Thursday 2nd of April 2020

a "good guy" moves on, while hanging on and making a nuisance of himself as usual...


a good guy...

From personal experience and by all other accounts, Tony Abbott is a good guy.  Many suggest he's surprisingly funny, caring and dedicated to public service.  People who know him best say he's the sort of guy you can have a beer with.  After all, what's not to like about a politician of 21 years standing who can ride a bike and hold his own on a big day at North Steyne?   

Yet events since mid-September, when he lost the Prime Minister's job to Malcolm Turnbull, point to a level of entitlement that is disconnected from real world expectations.   

Once the deed was done, Abbott virtually disappeared.  He didn't front the cameras to publicly own his ballot defeat.  He didn't even personally visit the Governor-General, reportedly faxing his resignation letter.    

He went on radio to say that he's "too young to retire" and that he's considering his options but won't be making decisions "this side of Christmas".  He also spent a lot of time talking up his achievements and trying to cement his leadership legacy. 

It's never nice to be spurned by your colleagues but the reality is that people lose their jobs every day.  It's happened to me over time. 

The difference here is that most of us don't have the opportunity to rewrite our legacies – we're flat out paying the bills while searching for a new job.   

I understand Abbott is relatively young, but as the member for Warringah, he's not unemployed.  He may have lost the top job, but he still has a job.

That's not the case for the 500 people from BlueScope Steel in Port Kembla who'll shortly be joining the unemployment queues or the 200 Santos staff in South Australia whose jobs are being shed.  

And now we see Abbott on the international speakers circuit with a first-up appearance in London to tell European leaders that his boat turn back policy is the best way to manage their refugee crisis.  Not sure the German Chancellor, who's working to accommodate up to one million refugees in her country, will appreciate the contribution.

Nonetheless, Abbott's agency, the Washington Speakers Bureau, says he has "unparalleled insight on leadership" and is an expert on negotiation. 

While there are those who'll have differing views about Abbott's leadership and negotiation credentials, there's nothing amiss with earning a living on the global speakers circuit – except that it's a world away from representing the interests of the voters of Warringah.  

He's being paid by you and me to represent the 102,000 people of Manly, Dee Why, Balgowlah and elsewhere in his electorate.  He has a backbencher salary, is looking at an annual pension of more than $300,000 and potentially other entitlements such as an additional annual salary of $300,000 to cover the costs of travel and a staffed office.

Is it appropriate to take time out from that?  Is it right to occupy a job you've no longer got the interest, focus or passion for?  

When you choose a public life, you accept the possibility of a public defeat.  It's a part of the game – and you move on.   

The real world is an unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent, and more than double that in some outer urban and regional areas, with all the economic and social challenges that brings to households. 

The real world of employment is hypercompetitive.  It doesn't provide the luxury of time-out for contemplation.



There is not two ways about it. Tony Abbott would NEVER EVER CUT IT in the private sector... He's too much of a loose cannon.

... and jesus said...

This unease is also felt more broadly in the community. It is not surprising that Catholic bishops like Retired Bishop Pat Power and Jesuit priest Father Frank Brennan immediately slammed Mr Abbott's remarks as "appalling". The number of those in the church community troubled and angered by our harsh many-layered system of deterrence has grown, and they have become more vocal.
Over the past couple of years, more than 200 church leaders including Catholic nuns, have risked arrest during quiet, peaceful protests and sit-ins in politicians' offices.

They are part of a faith-based movement called Love Makes a Way that seeks better treatment for asylum seekers, and their leader, Jarrod McKenna, was stunned to hear of Mr Abbott's remarks.

The Rev. McKenna, also the Teaching Pastor of Westcity Church in Perth said:

Wherever the love Jesus teaches leads is what all Christians should long for; not warn against.

If I was Mr Abbott's pastor I'd be sitting him down for some intensive Bible studies about how Jesus's love is not a "wholesome instinct", nor an optional extra but a concrete practice of putting love in action. If "loving thy neighbour" is an error, I pray we'd all be found guilty of it.

If our former PM is struggling to know how to apply "love thy neighbour" - in Europe or elsewhere, Mr. McKenna suggested "he asks how we can 'do to others as we would want them to do to us' if we were in their situation needing safety."

There are many reasons to carefully monitor borders, and try to stem the numbers of those taking dangerous voyages by sea. The scale of the problem in Europe is immense, and the vastness of the need overwhelming.

But what Mr Abbott is dismissing as a naive, wholesome instinct is at the very core of his faith and his church. To shrug off compassion as catastrophic is not just psychologically perilous and theologically dodgy, but politically fraught.

And perhaps worst of all, it just makes no sense.

Julia Baird is a host of Drum TV. She tweets at @bairdjulia.

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far less compassionate than a ton of hard bricks...

Tony Abbott’s plan for Europe to “stop the boats” arriving on its shores cannot work.

While the former Australian prime minister said in the Margaret Thatcher lecture in London that “stopping the boats and restoring border security is the only truly compassionate thing to do”, there are fundamental reasons why a “turn-backs” policy is impractical, illegal, and an impossibility.

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London: Tony Abbott's controversy-sparking speech in honour of Margaret Thatcher made Conservative cabinet ministers "wince", a well-connected Tory blogger says.

Guido Fawkes, the online persona of blogger and journalist Paul Staines, wrote that a top Tory described the speech afterwards as "fascistic".

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Even La Madame Thatcher would have been spinning in her grave...




There's something about seeing a former prime minister attempting to defend or rehabilitate a legacy. Something about the relentless grinding out of well-rehearsed arguments in the hope that this time they will finally strike the audience, like some revelatory lightning bolt. But the result is so often perverse; every re-statement, every elaboration seems only to heighten the sense of parody, revealing anew why there's a legacy in need of rehabilitation.

It's a spectacle we've witnessed twice this week in the forms of Tony Blair and Tony Abbott. To be sure, there are differences. Blair's intervention took the form of an apology; Abbott's a kind of unapology. Blair is apparently pre-empting the impending result of an almost certainly damning inquiry; Abbott is tending to his fresh wounds for his own reasons, rather than because of some urgent external demand. But at bottom, both men carry an albatross: in Blair's case a catastrophic foreign policy blunder, and in Abbott's case a thoroughgoing political failure.

"I can say that I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong," began Blair when asked – again – about his decision to invade Iraq. Immediately he revealed what sort of an apology this wasn't, apologising for the most passive thing imaginable: receiving something. "Sorry, MI6 stuffed up", is the most direct translation.

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see toon at top and  the trilogy... | Your Democracy




still pissing in turnbull's backyard...

The former prime minister told Fairfax Media it was "false" that Ms Bishop had warned him of a phone call where Malcolm Turnbull was making plans for a post-Abbott government seven months before he challenged for the leadership.
The call was a clear sign that Mr Turnbull, then communications minister, was considering a leadership strike against Mr Abbott.
In the February 8 call, Mr Turnbull offered Scott Morrison the treasurer's post in a future Turnbull government, as disclosed by Fairfax Media's Shirtfronted series this week.
Ms Bishop was in the same room as Mr Turnbull at the time, a silent participant in the call. The three continued to serve in the Abbott cabinet for another seven months and six days.
When Ms Bishop was asked on Channel Nine on Tuesday whether she had told Mr Abbott about the call, she responded: "Of course, of course." 
But Mr Abbott said: "The claim that Julie Bishop made on Channel Nine that she told me about the conversation between Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison that she witnessed is false."
On a second point, Mr Abbott said it was not true that Ms Bishop had urged him to appoint two more women to his first cabinet.

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Between you, me and a Peta memo, the chances of Tony Abbott lying are far bigger than the 99.9 per cent eradication of germs by a well-known antiseptic advertised on TV. Tony's memory is linked to a permanent bullshit porkie distributor, itself attached to the right wing spruiker-press and shock-jocks who wants to stir the pot. Already Abbott has broken his promise not to stir the pot about 20 times. Idiot, resentful idiot who is still full of his own caca (you should notice that I promised I would not use the word "turd", in relation to Abbott from the time he was kicked out, but the word caca is permissible under my own rule). 

stupidly mentioning an accident that did not happen...

Tony Abbott says he would have died happy with his government's achievements if he had been accidentally killed on the morning of the day that he was removed as prime minister.

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Delusion of self-importance is the privilege of those who don't have anything to loose because they achieved nothing.

tony abbott is showing how "it's done"...

Tony Abbott is lobbying for his migration policies to be introduced to Europe and he's in Hungary this week to convince European nations to take on his controversial ideas.

Hungary's fiercely anti-migration government has already embraced Mr Abbott, inviting him to address the third Budapest Demographic Summit, where he delivered a warning about the "shrinking West" and urged the UK to "leave the EU even without a deal".

"I have something to say about the implications of the shrinking West," he told me during a break in a turbulent meeting of the conservative-leaning Danube Institute, a think tank in Budapest backed by the Hungarian government. 

And he had a message for Britain: "Don't be bluffed by the European Union."


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Don't worry Turdy Tony... BoJo will not let himself be bluffed by the Europeans union... He will let himself be bluffed by his own hubris and his delusion of grandeur... Not unlike yours when you told so many lies as Australian PM that we may have lost count at the 359 mark...



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