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You’re fired

When Tony Abbott says that the people voted for him to be Prime Minister it’s important to clarify.

When Tony called a spill motion to challenge Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2009, 35 of the 85 Liberal MPs voted for him in the first round. He won the second round by securing 42 votes which is, once again, less than half of the party room.

Those 42 people are responsible for Tony holding the top job. Or more accurately, the person who cast an informal vote by writing “No” on their ballot paper (presumably Joe Hockey) gave Abbott the leadership. It would be cynical of me to suggest that Tony purposely called the spill when a Turnbull supporter was in hospital and unable to vote.

To make him even a contender 54,388 people in Warringah voted for Tony in the last election. That is less than one half of one percent of the total formal votes cast (12,914,927) and just over 0.2% of the population (23,235,800).

Warringah is an affluent electorate covering 73 in Sydney’s north shore and lower northern beaches, covering suburbs on both sides of Middle Harbour around the Spit Bridge. It includes Middle Head and the Mosman Council area, North Head and the Manly Council area, plus parts of Warringah and North Sydney Councils. It has always been a safe conservative seat.

Warringah has the nation’s lowest proportion of residents aged 15-24 (9.9%) and the nation’s tenth and NSW’s highest proportion of residents born in the United Kingdom or Ireland (10.9%). It has the nation’s third highest proportion of high income households (55.9%). Proving it can be an expensive place to live, Warringah rates second highest on both monthly mortgage repayments and weekly rent.

I’m not sure that they are exactly representative of Australia though it may well explain Tony’s policy direction and need to claim every expense he can.

At the 2001 election he was challenged by former state Independent MP for Manly Dr Peter Macdonald. Macdonald had a reasonable chance of creating an upset, and reduced Abbott’s margin substantially, but his attempt to harness local issues was swamped by the higher prominence of foreign affairs in the aftermath of the Tampa incident and September 11 terrorist attacks.

This may help explain Tony’s penchant for ramping up the rhetoric on threats to our safety – it’s worked for him before.

As Tony’s promises to be more consultative and collegial pile up, he avoids the electorate like the plague. The last time Tony Abbott appeared on Q&A was 2010. And the backbench think they’ve got it bad. If his own MPs can’t gain access, what hope has the electorate of getting through?

As Tony attempts to stare down the spill motion on Tuesday (assuming those who proposed it aren’t made to withdraw it before then – Peta is pretty scary), I would like to remind him that the vast majority of us did NOT hire him as Prime Minister and if, as he says, only the people have the right to fire him, then call an election.


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  1. keerti

    To misquote the Bee Gees. “i am a joke., but nobodies laughing”—- T. Abbott. Not yet tones!

  2. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    Well said once more Kaye. Perhaps we need to change our system so that, once a govenment is elected, we have a say in who leads it. Just as happens with those local councils where the mayor is elected through the poll separately from the aldermen.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I have watched a never-ending array of men coming out in support of Tony today (well those in promotion positions at least) but I am yet to hear a Liberal woman give him her support. Can we all now agree that he is a sexist anachronism that any thinking woman finds hugely offensive or do you girls want to pretend a tad longer?

  4. Kerri

    Brilliant article Kaye Lee! Sums up my feelings precisely! BTW is it just me or is Julie Bishop looking a whole lot happier today?

  5. Carol Taylor

    Tony Abbott in a style typically overblown dared LNP members to vote against him as leader. In another time and another place Abbott would have bleated: This is an illegimate government move. Might Abbott consider that the LNP won government not because of him, but in spite of him?

  6. Kaye Lee

    Having lived through anorexia with a very close family member, I am a tad worried about Julie – the obsessive running and the thin arms and bony chest are way too reminiscent.

  7. Terry2

    I’m getting the distinct impression that Peta has been sidelined – even Margie is being seen out and about with her man for a change.
    Maybe Rupert’s ultimatum is – no editorial support while Peta’s still there.

  8. anne

    Please, call another election..get this IDIOT and hes cronies out of here..Australia is suffering…… ‘she’ll be right mate’..wont apply until this rabble of shit is gone!..This is not the Australian way…Julie Bishop is a dog who used her former profession as a lawyer working to protect the James Hardy corporation from the class action against them regarding asbestos products and that Hardy’s knew it was deadly..So a great leader and a great deputy..people with no morals..its all about themselves and their riches and big business as liberalism is always about..piss them off and bring back some decency to this country..

  9. Kaye Lee

    Peta was absent from the 2 day cabinet meeting….a new development. I am conflicted about this. She is an employee. If she has been overstepping the mark (which in my opinion she most definitely has been) that is her boss’s fault in allowing that to happen. Another sign of his unfitness to lead if you ask me when he can’t even control his closest employee.

  10. Mike

    Strange how Julie gets so animated around that poodle, but then again she has been out of town for a while “woof”

  11. gangey1959

    I agree with you wholeheartedly Mr Prime Minister.
    Don’t put your position as National leader to the LNP party-room.
    Step up, show some bottle, and call and election as soon as one can be held.
    If your opinion is correct you’ll be re elected. And you can keep your job. No question.
    If you lose. piss off back home. And stay there. Bastard.
    I’ll pay the extra couple of dollars for your window seat.

  12. John Fraser


    Will Abbott walk into the "see you next Tuesday" meeting with his daughters to secure Wyatt Roy's vote ?

    Will Pyne prove that he is a "see you next Tuesday" and vote against Abbott ?

    Will Abbott be a "see you next Tuesday" and call for a show of hands rather than a secret ballot ….. this one we can be certain of because Abbott likes to intimidate and shirtfront.

    If readers Search for the phrase "see you next Tuesday" Pyne's use of it and now my use of it can be found under Urban Dictionary.

    Be warned ! ……………. it is R rated.

  13. itsazoosue

    This evening, in the country pub that is my place of work, I watched with scarcely contained glee as the mostly Liberal voting patrons engaged in a Tony Abbott hatefest.

  14. DanDark

    Gangy said “I’ll pay the extra couple of dollars for your window seat.”
    Is that window seat on the wing of the plane and Tones looking in the window instead of looking out the window holding on for his dear life by his fingertips, hoping he dosnt slide off into the abyss.
    I hope so then he will know how the Aussie public and our asylum seekers felt under his reign of fear for last 17 months and he can take his brainless robot ministers with him, he can share the wing 🙂

  15. Matters Not

    It seems to me that Abbott would make a mistake if he waits until Tuesday for any type of ‘vote’ because Parliament resumes on Monday. Just imagine what the Opposition could do with that situation in Question Time, provided of course the Opposition has some imagination.

    I suspect that Abbott et al (ideally from their POV) will have the ‘spill vote’ before Parliament resumes, either on Sunday or early Monday morning. Lots of variables of course.

    I hope upon hope that the ‘spill motion’ is lost on a ‘show of hands’. Such an outcome will cause Abbott to ‘overreach’ and claim that he has the ‘full confidence of the party’. LOL.

    A failure not to test confidence in the Leader via a secret ballot, the likely tactic (not a strategy) will contribute further to Abbott’s demise. I suspect and hope he does just that.

    BTW I imagine that Andrews’ endorsement of Gillard and Abbott as the leadership team has been viewed by all. Clearly Andrews needs some counselling.

    Pity the programme has been terminated.

  16. John Fraser


    ""I am very confident, I am very confident," he repeated for reporters at the leadership weigh-in, before adding that he was very confident. "I know my colleagues, I trust my colleagues, I know and trust my colleagues. I know my colleagues got elected to end the chaos and that's exactly what we'll do," he said, swinging a chaotic, looping roundhouse punch at a picture of Malcolm Turnbull taped to a heavy bag. The blow landed, with a sickening wet crunch, on the jaw of a would-be medical student whose guard was down while she contemplated the crippling university fees with which the PM had cunningly distracted her."×88.html

    No one is listening to Abbott because they are too busy laughing at the bullshit that's flowing out his mouth.

  17. stephentardrew

    The Tony Abbott version of the art of war.

    Use it as a fire starter.

    Then head-but the nearest door frame.

    Problem is the only target is the one in the mirror.

    Problem is he is shadow boxing with himself

    A bit fik that Tony.

  18. Margot

    Good Riddance Abbott (Time of Your Life) – Feat. Tim Woodz

  19. Florence nee Fedup

    I believe both sides have elections for leaders once the election is over. The front bench is then chosen. One does not know until this time who is available, Process is different between each party. No way does public have a say. Abbott is lying.

  20. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott reminds one of small kids playing a game. There is always one, when losing, wants to change the rules to suit them, Abbott makes up his own rules as he goes along.

  21. ' george hanson '

    I remember hearing bronwyn bishop stating on radio[ abc] that when the electorate voted her into her seat , she was put into parliament to implement liberal party policy , NOT to do her electorate’s bidding , sometime into the future . They had done their job obviously , so let’s just forget them! Is this how the rest of the coalition regard us voters ….seems so .

  22. Dandark

    If I got a dollar every time I heard one of them tell us to “give Tony a chance” over the last week
    I would be a rich woman, he didn’t give anyone of us a chance, he stomped, he pushed and pulled,
    he bullied, he threatened, along with the rest of the dickheads in gov, and now they want a second chance, they are all responsible for whats happened and their quick demise as a gov,
    they were all happy to come out and lie after the election and spin the budget shit and tell us we needed to be screwed for the sake of their mates and their own fat pay checks,
    well knock me over with a fecking feather if they don’t get it yet, and are pleading for more time to screw us and beat us from pillar to post more, how stupid are they all obviously very stupid……

  23. zeitgeist

    Funny breed the conservative blowhard. Hates gays, lesbians, Muslims, lefties, university ‘group think’ (though often can’t give any examples), greenies. Votes for any conservative that is seen to be aligned with the hate, then hates them when they get elected and don’t do things the way the blowhard would. Like call a double dissolution in a time when the Australian public was rather fatigued from the past few years of volatile government. Or ‘kick heads’ when confronted with a hostile senate, rather than try to do things the way a civilised adult would. Or *gasp* come up with a paid parental leave scheme that would keep ‘wimmin’ out of their natural barefoot habitat, the kitchen, once the rugrats were old enough to go to a nursery. No wonder the ones in the media have done nothing but white ant their elected PM once the election afterglow wore off.

  24. Möbius Ecko

    Abbott back to stunts. Photo op packing boxes in a warehouse.

    Nothing changes, still in opposition and still not a leader.

  25. jagman48

    Florence and all. I am under the impression that under Rudd the ALP changed rules. Nominations are sought from elected members for leader and then the rank anf file members do their part of a ballot. Elected members do their ballot.

    I believe the numbers are weighted somehow so you can still end up say Bill Shorten as the Leader rather than the rank and file members pick of Anthony Albanese. But at least we had a bit of a say. Well that is what I think. Happy to be corrected.

  26. Kaye Lee

    The email from Phillip Ruddock confirming the spill motion stated it would be by secret ballot. If that is the case then it would be a lot harder for Tony to intimidate others. Tony’s only reason for opposing a vote is the insistence on “stability” but he fails to realise that it is his personal instability that has brought this on. Why the Liberals ever thought he would make a good leader is completely beyond me. All it did was empower a bully.

    “There was an example on Budget night last year involving Danielle Blain, a West Australian Liberal and federal vice-president who intended to run for the party presidency.

    Abbott, backing former Howard Government Minister Richard Alston for the job, called Blain to his office in Parliament House and demanded that she withdraw from the contest. Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, a friend of Blain’s, also attended the meeting.

    When Blain expressed reluctance to pull out, Abbott became furious, shouting that it was his right to make the decision. Expletives, including the “F” bomb, were undeleted. The Prime Minister then stormed out of his own office.

    Yet another “Captain’s pick” that caused problems.

    Blain eventually did give way, but — the daughter of an Anglican clergyman — she was understandably stunned at such treatment. Bishop is said to have been decidedly unimpressed.

    The incident contributed to the tension between Abbott and his deputy which has become evident in the run-up to the leadership crisis now engulfing the government.”

    Where are your ladies now Tone?

  27. Möbius Ecko

    ABC News reporting that there has been no decision on whether it will be a secret ballot or not. There is no convention in the Liberal party on this and it’s up to their leader, unlike the Labor party who have form guidelines.

    A political commentator stated that Abbott will allow a secret ballot as not to do so will look bad for him. If he wins on a secret ballot it will be better than winning on a show of hands.

  28. Rafe Falkiner

    He should do a newman & call an election. That way we can minimise the damage by electing an alternative government.

  29. Terry2

    A strong leader would call the spill motion himself and then call on his party room to re-elect him on his record : in Abbott’s case that is his achilles heel.

    His record as a Prime Minister is absolutely atrocious and it is revealing that the Nationals’ leader can only come up with carbon trading and same sex marriage as a damning critique of the probable contender, Malcolm Turnbull.

  30. iggy648

    It’s a no-brainer. 50% of Coalition supporters and 100% of Labor supporters want Tony Abbott to be Prime Minister at the next election. Come on Liberal Party, support the will of the people!

  31. Jeanette

    Australia is not a Republic where we vote for a President, Abbott an obvious monarchist can’t have it both ways. The electorate voted Labor out, Rudd loved by the public but an obvious freak controller, MSM have a lot to answer for re Julia Gillard, the disgusting treatment of her regardless of your politics just showed how backward many are in this country. As has been pointed out by many Abbott is an untrustworthy liar and manipulator who would see his agenda of becoming PM no matter who he trod on, back knifed and lied about. The top line all fit into the same category. The LNP voted him in so it’s their responsibility to vote him out alongside the other demonics. Sadly, Liberals have lost their original mantra for Thatcher and Tea Party doctrines. Also aligned with proposed Free Trade Agreements. Australia’s future is fraught with danger, no intelligent statesmen for politicians and the real risk of future loss if sovereignty.
    If Julia Bishop dies become PM by default I wonder how much commentary there will be regarding her sexuality, child- lessness and those drop earrings!

  32. thevenerable1

    I must agree with iggy648, as I fear everyone will forget what a bloody two-faced LIAR Malcolm is if he gets the nod.

  33. Florence nee Fedup

    jagman48, You are correct, I forgot about that. Yes, that is fore Labor. Not true in Abbott’s case. It is still the party electing the leader, not all the voters.

  34. jagman48

    If they get a secret ballot it may work. However a show of hands will certainly worry a lot of members that know him.

  35. Loz

    The whole front bench must go! This can only be achieved by Abbott calling an election. Malcolm Turnbull is a rich right wing politician – do people really think there will be a positive change in policies if Turnbull is elected PM?

  36. jagman48

    There is a strong rumour that the right faction of Liberal do not want Turnbull. The rumour further goes that Morrison would be the anointed one. That’s all I have heard.

  37. Bacchus

    Morrison taking over from Abbott could be almost as good for Labor as leaving Abbott in place come 2016, but what about the rest of us? 😯

  38. jagman48

    Bacchus totally agree. I was at a community party launch last night for the Labor party and the rumour was very strong.

  39. Matters Not

    If Morrison gets the nod will ‘glossolalia’ become a compulsory subject?

    No doubt, the ‘right’ faction in the Libs would like to have a contender.

  40. Terry2

    Would Morrison be collegial and consultative ?

  41. Kaye Lee

    “LUKE Simpkins, the Western Australian Liberal MP who’s called for a leadership spill, says he believes Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison will be the likely contenders if his motion passes Tuesday’s partyroom meeting.”

    I doubt he would be taking this step with no insider information. It turns out Simpkins thinks halal food certification will turn us all into Muslims and he has called for a ban on the burqa so no wonder he feels an affinity with Morrison – perhaps it is just admiration for successful persecution.

    “But Sky News is reporting that Mr Morrison, who was appointed Social Services Minister in the government’s December cabinet reshuffle, has confirmed he can be ruled out for both the prime ministership and deputy leader roles.”

    He is an ambitious man who won’t burn his bridges – more likely he will lead a successful attack on “stopping the bludgers” and kicking the crutches out from under our elderly, sick and disabled. When Tony inevitably gets shafted Scott will have appealed to those in our society who feel no obligation to help those less fortunate.

  42. diannaart

    I would like to remind him that the vast majority of us did NOT hire him as Prime Minister and if, as he says, only the people have the right to fire him, then call an election

    No argument from me.

    Also, well noted Kaye Lee:

    I have watched a never-ending array of men coming out in support of Tony today (well those in promotion positions at least) but I am yet to hear a Liberal woman give him her support.

    Abbott has been very arrogant in his assumptions about Julie Bishop – he did not consult her first that she would stand by him – just went ahead and made the statement she would. Also a number of control measures he has inflicted such as ‘allowing’ the Foreign Minister to attend Lima only when accompanied by Andrew Robb. Almost feel sorry for Julie Bishop – almost. Not very. Simply useful in proving how Abbott treats women on the same ‘team.’

    After returning from Afghanistan last week Ms Bishop called Mr Abbott of assure him of her support, and offered assistance on putting together his crucial address amid rumors of turmoil within the Liberal party, Fairfax reported.

    But the prime minister was said to be suspicious of her motives, and tense and angry conversation followed creating a rift between the two. Mr Abbott rejected the help of his deputy.


  43. Kaye Lee

    Looks like Joe Hockey is being prepared as the sacrificial lamb

    “The option to dump Mr ­Hockey in favour of Mr Turnbull has been canvassed over the past two weeks but resurfaced over the past few days ahead of Tuesday’s leadership spill.

    Mr Hockey’s job as Treasurer has been under silent siege for months with cabinet colleagues concerned he is unable to sell the Abbott government’s economic message.

    The Sunday Telegraph can reveal that several cabinet ministers have urged the Prime Minister to replace him in the role.

    They include Ms Bishop, who urged Mr Abbott to take action over Mr Hockey’s performance in private talks before Christmas.

    Supporters of Mr Turnbull also confirmed yesterday that Mr Hockey will be replaced by rising Liberal star Scott Morrison if a spill motion is successful.

    Senate leader Eric Abetz was yesterday accused of ringing ­conservative MPs to suggest that the Prime Minister would be ­prepared to dump Mr Hockey to save his leadership. When contacted yesterday, Senator Abetz ­refused to discuss the issue.”

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