10 April 2012

Abbott and the limits of Gerard Henderson's support

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips.

- Shakespeare Macbeth Act I Scene VII
In this article tobacco-subsidised Gerard Henderson is getting ahead of himself in not only assuming that Tony Abbott will be PM, but what sort of PM he'll be. The whole article sounds very defensive, a rally-the-troops effort rather than a calm appraisal of the inevitable.
These days, Malcolm Fraser is much beloved by the left ... leftist journalist ... standing ovations from sandal-wearing intelligentsia at taxpayer-subsidised literary festivals.
Standard opening by asbestos-apologist-subsidised Henderson: he wants to filter out any reader who doesn't already support him and won't question him with a sort of verbal barrage.
But it was not always so. As Graham Freudenberg pointed out in his 1977 book A Certain Grandeur: Gough Whitlam in Politics, "Fraser's performance in 1975 was one of the most concentrated, single-minded and effective exercises in political destruction ever undertaken in Australian history".

Fraser took over the Liberal Party leadership from Billy Snedden in March 1975, opposed virtually all Whitlam Labor's legislation in the Senate and finally blocked supply. In the parlance of the day, Fraser was the embodiment of negative politics. A veritable "Dr No". But his tactics worked. In December 1975, Fraser led the Coalition to one of the biggest victories in Australian history.
That's right: Fraser took over in February and was Prime Minister by Christmas that same year. Abbott's experience is so different that pokies-subsidised Henderson's attempt at a parallel cannot really be drawn - at least not in the way he might hope.

Abbott took over the leadership of the Liberal Party in December 2009. By December 2010 he still wasn't Prime Minister, even though there had been a general election in the meantime. He could not persuade rural-based independents to back him, a problem Fraser would have handled with ease. Today, those who backed Gillard as PM have, with the exception of Wilkie, been confirmed in their decision; those upon whom the Coalition relies to force the no-confidence vote that would bring about an Abbott Government before the next election is due have been disparaging of the negative campaign that Henderson praises. Abbott has more in common with unsuccessful Opposition Leaders than with successful ones.

Had Abbott become Prime Minister in August-September 2010, he would have done so 9-10 months after taking the leadership of his party: the same period Fraser took to achieve the feat, and slightly less time than Rudd or Howard did:

Opposition Leader elected PM
Became Leader
Became PM
Duration as LOTO
Feb 1967
Dec 1972
5 yrs 10mths
Feb 1975
Nov 1975
9 mths
Feb 1983
Mar 1983
1 mth
Feb 1995
Mar 1996
1 yr 1 mth
Dec 2006
Nov 2007
10 mths

The lesson is clear: if you're going to become PM you don't want to spend too long as Opposition Leader. Whitlam's incumbency is the odd one out because of a number of factors unique to his experience: the turnover of Liberal Prime Ministers (losing one was an accident, but three shows carelessness), Labor's extraordinary performance in the 1969 election, and the fact that his competitors within the ALP were either drones (e.g. Frank Crean) or the sort of people who got standing ovations from sandal-wearing intelligentsia at taxpayer-subsidised literary festivals (Jim Cairns).

This lesson is even clearer when you look at those Opposition Leaders who were unsuccessful at becoming Prime Minister:

LOTO who never became PM
Became Leader
Duration as LOTO
Dec 1972
Feb 1975
2 yrs 3mths
Dec 1977
Feb 1983
5 yrs 3 mths
Peacock (1)
Mar 1983
Sep 1985
2 yrs 3 mths
Sep 1985
May 1989
3 yrs 8 mths
Peacock (2)
May 1989
Mar 1990
10 m (total: 3 yrs 1 mth)
Mar 1990
May 1994
4 yrs 2 mths
May 1994
Jan 1995
8 mths
Beazley (1)
Mar 1996
Nov 2001
5 yrs 8 mths
Nov 2001
Dec 2003
2 yrs 1 mth
Dec 2003
Jan 2005
1 yr 1 mth
Beazley (2)
Jan 2005
Dec 2006
1 yr 10 mths (total: 7 yrs 6 mths)
Nov 2007
Sep 2008
10 mths
Sep 2008
Dec 2009
1 yr 3 mths

* Yes, yes, he later became PM. This period is regarded as some sort of learning experience because he didn’t become PM immediately afterwards and actually dissuaded many Liberals from giving him another go.

As of the date of this post, Abbott has been Opposition Leader for 2 years and 5 months, about average for an unsuccessful Opposition Leader - and by this I mean someone unsuccessful at translating his party leadership to a majority in the House of Representatives. Abbott fans like merchant-bank-sponsored Henderson insist that the position of Opposition Leader must be appreciated on its own merits rather than the way parties of government regard it: as a stepping-stone to the Prime Ministership.

Plenty of Opposition Leaders have limped out of politics insisting that Opposition is a worthy job in and of itself:
  • Mark Latham insisted that he "took the fight up to" the Howard government;
  • Labor won 51% of the popular vote in 1998 but still lost office;
  • John Hewson defended Fightback! for forcing Bob Hawke - one of the most talented politicians of the past century - off his game and out of his job, and keeping Keating on his toes;
  • Andrew Peacock out-campaigned Bob Hawke at his first election, despite Hawke having one of the most highly-regarded Cabinets ever and Peacock was stuck with left-overs from the defeated Fraser government;
  • Bill Hayden took his party from the second-worst loss in federal election history to the point where "a drover's dog" could have won the election;
  • Billy Snedden maintained that he had not really lost the 1974 election.
But really, so what? All Opposition Leaders have experienced a bit of a swing here and a strong performance there, but there is nothing so evanescent as an achievement in Opposition. Henderson should not only know better but stop asserting the contrary case, namely that Abbott is a substantial person in a substantial office doing substantial things.
Today, Tony Abbott is vilified by Julia Gillard and her colleagues, along with quite a few commentators, for his negativity. Yet this is not unusual behaviour for an opposition leader. 
Yes it is.

Since Freudenberg wrote the book upon which Henderson relies so heavily, twelve (very) different men have occupied the position of Leader of the Federal Opposition. None of them has taken the position that Abbott has taken, that the government is so lacking in legitimacy it must be opposed strenuously at every turn, regardless of the merits for the public of what is proposed.

Henderson's use of the word "vilified" is misplaced here; Abbott has received no more or less criticism from the government than anyone in his position might expect. When the Rudd government laid off Brendan Nelson, and when the Howard government went easy on Crean, it was a sign that each man's leadership was terminal - that the incumbents no longer took their so-called leading opponent seriously as an opponent.
The 2010 election result and current opinion polls indicate this tactic is succeeding.
The 2010 election should be regarded as just another election loss. There was a general election, the leader of the Liberal Party did not become Prime Minister and still does not hold that office: as with other competitive endeavours, there are no second prizes in politics.

The Coalition lost the 2010 federal election in the same way they lost the 1995 NSW election, the 1998 Queensland election and the 1999 Victorian election - only just, but those narrow defeats were harbingers of Labor landslides rather than errors soon rectified on the part of the Coalition.

As to the polls, they also indicate that Abbott has not yet failed. Gillard should be much further behind than she is were she to be written off as pollution-subsidised Henderson and others seem to hope.
Jonathan Green, the presenter of ABC RN's Sunday Extra, is one of a bevy of leftists ...
The standard practice of ABC-subsidised Henderson is to aggregate leftists into "brigades" (e.g. "the black armband brigade"). He has set up and knocked down so many brigades, consisting mostly of straw men, that I was surprised that he does not lead the Anzac Day March. Now he has exhausted the very term 'brigade' itself. Are Green's criticisms of the HSU leftist, or are critics of the HSU like critics of the Catholic Church, where expressing even the mildest qualm is proof that you never accepted the very precepts of such an organisation and that you are in league with its enemies? Vital questions of Green's embeviment turn on this.
Green ran the familiar leftist mantra that "Tony Abbott is a total dud that everyone hates but he's going to be prime minister because the other lot are just such an incompetent rabble".

Green, citing Australian Financial Review journalist Geoff Kitney, went on to claim that Abbott's net approval rating is minus 17 and "that compares with the great minus approval ratings of history like Billy Snedden who copped a minus 30 at one point".

But Snedden was not replaced as Liberal leader in 1975 on account of his approval rating. He was dumped because he was a lightweight who did not enjoy the confidence of his parliamentary colleagues. The real comparison is not between Abbott and Snedden ...
Oh yes he was. Oh yes it is.

Snedden lost the confidence of his parliamentary colleagues because of his poor polling. He had his supporters and his detractors; all leaders, even successful ones, have and do. Snedden was no more or less a lightweight than Abbott is; he was Attorney General in the Menzies government. He was Minister for Immigration during the early steps away from the White Australia Policy, and Minister for Labour and National Service during the first attempts to equalise male and female wages. When he was Treasurer both unemployment and inflation were less than three per cent. Snedden's record on fiscal discipline is much stronger than Abbott's, and his record on sound policy well executed as a minister is much, much better than Abbott's. However, Snedden was also prone to the sort of undisciplined and frankly nasty outbursts that Abbott fans and detractors alike have come to accept as an essential part of the man.

How is that defeatist 'mantra' (whether or not it truly belongs to Green) significantly different from the pro-Abbott one that says "Tony Abbott might not be everyone's cup of tea but he's going to be prime minister because the other lot are just such an incompetent rabble"?
... Abbott has been able to get both Liberal and National MPs behind him as he set about the destruction of a first-term government and, since the election, a minority government. Many commentators thought this could not be done.
And a fat lot of good it has done anyone. The "destruction of a first-term government" didn't happen, and "destruction of ... a minority government" hasn't happened either, so it looks like those commentators got it right. Famously, no legislation has actually been blocked under a minority government, which is more than can be said for many majority governments. I can't think of a single policy introduced by the Gillard government which was improved in any way by having been opposed by the Coalition, despite Abbott's vow to hold the government "ferociously to account".

Like all weak Liberal leaders, Abbott has kept the Nationals on side mainly by giving in to them. Nationals stand up for farming rights over mining rights despite the two being in direct conflict in many cases. This conflict is every bit as significant to agricultural interests, and to the nation and its future, as those posed by Aboriginal rights arising from the Mabo and Wik High Court decisions in the 1990s when the Howard government came to power. In that conflict it is not in Australia's interests to give all power to one side to vanquish the other; certainly, the Liberal Party's alignment with mining interests will make for the sort of titanic struggle that makes the sophisticated policy development necessary to balance such important interests harder, rather than easier. This is a structural weakness for a potential Coalition government, and treating 'leadership' as some sort of magic emollient that must not be questioned is weak and poor analysis.

In the 1980s, when the Liberals were fully on board with the economic rationalism debate and the Nationals saw it as their role to block it, Gerard Henderson recognised that the economic future of this country depended on the Nationals being beaten hard and often. Now he looks on benignly and thinks it's nice that the Coalition are playing happy families, when Barnaby Joyce is a latter-day Joh National and poses real difficulties for both Coalition policy-making and peace-making.
Quite a few commentators, who concede that Labor will lose the next election, want Turnbull to lead the Liberals. La Trobe University academic Robert Manne ... Clearly Manne believes Turnbull should be Australia's alternative prime minister.
You can imagine Henderson intoning sonorously: "We meet again, Professor Manne". Manne talked to a girl whom the then-unsubsidised Henderson liked at Melbourne University in the 1960s, or something, and has copped it ever since from Henderson. Woodchip-sponsored Henderson and Manne should get a room and sort it out. As to Manne's opinion on Turnbull, so what? Is this news or something? It might be a red-rag to Henderson but it's both entirely predictable and all part of wider debate.

Henderson is right when he says that Turnbull isn't ready to become Liberal leader again because all of the weaknesses he had as leader the first time around. Henderson is even right when he says that Abbott should continue to lead the Liberal Party to the next election: serves 'em right, I say, and his defeat will show the necessity to move on from Howardism.
Why should Liberal MPs, or indeed Coalition voters, care that a self-confessed Greens voter such as Manne believes Abbott should be dumped as opposition leader?
Why should Henderson care so much? It depends on whether or not you see the role of the Coalition as trying to convince those who did not vote Coalition in 2007 and 2010 to do so. Maybe Manne is playing cute in trailing his coat for a Liberal vote; I haven't read his interview.
Unlike the Gillard/Rudd leadership battles, Abbott prevailed over Turnbull on a matter of policy - namely the emissions trading scheme/carbon tax. If elected, his first priority would be to junk Labor's carbon tax. In other words, Abbott intends to dismantle his predecessor's legacy, something Fraser did not attempt. It is a significant policy challenge, incorrectly classified by some as simple negativity.
Before the 1975 election Fraser talked about dismantling the Whitlam legacy, but did not do so after the election (with the exception of canning Medibank before it could take hold) despite a clear mandate to do so. Abbott can talk about dismantling the carbon pricing mechanism, the NBN, or a host of other aspects of the Rudd-Gillard legacy, but Abbott is not entitled to be believed so credulously as Henderson does, and as he hopes we might. Henderson should have examined the difficulty in reversing that legacy, or indeed the appropriateness and wisdom of doing so, before embarrassing himself with fanboy nonsense like that.
It is fashionable for sneering secularists and sectarians alike to mock Abbott's Catholic faith. In fact, he is a traditional Catholic who believes in human imperfection, forgiveness and eventual redemption. Abbott is no fanatic and is not without personal doubt.
The problem with that is that Abbott's personal feelings, real or imagined, do not translate into public policy. There was a time when Catholicism was regarded with the sort of suspicion that falls upon Islam today; it is the mark of a fanatic to believe that those days have not gone, and even Catholics recognise that Abbott lies outside the mainstream of his co-religionists. Abbott loves his lesbian sister but can't see why her relationship deserves the sort of recognition that accrues to the marriages of his other sisters, or to that of his wife and himself. He recognises that he had a privileged upbringing, but can't see that others need help to give their children similar opportunities. He wants a Jakarta-centred foreign policy, but Jakarta thinks he's a goose. He doesn't trust the lessons learned from his own life.

Abbott is a man who has cut himself off from his public policy positions that we can't be sure that he is strong enough to use his humanity for good. Consider Gillard's idealisation of education in her own life and that of children today, or Keating's passion for the arts proving that he was more than a NSW Labor Right bovver boy or a soulless economist. Consider Malcolm Fraser, the Defence Minister who waged war on Vietnam, bringing in refugees and daring Labor to reopen the door to "Yellow Peril". That was evidence of soul at work in the Prime Minister's office, the idea that atop he political system was a human being for all the maneuvering and hoo-ha. Abbott brings nothing to that, nothing. All sorts of monstrous people reveal some show of humanity to their intimates, and it does not negate or balance or even matter terribly much at all. Against this awful weakness, Abbott's strutting is absurd.

I'm not one of those Henderson hisses at so alliteratively. In any awful but vital job in our community there will be committed Christians: dealing with the mentally ill, prisoners, drug addicts, doing the most wretched work you can imagine with bugger-all resources, day after day. I am in awe of such people and even though Tony Abbott has been raised to respect if not revere such people, he regards them as do-gooders. The people who make him possible regard and treat them with contempt and Tony Abbott is not strong enough to stand up to them. That's why professions of Abbott's true and humble faith are nothing but so much bullshit.
Quite a few Liberals and commentators believed Labor's Bob Hawke did not have the discipline to be a political leader. He became one of Australia's most successful prime ministers.
Hawke gave the grog away. Abbott gives away nothing and gets nothing in return. Hawke surrounded himself with capable people who challenged him while Abbott shuns those who challenge him, surrounding himself with people who titter at his jokes and Peta Credlin. Desperate parallel after desperate parallel just dies on the page for Henderson. All those straw men and nothing to clutch at.

Gerard Henderson is a nostalgia act for editors rather than someone with something to contribute to our understandings of important debates today. Abbott is not Fraser in sluggos but Snedden with a rosary. Henderson's attempts to rally people behind Abbott is undermined by the fact that he hasn't read any books since he started writing them, and that his shock-jock writing style shows his powers of persuasion have deserted him. He repels all but the perishing few who would rally to Abbott regardless. He gives his Fairfax-reading opponents more hope than he might have intended.


  1. Great piece, Andrew. If only the gutless mainstream press would give Abbott (and Hendo) this kind of a grilling.

  2. The much subsidised Henderson reveals the dangerous path Australia is currently stumbling down.

    An obscenely wealthy minority believe they have the right to choose the government and who the prime minister is. This explains the fact that the Coalition's policies seem to have been written by Enid Blyton (witness their farcial costings and 'audits'.) It also explains Abbott's lack of integrity or anything even closely resembling the level of gravitas needed to be prime minister of Australia.

    They simply don't need it. The Murdoch press, a few mining companies and the likes of the IPA (now THERE'S a story on funding waiting to be written!) want to run this country and see every day as another opportunity to lie to the public and damage any and every institution that gets in their way. The Coalition doesn't need to come up with anything remotely intelligent because they will never be challenged on what they say.

    I am truly frightened by the next election, but don't personally want Labor to win as such. By this I mean I'm only considering either a Coalition victory or a Coalition loss. A victory would be frightening for what it means this narrow power base can achieve in Australia. A loss and perhaps we can all breathe a little easier.

  3. Tony Abbott is the Australian embodiment of the Clash of Civilisations that is occurring in the world now, between the children of the Enlightenment and the forces for the re-emergence of the Dark Ages. Both here in Australia and overseas, we daily see these forces battle it out over the airwaves for the hearts and minds of the people. Women are a target, atheists are a target, and the infiltration of religion and it's ethos and practices into our everyday life is their aim. Tony Abbott is a highly articulate cultural warrior for this cause and, unlike you, what I see is a man building up the momentum necessary to carry him on a wave of manufactured discontent with the Gillard government, all the way to the Lodge at the end of next year. Despite his manifest failings as a human being and leader of a political party and potential leader of our nation. He appeals to those who do not think deeply about leadership, and they, as a result of Howard's 12 years of lionising anti-intellectualsm for his own devious ends, are increasing in number in the electorate. Plus, add to that the increasing number of conservative 'intellectuals', a term which I use advisedly in their case as they are really just more reactionary conservatives who have wheedled their way into the university system as it expanded under Labor, but who still are having an effect on the public discourse via their membership also of conservative Think Tanks and the consequent appearances on conservative media and the ABC for 'balance', then, what I see is that despite Tony Abbott's manifest unsuitability for the job of Prime Minister, as you have outlined, that he may well be carried on the shoulders of such as these, and Gerard Henderson, into The Lodge.
    'Poor Fellow My Country' is the only riposte to that potential outcome. That is, the propaganda-enabled victory of a man and his party elected by those for whom that election will be against their best interests. Sigh.
    However, on the bright side, and a thoughtful Progressive must always live in hope, it's good to see that Mark McGowan in WA, of all places, has picked up the ALP vote in that State. Though I must admit, Colin Barnett isn't as capable as Abbott when it comes to spinning away 57% increases in Utility charges without a 'Carbon Tax' to blame. And a 49-51 standing 2PP for Labor in Victoria wrt the latest Newspoll State breakdown(not that I put much store in snapshots like that), are the faint glimmers of light that maybe 'the mob' are starting to get it about the Coalition and are not willing to write off the only party for Progressive policy in Australia.

    1. I fear the truth of your commentary HBS, but I truly hope that you are wrong, this country can ill-afford the abbott experiment and the repercussions of his likely control.

      That the like of henderson are seen to have a moral authority to choose this unsuitable fool to lead us is all the more offensive given the amount of money poured into his coffers by the most irresponsible and self serving industries in this country.

      Keep up the good work Andrew, with the loss of LP we need your commentary more than ever.

    2. HS,

      1. I reject the Clash of Civilisations thesis out of hand.

      2. I reject the idea that the media have the same hold on people that it did in the 1970s.

      3. Colin Barnett will be going strong long after Abbott has flamed out.

      4. Anon is right, ad in your heart you know Abbott is unsustainable.

  4. "The standard practice of ABC-subsidised Henderson is to aggregate leftists into "brigades" (e.g. "the black armband brigade"). He has set up and knocked down so many brigades, consisting mostly of straw men, that I was surprised that he does not lead the Anzac Day March."


  5. Great post once again. The only problem I can see is that you might do Mark latham out of a job. One of his favourite hobbies is dissing Hendo for Crikey. I really liked you refs to Hendo's backers.

    The table of OLs and their fates gives me heart, when otherwise I'd feel something close to HS's gloomy outlook.

    Gough was the only successful one with a long lead-up. In addition to what you mentioned he had to keep pushing for reform of the Labor structures which had made it near unelectable in Victoria especially. The contrast with Abbott is quite compelling.

    Gough had a comprehensive program, prepared after lengthy consultations and research. And Abbott has ... what?

    I think we can take some heart from that, especially when there's not much to cheer about.


    1. Very much so. The difference is that Whitlam recognised his party had a structural problem and forced them to confront it, whereas Abbott hasn't convinced himself or anyone else of anything.

  6. Fraser was helped just a little bit by having 2 state premiers willing to stack the senate and block supply, which is why he did not have to wait out a full term before he got the prize.

    Abbott didn't get across the line in '10 because Gillard memorably promised no carbon tax and an East Timor solution which saved a raft of NSW seats falling. That and the Libs pre-selecting too late in same key NSW seats.

    1. Sorry, but you're wrong about the "carbon tax."

      Gillard asked for an ETS on the eve of the election, and she delivered. Abbott deceitfully claimed that the carbon pricing mechanism was a tax, and Gillard foolishly let him get away with it, even though Abbott's now famous Sky News interview of 2009 showed he knew full well the difference between a carbon price and a carbon tax. Abbott goes around telling people the people it's a tax because he's hoping that people are gullible enough not to know the difference.

      Then we have people like Barnaby Joyce going round telling the media that the carbon pricing mechanism will be a "broad-based consumption tax." I don't think Barnaby is lying. He's just fallen into the trap set by Abbott, but then I don't see Abbott correcting this blatant bit of misinformation. If anyone is the JULIAR, it's Tony Abbott.

      You will notice that all the Labor spokespeople - bar Craig Emerson - speak of a carbon price, while the Noalition, and just about the whole of the media, call the carbon price a tax. Maybe Gillard has given up on correcting the media because it's just too hard. Maybe she's hoping that the public will figure out that the carbon price is not a tax come July, when the pricing mechanism comes into effect, or maybe she's banking on the public forgiving her for her "broken promise" (which it wasn't) when the compensation package kicks in.

      A few weeks ago we saw Greg Combet try to make the point that the carbon price was not a tax, but the Libs just laughed at him, and the media (apart from the ABC), having fallen in behind the Noalition's position, failed to report this interesting bit of news. Maybe Combet's announcement was a trial balloon. Maybe he'll try it again after July, if the polls are still sluggish.

  7. Interesting that Henderson only uses the term "alternative prime minister" once in the piece and it's regarding Malcolm Turnbull.

    The opposition leader has two jobs - one is to lead opposition and the other is to be an alternative prime minister. Abbott scores big on one and fails miserably on the other. Turnbull is still the only Liberal who looks like an alternative prime minister because Abbott is all opposition and no leader.

  8. Lachlan Ridge11/4/12 5:21 pm

    "Abbott is not Fraser in sluggos but Snedden with a rosary."

    My dead Catholic father would have pissed himself laughing at that. He always said that Abbott was the DLP gatecrashing the Liberal Party. The only thing they brought to the table is the old labor ability to hate.

    Mind you, he also described Ian Viner as Minister for Shaking Hands at Airports, so he knew a thing or two about the Liberal Party did my old dad. He would have loved your work Andrew. I know this, because he drew my attention to the clarity of thought in Orwell's essays when I was a young teenager; how sloppy and verbose writing leads to sloppy thought (are you listening up the back there Hillbilly?)

    I wish us poor working stiffs out here in the household sector could subsidise you Andrew. We have precious few competent advocates as it is.

  9. I watch Henderson on Insiders. His whole demeanor says belligerence of the passive aggressive type. His writing is a further extension of that, it is truly woeful. I do not want to see Abbott as PM - his views worry me.

    "Abbott is not Fraser in sluggos but Snedden with a rosary."

    Hilarious and thoughtful, piece thanks.

  10. "His whole demeanor says belligerence of the passive aggressive type."

    Spot on. Henderson is an ugly character containing a spiteful mind, along with Tim Wilson another person to make me switch off whenever he appears.

    Hederson is a classic case of projecting self-hatred, should any psych students want someone to study.

  11. Thanks Andrew - especially for saving me from having to read Henderson's tedious tendentiousness.

    Now, when are you going to get your teeth into the IPA?

  12. My total favourite Wormtongue...er...sorry, Henderson moment was on Insiders a couple of years ago when he was getting huffy with The Age for describing Abbott as 'The Mad Monk'...because,
    "He is not and never has been, a monk."

  13. "Now, when are you going to get your teeth into the IPA?"

    +1 please.

    1. These guys are absurd namely Tim Wilson

      A homcon that lurks on fascist crap and wants to sleep with Pvo on The Contrarians its that hilarious and pathetic

      These nasty snots remind me of that annoying jewish mother in law from hell who sqauks predictable crap that drives you crazy!!

  14. Andrew, I am really sorry - as are many of my friends - that Politically Homeless wasn't nominated for the Best Australian Blogs 2012. I would have been delighted to vote for you/it, and would even have created a few new identities :)

  15. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.