The last 48 hours have provided yet more reasons why Tony Abbott must never be allowed to become Australia’s prime minister, says Barry Everingham.
There are many reasons why the Liberals must never, under any circumstances, allow Tony Abbott to become our country’s prime minister — and in the past 48 hours we had an example of this.
It was Malcolm Turnbull’s stellar performance at the London School of Economics.
The former opposition leader, rolled by the Abbott forces by just one vote, was invited by this prestigious social science university to share with it his views on the need for long term thinking and leadership in the face of the extraordinary rise of China.
It must be noted it was Turnbull not Abbott, not the Opposition’s foreign affairs shadow Julie Bishop, who was asked to share his thoughts on this most important of matters.
He did, we are told, send a copy of his speech to Ms Bishop.
Turnbull laid it on the line.
He accused the United States of being utterly flummoxed by the swiftness of China’s rise and rejected the idea that the central strategic aim of Australian or American policy should be containment.
Tony Abbott doesn’t have the elan of Turnbull; the Abbott manner is crash or crash through — his staccato delivery is off-putting and his very walk is the strut of a pugilist entering the boxing ring.
On the domestic stage he doesn’t cut it — on the international stage he is pathetic.
His first visit to London as opposition leader was a total disaster; the Conservatives didn’t seem to know him, so he was sidelined.
In the past few weeks, Tony Abbott’s press has been dismal.
He talked down the Government’s economic forum and denied he was invited.
In fact, both Abbott and Joe Hockey had been sent invitations — they didn’t reply and they didn’t attend.
Tony Abbott is dummy spitting on a gargantuan level.
He truly believes he should be prime minister and was robbed of the prize.
Well, thank God he was. We can now see what might have been.
The distinguished chief of Melbourne University Press, Louise Adler, listed in this week’s The Age newspaper her disagreements with Tony Abbott, and they are:
The treatment of asylum seekers, the republic, religion, abortion, stem cell research, homosexuality, global warming, a worrying tolerance for hate speech and his encouragement of noisy contempt for one’s political opponents.
Adler seems slightly pissed off that MUP didn’t get the gig to publish Susan Mitchell’s Tony Abbott: A Man’s Man and because it seems Mitchell didn’t ask for an interview with Abbott but in fact rehashed Michael Duffy’s study of Abbott and Mark Latham and Abbott’s own manifesto Battlelines — both authors are MUP’s.
Abbott comes across as an ideological throwback to the 1950’s, depended on and manipulated by a catalogue of conservative male mentors from BA Santamaria to Christopher Pearson.
All Australian women should beware of Abbott if ever he gets the keys to The Lodge.
He will, unless the ALP regroups and becomes a serious political party, be there for several terms and his rosary beads will be across the ovaries of all women.
He will rely on skewered right wing conservatives, the likes of the church’s George Pell; the racist Andrew Bolt (Abbott was one of the first to leap to the columnist’s defence after Justice Bromberg’s incisive judgement); Michael Kroger; Hugh Morgan, to name just a few.
All unelected and all dangerous politically.
The once great Liberal Party of Robert Menzies, as imperfect as it was in many ways by contemporary standards, was a political nirvana compared to what Abbott will dream up.
Malcolm Turnbull must never be permitted to remain a thorn in Abbott’s side; his day of resurrection must be arranged swiftly and bloodlessly.
Abbott must never be allowed to become a martyr.
He has a place — it’s on the dung heap of political history with his “political father”, John Howard.