nothing to fear from the ratings agencies. Indeed there is a good case for closing them down.

  8. Möbius Ecko

    Will have to disagree astra5. We never see different strategies from Abbott or his spin merchants. It is always the same strategy dressed in different shades of blue ties.

    Also have to disagree with you Geoff Andrews. What Labor needs is a halfway fair MSM so they can get the messages out there and reported fairly, with or without passion or conviction.

    Again today we say on the back of their Gonski funding announcement, given with passion and conviction by Labor, the MSM, especially the Murdoch media, attack that funding because it eats half of Labor’s proposed revenue for the next decade and doesn’t address the far more important budget deficit, which apparently the Liberals are addressing.

    The incongruity of the Liberals spending greater than $10b more and growing per annum than Labor in power seems to be lost on the MSM. It’s now apparently Labor’s highest priority job if they win government to return the Liberal’s ever expanding deficit to surplus.

    And that illustrates why Labor have such a hard job of getting their message out there, with or without passion.

  9. Neil of Sydney

    Triple AAA rating is in danger of going according to Fraser.

    Of course it is thanks to Rudd/Gillard and the people who voted for them. Will we lose our AAA? Of course we will. Meaning we will have to pay even more interest on our mainly foreign debt to overseas investors

  10. Rezblah

    Wow Neil of la la land, reality really is a different dimension from the one you inhabit isn’t it, thanks for the confirmation

    Re challenging Abbot on his dual citizenship, surely it’s a no brainer for any challenger in that seat, but do you have any further info or sources on whether that will actually happen?

    Now that I’d love to see…

  11. Felicitas

    Oh NoS, you are so funny. Ridiculous, but soooooo funny!

  12. Michael Taylor

    Yes, Rezblah, he does talk rubbish. Up until now Neil’s recent comments have been quite intelligent, which I must say was a surprise to me. But to come out and blame Rudd, Gillard, and the people who voted for them as the reason we might lose our AAA credit rating was, to be honest, quite looney.

    It looks like Neil has returned to his old ways. Sad really. I was enjoying his recent comments. Not that I didn’t enjoy this one – it was quite amusing in its childishness. But he has shown he can do better.

    Neil, it’s up to you.

  13. John Hermann

    Neil of Sydney,

    You should be aware (a) that the Australian government’s securities (aka public debt) is denominated in Australian dollars, and (b) that being a monetarily sovereign government, it has no difficulty paying interest on any of its securities — the story that this interest is paid by taxpayers is a myth.

  14. John Kelly

    Is the agency that threatens our AAA rating the same one that gave the US mortgage securities a AAA rating? You know, the ones that gave us the GFC. Why would anyone give a rat’s hiss about what a ratings agency does?

  15. John Kelly

    Neil of Sydney, could you tell us what foreign debt we have currently?

  16. gangey1959

    Thought provoking as always John.
    A few of mine, including those on the current replies. (In no particular order)
    NoS. You are still a moron. I bet you drive a bmw.
    I wonder how many times ta is going to have to photocopy his renunciation certificate in order to obliterate the white-out marks behind the date ?
    Our immediate ex-pm is now proving to his own party that he is the best OPPOSITION leader they have ever had.
    The difference between ta and a spent nuclear reactor fuel rod is that the reactor rod has a higher IQ and is a whole lot safer.
    The alp wouldn’t know a good political opportunity if one bit them on their collective arse. Mr shorten should retire to the back bench or just quit on the grounds that he’s a dud.
    All of the column-inch bullshit being wasted on the lnp leadership woes is perfect for the msm to distract the sensible voters, who are increasing rapidly in number thanks to sites like this on ant the internet in general from Australia’s (and the planet’s) real problems, like foreign ownership, global warming, people who believe that international terrorism is where we should start, free trade agreements and how to stop them, NoS, etc etc.

    Have a fun day.
    Back soon

  17. John Kelly

    Rezblah, yes, I am in touch with people in the Warringah electorate who will be challenging.

  18. Florence nee Fedup

    John I don’t but imagine outcry if it was Labor in danger of losing the ratings?

  19. diannaart

    Having a few health issues ATM

    So this cheered me up, thanks gangey1959:

    “The difference between ta and a spent nuclear reactor fuel rod is that the reactor rod has a higher IQ and is a whole lot safer

    Let’s hope, not unlike like nuclear waste, Abbott will cause more problems for the Libs, in his after-life, than he was worth ousting Labor.

  20. Paul Murchie

    John Kelly ( :

    the Shorten reiterated his potential “bi-partisanality” for something the other day : unless he’s willing to dump that sort of “being led by the ears” psychophantasm, he’ll drag the ALP’s “advantages” back into the ephemeral moment of #28’s IPA-MSM hijack of the Country (not that we’ve escaped the event horizon of that BLACK HOLE to any extent with Turdfull).

    you say, “He will first have to show that he has renounced his British citizenship. Within 14 days of the declaration of the Warringah result (assuming he wins), Tony’s eligibility will be challenged on the grounds that he holds dual citizenship.”

    can you explain WHY this challenge hasn’t been successful or made in the past ? it doesn’t make any sense …

    ( :

  21. Ross

    Mal should create a position as a very junior assistant, assisting the most junior minister in the government.
    Then offer it to Tones in the spotlight of a mega media fanfare.
    After all Tones is only in parliament to serve the people to the best of his abilities, right.
    Problem sorted.

  22. John Kelly

    Paul, he has never been challenged in the past. He should gave been, but everyone was asleep at the wheel.
    The detail of the matter was only brought to light when he became PM.

  23. Ruth L

    I am sure he would be more at home with the USA party of morons.They are welcome to him.
    Does anyone know if anybody was idiotic enough to offer Abbott a job???

  24. Geoff Andrews

    Mobius Ecko, there is no need to disagree with me (unless you think it’s a bad idea to teach our rather grey representatives to, at least, appear to believe what they say?)
    I didn’t mean to imply getting some drama tuition was a magic bullet . I agree that Labor needs a “half way fair MSM” – we all agree with that, but it’s like bad weather: every one talks about it but nobody does anything about it.
    Oratory comes naturally to some. Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and (dare I mention his name?), Rudd all could make us sit up and listen whether reading a speech or speaking extemporaneously. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of these had had a little tuition. In Roman times, I believe it was an art form. At least the sound of snoring didn’t resound across the continent as the 7 o’clock news swept through the time zones as Bill delivers one his zingers. I think that maybe there’s a correlation between boring, boring, boring and an MSM that doesn’t care to report.
    Now I’M getting boring and I blame you Sir, damn your hide….. no, bugger it, I blame Labor.

  25. Sen Nearly Ile

    A good read that will be the subject of why billy and tanya ignored the many failings of the 2013-16 coalition government and the 2016-19 government.
    The rabbott’s, as are the other jesuits, strength is a completely unwavering, orthodox approach to god.
    The labor strength is an unwavering belief that the Australian electorate are fair and…

  26. Möbius Ecko

    Fair enough Geoff. Good point well made.

  27. kerrilmail

    Great article John,
    But while I agree with your strategies I think that level of intellect is somehow beyond Shorten. The more I think about it the more I become convinced the election will go to the smiling assassin.
    Shorten fights back like sago pudding.
    The public don’t like him and he does nothing to change their mind.
    Albo or Plibersek are way more electable.
    I am growing more depressed by the day.
    But at least NoS gives us all a good laugh!
    I didn’t know there was a Fantasyland in Sydney?
    If Trump wins in the US Abbott will feel empowered.
    Hope your health improves Dannaart!

  28. Paul Murchie

    John Kelly ( :

    cheers .it would have to culminate in at least a custodial sentence for each of the years in Parliament ! never to sit again, and a total repeal of all of its BS since 2013 – FTAs, Five Eyes, Carbon Tax, Concentration Camp Contracts, all de-funding and Ransack, EVERYTHING ! under such conditions, even its ill-gotten gains from fraudulent activity – salary, super, pension, percs should be fully returned ! and the same for the rest of them, it’s not as though they couldn’t have known !

    the Age article tony-abbott-slammed-for-political-timing-of-east-west-link-road-cash-20151214
    indicates that funding irregularities are most likely to have been politically motivated – to increase the year’s debt in support of the LNP’s claims that the ALP were profligate spenders, poor economic managers or had left a worse debt than “previously supposed” or whatever was spouted venomously at the time

    now the ALP have requested Audits into the Failed the Perth Freight Link an the exponentially blowing-out and apparently Mafia-Run WestConnex, it is not unlikely that more irregularities and money shuffling will be revealed by a properly conducted and reported Audit.

    Terminal says we’ve got to be Optimistic – this would be something to be optimistic FOR; he’d be TOAST as well !

  29. Rezblah

    JK, thanks for your response, great to hear that someone is ready to roll with it, I hope they do it loudly enough for the whole country to hear if and when the time comes

  30. fiddlestixbob

    Labor won’t touch the Tony Abbott dual citizenship thing because there are probably Labor politicians in parliament who also have dual citizenship. Don’t forget that the two major political parties in Australia are the one two-headed beast!

  31. Katrina Logan

    Nothing like a bit of biased commenting there
    “Labor won’t touch the Tony Abbott dual citizenship thing”, Terri Butler MP Labor raised this as did Graham Perrett MP ALP
    Could you tell me the responses any of the Greens Senators or MP or any of the Independents got to their questioning on this issue
    OH I Forgot

  32. Möbius Ecko

    fiddlestixbob can you tell us who these Labor pollies are as I can’t find any. Gillard proved she had renounced her dual citizenship so why can’t Abbott.

  33. Ned

    So what does Tony Abbott have in common with Far-Right Christian Conservative lobby – “Alliance Defending Freedom”?

    Taking your Guns
    Forced infant vaccines up to teens
    Clossing the boarder, even to own Citizens
    No fly lists
    Draconian Anti-terror legislation
    Destroying Magna Carta and Common law.

    Not Much really.

    Abbott’s Liberals destroyed revenue and a vibrant economy under its first Hockey Abbott Austerity budget of massive cutbacks that killed the golden goose. Then Hypocritically they borrowed twice the total commonwealth debt to enrich and bailout their big end of town leveraged mates who are detached from the real economy and profit it nothing. Gold plating the RBA with 8 billion rainy day money. To top off the monumental hypocrisy for good measure, they then endanger and loose the AAA credit rating by slowing revenue small business owner economy and ordinary consumers by their Austerity and loss of confidence by consumers and small business to invest or expand. So they launch a cynical stimulus package aimed at small business for vote buying, but has little takers for fear of the tax office. Add to this the loss of the mining boom. This is still the worst government in 100 years pushing its Neoliberal end game to our extinction. All because an ego maniac ten pound pome had a born to rule fantasy and needed 300 billion to fund it, to burn down the economy just so he could say he was prime minister for a day.

  34. RosemaryJ36

    Paul Murchie – I fear you are over-optimistic. When you look at the relevant legislation, you will realise that it cannot be used retrospectively – more’s the pity!

  35. Mechboyblu

    How to win an election in one easy oversight. Seeing as though no politician in this country has a brain bigger than a rats. The chance of Labour jumping on this. Nought. Labour is on its knees to the corporate theiving sect that really runs this country the same as any other hijacked party. Hope in Labour is misguided titty sucking. Excuse me ladies. But it seems everyone is looking for the breast to nuture them when its full of poison. Forget it. Unless we align with new merging markets and ease ties with the U.S. as to be taken seriously in the international community this country is going back to the 30s and perhaps dare say bronze age. Doom and gloom lies in all directions unless our leaders get wise. Forget rat brained individuals who are lining their own pockets. Their our national disgrace.
    Bring back the wise,and who are they.? Anyone who doesn’t seek impunity for their
    End transmission… freedom over and out.

  36. Peter F

    @ Diannaart: You mention the difference between TA and spent nuclear waste. I see the similarity ; the Libs don’t know what to do with him. ( I know nobody wants it buried in their own back yard)

  37. Paul Murchie

    RosemaryJ36 ( :
    isn’t that Convenient !
    treason is now a “moral lapse” like paedophilia ?
    PFFT …

  38. cuppa

    How do you like them Onions? Eh? Eh?

  39. David

    In most Democracies the attempt to bring down a democratically elected Govt by unlawful means would be treason. Except in Australia, where that occurrence by members of HM Opposition led by Anthony Abbott and associates, were never held to account.

  40. Pingback: The gift that keeps on giving. | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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