What they said: Tony Abbott on 18c

Tony Abbott – 5 August 2014

When it comes to counter-terrorism everyone needs to be part of ‘Team Australia’ and I have to say that the Government’s proposals to change 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act have become a complication in that respect. I don’t want to do anything that puts our national unity at risk at this time and so those proposals are now off the table. This is a call that I have made. It is, if you like, a leadership call that I have made after discussion with the Cabinet today. In the end leadership is about preserving national unity on the essentials and that is why I have taken this decision.

Tony Abbott – 26 August 2016

What reformers can never do is give up, just because it’s hard.
Indeed, the harder it is, the more determined reformers must be: to make the case for reform and to implement as much of it as we can.

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49 Responses to What they said: Tony Abbott on 18c

  1. TC

    He could be great , I guess some people learn from their mistakes.

  2. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    He could be the best yet.

    His record says otherwise.

  3. TC

    IT , his record is OK , given time he might even have been good , not great but good enough .

  4. Sinclair Davidson

    Increased taxes, increased spending, … We can’t afford that sort of greatness.

  5. Siltstone

    Can’t afford Turnbulls increased taxes and increased spending.

  6. Artist Formerly Known As Infidel Tiger

    Abbott is no Turnbull that’s for sure.

  7. No Eynestine

    Increased taxes, increased spending, … We can’t afford that kind of greatness.

    Seems that Mr Davidson is having second thoughts about Malcolm Turnbull. Lol

  8. testpattern

    What they said about free speech

    Well here at catallaxy they said lock up Peter Greste throw away the key and bomb al jazeera. Doncha just love idealists.

  9. ella

    Tony Abbott is another member of the caste of phonies comprising the liberal party.

    Abbott is prepared to keep an irrational law in place to appease Muslims threatening violence. Muslims view appeasement as weakness. What is the next on the Muslim list? Perhaps Abbott should consider closing restaurants for Ramadan. After Abbott weakens again, will it be alcohol, dogs, pigs, separate train carriages for women, Muslim dress rules for Australian women, genital mutilation; and so on down the slippery slope.

    I believe the ACT has just implemented Sharia Law – now we have blasphemy laws which make it an offence to criticise Islam.

    Abbott will not get national unity by trashing Western values such as truth to appease Muslims.

    Australian politicians are acquiescing to ignorance. They are traitors!

  10. The delicate sidling away from Turnbull continues. Now we don’t even read his name in the post. It’s like Abbott was replaced by chopped liver or by Fred Flintstone. Tippy-toe, tippy-toe…

    Hombre, just take a big stride or two.

  11. Pusnip

    Abbott was a terrible opposition leader and a terrible PM – a non-practising sneak government activist. He has done major harm to the small government cause in Australia. Some crazies keep singing his praises though.

  12. Stackja

    ALP created and still supports 18c. MSM supports ALP.
    Do voters support 18c?

  13. handjive

    Abbott’s 18c capitulation is unforgivable to those who voted for him.
    His lie about removing the carbon (sic) tax is just as bad, if not worse.

    May 28, 2014, the night of the banana splits leads to this:

    Coalition claims victory in Clive Palmer plan to support policy to repeal the carbon tax

    “AS FAR as victories go, this one is surely bittersweet.

    Clive Palmer, flanked by former US vice president Al Gore, announced on Wednesday he would help the government achieve its key election promise by backing the repeal of the carbon tax.

    But in return the Palmer United Party leader wants a legal guarantee that electricity savings will be passed onto consumers and an emissions trading scheme ready to go if needed.

    As we all now know, the sneaky Turnbull government introduced the ETS the day before the election.

    But the incriminating relevant quotes from the link don’t stop there.

    What is the criteria for implementation?

    “Under Mr Palmer’s plan, an ETS would only become effective when Australia’s main trading partners like China, the US and Japan implement similar schemes.

    Mr Hunt said an ETS wasn’t coalition policy, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott would be sitting down with Mr Palmer on Thursday to discuss his proposals.”

    jonova, aug 2, 2016: Paris agreement struggles — only 0.04% of global CO2 emissions “ratified” (1% of man-made CO2)
    . . .
    The rest is now history. The ETS was/is now coalition policy.

    What ever Abbott’s excuse for this god-awful deception is, only Abbott knows.
    Unforgivable and unelectable.

  14. Mother Lode

    How many of Abbott’s sins were his own perfidy, and how many were pragmatism given the fractious party (largely kept fragmented by Turnbull) and the hostile senate?

  15. Mr Johnson

    I love Abbott, but why is it that he, like a lot of leaders, find such moral clarity and strength when they’re out of power and not able to do anything about it?

  16. M Ryutin

    I wonder why this particular post? Leading on to bag the (still) Dear Leader for hypocrisy ( or maybe just posting a mild lesson to Turnbull about how he should reverse himself and rediscover principle on this topic)?

    Or maybe a post of praise to Tony Abbott for determining to fight for principle on the amendment of 18C? Or it could even be (maybe) shamed into posting subtle praise of Abbott or v/mild criticism of his Leader by the forthright and highly principled criticism by his fellow IPA members (and Liberal Party members) John Roskam and James Paterson?

    I wonder why?

  17. Dr Faustus

    Increased tax, increased spending on a massive social program, adoption of flawed Labor spending programs, 18c, and utterly, utterly pitiful political selling of the need to severely control government spending.

    All these unforced errors came from political character fails – not technical misjudgements. Yes, Turnbull is dead in the water, yes, the fat bladder Hockey wears some of the blame, but I am not anxious to see a ‘reformed’ Abbott back in charge.

    Tragically, there is no clear alternative.

  18. I Am the Walras, Equilibrate and Price Take

    Abbott was doing very well up until that ‘Team Australia’ moment.

    Then came the ‘fairness’ budget, and the writing was on the wall.

    The Liberal party needs a purge of all the labor-lite elements. Only then will we be able to trust it with government.

  19. M Ryutin

    testpattern Aug 27 at 12:34 am

    Wanted Peter Greste imprisoned? You are mistaking Catallaxy readers and all like-minded people for your so-called progressives and left-totalitarian fellow travelers who demanded Finkelstein sanctions of denial of speech up to and including imprisonment for press and speech dissent from views held by people such as you

  20. Confused Old Midfit

    Walras has the right of it. Like the Republican in the US, the Liberal in Australia have become infested with progressives.

  21. TP

    “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow”
    Revolution- John Lennon.
    You are a nutter Davidson, Turnbull, Soros, Hitler or whatever your name is.

  22. TP

    “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow”
    You are a nutter Davidson, Turncoat, Soros or whatever your name is.

  23. TP

    “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow” Revolution- John Lennon
    Exactly where does Turncoat sit on this issue. Over to you Davidson.

  24. Nov

    ffs Davidson. Abbott was and is far from ideal. It may be that he would fold again. And it may be that the small glimmer of hope that he was simply confounded by a leaking, plotting unsupportive caninet and would do better next time is a pinter’s day dream.

    But at least there is that hope. At least there is some remote possibility that he would do right.

    With Turnbull there is no such hope. There never has been and never will be and we know this because of what he says and has said and what he does and has done. Turnbull, demonstrably, is not the right person. Abbott has the slimest of chances.

    But you.. you deride the lost while cheering the kidnapper. You drop the Australian sprinter because he won’t make the final and instead pick the disqualified judoka.

    We get it. You don’t like Abbott. But if you’re going to back Turnbull, at least be honest that it’s because you feel better at dinner parties with your academic lefty mates than because he ever, ever had any intention or chance of delivering on the important things.

  25. cui bono

    Funny thing happens when they become PM: they think doing over their friends is strength.

  26. Nic

    Abbott lied, 18c survived.

  27. Memoryvault

    READER’S DIGEST VERSION

    Abbott 2013
    We must repeal 18C to protect freedom of speech.

    Abbott 2014
    Repealing 18C might cost us some votes, so we’re not going to do it.

    Abbott 2016
    I stuffed up, but I’ll try harder next time if you let me have another go. Pretty please?

  28. Sinclair Davidson

    ffs Davidson. Abbott was and is far from ideal. It may be that he would fold again.

    I am a firm believer in redemption – yet I am not convinced that Abbott would be any different if he were to return to the prime ministership.

  29. Tel

    … I am not convinced that Abbot would be any different if he were to return …

    Very logical conclusion. After all, Turnbull wasn’t any different when he returned.

  30. Tintarella di Luna

    Abbott is prepared to keep an irrational law in place to appease Muslims threatening violence.

    That’s not the reason given by my local member. He said that it was the Asians who’d written to him in droves complaining that the repeal of 18C would greatly aggrieve them. Who to believe?

  31. Muddy

    Just another political zombie offering some nasty in the dark for the syphilis-ridden hordes drooling for political necrophilia. Conservatives are now almost as delusional (though perhaps not quite as pathological) as those they sneer at from a distance, one hand down the front of the pants.

  32. Tintarella di Luna

    Nov
    #2130136, posted on August 27, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Thank you for your forthright comment.

  33. Tom

    I am a firm believer in redemption – yet I am not convinced that Abbott would be any different if he were to return to the prime ministership.

    Correct.

    It wasn’t until he became PM that the arc lights of public scrutiny exposed Abbott’s incompetence as a leader. Just as public scrutiny of Turnbull in the past year has exposed his incompetence as a leader.

    Australia’s crisis is a leadership crisis.

  34. Dr Faustus

    After all, Turnbull wasn’t any different when he returned.

    Exactly correct. Different packaging, bristling with learnings and statements of good intentions – but the same fundamental person underneath.

    Abbott was quite dreadful at the politics of government – and it would be a leap of faith too far (for me, anyway) to expect that the wilderness has really changed his persona and sharpened his skills. He would rise from the dead into a perfect storm of second-rate cabinet, hung parliament, hostile senate, a grimly obstructionist opposition, deeply disaffected punters – and a honking, jeering media.

    The Liberal Party seems to have run its course as a ‘broad church’. Arguably better for Australia for it to divide like an amoeba under an ineffectual Turnbull, than die in a car crash under Abbott.

  35. Oh come on

    Opinining from the back benches – government or otherwise – is so much easier than when you’re in charge. Sorry but Abbott gets no pass on tis. Dumping the repeal of 18C was unforgivable.

    But I say again – Abbott was a problem. Turnbull was not the solution. He’s a different type of problem – a far worse one, too.

  36. Motelier

    The problem is the Liberals is the membership of the Liberals.

    At least with Labor and the Greens you know what you are voting for.

    This lot in Canberra since 2013 are (using a Keating barb) are a shiver looking for a spine.

  37. Oh come on

    Remember when Obama shut down GITMO, as he promised? Remember all the civilian trials its inmates faced? No, me neither.

    Leadership requires tough choices. Best not make promises during the process of winning leadership that you aren’t willing to go to the mat over. This saves you the political damage of breaking those promises. To give Obama his due on this matter, at least when he obtained the security clearance to take a look at the classified backgrounds of the GITMO detainees, he quietly set his ideology aside and put their release on the backburner indefinitely – the right decision.

    Abbott, OTOH, made a lot of sensible promises (and a lot of dumb ones, too} when opposition leader. As PM, he proceeded to break the sensible promises under flimsy pretexts, as well as the dumb ones which he never should have made in the first place. He can’t come back – I don’t know why anyone would want him back.

    The best way forward is to hurl a few Molotov cocktails into the LP’s “big tent” and start over.

  38. BorisG

    Guys, think about this: opposition to 18c is about the only thing ALL catalaxians agree on. not sure about Monty,

  39. Fisky

    m0nty loves 18C and fully approves of uni students being fined a quarter of a million dollars. He thinks it’s the only thing standing in the way of racial violence.

  40. Fisky

    (not that m0nty really opposes racial violence – he’s quite fond of “Black Lives Matters”, a terror group)

  41. alexnoaholdmate

    Sinc is perfectly right to point out that Abbott let us all down as PM.

    Sinc is perfectly right to point out that Abbott promised us things in opposition he didn’t have the balls to implement when in power.

    Sinc is perfectly right to point out that Abbott has been talking a great game lately, but his words now belie his actions then.

    However, Sinc is absolutely mistaken – tragically, epically, almost absurdly so – if he believes that Tony Abbott’s faults are not replicated on an even grander scale by the worm who stabbed him in the back.

    And to maintain support for Turnbull, after all his backflipping on the very issues that Sinc claims are the reason why Abbott had to go, is irrational.

    Not only is it irrational, but it makes me wonder about Sinc’s support for Turnbull – and whether Sinc is nothing more than yet another of the wet left-of-centre jellybacks that seem to dominate the Liberals today.

    You can’t say thing like ‘We can do without that sort of greatness’ in regards to Abbott when your own man exceeds him in those areas in every way. That’s not rational political discourse – that’s following the leader at all costs. That’s what the Labor Party does.

    Join them, Sinc. Nowadays you’d be more comfortable there – after all, your own precious Turnbull originally wanted to. He came to the Liberals only after Labor said they wouldn’t have him.

  42. banz

    Not only is it irrational, but it makes me wonder about Sinc’s support for Turnbull – and whether Sinc is nothing more than yet another of the wet left-of-centre jellybacks that seem to dominate the Liberals today.

    I suspect Sinc heard the whisper about how MT would support the repeal of 18c, hows that working out for you Sinc? Just another bozo used by MT 🙂


    yet another of the wet left-of-centre jellybacks
    OH FFS, no need to THINK he is, academic, check, lives of taxpayers, check, trots around the world at taxpayer expense, check, wants open borders, check, wants an ETS on emissions, check, supports the current leftist leader of the coalition, check…

    Seriously, he is pretty open about it now, now thats fine, but please, no need to THINK otherwise.

  43. banz

    Abbott was quite dreadful at the politics of government – and it would be a leap of faith too far (for me, anyway) to expect that the wilderness has really changed his persona and sharpened his skills. He would rise from the dead into a perfect storm of second-rate cabinet, hung parliament, hostile senate, a grimly obstructionist opposition, deeply disaffected punters – and a honking, jeering media.

    Its not even the B team anymore, and we skipped the C team, we are farked.

  44. James

    Abbott was introducing laws to ban hate preachers that radicalize youth at the time. You can’t call for freedom of speech at the same time. That was not appeasement of Muslims.

  45. Fisky

    Abbott was quite dreadful at the politics of government – and it would be a leap of faith too far (for me, anyway) to expect that the wilderness has really changed his persona and sharpened his skills. He would rise from the dead into a perfect storm of second-rate cabinet, hung parliament, hostile senate, a grimly obstructionist opposition, deeply disaffected punters – and a honking, jeering media.

    Abbott hasn’t changed at all. The other day he basically apologised for blocking the Malaysian Solution. If he came back, he’d be even worse than the first time round. I think they will have to give Lord Waffle another year or so to discredit himself (as it stands he might be automatically kicked out of parliament for not showing up – he’s apparently stocked up on canned fruit and barricaded himself in his Port Piper compound).

    And when the incompetence of Lord Waffle has been irrefutably established, whoever follows him will have a good 2 years of autopilot government, overseas trips and swanky cocktail parties (and a lifetime pension) before they get smashed by Labor. Not a bad deal!

  46. Fisky

    I think Abbott’s decision to float 18C reform and then torpedo it was probably the moment he destroyed his government. He never recovered from that. That really did set the tone for the endless flailing and capitulation that became his brand.

  47. Rayvic

    What we don’t know is the influence Malcolm and Twiddle Dee Dum Brandis had on Abbott dropping s18c reform.

    It is pointless to blame Abbott now for what he did or didn’t do. Did not Malcolm promise to do better when he knifed Abbott in the back?

    Given renewed interest from some conservative and cross-bench MPs, Malcolm and TDD Brandis now can have another go at reforming s18c — unfortunately, they appear to totally lack the resolve.

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