This week I’ve heard some strange things.
Stranger even than that photo of Christopher Pyne wearing an Akubra.
Well, we had Turnbull’s stellar performance on the ABC, and by stellar, of course, I mean that he wasn’t really on the same planet as most of us. Or indeed, any planet.
While he assured us that Labor’s removal of negative gearing was going to send prices down, down, down, (I wonder if Coles will give me a little sling for that!) I noted the next day some unbiased observer from the Property Council wrote an article dispelling the myths about negative gearing. One of these myths was that it causes higher property prices. Now think about that for a moment. It doesn’t force prices up, but removing it will force prices down.
But there was more to come when Peter Dutton and our stand-in PM, Malcolm Stumbull assured us that the decision by the High Court in New Guineau declaring the Manus Island detention centre illegal was not unexpected. Apparently, they’ve been anticipating this since Christmas and are ready. They have a list of talking points with words and phrases like “not get misty eyed” and “detention centre in Manus which was set up by Labor” and “never be settled in Australia” and “advertising point for people smugglers”.
Of course, when asked what they were going to do about the people on Manus Island now that the decision had been made, they replied that they hadn’t had time to develop a “definitive road map”, not only because these people hadn’t come by road, but because the government was too busy working out what to say when the High Court announced their ruling! But taken by surprise, not at all.
However, the corker of the week has to Andrew Bolt’s interview of Tony Abbott.
At one point in this interview, Tony refers to the “Abbott era” which I misheard as the “Abbott error” because I was listening to the interview on my iPad while the TV was on in the background. Sadly, this was not a moment of realisation for the poor deluded man, but then he told us that removing the debt ceiling was one of his biggest mistakes adding:
“If the debt ceiling had remained in place Labor and the Greens would have been forced to look at this problem of excessive government spending and this remains one of the fundamental challenges for governments.”
Yep, he never seemed to understand that he wasn’t in government when he wasn’t PM, and he certainly never understood that he was actually the person responsible when he was.
Whatever, the strangest thing about the interview for me was the way he smiled. It could lead one to speculate that he believes that he pretty much has the numbers to launch a coup after the election, even if Turnbull wins. Of course that’d be ridiculous. Why wouldn’t the Liberals stick with someone as decisive as Turnbull? Just look at the way he’s dealing with the High Court ruling on Manus. Look at the decisive way he’s put tax reforms on and off the table within a couple of days. As he said to Leigh Sales the other night:
“But let me – Leigh, let me just – this is a matter of common sense… Now if you take – if the market – the residential property market is soft now and it is declining in many cities and in Perth.”
How could the Liberals replace a man with such eloquence, such a grasp of common sense, such je ne sais que pas?
Yes, Abbott must have just been grinning because he’s happy that he’s no longer expected to do anything except look after the people in his electorate by making more overseas trips in the past six months than Julie Bishop.