23 October 2013

The second time as farce

Tony Abbott is Kevin Rudd. Yes, I'm serious; bear with me.

Kevin Rudd was elected in 2007 because he was a more invigorated, less threatening version of John Howard. Tony Abbott won an internal party ballot on the same basis two years later, and then a general election four years after that.

As Opposition Leader, both Rudd and Abbott promised the public they'd be more economically responsible than the incumbents. Neither was to any significant extent, though Rudd was tested in the fires of the GFC in 2008-09 and not found wanting, while Abbott is yet to be tested to that extent.

As Opposition Leader, both Rudd and Abbott rattled the incumbents. Both talked big visions with a future built upon special relationships in Asia (China in Rudd's case, Indonesia in Abbott's) but delivered little. Rudd got the Chinese off-side and Abbott has done the same to the Indonesians.

In the space of a week, Abbott has declared that Australia's best friends are the Indonesians, the New Zealanders, the Japanese - which does seem a bit promiscuous. Abbott has insisted that a free trade deal with China be concluded within a year; there would be more activity from the Chinese than there has been if they were serious about making that happen.

Both men promised orderly, even boring, competent governments. Neither delivered.

Both accused their predecessors of being fiscally profligate, then did everything their predecessors did and more.

Rudd said that what we need in education its lots of extra facilities and upskilled teachers. He failed to deliver. Abbott says that what we need is lots of chalk-and-talk; this is the Kevin Donnelly Moment. That won't work either.

Both promised to act on climate change. Rudd put insulation into people's homes to uneven results and Abbott plays dress-ups in firie gear. Davidson RFS (Abbott's volunteer bushfire unit) is going to get a reputation for having lots of schmick new gear but not being deployed to use it where needed.

Rudd got his jollies from going to international conferences. Abbott gets his from riding his bicycle. Both claim public entitlements in large quantities for doing so, but their ability to link of those events back to their day jobs is tenuous.

Rudd positioned himself in the centre thanks to the NSW Labor Right, yet it was the left who saved him from obscurity. Abbott was a creature of the Liberal Right, yet they're on the outer and he has surrounded himself by former moderates. His moderate mask threatens to eat his face. Both men have played the most dangerous game you can play in politics: irritating your friends and appeasing those who care little for you, while being distracted by the realities of government from which not even a control-freak chief of staff can fully protect anyone. Remember it was Alister Jordan's missteps that gave Julia Gillard the motivation/excuse to topple Rudd; just because Peta Credlin says she's infallible, and fools cowering Libs and Nats into believing that, it doesn't mean she is.

Rather than wake up to this story, journalists act all puzzled at both men. As Opposition Leader, Rudd/Abbott was a fellow of infinite jest, always ready with a quip and a grab. As PM he's come over all stuffy and distant, and they're as surprised as though it was the first time this ever happened. The PM seems to hold their own in staged events with all those world leaders but the journalists don't really understand what's going on so they give Our Man the benefit of the doubt, and don't engage with detractors who explain why he's not the big-time operator he seems up there on that stage.

I thought Abbott was so poor that he wouldn't become PM at all. I was wrong about the latter so I should be wrong about the former - I'm enough of a patriot to want the Prime Minister of my country to succeed, even though I didn't vote for him. Yet, it looks like the jock will pike the big challenges just as surely as the nerd did.


  1. Jocks Andrew end up with boofhead remarks...

    Time to bring on the next generation of leaders who inspire...

    Kevin is a liberal in sheeps clothing so yes they are similar.but our p.m has a gay sister and two photogenic daughters that will be along for the ride as well..

    After the A.C.T same sex marriage law has been changed, i see the family dynamics at play here with his sister .

    Christine is a liberal and a sister who is being discriminated by her own brother who is also the boss of her organisation..

    Interesting days ahead for Uncle Tony and the family/firm.

  2. Error jock

    He is the liberal rich kid who was the sleazy creep on campus...

    Nothing has changed except Ms Credlins power now is concrete.

    Quirky and shallow

    Its our time to be patronised as Australians with this p.m just as George Bush was

    Safe travels y'all!!

  3. In lock step with you again Andrew. Abbott is an empty vessel just like Rudd. He will do or say anything to win the battle at hand. He has said so himself. Whatever it takes. He can even switch those words around to achieve an outcome as in Australia will take whatever it can get to achieve a free trade agreement with China. He is a nowhere man playing a game which will take us nowhere. He plays politics like rugby. Take no prisoners. Eye gouging. Squirrel grips, head and shoulder grips. Winning is everything. His team has the trophy. People invest him with deeper motivations and a complex character because he parades his Catholicism and non-Catholics are intrigued. Torment of the soul stuff. Not for TA. He is a worldly man. A warrior.

  4. You're more of a patriot than I am - I'm really looking forward to Abbott screwing up, both on the world stage and here at home.

    I see him as rather akin to GW Bush. He'll screw up on the world stage, but after he's gone people will see him as being an abberation, and a competent successor will be able to undo most of the damage he did. He won't be able to return the lost time, but hopefully it'll only be three years . . .


  5. Personality-wise there is a big difference.

    1. Who cares? It's the outcomes that matter

  6. Andrew...his extreme views on climate change have already got media attention on c.n.n

    Al Gore's response isn't a good look for our international standing on this issue.

    He is pissing off a lot of people thus far.

    Peta Credlin has a lot of work to do!!

  7. I note that the self-satisfied cestodes from Menzies house & their third estate lackeys have been hitting the bullshit button recently - a useful measure of afflicting the comfortable.

  8. Greg Hunt slipped up.... today..


    B.B.C isn't as lazy and shallow as our fourth estate was to him


    Wikipedia isnt a great source if youre a minister is it....??

    1. Tony Abbott probably engaged in dubious behaviour

      He is still living in that mode and thought...

      Pathetic for a man who has never had a real job in his life

      Spare us the idiocy..

      Folks are dumb where i come

  9. Sorry but Rudd did build a good deal of facilities in every school, but the reality is in most things the Laboral party is just a two humped camel.

  10. Rather a big call to compare Rudd's total incompetence over 3 years with one month of an Abbott government that has yet to face Parliament. Ever heard of wait and see?

    1. It was in Parliament that Abbott lost last time. I mean, conservative independents - the guy couldn't negotiate to save his life (or his arse). Why should I wait to be proven right? There'll be a bit of strutting, a bit of gloating, and a lot of failure. You can make the big calls when you've done the work, my faceless nameless friend - 'wait and see' is for losers like you.

    2. Andrew is spot on...

      Our pm was a lousy negotiator..


      Thanks Andrew as always for your time and insight patriot.

      I have a love\hate relationship with our p.m

      I adore our wonderful country and respect the office of p.m but loathe the man in it as being so hollow

      Malcolm Turnball makes me have some hope!!

      I know that media has been so selective with this lot..all 3aw in Melbourne and very little A.B.C

      Screwed again dear plebs!!

  11. Hillbilly Skeleton24/10/13 9:41 pm

    You forgot to add that both men are narcissistic sociopaths.

    I picked their conjoined political twin-ness long ago. Tony Abbott should never have been compared to Mark Latham in a book, it should have been to Kevin.

    They both wear their families like a badge of heterosexual male honour. Though Abbott must doubtless feel a little chagrined and envious that Kevin could produce a male heir and a spare, as well as the requisite beautiful daughter.

    They both only ever had one goal in life, that of becoming Prime Minister of Australia, from a very early age. However, Abbott's dream has a schizo edge, in that he also desired to be Pope too. No matter, he hopes to be both now, it seems. Rudd's religiosity, though also real, seems more deferential to the Creator, and worn as a leit-motif to his life, so everyone can see what a jolly good fellow he is. Not that he is, but appearances count in our time-poor lives as electors.

    Not to mention the fact that both men are past masters in the dark arts of politics & Machiavellian manouvering, having been around forever, as apparatchiks and/or Chiefs of Staff/Media Advisers, before they got into politics proper themselves.

    Plus, of course, the propensity of both men to explode, if needled in just the right way.

    And, last but not least, the fact that both men have threatened the old Double Dissolution, in order to get their way on an issue close to their hearts.

    One chickened out. I predict the other will too.

    1. To the apparatchiks who read this...

      Some if you are really sad individuals that need politics to fill a void left by your family or another life event.

      Power is only served best when you see yourself and politics as a vocation

      The rest is bullshit.

      The people have spoken through social networking and voting for micro parties.

      Yes we know they are loopy but anything to bust the corrupt status quo is healthy.

      The club is too exclusive so suck it up politicos.

      I would love to see a t.v show where psychiatrists analyse the behaviour of prominent people.

      There was a brief stint on the A.B.C with a comedian..

      Gold t.v.

      Fascinating to watch the same patterns emerge from their childhoods.

      I suspect that politicos have similar traits.

      Sorry Andrew..off tangent here but we need to leave a legacy for our kids that produce better policies and a brighter future!!


  12. VoterBentleigh24/10/13 11:01 pm

    I agree that there is a lot of similarity in their initial performances.

    The Prime Minister is the political equivalent of the character, Mike Moore in “Frontline”. He acts as a front man, but often has no idea of the detail and just says his lines or “anything”, because tomorrow is another news day. When discussing the fires in NSW, the Prime Minister referred to Christiana Figueres as “the official in question” in an interview on 3AW. He clearly had no idea of her credentials and apparently could not remember her name. He was putting down a person who has a very impressive CV and is an expert on the subject she had discussed. This is similar to the way Kevin Rudd is reputed to have reacted to advice.

    People who have not had a high level of education are often impressed with Abbott being a Rhodes scholar (as they are with Rudd speaking another language), but those with a high education or who are high achievers themselves are less easily impressed, because they realise that winning a scholarship is not what matters, but what one does with the knowledge one gleans from such a scholarship. This is why Abbott and his team have been keen to undermine the expertise and authority of academia, the sciences and the public service. They want Abbott to appear to be the authority figure, no-one else - it helps negate criticism of the nonsense he talks.

    By now, Parliament should have sat and the claim that legislation has to be formulated before Parliament can sit is a lame excuse. From what I read, Andrew Forrest is putting out pronouncements on Indigenous affairs, but Abbott, whose portfolio it is, remains silent.

    Still there's one thing Kevin achieved which Abbott hasn't and that is to walk without his underwear appearing too tight for him!

    1. Spot on Bentleigh

      His demographic are middle to upper middle class bogans

      The plebs have been screwed and the masses have been sucked in.

      There are a lot of idiots that get into Ivory Universities

      George Bush was one of them.

      Obama doesn't have that problem with highly educated people.

      He is regarded as an intellectual in politics by many

      He has got it and Abbott is being used by his puppet masters.

      The real question to be asked is how smart is Peta Credlin??

  13. Why was Tony Abbott wearing an ear piece during his interview with Neil Mitchell? He was in a studio. I don't know if it was a face-to-face as I only saw a bit on TV - a bit where he said Don Randall had to fly across the country to talk to Warren Entsch. With his wife. I have heard since then that others are asking if TA is being coached through interviews. Could that be true?

    1. VoterBentleigh28/10/13 8:06 am

      Given that some in the media accept the PM's colloquialisms, idiomatic phrases or strings of adjectives and adverbs as answering a question or as reasonable argument, one would have to wonder why he needs any coaching.

  14. When the B.B.C chastises Greg Hunt it's not a good look.

    The media from the mother country have journalists who are Oxbridge Grads just like him....

    Lordy what do they really think of him calling climate change "crap"

    Sweet irony eh??

  15. Abbott is Bush 3.0. Same puppeteers, new mouthpiece. Abbott is a lackey, a follower, a fraud - and everybody knows it. The ear piece is only notable for being expected.

  16. Who the hell uses colloqualism and religious rhetoric together..

    Cmon Credlin...make him stop!!

    Whatever era he has lived in..he needs to move on from.

    His daughters and some more botox will brig him into the 21st Century.

  17. The reason why aside from the fact Abbott has shown to be a loose canon who makes gaff after gaff, which no Labor leader would survive if they did the same. What will make him ultimately fail is that his policies are rubbish, does not address the long term issues, instead is looking to the past to try and solve problems. And thats why I didn't vote for his mob.

  18. Just thank heaven that they were divided by an intelligent, hard working policy wonk, Julia. Both were/are too self interested for any real or substantial progress for the country. Even if the LNP can win in 2016 let us hope the LNP can find a PM in their midst to save us.