“Look, it’s a personal matter, it’s a private matter and I don’t propose to comment on something which is almost certainly coming before the courts, I just make the general point that when people have personal issues, they should be given all the support and all the encouragement that they possibly can to work through those issues.”
Tony Abbott was commenting on the airport behaviour of Stephen John Ellis, a member of Malcolm Turnbull’s staff. Or at least he was, until he resigned after he was charged on Thursday with committing an act of indecency and indecent exposure, as well as drug charges.
And you thought those Liberal staffers were always covering things up!
…Mm, maybe that’s why he felt that he needed to resign.
A lot of my left wing acquaintences – I wouldn’t call them friends, because I know from reading Andrew Bolt that the Left have no affection for anyone and are just abusive nasty types who call people names rather than argue things logically – seemed to think that this was inconsistent with Tony Abbott’s position on Craig Thomson or Peter Slipper.
Of course, the Left are always looking for ways to suggest that this government is somehow hypocritical. After the Budget, we had all those media trotskyites ignoring the fact that Labor created the deficit by not predicting and preventing the GFC and their only response was to spend, spend, spend. While Australia avoided a recession, we went into to debt, and the Liberals were elected to fix that. The media seem to be taking the Abbott Government to task for seemingly forgetting about the debt and presenting an even bigger deficit than Labor. But this overlooks the fact that the Liberals have a plan to reduce the deficit by urging us to spend, spend, spend which means that it’ll be us that are in debt and that’s no problem for the government, because it’s nothing to do with them.
And to encourage people to spend, they’ve given some well placed tax relief to small business.
Some people are inaccurately suggesting that this will be used as a “rort”. What they don’t understand that small business will only use this for legitimate reasons and that the people rorting the system are those mothers who were “double-dipping” by claiming maternity leave from both their employer and the government. It’s important to absolutely clear, though, that while these mothers have committed what Joe Hockey agreed was basically fraud, and Scott Morrison described as “a rort”, they aren’t fraudsters or rorters. In much the same way that many of Mr Howard’s ministers gave misleading statements onthings like “children overboard” or the AWB scandals, that doesn’t make them liars. It just meant that they had no idea what was going on most of the time. Which doesn’t make them incompetent. To paraphrase Barnaby Joyce on Abbott’s mistakes, it just makes them more loveable because they’re authentic and therefore human and we all make mistakes, so let’s move on, hey?
No, just because I say that someone has committed a theft, then it doesn’t mean that I’m calling them a thief. And we know that these women can’t be rorters or fraudsters because the wives of two Liberal ministers did some “double-dipping” and surely they wouldn’t have done anything wrong because, like Caesar’s wife, the wives of Liberal Ministers need to be above suspicion. As for the husbands, well, that’s a whole other issue…
So there’s nothing inconsistent with their position on this, just as there’s nothing inconsistent on Tony Abbott’s refusal to comment on a matter “before the courts”. When the Thomson matter was being investigated and about to come before the courts he merely suggested that Thomson’s vote in Parliament was “tainted” and accused Julia Gillard of running a “protection racket” for Thomson. Comments which some tried to link to the matters before the court, but Abbott may have simply meant that Thomson’s vote was tainted because Kathy Jackson said so, or because he spells his name with a “p” in some of the credit card signatures that were presented in evidence against him. Surely, Abbott is entitled to the presumption of innocence here, as nobody knows what he was thinking at the time.
Once I had pointed all this out my left wing “friends” attempted to change the subject by quoting Malcolm Turnbull:
“The acid today is on Bill Shorten. He has been promising a better budget outcome, lower taxes and more spending. You can’t have all three.”
They then attempted to suggest that this is precisely what Abbott promised going into the 2013 election. This was easy to disprove.
“No,” I calmly told them, “Abbott promised a surplus, lower taxes and no cuts to spending. That’s completely different from more spending.”
“But where’s the surplus?” they asked, annoyed when I scoffed and asked who was being hypocritical now.
“You can’t deny that Abbott’s broken his promises,” they insisted.
“Not the overriding one that matters.”
“Getting the Budget back to surplus? Even if you try and argue that means that none of the other promises count, he’s got a deficit twice the size of Labor’s.”
“No, not that one. His promise to the Liberal Party that he’d do whatever it took to win the election. That’s the one that counts and you’d only have to ask Peta Credlin to see what he’s prepared to do to keep that one.”
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