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Tony Abbott’s horror week is now news in Indonesia

American think tank the Council on Foreign Relations made the headlines in Australia this week when their scathing report on Tony Abbott, aptly titled ‘Tony Abbott has to go’ filtered its way to our mainstream media.

Now we notice that the Americans are not the only ones who are writing about horror year Tony Abbott and his government are enduring. Tony Abbott has been hitting the headlines – front page headlines, no less – in Indonesia too.

The kicker is today’s story in the Jakarta Globe, ‘Australian PM Under Fresh Fire After Horror Week’ with Indonesians reading about of our Prime Minister’s ‘success’ since declaring the start of good government.

It does not read well.

“Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott came under fire on Friday over controversial comments on the arrest of two terror suspects and for referring to a “holocaust” of job losses, capping a horror week” they write.

“Abbott began the first parliamentary week of the year fighting for his job after poor poll ratings, a series of policy backflips and perceived high-handed decision making saw MPs from his conservative Liberal Party force a confidence vote”.

“He survived the “spill” motion on Monday and promised “good government” from that point on with the 39 of the 102 Liberal parliamentarians who tried to oust him grudgingly agreeing to give the unpopular leader a second chance”.

It was noticed that “. . . he has stumbled since, handing his detractors more ammunition”. I’m wondering if our local mainstream media makes the same conclusion.

But possibly the most damning of their condemnation refers to Tony Abbott’s comments on the trial of two terror suspects.

“On Friday, he was forced to defend himself after revealing in parliament a day earlier the contents of a video allegedly made by two men charged with terrorism offenses.

Lawyers said the detail and his remark that it was “monstrous extremism”, made under parliamentary privilege, could prejudice a future trial of Omar Al-Kutobi, 24, and Mohammad Kiad, 25”.

In other Indonesian news, Kirsty Wynn’s article ‘When Will Abbott Get Started on Good Governance?‘ – also in the Jakarta Globe – echoes the sentiments, in part, of those expressed in the now famous commentary from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Wynn writes that:

There is no doubt that Abbott’s ferocity made him an exceptional opposition leader. Time after time he managed to shred Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd amid the Labor Party ruckus, in turn elevating his status from unknown Sydney MP to a figure appreciated because of his absolute conviction. It could also be said that this is our blowback, as the heavy-handed tact we once lauded has now become irksome. The infallible strength that inspired the public during the last election has created a PM who refuses to see his own fallibility.

Abbott must now learn that as PM he is no longer a crusader. It is not expected (or desirable, at the least) for him to continue to violently strike down challenges. As a PM he is expected to navigate them, work in consultation with his own party, at the minimum, and produce outcomes that reflect assurances made pre-election but also in tune with more recent happenings.

The desire to return to surplus was a poignant example of this. Voters indeed agreed pre-election that returning to surplus would be advantageous, but the brute force of the measures put forth by the Abbott government managed to isolate large segments of the public. It was as if Abbott had been asked by the public to unlock a door (to surplus, for argument’s sake), only for him to instead kick the door down.

There remain plenty of problems-cum-opportunities for the PM to show his potential to solving issues constructively — instead of obliterating them. Most prominently, thorns exist over chief of staff Peta Credlin’s influence over Abbott. Her role is increasingly seen by colleagues as being subversive, and for most, too encompassing. In light of recent events, this issue could be a means for Abbott to showcase a new approach.

The benefit of democracy is that Abbott remains under no illusions now. He has been called out by his own staff and made to walk the plank. He has been saved this time, but will need more than luck to continue.

Restraint and tact are traits underappreciated by most. It’s high time Abbott rises to the challenge and train in both.

In just one week, the debacles surrounding Tony Abbott’s prime ministership have received wide coverage in America and Indonesia. At this rate, Tony Abbott will be making rest-of-world headlines within the fortnight.

For all the wrong reasons, of course.

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  1. JohnB

    This old fellow got it right 4 years ago:

  2. Peter K

    Pravda also got it right at the G20, quote “Pravda slammed Abbott as “rude, insolent, insulting, impolite, impertinent, unpolished, gross, unpleasant and downright impudent” – I think that it says it all.

  3. thevenerable1

    This wouldn’t have added a lot of weight to our parliamentary plea for the non-executions, either.

  4. stephentardrew

    Makes you cower to be an Australian.

    That one person can screw up so royally after gaining the trust of the Australian people is a lesson to us all.

    Please fellow citizens in future put on your thinking caps.

  5. John Kelly

    Great start on good government for our feckless leader. Can’t wait to see what next week brings.

  6. Blanik

    I remember the days when one could travel overseas and be welcomed by everyone. I would have to think twice about venturing to Tasmania these days. Well done Captain C.

  7. kmatilda2013

    Many years ago i travelled with my partner throughout Borneo, especially Kalimantan, the Indonesian half. We were welcomed with open arms especially by the local Govt officials – I’d hate to try and repeat the experience now.

  8. Bilal

    At least the world can see that he is a stupid redneck with collapsing support. It is clear that he is now finished politically but it has shown up the disgusting cowardice of the Liberal Party which makes frequent xenophobic use of “The Anzac Spirit” , sends our troops wherever Washington wants them and cuts their pay, while in fact it consists of hollow men (and a few women). They did not have the spine to sack him when they could last week. Shame on them.

  9. diannaart

    Tunnel-vision Tony cannot be reasoned with nor reasonable. He truly believes what he is doing is the right thing. One of the last of the patriarchs (I hope).

  10. Kaye Lee

    The Indians aren’t that impressed with us either aside from what they can get out of us.

    So what do the Indians really think of Australia then? I asked him, at the end of his weeklong stay.

    “Like old Uncle Bob, drunk again and sitting in the corner with no one to talk to and nobody knows what to do with him.”

    Neither is China

    Xinhua believes Mr Abbott’s admiration of Japanese war skills was appalling and “insensible” (sic) to victim countries.

    “China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs doesn’t even have the tools to deal with this kind of ‘complete fool’ of a foreign minister.”

    Germany’s Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung published a disparaging piece titled ‘Kein Platz für Flüchtlinge: Australiens Asylpolitik am Pranger’ (No place for refugees: Australia’s asylum seeker policy pilloried).

    Whether it is our persecution of asylum seekers or our inaction on climate change or intemperate remarks to foreign powers or humiliatingly lame attempts at small talk, we have made the press around the world ever since Abbott became PM, a move that astonished all others who saw how well we had survived the GFC. And not one bit of press has been good. Even his best buddy Stephen Harper has had to abandon him at times like over his belief that there are no problems in Sri Lanka. Tony was dubbed the Colossal Fossil, winkgate went global, and he has made us the subject of derision and condemnation globally.

    This man does NOT represent me.

  11. Baz

    When your leader turns your country into an international object of scorn and ridicule it’s time to dump him

  12. Aortic

    I don’t want to live in what was a wonderful country ruined by the ideological scumbags.

  13. Blanik

    No Baz, let his pox ridden party dump him. It won’t be long, but it will give Labor time to pull a few policies together for Mr. Shorten. He’s the leader of the parliamentary arm of the ALP as I understand it.

  14. Simpleton

    A gorilla challenged Adam Scott to a game they stood on the tee and Scott hit the ball 290 metres into the middle of the fairway. The gorilla creamed the ball 400 metres 10 cms from the pin. Scott conceded. This was repeated for 8 holes on the ninth Scott didn’t concede and the gorilla stood over the putt and hit it 400 meters. The rabbott’s approach to politics is as the gorilla.

  15. RosemaryJ36

    Surely his party must recognise that they are besmirched by association and dump him!?

  16. DanDark

    Derryn Hinch has taken up Tones refusal to supply his RN

  17. Kerri

    And now our beloved Foreign Minister, she who is “performing so well” has suggested travellers boycott Indonesia in protest at the execution of Australian citizens?

  18. Blanik

    She is as dumb as her dumb leader is dumb. In fact as dumb as the entire cabinet, nay the entire LNP, is dumb. What have the 41%’s done to our country?

    I even haven’t looked at the news today. What disaster shall I find? hahaha

  19. Rais

    Unlike Australia, Indonesia has a wide range of daily papers. Few Indonesians read the English language ones which are mainly for the expats so it’s appropriate enough that one of them has a couple of articles which would interest Australians. I had a quick skim through one of the more prominent Indonesian language dailies thinking there would be nothing in it, as usual, about Australia. I was wrong. I found this: Headline: “KANGAROO COUNTRY DARES TO THREATEN INDONESIA.” Sub heading: “Two of its citizens to be executed, FM Bishop calls for Bali Boycott.” It gets worse as you get into the report complete with an Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressing surprise that a “friendly country” would threaten Indonesia and also expressing confidence that no such boycott will eventuate. Nice one Julie. Tony would be proud.

  20. Mercurial

    Interesting article thanks Michael. To the subeditor: couldn’t you find a pic of Abbott with Jokowi? He’s the prez of Indo now, not SBY.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Thank you, Mercurial. Yes, I know that. The caption says “Tony Abbott during a visit to Indonesia”.

  22. Mercurial

    Then it seem at odds with the title of the piece.

  23. Blanik

    Does it matter, Merc?

  24. The AIM Network

    We don’t think so, but we changed it just the same with something totally irrelevant.

  25. Mercurial

    I think changing the picture to something “totally irrelevant” shows you are just a tad oversensitive Michael. Why did you change it if “you don’t think so?” Just to keep me happy?

    And yes it does matter Blanik, if you want AIM to be taken seriously as an alternative news and opinion website, it should be accurate, and not give its enemies any opportunity to hold it to ridicule.

    It could have been fixed simply by changing the caption to “Abbott on an earlier visit to Indonesia”.

    Accuracy, and perceived accuracy, are fundamentals of Journalism 101, I believe.

    I’m not being snarky, just trying to be helpful. If you don’t want this sort of feedback I won’t give it, but sloppy journalism is usually not taken very seriously by the mainstream.

    Thank you

  26. Mercurial

    Much as some would disagree, I don’t think this site is ‘a bunch of mates down at the pub.’

  27. Blanik

    “sloppy journalism is usually not taken very seriously by the mainstream”? The mainstream what?

    Have you ever read the Victorian Herald Sun? Or any other mainstream ‘news paper’. Journalism, sloppy or otherwise would be a hell of an improvement, yet the mainstream use it as their sole source of informed opinion. And you quibble about a picture?

    Heaven forbid. ROFLMAO (as the youngens say)

  28. Michael Taylor

    Merc, we do enjoy feedback. You just caught me on a bad day, which of course isn’t your fault and you weren’t to know.

    And Blanik is right, too. Only this morning I was pointing out some obvious spelling errors in Difference with them is that they have probably dozens of people employed to check over such things. Whereas everyone here volunteers their time.

  29. Rais

    RE comments from Merc and Blanik I’m a relatively new reader of AIMN but I think it looks pretty professional. Unlike some of the Limited News products. Compliments to the volunteer chefs.

  30. Michael Taylor

    Thanks Rais. Welcome aboard.

  31. Mercurial

    Thanks Michael. I appreciate your response, and take your point entirely. My statement was incorrect and for that I also apologise, Blanik. What I should have said was that if you want to break into the mainstream, don’t give them any opportunity to find fault with your argument or your presentation, or to laugh at you (they will make up enough reasons without finding a valid one). I’ve read the blogs about the press gallery and how sites like AIM are denied access (you know, you’re not a “real news” site) which I think is outrageous. So, in effect, you have a higher standard to meet just to prove your legitimacy. But many of the commenters here still exhibit a herd mentality, and do not appreciate the need (as I see it) for rigorous accuracy. I have watched this site mature over the last four years. Some of the articles are very partisan in their presentation, and I feel these won’t get very far in the war of ideas because they’re preaching to the converted. But some are also extremely accurate analyses of politics, the environment and the media in Australia (they’re the topics I mostly read anyway). I wish there were some way of smoothing the way for you to join the press gallery – you could give the MSM the good shaking up this country needs.

    In the meantime, please keep up the good work. We need more of you.

    I am able to spend a little more time enunciating my thoughts at the moment because I’m on holidays (ain’t long service leave a wonderful thing?). I therefore hope future comments will be more accurate – until I return to work, of course.


  32. Mercurial

    …. and I hope to make more significant contributions than critiquing your choice of photographic images lol.

  33. Blanik

    Yes Rats, they do a great job.

    All good points Merc. LSL is great. Kind if like an introduction to retirement.

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