Tony Abbott, catapulted by fate into an unexpected and totally undeserved captaincy, continues to confound critics and supporters alike by leading his government from crisis to catastrophe. Confirming all initial fears about his total unsuitability as Prime Minister, in the space of just one year, Abbott jerks and twitches frenetically across the political stage like some manic over-charged Energiser Bunny, a battery operated suicide bomber.
Feverishly, assiduously, the little manikin continues to wreck his own career, Australia’s international reputation and any prospects of a Liberal re-election. A loose-lipped, loose cannon who is ever fast and loose with the truth, Abbott is an accomplished one-man wrecking machine who has cleared the decks of HMS Team Australia of any last vestige of optimism.
Newspoll’s latest result has Labor leading 55% to Coalition 45%. If an election were to be held now the Coalition would be wiped out. On balance it would be a good outcome. Both at home and overseas, the Abbott government has lost all credibility and the capacity to act like a government let alone a world citizen. His G20 debacle made Abbott look like an international pariah on climate change and a narrow, inward-looking self-serving politician with nothing to offer on an international or intellectual plane, further lowering his stocks both at home and abroad. So on the nose, is Abbott that his own party have called it electoral suicide to be seen out with him in public in Victoria. “Eyebrows”, John Howard, seventy-five and not out, is a former Liberal Prime Minister and respected authority on Australian cricket, whose appearance and stagey, manic manufactured bonhomie resemble a demented garden gnome, has been wheeled out to press the startled flesh in the Victorian State Election on behalf of lost-cause Liberal party pretender Denis Napthine. Napthine, whose ineffectual efforts so far and his cronyism towards powerful local supporters suggest that we would all be safer and better off when he goes back to Warrnambool to resume his career as a well-connected country vet with a naturally long reach. The nearest “Nappers”, or “Kermit” as he is sometimes known, will get to help from Abbott’s Cabinet will be this evening when Julie schmoozes the Mount Macedon landed gentry, rubbing along at sunset in the light of the Rock, sipping bubbly and swapping stories about pony ownership, the cost of good domestic service and the importance of choosing the right investment broker.
As the parliamentary year shudders to a halt, with less than nothing significant or praise-worthy accomplished, the government’s paltry achievements amount to an unparalleled deficit in every dimension, be it moral, intellectual, political, diplomatic or fiscal. Joe Hockey has blown out the budget deficit by over 50 billion dollars; Julie Bishop’s grandstanding, demanding and attention seeking at the cost of any useful diplomacy has blown off just about every world leader who matters; Hunt, Minister for Environmental denial, Ever Begging to Differ and Direct Action Fairies at the bottom of the garden, has blown all credibility while raising serious questions as to his sanity with his rabid, irrational babbling.
Exhausting all reason in promoting an untried, unproven, unbelievable, direct action scam which pays polluters out of the public purse, Hunt is also a future-wrecker whose breathtaking arrogance and intransigence in interviews is made of the very stuff which has brought his leader down.
Lies about ABC cuts have been the latest to bring Abbott’s credibility lower. Lies are this government’s lingua franca, yet when Defence Minister David Johnston chose to tell the truth about the ASC, very publicly not trusting it to build a canoe, he was immediately put in the naughty corner and made to apologise. It won’t help any future sale of the ASC but then, neither has the government’s clear predilection for favouring Japanese tenders in any future submarine building contracts.
HMS Team Australia, the ill-fated, unseaworthy, ship of shame which plies its wretched human trade under a range of foreign flags, has been on a disaster course since its commission. It is now holed up on liar’s reef, leaking badly and under attack from all former backers including Murdoch’s phone-tapping hacks, and other sundry, craven, self-promoters who daily deal death and misery in international business and finance as they seek to increase their capacity to run the world purely and simply for their own profit. Even Abbott hagiographers have gone on the offensive. The Daily Telegraph recently observed of Tony Abbott:
He is fast proving to be the least conservative leader the conservative side of politics has ever seen.
Now the weather is turning increasingly foul and a cruel sea is rising. The scurvy crew is either drunk or off its face on other substances. And there’s been frigging in the rigging. Narcissists, Morrison and Bishop, totally power-besotted, drunk on self-importance, vainglorious omnipotence and the sadistic excitement of deciding whose chances they can cruel next, have been caught paying a fortune on special Google-me staff whose sole job is to search all media to find mention of themselves.
HMS Team Australia, a ship of shame, has been further disgraced by its captain’s blatant attempt to re-write United Nations Conventions on Refugees so that Australia can perfect its translation of foreign policy into an instrument of torture, locking up the world’s most vulnerable and needy, including the indefinite detention of children.
Throwing cabin boy Hunt out of their double bunk, Abbott kicks ship’s cat, Christopher Pyne. Pyne dashes caterwauling up the rigging. Abbott hears him promising to the winds that he will door-knock every door in his electorate. He will personally let voters know how being indebted for life is in fact a liberating form of servitude for all those who aspire to a university education. Voters will be dancing in the streets with joy, when I get the message out there, he howls into a mounting storm. Yet even that dead albatross around Hockey’s neck could tell any one of them that it’s not about getting the message out. This government has made bad decisions, bad policies, bad choices. More spin won’t help a bit. HMS Team Australia is too badly damaged to put about or limp back to port.
“Lash me to the wheel, Hunt”, Abbott rasps desperately, knowing no other course.