Tony Abbott’s “strong start”

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Tony Abbott says he has made a “strong start” in his first 100 days in power. Managing editor David Donovan assesses this remarkable claim.

PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT says his Government has made a strong start in its first 100 days in Government.

Yes, that’s right, a strong start.

His assessment was repeated throughout the day, according to Fairfax’s Mark Kenny:

Tony Abbott was typically generous. "We've made a strong start," he opined through successive early morning interviews.

The end-to-end chats with the chief correspondents of all the major mastheads were designed to spruik the Government's achievements, approaching the otherwise meaningless 100-day mark.

So, to mark this auspicious milestone, let’s have a look at Tony Abbott’s “strong start”.

He sure started strongly. In his first week, he broke his first promise — to spend his first week as PM in Arnhem Land, in an Indigenous community.

(A News Corp attack dog and an Abbott acolyte tried to discredit me when I exposed that, but all that happened was they exposed themselves.)


Then there was the rorting saga, where more Coalition’s MP than you could point a cheque book at ‒ including, and especially, the new prime minister himself, with his love of fun runs, bike rides and triathlons on the public ticket ‒ seemed to be on the take.

Tony quietened down any thought of an investigation into this flagrant rorting with some quiet words and then it all seemed to vanish into mist. I’ll bet Craig Thomson wishes he had that control over the media. Or Peter Slipper.

Strong work from Tony there. Or at least a strong smell.

The new immigration minister stopped giving the media any information about boat arrivals and the pre-election policies of turning back boats and buying boats collapsed into a steaming pile of ordure when Indonesia said they just weren’t interested in doing that.

Tony and Scott — tough on "illegal immigrants".

Well, then came the Indonesian spying crisis, where Tony refused to apologise for spying on the Indonesian President — or even his wife.

That was a tough time and strong words were spoken, with Indonesia recalling its ambassador and putting on hold military co-operation and even co-operation on immigration matters.

But don’t worry, Tony was strong on that too, just yesterday saying that Indonesia had been “singularly unhelpful” because it won’t do precisely what he tells them to do.

Strong words indeed.

What a man. What a start.

Yes, Tony has got gold stars galore in his first three months in power … but wait, there’s more!

Then Tony’s Education Minister and leader of the house, Christopher Pyne, a safe pair of hands if ever there’s been one, decided to turn back the Coalition’s commitment to honour the Gonski plan.

Pyne’s own Coalition state education ministers attacked him to the waiting media while he stood off to the side smirking. This clearly was not the strong look Tony was after, so then Pyne did a tidy backflip and decided not to do what he had just said he was going to do. But, then, the final deal still didn’t really seem to fully make good on to the promise to maintain the funding for every school under the old Gonski commitment and so, now ‒ well ‒ no-one really knows what the hell is going on.

(Seriously, if someone does know, please contact me — I’m a parent!)

What an education the Australian public has received in the last 100 days!

And then there was the piece de resistance, Abbott’s Treasurer Joe Hockey goading Holden to stop manufacturing cars in Australia during Question Time.

Strong words, strong leadership. Just the sort of the thing Australia has been craving after the unruly debacle of the Gillard and Rudd years.

Yes. Indeed.

Tony Abbott has had a strong first 100 days as Prime Minister. I’m just not sure how strong the nation will need to be to endure 100 more.

Think we’ve missed some of the Abbott Government’s “achievement” from its first 100 days in power? Tell us about them in the comments after this article. Or tweet them direct to David Donovan @davroszThe originals of John Graham's art, as featured at the top of this piece and elsewhere on IA, may be purchased for very reasonable prices by contacting the editor via email at editor@independentaustralia.net.

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