Monday 21st of April 2014



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, strong start.

His assessment was apparently 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 — spendinghis 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 mister stopped giving the media any information about boat arrivals and the pre-election policies of turning back boats and buying boatscollapsed 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.,5994

on L plates since 1980-ish...

The Federal Opposition says Prime Minister Tony Abbott risks further undermining Australia's relationship with Indonesia after he suggested it was "high time" Indonesia resumed cooperation on people smuggling operations.

Indonesia suspended cooperation after it was revealed that back in 2009, Australian spies had targeted the phones of the Indonesian president, his wife, and inner circle.

The revelations were uncovered in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and reported by The Guardian and the ABC.

During a press conference on his first 100 days in office, Mr Abbott described Indonesia's decision to suspend military cooperation as "singularly unhelpful" and has urged Indonesia to reverse it.

"Given that people smuggling is a crime in Indonesia, just as it is a crime in Australia, I think it is high time that cooperation was resumed," he said.

"But I accept that in the end, what Indonesia does is a matter for Indonesia."

But Opposition Immigration spokesman Richard Marles has accused Mr Abbott of engaging in megaphone diplomacy.

"I think this is another example of a Government certainly with its L-plates on" he said.

Abbott cannot get his licence to drive this thingy called go-ver-nm-ent... He's been as lousy as Turnbull when driving his dad's car...

musical chair cronyism...


Why has Tony Abbott sacked Mike Rann to deliver his old mate Alexander Downer the plum London diplomatic posting? Senior correspondent Barry Everingham lifts the lid.

The hubris surrounding the Abbott Government's first 100 days of office could be premature — some moderate Abbott backbenchers are spitting chips at the news that Alexander Downer has landed the plum post as Australia's High Commissioner in London.

But wait, isn't Mike Rann, the former South Australian premier already running Australia House?

Yes, for the time being. Before we return to Downer let’s see how Abbott will handle Rann, who it seems learned a lesson from his former South Australian mate, Amanda Vanstone.

It will be remembered Howard got rid of her by offering her the job of Ambassador to Rome and, at the time, he didn't mention it to his foreign minister Downer, who was furious he was left out of the loop as he had promised the then Ambassador, Peter Woolcott, security of tenure so he could go ahead and enrol his children in a new school.

Amanda got Howard to enclose a clause in her employment contract that if she happened  to be removed early she would get a massive payout.

Rann obviously had a yarn to Amanda and his current contract is watertight. Ican now reveal that Rann won’t go quietly — he has delivered the Government two alternatives: a massive redundancy cheque or a transfer to the Embassy in Rome. He is attracted to the latter as his wife happens to be Italian.

Back to Downer, who Keating referred to as “the Billy Bunter of Australian politics”.,5995