Alan Jones on Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott

Catching a few minutes of Alan Jones this morning while doing some stretching before getting to the keyboard, he responded to a caller who slagged Julie Bishop as a traitor and backstabber. Alan wanted to be fair to Bishop although the thought the display on Channel 9 was a very bad look (I didn’t see it) and he said in her defence that she made some favourable comments on Abbott. Speaking as his deputy she said he worked well with the Cabinet and was a good Chairman of it (one of Hawke’s strengths was the consensual way he ran the Cabinet).

Regarding the election in Warringah Jones noted that the electorate voted overwhelmingly for same sex marriage and is full of doctors wives and young people who are obsessed with climate change. That reminded me of the breakfast event that Abbott held regularly for the party faithful. I attended one where John Anderson was the guest speaker (he is a story in himself, see the Australian magazine two weeks ago).

At some stage a man stood up to address a question to Abbott. This was a rude and aggressive confrontational statement from a party member essentially condemning Abbott for being out of step on same sex marriage. The implication was that Abbott was not the man to represent the electorate or indeed to represent Australia as a leader. Abbott replied in civil tones that he respected the opinion of same-sex protagonists and indeed he initiated the plebiscite to decide the issue. The matter was not discussed further and questions on other matters came up, addressed mostly to John Anderson.

The point is that Abbott’s problem was not so much the 2000 or so GetUp volunteers who descended on the electorate but the body of opinion in his own party on same sex marriage and climate change, both of which a visceral and bitterly divisive issues. Jones made the point that Abbott would have romped home in any other safe Liberal electorate apart from the few that are full of “doctors wives” like his own electorate and Wentworth.

Last night Paul Kelly and Caroline Overington spoke at the Sydney Institute. I took a lot of notes but I don’t have time to write them up, mostly good stuff that we have been reading from the better commentators. Something from Paul Kelly struck me, he is full of admiration for Morrison and his comments are worth writing up at more length but I don’t have time. The one I will mention is the view that Morrison will craft a new position for the Liberal Party that gets past the confrontation between the progressive and conservative forces due to the departure of Abbott on one side and Turnbull, Pyne, Bishop etc on the other.

This will put him in a position to exploit the chronic problem of the ALP in relation to the Greens. I will say a bit more about this because I have been thinking on the same lines. Moderate forces in the ALP have been silent on climate issues – Ferguson is the only person of note who I have heard saying anything sensible on the topic. They can only win with Green preferences (80+%) and their primary vote is critically low. They cannot afford any divisive debate in the party ranks for fear of upsetting the greens and threatening the preference flow and precipitating the defection of members to the Green party.

In my view one of the two killer argument that the Liberals could have used in recent years to win rafts of votes from Labor in their heartland was the power price issue. The other is border security and concerns about culturally incompatible newcomers. With the fall of Abbott they could not pick up climate and power price stick because Turnbull was effectively a Labor man in the wrong party and he was determined to pursue the climate lunacy that generates the power prices.

Here is Kelly’s key argument. Morrison can exploit the Labor dilemma in a way that neither Turnbull nor Abbott could. Of course Turnbull could not because he is committed to the same climate line on climate as the ALP and the Greens. Abbott on the other hand took up the carbon tax and power issue and won a landslide! The Senate and Clive Palmer sank his plan to lower the RET. But with Turnbull and other wets working against him he did not have the clear air in his own party to exploit the potentially fatal weakness of the ALP. Then Turnbull and the backstabbers got rid of him just before the byelection in WA that the Liberals would have won to bolster his position.

Anyway given the dilemma of the ALP there is every chance that they will get at least two terms in opposition so their policies can be better costed next time around!

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36 Responses to Alan Jones on Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott

  1. Morrison has the greatest opportunity ever to neuter, it not dismantle, the renewables industry scam and clearly show Australians what it really means to their hip pocket. Australia doesn’t need to try an lead a world that is clearly not going to follow.

    The justification to curtail further moves on renewables is so easy to argue given that our emissions have already been falling (no longer the highest per capita in the world), the biggest emitters are getting bigger, there is turmoil in Europe where renewables are unraveling, the US is doing better than anyone else and that countries are demanding more of our resources than ever before.

    No other country has met their targets (except those that are even more insignificant than Australia or simply rely on external energy provision). Start laying out the facts in terms that everyone can understand and make clear what renewables have and will do to our economy.

  2. Robber Baron

    So Steve, will Morrison be “potentially” great?

  3. Tel

    No one in Australia will put private money on the line to build a large coal fired power plant that takes 30 years to pay back the initial investment … while the government might change in 3 years and either outright declare that plant illegal, or slap huge taxes on it, or allow the unions to take it over.

    Australia is a victim of the Hold Up Problem … we are screwed because all big plant investment has become high risk, thanks to Australian politics.

  4. Behind Enemy Lines

    I’m sympathetic to the notion that Morrison now has both a chance for a fresh start (minus the wets and Abbott), plus a pretty grand amount of authority within the party to pursue it. But my suspicions are great, my patience limited. If they launch straight out on another business-as-usual betrayal, it just means I’ve got to spend the next three years trying to help throw them out, rather than waiting for Labor to do it.

  5. Australia is a victim of the Hold Up Problem … we are screwed because all big plant investment has become high risk, thanks to Australian politics.

    Has been that way since the 70s.

  6. alan sivkoff

    re Abbott and his defenestration by Turnbull & the wets; they relied on 29 successive negative polls, and bugger me dead what has just happened. The polls, wets and a number of commentators on this site were wrong and as it turns out Abbott was right. He was never given the opportunity to run his mandate and had to compromise to suit the limp wristed pillow biters in his party.

  7. bollux

    The biggest threat to Morrison and future governments are the brainwashed young, and even more of them voting in the next election. Unless he confronts blatant propaganda in the education system, guts the ABC of it’s socialist bent, or better still, gets rid of it, and reforms the voting system, and stops feeding the Left with our hard earned, I think this could be the last “sensible centre” government, if it is even that. The Left will be able to live off $444 million in the GBR Trust for eons as it is funneled through their networks, along with all the “climate change” NGO’s.

  8. John A

    incoherent rambler #3021227, posted on May 21, 2019, at 9:01 am

    Australia is a victim of the Hold Up Problem … we are screwed because all big plant investment has become high risk, thanks to Australian politics.

    Has been that way since the 70s.

    Yes, it’s called “sovereign risk” – the risk of government totally undermining what you are doing.

    Over on another thread, there should be a phobia entry for it.

  9. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    If big plant investment has become high risk then there is a case for a massive government injection into two new coal-fired power plants. If they can do it with the thought bubbles of the NBN and the desalination plants (power plants would cost a lot less than these) then there is definitely a national security economy-saving argument for doing it with base-load electricity generation. Ideology might have to go to one side for us free marketeers in order to correct something that needs urgent correction. Start going immediately on this and they will be finished in two years. Put some legislative grunt into making it impossible for Labor to come along in three years and close them down.

    While on national security, please get some sensible brains in our defense forces to work out how much fuel we have and how much we will need should any significant sea lanes go belly up for a while. Then fund whatever it takes.

    Governments are there for our defense.
    Sometimes they have to spend on essential infrastructure for that.

  10. …guts the ABC of it’s socialist bent, or better still, gets rid of it…

    I beginning to think that’s a bad move politically, given that so many regard it as an institution. What needs to be done is fight fire with fire. Trump could do nothing about the existence of a hostile media, but has managed to make them look like fools and mangled their ratings (CNN is suffering badly). Unlike blogs etc, the government has the ability to be heard by the wider population and, done well, can counter any media crap.

  11. hzhousewife

    I only saw a short clip of the Ch 9 incident with Bishop, so unsure of the whole context. Appalling behaviour on her part, and to think we might consider appointing her as an Ambassador. However she was not strong enough to stand up for her colleague and Party, no matter her private thoughts.

  12. TLD

    The ALP’s primary vote is critically low because they chase the preference flow from the greens. The greens aren’t going to preference anyone else so the ALP could stand to show some bottle and remind their defacto just who is the senior partner. ALP members leaving for the greens would not be a loss to the party and be easily replaceable. In fact you could call their bluff and dare them to leave an influential party for a minor one.

  13. lotocoti

    the chronic problem of the ALP in relation to the Greens.

    In my old electorate, Griffith, the Greens pulled 24.18%, Labor 30.95%, LNP 40.86%.
    The Greens might be two cycles away from taking it from Labor.
    Even though a Greens seat is de facto Labor, I should image someone in Labor will be wondering how to stop the rot in one seat, without losing everywhere else.

  14. P

    Alan Jones also mentioned the article today by Cameron Stewart in The Australian:
    Shorten fell for elites, says Trump strategist Steve Bannon

    Mr Bannon, who was the architect of Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential triumph, said Scott Morrison won because, like Mr Trump, he spoke honestly to the ­“little guys” who saw through Labor’s ­“utopian” policies on ­climate change, its class-warfare tactics and use of identity politics.

    “It’s the little guy who is the backbone of civic society but who is not outspoken … they don’t demonstrate but they pay attention,” Mr Bannon told The Aus­tralian in an exclusive interview from Paris. “That’s what the elites have forgotten — they think these people are stupid.

    “They are not stupid, they are very savvy about how they get on in the world.”
    . . .
    “They (Labor) came out and gave this big sweeping utopian ­vision of climate change and they were hailed by the media and by the urban elites, but it’s the little guy that knows it’s all going to roll downhill,” he said.
    “Once again, the left oversold climate change (policies) and the practicality of it.”

  15. None

    In the 48 hour since the election senior Liberal figures have gone to the Sydney Morning Herald complaining Abbott was going to cost them the majority because he wasn’t a fan of climate change and yesterday we had mutterings by Morrison that he was going to do something about climate change. Bless Paul Kelly but he’s got this one wrong as well. The left is having all being cleaned out of the Liberal camp and too many Liberals are obsessed with sodomy and climate change. There are plenty of fifth column this in their like Zimmerman and Wilson.

  16. Leigh Lowe

    Alan wanted to be fair to Bishop although the thought the display on Channel 9 was a very bad look (I didn’t see it)

    That had a CGI graphic set up which ws a big red stilletto to boot candidates who lost their seat.
    The slag Skeletor went down to the floor to activate the bifg shoe to boot a picture of Tony off into the distance.
    Fucking appalling.
    Imagine if Sky had a footy boot kicking wymminses cnadidates off screen.
    If she had an ounce of ethics, she would have told Nein, “Yeah , nah. I am not doing that.”
    Of course, she thought she was auditioning for a plum posting with the incoming Schorten Vun Thousant Year Reich.

  17. None

    Stupid phone what I meant to write was the lefties have not been cleaned out from the liberals… plenty still there.

  18. DaveR

    If Kelly is right (and lets face it, thats a lottery with him) then Morrison could engineer the ALP to split with the woke battalions marching off to the Greens.

    It could be two terms for the Coalition as a minimum.

  19. None

    Even before she got to that point Lee she was carrying on like she was on speed or something and at one point saying yes definitely it was Abbott who orchestrated the spill against Turnbull which is of course nonsense. She might want to be on her best behaviour if she’s egging for some posting but if Morrison had a brain neother she nor Turnbull should get a look in but of course Morrison does not have a brain. I saw 5 minutes of her performance and I was flabbergasted and I could not imagine her the any serious sort of contender around and negotiating table. I can only imagine her doing her big flirty flirty b*******. FMD. Good bloody riddance.

  20. max

    Tim Wilson, Josh Frydenberg are on board with the NEG and the reality of climate change.

    Photios and Co remain where they were behind the scenes in NSW.

    It will be more renewables. Don’t want to upset the investors.

  21. Leigh Lowe

    If Kelly is right (and lets face it, thats a lottery with him) then Morrison could engineer the ALP to split with the woke battalions marching off to the Greens.

    As I pointed out elswhere, the anger being directed at the Deplorables over the last couple of days will be nothing compared with the vitriol coming the way of Coal Fitzgibbon and Frank King Albanese.
    The Rustadons were totally wedded to the brave new tax-da-rich, coal-free future and are going to be none to happy to see them drop the articles of faith like a hot spud.

  22. Tim Neilson

    #3021286, posted on May 21, 2019 at 9:57 am
    #3021278, posted on May 21, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Sadly you are absolutely right.

    No matter what happens the spin from the ‘progressive’ element is always “we’ve got to go harder left”.

    No chance of ScoMo putting the ‘Coal’ back in ‘Coalition’ I’m afraid.

  23. Leigh Lowe

    No chance of ScoMo putting the ‘Coal’ back in ‘Coalition’ I’m afraid.

    If they drag their feet on Adani they are screwed in Queensland.

  24. John

    I think there are strong tensions in both major parties: Greens/Labor and quasi Greens/Conservatives/Country. Logic is prompting me that in the near term (within two election cycles) this tension will cause a confronting split within Labor, because they’ll hate losing elections forever. The proximity of the Greens’ primary vote to Labor’s will encourage defection of a lot of the Greens’ 5th column lurking inside Labor, to the Greens themselves, evolving them to become the dominant party of the extreme left. This will re-align everything else. The temptation to go with the strength will likewise see some green Liberals defecting to signal their trendiness. The remaining Labor rump will gain natural gravitas transforming itself into an “old style” centre left Labor Worker’s Party. Devoid of their suffocating trash, Conservatives within the Liberal party will be energised to attract the fragmented parties of the right to unite with one conservative voice. Of course, to corrode proof itself from another left wing infiltration, it must have a strong and unashamedly Christian based platform that cannot be changed at whim. What we can’t predict is the catalyst that will cause the current tensions to break. All we know is that it’ll only require a surprisingly trivial provocation to snap.

  25. Mark M

    Joel Fitzgibbon on abc breakfast news saying that Labor needs to get back to its roots, the workers like coal miners, threw a hat of some description in the leadership ring saying he would continue if none of the others contenders mentioned the forgotten Labour supporters.

  26. duncanm

    Scomo needs to see the opportunity to capture more of the sensible working man that wants a decent job, and sees that the green/ALP anti-development stance leads to a big nothingburger.

    This is where the ALP lost big in Qld.. so unless they purge their own left, that voter block is wide open.

  27. duncanm

    As MarkM points out – the few decent men in the ALP like Fitzgibbon understand it.

  28. will

    incoherent rambler
    #3021227, posted on May 21, 2019 at 9:01 am
    Australia is a victim of the Hold Up Problem … we are screwed because all big plant investment has become high risk, thanks to Australian politics.

    Has been that way since the 70s.

    easy peasy

    the government writes a take or pay contract for an annual 1000MW which they can on sell to the market. much like the desalination plants

    a poison pill for a green left government

  29. Will:

    the government writes a take or pay contract for an annual 1000MW which they can on sell to the market. much like the desalination plants

    Can you develop that take or pay contract a little further?
    There may be nuances I’m not getting, or it just may be my hangover.

  30. Exit Stage Right


    I would be wary of believing anything written or said by Paul Kelly. In my opinion he is pretty much a lightweight who likes to have a bet each way. For everything positive he has had to say about Scomo and the Libs since the election, I bet he had another story to run on Shorten and Labor and how good a Labor government would be for the country. He is one of the reasons I no longer buy the dead tree copy of The Australian.
    His ex is Ros Kelly,former Labor Minister and luminary. This leopard changes his spots depending on which way the wind is blowing. I sincerely hope that Scomo et al are not taking on board any policy suggestions offered by the likes of Kelly.

  31. JohnL

    Advice to Morrison:
    As soon as possible, preferably tomorrow summons Ita Buttrose and order, not instruct, order, her to enforce the ABC charter – as legislated. Give her 6 months to do so. If she does not do it, after the six months, start the process of privatising the ABC.
    That’s what Kerry Packer would have ordered her to do!

  32. calli

    As MarkM points out – the few decent men in the ALP like Fitzgibbon understand it.

    I would be very careful about Fitzgibbon. His electorate depends on coal hence his concern. I coyld say for his job, but I wouldn’t be so unkind.

    His brother, Mark, is the NIB poohbah. Research our own Cassie’s letter about withdrawal of advertising.

    These guys will say anything you want them to say. They are rank opportunists. /cynic

  33. calli


    Too many Long Island iced teas. 😀

  34. Philippa Martyr

    So Steve, will Morrison be “potentially” great?

    I’m listening.

  35. Yohan

    Rafe, you are correct to point out the gaping weaknesses on the left, over power prices, borders and mass immigration, and how previous Liberal leaders since 2013 were unable to exploit Labor on these issues.

    But in order to exploit those weaknesses, you need to wage a culture war on them and go for the jugular, i.e not ‘we need a kinder and less divisive politics’.

    Scott Morrison is singularly unsuited to do this. He is a wet, a coward and a LINO on most issues. His default tendency will be business as usual and an attempt to pursue centrist (in reality center left) policies.

    The social and economic decline of Australia will continue.

  36. Yohan

    I should add that not even Tony Abbott was prepared to fight a culture war when he became PM, despite the best efforts of the media to pretend he was, to pretend that everything he did was some kind of right wing attack.

    This is why he was so easily castrated and removed. He was too nice a guy and was not prepared to fight the left and the media.

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