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Well done, Tony – now you’ve destroyed the Coalition

By Ad astra

He’s been this way for years. Like a kid playing a violent video game such as Call Of Duty, he has aimed his high-powered rocket at his opponents, forcing them to duck or blowing them to smithereens, destroying them utterly. And then he claps his little hands in delight. Destructiveness has consistently been his modus operandi. He has no equal in Australian political history.

When looking for a scapegoat for the Wentworth by-election catastrophe, several columnists targetted Peter Dutton as the culprit. Bad a result as it was, they canvassed how much worse it would have been if Dutton had succeeded in wresting the prime ministership from Malcolm Turnbull. Of course their proposition was valid. But it missed the point. It was not Peter Dutton who conceived the coup – it was the master of destruction, Tony Abbott. Dutton was simply a compliant proxy for Abbott in his quest to utterly destroy his nemesis, Malcolm Turnbull. I suppose we are fortunate that Dutton’s mates didn’t understand simple arithmetic – they couldn’t count. I suppose we should be grateful that doing simple sums eluded them. Otherwise, it may have been PM Dutton at the by-election urging voters to vote Liberal!

Destructive Tony was delighted when Malcolm Turnbull was upended on 24 August. Although his dream was always that he would replace Turnbull and assume the leadership that was taken from him on 15 September 2015 so abruptly, so indecently, so disrespectfully, even his over-inflated ego could not fully accommodate that eventuality. But if he couldn’t be PM again, if he could at least dislodge Turnbull, that would be an acceptable bonus.

Abbott’s destructiveness goes back a long way. As Kevin Rudd said in his recent interview with Jon Faine on ABC Melbourne radio about his new book: The PM Years, ”Ninety-nine percent of Abbott’s political life has been about destroying things.”

During his university days he smashed a glass door when he lost an election. He threatened a female opponent. At Oxford, where as a Rhodes Scholar he won a university blue in boxing, he said that smashing a bloodied opponent to the canvas gave him great delight.

Jumping to his parliamentary days, think back just a few years. Remember how he verballed Julia Gillard over and again until she came back at him with the full force of her angry rhetoric in her famous ‘misogyny speech’, which attracted worldwide acclamation.

When he couldn’t destroy her with his oratory, he set about destroying her policies. Peta Credlin, Abbott’s Chief of Staff, admittedthat the climate change policy promoted by Julia Gillard was never a carbon tax; he simply used that label ”to stir up brutal retail politics…Abbott made it a ‘carbon tax’ and a fight about the hip pocket rather than the environment, and it took him only six months to cut through and when he did, Gillard was gone. ” Who will ever forget ‘Axe the Tax’? This climate policy – a price on carbon pollution – was, and still is, central to reducing carbon emissions. Abbott destroyed it, and much of Julia Gillard’s reputation with it.

Abbott extended his destructiveness to demolish other policies, notably the mining tax. He cast himself as the nation’s saviour, putting the tax on mining super-profits at the centre of the his campaign to win the election, pledging to wind it back if he won government.

His three word slogans became a hallmark of his campaign: ‘axe the tax’, was joined to ‘stop the boats’, ‘repay the debt’, and ‘stop the waste’. In these trios, Abbott was able to put his destructiveness in a nutshell. Each carried a punishing condemnation of Labor’s policies, and by implication Abbott’s remedy. The electorate embraced these easy-to-remember slogans. ‘Stop the boats’ remains a powerful slogan even today.

Unable to topple Labor in 2010, the election resulted in a hung parliament. Abbott was incensed that Julia Gillard outmanoeuvred him to obtain the support of two rural independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, who, with a Green and another independent enabled her to govern successfully for the next three years, passing around six hundred pieces of legislation. Abbott’s anger was palpable, his desire to destroy her unabated. His sexist language continued, climaxing in her ‘misogyny speech’ in October 2010.

Abbott eventually grasped the prize in 2013 when the Coalition won and he became PM. His destructiveness continued.

Not satisfied with his victory, Abbott continued his campaign of destruction as he attacked Labor policies relentlessly. His retaliatory 2014 budget, one that he and Joe Hockey fashioned, was designed to hurt those on welfare, and punish Hockey’s ‘leaners’. It is still regarded as the most punitive budget in recent times. It was widely condemned by economists and progressives. Yet Abbott revelled in its destructiveness.

But as Abbott continued on his destructive path, he failed to look over his shoulder to see that Malcolm Turnbull had his measure, until that fateful day, 15 September 2015, when Turnbull challenged him for the Liberal leadership, and won. Abbott’s upending of Turnbull in December 2009 by one vote over Turnbull’s support for an ETS, was avenged. Abbott was forced onto the backbench, where he vowed there would be ”no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.” The promise was hollow; Abbott continued with his unrelenting destructiveness. His prime aim was to destroy Malcolm Turnbull, no matter what the cost to his party.

So it came to pass that Abbott and his conservative mates were able to persuade the party room that Turnbull could not lead them to an election victory, and therefore had to be replaced. Abbott realized that he was unlikely to be chosen as Turnbull’s successor, so he worked on Peter Dutton’s over-inflated ego long enough to persuade him that he was ’a better man’ to lead the party to victory. Once Turnbull threw down the gauntlet, Dutton’s innumerate colleagues began to do their sums, but managed to get their numbers so wrong that Dutton lost to Scott Morrison, who unexpectedly came through the centre of the field to win the race. But although Dutton failed, Abbott was delighted – he had at last destroyed his nemesis.

But in the process, aided and abetted by the party’s conservative dinosaurs, Abbott had destroyed the Coalition. Perhaps he didn’t see it coming, so hell bent was he destroying Turnbull.

The result of his destructiveness is writ large in the outcome of the Wentworth by-election. Although there were many factors that led to this disastrous result for the Coalition, there is no escaping the naked truth that behind this calamity was the phantom of the nation’s most destructive politician, Anthony John Abbott.

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Keitha Granville

    If the electors of Waringah return him at the next election, they will be complicit in this vindictive and totally corrupt individual continuing to benefit from the public purse without actually contributing anything of value to the country.

    Waringah, it is your obligation to destroy TA next time round.

  2. David1

    Now 4 years on, Julia Gillard has gone on to be a highly respected International leader in education and women and girls lives betterment. Abbott a nobody, a loser, a pariah and a low life.

    Julia lost the PM ship but won a helluva lot more, with the National apology to abused kids one of the brightest jewels in her crown.

  3. Andrew Smith

    Interesting, the analogy could be Abbott et al. in the LNP resemble the past with Labor’s DLP; much cultural baggage carried.

    However, Abbott could not have done all this by himself and required at least coverage, if not support, by mainstream media including NewsCorp and one guesses specific industry groups and think tanks?

    Observing the media machinations round Rudd’s downfall (round the MRRT), helped along by opinion (push) polls and constant negative reinforcement by MSM, it’s clear most MPs are compromised, owned or wedged into impossible situations (AKA Brexit/Trump) precluding any grounded policy (implementation).

    I keenly await the day Abbott leaves Parliament and/or politics and observe the employment choices he makes. For now not NewsCorp, as they appear to have their own insider i.e. Minister in Fifield, but there must be an industry group who can use Abbott?

  4. Kronomex

    His anger and bitterness and, I suspect, barely contained violent streak makes Latham look like five old throwing a tantrum about a bag of lollies. He hasn’t finished wrecking by a long shot.

    I never liked Julia Gillard until one day about 18 months ago I sat down and looked very carefully at what she achieved even with all the attacks from the LNP, Murdoch, Jones, and other vile creatures. My respect for her increased massively.

  5. Kaye Lee

    I have a suggestion. Offer Abbott the job of Governor-General. I know that might be construed as rewarding bad behaviour but hear me out. His ego and love of all things royal would make him jump at the chance. That removes him from parliament. But the added bonus would be that the move to become a Republic would be hugely accelerated.

    Or perhaps we should all just encourage Jane Caro to take him on so he can sink into the oblivion he deserves.

    This is another story about Abbott from our uni days that some might find interesting.

    Abbott, 1979: “South African terrorists”

  6. 2353NM

    @ Kaye Lee – where’s the like button?

  7. Kaye Lee

    If you have 13 minutes to waste, you can listen to this interview with Tony when we were at uni. The arrogance (and conservatism) from a 21 year old is mind-blowing.

  8. helvityni

    Ad Astra, Tony acts like a surly toddler, but his hands are not little they are BIG….

    I hope to hear one day: Well done, Jane Caro, we finally got rid of Tones…

    I believe the job of the Governor General is ear-marked for Julie….

    To think that Julia managed to pass 600 pieces of legislation is a proof of what good women are capable of…

  9. New England Cocky

    A fresh three word slogan: Jane Caro Warringah

    @Kaye Lee: Indeed, Toxic RAbbott would be an excellent foil against the success of the young Royals from Europe’s Most Dysfunctional Family.

    @David1: Do not forget the huge contributions made by Detective Inspector Peter Fox (retired) who was demonised by the NSW Police Force for exposing Catholic pederasty in the Newcastle diocese; and Gold Walkley Award winner Joanne McCarthy whose dogged pursuit of the priestly pederasts encouraged by the NEWCASTLE HERALD editor laid the essential groundwork for the Royal Commission.

    Now to remove all government funding from all Catholic dioceses and other church affiiiated organisations implicated in the Royal Commission because the only thing that these worldly priests understand is loss of income.

  10. Henry Johnston

    Bravo! Abbott has often said, he is by inclination, a believer in the tenets of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) supported by B.A. Santamaria in the 1960s. When the split occurs — and the Liberal Party will split — I predict Abbott will attempt to reinvigorate the existing DLP, and with the help of Cory Bernardi and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and others, create an evangelical, faith-based political party. Its model will be the rump of the Republican Party in the USA.

  11. helvityni

    Kronomex, if Gillard were still our leader, Oz would not be the mess it is today, she was also liked and respected in Obama’s USA, and in Europe…

  12. Ad Astra

    Thank you for your contributions. There is clearly a consensus about Abbott’s malignancy. It goes back a long way as your link attests Kaye Lee. Like you Keitha, I would prefer though to leave it to Jane Caro and the voters of Warringah to tip Abbott out.

    You are right Kronomex and David1 – while Abbott sinks into the abyss of irrelevance, Julia Gillard becomes more and more esteemed, as was shown at the recent national apology to survivors of institutional sexual abuse.

    Of course you are correct Andrew Smith – the media, and particularly the malign Murdoch mob, have been complicit in Abbott’s escapades. It has given him a pseudo-legitimacy that no one as nasty and venomous as Abbott deserves.

    Helvityni, I like your description of Abbott, and your three-word slogan, New England Cocky.

    Henry Johnston – that’s an insightful prediction – heaven help us if that happens!

  13. roaminruin

    “But in the process, aided and abetted by the party’s conservative dinosaurs, Abbott had destroyed the Coalition. Perhaps he didn’t see it coming, so hell bent was he destroying Turnbull.”

    He saw it coming alright. It is apparent, is it not, that Abbott is undermining the Libs to engineer their downfall at the next election, following which the tin-eared, delusional creep is convinced he will be welcomed back as LOTO to repeat his destructive negativity as then a shoo-in to a return to the PMship. He is that obsessive, he is that crazy. He always has been and he will not change.

  14. Michael Taylor

    roaminruin, I get the feeling that if that is not his Plan A, then definitely would be his Plan B. The title to him is not important, however the job description is: Destroy.

  15. silkworm

    Abbott’s destructiveness was enabled by the great destructive oligarch, Rupert Murdoch.

  16. MetaDataLata

    More than anything, Australia needs a federal ICAC. Tony and his political ilk should not be rewarded with positions for mates. They should be tried for treason in respect to their destruction of the NBN, they should be held to account for their destruction of environment under their watch for the future consequences and for the humanitarian damage they have done to innocent refugees, treating them as prisoners.

  17. totaram

    I concur with MetaDataLata. Unfortunately, you will find there are no laws under which you can try them for treason. I am reminded that everything Hitler did was “legal” as he had passed the necessary laws. But we need to put in some laws and they need to be embedded in the constitution to ensure that they cannot simply be dismantled by the next government of liars and cheats who bamboozles the punters into voting for them with the compliance of the usual MSM.

  18. paul walter

    All this writer will say as to Abbott is that he feels the man has possibly profound mental health issues and would be better off away from the big asylum in Canberra and retained for his and the public’s safety indefinitely within another more condition-specific environment.

    In short, needs to be got off the streets and away from healthier beings, women, children and the like.

  19. totaram

    Paul Walter: I tend to concur about the mental health issues of Abbott, but not being an expert in this area, I will let it go at that point. On the other hand, being one who enjoys Schadenfreude, whether warm or cold, I would love to see Tony Abbott die a long and painful death in incarceration, preferably in the company of his mentor the nasty rodent.

  20. paul walter

    Totaram, I can’t think of a more troubled and trouble making soul than Abbott. I agree that Howard was the one who poured salt into Abbott’s psychic wounds to make him what he is today. A sort of father and son thing, but very,very dark…

  21. Stephengb

    Great article, I do not mind admitting Abbott scares me, he has managed to force himself into positions of power and has had a detrimental effect on the lives of so many ordinary people who are unable to fight back.
    As someone who has been the subject of many bullies in my childhood, I know that bully boys of the Abbott style never change, they live their life feeding off the less fortunate, they never change untill they are too old to keep bullying or they die.

    Abbott is no different, he will never change, as Kaye Lee has pointed out he got satisfaction from beating someone in the ring. He will not be satisfied untill he is back at PM or he is defeared in the polls, and even then I believe he will continue, even to try and get revenge on Warringa (if they dump him).

    The man is a Psychopath, history shows that there is only one final fate that stops psychopaths, we all know what that is.

    Thank you Kaye.

  22. Patagonian

    Sorry Kaye Lee, I tried but I could only listen to about 2 minutes of that pompous chimp-eared dalek before I had to turn it off.

  23. Diannaart

    Paul Walter

    Interesting your comment on Abbott’s father son relationship with Howard.

    There is a pattern there; Abbott also heavily influenced by the odious George Pell and god-fearing Bob Santamaria. I wonder what Abbott’s relationship with his real father was like.

    He certainly is a conflicted authoritarian, externalising his bleak darkness onto anything and everything.

    Now I should be asleep, way past bedtime.

  24. Ad Astra

    Here’s a laugh. In today’s Murdoch media Abbott is calling for ‘Liberal voter unity’. Peter van Onselen tweeted that in the context of how he’s been acting for years that does classify as a new idea!

    Another tweeter observed: “If they want a unified future, they need to expel Abbott first. He’s been a disaster for Australia and an ongoing disaster for his party. His preselectors also need to take some responsibility for this living catastrophe.”

    It seems that Abbott’s legacy of destruction is acknowledged widely, but Abbott is either unaware of it, or simply doesn’t care.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Mr Abbott has told The Australian that choosing a Morrison-led Coalition over a Labor government led by Leader Bill Shorten is a ‘no-brainer’.

    I agree….you would have to have no brain to vote for them. Tony has never worried about policy and thinks we don’t either. This will be an ugly campaign full of Labor-bashing and little else.

  26. Hardknox

    Abbott is an angry drunk. He has a drinking problem and associated mental issues. That he was able to go so far in our political system is an indictment of it and his mentor, Honest John Howard. What a joke! He has no legacy except that of despised fool.
    Good bye to bad rubbish.

  27. New England Cocky

    @silkworm: Do you mean Rupert Goebels, Minster for Misinformation and Fake News in the Trumpery misgovernment of the United States of Apartheid?

  28. P Worrall

    Tony is only the battering ram, A man of limited intelligence, The real extremist cancer started in 2001, in the NSW LNP, quickly became Malignant, And infested the party throughout the Country. they have an umbilical cord attached to Corporate sharks, that now control Gov policy The few real Liberals left in the Party are rarely promoted they are bullied & threatened, The only cure for the party is decimation at the polls, the excision of the radicals, and hopefully rebuild on the original base

  29. SteveFitz

    And, that’s how history will remember him. Which is a shame, because idiots like Abbott should be turfed out with the rubbish and forgotten.

    P Worrall – We need to keep pushing and we need to tie a knot in that umbilical cord with the implementation of a federal corruption watchdog. Clean out the rubbish at the next election and vote for a bit of integrity.

    Ad Astra – Can we send a copy of this to everyone in Warringah please.

  30. Ad Astra


    I suspect the Warringah electorate already has Abbott in its sights – It would be the ultimate insult for Abbott to have his own voters reject him.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Politics could get very interesting. Kerryn Phelps for Wentworth, Jane Caro for Warringah, Fiona Simpson for New England, Brian Owler for Bennelong, Father Rod Bowers (and possibly Tony Windsor) for the Senate. Kristina Kenneally is also doing well at Senate Estimates. The crossbench in the HoR are banding together. Are we witnessing change brought on by the electorate’s frustration with people who have forgotten that they are there to serve?

  32. Ian D. Roberts

    I suggest that Kerryn Phelps shouldn’t get too comfortable in her seat. The number of non-voters won’t be repeated again. Brian Owler won’t win even if Alexander retires and the Jane Caro thing is fantasy, regardless of what we think of Abbott. Ditto for Fiona Simpson (whoever she is) and Windsor has less chance of making the Senate that Mark Latham has. So, perhaps it might be advisable not to get ahead of oneself.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Fiona Simpson is the head of the National Farmers Federation. She lives in New England. There are a hell of a lot of country women pissed off with Barnaby.

  34. Chabo Chook

    It is fairly well known that Morrison was planning his own coup way back in June. The notion that he slipped through the middle of the field and won by luck is flawed. He played his colleagues with cunning and finesse… finesse that he cannot reproduce now he is in the top job. His reign is short.

  35. John lord

    The greatest liar ever to have walked the halls of parliament.

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