Tony Abbott crossed the line last week and his brief reign as Australia's prime minister is about to end.
Until now if anybody asked who was the worst prime minister Australia ever had, most would say Billy McMahon.
Now Abbott's name will appear in Australia's history as the leader who could not lead; a man who is untrustworthy, unreliable and dishonest; who shamed himself and the country he should never have been allowed to lead because he was totally unqualified by birth and by incompetence.
No sensible Australian believed his argument that Labor had left a debt crisis in its wake, that the budget cuts he demanded were ever necessary.
No sensible Australian believed Joe Hockey's ramblings about a financial disaster left in the wake of a Labor party.
Actually, Labor had achieved a great deal more than was generally recognised, the truth buried in an unfortunate set of leadership changes, seen by a majority of the party as necessary at the time but punished by an irritated electorate.
The election of 2013 was the result of shameful dishonesty, shared between the Murdoch newspapers and the claims the Liberal-Nationals used ruthlessly in their pre-election desperation and then in their post-election incompetence.
Tony Abbott, maintaining his obsequious relationship with Rupert Murdoch, over dinner in December, allegedly blamed bad advice from his communications staff for the failings of the Government Murdoch himself had installed.
That's when Murdoch said: get rid of them — including Peta Credlin.
Abbott took Murdoch's orders and overhauled his media team, including dumping his press office director Jane McMillan and appointing the ABC's Mark Simkin in his place
But Abbott demurred on Credlin and tried to save her. Murdoch allegedly took to phoning Abbott demanding Credlin's head.
Abbott refused and so Murdoch used Twitter to reinforce his demand.
Predictably, this unleased the dogs of war and his sycophantic retinue of hacks for hire immediately took up their master's call.
Peta Credlin is now the story: the "Credlin Choke", by @mirandadevine http://t.co/IpSBuITDzG #auspol #ThanksTony pic.twitter.com/oMCDrQyga8— David Feeney (@Feeney4Batman) February 1, 2015
It is easy to forget that when Labor was in office, Australia achieved triple A financial ratings on a level with Germany, Canada, Sweden and Switzerland — and even better than the USA at that time.
When the Abbott Government took power, Australia had one of the lowest levels of government debt in the western world. The debt is still relatively low, though the Abbott and Hockey financial team managed to double the debt in their first six months in power.
In 2008, the Labor Government under Rudd allowed the Budget to go into deficit because of the global financial crisis. This immediately stimulated the Australian economy, kept us out of recession and maintained a record high employment level.
The simple truth is that in 2014 Joe Hockey deceptively inflated Australia's debt level to produce panic. His Budget projections raised the deficit peak of $68 billion, when Labor's highest level had actually been $54 billion. Under Labor, spending growth was locked at less than two per cent per year, the lowest in 23 years.
The fiscal outlook for Australia was praised by no less than the Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, who congratulated the Labor government's financial stimulus as one of the best designed programs in the world.
At the same time, Labor maintained one of the lowest tax takes in the western world, at just 22.5% of GDP, compared with John Howard's average rate of 25%.
Put more simply than the figures above, Australians can now accept that their country has been subjected to a government that lied its way into power — and now seems intent on lying its way back to oblivion.
You can follow Rodney on Twitter @RodneyELever.
Tony Abbott's political career is over, but he still seems too stupid to understand the reality. The reason is here: http://t.co/Wql6cqduNZ— Rodney E Lever (@rodneyelever) February 3, 2015
'That's not a debt disaster — THIS is a debt disaster: Joe & Tony’s big con'. Alan Austin exposes more #Budget lies. http://t.co/z5iTjhbgUu— IndependentAustralia (@independentaus) October 11, 2014
MT @firstdogonmoon Today’s unaustralian partisan expletive-laden hate-filled rant http://t.co/GtfZj1nSON #libspill pic.twitter.com/vQWqV85HSz— Guardian Australia (@GuardianAus) February 4, 2015
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