Turnbull v Abbott: PM in an age of terror

17 Nov

Abbott v Turnbull


Insofar as personality is a signifier of leadership ability (and like it or not, it is probably the most important characteristic as far as the voting public is concerned) Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was visited by the good fairy in his cradle while ex PM Tony Abbott was imbued with a Dickensian gloom by the bad one, who apparently took a set against him and threw in more than a dash of dark pugility as well.

Turnbull is a happy man who will likely smother us into an uneasy, baffled silence with his unrelenting affability and charm. Abbott is one of the more miserable public figures I can recall, who seems to feel it’s his duty to hector, lecture and create division amongst us, till we are choked by a miasma of exhausted despair.

However, Turnbull’s intelligence, good nature and charm works well for him internationally: sophisticated, urbane, accomplished, personable and wealthy, people take to him (if they don’t have to put up with him all the time, as do we) and likely open to him in ways it is impossible to open to Abbott, who never quite seems to get past the influences of the seminary, and his belief that he’s been chosen to bring us Truth.

If there is one thing we don’t need as we gird ourselves to deal with terrorist attacks at home and abroad, it’s a leader who believes he is the bearer of existential truths, and who sees the world in black and white with no inclination at all to investigate the grey zone.

Abbott has all the characteristics of the religious zealot, and since the Paris attacks has found various platforms from which to peddle his hatred of other religious zealots because their zealotry threatens his. This will get us nowhere, or rather, it will see us in a whole lot of serious domestic turmoil as tribe turns against tribe, ignorant prejudices fuelled by Abbott and his nemesis Pauline Hanson, whom he landed in jail because she threatened his claim to the title of Australia’s Leading Incitor of Fear.

Turnbull, on the other hand, will appear as a voice of reason, though he lost it somewhat when he first heard about the Paris attacks, stating that though the killers claimed to have acted in the name of God, they were actually perpetrating the work of the devil. Such rhetoric is entirely unnecessary. There’s nothing in the least supernatural about terrorism: it’s perpetrated by humans upon humans. The ability to terrorise is one of our more undesirable characteristics.

The PM’s relentless charm and good will is likely just what we need at this time to keep us steady: he is unlikely to threaten anyone with a damn good shirt fronting, and while he’ll be criticised mercilessly as a pussy by those who would see us engage in world war three, at least he won’t be whipping up ill will and fear. For this relief, much thanks.

I am of the opinion that it is the intention of Daesh to turn us against one another, and have those of us they don’t slaughter permanently weakened by fear, mistrust and hatred. Abbott’s trajectory, and that of those who support him, will lead us to precisely the same place: severely weakened by fear, mistrust and hatred, bitterly divided against one another. Daesh could not find more suitable allies than Abbott, Hanson, the usual shock jocks, religious fundamentalists and those who in some way, material and egotistical, profit from war.

Turnbull’s biggest challenge will be to control those within his own party who thrive on fear and repression. They are supported by many media voices, and their platforms are assured.

There is little that can be done to control Daesh at the moment. The only certainty is that for communities to turn against one another will be to give Daesh what they desire. I am not in the least enamoured of Turnbull or his style, but I can’t help thinking he is a marginally better leader in these times, in terms of the terrorist threat, than his ousted predecessor.

As far as domestic issues are concerned, the image at the top of the post says everything. Polish it up all you want, it’s still what it is.


41 Responses to “Turnbull v Abbott: PM in an age of terror”

  1. hudsongodfrey November 17, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Abbott now shares the title with George W Bush for the worst response to such an atrocity given his recent utterances and Bush’s “crusade” gaffe after 9/11.

    But of course the thing is that Bush made a gaffe, whereas Abbott genuinely seems to believe in the politics of fear. Why, according to Tony ISIS could be the best thing for conservatives since “reds under the beds”.

    Turnbull has at least differentiated himself from that rhetoric. He’s thus far stopped short of uttering anything so precipitous as “All the way with LBJ”, which is exactly the situation we’d have found ourselves in if this had occurred sooner with Abbott still at the microphone. So there’s something substantial already to be relieved about.

    Beyond that I think motive aside these terror attacks take on the aspect of any domestic crime. Guilty parties can be identified, tracked down and brought to justice. I’d like to think we’ve learned the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan, but the French bombing of Raqqa is greatly preferable to preaching tolerance in vain while the far right goes on a rampage giving ISIS exactly what they want.

    The idea somebody mentioned in a viral Facebook post that Mohomed down the shops did this, or that women in headscarves become the visible flashpoint for intolerance is extremely worrying, as it should be. The idea that it’s one step removed from Muslims everywhere seeing the Kuffars as their sworn enemies makes me want to weep for fear we might so easily surrender everything I think sets this society apart from unenlightened medieval theocracies.

    “Fearing not that I become my enemy
    In the instant that I preach” – Dylan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. doug quixote November 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Tony who?


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marilyn November 17, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    I don’t believe the nonsense for 1 nano second that DEASH want to kill us all but I know for sure our racist western leaders are trying hard to slaughter all of them. Just like they have been with all the US funded and trained ”terrorists” since the beginning of the US wars against the Indians, the Mexicans, the Canadians, the imported African slaves, their own civil war, their ongoing racist war on black Americans and their terrorist groups trained in the School of the Americas to slaughter Latin Americans.

    Can we all get over the hypberole please and look at the facts.


    • Jennifer Wilson November 17, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

      I think Daesh want domination by any means, and in this they are no different from state sponsored terrorists.
      Did you read Pilger in New Matilda today?


    • LSWCHP November 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

      I believe that the D-Heads do in fact want to kill all the unbelievers.

      They’re murderous nutsacks who use various parts of the Koran to justify their actions because even they need an excuse of some kind for their atrocities. It would be a lot simpler and more honest if they just said something like “We’re a bunch of crazy people who like to kill, torture, rape and plunder because, well, that is our nature and we really enjoy it”.

      The thing I’ve observed but never really seen commented on anywhere though, is that the response to them from the Muslim world has been tiny. Absolutely miniscule.

      They are constantly exhorting Muslims around the world to join them, and a great deal has been made in the MSM of the vast streams of supporters heading to the middle east to fight for them. But out of the reported 1.6 billion Muslims in the world they’ve only been able to attract about 30000 followers, which is a lot in absolute terms, but is about 0.002% of that population.

      From that perspective I would asses the Caliphate as a compete flop amongst their chosen audience, And in conventional military terms, their force represents about 1.5 irregular infantry divisions with no armour, heavy weapons or anti air capability. Really, in the great scheme of things, they got nothin’.

      So yeah, I think they would like to kill us all, but they simply don’t have the resources to do that in any signifant way. And despite the media beatup, not very many of their coreligionists seem to feel that way inclined either.

      One caveat, I guess. If they able to get their hands on a usable WMD of some kind then they really could kill and injure a helluva lot of people.


      • hudsongodfrey November 18, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

        What I think you’re missing here is that these attacks are also an exhortation by ISIS after a fashion for Muslims around the world to cleave to their caliphate. It is however a plea from a position of weakness rather than strength. An attempt to drive a wedge along fault lines in the very tolerance the Liberty, Equality and Fraternity commit us to.

        The attacks in Beirut and Paris are clearly intended to turn the majority against and hence isolate Muslims in the countries where they now live, as are all such seemingly random terror outbreaks. It’s not even particularly clear most of the time whether any close co-ordination exists. In fact nothing much is required beyond seeding the idea at some point and taking credit for it whenever some later atrocity if committed. Then as a small and relatively weak movement all they have to do is sit back and wait for the hatred to flow and do their work for them. A couple of well placed tweets to the effect that all Kuffars are an offence to Islam and we’re off……

        Or at least we might be, if we fall for it…… Please don’t. We have so much to lose and so little to gain.

        Besides with no less than three superpowers aligned against them there’s already a good chance their tactics have backfired.

        Okay so there’s a troubling commentary on us if we’d simply much rather take revenge in Syria and Iraq, and that we largely ignored a simultaneous attempt to destabilise Beirut. I really hope we learned some lessons from earlier wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that we won’t repeat.

        Motives aside these attacks have a something in common with domestic crimes in that the guilty can be tracked down and dealt with on a number of levels, and I hope we do that. Justice is obviously owed the victims in the broadest possible sense, but we also have to know when to stop, because going too far either in the streets, the battlefield or even social media helps the “bastards” we’re agreed we should be opposed to.


        • LSWCHP November 18, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

          Errrrmmm….I dunno if I missed anything. I suspect that we’re in furious agreement. 🙂

          Maybe I didn’t express myself well, but my point was that the D-Head’s may well be appealing to Muslims around the world via attacks or whatever, but that they are a bunch of duds, they are weak, and their appeals for support are being roundly ignored by billions of people. They are a flop, they have nothing going on, and they are doomed to well deserved oblivion in fairly short order.

          This doesn’t mean that they aren’t murderous maniacs, or that they don’t have the ability to kill small numbers of people worldwide and cause great disruption to our societies.

          Liked by 1 person

          • hudsongodfrey November 18, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

            It’s their appeals to hatred and the potential of extreme right wingers to exploit this that I’m concerned about, but I agree so far one way or another there’s conspicuous silence from the cheap seats.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn November 17, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    That is hyperbole I mean, missed the key. But to continue, the US trained and funded the Mujihadeen in 1978 to draw Russia into Afghanistan, continued funding them and training Bin Laden with the help of and funding from Saudia Arabia, Israel, Pakistan and Egypt as seen in Charlie Wilson’s war. Then they had to get the Saudis and Pakistan and Egypt to fund and train the Taliban after the mujihadeen murdered 1 million mostly Hazara in a rampage of destruction, then had to arm and train the brutal mass murderers from the mujihadeen to become the Northern Alliance, Dostam alone slaughtered 50,000 mostly hazara in his earlier role, to get rid of the Taliban and get that bloody oil pipeline from Georgia to Pakistan across Afghanistan.

    All these endeavours lead to the ”finding” of 3 trillion dollars in resources carefully mapped by the Russians and Afghans decades earlier so the fucking US can get their hands on them. Too bad the Chinese beat them.

    Then in Iraq the CIA installed Saddam and loved him during his vicious war on Iran, then then they compelled the Kurds and shiítes to rise against him after Gulf war 1 but sat back and watched the massacre so then they starved to death about 2 million Iraqis including 500,000 Iraqi kids.

    So then they lied a good deal and invaded but were not welcome so the started up IS to kill off the enemy shi”ites and other sunnis.

    The fact is we are as responsible as anyone thanks to the moronic Howard and his racist lies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 17, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      I think everything you’ve said validates the post, Marilyn.
      And you’ll get no argument from me on the responsibility of Howard, Bush and Blair for the situation.


      • doug quixote November 17, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

        She is wrong in virtually every detail, but that isn’t unusual.

        Even so, the Yanks do have a record of going in guns blazing and making a bad situation worse.

        I fully agree that Spincow is the lipstick on the pig, the gold leaf on the turd.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marilyn November 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

    And I find Turncow about as charming as the gold plated pile of shit he his holding, it’s only the corporate media who like him.


  6. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 18, 2015 at 8:26 am #

    Yesterday I tweeted a screenshot of my Twitter timeline to Jennifer @NoPlaceforSheep. It showed an interesting juxtapositioning of tweets in the general context of “… a Time of [Contrived?] Terror”.

    This morning I am finding that certain tweets of mine (and Jennifer’s) are not appearing in her interogible Twitter timeline. It looks like what may be popularly (mis?)identified as the Twitter Unfollow Bug has affected/been deployed against the @NoPlaceforSheep account. I suspect Jennifer may have to re-follow me if she is to continue seeing my tweets, some of which she appears to like, or at least refer back to.

    Now, having successfully ended the previous sentence with a preposition, I shall proceed to asking, in the light of the above juxtaposition, why all this disruption of Twitter might have been so. So, too, perhaps, should the around 1,000 viewers in the last 24 hours of No Place for Sheep, the blog.


  7. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 19, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    It is hard to disagree prima facie with your conclusion in the second last paragraph, almost as hard as my being able to truly post on topic to your piece. My problem has been my penchant for titles, which has seen me in this case believing you should not have used the ‘T’ in its last word.

    It is just that as it stands your post seems to tacitly accept the ‘terrorism’ environment is as presented by much of the MSM ‘war porn’ with which we have been bombarded since the attack in Paris. This, from you, I find slightly disappointing, an acceptance as it were, of engagement on ground of the enemy’s own choosing.

    In an effort to contribute something more positive to the non-sheep who come (or stray) to the blog than the dry forensics surrounding the attempted disruption of Twitter conversations I will focus upon the tacit acceptances contained within the first paragraph.

    It would be fair to suggest that in an actual Australian electoral context you would expect to see a final split of the vote between either Abbott or Turnbull against any opposition leader to be somewhere in the 45-55% range seemingly typical of Australian electoral outcomes, would it not?

    This likely scenario needs to be considered against a conundrum contained within a disparate reconciliation, over many decades, of two sets of official statistics relating to elections in Australia. AEC sampling research as to the extent of enrollment of persons entited to enrollment on the one hand, taken with ABS statistics from which can be derived the number of persons qualified to enroll on the other, with each being compared to the record of electors carried on the rolls over time. Each comparison should yield almost the same result, but they historically have not.

    The extent of the disparity has been between 7 and 15 percentage points of the theoretical total of persons that could possible be enrolled, with more names being carried on the rolls than other studies revealed claimed enrollment.

    So if the real voters in any electoral contest actually do split along the 45-55% line typically, to what extent could outcomes be reversed (or enhanced) if 7-15% of the vote was somehow centrally ‘disposable’? And what long term effects upon national politics might be discernible if such had been being done?


    • hudsongodfrey November 19, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      If you mean to say that there’s always some disparity between eligibility and enrolment to vote that may largely comprise of younger people with more progressive views and better things to do with their lives than fight the establishment’s wars, then it may be true. But its probably true in a way that’s relatively constant over time and not what’s skewing politics at present.

      Having been through Rudd/Gillard/Rudd and noting Abbott’s complete duplicity of late there’s more focus being drawn by the left and right of the Liberal party in particular than there is upon the spectrum of Australian politics outside government ranks. People for the moment seem tricked into perceiving Turnbull’s slightly more moderate stance to be about as far left as our politics gets.

      Trump seems to have done us the unlikely favour of being the most notable politician alongside Abbott to more or less lay the Paris attacks at the feet of refugees thus putting Tony’s credibility in perspective.

      Beyond that whatever the plan is for Labor and/or the Greens to make their voices heard it certainly isn’t happening at the moment. Whether they’re keeping their power dry for an election that’s still a fair way off, or they’re convinced Abbott is a gift that will keep on giving is anyone’s guess. Perhaps it is after all a matter of timing.


      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 24, 2015 at 9:46 am #

        No HG, that wasn’t what I was meaning to say, although I agree entirely with what you have said in your first paragraph. You are commenting as to only one facet of the conundrum, not the conundrum itself, which is the disparity between two strands of officially received wisdom: the studies revealing only 85-93% take-up of enrollment as compared to a reconciliation of enrollments recorded over time with population statistics as to eligibility to enroll.

        To be fair, it seems such reconciliation has never been done by the body seemingly most fitted to do it, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, or if so, never published. However, such has been attempted at least twice. One attempt was published as a submission into an inqury into the conduct of the 2004 Federal elections and covered the period 1947-1987. The other was an AEC submission to the DPMC Electoral Reform Green Paper that covered the period 1992-2007(?) from memory. I say ‘from memory’ because that DPMC forum, to which I sumitted also, and linked to from OnLineOpinion, has since been taken down.

        Perhaps one of the resolutions to the conundrum is just too challenging to the political cognoscenti to contemplate: that a body of enrollments has been sustained upon the electoral rolls that does not, and never did, originate from genuine elector action.

        Analogously to the revelations as to the disruption, and undetectable dilution of genuine social media interaction on Twitter that is being documented on this very thread, could sustained unrecognised dilution of the genuine electoral vote in Australia’s ballot boxes explain the state of our politics today?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 24, 2015 at 4:27 am #

    The attempts at disruption of twitter conversations seemingly continue. I am going to embed some tweets of a conversation in which Jennifer was involved yesterday as a relatively less ephemeral record than Twitter itself provides.

    I have posted this here, as I note Jennifer has closed comments to the Uthman Badar thread, for the benefit of viewers of the blog in this time of intense attempt at the manipulation of public opinion after the Paris attacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 24, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    Just embedding this Twitter exchange which happened yesterday here.

    Continuing to document the disrupters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 24, 2015 at 8:46 am #

      Sorry for the duplicated post. The previous embeddings had seeemed not to have gone up, so I concluded that your anti-spam measures had binned the post. Feel free to remove this last, and this comment if it makes the blog look tidier.

      Oh, and some nuance, since it is in such short supply these days:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson November 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

        I got them out of the bin, Forrest. They always end up there when there’s lots of links.


    • Jennifer Wilson November 25, 2015 at 6:54 am #

      I like the idea of Sheep being a tool with which to disrupt the disrupters.


      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 25, 2015 at 9:04 am #

        Thank you for the electronic page space for embeddings of this nature. Twitter is so (and I think, intentionally) ephemeral for users as opposed to ‘overseers’ that there is a need to have a place from which its gems may be retrieved at opportune times of the like that hindsight provides.

        Speaking of tools, one such that would prove immensely useful would be a blog users posting history comparable to that feature available on the OnLineOpinion site. Can that be provided in WordPress for ‘Sheep’?


  10. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) November 26, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Taking you at your word as to using ‘Sheep’ as a tool to disrupt the disrupters, I am embedding this tweet as an anchor point in what I hope to be a discussion without the limitations of Twitter as to the possibilities for skewing SM responses to programs like QandA.

    It might provide, when developed, an explanation that goes further than the obvious one of conflict of interest in the circumstance of her not addressing the issue of DV funding cuts instituted in part by her brother, the NSW state Premier.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 1, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    It seems someone is displeasing the Lords Disruptive of the Interwebs. Some more twitter disruption embedded by way of documenting the disrupters. It says far more about them than about any Sheep. “All their sensitivities is belong to us”- Sheep


  12. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 2, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    Something from the Sheep archives related to the Ashbygate saga that a disruption tool is preventing me from pasting into a tweet


    It seems that the twitter disruption tool is triggered to throw up a message ‘Unfortunately, Google Search has stopped’ every time I click on a twitter function button, as, for example, the search function to view twitter conversations on a user’s timeline. In that particular case you can pursue your search no further.

    The message is also triggered when clicking to insert a link within a tweet. Clicking to dismiss the message and re-activate the tweet pane of course removes the paste point. Thus there is an endless loop with the result that you cannot paste in the link.

    When posting to the blog the message is still triggered, but the insert point is retained after the dismissal of the message, with the result that a link can be pasted.

    I am guessing that part of this stopping of Google Search in Android is carried over to the blog because my registration with Sheep is via my twitter account. Although I still get the message when I click links within the blog, the search still proceeds in the background.


  13. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 5, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    This is my re-tweet of the morning, maybe
    It is the re-tweet of the day
    What does it really mean to say?


  14. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 24, 2015 at 6:28 am #

    In the light of what seems to be increasing use of twitter disruption tools, I wonder whether the view attributed to the editor of the Daily Terror is not a repetition of something he has heard from above and regards as authoritative. So I have just embedded this tweet here for the record, given that 2016 is just around the corner.

    I would observe that what has all the appearance of being a twitter disruption tool deployed against my account presently prevents me from pasting a link into a tweet. It should be remembered that the ability to post links has long been a target of those seeking to suppress social media.

    It will be interesting to see what, if anything, transpires.


  15. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 25, 2015 at 2:34 am #

    Definitely something odd going on here:

    Note the timestamp, yet a screenshot of the @noplaceforsheep ‘All tweets’ timeline for around that time reveals no sign of the tweet:

    Anyway, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, whether or not the Lords Disruptive of the Interwebs want you to have one.


  16. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) December 26, 2015 at 8:30 am #

    Another form of Twitter disruption:


    It definitely seems that it is the @162recce Twitter account against which this tool preventing re-tweets is deployed. I have been able to re-tweet other users’ tweets, so it does not seem to be a tool intended to frustrate my own ability to re-tweet.

    Just documenting this stuff for the record.


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