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When will we see the end of Tony Abbott?

How many of you out there, like me, long for the day when the most destructive, the most venomous federal politician in living memory is finally expunged from public life, if not erased from memory? He will not be easy to forget. History will record in harsh detail his tawdry reputation, his vengeful nature, his deep-seated nastiness, his misogyny, and his shameful verbal assaults on Julia Gillard. Any success he might claim as his own will forever live in the dark shadow of his malignancy, his meanness.

Nobody believed him when, after his upending by Malcolm Turnbull in 2015, he said: “My pledge today is to make this change as easy as I can…there will be “no wrecking, no undermining and no sniping. I’ve never leaked or backgrounded against anyone. And I certainly won’t start now.”. Immediately afterwards he set about doing all of those things, again and again. His most recent wrecking effort, successful as it turned out, was when he used his proxy, Peter Dutton, to mount a challenge to PM Turnbull. His desire for vengeance against his nemesis was satisfied; Turnbull was gone, and he was still there, smirking from the backbench.

As if to dash our hopes that we might soon see the end of Abbott, he continues to insist: “I certainly don’t intend to retire anytime soon”. He believes that he still ”has plenty of public life” left in him. But his Warringah electorate is not so sure.

Writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, Bevan Shields says: ”A meeting to endorse Tony Abbott’s re-election to Parliament [three years to the day from when he was ousted] descended into an angry shouting match after the former prime minister was hit by a rare and substantial protest vote. More than 30 per cent of grassroots members voted on Friday night to oppose Mr Abbott’s nomination as the Liberal Party candidate for the Sydney seat of Warringah, which the former leader has held since 1994”. 

Shields went on: ”Mr Abbott ran unopposed, which makes the size of the protest vote ‘highly unusual’, according to members who now believe the former prime minister’s grip on the blue-ribbon northern beaches seat is not guaranteed. Everybody with any degree of commitment to the party and its long-term future wants to see this guy go, he’s just useless,” said one local member. Moderate Liberal Party members are deeply unhappy with Mr Abbott’s failure to honour his “no wrecking, no sniping, no undermining” pledge. The meeting erupted when officials refused to read out the numbers from the secret ballot. Members were heard shouting: “disgrace”, “transparency is dead”, and “release the results”. 

Scared to face up to his dwindling support, Abbott dismissed the protest vote as “the work of a small minority”.

Even when told of the depth of feeling against him, Abbott responded with characteristic arrogance: “You may have voted against me, but I will continue to be your member”! Speaking to Ben Fordham on 2GB, he reinforced his intention to stick around with: “Reports of my political death are greatly exaggerated…I am very much politically alive and kicking and expect to be alive and well for a very long time to come.”!

Members of his electorate no longer afford him the respect they once did. They are aware that he is out of step with the views of the wider electorate on issues like climate change, renewable energy and same-sex marriage. Although he made it clear that he would vote NO, Warringah recorded a 75 per cent YES vote in favour of same-sex marriage in last year’s postal survey – the 10th highest in the country and the fifth highest of the Liberal Party’s 76 seats in Parliament – an indication of just how out of touch this man is. It is a matter of record that in the end, he did the cowardly thing, scarpering out of the House as the marriage equality vote was being taken, so that he did not vote at all!

Even his own party members want him gone. Nationals backbencher Damien Drum has urged him to quit Parliament: “He vowed he wouldn’t be a wrecker and that’s exactly what he’s been, a wrecker…He needs to get out of the joint.”

The straight-talking veteran Warren Entsch, a member of the Queensland LNP, says the same: “I think his mission is accomplished; he has gotten rid of his nemesis. Everything there was purely about revenge.” 

Several party members blamed Abbott for provoking the leadership carnage, and urged him to quit. Other colleagues despair but dare not go public.

I suspect that, with his characteristic arrogance and stubbornness, he will continue to leer from his backbench possie if for no other reason than to prove he can’t be removed, that he is still relevant, that miracles are still possible, and that he could still return to his rightful place as Liberal leader, and of course PM. He believes that he has the winning way, and could restore the Coalition to its former glory – just give him the reins again. He regularly boasts of his achievements when in office. He was particularly pleased with his initiation of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, declaring that: “A spotlight is being shone into the dark and corrupt corners of the union movement and Labor’s party-union business model.”Although he would never admit it, the Commission failed dismally to nail his political enemies.

Excluding Kevin Rudd’s second stint as PM, Abbott’s prime ministership was the shortest since Harold Holt. His net satisfaction rating dropped almost immediately after he became prime minister and remained poor, and as we all know, he suffered 30 adverse Newspolls in a row before Turnbull toppled him in 2015.

Tony Abbott is a unique politician. He seemed unmoved by adverse publicity, awful opinion polls, and the low regard in which the wider electorate, and now his once-loyal supporters in Warringah, hold him. But in his final speech as PM, he complained he had been the subject of sour, bitter, character assassination. His response was to wrap himself in a protective cocoon, deaf to the outside world, blind to political reality. There, in denial, he still reminisces about his political perspicacity, his superior insights, and the grand achievements of his ‘illustrious’ career. Pitiably, he dreams of a future full of promise.

Sadly, we may have Abbott around for a while as an ugly and laughable cartoon character that amuses the voters. For political tragics though, so long as he leers from the backbench, he will be an object of merciless ridicule.

This article by Ad Astra was originally published on The Political Sword.

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22 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Perhaps the best treatment for RAbbott is to ignore his every utterance. Don’t give him any air time in any media,especially the ABC which he already shuns. Another form of protest could be to cancel any SKY subscriptions stating the presence of RAbbott as the reason.

    Indeed, SKY is reported as having only 3% of the viewing public with rehashed articles elsewhere. So stop rehashing RAbbott.

  2. Graham

    “History will record in harsh detail his tawdry reputation, his vengeful nature, his deep-seated nastiness, his misogyny, ….etc ” ?

    We need more than just history recording it – who reads history anyway – we need a daily reminder of just how awful he is and was. So I propose we grab some suitably upmarket street that his supporters reside in, rename it Political Arsehole Avenue and erect statues of him and all his deplorable mates along with details of just how bad he and his mates were. Crowd funding anyone? Just let me have the concession for supplying the horse poo for tourists to throw at them

  3. RomeoCharlie29

    While I would love to see the voters of Warrigah enact the ousting Abbott so richly deserves, think of his loss to political cartoonists, particularly Pope and Rowe.

  4. David Bruce

    It seems he has no redeeming features, a pugilist hiding an inferiority complex behind a brash exterior? Desperate to be a captain and make his captain calls; in an earlier time I could see him on the Titanic! He was obviously getting his script from his masters, so he could blatantly ignore the opinions of his electorate and the wider community. Too tarnished to go back to a teaching appointment and too toxic for any overseas diplomatic appointment and lacking any business skills, what is he to do if has to leave politics? Bit pathetic really! Was he bullied at school? Maybe nicknamed wing-nut? His continued presence in the Federal Parliament is like a carcinogen in the human body!

  5. king1394

    The members of the Liberal Party who are the pre-selectors in Warringah know that if Abbot cannot be unseated as the candidate, their only option is to withdraw their labour (as in fundraising, and helping out for the election) and support someone else to stand as an independent Liberal.

  6. helvityni

    New England Cocky is right, ignore his every utterance, I have been doing for awhile now…. Abbott who…?

  7. Graeme Henchel

    Whenever he spoke I felt quite sick
    Did he think I was stupid?
    Did he think I was thick?
    He made false promises, told so many lies
    kept making excuses and he’d blame other guys

    So I stopped listening, over it all
    The lies, the excuses, hypocrisy and gall

    Then he started pleading, said he’d changed
    I saw no difference, he must be deranged
    Yet all of his mates were still right by his side
    But they can’t be trusted, all of them lied

    So whenever he spoke, I just turned off
    I knew he’d be lying, enough is enough

    He became more deluded, like Monty’s black knight
    kept changing the story saying black, now is white
    When called to account, he’d build lie upon lie
    with a wink and a smirk and a bogus blue tie

    So I moved on, tired of the lies
    eagerly awaiting his certain demise

    He says now he’s turned over a new leaf
    But no apology for the pain and the grief
    He wants forgiveness, but no mention of fault
    It’s just a fig leaf for continued assault

    He then pretends he’s the great protector
    Saving us all from the terrorist spectre
    There are no depths that he won’t go
    Division and fear is all he knows

    And long after he was shown the door
    This lying moron continues to boor
    Deluded, deceitful and still full of shit
    Replaced by another duplicitous twit

    This desperate Thug is at it again
    Inflicting abuse, division and pain
    More lies, more hurt with his offensive attacks
    This destructive Thug must be stopped in his tracks

    It’s time this prick was put in his place
    A collective mid finger put right in his face
    To massively fail has always been his fate
    Saying YES to love will overcome hate

    And now as his world is falling apart
    He lingers too long like an unwelcome fart
    A thug defeated, now defending the past
    His “use by date” has now well truly passed

    Oh for the sake of f#ck
    I’m so over this smuck
    It must be concluded
    This fool is deluded
    And his head, up his arse, is well stuck

  8. New England Cocky

    Banjo and Henry would be proud of your efforts Graeme. Thank you.

  9. Terence Mills

    What Warringah needs is a good alternative independent candidate along the lines of Kerryn Phelps : doesn’t Dick Smith live in that electorate ?

  10. Matters Not

    Tony Abbott is the perfect choice for any ‘safe’ Liberal held seat. I hope he hangs around forever.

    One of the greatest political assets Labor’s had for years. More power to his arm. Stay Tony! Keep up the good work. Consider recruiting more to your cause. Try the Honourable Peter Dutton and his Monkey Pod crew for example. Put out a weekly newsletter – or daily when Parliament is sitting. You can use the extra staff allocated for your new role. It will give them something to do and keep them out of Aboriginal communities.

  11. Cool Pete

    Maybe Sky News should add him to the cast of The Bolt Report and rename it Shovelling The Shit With The Two Little Botties. That way, we won’t have to see his grotesque face or listen to his tortuous voice unless we pay to (which we won’t).

  12. Henry Rodrigues

    All the comments so far are spot on especially the ever welcome composition by the erudite Mr Henshel. But always remember that similar to that orange headed nincompoop, Trump, the real cause for alarm is the ‘wonderful’ ‘wise’ electors of Warringah who despite all indications and reactions to the contrary, still somehow assign their crucial support to this splay footed. big eared dork. Seems to me, they’re all been subjected to frontal lobotomies, since Abbott is still their preferred choice.

    Are you listening, voters of Warringah ?????

  13. Ad Astra

    Good Morning Folks

    Thank you for your contributions to this piece.

    There seems to be no disagreement with the proposition that Tony Abbott is an odious person and a despicable politician. Your verse Graeme Henchel captures this so well.

    Some of you would prefer that he disappear from sight, or that at least we cease to draw attention to him. No doubt his narcissistic personality enjoys any attention, no matter how adverse.

    Maybe the hope that his own electorate of Warringah will finally reject him is a pipe dream, but rumblings there suggest that this is not impossible. We live in hope!

  14. totaram

    I agree completely with MN. Abbott should remain in politics as long as possible. He is the gift to progressives of any stripe that keeps on giving. The more people see him as representative of “conservative politics”, the less likely they will be to fall for that brand. Only the truly brainwashed or brain-dead will give him their support. It is sad that we lost Malcolm Roberts to some irrefutable empirical evidence.

  15. Kyran

    Given his advocacy of the ‘free market’ being its own arbiter of merchantability, you wonder about his sincerity, don’t you? His mutterings are still for sale through the Washington Speakers Bureau, he having listed his services within weeks of losing his PM’ship. Apparently nobody wants to pay him for his musings.

    http://www.wsb.com/

    Obviously, there is not much of a market for his mutterings, as he keeps dispensing them for free through MSM. It is a sad reflection on us that he continues to be paid $200k plus expenses for his idiocy when the ‘free market’ says “Nope, nope, nope, you can keep him”.
    “Some of you would prefer that he disappear from sight, or that at least we cease to draw attention to him.”
    There are often musings about Hitler’s bunker, given its historical relevance. One argument says it should be kept as a reminder of evil, with the counter argument that it may become a shrine for Neo-Nazi-Numbnuts. On the other hand, if you destroy it altogether, there will always be a suggestion you are ignoring history and the cautions contained therein.
    However, such argument when discussing Abbott is to greatly inflate his importance. He has offered little worth remembering, other than division and hate. Perhaps the most suitable ‘memorial’ is as depicted in an old joke about two fellows discussing how they wanted to shuffle off the mortal coil. The first said he wanted a fancy funeral with all the trimmings. The second said he wanted to be buried face down with his bum sticking out, so people could kiss it, being a measure of his disdain for those left behind. The first fellow observed he would likely use the exposed ass as a bike rack, such would be his disdain for the recently departed.
    “No doubt his narcissistic personality enjoys any attention, no matter how adverse.”
    Tony Abbott’s living legacy – the bike rack! Well may we see ‘the end’ of Tony, and treat it with the disdain it so richly deserves.
    Thank you Ad Astra and commenters. Take care

  16. paul walter

    Nothing left of him but the ego, inside a desiccated shell.

  17. lawrence winder

    …and to think Andrew Probyn was carpeted for expressing the same analysis of this odious faux xtian and was “mentioned” for dismissal as well!

  18. Phil

    Some/many/alot/a few voters of Warringah don’t want Abbott as their representative but white privilege, greed, self interest and plain pig ignorance will still determine that Abbott gets back in as Warringah’s rep.

  19. george theodoridis

    “…he most destructive, the most venomous federal politician in living memory…”
    Tony, if only!
    Never have I come across a creature -human or otherwise- that has challenged the lexicon of english insults so much as has our Tony. Not that there aren’t other such creatures treading the boards of the chambers and corridors of our Parliament but Tony? Tony is the most competent of them all: at destruction and at the dropping of poisoning in people’s ear, Hamlet-like!
    And no, that’s right. He’s not Robinson Crusoe there and there are Friday men all around him, obeying him, nodding in unison, conspiring in whispers and in dog whistles. Leaking and backgrounding and assassinating and smirking in the background.

    To tell the truth, I fear for his demise. The people of Warringah are conflicted about him as are the members of his party and I’m afraid they might remove this toxic creature who shines like a phosphorescent pole at the top of the dung hill and replace him with another, equally toxic creature without the phosphorus, who does his nasty destruction and poisoning, invisibly, beneath the dung spreading his toxicity further and wider into the Oz society.

    At least we can see this creature and we can throw things at him and we can switch our senses off when either his voice or his face appear before the puke reaches our throat. Who knows if we’ll be able to do any of this with his successor. And my guess is that his successor will be a woman who will look soft and kind and womanly and motherly and “matertera” and we’ll be reluctant to call her by her right name, “a lethally toxic harpy” because that’s what Abbott is, a male “a lethally toxic harpy.”

    Oz politics, ey?

    Many thanks, mate!

  20. george theodoridis

    Terence, Phelps and Smith! I cross my fingers in horror, as if a pair of vampires appeared before me, their fangs glittering and their mouth drooling with anticipation.
    Just as toxic. Just as far right, just as white as the white ant they’d be replacing.

  21. Ad Astra

    george theodoridis

    Your description of the Abbott creature is so apt.

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