Abbott at the Press Club

2 Feb



There were so many slogans, I was drunk by 1.15.

We cut the carbon tax! Drink!

We stopped the boats! Drink!

We’re building the roads! Drink!

Margie and the girls! Drink!

Tony Abbott’s National Press Club speech had as its not so subtle leitmotif  blaming Labor for everything. In other words the man still hasn’t got out of electioneering mode and into governing mode. Someone had obviously instructed him to get a poke in at Labor at every opportunity, and that is just the kind of instruction he can follow.

How long can a government blame a previous government for the difficulties of governing? Is there a time limit? Please, somebody, make one, because this long since became ridiculous.

One of the many things I find intolerably offensive about the Prime Minister is his insensitive and egotistical penchant for co-opting awful tragedy into his autobiographical narrative. So we had his self-described  “brave” captain’s call about the shooting down of MH17 over the Ukraine brought in as evidence of why he can’t undertake never to make another captain’s pick. He subjected us to a little homily about the nasty rebels and the stricken families, as an example of why a captain must always be allowed to have a pick. He’d actually been asked about the knights and danes, as Senator Jacquie Lambie likes to call them. Great Danes. Danish people. Who knows. Abbott can confer an honour on anything with a pulse.

We had the role he’d played in the release of journalist Peter Greste from his Egyptian prison, and how the PM had been so warmly thanked by the relieved Greste family on the phone this morning.  Abbott had high praise for Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, with whom he and his foreign minister Julie Bishop negotiated Greste’s release. He said.

There were the usual promises not to lead us into chaos, as did the ALP Drink! with party unrest and leadership changes. We are on a journey together, said the PM, leaning earnestly into the lectern. This is a new year that will be very different from last year with more consultation Drink! and more collegiality Drink! he promised.

I don’t recall the journo who went to the trouble of adding up the number of times since the election that Abbott has promised more consultation and collegiality, but it was something like fifteen or sixteen. Why should the backbenchers start believing him now, asked the journo, quite reasonably. Ah, well, look, lip smacking, Drink!

Abbott then contemptuously wrote off the entire Queensland election result by saying voters had favoured the ALP over the LNP in “a fit of absent-mindedness.” That should endear him to them come the federal election.

Oh, look, fuckit, if you want to know all the details there’ll be a transcript somewhere.

Abbott’s energy levels were high until the last ten minutes, when he began to visibly tire and I wondered if the drugs were wearing off. Much of his message was directed at his own party, reminding them of the dangers of division and visible unrest. The Australian people had elected both the government and the Prime Minister, he claimed, which is codswallop, we don’t elect the PM in the Westminster system, the party elects its leader. If voters had control of electing the PM, Abbott would never have got the job. He did, however, make the rather convoluted argument that once a government has been elected the voters have elected the PM. Drink!

Oh, and the PPL is in cold storage. Drink!




27 Responses to “Abbott at the Press Club”

  1. Michaela Tschudi February 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    It was almost enough to drive me to drink (which I don’t). You’re right: Tony never got off the electioneering bandwagon. He’s never learnt to govern. Now it’s too fucking late. I’ll drink to that.🍸🍹🍷🍺🍸☕️☕️☕️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 8 Degrees of Latitude February 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    Billed as a comeback kid moment. Better analysis suggests the kid is running around the burning deck… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

      Honestly, it was such a fizzer, he can’t do comebacks


      • Michaela Tschudi February 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm #

        He can’t do entrances either. He’s no Cosmo Kramer.


        • Jennifer Wilson February 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

          There is no Seinfeld character to whom he can be compared. He is devoid of character. He has no character. He is characterless.

          When I was writing that I wondered how much Seinfeld writers learned from Monty Python.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Mayan February 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

    Perhaps the more important insights into the failings of the Liberals is to be found on those fora populated by those who normally support them. In short, while the ALP and Greens are fastidious when it comes to looking after their base, the Liberals and Nationals are at best indifferent to them and, at worst, prone to abusing the trust placed in them. At times, they seem to fall over themselves to make good with those who will detest them forever, even at the expense of their supporters. Certain blogs are ablaze with hostility toward the LNP from people one would assume to be rusted on supporters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

      I don’t know how to explain that bizarre occurrence, do you have any ideas?


      • Mayan February 2, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

        The closest to an explanation I’ve seen is that the LNP just plain sucks at playing the game called politics. On the other hand, no matter what one might think of the NSW Labor right, they really have their act together and know how to play the game.

        As nihilistic as that might sound, I suspect it to be true.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 2, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

          I suspect arrogance and entitlement are barriers to the LNP learning how to play politics. They think gaining power is all they have to do.


          • Team Oyeniyi February 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

            Like guys with big appendages think that is all they need to be good lovers?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Michaela Tschudi February 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

              Hahahahaha Robyn you nailed it 😀


            • Jennifer Wilson February 2, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

              Mwahahahahaha, I guess!


      • paul walter February 3, 2015 at 11:24 am #

        It is the attack on rationaity..It offends any one with even half a brain.


    • Team Oyeniyi February 2, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

      Mayan, JBish did respond to an article of mine once, but failed to answer any of the questions raised in my article! Given it was an open letter to her, you’d think she may have tried to respond to the issues at hand!

      But she did at least take notice.


      • Mayan February 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

        I can sort of see why politicians don’t reply to every point in every open letter: it’s a fool’s game. Quite apart from the likelihood of not being fully engaged in a conversation which is being used as a noose, there is the matter of time management. Letters from constituents and any committee and ministerial matters come first, as one would expect.


        • Team Oyeniyi February 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

          ANY point would have been nice. The marketing blurb I got was merely for the benefit of my readers, I am sure!


  4. Geoff Andrews February 2, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    I liked his attempt to take some credit for low petrol prices.


  5. Team Oyeniyi February 2, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    Re the blame game time limit – Prentice was still blaming Labor as the LNP was in the process of losing power in Queensland on Saturday night!! Presumably Labor is responsible for the loss in more ways than just campaigning this election, but for ….. well everything, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. doug quixote February 2, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    A time limit on blaming the previous government? None at all. I recall Howard’s ministers blaming the Labor government of Paul Keating, which ended in1996, all through Howard’s term – until it ended in 2007. That is eleven long years.

    As for Abbott’s “you can’t sack me, you can’t sack me, I’m doing so well” speech, the press seemed moderately impressed. Whist he spoke like a normal human being in the formal eulogy, Abbott’s palalia reemerged in the question period.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. paul walter February 3, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    Both sides are consigned to irrelevance and impotence within the context of aggressive neolib globalisation.

    Swann on QA was happy enough to admit of austerity, but knowing what he knows, which is more than Joyce and Abbott combined, he still fell short of explaining the underlying causes of austerity and what really limits poicy choices for governments under our current system.

    Liked by 1 person

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