Framing Tony Abbott

Chris Berg has some advice for the Liberals in The Age:

Every government says the opposition is being negative. Negativity is only a problem if it looks opportunistic. A cohesive philosophical vision is a shield against such charges.

And claims that Abbott is unpopular because he is too effective a critic of the government … well, that’s like saying in a job interview that your biggest weakness is you care too much about your work.

Personal unpopularity is not a barrier to success. Australians don’t want to be seduced by their politicians. We are not romantic about the prime ministership. Quirks are appealing. Gaffes are easy to forgive.

But right now, the Coalition has to start looking like a government, not a pressure group.

The way Gillard has framed Abbott is quite extraordinary. Here is Grace Collier writing in the AFR:

[Gillard] has a non-traditional personal life yet has managed to cast her opponent – a traditional married man – as a creepy weirdo.

Our very own Jupes:

… a man who is a volunteer lifesaver, firefighter, teacher’s aid in remote Aboriginal communities, runs marathons for charity, competes in Iron Man triathlons and has a wife and three kids is less fit to be Prime Minister than [Gillard] …

Gillard can get away with it because Abbott hasn’t articulated a story to why he should be PM and not Gillard. As Chris points put, however, Abbott has previously articulated such a story in his Battlelines book. The challenge, as I see it, is that Abbott is a big government conservative while the budget constraint now calls for a smaller and more fiscally prudent approach to government. To get the budget back into surplus government needs to cut whole programs and not just trim spending.

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89 Responses to Framing Tony Abbott

  1. He always sounds weak as piss whenever I see him speak. Hesitant, unsure of his words, looks like he’s scared that he might upset someone.
    For Christ’s sake Tony grow a pair!

  2. Rococo Liberal

    Sinclair

    DO you think that it only appears that the PM has got away with painting Tony Abbott as creepy, because the only place we are going to see waht she says is the media, which is slanted towards the idea that anyone who isn’t conventionally unconventional must be suspect? Out in the unreal world away from the luvvies, they have all stopped listening to Ms Gillard because her voice is so dreadful thta she loses 1000 votes for the ALP every time she opens her mouth.

    Don’t mistake the impression received from media-land as the only reality.

    The fact that the ALP and their media buddies are throwing so much mud at Mr Abbott demonstrates clearly that he is an adversary they fear.

  3. Rococo Liberal

    The interesting thing here is trying to determine why so many in the media seem truly to hate Tony Abbott. That a-grade idiot, Alex Mitchell, in last week’s Spectator made some gratuitous remark how he longed for Tony Abbot to resign as Opposition leader. Yet Mitchell the dick couldn’t give any reason for his wish.

    There needs to be a new saying:
    Those who can do, those who can’t teach and those who can’t teach become left wing ‘journalists’

  4. Token

    He always sounds weak as piss whenever I see him speak. Hesitant, unsure of his words, looks like he’s scared that he might upset someone.

    More likely someone who has been beaten into submission by the Love Media. See his words on Ken Wyatt and the read how they were reported.

    It is interesting that Hockey has improved in the past year, being more assertive and being clear on a consistent and substantive economic agenda. Having a framework like that behind you makes your message sound a lot less adhoc.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    RL – yes. Agree with that. He has them spooked – just look at the Christmas invite the ALP put out. At the same time, however, framing matters.

  6. Token

    He always sounds weak as piss whenever I see him speak. Hesitant, unsure of his words, looks like he’s scared that he might upset someone.

    Abbott needs to stop answering leading questions.

    He needs to follow the example of Newt and reframe the question to ensure he does not get let into one of the traps that is the premise of the question.

    Gillard started doing that after the Republican debates, it is striking how often she uses the technique.

  7. Gab

    Agree, Token. Abbott also should select who will ask the next question in a doorstop/presser; and know when to say “that’s all, thank you”; and not get into a debate with a hostile reporter but shut them down with a stern answer; and clearly start up front that he doesn’t agree with the premise of the question when the reporters/interviewers lob loaded questions at him. Gillard does all this and she intimidates reporters into silence (okay those that aren’t all starry-eyed about a female PM and in her pocket that is)..

  8. Gab

    nd he needs to quit the jocular laughs that seem like he’s trying to be all pally with reporters/interviewers and concentrate on what he’s saying. And he needs to lower his voice one octave in interviews.

  9. candy

    He’s more than spooked, he’s almost gibbering in a corner these days. what the ALP are doing to him would give anyone a stress disorder, i guess, but he’s got to find a way out of it or let someone else lead the party.

  10. James Bauer

    Tony Abbott’s an idiot, I don’t know why any conservative likes him. Chris Berg put it well — Battlelines showed that Abbott is a big-government, in-your-face authoritarian conservative, not unlike George Bush. I think the Liberal Party either needs a small government conservative or a libertarian as leader, because someone with no ideological convictions such as Abbott is just pointless.

    At this point, I hope he loses. He is timid, he is stupid, he is a phony.

  11. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Strike me pink, what do you want him to do? Stride up to the rostrum and snarl “Alright you pissants, which one of you gutless mongrels wants to go first? Garn, yer piss weak the lot of yers!”?

    The moment he comes back at the slag the feeble girls of the media will belt the living suitcase out of him for a week and a half. There is no forum for him to have his say, the media has no interest in him having his say. Look how they’ve gone for the doctor on Julie Bishop this past week.

    Sure, his delivery doesn’t suit some. I’ve come across them and have enjoyed pointing out they wouldn’t know how to say “Thank you” in front of a microphone without seizing up and crying for their mummy, and they are flat out putting a sentence together without dropping buck in as every fifth word because they’ve been too lazy to educate themselves, let alone to Rhodes Scholar level. Their apathy and easy acceptance of mediocrity ships me, and I’m happy to make it personal.

    They then get both barrels on the facts about him, about the fourth estate and about Labor’s tactics and the level of borrowings they are shelling out for. Dissect for ‘em where their taxes go and they get very bewildered!

    Tony Abbott doesn’t have to engage in battle on Labor’s terms. The Liberal/National lever pullers need to get their act together, put John Singleton or someone like him on the job of crafting a brutal strategy, and tell every member if they don’t like it they can leave now – and keep their traps shut or they’ll receive a visit from someone unpleasant.

    Labor is now experiencing suicide by a thousand cuts. They need to cleverly, subtly assist that.

  12. Ellen of Tasmania

    1. Tony is a Christian WASP. Exactly what the left want to destroy – everything they hate.
    2. His liberal/conservative rhetoric doesn’t match his policies. Not even in his book.

  13. Mark

    To Candy and the others.

    It is actually not that hard for him. All he has to do is follow the Bishop tactic. Send out the troops to do the attacks. Lead from above.

    Abbott’s problem is he has done all of the heavy lifting, well 95% of it, for years. He has essentially been a one man attack force. He needs to get some clearly delineated points across broad policy areas and send the boys and girls to do the heavy lifting. He can stay above the fray and engage like a PM should.

    It has been said by a lot in the MSM that the Coalition lacks talent but I don’t believe it. Turnbull is the only one that really has not performed in my view – he should be able to take red underpants Conroy apart but lacks whatever it is to do so.

    Send out Bishop, Hockey, Morrison, Turnbull, Robb, Pyne and all the juniors – and yes more women – with a clearly defined and minimalist message, one that is simple, let them do the heavy lifting. Let them mock and ridicule the robotic talking points of Labor. THAT is the weakness of Labor under the mad Scot. they are robots. They are easy to mock but it only hurts Abbott to do so personally.

    Abbott can afford to be above the fray. It will make the relentless negativity of Labor seem even more desperate and absurd.

    I believe whether by his own choice, poor tactics or necessity he has carried the burden alone too long. He has capable people and some underutilized gems as well. Get them out. Reap the rewards.

  14. Gab

    what do you want him to do? Stride up to the rostrum and snarl “Alright you pissants, which one of you gutless mongrels wants to go first? Garn, yer piss weak the lot of yers!”?

    LOL I’d pay good money to see him do that.

    I’ll now finish reading your comment.

  15. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Gab – Paul Keating used front them like that from time to time and it was pretty to watch, I enjoyed his tough self assuredness.

  16. Gab

    Yes I thought of Keating too, Mick. Abbott definitely needs to toughen up, in an assertive way, against reporters. Take charge.

  17. Gab

    They’re going to write shit about him no matter what he says so he may as well be himself. Let Abbott be Abbott.

  18. C.L.

    The interesting thing here is trying to determine why so many in the media seem truly to hate Tony Abbott. That a-grade idiot, Alex Mitchell, in last week’s Spectator made some gratuitous remark how he longed for Tony Abbot to resign as Opposition leader. Yet Mitchell the dick couldn’t give any reason for his wish.

    God, that’s easy. Abbott’s an alpha male Oxford Rhodes scholar, rugby and boxing champion, surf lifesaver, fireman and Iron Man…

    … a Catholic alpha male Oxford Rhodes scholar, rugby and boxing champion, surf lifesaver, fireman and Iron Man.

    His opponent, an atheist Emily’s List whiner, has a b-grade education, was sacked from her first and only job, comes from a nothing family and is, singularly, the most incompetent clown ever to be prime minister (albeit thrice unelected). It follows that the left sees Gillard as a polemical charity case whose arse is too big to fail.

  19. candy

    Exactly Gab, bring back the old Tony Abbott, not this one frightened of saying the wrong thing and trying to be everyone’s friend.

    It’s unmanly.

  20. Gab

    All good points, Mark. Agree.

    I’d add that Abbott should just stick to talking policy – Lib and Lab – and never mention gillard by name. Stick to using “the government” and depersonalise the keeping the bastards honest message. Never ever advertise your competition by name.

  21. 1. Tony is a Christian WASP. Exactly what the left want to destroy – everything they hate.

    Actually, he’s a catholic, which in the left’s eyes is worse than your regular christian.

  22. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    And that, C.L., is the reason why the stupid, ignorant apathy of so many voters readily accepting mediocrity utterly ships me.

  23. Gab

    Actually, he’s a catholic, which in the left’s eyes is worse than your regular christian.

    Keating’s a Catholic. I don’t remember him being derided and attacked for that by their ABC or Fauxfacts.

  24. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    To get the budget back into surplus government needs to cut whole programs and not just trim spending.

    Care is needed. Be clear about which programs will go. Wham! climate change out in favour of the economy, Obama leads the way here so no contest, this is an easy sell which Labor can’t make. The NBN provides more useful fat to cut. The Libs should get set for a few, big demolitions, but limit the damage to those only and do NOT go for big additions (like unrealistic maternity leave). Like Labor, they should also tweak and promise lots of social, health and educational ‘reforms’ – small change items that have a big electoral impact.

    I honestly believe many voters don’t really ‘get’ the difference between a few million and a few billion re promises in those areas. The street talk is just ‘they’re going to do something about hospital waiting times, the dentist, teacher’s aides, the traffic, the boat people, the electricity bill, pensions, jobs, etc’. Talk, talk, talk, about these things, often, and point to the good Lib track record on much of them. Stress they are affordable if waste is cut and economic policies are sound. Talk jobs, jobs, jobs, and income security, and heartfelt social care for all those in real need.

    People will not vote for a massive turn-around to what they know – the change has to be gradual, incremental, and most specifically (learn from the US result) targeted to particular groups on the electoral map. Stressing the things that will not change, as well as the things that will, always helps people to see a direction for change. Otherwise they respond in panic by returning to Labor’s lying that all is OK and promising the world as well.

  25. Infidel tiger

    May I remind everyone that if an election were held today Abbott would flog Gillard harder than a pupil at Peter Roebuck’s house

  26. jupes

    Turnbull is the only one that really has not performed in my view – he should be able to take red underpants Conroy apart but lacks whatever it is to do so.

    Dunno if he is the only one, but he is the worst of them.

    Gilligan or Frank Spencer could do a better job ridiculing the NBN and the assclown Conroy.

  27. Eddystone

    I can’t wait to hear what Mick really thinks.

  28. JC

    Keating’s a Catholic. I don’t remember him being derided and attacked for that by their ABC or Fauxfacts.

    But he was doing their bidding, so they would let that pass.

    I think CL is right. They despise Abbott because he’s manly.

  29. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “Keating’s a Catholic. I don’t remember him being derided and attacked for that by their ABC or Fauxfacts.”

    … as was Lionel Bowen and Laurie Brereton, Terry Sheahan, Richo and pretty much the whole power clique of the NSW Right. It’s a mystery, eh?

  30. It’s a mystery, eh?

    No. You just work with what you’ve got.

  31. .

    Tony Abbott’s an idiot, I don’t know why any conservative likes him. Chris Berg put it well — Battlelines showed that Abbott is a big-government, in-your-face authoritarian conservative, not unlike George Bush. I think the Liberal Party either needs a small government conservative or a libertarian as leader, because someone with no ideological convictions such as Abbott is just pointless.

    At this point, I hope he loses. He is timid, he is stupid, he is a phony.

    You want to shoot refugees, James Bauer.

    Shut up.

  32. James Bauer

    Dot, I’m you got your panties in a knot over that comment. If you can’t get over it, that’s your problem. I still stand by it, too.

  33. Pickles

    Yeah, whatever. He”ll win. He’s not her and they’re not them.

  34. johno

    The challenge, as I see it, is that Abbott is a big government conservative while the budget constraint now calls for a smaller and more fiscally prudent approach to government. To get the budget back into surplus government needs to cut whole programs and not just trim spending.

    I agree and I would add this from Chris’ piece;

    Joe Hockey offered a different direction in his ‘End of the Age of Entitlement’ speech in April – a wholesale rethink of how government relates to its taxpayers.

    But Abbott steers clear of the philosophy of Battlelines. And nobody grasped Hockey’s nettle. This lack of story about what would drive an Abbott government is why Coalition supporters are wrong to blame character assassination for their troubles. The polls were heading down long before Julia Gillard made the misogyny speech.

    The problems that the Liberals face is that they are a party of big government trapped inside an image of being a small government party. The only time the Liberals championed true liberalism was during the Hawke and Kennett years. And in both cases, there were very specific reasons why they chose liberalism rather than big government. (The Dries were in the acsendency in the Liberal Party during the Hawke years and Kennett’s Treasurer, Alan Stockdale, kept Kennett on the one true path.)

    Unless something unusual turns up, Abbott will most likely turn out to be like Malcolm Fraser. Talk the talk in Opposition, but he will not walk the walk in government.

  35. Keating’s a Catholic. I don’t remember him being derided and attacked for that by their ABC or Fauxfacts.

    That’s because he’s their catholic.

  36. .

    Dot, I’m you got your panties in a knot over that comment. If you can’t get over it, that’s your problem. I still stand by it, too.

    You want to shoot children. You stand by that.

  37. Mark

    “I’d add that Abbott should just stick to talking policy – Lib and Lab – and never mention gillard by name. Stick to using “the government” and depersonalise the keeping the bastards honest message. Never ever advertise your competition by name.”

    Couldn’t agree more Gab.

    For wont of a better descriptor he should become “Presidential” in the New Year. It really is not that hard. Firm the base. Secure the middle. Appear like you are ready to lead.

    The Labor party is terrified for one good reason.

    They know that people are just looking for assurance that NOT voting for Labor will be bad or rude. All Abbott has to do is give them that assurance by not being a prick.

    It is subtle but an important point. Labor has lost the votes. Abbott does not have to win them. People just need comfort in lodging the vote on the ballot paper. I believe it will take him all of 3 months to calm the horses in the electorate if he follows the be above fray plan and, yes absolutely, talk depersonalized mush. His surrogates can go point out the absurdity of Labors personal attack on him and lay into the handbag hit squad and Gillard herself.

  38. stackja

    Abbott cannot do anything right it seems.
    Would it better if Abbott retired and Turnbull returned?
    ALP would like this.

  39. Alfonso

    Bwaaa… what do you get with Abbott?

    A big govt welfare statist CAGWarming believer who is terrified of the MSM, as evidenced by the fact that we all ‘know’ he won’t do anything but pose re Their ABC as the taxpayer funded media arm of Labor……..but gee wilikers, he sure has strong moral objections to abortion and probably has extremely developed ideas on how many angels fit in the head of a pin.

    We also ‘know’ he will do not much about S18C, a play around the edges perhaps, but no repeal, he either likes the idea of it or is too scared to act. He’s no more an economic conservative that he is an Eskimo, Hayek would terrify him.

    You want to see Abbott with the thousand yard stare? Watch Tony Jones do a job on him.

  40. Vicki

    Normally, depersonalising the opponent is the way to go, but with Gillard being so personally despised in the electorate, this may be an exception to the rule. The very word “Gillard” curdles blood in many people.

    All other comments by Mark, Gab & Mick Of the Gold Coast are so on the money. But while a brutal campaign is probably needed to counter McTernan’s MO, I think it would go down well to flag a return to RESPONSIBLE government. A call for decency in the performance of public service wouldn’t go astrey as well. Or is that a little old fashioned?

  41. jupes

    Bwaaa… what do you get with Abbott?

    Yes but what do you get without Abbott? Gillard? Rudd? Turnball? Hockey?

    Without Abbott we would already have a bipartisan ETS for a start. Sure, he’s not as conservative as I would like but he’s the best we have at the minute.

  42. Vicki

    Sorry, last comment at 5.34pm DID go ASTRAY (the spelling, that is)

  43. entropy

    Unless something unusual turns up, Abbott will most likely turn out to be like Malcolm Fraser. Talk the talk in Opposition, but he will not walk the walk in government.

    You know, that could be true. But so what? we would be no worse off than we are now, but that useless bunch of no hope, incompetent dickheads deluding themselves that they are running the country, when the local P&C wouldn’t trust them to run a chocolate fundraiser for the kiddies, will have been rightly shown the door in the most punishing way possible.

    And if Abbott doesn’t perform, we will have our vengeance at the next election.

  44. Alfonso

    Correct , jupes. He’s not Julia which is why he’ll be PM.
    You better lower your expectations to a Gerald Ford / Ted Bailleu type spec.

  45. Alfonso

    And remember Tony was for or neutral on an ETS before he was against it…..it being the love child of Goldman Sachs who know the last great derivative buffalo hunt when they see it.
    The profit percents will dwarf even, say, the destruction / rape of the NZ orange roughy fishery under “scientific management”.

  46. Viva

    Big govenment or not the Left hate Abbott because he is a social conservative. They hated Bush. They hated Howard. Abbott is their next hate figure. It was always going to be that way.

    Abbott is in his cave right now – you know that guy thing when they need to be alone and not be badgered. He’ll emerge eventually and all will be well.

  47. Brett

    The Left need someone to hate; it defines them, and frankly gives them something about which to carp.

    Whatever might be said about Abbott; he is living rent-free inside their heads, 24/7.

  48. James Bauer

    entropy: There are plenty of good people in the Liberal Party. Abbott just isn’t one of them. You’ll actually find you get worse policy outcomes with a big government conservative and the left in opposition to support it than the left in office with the opposition restraining their socialism. Look at the George Bush years, the biggest growth in entitlements and spending the U.S had had in a long time.

    Malcolm Fraser was one of the worst Prime Ministers in our history.

    You should fear an Abbott do-nothing government.

  49. entropy

    like i said, we will be no worse off than we are now, whihc let’s face it is setting a very, very low bar.
    The main thing is to punish the current mob in power so hard that any left will have zero credibility and have to retire from the scene, hopefully allowing some new blood in the ALP who will aspire to be Hawke rather than Gough.

  50. Viva

    You should fear an Abbott do-nothing government.

    Even if this were true (and I don’t believe it is) at least an Abbott government would bring back some decency into public life.

  51. James Bauer

    entropy: How about punishing the current Liberal Party which sets policy based on opinion polls so hard they realise they need to get back to having a ideological sound small-government pro-freedom agenda, rather than the current moderate socialist one?

    Here’s a quote from Ron Paul, during an interview for an Australian publication back in the late 80s. It rings incredibly true right now, here in Australia:

    A country is most in danger when its political leaders champion freedom and do the opposite. That’s when government grows the fastest and when the ill effects are blamed on the market. In that sense, it’s worse to have a President who is a free market fraud than one who is an open statist.

    When John F. Kennedy was in office, he couldn’t get his Bills past the conservatives. Yet Nixon came along a few years later and the same legislation sailed through Congress, with added power to the government and diminished bank accounts of the tax payers. He signed treaties with the Soviets and gave them low interest loans. That is less likely to happen with a Democrat in power.

    The Democrats always criticise the Republicans on foreign policy, saying that the Republicans are more militant. But the Democrats have a lousy record when it comes to keeping the peace. All the major military conflicts of this century occurred under Democratic administrations. They get away with more militarism than the Republicans do.

    US policies don’t change, the mix is merely modified, depending on who is in power. Contrary to popular wisdom, when the Republicans are in power, I fear deficit spending and rapidly expanding domestic programs. With Democrats in power, I fear militarism.

  52. jumpnmcar

    Gotta agree with Mark @ 3:31 and Gab @ 3:50.
    Abbott should only call her ” The Labor Party Leader “, he has got to make that connection that they try so hard to hide.
    The ALP wont even put their brand on campaign posters for a reason.
    Abbott’s a 3 word slogan man, so “LABOR, CORRUPT, INCOMPETENT” from every non-ALP human in every forum, conversation or chat.
    It’s the ground war that needs to be won (US?).
    And if anyone gets offended, fuck em, their softcock lefties anyway.
    Word of mouth is better than advertisements every day of the week.

  53. candy

    It’s hard to know what kind of government Tony Abbott will lead if we don’t hear the Coalition’s policies pretty soon.
    he seems to be just agreeing with everything j. gillard comes up with, it’s hard to grasp exactly what Coalition stand for right now, in my opinion.

  54. entropy

    So James, what you are saying is the current mob should get off scott free for their incompetence, pushing the government into debt, and appalling policy approach, as you believe it is more important to punish the liberal party for not adopting your policies. OK. I’ll step away from this discussion riight now.
    I despise absolutists from the left who criticise the ALP for not being pure enough. I don’t want to put up with it from the right as well. In democracies, it is necessary to compromise. The best you can do is make sure the mob in power has at least a degree of ability.
    The only way you will get all your policies implemented is to go off and set up your own country.

  55. jumpnmcar

    Here’s 8 candy;

    1. Scrap the carbon tax to reduce the sky-rocketing power costs small businesses have to pay with no compensation.

    2. Cut red tape by $1 billion each year and implement a comprehensive Deregulation Agenda.

    3. Reduce lawlessness in the workplace by re-establishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

    4. Build better infrastructure, with a special emphasis on reducing the bottlenecks on our gridlocked roads and highways.

    5. Simplify the administration of superannuation reporting, allowing small businesses to remit compulsory super payments for workers directly to the ATO, which would then have responsibility to distribute to individual superannuation funds.

    6. Establish a genuine root and branch review of competition laws, to ensure that small business can compete equally with big business.

    7. Support the rights of independent contractors and family businesses, by extending unfair contract protections to small business.

    8. Ease the paperwork burden by moving the administration of the national paid parental leave scheme from small businesses to the government’s Family Assistance Office.

    The Coalition’s priority will be to build a powerhouse economy through lower taxes, more efficient government and more productive businesses that will deliver more jobs, higher wages and better services for Australian families.

    Freeing up Australia’s 2 million small businesses by lowering tax, and cutting unnecessary burdens is part of the Coalition’s plan to deliver a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

  56. jumpnmcar

    sorry ” here are 8 ”
    (sorry to my Mum, she hated that)

  57. James Bauer

    entropy: I am not really an absolutist. I just want the Liberal Party to stop being socialists. Is that absolutist? A John Hewson figure would be fantastic. Someone who actually believes in freedom. Now, I know the Liberal Party must be very centrist to ever get government; that’s unfortunate but it’s true. But right now they are centre-left authoritarians.

    Right now the official Liberal Party policy opposes individual contracts. Do you get that? It OPPOSES them. That’s not really OK by me. They can’t expect to have that sort of shit in their policy doctrine and expect anyone who believes in economic conservatism to vote for them. Abbott can’t expect to be able to champion big government socialism and think those who believe in liberty will just fall in behind him.

    I hope.

  58. jupes

    A John Hewson figure would be fantastic.

    Good grief.

    Listen to the twit on TV next time he’s on. We dodged a bullet with him.

  59. Infidel tiger

    A John Hewson figure would be fantastic. Someone who actually believes in freedom.

    Seek help, moby.

  60. entropy

    John Hewson.. Bwwaahahahhahahhahaaaa!

  61. Infidel tiger

    Bauer wants unarmed women and children shot and says he believes in freedom.

    Don’t shit on the table and tell us it’s chocolate, you arsehole.

  62. entropy

    James, just hold your nose and pick the most palatable socialists. Because that’s your choice. The non socialists are busy. Then go have a beer and say to yourself “f**k ‘em!”. Then get on with your life.

  63. jumpnmcar

    James B, if there is a way to frame IR policy as ” performance based advantages” or ” commission based productivity rewards ” effectively to the Australian people, and make ” bludger ” and expectable word, then I’m all ears.

  64. candy

    They could push stronger defence force too, things like that to differenriate themselves nicely from Labor.

  65. Tom

    I’m watching the latest round of Palis vs Jews this afternoon (Melb time) from a hotel in Doha, 1700 kms to the right (on my way to somewhere else) and it’s quite clear the whole thing was started by Tony Abbott. Apart from that, I’d like Sinc to ask Loughnane and/or Credlin to explain the small target strategy, which has succeeded only in making the leader look like a scared, weird little guy to the point that it has almost eaten the Coalition’s lead.

  66. Gab

    from a hotel in Doha

    Keep your head down anyway, Tom.

  67. candy

    “scared, weird little guy”

    yes, it’s really disappointing, sad even, that Mr Abbott, a really fine politician and a good man, is reduced to this.

  68. Harold

    #QandA tweets today

    1. Newspoll shows support for Abbott is continuing to slide http://bit.ly/ZV1muW Should he be more positive & outline his policies? #QandA

    2. Are these stories about PM AWU scandal nothing but a smear campaign? http://bit.ly/QhyZqf #QandA

    Tony Abbott is negative and doesn’t have policies.

    Julia Gillard is a victim.

  69. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Gotta agree with Mark @ 3:31 and Gab @ 3:50.
    Abbott should only call her ” The Labor Party Leader “, he has got to make that connection that they try so hard to hide.

    says jumpnmcar at 6:20pm. I agree, and especially with Gab’s “Never ever advertise your competition by name” at 3:50pm.

    Abbott overdue to release specific policies? No, not at all. He can do that with a carefully crafted campaign when the election is called and certainly not now because he’ll end up with a re-run of Comrade Dear Leader (in exile)’s me-tooism of 2007.

    He’s “not in government, ask the government about their failed policies” is all he need say to the 15 year old journalism graduates they send out to ambush him.

    “journalism graduates” is about as laughable a term as Comrade John Hewson.

  70. Infidel Tiger

    The Labor Party Leader “

    Vile larcenous slapper is catchier.

  71. Rabz

    “scared, weird little guy”

    yes, it’s really disappointing, sad even, that Mr Abbott, a really fine politician and a good man, is reduced to this.

    He is this country’s next Prime Minister.

    All will be right, people.

    Have faith.

  72. Gab

    Abbott overdue to release specific policies? No, not at all. He can do that with a carefully crafted campaign when the election is called and certainly not now because he’ll end up with a re-run of Comrade Dear Leader (in exile)’s me-tooism of 2007.

    Exactly. btw, I can’t recall Labor in opposition sprouting their policies months in advance of an undeclared election date.

  73. I suspect a few people will be voting “not Labor” regardless who is the Liberal leader.

  74. James Bauer

    jupes, infidel, entropy: What’s your problem with Hewson? No doubt he’s flawed but his Fightback! platform was the best set of policies a leader of a major party has ever taken to an election.

  75. manalive

    I think Rabz is right, all this misogyny crap etc. is just chook-feed.
    Abbott should stay above it all, avoiding the MSM except to make important policy proposals and leaving the skirmishes to the troops.

  76. entropy

    My problem with hewson?
    Apart form his appalling approach to family life, his complete inability to manage headkicking bullies like keating, and his now pathetic attempts to ingratiate himself with the left, a la Fraser, not much. Oh, and he seems be have been the director of a string of singularly unsuccessful companies.

  77. Infidel Tiger

    Look at Hewson’s business history. The bloke is so incompetent he shouldn’t be allowed near a bowls club treasury let alone lead the nation.

    Shithouse human being too. Deserves to be kicked in the nuts until his nose bleeds.

  78. johno

    It could be 12 months until the next election. The Coalition should sit tight and wait until the election is announced before thwy start releasing policies. If they do it too soon, Labor will hammer them on any little negative and pinch everything that is good.

    The Libs should also keep pointing out that Labor doesn’t have any policies either. They say they will deliver a budget surplus, but aren’t prepared to make the policy changes need to achieve it. They have made announcements about school and disabilities, but don’t have any money to actually deliver. They made announcements about health reform, but haven’t delivered. They only discovered Asia last month, but don’t have any policies to back up their glossy publication.

    They should be demanding, what are the government’s policy!

  79. Gab

    If they do it too soon, Labor will hammer them on any little negative and pinch everything that is good.

    which will be amplified eleventyhundred times by the gillard love media to the point where all other news is drowned out.

  80. johno

    What’s your problem with Hewson? No doubt he’s flawed but his Fightback! platform was the best set of policies a leader of a major party has ever taken to an election.

    I loved Fightback!, but Hewson failed to sell it. He lost the unlosable elections and gave us three more years of Keating than we deserved.

    That lose was the end of the great reform era of Australian politics.

    He is nearly as insufferable as Malcolm Fraser as a failed Liberal leader.

  81. Harold

    How’s this for desperate – Julie Bishop as a lawyer defended a paying client, in court!

    “Clearly there have been some matters arising out of her role as a lawyer at CSR where she used, allegedly, procedural tactics to deny victims of asbestosis their day in court,” Mr O’Connor told the ABC TV’s Insiders program.

  82. Eddystone

    Obviously the Coalition needs to release all its policies and replace Abbott with Turnbull.

    Then all the disillusioned Labor voters will vote Coalition.

    And pigs will fly.

  83. Leigh Lowe

    “To get the budget back into surplus government needs to cut whole programs and not just trim spending.”

    Yes. The “salami slice” approach across the board just won’t do.
    It requires radical surgery in selected areas …… Department of Climate Change perhaps?

  84. James Bauer

    Leigh: if you think axing the Department of CC is “radica surgery” then you’re quite misguided.

  85. codger

    Sinclair & Judith on crap & framing
    Answer
    The same person who organised the tent embassy early warning system; wrote “we are us”; launched Misogamist (practising; Ken, Tim, & all the rainbows) v Misogynist (alleged; walls, ironing, etc.) wars taking us on a journey from pink batts to pink bits and is currently serving front bottom with one liners for the missing (#3) Ludwig handled federal files on the awu slush fund. That should be a hoot. Gosh who last saw them?

    For Mr Cassidy ‘a declaration by the Prime Minister that she stuck by everything she had said at the August 23 press conference… brings the whole issue to life again because the political question becomes a matter of what the Prime Minister said on August 23, and what she has subsequently told the Parliament, rather than what happened 17 years ago’

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/what_gillard_knew_about_the_slush_JbGcILLo9O59yt3QGFT68H
    Neilson 53 47 that’s budgies fault too.

  86. codger

    sorry ken that would be Bruce

  87. .

    James – you’ll never succeed as a left wing troll if you insist you’re a staunch libertarian BUT you also want to shoot unarmed women and children to deter boat people.

    A legend (and world class troll who is oh so subtle) in your own lunch box, no doubt.

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