11 September 2009

Tony Abbott should eat ... his words

Tony Abbott's remarks about Julia Gillard's shit-eating grin are politically stupid for two major reasons.

First, the people who will be most upset about this sort of language are the very sort of God-save-the-Queen conservatives who comprise Abbott's base, and who see him as - if not a saviour, then certainly a paragon of decency and principle, clear proof that old-fashioned values are not ageing and fading as they themselves are.

Second, he's admitted that he's being beaten by someone who used to be his shadow. That's right, the Liberal Party's roughest, baddest, meanest junkyard dog has been monstered by a girl. The Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery takes it for granted that Abbott is somehow Liberal leadership material, and never question his guts or brains when there is insufficient evidence of either: this outburst has to prompt a reconsideration of this assumption.

If you're a Tony Abbott fan, you like him because he's conservative and tough. Yesterday, he showed that he's neither. Battlelines shows that he has nothing to offer the future of his party or his country but a few moth-eaten plans from before Vatican II. Stick a fork in him, he's done.

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