The ABC wing of the Liberal Party

It used to be my view that it was the Senate that was the largest obstacle to getting things done, but now I can see that the ABC-wing of the Liberal Party played its fair share as well.

How much internal infighting did Tony Abbott have to put up with? He says today that his legacy is the key to a future Coalition win at the next election, so obviously true that only someone as narcissistic as the PM could deny it. But the scale of things, large and small, that Abbott had a fight on his hands over, on issues that ought to have been obvious and uncontroversial within his own side, is shown by the story right next to the one on Abbott: Tony’s Demise Opens Door to UN Top Job for Rudd. The idea of Kevin as Secretary General of the United Nations is such an idiocy, that only because we know that the PM and Mark Scott are ideological identical twins that we have no doubts about what the policy was and how it has now been changed. No doubt there is much more we will find out in the days to come, along with much else we will never hear a word about as Tony’s legacy is undermined bit by bit as best they can.

There are alternatives and we will find them

I am still unable to read The Australian in the morning with all the happy news about our new Prime Minister. The fact is, I don’t see it that way at all. I look at our new Prime Minister as a shallow lightweight whose only merit is that he leads a Coalition with the 44 of good sense plus the Nationals. If he decides to lead the Labor Party against the will of people like me, he will find himself the preferred PM only among people who will never vote for the party he leads. The alerts from Andrew Bolt today about how potentially disastrous the government Malcolm is leading may turn out to be. Here are the examples he lists. You should go to the links to see the full stories:

1) Green rentseekers get sniff of Turnbull cash:

Environment Minister Greg Hunt says the renewables industry should feel “very supported” under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after they complained of investment instability fuelled by Tony Abbott’s hostility towards the sector.

Mr Hunt has also said he would seek ways for Australia to “do more” on climate change with Mr Turnbull after the United Nations conference in Paris, and said the appointment of five new members of the Climate Change Authority board was delayed by the leadership spill.

The former prime minister was frequently scathing of wind turbines and the renewable energy target…

In a change of tack, Mr Hunt told The Australian Financial Review, “I think [the renewables industry] should feel that with myself, Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg, they will be in a very, very supportive environment.” …

Mr Hunt also revealed he was about to appoint five new members to the Climate Change Authority board before last week’s leadership change delayed the decision…

“Malcolm is passionate about the global climate challenge, and I am passionate about it.”

2) ABC wants reward for backing Turnbull:

The ABC is hopeful the installation of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister will allow it to claw back some of the $250 million slashed from the broadcaster last year as tension between the government and broadcaster cools off.

The shift from Tony Abbott to Mr Turnbull represents a change at the top of the government from one of the Coalition’s biggest critics of the ABC to one of its biggest supporters.

“There will be no more culture wars,” a Liberal source said, flagging an end to the open hostilities between the government and the ABC during recent times.

3) Credlin’s critics can’t hurt her like she can now hurt them. So back off:

Liberal MPs have warned that ongoing commentary from Peta Credlin about her time as the former­ prime minister’s chief of staff risks triggering a bitter “slanging match” and disclosure of negative stories about her conduct in the job.

Ms Credlin vented her frustration at what she believed were the unhelpful feminine stereotypes in which she had been characterised as chief of staff to Tony Abbott at an event hosted by The Australian Women’s Weekly on Tuesday night. Some Liberal MPs took issue yesterday with a statement in which she noted the role she played in engineering the ­Coalition victory in 2013.

They warned that she was just as responsible for leading the government “into oblivion” and questioned why she did not do more to elevate women in the Abbott government…

North Queensland MP Warren Entsch warned Ms Credlin against playing a spoiling role following the departure­ of Mr Abbott and raised the prospect of retribution against her.

4) African and Arab media report Turnbull softer on border policies:

New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Wednesday he was concerned about the plight of asylum seekers in Australia’s offshore detention centres, and hinted at changes to the policy of his predecessor Tony Abbott…

Abbott’s “stop the boats” policy was criticised for being too hardline, but also touted as one of the successes of his administration.

In an interview with Sky News on his ninth day in office after ousting Abbott, Turnbull acknowledged the detention policy was “controversial”.

“I have the same concerns about the situation of people on Manus and Nauru … as I think all Australians do,” Turnbull said.

“All policies change, but when we do make changes we will do so in a considered way and they will be made by the minister, myself [and] the cabinet.”

5) Turnbull has to cut this waffle:

He pauses, he stutters, he umms and he ahhs. Hesitant moments as his hands wave meaninglessly in the air; awkward body shifts and gestures attempt to make up for the lack of substantive comment. No, it’s not Tony Abbott on a bad day: it’s Malcolm Turnbull. Not since Kevin Rudd last graced our TV screens have we had a prime minister who a) has so many words to deploy and b) has so little to say with them.

6) Turnbull gets credit for Abbott’s domestic violence package because he’s more enlightened, you see:

In fact, Abbott had already decried the rate of family violence deaths, put the issue on the national agenda, raised it with the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, appointed an inquiry and put together this very package, which he was due to release in the week he was toppled.

7) Fairfax still reports falsehoods on the Prime Minister, but not yet to destroy:

Now that Malcolm Turnbull is prime minister, Fairfax political writers still write false stories – but as yet not with hostile intent.

Malcolm, you will also not be able to fix the economy without really annoying all of your latest fans who think public spending only enriches us. That, unfortunately, is how I think you think. No apology for and criticism of the NBN you oversaw convinced me your economics is no deeper than a first year Keynesian economics text.

To some decency is merely a weakness to exploit

By Simon Benson via Andrew Bolt whose post is titled, A fine man and good Prime Minister destroyed.

(I)t is my view that, just like Kim Beazley was perhaps the best prime minister we never had, Tony Abbott was potentially the best prime minister we had but never knew it…

Above all else, the bloke I know is one of immense personal decency, integrity and goodwill. He espouses a set of values, principles and personal ethics that speak to community values that many of us could probably only aspire to. And on these values, he is uncompromising. He is loyal to a fault and conducts himself with a personal humility rare in politics.

His mistake was that he, perhaps naively, believed the principles he adopted in life would work in politics, and that the loyalty would be returned. To the shame of many on his own side — those who sat in the parliament on Tuesday like lemmings with their heads bowed after having thrown one of their own off a cliff rather than themselves — it took Labor leader Bill Shorten to recognise the character of Abbott…

The unrecognised fact is Abbott achieved more in just 24 months of government than perhaps any modern leader. He got credit from the nation for none of it, including even the most fundamental task of restoring stability to the administration of government after the near institutional destruction inflicted by Labor.

Howard himself said he did not believe that Abbott — and Scott Morrison — would be able to stop the boats. Under Abbott the country will be allowed a plebiscite on gay marriage. Who would have thought it?…

Despite the predictions he would be a national embarrassment on the world stage, it was on this stage that he became a statesman. His response to the twin tragedies of MH17 and MH370 assuaged the grief and anger of a nation. He elevated Australia’s response to global terrorism to one of leading rather than following, as recognised by the US President Barack Obama.

And he signed three free trade agreements that Labor seemed incapable of progressing…

In toppling Tony Abbott, Turnbull and his cohorts have not only legitimised the scandalous behaviour of the previous Labor government, they have endorsed it, using similar justifications for their actions.

Ultimately, it was when The Australian went over to the Dark Side that made the final difference. Other than Greg Sheridan, Henry Ergas and Nick Cater, reading The Oz became like reading The Age.

Lost the plot

Malcombe

UPDATE: From Andrew Bolt, which he has just put up, and with which I agree with each word:

Malcolm Turnbull is a wrecker. He has sabotaged the Liberal campaign in Canning, which the latest two polls show would have been won comfortably by a great candidate.

Second, Turnbull claims he is a better communicator than Abbott. Nothing in his record as Opposition Leader of Communications Minister backs up that boast.

Third, he risks splitting the Liberals with his stands on gay marriage and global warming, to name just two issues. He would not have stopped the boats or scrapped the carbon tax, and I doubt he would have pushed as remorsely as Tony Abbott from the free trade deal with China that he cited as his big economic agenda.

Turnbull is stealing the job he could not have won, using policy weapons he could not have designed and boasting of a communication ability he does not have to head a party he cannot unite.

The front page story in The Oz today is Tony Abbott urged to stare down leadership plotters.

Apparently, the only reason they can come up with to change the leader is that Tony is down in the polls. As far as policy goes, these empty-headed conspirators, led by the most empty-headed of the lot, have nothing to offer so far as a change of policy goes, at least not so far as the kinds of policy someone like myself wishes to see followed.

If the issue to them is the risk to their own seats, these are such craven people, with no serious vision of what is necessary to keep this nation safe and prosperous. A policy of open-bordered greenery is not only idiotic, it will also more likely than not lose the next election irrespective which party decides to make the case, that is, unless both decide to. So long as Tony is there, at least one party will not. Après Tony le déluge I’m afraid, but we should try to keep it off as long as possible, and maybe others will even wake up to the actual problems we have.

UPDATE: The news does come thick and fast. The Libs must have been set to win Canning on the weekend since Turnbull has now resigned from Cabinet and Bishop is pushing for a leadership spill. These people are utterly vile. I’ve taken everything below from Andrew Bolt.

Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop have asked Tony Abbott for a leadership vote tomorrow. This comes after a string of destabilising leaks with Bishop’s fingerprints on it, and others from the Turnbull camp. First they weaken Abbott, and then then complain he’s crippled. Interesting is the absence this time around of Scott Morrison in their mooted lineup. But he has not defended Abbott, either.

UPDATE

Had Abbott been given loyalty, he would have won the next election against Bill Shorten. But I’m afraid many MPs will feel they have no option but to reward people who put their own ambitions above their party’s, fearing this will go on and on. But many conservatives will never wear this and with good reason will never trust those who have shown they deserve none. For them the question will be: would a Labor victory be their only chance of getting back a Liberal party that represents them?

UPDATE

Scott Morrison will not stand against Abbott.

UPDATE

Turnbull has resigned as Minister. At his press conference, he claims the government has not “been successful in providing the economic leadership our nation needs”. “We need a different style of leadership” – one which explains the changes and “respects the people’s intelligence”, that has advocacy and “not slogans”. (But is Turnbull really a better communicator?)

Turnbull says Shorten would be catastrophic, noting his opposition to the China free trade deal. (Which Abbott actually achieved.) “We need to restore traditional cabinet government” with no “captain’s calls”. (Turnbull so far has hit on most Labor talking points.) Turnbull admits this is not ideal, giving the Canning byelection. (But this is hypocrisy: he has determined the timing.)

A focus on persecuted minorities and, in particular, women, children and families

The reason for the creation of Israel was that Jews needed a haven they could turn to if the countries they were living in became too dangerous for their Jewish inhabitants. Who would have thought that the same refuge would be needed for Christians, and more strangely, that it would be so difficult to find havens for Christians being driven from their homes? Why this is even controversial I do not know, but this is the decision that has been made by the Government today.

Australia’s acceptance of an additional 12,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and Iraq is a “generous” response that reflects the nation’s “proud history as a country with a generous heart”, Tony Abbott says. . . .

The government will dispatch officials to the region “shortly” to begin working with the UNHCR to identify potential candidates for resettlement, with a focus on persecuted minorities and, in particular, women, children and families.

Unprincipled ignorance

It’s clear enough that unprincipled ignorance is the single most defining characteristic of those who consistently attack the PM. His equation of ISIS with the Nazis, with a slight twist towards noting the astonishing pride the Islamic State takes in displaying their barbarity, has called to arms the usual brigade of anti-Abbott hysterics. But there is one difference between the Nazis and ISIS that is of singular importance. The Nazis disappeared in 1945. ISIS is a threat today. To distract from any of this is merely to attack the single most focused enemy of ISIS in Australian politics, and there would be few like him anywhere in the world. Objectively, as Stalin liked to say, attacks on Abbott over this issue transform someone into a defender of ISIS.

Daryl McCann has an excellent article at Quadrant Online: Hold the Front Page! Nazism = ISIS. Here is my choice of its central point, but do read it all.

The bloodcurdling irrationality of the Islamic State expresses itself not only in the annihilation of Christians, secularists, modern women, smokers, archaeologists, Yazidis, Kurds, Druse, Shiites, Alawis, historical landmarks, ancient manuscripts, foreign photographers and aid workers, homosexuals, adulterers, suspected Sunni apostates, but also in its exterminationist anti-Semitism. Thus, the call to “liberate” Jerusalem (al-Quds) refers to the drawing near of Islamic “End Times” and has nothing to do with achieving a two-state solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict (or East Jerusalem as the nascent capital of an Islamic Republic of Palestine). Abbott’s depiction of the Islamic State as an “apocalyptic death cult”, then, appears to be right on the money. Conversely, the accusation by leftist journalists and commentators in Australia that Tony Abbott’s analysis is mere hyperbole, intended only to boost lagging popularity at home, can be dismissed as a combination of ignorance and political point-scoring on the part of the commentariat – the very things, ironically, they accuse the Prime Minister of doing.

If I quibble about this, there is something about the wording at the start that does not come to grips with the intensity or the nature of the problems we face. ISIS are mass murderers who will murder many more if they can. I do not know where their drive for power and dominance comes from but it is not “irrational”. And “bloodcurdling” is too weak a word to do the job. With ISIS we are dealing with very rational people who are seeking power, first in the Middle East but also anywhere else they can. It is a global operation spreading with fantastic success. It is also not difficult to set up a franchise operation anywhere, which is why no country in the West is immune, where there is a large scale risk of much greater insurgency over the coming decades. ISIS is unlikely to have reached anything like the dominance it will one day have. If this doesn’t worry you, you lack political imagination and have almost no historical sense worth discussing. You are, whatever else you may think, helping to open the road to further incursions of ISIS barbarities into every part of the world.

Robert Groot, the President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, made this statement absolving the PM of missing the point.

groot-note

OK, I get it. But side by side with that, I would like to see the Executive Council’s words on Obama’s agreement freeing Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Here’s my advice, Robert. You should back this Prime Minister to the hilt because whoever may be the next one is unlikely to take ISIS as seriously as Tony Abbott, and it will not matter which side of politics forms the next government for this to be true.

Who is the ABC to preach to us about anything?

Did Jonathan Green really say this? From Andrew Bolt:

The other thing here on the point of shame and advertising your evil is that IS [Islamic State] depend on the likes of Tony Abbott to do that job for them – to exaggerate their evil, to continually talk about their death cultness, to parade this in front of us, this is doing their promotional work for them.

No doubt he can look himself in the mirror and see a fine, upstanding representative of the highest morality. The fact that others see him in a different way is merely because we are unable to see his virtues and deep insight into the human condition. Let me therefore also bring across the picture that Andrew put up.

isis murder

Pathological and psychotic, and that goes for anyone who does not condemn such barbarity to the absolutely fullest extent. Tell me how to exaggerate this kind of evil. This is sick and disgusting, and if there is anyone who does not agree, then what words shall we use to describe them? Who is the ABC to preach to us about anything?

A republic of fools

What is the superlative for moronic. There is more moronic, then there’s completely moronic and there are politicians on the right side of the political spectrum who start pushing for an Australian Republic when no one else is even mentioning it. That really is the final straw. And this is how it is going to have to be.

The problem has been from the start that Tony Abbott is too much of a nice guy for the office he holds. He doesn’t want others to be in fear of him, but to like and respect him. OK, but that’s not the advice Machiavelli gave and it’s not been a really good political technique either before or since. There’s not enough mongrel. Real deep down anger at stupidity, incompetence and treachery. So let us suppose the Libs hold Canning. Nothing will work unless they hold Canning. But then if they do, it is time for a cabinet re-shuffle in which there are two pieces of deadwood in particular who need to be put on the fire.

It may actually be the case that at some time in the past I have said something positive about Hockey’s management of the economy. It’s possible. But let us sum up. Joe has never from the moment he kept Martin Parkinson at Treasury and then onwards got a thing right. Even Wayne Swan could talk about getting the deficit down. Parkinson probably even had the same people write his speeches as the ones that wrote Wayne’s. Kind of a private joke. Same empty lines. Same lack of action. Same vacuous ideas. You had your chance and it’s time to go.

And then of course there is Dr Proctologist, here shown discussing the latest examination of his favourite client. malcolm and scott This is the man who was to lead us into the digital age, missing in action on every front unless he can find some way to sandbag the Prime Minister. His two responsibilities: the ABC and the NBN. That is, the two largest single-issue failures of this government. You wouldn’t trust him.

There must just be something about wanting a republic that makes politicians into idiots. There was an identity thing, perhaps, but Australia is a quite distinct place on the globe. We know who we are and we are quite good at being us. The only reason you might want a republic would be because it would make the country more governable, more responsive to our political wishes. But that is not what it would do. And in fact, watching Obama ruin the United States, you would never want a republican system if you had an ounce of common sense. Cabinet governments work. If you want to make our political system work better, you should be thinking about how to reduce the power of the Senate, like not allowing it to reject money bills more than once or perhaps twice. The Senate has power without responsibility, the worst of all forms of political abuse. Who Jackie Lambie represents exactly is an unknown. That’s what you ought to be fixing, but no, these morons go for changing the superficial that will make us worse off, rather than doing something more difficult that would actually do us some good.

Solidarity forever

Why do we even know what Malcolm Turncoat’s views are? Hasn’t he heard of cabinet solidarity?

Tony Abbott is staring down ­internal critics of his plan for a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, locking in conservative support in the wake of a Coalition dispute that has triggered renewed sniping over his leadership.

The Prime Minister threw more weight behind the plebiscite hours after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned against the proposal, highlighting a conflict within the government over the way the idea was devised.

Another Donald Trump, who knows only his own opinion, respects no one else’s and cannot convince anyone of anything they don’t already believe.