Damning assessments of Abbott’s 18c backflip

First John Roskam in the AFR:

Deep shock is a better description of how many people felt.

Three key conclusions can be drawn from what the Prime Minister said.

The first is that freedom of speech was something he was willing to sacrifice so ethnic community groups would support the government’s counter-terrorism laws. (Within hours this negotiating strategy was proved to be flawed as ethnic community leaders came out and rejected the government’s proposals.)

The second conclusion was that not only was the Prime Minister willing to negotiate on freedom of speech; he felt he had to seek the permission of ethnic community groups for his counter-terrorism legislation.

The third conclusion is perhaps the most significant. The Prime Minister said he believed repealing section 18C was a threat to “preserving national unity on the essentials”.

In essence, what he admitted was his belief that “national unity” in Australia in 2014 is no longer the product of common and shared values across the community – instead “national unity” can now only be enforced by the government and its laws.

Second David Kemp in The Australian:

Today a journalist’s articles are still banned, and the Liberal Party government accepts that. This is unacceptable to many Liberals.

Jim Allen writing in The Spectator:

As it is, you can’t help feeling that Tony Abbott is morphing into an Antipodean David Cameron. You know the plot. A right-of-centre Prime Minister gets elected and starts moving to the left. He sells out his core voters to try to win some support from the centre left. He reckons that his core vote has nowhere to go. When push comes to shove it will support him.

Yet it hasn’t worked out that way for Mr. Cameron in Britain. He was so dismissive of his core voters early on he even started insulting some of them. Party membership has tanked. And then the totally unexpected happened and a party to his right, the United Kingdom Independence Party started polling well into double figures. It even came first in the European elections.

Now Herr Cameron is trying desperately to re-establish his right wing credentials. No one believes him. If the Tories lose the next election, it will be directly due to this miscalculation – that by hanging your core vote out to dry and catering to the bien pensant inner city sensibilities you can up your vote.

Hard words from each of them.

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81 Responses to Damning assessments of Abbott’s 18c backflip

  1. Rabz

    A right-of-centre Prime Minister gets elected and starts moving to the left. He sells out his core voters to try to win some support from the centre left.

    The most damning aspect of this behaviour is what it says about Abbott’s real opinion of the people who voted for him.

    Well, you won’t have to worry about me making that mistake again, Sunshine.

  2. David

    Dim Dave and Taqiya Tone are two of a kind on performance where freedom of speech is concerned.

    A Pommy mate, a life long conservative, is now an ardent UKIP supporter as a result of Dim Dave’s treatment of the people who put him and his gummint in.

  3. A Lurker

    My House of Reps vote is staying with the Coalition only because I like and personally admire our local MP and believe he’s doing a good job. However the Senate is another ‘kettle of fish’ and our Senate votes will go to FF and other small parties that hold to Conservative principles.

    The above article however is right on the money, and I think the Coalition will be disturbed to discover that their core constituency will bleed away to other parties if they don’t pull their finger out and actually start governing for the people who actually voted them in.

  4. Mayan

    Maybe we could deport Abbott to the UK?

  5. harrys on the boat

    Just look at the Liberal ICAC victims in NSW to see what a a complete clusterfuck of a miserable failure the Libs are.

    Big government socialists with their hand in the till.

  6. Fisky

    The above article however is right on the money, and I think the Coalition will be disturbed to discover that their core constituency will bleed away to other parties if they don’t pull their finger out and actually start governing for the people who actually voted them in.

    Yes but they have to be seen to govern for all voters, or they won’t get to govern for any of them. The trick is to keep the base close and always be on the lookout for ways to connect the base’s aspirations to the mainstream. Howard was quite good at it.

  7. Rabz

    Yes but they have to be seen to govern for all voters

    What utter horse manure is this, FFS?!?!?

  8. harrys on the boat

    We need to rein in the arse clowns on this site that are apologists for the fucking disgrace that is the Liberal Party.

    They occupy the same level as the Stain brothers.

  9. Ant

    Sorry, but what’s so “hard” about them words?

    They could have cited the Republican Party as well where the malaise over there appears to be just as bad if not worse.

    Here and in the UK the leadership appears to be ‘wet’. Over in the US it’s just dumb.

  10. David

    What utter horse manure is this, FFS
    +1 Democracy is the will of the people and it was pretty clear what the majority wanted – even if we haven’t got it yet. As to the others if he heads in the direction and grabs the others by the short and curlies there hearts and minds will follow. :-)

  11. David

    heads in the direction

    head in the right direction

    Dyslexic fingers or need of a cleansing ale, not sure which.

  12. incoherent rambler

    Tony just wants to be loved (by the left).
    In this he will not succeed.
    Sadly, for the FLC, the right hates him.

  13. Infidel Tiger

    Yes but they have to be seen to govern for all voters, or they won’t get to govern for any of them.

    Lowering taxes, minimising regulations and executing public servants sounds like governing for all to me.

  14. Tel

    As it is, you can’t help feeling that Tony Abbott is morphing into an Antipodean David Cameron.

    Very astute observation, the similarity is striking. Thing is that Cameron had a weaker position to start with (needing to share power with Clegg) and the UKIP had a very potent focal point with the economic meltdown of the EU and pressure for the UK to search for better trade deals elsewhere.

    Personally I don’t think Abbott is quite as vulnerable; but also he has fewer excuses since he was offered an outright majority.

  15. I am the Walrus, Koo Koo K'choo

    Hard words, all entirely deserved.

    The justification for the decision was complete rubbish when it was announced, as subsequent events have demonstrated. I think this is the worst part of the whole episode: they have no better reason for caving in than to shore up ethnic votes, and to hide that fact Abbott chose to bullshit his base. And as John Roskam writes, the justification was not only bullshit, it was insulting and its implications for our democracy are rather worrying.

    It really is inexcusable. No awareness of Retail Politics 101, plus a kick to the teeth of his base, plus a surrender to special interests. What a clusterfrack.

  16. The Hunted Mind

    How stupid is Abbott? He must have been aware of what happened when Cameron rejected his base yet he thought he could do the same and get away with it.

  17. stackja

    ALP is the 18C problem.

  18. candy

    The ethic communities were worried and many submissions were made to George Brandis about it.

    To proceed with it the Libs would have been branded “bigots” right up until the next election. Sometimes you have to be practical and not live in a dream world about ideals.

  19. Infidel Tiger

    The ethic communities were worried and many submissions were made to George Brandis about it.

    Those goddamn ethnic communities don’t have any ethics, candy.

  20. David

    Sometimes you have to be practical and not live in a dream world about ideals

    Freedom of speech is not some “dream world ideal” Candy. It is a human right for which a lot of people have shed blood to achieve over centuries. The concept may be alien to many cultures but not all cultures are equal.

  21. Fisky

    What utter horse manure is this, FFS?!?!?

    Ask Romney, aka Mr 47%.

  22. Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    Candy, I think that he should have fought harder for this reform. I would rate this an Olympic-class back-flip, and award him the (30) Silver (coins) medallion.
    Of course, we can’t say we weren’t warned. TA did mention, a few years ago, that all politicians lie from time to time, i just didn’t think that this was a lie.
    Q. How can you tell when a politician is lying?
    A. His lips are moving!

  23. Infidel Tiger

    Hockey and Abbott couldn’t sell the benefits of a headjob to a horny teenage boy.

  24. Tel

    Hockey and Abbott couldn’t sell the benefits of a headjob to a horny teenage boy.

    But they did sell it… before the election. They just never got around to blowing the kid.

  25. Squirrel

    “…The second conclusion was that not only was the Prime Minister willing to negotiate on freedom of speech; he felt he had to seek the permission of ethnic community groups for his counter-terrorism legislation….”

    That would never, ever, be acknowledged, of course, but that’s what it looks like, and that’s what will have many (including quite a few Labor voters, I would guess) disappointed, worried and angry.

  26. manalive

    David Kemp quotes Menzies: “If truth is to emerge and in the long run be triumphant, the process of free debate — the untrammelled clash of opinion — must go on”.
    That was part of a broadcast in ’42 or ’43 at the height of the war; no doubt Curtin could well have echoed those sentiments.
    In 1944 the Curtin government put a referendum to the people which included freedom of speech and freedom of religion to be included in the Constitution (along with temporary ‘socialist’ provisions) which was opposed by the UAP. Menzies (who had resigned as leader) campaigned prominently against it — it was defeated.
    If my memory serves me the Menzies Government of the ‘50s and early ‘60s certainly did not practice classical liberalism.
    It was an odd mixture of highly protected manufacturing sector with physiocratic primary industry policies guided by a bewildering proliferation of marketing boards, a highly regulated media, highly regulated and censored magazine, book and film imports with state Liberal governments at the time even more restrictive.

  27. motherhubbard'sdog

    A good deal of the reason for this is that all politicians these days spend far too much time in the bubble and far too little time out in the electorate with real people. They start to think the people that talk to them from within the bubble are real people.

  28. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Abbott could have just stuck to the line (and truth) that the greatest value to all communities is freedom of speech, so that hatred and abuse can be answered freely and without fear. 18c is dependent on deep pockets to pay legal representation. It is putty in the hands of the left and a left-leaning media and judiciary. Personal attacks are already well answered by existing laws on defamation and slander.

    Free speech permits all to have their say.

  29. Infidel Tiger

    Manalive it was a typically dodgy left wing referendum that dramatically expanded Federal powers:

    The powers the government sought to gain included:

    The rehabilitation of former servicemen
    National health
    Family allowances
    The ability to legislate for Indigenous Australians
    Corporations, or combines
    Trust laws
    Monopolies
    Freedom of Speech
    Freedom of Religion
    Safeguards against the abuse of legislative power

    All of these points were put to referendum in the form of a single question. It is notable that the points referring to corporations, trusts, combines, and monopolies had been previously put to referendum, and had not been carried.

    The 14 proposals covered the participation of the federal government in postwar reconstruction, including control over employment, profiteering and prices, and related subjects. [1]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_referendum,_1944

  30. Oh come on

    What I also don’t get is the Abbott government’s penchant for pushing policies and thought bubbles that appeal to practically nobody, ie. Direct Action, “Team Australia”, knights and dames, the Rolls Royce PPL scheme…

  31. Angus Black

    hard words harsh, but fair,

    FIFY

  32. Joe

    Make ‘em pay for 18c.
    Invoke it often and hard!
    Especially against unionists, politicians and the bureaucracy!

  33. wreckage

    They’ve found an alarming centre path where they piss off the left AND disappoint their base.

    However, they had a problem in that the Left were always going to be absolutely infuriated that their Shining Ones had been ousted.

    The trick would be to only attack where the left are vulnerable. That means going in hard on lowering taxes and sacking public servants. The fuel tax levy was a born loser: it looks like a tax on the poor AND it attacks Coalition voters in rural and regional areas. They’d have been better off reducing the fuel levy, fixing the doctor visiting fee at something only an idiot could argue with (say, $5 or even $3), leaving pensions alone, dropping the stupid fucking medical research fund altogether, mooting a far larger cut to pollies pay, removing travel rebates for pollies altogether and adding a “rural electorate travel allowance” for reps with electorates over a given size.

    Building the infrastructure of the future is of no value right now. They had to be utterly focused on lowering the debt, lowering expenditure, lowering taxes, and getting a BIG headline budget result in their first term. They failed.

  34. MsDolittle

    Jim Allan is always right.

    Fact.

    Jim and are in a relationship, he just doesn’t like to acknowledge “us” in public. I might cut off a bit of my ear and post it too him, he’ll love that.

  35. MsDolittle

    Wreckage totally agree. When are you forming your party? WUP?

  36. DrBeauGan

    Infrastructure is another Abbott signature policy. The idiot clings to them in complete defiance of reason. It’s painfully obvious that he is a rather stupid man. I don’t mind his being a dishonest gutless arsehole, after all, he’s a politician. But that he is nearly as thick as Hockey is intolerable.

  37. James

    candy
    #1418240, posted on August 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    The ethic communities were worried and many submissions were made to George Brandis about it.

    To proceed with it the Libs would have been branded “bigots” right up until the next election. Sometimes you have to be practical and not live in a dream world about ideals.

    +1

    There is a disconnect of Freedom of Speech lovers with the public sentiment about 18c.

    Resistance to the repeal mainly comes from within the Liberal party and its supporters.

    In fact, many Liberal supporters turn against the Abbott government when he leaves the 18c repeal on the table and let the bigots argument fester.

    When you go to Liberal fundraisers, many Liberal MPs speak apologetically about 18c repeal and vow to fight Brandis in Canberra and make the PM listen to them.

    Once Abbott announces the dumping of repeal, state Liberal MPs, Federal back-benchers and community leaders circulate emails to congratulate the PM for finally listening to them.

    The problem is that the public does not see 18c as stifling freedom of speech. It’s only when they see an obvious over-reach that they will see the need for repeal. They don’t agree there is an over-reach. You can still argue race based issues in a frank and robust way without using inflammatory tones to put people off-side.

    IPA and the Cats people have their own columns, blogs, radio and TV appearances to do their freedom of speech. Ordinary people in the public sees things on the other side of the fence. They would think that if they hear or read something they feel uncomfortable about, they don’t have the forum the voice their side of the argument, thus needing an avenue to address issues. 18c was seen as that avenue. Most cases are resolved in conciliation, without going to court at all.

    With so many places at war and racial tensions on the rise, it will be like putting fuel on fire to press on with 18c repeal.

    It is easier for politicians to introduce new legislation, new protections, new controls. So much harder when you want to remove them.

  38. Infidel Tiger

    When you go to Liberal fundraisers, many Liberal MPs speak apologetically about 18c repeal and vow to fight Brandis in Canberra and make the PM listen to them.

    Thank God theses people will lose office in 2016. They sound like complete cnuts.

  39. candy

    Once Abbott announces the dumping of repeal, state Liberal MPs, Federal back-benchers and community leaders circulate emails to congratulate the PM for finally listening to them.

    For sure, James. The public would only see “bigots” (with the help of GreenLabor all day every day) if the repeal was left on the table. It had to go.

  40. Mike of Marion

    So with such a spectacular performance (3xsarc) by the Abbott government in the near 12 months to date, I’m just awaiting what a botch he will make of the Constitution change he is going to try to support.

    I can tell Abbott right now that any proposed Constitutional change will be a NO from me.

  41. C.L.

    And yet we had various people here a few days ago saying “no no – let’s give him another 18 months.” They are sell-outs like Abbott. Closet lefties who believe in nothing.

  42. Alfonso

    Voters often confuse socially conservative, mainstream religious pollies with real conservatives…..when underneath lurks a guilty religious welfare statist.

  43. Alfonso

    Oh….and please bring on the Aboriginal Privilege Constitutional Preamble referendum as soon as you can comrades…..talk about laugh, tears before bedtime for Tone.

  44. PeteD

    Of course the Liberal MPs were apologising at the fundraisers.

    They go and hang out with “ethnic” communities and promise them goodies and get their cash to run election campaigns. The only problem is that most people from non-English speaking backgrounds in Sydney are too busy working, paying their mortgage etc to actually care who their ethnic community leaders are or less so, what they say.

    In fact, most of them are probably happy to be in Australia, with all the opportunities that brings for themselves and their children. E.g. to Win votes from the Chinese, don’t cosy up with the Chinese Communist Party (either in Mandarin or English), but talk about freedom, education, hard work and sacrifice.

    The Labor Party did a very good job at undermining their reputation among ordinary ethnic voters once they had control of the Federal government – and proved themselves incompetent. All the current government needed to do was be colour-blind and treat the voters as people who care about living standards, being able to work, start businesses etc.

    Instead, the stupid fundraising and patronage machines means that it is much more likely that a politician talks to community leaders who have self-interest in keeping their own “community” distinct. Pandering to this is just bad government, and pisses off a lot of regular people.

  45. PeteD

    Meanwhile, anyone who thinks Craig Laundy is beholden to Muslim votes to retain his seat has either never been there, never looked at the boundaries on a map, or never checked the boundaries against the voting pattern at the last election.

    Very few of them voted for him last time, yet he was still able to get 50% across the whole electorate.

  46. MT Isa Miner

    Alfonso

    #1418358, posted on August 15, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Oh….and please bring on the Aboriginal Privilege Constitutional Preamble referendum as soon as you can comrades…..talk about laugh, tears before bedtime for Tone.

    Ha fucking HA. The constitutional change clusterfucktocome. Apart from the whacking the god botherers amongst us, I include me, which I might be taking the wrong way, in your last comment, because it is well passed beer o’clock, yeah, I agree Alfonso. bring ut on.

    I am already storing and distributing ammo- in a metaphorical and literary and totally philosophically but fully fucking anti 18c way.

  47. Arnost

    … fixing the doctor visiting fee at something only an idiot could argue with (say, $5 or even $3)

    Not acceptable at any level…

    However! The levy would have been a goer if they said that the proceeds would be quarantined in a Health Future Fund. People could understand that – costs of medicines and procedures are sky-rocketing and life expectancy is increasing. Putting it to medical research is just the start of a gravy train / food trough for medical “zientizts”. The same sort of zientizts associated with globul warmening.

  48. Adam D

    Few reality checks from my experience – a lot of people and I mean a lot don’t particularly like ethnics of any variety. They tolerate them but they don’t like them. Ethnic communities who bitch and moan are vehemently disliked and any ethnic community who gets benefits over regular Aussies also piss off a lot of people. The left have succeeded in terms of polite public discourse, people won’t openly admit to these things, but that doesn’t mean they don’t harbour these feelings still.

    Despite the obvious racist sentiment of ethnic groups voting as a block because of such an issue there are many votes out there on the other side as well. I agree with the sentiment above the political class seem further disconnected from reality then ever. Besides they could always advocate policy on principal alone rather then follow the whims of the vocal minority.

  49. Paul

    Is it about who they govern for or who contributes most to party coffers? The Americans have shown us well how real power lies unseen in the background in our so-called democracies.

  50. Rabz

    Fisky, I’m sick to f*cking death of expediency and lowest common denominator stupidity.

    Stick to some basic principles, show some guts and don’t piss off your constituency with stupid labor/greenfilth idiocy.

    The electorate is crying out for some politicians who stick to their (supposed) principles. For every previously labor/greenfilth voting moron Abbott and Hockey think they can convince to vote for them, they lose two people who actually did vote for them.

    It’s insane, it’s gutless, it’s utterly frigging infuriating and it needs to stop, as they will discover, in no uncertain terms, next election.

  51. Arnost

    Building the infrastructure of the future is of no value right now.

    Right infrastructure in the right place at the right price will provide a much needed boost to the light manufacturing sector – which is suffering at the moment given the closures of various heavy industry and manufacturing enterprises. I reckon that’ll knock down the unemployment a per e rage point or two and the double kicker of more tax less welfare will reduce pressure on the budget big time.

    And this is why I can’t understand Abbott’s backflips. He had pretty much well the right policies going into the election – so where are they? Was mentioned a couple of times already – he did not sack the heads of the public service depts. I reckon they Humphrey’d the election policies and done him over.

    Note to future Lib govts: purge purge purge the second you get the keys to the place.

  52. Arnost

    “a per e rage” = percentage

    LOL – just maintaining the rage ..

  53. Eyrie

    manalive, Menzies was a fucking Fascist.

  54. stackja

    Eyrie
    #1418475, posted on August 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm
    manalive, Menzies was a fucking Fascist.

    You agree with Doc Evatt.

  55. Yon Toad

    Around our house he is PM Weasel. He will always be PM Weasel. He is just another bullshit artist. In many ways he reminds me of the Boy Who Lived In A Car – Kevin Rudd – all facade, no substance.

  56. stackja

    Yon Toad
    #1418503, posted on August 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm
    Around our house he is PM Weasel. He will always be PM Weasel. He is just another bullshit artist. In many ways he reminds me of the Boy Who Lived In A Car – Kevin Rudd – all facade, no substance.

    ALP again.

  57. Yon Toad

    When you go to Liberal fundraisers, many Liberal MPs speak apologetically about 18c repeal and vow to fight Brandis in Canberra and make the PM listen to them.

    Name these limp dicks!

  58. caveman

    Maybe Abbott got Peripheral vision and you all just bonking the salami.

  59. Andrew

    Bernardi has committed to co-sponsoring Bob Day’s 18c bill and James McGrath has said he will cross the floor on the issue if it is voted on.

  60. Marion of the Glades

    Well I’m over this debate. I can’t say I was an enthusiast at the start, but the more it entered territory in which people got to slag off Jews and Muslims and whatever prejudice they wish to exercise I lost interest. Not that I mind prejudice. But it’s hardly a policy issue of any real concern. It is certainly not a tenet of free expression. Suck it in Cats.

  61. .

    Andrew
    #1418545, posted on August 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm
    Bernardi has committed to co-sponsoring Bob Day’s 18c bill and James McGrath has said he will cross the floor on the issue if it is voted on.

    Wonderful stuff. I will continue to sing the praises of Senators Leyonhjelm and Day.

  62. stackja

    Again ALP is the problem with 18C.

  63. Greg James

    Bernardi has committed to co-sponsoring Bob Day’s 18c bill and James McGrath has said he will cross the floor on the issue if it is voted on

    If that is the case then those who agree with this should show them some support for this.

    Even if the Bill is put up and defeated it will at least demonstrate that they had the balls to try, and it will expose those in the LNP who vote against the Bill for the craven lily-livered Abbotites that they are.

  64. I am the Walrus, Koo Koo K'choo

    ALP again.

    stackja, mate, get it thru your skull, this is not a liberal party blog.

    We observe and critique the government from a conservative / libertarian right perspective. That doesn’t mean we automatically support the Libs. It certainly doesn’t mean we automatically support the lying, incompetent social-democratic big-government twits currently occupying the Treasury benches.

  65. Toiling Mass

    I think it is not the left-wing voters that they are scared of. It is the preponderance of lefties in the Senate, and the moronic PUPs and their machiavellian leader. The Libs in general and Abbott in particular has no idea how to negotiate with them.
    They’re only negotiating strategy seems to be “if I do what you want, will you please not say bad things about me”.
    The Libs faithfully live down to their part of the bargain.

  66. I can’t say I was an enthusiast at the start, but the more it entered territory in which people got to slag off Jews and Muslims and whatever prejudice they wish to exercise I lost interest.

    When did it enter that territory? People already ‘slag off Jews’ in public and nothing ever happens to them.

  67. Paul

    I sent an email to Luke Simpkins, representative for Cowan, WA in respect of the backflip of the Government on 18C, telling him that I was ashamed to admit I had voted for him at the last election, and that for the first time in 30 years I felt that the Liberal Party wasnt worth my support any longer. His response to me was ” Because he had been contacted by a lot of people that didnt want 18C repealed, and very few supporting it, it meant that nobody wanted it repealed”, I thought it had been one of the platforms at the last election, why would I have to contact him again after helping elect him to get him to do something he said my vote would give him the ability to do ?. If that is the sort of way the current government justifies the bullshit since the last election, then they are no different to Rudd, Gillard or the Shorten Labour party. I will be voting for someone that actually stands by their principles next time around.

    Cheers

  68. johno

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    Abbott is on a Fraser trajectory. By the time he retires, he will be a lap dog liberal for the Left and a darling of the Left’s ABC.

  69. tomix

    Note to future Lib govts: purge purge purge the second you get the keys to the place.

    Not a bad idea. But maaate, I can’t see there being any future Lib Govts.

  70. Glinda

    Sometimes you have to be practical and not live in a dream world about ideals.

    Ideals? Since when was free speech an ideal? Since when was integrity an ideal? Does being practical mean sacrificing fundamental rights and values? We’re screwed if it does.

  71. Note to future Lib govts: purge purge purge the second you get the keys to the place.

    They didn’t purge.
    They wanted to “govern for all,” “reach across the aisle,” and remember that “politics is the art of the possible.”

    Therefore, no purge. Therefore, continuity with previous government.
    Therefore, anguish for those who wanted change.

  72. rickw

    Labor are truer to their values than the Liberals, even if they are a bunch of complete idiots.

    The Liberals seem to get elected on one platform and then sell out to The Lefties and Ethnic Groups who continue to not vote for them regardless.

    This isn’t anything new either, John Howard sold out to a bunch of screaming lefties who probably numbered no more than 30 (including Simon Chapman) in 1996. Malcom Fraser opened the door in the 1975′s to the dregs of Islamic “society” running over the top of immigration criteria. If you want to talk about stupid policy that shaped Australia, the Liberals are at the top of the heap.

    In my view the Labor Party has a huge advantage over the Liberals, they are less competent at the implementation of bad policy!

  73. 1234

    This is what you get when you elect a government based on three word slogans. Some say Abbott was the best opposition leader ever, but he should properly be considered the worst because he came to government with no plan (a 50 page glossy doesn’t count) and no ideas. The LNP’s lack of preparation is being played out daily. Remember all those policies they had waiting to be released at a time of their choosing? Well they didn’t exist, and in any case Tony preferred doing a daily stunt with a hi vis jacket somewhere in Queanbeyan rather than thinking about and selling policy. He has always been nothing but an opportunist. All you suckers on Catallaxy were so busy bagging the Labor government you overlooked the fact that Abbott stood for nothing and would do anything (except sell his arse) to get into the Lodge. The fact that he now sells you out for 18C shouldn’t come as any surprise, particularly to the likes of John Roskam who should know better. Roskam is either simply naive or such an ideologue that he is unable to comprehend the real world of politics. All three commentator should know better. Abbott is a fake from way back.

  74. C.L.

    All true.

    Also true: Gillard and Rudd were 100 times worse.

  75. We expected much better

    After having voted for Abbott to get rid of the criminally inept and corrupt Labor government, I was astonished, appalled and dismayed when Hockey basically broke almost every election promise they made by bringing down that budget. Doesn’t matter if it’s for our own good or not, THAT’S not how it will be seen. Especially after taking the moral high ground and deservedly making Gillard pay for the ‘there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead’ lie. After seeing how much damage that did in the eyes of the Australian public, just months after winning the election, they do the same thing! Is it the old ‘hit them hard in the first budget, then bring down a couple of easy ones, and give them two years to get over it’ trick that Australian politicians are so fond of using? Under normal circumstances, that might have worked, but after the Gillard disaster, we expected much better from Abbott, but it seems what we’re getting is just more of the same. And now this, putting your seat and yourself before the well being of the country by pandering to dangerous minorities for a few votes. What about the MAJORITY who voted for you? This will be a one-term government I’m afraid, I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve got anyone at all in this country with the guts, backbone, ability, expertise and sophistication to run a country. It sure doesn’t look like it!

  76. outsider

    It’s hard to understand their meekness and vacillation, assuming they are not facsimiles of the left and never believed their oft-stated goals and principles. The liars and greens were totally inept but still had the chutzpah to try a hard sell on the really dumb stuff.

    There is also every chance bad econ news will wipe them (and housing) out, John Black has been turning out some good LF analyses of late. Adam Creighton had an article in today’s Oz re UE. Falling productivity was another matter they dropped the ball on – nothing can be done because ‘Work Choices’! No ABCC, rampant CFMEU, etc. They are a hopeless case, it now seems clear.

  77. Alfonso

    I dunno, maybe deep in Tone’s brain is Catholic guilt over almost everything. It could be worse, say if he was a Uniting “Church” handwringer.

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