Mark Latham on Tony Abbott

The following article appeared in the Daily Telegraph 26 November 2017.  It is also on Mark Latham’s Outsiders website. It is sound advice for Turnbull whose vanity will be an immovable obstacle to following it. Latham could have added that the Liberal Party is in an existential crisis, and the only way it will survive will be to return to its Menzian origins. There is no one who embodies the spirit of Menzies’ original foundation than Tony Abbott. There is no one in the Liberal Party who possesses the same practical and theoretical knowledge of conservatism as Abbott. The conversation in the Liberal Party should not be how it can win the next election, but about how it will survive.

Turnbull’s Survival Depends Upon Abbott

After 40 years of being involved in politics, it’s still possible to witness amazing events.

On Saturday I was at the Australian Christian Nation Association conference in Burwood, in Sydney’s inner-west.

The keynote speaker was Tony Abbott, for whom the crowd went crazy, treating him like a political rock-star.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

With hundreds packed into the room, he received three standing ovations and a wild outpouring of love.

Continue reading “Mark Latham on Tony Abbott”

Recalling criticisms of Prime Minister Tony Abbott

What contribution did criticism by ‘friends’ make to the political assassination of Tony Abbott? Surely friends’ criticism had to be sound and constructive, and not a help to those treacherous party subversives who wanted Abbott gone no matter what. 

Andrew Bolt opened the first program of the 2015 ‘Bolt Report’ with an interview with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. He prefaced his interview by saying the Tony Abbott was his friend and he regretted having criticised him for breaking promises and awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip. The Prime Minister smiled weakly giving the impression he had doubts about Bolt’s kind of friendship. Who could blame him? For no sooner had Bolt finished his declaration of friendship than he began to pound the prime minister all over again for just those misdemeanours – breaking promises and awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip. But there was a difference this time. Continue reading “Recalling criticisms of Prime Minister Tony Abbott”

That Knighthood and Tony Abbott’s ideas on cultural links

Media commentators in Australia who describe themselves as conservative or are described by others as conservative joined the media frenzy in response to Tony Abbott’s awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip. In the main, the reasons for their outrage and ferocious criticism of Abbott were the same as those of the leftist media whom they generally execrate. How could this be?

Their reasons were a sufficient explanation, they appeared to imply. Abbott was returning to the colonial past; the awards were anachronistic; Abbot was fatally enamoured of the Royal Family and the monarchy; the award was totally inappropriate on Australia Day; it was an insult to Australia and Australians; and so it went on in that vein. Continue reading “That Knighthood and Tony Abbott’s ideas on cultural links”

‘Core’ vs. ‘non-core promise’ is a legitimate distinction

During his long term as Australia’s prime minister (1996-2007), John Howard made a distinction between promises or undertakings that were ‘core’ and those that were ‘non-core’. He made the distinction in response to an accusation that he had gone back on an undertaking.  Some undertakings, he said, have to be reversed because of changed circumstances. It seemed an unexceptionable explanation, but the words had hardly passed his lips when a howling of abuse, ridicule and scorn arose from the Left like a cloud of red dust blowing in from the outback. The ABC/Fairfax coalition went to town, confident that such an absurd declaration by a conservative they hated just a touch less than Tony Abbott would give them years of fun. Indeed, their confidence was not misplaced. Continue reading “‘Core’ vs. ‘non-core promise’ is a legitimate distinction”

Tony Abbott and the Left’s postmodernist fog

Questions continue to be raised about Tony Abbott’s political position. One leftist critic from his student days said no one knew what Abbott ‘stood for’. Others, including a well-known political commentator, have questioned his conservative credentials. In 2013, I took up the question of Abbott’s political philosophy in a commentary on David Marr’s 2012 fictive piece on Abbott in The Quarterly Essay, for which he won a literary award. I reproduce it here, revised and updated.

The first two sentences in David Marr’s 2012 postmodernist essay on Tony Abbott (Tony Abbott: The Making of a Political Animal) read: ‘Australia doesn’t want Tony Abbott. We never have.’

Postmodernism is all about free-flowing fantasy where the rules of reason (normally understood) are thrown out the window as remnants of rigid oppressive patriarchy. In these two sentences we have a wonderful example. Australia for David Marr is identified with Marr’s class – that superior class made up of fervid homosexual and feminist activists gallantly in the vanguard of the Left’s long march through our institutions. The rest of us are homophobic non-persons who, if justice prevailed, would be put outside the walls. Continue reading “Tony Abbott and the Left’s postmodernist fog”

Recalling Abbott’s Paid Parental Leave Policy

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”

Recalling the hysteria around the knighthood

In January 2015, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced two Knighthoods, one for the Duke of Edinburgh, the other for former Defence Chief Angus Houston. The media reported them as Imperial Knighthoods in a newly established Imperial Knighthood system. The Knighthoods were in fact within the Order of Australia.

The two Knighthoods followed their re-introduction by Abbott, the announcement of which had provoked media hysteria out of proportion to its place in the Australian political scene. The reaction to Prince Philips’ Knighthood, however, eclipsed the hysteria of the original announcement to an extent hardly thought possible. Indeed, the media collectively went berserk. To talk about circling vultures and a feeding frenzy is to use images that fall way short of an accurate description. Continue reading “Recalling the hysteria around the knighthood”

Marxism – its basics

The following is an excerpt from my book Tony Abbott: The Student Years that will be released early 2018.

The first consolidation of the New Left at Sydney University came with the appearance of Trotskyists and Maoists in student activity. A pro-Chinese faction within the CPA had broken away and established Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist) in March 1964. In the same year a Trotskyist faction formed. Because some Trotskyists stepped forward in the mid-1960s to take a leading role in the student activism after 1967, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of classical Marxism to follow the events.  Without that understanding, it will also be difficult to comprehend what Abbott was fighting and what motivated him. The leftist devotee may find it tedious to have the basics of Marxism rehearsed here – and not with the brilliant colour he would likely want. I have frequently found, however, that many of Tony Abbott’s supporters have little idea of what Marxism entails. I anticipate that this book will have most appeal to that readership. Furthermore, most people objecting to the stifling regime of Political Correctness, which is none other than society’s forced adherence to Marxist dogma and its various interpretations, are similarly in the dark about Marxism. Continue reading “Marxism – its basics”

Recalling the assassination of Prime Minister Tony Abbott

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.


(click on graphics to enlarge)

The timeline:

  • 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”

Labor MP Kate Ellis gives in to a mother’s natural feeling

Labor Shadow Minister for Early Education, Kate Ellis, has announced her decision to leave parliament at the next election. The Australian reported her reasons:

‘In a letter sent to constituents today, Ms Ellis said one of the principal reasons for leaving is the age of her young son, who will start primary school during the next term of parliament.

“I have made this decision for one simple reason: I cannot bear the thought of spending at least 20 weeks of every year in Canberra away from my son, who will be starting school in the next term of Parliament, and from the rest of my family,” she said.

Continue reading “Labor MP Kate Ellis gives in to a mother’s natural feeling”