The news from Canberra in recent weeks is that restlessness is overtaking the Liberal Party. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has by common agreement failed to make good the promises he made after backstabbing Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The polls are against him and he can’t take a trick no matter what he does, the fiasco of the media arriving before Australian Federal Police at Australian Workers Union Headquarters being the latest cock-up. Whatever the reasons for the botched leak, Turnbull will cop most of the flak.
At the same time, Tony Abbott is going from strength to strength among his constituency, his success measured by the trembling outrage and abuse of his enemies. He has delivered a series of cogent, persuasive, beautifully written speeches locally and abroad. There is a rising murmur about a Lazarus-with-the-triple-bypass comeback. With this in mind, I am revising my previous pieces on Abbott that I still think are current. Below is a defence of Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave policy that I posted in August 2013. Continue reading “Recalling Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy”
I intend to re-post on this website some of the comments and essays I had posted on another website (they are no longer there). These are comments and essays that I consider important for the understanding of and application of Edmund Burke’s thought. As it turns out, the present commentary coincides with yet another display of treachery by members of the Liberal Party.
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- 12 September 2015, Saturday, Abbott in Perth campaigning for the Canning by-election.
- 12 September 2015, Bishop and Turnbull have a meeting at a Sydney hotel “to discuss where things stood’’.
- 13 September 2015, Sunday, Abbot in Adelaide, meets with Pyne.
- 13 September 2015, Sunday night, Turnbull and his war room meet over dinner at Peter Hendy’s Queanbeyan house.
- 14 September 2015, Monday, at 8.30 am, Abbott at the Norwood Traffic Centre with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. No idea of conspiracy.
- 14 September 2015, midday, Bishop tells Abbott there’s a challenge to his leadership and proposes three options.
- 14 September 2015, 3.10 pm, after question time, Turnbull accosts Abbott.
- 14 September 2015, in a press conference just after 4 pm, Turnbull declares: “A little while ago I met with the prime minister and advised him that I would be challenging him for the leadership of the Liberal Party…’
- 14 September 2015, 9 pm Abbott lies bleeding from 54 stab wounds
Continue reading “Recalling the assassination of Prime Minister Tony Abbott”
Tuesday September 13 was the Ides of September and the first anniversary of the secret meeting of Liberal Party conspirators at the house of MP Peter Hendy. The feature of that meeting of treachery was that the leading conspirator, the beneficiary of the conspiracy, was not present. He was comfortably ensconced in his harbour-side mansion sipping a Glenfiddich while awaiting a phone call from his underlings. The next day, Wednesday 14 September, was the first anniversary of the coup, the culmination of five years’ planning (according to Fairfax journalist Peter Hartcher) that deposed first term Prime Minister Tony Abbott and fulfilled Malcolm Turnbull’s desperate non-negotiable ambition of becoming prime minister of Australia.
A generous person may hope that Malcolm Turnbull derives the full measure of satisfaction from his self-centredness, his ruthlessness, and his ungovernable ambition. The rest has been a disaster – a disaster for the Liberal Party rent from top to bottom and a disaster for many of Turnbull’s co-conspirators whom an execrating electorate booted from the political arena. Continue reading “The Peta Credlin Phenomenon”
Under the headline ‘Gay marriage vote must be accepted: Abbott’, 27 September 2016, the popular news website news.com.au informed its readers:
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has issued a message to politicians on all sides of parliament about a proposed national vote on same-sex marriage: whatever the people want must be accepted.
Despite his strong views against legalising same-sex marriage, he’s prepared to vote with the people should they say yes.
“This is a matter that is properly for the people and if the people vote for change, the parliament has to accept it,” he told 3AW on Tuesday.
“Individual members of parliament have to accept it.”
Equally, he hopes same-sex marriage supporters will do the same if the country votes no.
The proposed plebiscite won’t be binding and several coalition MPs have indicated they’ll vote no regardless of the result.
One wonders whether news.com.au has correctly paraphrased what Abbott said. If past media reports are any indication, Abbott is here talking about the politics of the issue of homosexual ‘marriage’ and not about its morality, his views of which have not changed, as the report indicates. It is not the first time that a media report has implied that Abbott has compromised his moral views. The report prompted friend Peter Janssen to comment: Continue reading “‘Gay marriage must be accepted’”
In January 2013, an opinion piece by Tony Abbott, Leader of the Federal Opposition, appeared in the Herald-Sun, ‘For the record, I’m not opposed to IVF.’ This attempt to clarify his position did nothing to change the minds of Abbott’s critics. They simply went on warning women about his ingrained misogyny and the extreme danger he represents for their well-being and security should he be elected prime minister at the next Federal Election. Abbott would always be Captain Catholic for those shamelessly leading the sectarian campaign against him. The critical point here is that Abbott’s views on abortion and other such social matters, especially for his feminist critics, are in essence an issue of politics, and not of an exchange in which argument and counter argument are marshalled. I will come back to this.
On the other hand, just to show – again in the concrete circumstances – that often one cannot win in such hard-fought political matters, there were many conservatives who treated Abbott’s piece in the Herald-Sun as further evidence of Abbott’s (alleged) compromise on difficult moral issues, apparently to appease critics of his conservatism, outside and inside the Liberal Party. What had happened to the Tony Abbott who almost single-handedly took on the extreme left in student politics and came away with a famous victory, leaving his ideological opponents so decimated that they have not even today recovered and vent their frustrations by writing wimpy whingeing essays about Abbott’s brutal masculinity. There was a political brutality that Gillard’s John McTernan would be proud of. Continue reading “Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage and the Exercise of Prudence”