Tony Abbott and the Triathlon

Isn’t it amazing/hypocritical that the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, today criticised Tony Abbott for spending his Sunday completing a triathlon (the Iron Man competition)?

The same Minister who is in charge of a department that is promoting Government programs such as:

  • A healthy and active Australia; and
  • How do you measure up (raising awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle)

On 15 August 2008, the Minister announced funding of $17.6 million to promote healthy lifestyles.  This included the promotion of exercise.

In a speech on 22 October 2009, the Minister said:

The Rudd Government is deeply committed to ensuring that by the time a child leaves school good eating and exercise habits are in place.

So why would she – of all people – criticise the Leader of the Opposition for partaking in a triathlon?

Is it because she is unwilling/incapable of doing so herself?

The Health Minister should instead be encouraging the Prime Minister to follow the Leader of the Opposition’s example.

After all, in that 22 October 2009 speech, the Minister also said:

Physical activity reduces depression, stress and anxiety, and improves self confidence, self esteem, energy levels, sleep quality and concentration.

So, Minister Roxon, let’s celebrate Tony Abbott’s achievements together.

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140 Responses to Tony Abbott and the Triathlon

  1. AJ says:

    Are Triathlons healthy? Things that can cause organ failure generally aren’t considered healthy.

  2. Alex White says:

    Do you have the quote where Roxon says that running a triathlon is the main criteria qualifying someone to be Prime Minister?

    … Thought not.

  3. Samuel J says:

    Very droll AJ. I don’t recall any Health Department advice against triathlons.

  4. Jason Soon says:

    doing a marathon if you’re obese and haven’t run a step in your life would probably cause organ failure too. what’s your point AJ?

  5. C.L. says:

    Things that can cause organ failure generally aren’t considered healthy.

    Then Rudd should exit politics ASAP.

    He had an aortic heart valve replacement 17 years ago.

  6. C.L. says:

    Sydney Morning Herald this morning:

    On the way to ironman, Abbott may come up short of power.

    He would be ”very happy” to finish the event, which starts at 6.45am, in about 14 hours. If he does, he will join a one-member club of federal politicians. But independent Rob Oakeshott, who completed the 2005 Ironman in 12 hours, 25 minutes, doesn’t see it.

    ”I will be amazed if he finishes, frankly, because of what the training loads require … but if he does, hats off to him because the guy is a freak,” he said.

    Just in:

    Ironman Abbott crosses the finish line.

  7. daddy dave says:

    You’ve got to be super fit to even finish a triathlon. They are really tough endurance tests.

  8. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    He is an impressive individual: Rhodes Scholar, priest, politician and now ironman.

  9. C.L. says:

    Seminarian. 😉

  10. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    Yeah, whatever. You Catholics are all the same. Must be something in the holy water . 🙂

  11. pedro says:

    “Yeah, whatever. You Catholics are all the same. Must be something in the holy water .”

    LSD mainly. Also rohipnol.

  12. Jason Soon says:

    Abbott made his target time to within 3 seconds error. wow.

  13. Jason Soon says:

    More cutting edge pseudo-Freudian quackery from LP

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/03/28/overachievers-not-so-anonymous/

  14. C.L. says:

    Michael, Abbott was a seminary student. A priest is ordained. Until he is ordained, he is never referred to – and isn’t – a priest. But yeah,I agree that he does have an impressive array of achievements: Oxford scholar, two boxing Blues, seminarian, journalist, rugby first-grader, author, trained volunteer fireman, surf lifesaver, iron man, destroyer of the ETS cult, etc.

  15. C.L. says:

    So Mercurius is saying – in essence – that he’s jealous of Tony Abbott.

    Nice bigoted swipe at Catholics at the end just to prove that it’s actually Mercurius who is struggling to deal with feelings of profound inadequacy and bitterness.

    Commenter ‘Fascinated’:

    What makes Vladimir Putin ride on horseback, bare chested? Why does Silvio Berlusconi dye his hair and surround himself with attractive accoutremonts…

    What makes Kevin get drunk and shove fivers down the knickers of crack whores in new York?

    Possibly, he hates women and, having no Costanza hand at home, takes it out on pole dancers and RAAF flight attendants.

  16. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    They certainly sound like the words of someone a little green-eyed and dissatisfied with their own lives.

  17. Phil’s comment (no 2) is very sensible; but then Phil is a keen cyclist and generally into fitness. Some people are; occasionally they even go into politics.

    Gah.

  18. That’s Phil’s comment over at LP.

  19. Add “absent father” to that list, CL.

    It’s a serious point, with the only come back being “we know all politicians are like that. It’s virtually unavoidable.” But, it’s still something to bear in mind before getting too impressed with extra curricular achievements of any politician.

  20. C.L. says:

    His daughters are all adults, Steve.

    I’m sure his devoted daughters are untraumatised by his absence.

  21. JC1 says:

    Roxon’s just jealous, that’s all. She appears to have serious issues with her weight after seeing pics and TV appearances of her over the years.

    She goes from normal weight to lard ball every six months or so.

    Abbott is driving the left crazy, as he’s everything they aspire to but can’t quite make it.

    Good to see the beta boys and the nasty top hens at LP showing just how jealousy drives the left mad.

    If Roxon wants a body equal to Abbott’s in fitness level she ought to do less eating and more exercise. It’s really just that simple.

  22. rog says:

    It would be more impressive if Abbott had placed near the leaders. However, in a field of spritely and enthusiastic individuals, our very own Man of Steel failed to make the grade and trailed in the rear.

    Perhaps his time would be better spent exercising his mind and developing some/or any policy

    It’s really just that simple

  23. Peter Patton says:

    This is a very bad strategy as it shines light on the differences between Roxon and Abbott, where no light shone before. She comes across as the very worst of methodist wowser swots.

  24. ken n says:

    And if Rudd spent less time bothering people in hospital and more time working on policy…

  25. ken n says:

    rog, am I missing your irony in the last comment?
    If not it is one of the most mean spirited observations you have made here.
    If so, I apologise but wish you could do better when trying to be funny.

  26. JC1 says:

    Ken:

    Rog has venom running through his veins. He has voodoo dolls with pins stuck in them all over his rat hole.

  27. jtfsoon says:

    what’s happened to you rog? you used to be a voice of sensible moderate right of centre politics around here. now you’re a professional snarkist who takes his talking points from LP

  28. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    It seems to me that Samuel is complaining because a politician is playing politics. Both sides try and accentuate the negatives and down play the positives of their opponents. Even whilst trying to look like they are above the fray.

  29. JC1 says:

    No Terje, Smauel is not complaining, but rather he’s highlighting the regularly overweight Roxon’s idiocy. Whether Roxon or other pols are almost always playing politics is irrelevant in this case.

    What she’s worried about is that the public is impressed with this out-doorsey image Abbott is portraying and realizes that both she and her boss are incapable of matching his physical fitness not matter how much they try and it really bothers her so being a leftie and therefore by definition a jealous type she tries to trash him.

    The woman is normally a fat troll who ought to think about shaping up like abbott.

  30. Abu Chowdah says:

    He would be ”very happy” to finish the event, which starts at 6.45am, in about 14 hours. If he does, he will join a one-member club of federal politicians. But independent Rob Oakeshott, who completed the 2005 Ironman in 12 hours, 25 minutes, doesn’t see it.

    When Oakeshott completed the Ironman, he was 36 years old. Abbott is 52. Shut your pie hole, Oakeshott, you fat slob.

  31. Abu Chowdah says:

    Try that again…

    “He would be ”very happy” to finish the event, which starts at 6.45am, in about 14 hours. If he does, he will join a one-member club of federal politicians. But independent Rob Oakeshott, who completed the 2005 Ironman in 12 hours, 25 minutes, doesn’t see it.”

    When Oakeshott completed the Ironman, he was 36 years old. Abbott is 52. Shut your pie hole, Oakeshott, you fat slob.

  32. Abu Chowdah says:

    It seems to me that Samuel is complaining because a politician is playing politics. Both sides try and accentuate the negatives and down play the positives of their opponents. Even whilst trying to look like they are above the fray.

    What happened here is Rudd’s usual Field Commander tactics. He sends the cannon fodder out with a negative hit on the Opposition. If it gets positive traction, Rudd comes in to the fray and king hits the target while they are in a crouch and dazed. If it gets negative press, Rudd minces in and makes a gracious, supportive comment – as he did here. Nothing Rudd says isn’t market tested in one way or another if he can help it.

  33. C.L. says:

    Meanwhile, while fatso health minister Nicola Roxon wasted her Sunday on television, news emerges that nursing home assaults have increased by 50 per cent in 12 months on her watch.

    I’m not impressed by her priorities.

    Why wasn’t she at the office solving this problem and formulating policy?

  34. jtfsoon says:

    Paul Norton steps up to out-macho Abbott

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/03/28/overachievers-not-so-anonymous/#comment-867998

    “cycling from Melbourne to Sydney (even if it’s been done 12 times previously, and especially if the trip is via the Hume Higway rather than the Olympic Way or the Princes Highway) is a less impressive feat in terms both of distance covered and of the challenge of the terrain than cycling from Brisbane to Sydney via the New England Highway (a feat which I achieved in 1996).”

  35. C.L. says:

    Good Lord. Next Mark Bahnisch will push his chest out and remind everyone that he once ate a crème brulée in every town while driving from Brisbane to Adelaide.

  36. Abu Chowdah says:

    “even if it’s been done 12 times”

    Oh, right. Thanks for the info, Norton.

  37. What TerjeP said. The government covered both possible public reactions: the PM by trying to appear magnanimous while actually doing something relevant to government, and leaving it up to a Minister to raise the issue as to whether Abbott is overdoing a personal pursuit at the risk of inadequate time on the job.

    I think a reasonable argument could be made that the public health message was better served by the regular walking John Howard, doing an activity that is within everyone’s reach, rather than by Abbotts’ super fitness regime.

    As LP comments show, the overall effect on his image as a result of this may well be one of swings and roundabouts, with little net effect. But you can see why the government would want to make the point about how much time he spends on this, when he will in the near future head out on his multiday Sydney – Melbourne trip as well. (Yeah, all for charity, yadda yadda.)

    As for all this talk of Roxon’s alleged fatness by JC and CL: what asinine, exaggerated childishness.

  38. jtfsoon says:

    Steve
    He did it on a Sunday. What the hell is all this fuss about? Are you seriously endorsing the notion that our politicians should be thinking of policy 7 days a week? This is more likely to lead to more unnecessary than necessary intervention. And you call yourself a conservative?

    For all the supposedly serious thinking and reading that Rudd does, what does he have to show for it? An essay that was probably ghostwritten and what else? Keating throws out more interesting ideas in his bathtub

  39. C.L. says:

    …while actually doing something relevant to government…

    Another weekend of Rudd achievements:

    11 more lured to their deaths.

    World cool on Rudd’s clean coal funding.

    US trashes Rudd’s internet cesnorship plan.

    Rudd exaggerated support for hospital reform.

    As LP comments show…

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Steve’s impartial source.

    Yeah, all for charity, yadda yadda.

    Steve condemns raising money for children’s charities and breast cancer research.

  40. C.L. says:

    Not entirely true, Jason.

    Rudd also wrote a book about his cat.

  41. jtfsoon says:

    Seriously steve I am sick of this crap about ‘inadequae time on the job’. Abbott does exercise in his spare time. He was being accused of undertraining by some people and then others accuse him of spending too much time on exercise. But his one hour each morning of running is no different in quantity of time than Howard’s one hour of walking.

    Again i have to ask, for all the talk of Rudd being such a hard worker what does he have to show for it? The last person that comes to mind when I think ‘public intellectual’ is Rudd.

  42. Peter Patton says:

    CL

    You are being very unfair on MB and PN. Both are renowned for their Herculean part-time jobs as university social studies tutors. Come rain, hail, or shine, they bravely turn up week after week – well at least for 30 or so of the 52 – for the grueling 4 hours of facilitating undergrad Dawkins university students with UAIs of 70 in the subtle arts of “de-privileging hegemonic narratives and discourses of the other.” 😉

  43. Peter Patton says:

    Perhaps Roxon, Swan, and Rudd have to work much longer hours than Abbott because they are not as smart as Abbott.

  44. Pingback: skepticlawyer » Tall poppies – or why I hate and love Australia

  45. jtfsoon says:

    exactly PP

    I think workaholics like Rudd make a virtue out of their own failings.

  46. Peter Patton says:

    To be able to graduate from Sydney Uni with degrees in Economics and Law, all the while partying living at St. John’s College, rowing, boxing, playing representative Rugby, as well as holding student leadership positions, and winning a Rhodes Scholarship, you HAVE to have a high IQ. Going to church in Canberra, and getting a BA in Asian Studies? Hmmm..not so much.

  47. Jason: I’m sure I read somewhere that there was talk that Abbott’s “pollie pedal” participation used to irritate his Coalition colleagues when he was Health Minister, as taking him away from work for too long.

    As I indicated, it is probably that longer term event that Labor is hoping paints more of a picture of someone more interested in exercise than work than the one day event of yesterday.

    You’re right about the time devoted to exercise vis a vis Howard. You’re also right that Rudd is an amateur when it comes to policy ideas.

    But a lot of my commentary is to do with image and spin. A lot of what happens as a result of that is not particularly fair – I think Latham’s handshake was pretty much blown out of proportion, for example (not that he was otherwise worth voting for.)

    So the arguments over whether it is good or bad for his image are as much about pop psychology as anything, not the intrinsic merits of the politician. As such, you could say it is not worth serious discussion, but it’s all part of the game that politicians knowingly play. (It’s not by accident that cameras started appearing regularly for Abbott’s early morning rides since becoming Leader.)

  48. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    Abu all Rudd is doing is merely copying Howard.

    He will finish up the same way hopefully over a shorter timeframe

  49. The trolll formerly known as Tom N. says:

    THE OPTIMUM LEVEL OF EXERCISE: SOMEWHERE BETWEEN ROXON AND ABBOTT

    [Paul Norton said that] … cycling from Melbourne to Sydney (even if it’s been done 12 times previously, and especially if the trip is via the Hume Higway rather than the Olympic Way or the Princes Highway) is a less impressive feat in terms both of distance covered and of the challenge of the terrain than cycling from Brisbane to Sydney via the New England Highway (a feat which I achieved in 1996).”

    Paul Norton is a wimp. Last June I cycle toured from Cooktown to Brisbane (approx 2000kms) in about 20 days, then in November I completed the AUDAX* Sydney-Melbourne Alpine 1200 (yes, through Cabramurra) in 3-and-a-half days!

    Right, now that I have established my credentials, I can assure you that an Ironman Triathlon is not a health-enhancing thing to do. From a health viewpoint, there is an optimal level of exercise, and of sport-related effort, and the Ironman, like the Sydney-Melbourne 1200, well and truly exceeds it. (Good fun, though)

    Tom – pedaller of circular theories – N.

    * AUDAX is French for stupidity. To find out more, visit our website: http://www.audax.org.au

  50. Pedro says:

    I wonder if any of the people complaining about Abbott’s time out of the office have actually been for a long bike ride? You sure do a lot of thinking. I reckon that the amount of time Rudd spends actually thinking about stuff is probably way too low.

    I believe that exercise sharpens the memory (where’s John H when you need him) as well.

    It really is a nonsense claim.

  51. C.L. says:

    …a lot of my commentary is to do with image and spin

    You don’t say.

    It’s not by accident that cameras started appearing regularly for Abbott’s early morning rides since becoming Leader.

    No, it’s not. They were sent there by news stations.

    Only one prime minister has ever taken the time to deliver homilies from a churchyard.

    Hey, remember when Rudd wasted time appearing on Sunrise for months on end? Why wasn’t he working?

    Abu all Rudd is doing is merely copying Howard.

    We all remember Howard’s participation in the Iron Man event back in ’97.

  52. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    JC – I saw what Roxon said about the issue on the Insiders. I thought she was very balanced. She said it was great that Tony is fit and that he participates in these events and is a positive role model. She was asked what the PM and Julia were on about and she said the only point of concern the government had was that Abbott had not taken the time to put out a health policy or to attend a government briefing on the governments policy that he had been invited to and that he should be investing some time in these issues. Frankly I saw nothing at all wrong with the way that she answered the question. She was very positive about Tonys commitment to fitness.

    The opposition also seeks to down play the strengths of others. To neutralise Rudds language skill they pread the meme that Kevin is too cost with China. They don’t directly knock his language skills but they do try and put a negative spin around it. As I said in my first comment these are just political games that in most instances are best ignored.

  53. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    p.s. In short the spin is:-

    It is great that Tony makes time to keep fit but such a pity he has no time to work on a health policy for Australia.

    It is great that Kevin speaks fluent Chinese but such a pity he isn’t putting Australias interests ahead of Chinas.

  54. jtfsoon says:

    Terje

    Don’t you think it’s possible for someone who says that Kev is too cosy with China to actually believe it rather than say so as a means of attacking his Mandarin speaking skills?

    His Mandarin speaking aside, he is too cosy with China/

  55. C.L. says:

    Right. Whereas the idea that a man who goes for a run before work is unsuited to being prime minister is loony-tunes stuff.

    Remember when Paul Keating stopped attending Question Time? He actually gave himself RDOs.

  56. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    err Circa Rudd isn’t in any ironman events.

    how is he too cosy with China?

    He is the ONLY leader to go to China and then criticise its record in Mandarin.

  57. C.L. says:

    …Rudd isn’t in any ironman events.

    No kidding. He even needed help with the book ‘he’ wrote about his cat.

    He ‘criticised’ China before a hand-picked audience at Beijing University. It was pure theatre.

  58. JC1 says:

    Wow
    Paul Norton rode a bike from Brisbane to Sydney in 1996. That’s really freaking impressive. In fact it’s so impressive I spoke French for a while after reading that.

    Next up Steve from Brisbane admits he likes the taste and feel of men’s nipples while Mark B from LP tells us he wears a hat in winter as comparison to Abbott.

    And homer managed to make it home by himself from the corner store by remembering to avoid left turns.

    This left’s version of an iron man comp.

  59. JC1 says:

    Terje:

    What on earth is balanced with what the (frequent) fat troll of the health minister had to say about Abbott’s enthusiasm for real difficult sport (that would end up killing both her and her boss if they tried it) and coming out with policies?

    Abbott’s best shot is actually waiting as long as possible into the campaign and announcing what he wants to do, as it’s strategically better for him and meanwhile he was what he has always done fitness wise which seems to impress the electorate.

    He’s sending these fuckers crazy, which is a good thing.

    Here’s the thing. I and I think a growing number of Australians would much prefer have a PM that knows how and when to divide his time between work and leisure, that can write an interesting book and follows many other pursuits than a nerdy, pseudo intellectual workaholic with tickets on himself in terms of a ability, who speaks in bureaucratic mumbo jumbo, has the personality of a toilet brush, that writes appalling philosophical essays and behaves like a dickhead to people below him?

  60. JC1 says:

    oops… he does…

  61. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    so circa admits his comment re howard was as inaccurate as we come to expect from Him.

    his criticism was to ha hand picked audience. wow

  62. daddy dave says:

    Paul Norton rode a bike from Brisbane to Sydney in 1996.
    .
    Actually that is quite impressive. However it’s a totally different kind of achievement, not comparable at all. Also it’s not like Abbott is claiming he once did a triathlon in 1996 (which would still be impressive).

  63. Ros says:

    “I would like to exercise more but then I’d have less time with my young daughter. You know we all make choices about what we do in busy lives” Ms Roxon The Insiders.

    The woman is an ethics free zone. One of the demographics that are encouraged to get more exercise is working mothers and it is acknowledged that guilt about the time for exercise is one of the important causes of insufficient exercise. E.g.
    Danish study
    “Many women find it difficult to fit in sport and exercise in their busy daily lives, and many state family and especially small children as the main reason for not finding the time. “

    Or as another writer put it
    “First of all, working mothers must give themselves permission to exercise. They may be so busy trying to please their spouses, children, and bosses that they feel as if they don’t deserve to devote time to themselves.”

    Good call Minister for Health; imply they are not doing as good a job as they should if they give themselves time to be fit.

    Further to the 17.6 million, that sum is just for operational costs (AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL PREVENTIVE HEALTH AGENCY BILL 2009). In total, $133 million has been allocated to the agency over four years: $17.6 million has been allocated for its operational costs, $102 million for social marketing, $13.1 million for a fund focussing on translational research and $500,000 for an audit of the preventive health workforce and a strategy to address any issues.
    And today Nicola announces “$4.9 million in healthy community grants to tackle obesity, including $410,000 to expand walking groups and community kitchen work in Victoria’s central goldfields area and $410,000 for Hume City Council projects in the north-west of Melbourne.”

    Anyone know if this actually new money or just an announcement relating to already allocated funds for programs. They are suspecting they made the wrong call, hence spin again.

    Well may we need 102 million for social marketing to compensate for the sneers and ridiculing of fitness by the Minister of Health.

  64. C.L. says:

    Yes, a hand-picked audience, Mr Boyer. Rudd knew his remarks wouldn’t be broadcast and wouldn’t be reported. The cadres in the audience were just extras. It was about as meaningful as the ‘Ideas Summit’.

    I’m not sure what Howard comment you’re talking about but I assume you’re just quote-doctoring again.

  65. jtfsoon says:

    so circa admits his comment re howard was as inaccurate as we come to expect from Him

    Homer, CL has bested you on many occasions but that doesn’t make ‘Him’ God

  66. JC1 says:

    Ros.
    This working mothers crap is just a sham excuse for not getting on a tread mill for 30 mins a day and working off some excess fat and cellulite.

    As a working dad I always found time for a tread mill or exercise bike.

    The portly health minister ought to lay off the carbs, show some restraint in what’s good for her food wise and work out for 30 mins after she gets up.

  67. Abu Chowdah says:

    As LP comments show, the overall effect on his image as a result of this may well be one of swings and roundabouts, with little net effect.

    You can hardly use LP as a gauge of reactions! The only day they don’t demonstrate an extreme anti-Liberal bias is on days that don’t end with a “Y”.

  68. JC1 says:

    Paul Norton rode a bike from Brisbane to Sydney in 1996.
    .
    Actually that is quite impressive

    is it? How do you know? How do you know he participated in a race of some sort instead of it being some leisurely equivalent to a long stroll.

    If it actually was a race the self-aggrandizing twerp would most likely have said so. In point of fact what the fuck does it really matter what he did 14 years ago?

  69. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    Statman your mathematics is as bead as Circa’s.

    wow a hand pickled audience which is why his speech got a worldwide reaction.

    good to see Circa and Statman on the ball again.
    perhaps he thinks he gave the speech in 1960

  70. Peter Patton says:

    jtfsoon

    F*** ME! That guy teaches in the BUSINESS school!?

  71. JC1 says:

    Jeez.

    no wonder he’s reminiscing about 1996- 14 years ago. Is he wearing Cramer’s man bra for his hooter problem these days or what?

    A beret? So fashionably inner city French

  72. JC1 says:

    Steve, Don’t go to the link as the hooters will obviously turn you on.

  73. C.L. says:

    wow a hand pickled audience which is why his speech got a worldwide reaction

    Nobody in China read it or heard it. It was blocked.

    Poor old Dr Quote. Wrong again.

    Funny how the brave Mandarin speaker hasn’t said boo about Hu.

  74. Rococo Liberal says:

    I am getting really sick of Government and politicians becoming the new moralists in our lives. What business is it of the Government’s if I exercise or not, or eat less carbs or fart in lifts full of public servants?

    We could save millions of taxpayers’ dosh if these little hitlers would just butt out. We are all adults and can make up our own minds wherther we smoke, drink or have unprotected sex.

    It’s time for the Coalition to get radical and start serving it up to the left on these issues.

    Death to the nanny state!

  75. jtfsoon says:

    China is not exactly hot on religious freedom either Homer.

    Yet for the sake of your ALP loyalism you turn on your Christian brothers and sisters to downplay Rudd’s soft on China approach,

    Judas

  76. Geoff Honnor says:

    ‘wow a hand pickled audience’

    Just like mother used to make!

  77. Abu (& CL earlier): the reason for referring to LP was because, despite its biases, there were some in comments either saying that they admire his fitness, or that it was wrong to criticise his interest in exercise. I was using it as an example of some people who you might not expect taking it as a positive.

    I don’t know why people here are getting knickers knotted about the fact there is a spin war underway over Abbott’s image, when it is being widely reported that some within the coalition think he needs to tone it down too.

  78. By the way, Abbott could himself try making anti spin contributions like saying “My weekly exercise is more intense but takes up no more time than John Howards’ well known regime.” Maybe he has said that somewhere?

    Instead, after initially trying to sound humble about his achievement, we got “If Howard was the man of steel, why can’t I be the ironman” which made it not exactly the most humble sounding grab you’ll hear on the radio today.

  79. Ros says:

    Jason made the point that he came in within seconds of what he planned. My (over 60) half and just full marathon running husband was most impressed with that. It said for him that Abbott has very good self knowledge.

    And if we are to read political character traits into Abbott’s physical tests of himself, this says something about his ability to set a target and run it down. The evolution of man program currently running claimed that what made man a great hunter was the ability to run prey down, versus being faster for example. The Labor spin machine is working overtime to try and convey that he is a failure because he runs rather than makes policy, hoping that the voters don’t notice how long it takes them with all of the resources of government at their disposal, or how late they delivered their policies prior to 2007. And, sadly, how virtually all of them are cock-ups.

    This is a very smart man. He has taken the Opposition from the pits to be a real challenger. Now he is getting the media mentions that Rudd previously managed. He is apparently leading up to a series of headland speeches. I think I am beginning to see how he operates. He has a plan and he is going to run them down. They are going to have to do a lot more than release tarted up versions of what they have already said while constantly attacking the man if they are going to negate the very real threat he is to them.

  80. tal says:

    I can’t beleive how catty people are about this

  81. Peter Patton says:

    tal

    Clearly Abbott’s virility has pinched a LOT of nerves. Very telling.

  82. C.L. says:

    “…there is a spin war underway over Abbott’s image.”

    Not really. Just a lot of hysterical lefties sooking about someone other than the Dear Leader – former band camp supremo, Kevin Rudd – getting some air time.

  83. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    If you were selecting a university, and you saw this page, where would you put Griffith Uni on your list?

    http://www.griffith.edu.au/business/griffith-business-school/departments/department-politics-public-policy/staff/dr-paul-norton

    I don’t want to sound too snobby, but that just screams “second tier at best”.

  84. Peter Patton says:

    Further evidence that there are too many “universities” in Australia.

  85. Yobbo says:

    The evolution of man program currently running claimed that what made man a great hunter was the ability to run prey down, versus being faster for example.

    This is true. Humans are one of the best endurance athletes in the animal kingdom. Cheetahs are faster and Horses carry more weight, but neither of those animals could complete a marathon – they would die first.

    What made us good hunters was the ability to hunt prey to exhaustion.

  86. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    I’d rather catch them early, they’d taste better. All the running and adrenaline would make the meat tough and taste too gamey!! 🙂

  87. Michael Sutcliffe says:

    Good article on Yobbo’s point:

    http://www.physorg.com/news95954919.html

  88. rog says:

    Horses can out run and out endure humans – it’s just that their brains arent very big.

  89. rog says:

    Is Abbott’s supposed virility the attraction?

    He does seem to dwell on his proclivity quite a bit – most of his personal history is centred around his dick

  90. Samuel J says:

    If government ministers spent more time exercising I have no doubt our economy would be better off. The ability of this government to spend money so quickly would be reduced if they exercised and then were too tired to agree to profligate spending.

  91. Peter Patton says:

    rog

    he is only doing what he has done his whole life. It is the media and left-wing blogs who are now transfixed by his virility.

  92. Sinclair Davidson says:

    At the next election the Libs can use the slogan, ‘Fit to govern’.

  93. Dandy Warhol says:

    ‘I wonder if any of the people complaining about Abbott’s time out of the office have actually been for a long bike ride? You sure do a lot of thinking. I reckon that the amount of time Rudd spends actually thinking about stuff is probably way too low.’

    Exactly correct Pedro.

    And Ros’ comment at 5:39pm is also right on the money.

    Rudd is shitting himself because he can see that Abbott has a strategy, that this strategy is working, and that Rudd’s own strategy has begun to tank, not least because of his manifold character defects.

    Thanks for the idea Ros! The lead up to the next election is going to look like an Attenborough documentary from the plains of Africa, with Abbott as the lean hunter and Rudd as dinner. This is going to be marvellous fun to watch.

  94. Abu Chowdah says:

    Horses can out run and out endure humans – it’s just that their brains arent very big.

    Run along with your 3rd grade analogies, Rog.

    Rhode scholar: check.

    Iron Man: check.

    Anyone who thinks the brains aren’t on par with the brawn is just being petty.

  95. I do a lot of thinking when swimming and cycling. They really are two of the best brain-feeding activities.

    I work with a bunch of high achievers who are into these sorts of ultra-sporting activities. There are no flies on them. They are some of the most productive people I know, because they do not fart-arse around in the office wasting time. They do, they act, they decide, they delegate – and then they bugger off for a 100km ride. They have better things to do than push paper from one side of the desk to the other, and then back again, and to sit through endless committee meetings that decide nothing.

    I don’t think the missus will let me, but I’d like to put up a poster of Tony in his kit next to the bed as a way to inspire me to get out of bed and put in some more miles at 5am.

  96. JC1 says:

    Is Abbott’s supposed virility the attraction?

    No, but on the other hand it would b a joke o dismiss the perception we gain we gain about such a person.
    There are two things that makes humans attractive to each other. Brains/ and or physical ability. Abbott seems to have both in spades. You don’t get to be a Rhodes scholar without having lots of brains and you don’t get to do a marathon unless you are really freaking fit and have stamina. Both these things are hugely important in how we perceive a leader.

  97. Infidel Tiger says:

    I’d be careful if I was Abbott. The Australian public’s disdain for athletic types is legendary. You only have to look at the low standing of sport in our culture to know that Tone is on a loser here.

  98. JC1 says:

    We’re staying with friends who also have their older parent staying. The father, a 76 year old is so freaking fit it makes me jealous to see him. He does 2 hours of exercise a day and has the body of a 50 year old. There’s not an ounce of excess lard on his body. Yesterday he swam 50 laps of a pool and then went down the beach and swam the entire length of a large cove and back which I saw him do.

    That’s really freaking impressive.

    What’s also impressive about Abbott is that he has real discipline to keep up his fitness regimen at that age when there’s a good chance lots of men let go.

  99. JC1 says:

    oops..
    No, but on the other hand it would be a joke to dismiss the perception we gain about such a person.

    ……………………….

    The idea that gals would have a ” perception” problem about Abbott is amusing as the two things that make males attractive are a combination of physical ability and brains.

    I have watched the interaction between Gillard and Abbott at times and I can’t help always coming away from thinking that even the number two ALP leader sorta finds him attractive and is doing her best to avoid what’s really going on in her brain.

    The gal is always smiling even when she’s criticizing him and he seems to play up to that.

    I think that it’s Rudd who has the problem with females.

    Clinton had that attractive quality to women too but in a different way.

    I think that the attraction of our political “bosses” is far more important than we give it credit.

  100. entropy says:

    Or we are willing to admit..

    Hmm, I feel a little ‘threatened’ right now….

  101. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    What on earth is balanced with what the (frequent) fat troll of the health minister had to say about Abbott’s enthusiasm for real difficult sport (that would end up killing both her and her boss if they tried it) and coming out with policies?

    What was unbalanced about it? She said it is great that he is fit and that he loves being fit and that people see him promote a fit image. And when pressed with further questions she said yes she agrees with the PM that Abbott ought to have a health policy. All good points. Where is the problem?

    Okay Tony Abbott sees some political advantage in keeping his health policy under wraps. And the ALP sees some political advantage in saying Tony doesn’t have a policy. It’s all petty politics but they all do this stuff all the time. Why give Roxon a hard time for saying that Abbott is fit and that’s great and then when pressed saying she agreed with the PM that Abbott should put some time into developing an alternate health policy. Storm in a tribal tea cup if you ask me.

  102. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    I think that the attraction of our political “bosses” is far more important than we give it credit.

    Do you think the babes were hot for Howard? Or that Thatcher excited the lads? When Natasha lead the Democrats I recall thinking she is an attractive woman with charisma and charm and there I no way I’m voting for her. I think most people manage to separate these issues without much trouble.

  103. JC1 says:

    Terje.

    Nothing is 100% as there are other factors at play. However appearance matters a lot providing you’re not a complete bonehead.

    By and large american presidents have been reasonably handsome men other than Nixon.

    Natasha got nowhere because she was a total airhead and voting for her would have been the equivalent of voting for the gal in Legally Blond but without her smarts.

    In fact i take that back about Nastasha getting nowhere. She did actually get somewhere as she led her party for a time or was a very senior player in the Dems.

    if a pol is smart and decent looking s/has a decent chance. As I said it helps more than one thinks it does in forming an opinion.

    Look at what’s going on in NSW for an example of what I mean. There’s no possible reason in the world why Keneally should be the most popular premier in the country leading a state party as decrepit as it is. The ALP politburo in the state knew exactly what it was doing. Appearance matters a lot.

  104. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    I agree looks are one of many factors that go towards the opinion we form of people. Perhaps Abbott will get votes because of his physical fitness and perhaps Rudd will get votes due to his compasionate rhetoric but it isn’t something that excites me in either case. Physical fitness and compassionate rhetoric are good things but hardly sufficient.

  105. rog says:

    You guys are still missing the point..

    …Abbott is just another slide in the freak show that is the conservatives

    If you think his continual appearance in lycra is evidence of some sort of political campaign you are seriously deluded

    He can barely muster enough voter support to equal the previous electoral flogging…and this, an election year

  106. JC1 says:

    So Rudd’s drop in the polls by 12 points doesn’t matter? Don’t be so pessimistic, Rog. If Abbott doesn’t win, Rudd will be mortally wounded and gone by June next March next year.

  107. Ken Nielsen says:

    rog, A’s appearances in lycra are not for a photo-op. He is what you see and is unlikely to change. I suspect that appeals to many in contrast to Rudd’s carefully managed spin.
    I agree that A is unlikely to win the next election. His job is to wear down Rudd and I think JC might be correct on the outcome there.
    I used to believe that the ALP were in for 3 terms. Now I think 2 is quite likely and 1 a slight possibility. A has achieved that, like it or not.

  108. rog says:

    Still missing the point

    KEVIN Rudd has leapt back into favour and Labor’s vote has recovered the losses since last December on the back of a public vote of confidence in the Rudd government’s economic management and a slump for Tony Abbott and the Liberals.

    Dream on dreamers

  109. rog says:

    It seems that the right’s minds are collectively imploding – health care reform being one such trigger. AGW another.

  110. Sinclair Davidson says:

    rog – you may have noticed, if you actually read Bartlett’s blog as opposed to copy shortcut from Troppo, that he has had to retract the allegations he made in that post. The very next day. Just saying.

  111. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    Sinkers is being very liberal with the truth as usual Bartlett has gone from saying People were not allowed to talk about Health reform to people just don’t talk about health reform. gosh I wonder why!

    Actually Turnbull and Abbott have similar ratings as Oppo leaders over similar time periods.

  112. rog says:

    What are you on about Sinclair, copy shortcut from Troppo?

    More from Strums wife

    We have both been part of the conservative movement for, as mentioned, the better part of half of our lives. And I can categorically state I’ve never seen such a hostile environment towards free thought and debate–the hallmarks of Reaganism, the politics with which we grew up–prevail in our movement as it does today. The thuggish demagoguery of the Limbaughs and Becks is a trait we once derided in the old socialist Left. Well boys, take a look in the mirror. It is us now.

  113. jtfsoon says:

    The treatment of Bartlett and Frum is still all looking very suss. Regardless the AEI doesn’t come out looking very good

  114. JC1 says:

    Good one rog, you numbnut. You troll around looking to find other doctor’s wives and think that gives you cover for generalized stupidity.

    Rog, seriously, fuck off. Go find or start a doctors wives site.

  115. Peter Patton says:

    Speaking of nutty Catholics and their nutty sexualities, clearly the journalist of this article has his own “deep throat” inside the Vatican. 😉

    Vienna Boys’ Choir caught up in sex abuse scandals

    Roger Boyes, Berlin Correspondent of The Times

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7065824.ece

  116. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Troppo has a link to the Bartlett story posted after he had to retract the allegation agains AEI.

    Jason – I agree. It doesn’t look good at all. But at some level employers do have the right to direct the behaviour of their employees.

  117. JC1 says:

    It seems that the right’s minds are collectively imploding – health care reform being one such trigger. AGW another.

    You lazy, venomous sack of shit, Rog. The healthcare legislation is a travesty. It’s not reform, but an enormously expensive add on to the current system.

    AGW?
    When the left backs nuke, then you can talk, you moron.

  118. dover_beach says:

    The strange thing about Bartlett’s post is that he appears to make ‘the conservative mind’ synonymous with the Republic party and its boosters. Apparently, he, Frum, or Frum’s wife, ceased being conservatives when they departed from the ‘Republic party and its boosters’ rigid conformity.

    Moreover, as if the same dynamics aren’t at play with liberals engaged in ideological battles within the Democratic party and its associated institutions.

  119. JC1 says:

    Moreover, as if the same dynamics aren’t at play with liberals engaged in ideological battles within the Democratic party and its associated institutions.

    Senator Lieberman?

  120. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    yeah its a travesty. People who could never get insurance now can and it reduces the deficit.
    no wonder Republicans hate it

  121. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    JC – I don’t like Rudd but I think he will win the next election and probably the one after that. I think you are engaging in wishful thinking.

  122. rog says:

    I think that JC’s head just imploded, not that there is much to separate his ears

  123. Paul Williams says:

    Horses can out run and out endure humans

    That’s not true. Out sprint, yes. Not outrun for hours or days.

  124. JC1 says:

    So what, terge. Opinions are just that. Opinions.

    Rog, your breast implants are imploding.

  125. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    Terje,
    if history is any guide the ALP will be voted out well after it used by day was reached.

  126. ken n says:

    “People who could never get insurance now can”
    True, and people who did not need or want insurance (a significant chunk of the uninsured) now must get it.

    “it reduces the deficit.”
    Nonsense. Becker makes a useful comment on it.
    http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/beckerposner/2010/03/the-health-care-bill-progress-or-retrogression-becker.html

  127. C.L. says:

    Abbott is just another slide in the freak show that is the conservatives.

    For months at Tim Blair’s, Rog expressed his (unfunny) hatred for Kevin Rudd, his contempt for “global warming” and his vast admiration for George Pell.

    Then he had the gender reassignment surgery.

  128. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    no Ken it is very obvious it does.

    both Kruggers and the CBO how why

  129. ken n says:

    Ah, that’s OK then Homer.

  130. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    well Ken if you read either of them you would find more work explaining why the plan will reduce the Deficit.
    I see Gary is perplexed at how it will happen.

    a bit of research would help.

  131. dover_beach says:

    no Ken it is very obvious it does.

    Becker:

    Proponents of the bill claim it will save hundreds of billions of dollars during the next ten years from cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, but it is far from obvious how such cuts will materialize. Moreover, some changes will clearly increase the costs of these programs, such as the expansion of Medicaid coverage to individuals well above the poverty line, and by additions to drug coverage of seniors under Medicare. I do not see how the bill will lead to Medicare savings since there is no increase in out of pocket payments by Medicare enrollees, and Congress is likely to continue to override any scheduled cuts in payments to Medicare doctors and others. The most likely attempt to cut future Medicare costs will be through greater rationing of health care to the elderly, but lobbying groups for the elderly will fiercely resist these efforts.

  132. jtfsoon says:

    Yes Homer you obviously are a much better researcher than a Novel economics prize winner

  133. dover_beach says:

    a bit of research would help.

    If something were obvious, Homer, research would be superfluous.

  134. jtfsoon says:

    Incredible

    Mercurius is now running the alternative line that a triathlon is ‘elitist’

  135. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    oh dear apparently one Nobel winner is very good but another is not so.

    Is that another joke from a dinner party Statman?

    yeah well Gary seems to missed the document put out which states all of the cuts and benefits.
    bit it doesn’t matter because congress will just overide this. oh yeah fantastic

    Ah yes Snoopy whose great research ability told him the night of the long knives was proof that people were cowered by the Nazis ( oh yeah that other great historian Statman bought that too. He also missed that tooze provided the most accurate up to date information on Me 109s that was contrary to websites around.

    We shouldn’t forget how he walks his dog each day to confirm the best petrol price

    Yep Our Snopy is the bee knees whern it somes to research.

  136. Butterfield, Bloomfield & Bishop says:

    if Gazza had read this

    James R. Horney and Paul N. Van de Water, House-Passed and Senate Health Bills Reduce Deficit, Slow Health Care Costs, and Include Realistic Medicare Savings, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, December 4, 2009.

    then he wouldn’t have made such a silly suggestion without foundation.

  137. Peter Patton says:

    That Mercurious is an exemplar of how wrong the university Education departments were to fall for all that pomo nonsense. The guy’s constant megaphoning of his moral narcissism is nauseating. Like a lot of those people, if you strip away their clumsy neologisms, they are ethically and intellectually more than naked.

  138. Ros says:

    The whole health debate is bizarre. Reform, reckon it was quick we are under fire, take our 2007 policy statement and pad it out.

    How Health describes the momentous “reform”
    ?Create a single national network of hospitals, instead of eight separate systems
    ?Be funded nationally, with the Australian Government shouldering the majority of the funding burden, which will mean more money is available to meet rising health costs
    ?Make sure local doctors and nurses with local expertise are making the important decisions for our local hospitals.

    Point 1, wow. Point 2, how is a reordering of the buckets from which the money comes, going to make more money available. What does giving clinicians via the “networks”, local resource allocation decisions but under strict guidelines, the right to pay wages but not to decide on staff needs, to purchase goods but via central state procurement bodies, who by virtue of the new hierarchy have to get permission for their spending from the feds. Locals making the important decisions, rubbish they are just to be accountable for adherence to clinical guidelines and pathways set by Rudd the Emperor via his reinforced and expanded hierarchy.

    The plan calls it new structures networks but they are just formal organizational structures. An addition to the new hierarchy, in keeping with Rudd’s industrial revolution mindset. The 60/40 change is just a convenience for making the states branches of the hierarchy, and it looks to me like all the states get for agreeing to the money being shifted around the buckets is to be liable for any cost over runs, and less control of those costs and less say.

    The best analysis I have come across is a brief comparison of the US and Australian “new” health.

    A lot of media attention has been focussed on Australian healthcare reforms lately. Although parallels are being drawn between the American health care policy and its counterpart in Australia, the latter fails to satisfy the public as the former even tries to.
    Provision of more health care personnel like doctors, nurses etc. are looked upon as desperate attempts made by a failing system rather than brand new policy schemes. The American healthcare policy seems to be trying to make real changes in the system with an aim to providing the public with better care. Their Australian counterparts seem to be falling short in terms of real gains……………

    Australian Prime Minister continues to define primary care as “GP and GP-related services” only.

    Prime Minister Rudd’s program – GP Superclinics in a bid to improve health services seems to be quite opposite of what the US reforms have in mind which is to move health care from hospitals and specialized set ups to community levels with a broader look at primary care. Whereas Australia has US-style reform written into the pages of a report by the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission, political leaders seem to be against real reforms and health gains and more interested in political ends.”

    These yet to be built 31 GPSC (how can 31 clinics change the face of primary care across Australia), one of the actually new approaches in the US

    “There are directives towards group or bundle payments that can be shared by multiple providers in each of the sittings where care is provided as opposed to one time procedure payments.”

    Maybe he is going to tell us about such when next he has a crisis

  139. TerjeP (say Tay-a) says:

    So what, terge. Opinions are just that. Opinions.

    And meta opinions are just meta opinions.

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