Aug 012011

Why Tony Abbott should never be allowed to become Prime Minister is clearly enumerated in the fawning excerpt from his address to the dedicated believers, edited and given an op-ed column in The Australian.

The man lies, this we all know and from his own mouth it came. He cannot be trusted to speak the truth, because he cannot frame it within his own mind. He needs the facts of any matter written out for him to speak from, lest he detour to what he genuinely believes, not what he wants the masses to hear. This speech, apparently given yesterday to the Centre for Independent Studies – a misnomer in anyone’s language – makes a febrile attempt at claiming Labor did not have a mandate for introduction of a carbon pricing mechanism. He claims Howard went to the 1998 election on the platform of the GST. He did not. The 1998 election was fought on the basis of Industrial Relations reform. What we now know to be the one and only real issue of public policy Howard genuinely believed in, and still does. The argument that election 1998 was fought on the GST is fraudulent.
Abbott goes on to claim “Work Choices turned out to be unsustainable because it passed through a parliament that had no mandate for it” and yet the core processes of what Work Choices became were integral to the coalition policy platform and the 2004 election win and presumption of power in both houses of Parliament. Work Choices failed because it was a bloody-minded approach to Industrial Relations undertaken by an ideologically driven individual at the top. Work Choices failed because it was a direct assault on the freedoms of the working class to negotiate and be protected in their negotiations. Work Choices failed because as an issue it became class warfare, not because it’s government didn’t have a mandate, because it did. Review Hansard for the period and any number of government members debating Work Choices will put voice to that fact.
I never fretted that my children would have less opportunity than I had, if anything I was mildly jealous of the times they were growing up in. The Centre of Misnomic Presumption had no input into or impact upon how I raised my kids nor the opportunities I was able to give them. Times have indeed changed and improved between my birth in 1957 and the present day. I came through an era of Menzies Liberalism, a brief flirtation with Whitlamism, the devastating exposure to political bastardry in 1975, then Fraserism as a derivative of Menzies before him before what I regard as the true Labor government during my formative years. 1983 to 1996 was the real period of change in the Australian psyche during my life to date. Driven by a consensus government, bent on reform but reform at the right price. The current Labor government more resembles its opposition than any previous form of Labor, nor anything even remotely approaching the ethos I grew up believing in. Nor is the current opposition anything even remotely like it’s Liberal forebears. If there are any genuine Liberals left, they are in hibernation while radical conservative elements hold sway. Neither major party in Australian politics currently espouses, nor follows its true core ethos. Neither party genuinely represents its true believers.
Labor does not need to have carried a policy agenda to an election win in order to govern those aspects of public policy it deems vital to the social, economic and political good. Indeed, no government has to, and historically, every government has, and should, govern as circumstances of the day dictate. If the country’s economy dictates taxation reform, then that’s what ought to be looked at. If climate change requires addressing through mitigation of greenhouse gas pollution, then government must address that matter. Whether or not these and other dog-whistle trigger issues receive air-time prior to or during an election campaign is irrelevant. The only relevance to any government’s tenure is its stewardship of the nation as a whole. Since 2007, Labor – not essentially ‘my’ Labor, but Labor none the less – has saved this nation from recession, preserved jobs that would otherwise have been lost, instigated reforms intended to derive greater benefit from our finite resources for the benefit of the whole. This is what Labor is about, and while the current government is a pale shadow of what I would have, it remains, none the less, a government set on reforms. It’s opposition remains a loosely adhered collective of noddy-dogs following what many would believe to be the ultimate nihilist.
Tony Abbott’s campaign of opposing the current government on every level, on every issue, because he perceives that to be his job, has worn out. He offers nothing, opposes everything, yet claims our economy needs to be stronger and our social fabric more robust. How does he propose these things yet offer no solutions, options or policy statements as the alternative government. Does he seriously believe the Australian people are gullible to the extent that simply telling them a change of government is desirable, simply because he says so? Obviously so, as he has not put forward any alternative policies as any counter to cogent government policy since he assumed the role of leader. His entire campaign of ‘NO’ is based on telling lies. Lies about carbon dioxide, asylum seekers, corporate taxation, mining & resources, social security. In fact much of what he utters lately is in direct contravention to previously stated stances. Not only is this man an arch conservative by word & deed, he lies blatantly claiming in government he would go precisely against his own personal philosophy. A politician he may be, but believable, he most certainly is not. As the Bard warns us, ‘The purest treasure mortal times afford is spotless reputation. That away, men are but gilded loam, or painted clay’. The reputation of the alternative government is most certainly clay, and ungilded.

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