Thursday 27th of February 2020

fantasyman ....

fantasyman ....

The opposition frontbencher Bronwyn Bishop has revealed that Tony Abbott would have called another election had he succeeded in negotiating with the independents in 2010 to form minority government.

Ms Bishop's revelation confirms the long-held suspicions of the independents, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, who never trusted Mr Abbott's assurances he would govern for the full term.

It has also been seized upon by the government's Craig Emerson to claim Mr Abbott ''has been exposed as a liar''.

Ms Bishop made the revelation during a robust exchange with the Trade Minister, Craig Emerson, on the Sky News panel program The Nation on Thursday night.

Ms Bishop had been claiming the Gillard government was illegitimate because it did not secure a majority in it own right.

Dr Emerson disputed this and challenged Ms Bishop to say what Mr Abbott would have done had he been successful in negotiating a minority government after the August 2010 election.

''We would have gone to another election,'' she said.

''Of course we would have gone to another election.''

Ms Bishop added that Mr Abbott would not have gone ''straightaway''.

When Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor announced their decision to side with Labor following the 17-day, post-election negotiating period in 2010, they said part of their decision was based on a distrust of Mr Abbott's assurances that the Parliament would run the full term.

Julia Gillard had made the same commitment but had little choice, given the momentum was against Labor and another election would have resulted in a majority Coalition government.

It would have been in Mr Abbott's interest to call another election once he had secured the support of the independents and they would have either lost their seats or their relevance in Parliament.

During the negotiation period, Mr Abbott rejected a claim by the Greens that he would call a quick election as ''a complete fantasy''.

''I think that the public expect, and Australia deserves, to get an outcome from the election. I think that it is possible to get stable and competent government, even out of the election outcome that we've got - and that's what I'm working towards,'' he said.

''I want to form, if at all possible, stable and competent government that won't require the country to go back to the polls any time before August of 2013.''

Bishop's Revelation Exposes Abbott's Intention To Call Election


abbotting ....

Abbott - v.t. To make a wrong, tasteless, controversial or foolish remark, only to retract it the next day.

While the Macquarie Dictionary people are updating their definitions they should consider inserting the verb ''to abbott'' as a whole new word. To be abbotted, the passive voice, might also get a look-in. It would be a valuable addition to the political discourse.

The Mad Monk was abbotting again on Monday with his crack blaming the government's supposed lack of family experience for its decision to slash the baby bonus. Whether he said it with malice aforethought or launched it from the top of his head doesn't matter; either way it was clearly a sneer at an unmarried, childless prime minister.

His truculent withdrawal the next day was the second leg of the abbotting process. Oh well, if she wants an apology she can have one, sort of thing. By Wednesday, Abbott was babbling that "I'm never going to apologise for being a dad and having a family". Eh?

He does this all the time. A fortnight ago we got the "died of shame" remark about the government, channelling the Alan Jones libel, which he also had to withdraw. There was the line about Julia Gillard making "an honest woman of herself, politically speaking", and the shot a couple of years ago that "when it comes from Julia, no doesn't mean no". Remember the dump on Bernie Banton, a man dying of asbestosis but not "necessarily pure of heart''; or "climate change is crap". All these had to be scraped off the footpath, like so much dog poo.

There is a pattern here. The Monk's former boss, John Hewson, thinks it's a deliberate strategy by Abbott to get attention. As he told ABC TV's Four Corners in 2010:

"What you've got is constant colour and movement, and he's very good at it. His strengths are, he's obviously very bright, but he's very cunning, and I think that cunningness shows.

"And he can see an issue and he can grab an issue. And how does he handle it? He gets right in your face. He exaggerates; he grabs the headlines, even if he knows that the next day he's gonna have to back that off.''

I take the opposite view, that Abbott is not very bright at all, that he stupidly shoves both feet in his mouth before the brain is in gear.

You shudder to think of him as prime minister at a G20 summit: a breezy "Ve vill ask ze questions" for Angela Merkel, a Rastus joke for the President of the United States, a Pearl Harbour quip for the Prime Minister of Japan. With abbotting, anything's possible.

Mike Carlton