Our beloved PM has an unfair reputation for being negative, and I couldn’t help but think how unfair that was while reading a transcript of the delightful doorstop interview that Mr Abbott gave yesterday.
I suspect much of this “negative” Tony idea comes from those feral lefty types who just resort to name-calling because they are annoyed that they didn’t have the language skills to understand what Mr Abbott was promising. For example, in the Liberal’s contract with Australia it promises two million jobs within a decade but nowhere does it say that these can’t be Chinese jobs.
I’ve produced the transcript below with occasional commentary in bold. Unlike Mr Abbott who is always positive, the media reporting this rather snidely refer to the Business Minister as “small”.
SMALL BUSINESS MINISTER:
Thank you. Prime Minister and Nick, thank you for having me here today.
I’m particularly thrilled to be joined by Darren and Terry and John – some of the suppliers that have been part of our discussions this morning.
The Food and Grocery Code is all about creating the right conditions for efficient businesses – big and small – to thrive and prosper. If you’re a supplier you need solid ground, sure-footedness to make the investment to innovate with new products to delight customers and that’s what the Food and Grocery Code’s all about: getting that mutually-respecting relationship right between what’s often a very large retail or wholesale supermarket business and a supplier.
How positive is that, eh? Nothing negative in the Government’s comments there. This was followed by the PM
Ok, do we have any questions?
Again, nothing negative from the PM. But watch as the media turn to the bad news!
Prime Minister, how concerned are you about the problems in China and Greece, those economic problems spreading to Australia and especially the plunge in the Chinese stock prices?
Michael, look, the important thing is to do whatever we can to build a strong and prosperous economy locally, and again I get back to the Grocery Code of Conduct. This is about ensuring that we have the strongest possible local businesses to supply the strongest possible local businesses. We have a great supermarket system. That rests on the shoulders of great local suppliers and this is about ensuring that we continue to have very strong local suppliers, best possible product at the best possible price so that we get the best possible deal for consumers – and if we do that we will avoid the problems that we see overseas.
See, Mr Abbott totally ignores this negative question to focus on the positive. China and Greece aren’t important! What’s important is the Grocery Code of Conduct and if we keep grocery prices low we’ll avoid the problems of Greece.
Prime Minister, will you allow Malcolm Turnbull to appear on Q&A?
What we saw a couple of weeks back on Q&A was simply unacceptable and indefensible. It was unacceptable, it was indefensible, and Malcolm quite properly has been engaged in ongoing discussions with the ABC about exactly what they’re going to do to ensure that something like this never happens again. Now, there is an internal ABC process underway at the moment. It wasn’t appropriate for a Minister to go on there on Monday night and I want that process to be concluded as quickly as possible.
So will you allow him to appear in a week?
Well, what I’m not going to do is give further advertisement to a programme which was, frankly, right over the top. The ABC itself said that it was an error of judgment. They then went on to rebroadcast it and, as I said, I’m just not going to give further advertisement to this particular matter.
The ABC has apologised. Do you think community sentiment has not moved on?
Well, as I said, I’m not going to further advertise this matter.
What more could the PM do? He believes that Q&A have overstepped the mark in a totally unacceptable and indefensible way. Which is to say that to defend it is totally unacceptable, and to accept it is totally indefensible. Unacceptable AND indefensible for those of you who missed it the first time, because Abbott does have a tendency to rush his words when he gets excited and what could be more exciting than an ABC show that he’s not going to advertise, by telling us that Malcolm Turnbull won’t be on the show, which is clearly a plus for all true blue Liberals. And now he’s boycotting it in a totally positive way. But I’m sure the left will see his “I’m not going to advertise this further” as some sort of negative thing to do!
PM, are you concerned that the Chinese Government potentially has intervened in their stock market to try and prop it up given the losses that have been experienced over the last two weeks?
Well, again, look, I’m not going to offer a running commentary on what other governments do. My business today and every day is to ensure our country is in the best possible position to deal with whatever comes. Whether it be challenges to our economic security, whether it be challenges to our national security, the job of this Government is to make our country as strong as it possibly can be and that’s why the small business budget boost was so important with the instant asset write-off which has done so much to boost confidence, and that’s why today’s Grocery Code of Conduct is so important. It’s all about producing stronger local businesses and if we’ve got stronger local businesses, we’ll have a stronger economy and we’ll be very well placed to deal with whatever the future throws at us.
See, he’s NOT going to offer a running commentary. Which is really good because commentarires are always better when done by people standing still. How not offering a commentary could be perceived as negative, only the left would tell you.
Prime Minister, there are reports coming out of South Australia that some MPs are concerned of a voter backlash if the contract for building submarines goes to Japan. Can you reassure them the majority of subs will be built locally?
What I can say is that there is a process in place – a competitive evaluation process. It involves working with the French, the Germans and the Japanese to get the best possible submarines for our country at a fair and reasonable price and maximising the local element in the build and whatever happens – whatever happens – I can give an absolute guarantee that in the future, there will be more submarine jobs in South Australia. Whatever happens, I can give an absolute, categorical guarantee there will be more subs jobs in South Australia and I think that’s what South Australians understandably want: they want a good deal for our country, they want a good deal for their state, they want the best possible submarines and that’s what we are determined to deliver.
There! All those people suggesting that submarine workers would be left high and dry – although it is best to work on subs in the dry as opposed to the water – if the Government bought the subs from Japan have been left with egg on there face. Mr Abbott has given an “absolute guarantee” that whatever happens, there will be more submarine jobs in South Australia. And while he doesn’t say that they’ll be jobs for Australian workers, I think that’s implicit. Our PM’s absolute guarantee – it doesn’t get more ironclad than that!
PM, what do you want to hear from Bill Shorten in tomorrow’s Royal Commission hearing?
Look, I certainly don’t want to offer a running commentary on a Royal Commission. The Royal Commissioner is a judge of the highest quality and distinction and he’s more than capable of running an effective Royal Commission without commentary from Ministers. I think that it’s really a matter for the Leader of the Opposition to explain and, plainly, there is some explaining that’s needed. There are a lot of questions that have been raised by the testimony that’s already been given in the Royal Commission. In the end, what we want to come out of this is honest unions that do the right thing by their members and, plainly, it seems that there have been a lot of ghosts on the rolls of some of the unions, there have been some deals that have been done to help the unions but to dud the workers, and let’s see what light can be cast on all of that in the next day or so.
And again Mr Abbott announces that he won’t be offering a running commentary on something and proceeds to give one standing still. And as you read earlier, other than be negative about the situation in Greece or China which, after all, are nothing to do with us, Abbott – in his role as Minister for Women – has stayed positively focused on groceries. And isn’t it groceries that really concern us? That, and security. We need to feel secure when buying groceries, in spite of the fact that people are coming to get us. Yes, they are. They’re coming to get everyone.
And that’s one thing that Mr Abbott is very positive about!