06 December 2014

With a muffled whimper

... For mine own good,
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

- William Shakespeare Macbeth Act III Scene IV
What we saw at Abbott's press conference on Monday was his last stand.

Polls a symptom not the illness

Never mind the polls. That's like taking someone's pulse to diagnose cancer. There never was any substance, any plan, any grounds to believe Abbott could capably run a capable government. Everyone who thought otherwise - the press gallery, the Coalition and all who vote for them - were wrong. Everyone who thought otherwise and who isn't big enough to admit they were wrong is participating in a pantomime about what a surprise it is that Abbott is no good, that he's somehow come over poorly all of a sudden.

Abbott was rotten from the start. Only bloggers could see this. Journalists who think they have, and should maintain, some sort of lock on political coverage underestimate how crap they are at the job they get paid to do.

The reason why political parties used to release policy position papers before elections was to give some idea of their thinking about their general approach to policy in government. They wanted to get their policies out there without media slant. It wasn't to provide a list of gotcha opportunities, which is what the traditional media think they are.

This is why political parties stopped issuing policy papers. They demonstrate their thinking about policy approaches at speeches to party fundraisers. Journalists are excluded from these events and are too lazy to get that information regardless. This government slid into office with almost no challenge from the press gallery; claiming surprise and befuddlement won't salvage lost credibility and confidence.

Political parties still complain - even with the internet - that they're somehow constrained in getting their message out. The Coalition in Victoria is doing this now, even though the state press gallery and the outlets that employ its members agreed that the Coalition should be returned.

Politicians and journalists both expect people to take them on trust when they won't engage their thinking on issues.

The beginning of the end

Abbott can't back down; his pride and his backers won't let him. He can't go forward; he has, as Lenore Taylor points out, and as I pointed out last week, snookered himself. Think of Tony Abbott as Australia's next ex-Prime Minister.

The whole barnacles thing shows that Abbott underestimated the degree to which the government of this country has to change. A metaphor has to help illustrate the thing to which it refers, or demonstrate familiarity on the part of the speaker. If Abbott had been some sort of master mariner before entering politics nobody would doubt his expertise in dealing with barnacles. When done badly, as this was, it's a lampoon - like Monty Python's Norwegian Blue parrot "resting" and "pining for the fjords".

Nobody has any confidence that Abbott can distinguish between barnacle and ship. From the engine room to all classes of passenger and everyone outside the bridge, it's clear he has done such a crap job at running the vessel.

He can't just slip away. The traditional model of politics holds that problems are brushed under the carpet, and/or managed in the back rooms. Labor tried to dispose of Rudd quietly on that June evening in 2010, scheduling their crisis meetings after the press gallery had finished up in the mid-afternoon, inventing a one-liner excuse and running with that. This was never convincing. It was never going to be. Big-time political operators looked like clowns when they fell for, executed, and defended that approach.

One does not dispose of elected Prime Ministers* without a clear reason for doing so. One should not appoint someone to the Prime Ministership without some appreciation of his strengths and weaknesses, and one's own abilities to burnish the former and play down the latter. The idea that the Liberal Party did not realise he'd be rubbish as Prime Minister, or that it worked with the media to sandbag his shortcomings far longer than was dignified for either of them, is the kind of synchronised shallow thinking that is killing both major media companies and major political parties.

Acting-ere-scanning is not charming and it neither sells newspapers/airtime, nor shifts votes. It's professional failure, not success, and the fact that you can't tell the difference means you're all stuffed.

What you cover when you cover a press conference

The press gallery was negligent in its reporting of Abbott's press conference on Monday.

Keep in mind (which they don't) that press conferences are staged events put on for their benefit. They are not naturalistic, random chats.

Some reported that Abbott had apologised, which was false. He wasn't even apologetic in tone. He basically reiterated what he'd always said, a bit more slowly and a bit less boldly.

He talked about the week being 'ragged', as though feeling sorry for him was the only valid response. Look at the analysis from those who agree with him uncritically, there are your press gallery muppets practically begging for unemployment.

Keep in mind that Tony Abbott did not get where he is by holding regular press conferences. Wondering why a man who rarely puts on press conferences suddenly does one is not cynical, and it's not up to journalists to decide this is too hard for their audiences to understand. It's part of the analysis that seasoned and savvy observers of politics should do as a matter of course.

It shows the less-stupid members of the press gallery that Abbott can hold press conferences when he wants to, and that you should stop being so soft on him (and never, ever, simperingly thank him for gracing his presence as Leigh Sales did on Thursday).

It is nebulous to say that press conference "changed the tone". The tone of this government was nasty and brutish, and Grattan can't bear to admit that it follows the life left in this government is short.

Stabbed in the back

I will tomorrow —
And betimes I will — to the weird sisters.
More shall they speak, for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst.
The closest I've come to feeling sorry for Tony Abbott, an insouciantly privileged man both callous and selfish, is when the Murdoch press have turned on him.

The fact that the Murdoch press have turned on Abbott is significant. Their advice to Abbott is to do what he's always done, but more so; that's what he's doing, and it isn't working for him. This sort of cod analysis is what stops NewsCorp translating its dominant market share into real clout with its audience. We saw this at work when the nation's largest selling newspaper** The Herald Sun recommended that its readers return the Napthine government.

The first member of the government to decry NewsCorp for abandoning them when the going got tough would suffer a bit, but such a person would be the rock upon which the Coalition might build a post-Abbott future.

It would have been the perfect excuse for Malcolm Turnbull to renege on cuts to the public broadcasters: if you're going to turn on us then we won't do your dirty work on the ABC. Turnbull is more committed to those cuts and to Murdoch than many erstwhile supporters dare admit. Cultured, handwringing Malcolm is not the authentic Turnbull; the mogul's facilitator is.

Watch for Peta Credlin to start polishing her resume: the press gallery won't. Her departure will of course be perfectly amicable, as Arthur Sinodinos' was from John Howard's office in early 2007, and as with his hers will both signify the end and bring it closer. The whispering campaign against Credlin has begun because to hold a position like hers, you have to be absolutely right about everything all the time. I'm a Credlin sceptic too but this government will get worse, not better, once she goes.


But this is not Turnbull's last stand, it's Abbott's.

Nobody liked him. The press gallery didn't just cover him in opposition, they covered for him; unemployment is just desserts for professional gutlessness. Nobody is grateful for his few, poor, and essentially negative achievements: terrorising asylum-seekers and slowing our transition to 21st century power and communications. He had no right to get this far; the press gallery gave him a free pass, declining to ask the hard questions about suitability that they put to Mark Latham a decade ago.

Now the economy is turning down, and nobody but press gallery sucks have any confidence this lot can turn it around. Howard would have freaked out had the Budget not been passed by MYEFO, having seen the Whitlam government sacked for such a failure early in his career. What his fans insist is calm resolve is nothing but cluelessness and carelessness, and all but the most hard-bitten among them see it shining plain.

Abbott went to a long press conference looking apologetic but not being apologetic, and the press gallery was grateful for that old magic. The press gallery are doing their 2014 In Review pieces and goodness me, it does appear that the whole year (rather than just the week) has been rubbish.

It's almost charming that such people should regard the eminently foreseeable failure of the Abbott government as such a surprise.

Why have they only just realised this, having observed Abbott up close for so long? What is wrong with these people? Why are they still getting the pay and privileges attached to their positions? Why has this Walkley-winning journalist produced the kind of formulaic takedown you'd expect from a blogger, and why wasn't she awake to this two years ago? After Abbott has gone (!) these are the questions that remain.

Tony Abbott's government was never going to end with a bang, despite him and those close to him being the most bloody-minded Götterdämmerung types. It is ending with a whimper of self-pity, as it was always going to - muffled by those who should be listening for it, who should be amplifying it, so that we far from Canberra might know how we are governed.

* Fine, I'll cop your lecture on Westminster government and how 'Prime Minister' is nowhere defined in the Constitution, if you'll accept that the political parties that govern this country design their entire offerings each election around the persona of their leader, and that replacing the leader post-election means a different offering to that put to supposedly sovereign voters beforehand.

** Which are the more reliable stats: media circulation/ratings figures, media-commissioned polls, or neither? Vote now.


  1. Do you ever wish you'd kept that thing about Abbott never being pm up there on that banner?

    Cos by now people would thinking "you know what he was right about that."

    1. Premature rather than merely wrong, but thanks for remembering.

      I removed it for the sake of propriety, as I hated the then-Opposition's insistence that the former government was inherently illegitimate.

  2. Abbott the Maggot only got Elected because of a Split within the Federal A.L.P .Since that time the Libs have made Australian Families suffer using the Lie...We are Recovering From Labors Mad spending which is absolute crap and Abbott and Hockey know that.

    1. We were misled by the press gallery that this government would be better than the last one. It appears to have all its shortcomings and none of its policy qualities.

    2. And just today Fairfax gives us Amanda Vanstone defending Joe Hockey by saying that, you guessed it, it's all Labor's fault for getting us through the GFC.

  3. One of your best Andrew. The fact that Abbott is actually dangerous to the health of democracy in our country deserves nothing less. Well done sir.

    1. Thank you Paddy, but I'm still parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff rather than fixing the guard rail at the top.

  4. Andrew, I especially love the parent to child approach of the reptile press.The whole "more in sorrow than in anger" feel of their thrashing about, scolding and yet still trying to justify the fact that this government, as you say, has not been able to pass its budget...

  5. Abbortion must be getting Quite Nervous after hearing about todays State Election results going to Labor.

    1. Howard survived for over a decade of similar results.

  6. It really is sad that this Abbott Government as stooped to a Level Lower than any other Previous Federal Government with the most arrogant Ministers than ever before. But come Federal Election night they will be seat Warming Opposition Benches and Rightfully so.

    1. The arrogance of There Is Only One Plan is part of why their future is so limited. You do not negotiate with MPs from outside your party as though they were errant backbenchers.

      If you have a clear idea what you're trying to achieve longer term you can compromise in the short term. If you do not compromise at all then you are buggered.

  7. Great read thank you. I don't have a vision how this will play out. Turnbull would not have the internal backing to be leader again I feel. probably their best choice but that never stopped them choosing Abbott. The anti Climate Change propaganda became part of LIb DNA and to put up Malcolm would suggest they got that all wrong. Even though of course they did. Julie Bishop would be a strong candidate although the wrong sex for this boys club and the ego of Pyne Morrison etc might struggle with that. I think every chance Abbott will take them to a full term and hopefully lose the next election but how Murdoch will play his hand is yet to be fully revealed

  8. Spot on, Andrew,

    Sales was pathetic interviewing Abbott after the insulting Shorten interview the night before.

    It was almost like she was saying "Please Mr Abbott, I'll be a good girl, and can I have my PPL next time I have a baby?"

    On the leadership question, who is there?

    Turnbull has fucked up the NBN

    Hockey has fucked up the budget

    Morrison and Bishop look good but I think Scottie carries too much nasty baggage and Jools is a bit of a light weight and the asbestos case may come back to bite her on the bum.

    Pyne, no comment.

    Mcfarlane, I can only laugh.

    Andrews, almost too nasty to be a human being.

    Dutton, he of the dead eyes.

    I won't mention any of the rest of the human detritus that inhabits the LNP front bench because, really, they are not worth mentioning.

    1. The reshuffle of ministers,, may be TA will decide the FM would be better suited to time at home, an not on the world stage , would he go that far.?

    2. Who knows? They can't admit fault without breaking down. They overestimate how clever they are.

  9. Jules beat me to the comment that your slogan "Tony Abbott will never be Prime Minister" was right. He's never really got out of Opposition mode. And your brief amendment of the slogan to "Tony Abbott will never be any good as Prime Minister" was right too. Should you restore that now or is it too late? Rais, Thornlie, WA.

    1. I run a FB page that was also called Tony Abbott Will Never Be Prime Minister. Needless to say we had to change the name when we were proven so wrong. However, on a daily basis I still shake my head, incredulous, thinking HOW did that happen. Abbott is not fit to be in parliament let alone to have become PM.

  10. Andrew, what would those of us who gather here do without you?

    I hope you do not intend to take one of those ABC-well-earned-breaks over the holiday period.

    From what I have observed, I don't think that Yuletide will bring much peace and joy to the government benches.

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs this year because they connect me to people of like mind. I have largely given up the MSM because it makes me cross.

    You have always recognised Abbott's short-comings and have forensically recorded the unravelling of this government. I think you should compile your observations and commentary into a book.

    Also I would welcome reading a piece about Turnbull who completely fooled me at one stage.

    Best wishes Andrew.

    1. Jon Stewart Mill7/12/14 9:01 am

      The following passage, taken from "Not Tony Abbott" (17 Feb 2014), sums up the Member for Wentworth perfectly:

      "Malcolm Turnbull isn't an alternative to Abbott. The Liberals know how to play him and he hasn't learnt any new tricks.

      "In the republic debate in the late '90s, Howard and Abbott backed Turnbull into a republican model that was unpopular, limited in scope, and focused on changing as little as possible about the way our political architecture works. Turnbull could have worked with those who supported a republic but not the model that was excreted from the convention - many in number but relatively powerless - but he chose to pooh-pooh them all. With a broader base he might have won one or two states in the 1999 referendum and maintained momentum for an eventual republic which would now be realised.

      "As Opposition Leader in 2008 Turnbull was unpopular, limited in scope, and focused on changing as little as possible about the way the Liberal Party worked. He was played for a fool by Eric Abetz over Godwin Grech, and Howard legatees like Nick Minchin nibbled away from the sidelines at any attempt to move the Liberal Party on from the reasons why it lost in 2007, even given the gift of Howard being removed from Parliament. Turnbull could have worked with those who supported anyone but Abbott (especially the Victorians; Turnbull would have won more seats in that state than Abbott has or can) - they were many in number but relatively powerless - but he pooh-poohed the idea that Abbott would beat him. He could have been the beneficiary of the Rudd meltdown and Gillard's fumbles. Even though he lost by a single vote in 2009, he may as well have lost by fifty.

      "As Communications Minister today, Murdoch and Abbott have backed Turnbull into a telecommunications model that is unpopular, limited in scope (both in terms of Labor's NBN and those operating in other countries), and focused on changing as little as possible about the way our media and ICT architectures work. Turnbull could reach out to those who are interested in ICT as a facilitator of growth - many in number but relatively powerless - but again, he chose to pooh-pooh them all.

      "There's a pattern here. Malcolm Turnbull is not about greatness and the leadership to get us to a bright new future. Those of us who thought he might have been were wrong about that, too. He can't build and maintain fractious coalitions, more a marquee man than a big tent guy. He tosses babies out with bathwater. His one tangible political legacy, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, should be coming into its own now with the drought but it is as one with Nineveh and Tyre. Turnbull will puddle along in Communications and may well take on another portfolio, but like Kevin Andrews or David Johnston his past is more substantial than his future."

    2. JSM - thankyou. It seems that Turnbull is only one of Keating's Catherine wheels, all fizz and sparkle and then, and then, phttttt, phttttt, ph ...pht ............

      - Anon @6.2ish above

      Btw Andrew that book I think you should write could be called Abbott Will Never Be PM. In a way he hasn't been one.

    3. Yeah I agree, anyone who thinks Turnbull is a PM in waiting is misguided. No way will the Neo Lib freaks put up with him. It’s the same silly argument that those that think he’s in the wrong party - sorry Mal, parallel universe maybe, not this one. He did a nice kitchen cabinet with Anabel Crabb though - and that was probably his apogee.

      They won't roll Abbott, they can't, and the parallels are too scary - sitting prime minister / Julie / Julia / government lost its way…

      Bishop is the only immediate alternative – sad isn’t it? That the rest are so utterly bereft of – of anything. Bishop's got a terminal case of wishing Bernie Banton a quick and painful death to save James Hardie a buck, so you’re right, that will probably knobble her – and it should. Hardly looking out for the battler.

      My prediction…
      He will have a reshuffle but he’s safe. Joe will get something that doesn’t matter, something treasury lite like employment or trade maybe, but he’s finished.
      Bishop will get Treasury. They can’t afford to move Morrison, he’s the only one who hasn’t fucked anything up – but it’s pretty hard to fuck up cruelty and especially when you never talk about it. Malcolm will probably get foreign affairs and Josh Freedenberg will probably get a promotion into communications (he’s a possible leader IMO).

      They will soldier on to the next election and Tony will attempt to be more statesmanlike and more khaki but it won’t work.

    4. Anons 1 & 2: thank you.

      JSM: Yep, occasionally the old stuff comes back to bite you, but when you get it right it gives you hope to struggle on.

      Matt: "He did a nice kitchen cabinet with Anabel Crabb though" - fuck me. The whole idea of that show is to present politicians as they would present themselves. Never mind rural broadcasting - if Mark Scott wanted to jam it up the political class he would have canned that and 'Insiders'.

      Frydenberg is a sillyhead. He will only become leader if he gets a free ride from Labor and such media as there is then. If you're right about the rest, then surely Morrison should go to Treasury.

    5. yeah, sorry I should have wrapped my kitchen cabinet comment in "dripping sarcasm" tags. I can't stand the show.

    6. "Never mind rural broadcasting - if Mark Scott wanted to jam it up the political class he would have canned that and 'Insiders'."

      Too right. WAFWOTM.

    7. Andrew...Waleed Aly on Thursday conducted a brilliant interview with Josh and stung him with the brilliance he is renowned for.

      Yes..that silliness was evident there.

      Interestingly Kelly o Dwyer has come out and lambasted the boys club for their sexism using an example of her being called pushy.

      Lol! I wonder who that person was?

  11. "The tone of this government was nasty and brutish"

    In the past week alone, Abbott has been described as a "fighter" by Pyne; in turn, Abbott has described Credlin as a "fierce warrior" and Hockey as a "single-minded", "tough man" of "grit". Morrison used a press conference to declare that he and Hockey were "brothers in arms". And of course they're all saying this government has "steely resolve" and "determination".

    I have never heard an Australian government so consistently speak in the language one would normally associate with fanatical dictatorships. It's bizarre.


    1. As Henrik Bang tweeted today, a government that describes itself in such terms has no democratic inclinations to speak of.

    2. A link for that would be interesting.

      I forgot to add that the entire front bench has said - at least once this fortnight - that the government has "kept faith with the Australian people."


    3. It always struck me that John Hewson had Fightback! and Abbott's policy piece was Battlelines. If they dedicated as much effort to governing the country as they do to their incessant civil war against the nasty socialists, we all conceivably might be just a little better off. But it's politics first, second and third, and whatever that governing thing is, a dismal last.

  12. Good work, AE - always look forward to your posts.

    Things look moribund indeed for the press gallery and the major parties.

    This morning's news of the coming launch of NXT seems like it has the potential to to exacerbate this inevitable death spiral as the press and major parties will struggle to find their way back to a discussion of policy.

    Perhaps I'm being overly optimistic?

    I fear Xenophon may struggle to get all the support he may otherwise obtain in light of PUP's instabilities. Voters fed up with the major parties may still run back to the ALP in the hope that it will decisively send the Coalition to the opposition benches.

    It'll be interesting to see how NXT directs its preferences...

    -Melena Santorum

    1. Yes, it will. NXT seems like the old SA Democrats. They should expand into Victoria, given the opportunities there with the collapse of old-school Hamerite moderation. I still don't know what his position on asylum-seekers are.

  13. Thanks for continuing to blog Andrew, I hate to think many of us would have missed out the joy of watching you prove yourself, and many many others of social media, right.

  14. I do consider that the MSM has a great responsibility for the parlous state of affairs.

    All the usual culprits have been at it again this week. These are the ones who have titles like "Chief Political Correspondent" and similar. Especially noteworthy is that Mark Kenny, Philip Coorey, Simon Benson and Peter Hartcher are back with their leadershit/ cabinet/ government tension stories.

    These are the "journalists" who were drip fed by Rudd and his whiteants during the term of the last government........... whose endless rubbish took on a life of its own and obscured the fact that the 43rd Parliament was in fact a hard working, well functioning one: with significant legislative achievement.

    The coverage by these so called experts is wrong on SO many levels. That is not to say that these stories do not have a place, but they do not, when repeated/ reconfigured/rehashed and run again and again represent good political coverage. They come at the expense of decent coverage of policy and issues.

    Most policy/ issues are reduced to who is WINNING AND LOSING, rather than any discussion of actual detail. It is like some hideous macho pissing competition by pathetic little individuals who see themselves as power brokers. They opine loftily on leadership and so on, and yet themselves have never run a chook raffle in a pub.

    It is simultaneously superficial, childish, nasty and lazy.....and does the electorate a huge disservice, fanning excessive cynicism and disengagement

    1. What they are winning/losing is so nebulous. The goldfish style of political reporting, where you rest on your laurels yet every new development is a surprise, is boring.

      No company need wonder why it is failing when the staff are so actively shunning the customers, but the position of the pollies is something else. One thing student politics teaches you is that juvenile behaviour actively discourages scrutiny and good candidates, which instils a sense at an earlier age that one is pretty damn clever when objective tests might not support such an assessment.

      Thank you for TAWNBPM, Pia. A lot of work went into it, and kept me going when I was tempted to leave this game to others.

    2. The INCREDIBLE thing is Andrew that they (many media outlets) persist with this coverage, strategy, irrespective of collapsing sales. In the past 12 months (for example) SMH has lost 20% of its readers! And that sure isn't anything to do with the digital age, it is people like me who can not tolerate the CRAP published day in- day out. (Pity because Gittins, Peter Martin and a few others are good).

      Thrilled you knew TAWNBPM Andrew. We are still going, under a different name, and (thank heavens) with a bit more help (an expended admin group). The numbers continue to climb. We would never have bothered with it had the PARLOUS state of the MSM not made it incredibly important. x

    3. I should have also said: thank YOU for keeping going. I am not exaggerating when I say that your articles have been our favourites over the years.

  15. Morrison enjoined us to the likes of Boko Haram, ISIS and the Taliban when he ruthlessly used children as hostages to grab the power to kill all those children by sending them back to die if he wanted to and our useless frigging media call it a win.

    Here is the first child he ""released"" from refugee prison today -


    As for Abbott, how could anyone ever believe he was anything but a bullying thug after the way he sledged Bernie Banton on his death bed.

    1. WTF!

      'Morrison enjoined us to the likes of Boko Haram, ISIS and the Taliban when he ruthlessly used children as hostages to grab the power to kill all those children by sending them back to die if he wanted to and our useless frigging media call it a win'

  16. Whilst many in the press gallery are awakening to the fact that this government is in serious trouble, a large number still profess that all that is needed is better salesmanship not better policies.

    But how is policy actually generated and agreed upon inside the LNP? From the outside the process appears arbitrary and it’s unclear if there is any overriding vision for the future guiding decision making.

    The repeal of the Carbon Tax and the Mining Resource Rent Tax were clearly just payback for the mining magnates who fund the LNP and the introduction of the abysmal Direct Action Policy was designed merely to draw a thin veil over their vandalism.

    Similarly the hatchet jobs on the ABC and the NBN were repayment to Murdoch for all the uncritical support his media empire has given Abbott and their relentless campaign against Labor.

    The GP Co-Payment scheme appears to be the brain child from some Behavioural Insights Team or “Nudge Unit” and was at best an attempt to lower the number of people visiting their GP. In relation to the long term funding of Health Care in Australia it is nothing but a stunt. It therefore seems bizarre that the LNP have fought so relentlessly to pass a policy that is nothing more than electoral poison when there is so little to gain from it.

    The brutal and secretive Operation Border Protection is another example how Immigration and the treatment of refugees has been hijacked by political spin doctors like Crosby/Textor to further purely domestic political gain but in no way supplies a long term solution.

    The Paid Parental Leave scheme appears to have been cooked up for no other purpose than to counter the impression that Abbott has a problem with women and that his policies are uniformly negative and retrograde. Window dressing.

    There doesn’t appear to be any coherent explanation for this governments attack on young people, either in the shape of a six month wait to receive unemployment benefits or in proposals to deregulate the cost of University degrees. Coupled with draconian cuts to CSIRO it instead gives the impression that this is a government that does not want a well educated, highly skilled workforce that will be able to exploit new technologies and innovation in the future.

    The list of these short sighted and poorly thought out policies goes on and on and without any frame work binding them together it is no wonder that Abbott and his ministers are failing to explain there purpose.

    The result is a government that is rudderless and adrift crashing into obstacles and constantly being overwhelmed by events.


    1. All that was foreseeable before last September. Imagine if we had a body of experienced journalists following Abbott around for years, asking him questions. Imagine how things might have been different.

    2. We wouldn't have mentioned or heard his name in the last 2 years I reckon.

    3. Watched John Roskam on The Bolt Report after the election loss.

      Sad analysis that denied the Abbott factor in the loss.

      John Roskam is deluded but thankfully this result was a great wake up call to these far right idiots..

      I live in Menzies and not everyone is conservative. ..the progressive liberals are sick of the conservatives that have taken over federally...frustrated by them all...religious fanatics with creepy ideological ideas.

      I call the rest of Menzies Stepford Wife territory....tge ladies who luch are zombies Andrew..lol

  17. Hillbilly Skeleton7/12/14 7:59 pm

    Your Credlin prediction is coming to pass. We hear today on Insiders of an easy ride into the Lower House for Ms Credlin as Kevin Andrews is shunted aside in Menzies to make way for La Stupenda the Second(Good Liberal 'Girl' and mate of Bronny that Dame Joan was I think it appropriate to christen Credlin her successor,philosophically and egotistically).

    I can almost read Peta's thoughts....'Step aside and let me through! I can run this show better than that goose who is cooked. Turn him over. he's done!'

    Another 'deliberately barren' (;) ) ambitious woman from Victoria. That should go down well with the electorate.

    As I don't think she would be content to cool her stilletos on the Back Bench for very long, if at all, her presence would surely unleash the Gotterdammerung and the Hounds of Hell in the Coalition. The Federal Labor split between Rudd and Gillard would be as nothing compared to what La Credlin front and center on the Coalition Front Bench would engender.

    Andrew Probyn seemed to suggest on Insiders today that it may be next year even.

    Jeez, Tony must really be on the nose then if his Chief of Staff Rats is thinking about deserting the SS Barnacle that quick!

    1. She is held in the same high regard today that Arthur Sinodinos was in 2007. Think about that. The powerbase of people like Credlin works best behind closed doors, it tends to warp or evaporate in direct sunlight.

      Menzies does tend to be an area that consistently votes Liberal, but can you imagine an independent with local connections and guts giving her a run for her money? She would make the same sorts of errors that newbie candidates make, which would dilute her power considerably among those whose newbie days are far behind them, or people who were bawled out in their newbie days by Credlin. It would be hilarious.

    2. La Stupenda ll (a wonderful nick HS!) in Menzies?! Dame Peta as a newbie Lilliputian?!! Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please! Be still, my beating heart! I need more popcorn - stat.

    3. Andrew,

      I've had a quick look at the Melbourne electorates held by Liberals. Menzies is the most conservative: 64.45% 2PP in 2013 - even outstripping my home electorate, Kooyong.

      I handed out in Menzies in 2010 (and was lucky to escape with my life) - the voters there are an interesting mix of ethnicities, but all highly conservative and highly religious.

    4. The same lack of respect for people like John Roskam and the I.P.A here in Melbourne

      Zero credibility after this election loss...even if they reinvent themselves in other roles outside of their base eg Sydney

      Put nasty people like him in and as Robert Doyle has said...they really need to take a very good hard look at themselves in the mirror!
      Cheers :)

  18. http://junkee.com/tony-abbott-got-completely-destroyed-by-kochie-on-sunrise-this-morning-kochie/46816

    Destroyed by Kochie. By KOCHIE! He went from shirt-fronting Putin to that in a month.

    I've been reading and commenting on your blog for awhile now Andrew so I know neither of us is surprised by this, but still are you as surprised as I am at how quickly the worm has turned? I honestly thought the pantomime would keep going till just before the next election.
    The economy must truly be bad if Joe Blogs is waking up for his MMS induced sleep... from what I read on Macrobusiness it truly IS that bad.

  19. Hillbilly Skeleton8/12/14 4:06 pm

    Anonymous@ 2:53pm on Sunday, 7/12.,
    The GP Co-Payment is being so never-endingly fought for by the Coalition for a few reasons.

    1. The Coalition want to insert the Private Health Funds into the GP clinics, for ideological and profit reasons. They will be able to access a captive market prepared to pay whatever. Because they have no choice. All Private Health Funds' rates rise equally, always, like boats on a rising tide of profit. Never down, always up. Nice work if you can get it.

    2. Abbott is effectively paying back his sponsors, such as Amgen who figure prominently, front-and-centre, on his MAMIL cycling gear in the Pollie Pedal. So he can't abandon that effort. Note also that yesterday, when pressed by a journalist who was actually on their game, he admitted that the big overseas(read American and British-based multinational) research concerns will be entitled to the rivers of gold that would flow from the pockets of the poor and sick Aussies coming via the 'Medical Research Future Fund'.

    3. It's in the Coalition's DNA to smash Medicare into little pieces which they hope will never be able to be put together again, every opportunity they get when in government.

    4. The only 'Price Signal' they really want to send is, 'P*ss off poor, sick people to a poorly-funded Public Hospital, badly-run by barely competent, time-poor, time-serving doctors!" Leaving the local GP surgery to the Private Health Funds and the people that can afford to access their personalised care.

    However, like Tony Abbott said about a Paid Parental Leave Scheme...
    'Over my dead body!'

    Unless Xenophon's ego & desire for another big 'win' in the Senate, in order to cement his new party in the electorate's mind, overrules common sense; or Ricky Muir is played by another venal Abbott Minister 'negotiating' with him; allows the creeps to get their way.

  20. If one buys the Macrobusiness thesis, this government is going to destroy the Coalition's credibility for a generation. IF the economy turns down hard, it will be so easy for Labor to blame Hockey's budget.

    It is fascinating though, to watch the media cycle and the narrative turn.

  21. Andrew...as a yuletide treat tune into Waleed Alys last show next week

    There will be a panel of politicians et al

    It sounds fun!

    It's a sad indictment of the a.b.c budget cuts where real talent is leaving..and the public will be left in the dark so they can get away with murder...

    Sigh sigh

    Have a wonderful rest and yuletide greetings to you and your family.

    Bless this gorgeous country of ours!