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The Weird World Of Tony Abbott’s Australia

While Googling Tony Abbott – now there’s something I wouldn’t have imagined myself doing twenty five years ago – I came across an interesting quote that I thought was refreshingly honest:

“It’s my job between now and polling day to remind the Australian people just what a hopeless, unreliable, untrustworthy, dishonest, deceptive Government this has been. It just doesn’t get democracy.”

Unfortunately, on closer examination, I discovered that the quote was from the Alan Jones program, and it was made in July, 2010. Unfortunate, because I thought this might be the beginning of a more honest approach by the government, where they actually admit that the Budget would be back in surplus if we simply went back to the tax rates of 2007. You know, back when John Howard was in charge, before Labor slashed our taxes.

Still, we are getting rid of that great big tax on everything, so that should help the Budget bottom line. I did hear a couple of Liberal politicians express the view that balancing the Budget would be a lot easier with the Carbon Tax gone. I wonder if they realise that the government doesn’t actually have to pay the Carbon Tax and that it receives the revenue. In fact, according to Liberal pamphlets, it receives an enormous amount of revenue from this source. But hey, let’s abolish this “King Kong” of taxes (to quote Mr Abbott again) and make pensioners pay to visit the doctor.

Yes, I’m being emotive. After all, some of these pensioners would still be working once the pension age goes to seventy. As Mr Abbott said just last week:

“We think this is right and proper and we think older people should be economic contributors, not just social and cultural contributors.”

But back to the Carbon Tax. In reporting Clive Palmer’s decision to back its abolition, the Herald-Sun – in a straight news story, under the Headline “The Weird Al and Clive Show” – began with: “Climate change scaremonger Al Gore and big polluter Clive Palmer combined in a bizarre press conference as Mr Palmer revealed revealed he would back the Government’s bid to abolish the carbon tax – with conditions.” (Emphasis added.)

For some reason, we were treated to a list of Mr Palmer’s assets, as well as being told that Mr Gore used the phrase “climate crisis” three times in his “3min 30sec speech” (sic).

Mm, I’m waiting for the article that begins “Budget Crisis Scaremonger Joe Hockey” or when the phrase “Big Polluter” is applied to a member of one of Tony Abbott’s advisory groups.

The article went on to suggest that journalists were wondering whether Mr Gore had been paid to attend. However, it left me wondering, whether the writer of the article, Ellen Whinnett, was paid to put such a slant on it, or whether writing such tabloid rubbish is consistent with her principles.


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  1. sdrawkcaB

    “It’s my job between now and polling day to remind the Australian people just what a hopeless, unreliable, untrustworthy, dishonest, deceptive Government this has been. It just doesn’t get democracy.”

    This is something I do not get.

    I think it was Mencken who discussed the lying habits of politicians and he is not with us anymore – meaning they have been doing this for a while…lying that is.

    So, the bit I do not get. Yeah, the buffoon said some stuff. Why do people then go on to believe him. How many times do politicians need to lie before people just simply ignore them?

    It is not as if the Buffoon sprung out of nowhere to become a breath of fresh air. We had seen him in action for years with his introductory effort to the Australian people as the Minister for dirt on Cheryl Kernot.

  2. guest

    That a News Corp writer would call Al Gore “climate change scaremonger” is no surprise. Al Gore is opposed to those who deny AGW.

    The use of “big polluter” for Clive Palmer is rather more puzzling. Is it a slip which confirms what we all believe, that Clive is a big polluter?

    Or is it a touch of irony because there seems to be some confusion about how much pollution Clive actually makes. He is reputed to have a lot of money, but how operational are his mining assets, or is the plan to increase coal production just an ambition?

    Or does it reveal that Clive is really a persona non grata on the Government side, despite his vote to repeal the Carbon “Tax”, because he is at war with the Qld Government and is upstaging Abbott and is making himself look more like the PM than Abbott is?

    That confusion reigns in the weird world of Abbott’s Oz is no surprise either. We have the Clayton’s “economic crisis”, “toxic tax”, “Direct Action” plan, “Budget”… In fact, everything this “Government” is touching is turning to dust.

    So, what to make of the Gore-Palmer stunt. Was Gore paid to stand by like a sandwich board to give credence to Palmer’s mish-mash? Will the repeal of the CT actually reduce energy bills? Will the Govnt continue to pay compensation for a “tax” which no longer exists? Now that so much of the “Budget” is being trashed, how will Abbott reduce the deficit? And how will he deal with the renewable energy commissions? And will any introduction of “Direct Action” reveal that under such a scheme the real losers are the taxpayers?

    So many questions…

    But above all, I cannot believe that a business person owing $6m pa for carbon tax can form a small party and become the votes needed to repeal the CT + ETS. Is this a demonstration of how “democracy” can be so “weird”? Is it a matter of conflict of interests?
    (Remember the hoo-ha and cries of “illegitimate” over the independents in Gillard’s “hung” parliament.)

  3. guest

    PS. Feeling much better after reading Sandi Keane at IA.

  4. Sir ScotchMistery

    Ross, can I point out that the use of the word “principles” in any sentence which relates to a typist employed by News Limited, is a breach of the agreement against the use of “oxymoron” in any public discourse.

    I await your immediate retraction or at the bare minimum, an apology to anyone who feels hurt by such public use of any oxymoron.

    I would also point out, that in a fair, cogent and politically aware society, most News Limited typists are MORONS, and there are those among us, unfair in their judgement, in my opinion, who suggest they may also be OXYgen thieves.

  5. corvus boreus

    Much of my tooth-grinding and face-palming comes from the sustained faith many people show in proven liars and cheats. Business, politics, the media, all currently have people in top-end positions with track records of consistently spouting statements that are provably false.
    Tony Abbot is either lying or deluded when he makes claims like having always believed in climate change. Or he was lying when he said the science around it was crap.
    People like Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones et al, and Newscorp as a media outlet, are the most consistently high scorers in the getting it wrong stakes, which suggests incompetence or deception in their actions.
    And yet people continue to wholly trust these people for leadership, guidance and information.
    Geoffrey Edelston, jailed for medical and financial fraud, asked for cash donations to his own charity fund as wedding gifts when he married the blushing Bryn. The gullible fools celebrating the jailed conman’s rehabilitation and acquirement of a new trophy bride obliged generously, then reacted with hurt confusion when the funds failed to emerge in any philanthropic undertakings.
    Those who repeaedly spout falsehoods are lying, foolish or insane.Those who choose to continue to believe them are likewise afflicted.
    I dearly wish that those who continue to trust the words of the untrustworthy could, on election day, be given a box of crayons and a coloring-in stencil to make their democratic mark, so I and those and that which I care for would not be afflicted with the consequences of their choices. .

  6. Colin

    It’s about perspective, unfortunately. Pollies – left, right, or somewhere in-between – do seem to genuinely believe in what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and what the outcomes will be. Which naturally anyone from another side of the coin will tend to disagree with.

    All I know is this government looks at little but cold calculations and disregards instinct or even empathy, at all our long-term peril.

  7. corvus boreus

    I have to disagree with your broad assessment of the genuineness of many politicians’ intentions and convictions.
    There seems to be a broad stripe of dishonesty and personal pragmatism to many of their undertakings.
    They also completely disregard the input of mainstream scientists and economists. Their ‘calculations’ are not so much cold as completely baked.

  8. abbienoiraude

    @corvus boreus

    “Those who repeaedly spout falsehoods are lying, foolish or insane.Those who choose to continue to believe them are likewise afflicted.”


    Now how do we expose this to those ‘likewise afflicted’ so they may get help ( aka educated).

  9. corvus boreus

    Personal preference, Abbie, is to lobby for a federal ICAC or similar.
    The practical outcomes, for both the general cleanup of process and public education value.
    It seems the most practical and ethical way to reform the obvious problems that afflict the system. To have serial liars in power forced to publicly give truthful testimony with legal consequence would likely shake a few minds out of shifted values of perception.
    At our level, it’s also not too hard a sell in the communal cross-section. Few people,whatever their political persuassion, would, in an open discussion, willingly espouse a positive attitude to corruption, and if they choose to do so, it is knowledge for your future dealings with them.
    Any public discourse calling for measures that expose and eliminate corruption, or at least restrain it’s implementation, is, for me, the essential first step towards reform to social sanity.

  10. abbienoiraude

    @corvus boreus

    Yes of course, however I will be very busy soon trying to work out how to keep our little home and stay afloat with the coming tide of cuts to DSP/carers.
    I would hope others may take up the gauntlet for people like my self in setting this Government to rights, keeping them from lying, true to their word and away from being foolish and insane.

    Meanwhile my own sanity may be tested as I tussle with our few cents to fund food and electricity whilst caring for my man.

  11. corvus boreus

    I can’t help with the sanity part, Abbie, my own psyche is a juggling act of balancing mental divergences within a society I view as increasingly crazed.
    Your full-time responsibility of the care and wellbeing of another human who you love is a dimension of consequence I cannot comprehend with personal experience.
    I can only offer to continue to advocate proactively for the values of community based decency and governmental obligation to society, especially the circumstantially needy, and pledge to stand, sit, lie or struggle at your side when fundamental decencies and obligations are abused or neglected.

  12. abbienoiraude

    @ Corvus.
    My, intelligent, caring, hopeful, sweet man said;

    “How beautiful is that.”

    I must agree. Thank you, sir.

  13. abbienoiraude

    On my behalf, Corvus;

    If any one of my family had said that ( I doubt it)..if any one of them had said that, what you wrote: “T’would be enough…it would be enough to sustain me and my man for another decade”.
    Thank you

  14. corvus boreus

    Thank you deeply and sincerely, Abbie,
    May my deeds reflect.
    Thoughts and prayers for both you and your intelligent, caring, hopeful, sweet man.
    PS I offer rather different thoughts and wishes for those who seek to intensify your hardships.

  15. Kaye Lee

    Perhaps that will be Abbott’s legacy… remind us that we must join together to protect our country and the way of life we have fought so hard to build and to care for those who need our help. And I too will continue to do everything in my power to spread information and to stand up to this government and to actively campaign for an end to this madness. In the mean time, we all need to care for each other and to reassure the millions of people who are now scared for their future that we will not let these bastards beat us down.

  16. abbienoiraude

    @ corvus
    I shall accept your ‘thoughts’ most humbly. (Prayers may be wasted on us so please give them to those that believe, with my love).

    @ Kaye Lee
    I put my trust in you, your words, research, your writing, your ability to communicate with care and clarity. To be reassured by such a one as yourself is nothing but a gentle relief as night time falls upon us. Thank you.

  17. Kaye Lee


    I am very uncomfortable with you saying “such a one as yourself “. I am nobody special. Every one of us does our thing. I know you are caring for your man right now. My mum who has Alzheimers lived with us for 6 years before I had to put her into care – a decision that still makes me cry. The carers of this world contribute so much to our society – if only that silly Kevin Andrews understood. His stupid marriage counselling vouchers started today – $20 million wasted.

  18. corvus boreus

    Abbie, my prayers for you both are still given as an agnostic, strictly non-denominational, ‘to all that is good in all that’s holy’ wish, flung out into the verse, just in case. Think of it as a projected positive mental affirmation, those rarely hurt 😉

  19. abbienoiraude

    @ Kaye
    I apologise for my terminology that made you feel uncomfortable. That was not my wish or aim. So sorry. It was meant as a nod to your research ability that information you impart is of the highest quality and in its offing is reassuring at the same time. I beg your pardon.
    @ corvus
    I shall accept the wish ‘flung out into the universe’ in the spirit it was proffered. Thank you. ( As an atheist I get a little tired of ‘religious’ praying for me/us. If it makes them feel good, then that is fine, but they don’t need to tell me about it. For those who know us it is condescending bordering on insulting..for those who don’t, it is presumptuous at times. However yours is one of kindness. Thank you.)

  20. Kaye Lee

    abbie, you need never apologise to me. Your comments and company are most appreciated and my discomfort came from an admiration for you.

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your fields

  21. Matters Not

    marriage counselling vouchers started today

    So the ‘Age of Entitlement’ isn’t over and instead we are expanding the role of the ‘nanny state’.

    I suppose we will have to import more 457 visa holders who are prepared to offer such services for $200 a throw. Would English speaking be a requirement?

    They don’t seem to get ‘irony’.

  22. corvus boreus

    I kind of slid from atheist to agnostic(dunno) somewhere along the line. No way to prove or disprove the ultimately metaphysical. There in the unknowns with the too small to perceive accurately and too large to comprehend.
    In our actions physical reality and understood consequence should always define our choices.
    I am an athiest in my denial of religions, with their codified dictates and anthromorphic deities, particularly that primitively petty, scowling dick called ‘Jahweh’.
    I cannot promise I will not chuck any more ‘psychic blessings’ at you, but I will do it privately in future. 😉
    Matters Not,
    I suspect the complexities of relationship counseling, as with school psych issues, might end up getting subbied out to the clergy.

  23. abbienoiraude

    As a ‘radical atheist’ ( Douglas Adams’ take); meaning I did not come to it by a matter of elimination or laziness; it is not mine to ‘disprove’ the imaginary friend of the religious. It is of no concern of mine to ‘disprove’ something that clearly does not exist. And after years of angst and study to ‘find the Truth in religion land’ I finally found it in myself.
    In my experiences and comprehension, my understanding of Nature and consequences, there can be no god/spirit in the sky/Yaweh/allah etc. If there were and there are all those lovely deluded people praying their little eyes shut out there then not one child would be hungry, cold, defeated, molested, diseased blah blah.

    But it was with the caring for my demented Christian father and my darling sweet man of mine that I realised I am in this up to my neck alone. And now that has actually ‘set me free’. No one to blame, no one to ‘call upon’, no one to think is ‘listening’….except a couple of friends and ….you.

    I don’t mind if you ‘chuck blessings’ but I would prefer that you could help to chuck out this government. Would do me (and all of us) more practical good I think.

  24. corvus boreus

    Practical ways of removing these extremist arseholes is up there in the realm of practical reality and understood consequences, on society and our planet. For that I will continue to strive.
    As for the rest, it’s just navel/star-gazing bullshit to patch my own(theoretical) soul.

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