Who voted for this man?


T. Abbott, our illustrious PM, continues to embarrass us all.

On the Scottish independence referendum first he said he would not presume to tell Scottish voters which way they should vote. Then he said this:

“As a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it’s hard to see how the world would be helped by an independent Scotland.

“I think that the people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom, and the countries that would cheer at the prospect … are not the countries whose company one would like to keep.”

No doubt we should invade Scotland, or bomb them into submission!

That was last month. Next Tuesday 125 world leaders including US president Barack Obama and UK prime minister David Cameron will attend the UN secretary-general’s Climate Summit in New York. Tony Abbott will not be one of them. Yet the very next day he will be in New York to attend a UN Security Council meeting. He says he has more important things to do in the Australian parliament early next week.

While the New York meeting has no formal part of the climate talks leading up to the preliminary commitments countries will be asked to make by next March leading to the formal renegotiation of the Kyoto treaty in Paris in December next year, when the UN Secretary General says, “Come to New York, the planet is in trouble and needs you”, normally you would go, unless you want to make a statement about how you view the talks. In this regard Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate supremo, said:

“At least 125 heads of state have sent a strong signal to the rest of the world that … climate change is important, and they know they have a role to play and a responsibility to take in order for the world to address climate change.

“I do not know what the reasons would be behind it, but, of course, the world will interpret who is showing up and who will not be showing up.

“So that’s for your Prime Minister and your government to decide, what kind of profile they want in this.”

Hedegaard counsels us not to make too much of the fact that the Indian and Chinese leaders won’t be there. We know they are taking climate change seriously. We know, however, that Stephen Harper of Canada, Abbott’s ideological soul mate, has similar views to Abbott’s and also won’t be there although he too will be in New York a couple of days later. We know that Abbott is smugly satisfied with our pathetic 5% reduction target by 2020. He doesn’t appear to understand that this is about post 2020. His vision is clouded by denialism and the coal lobby.

The Pedestrian laments the fact that we are not the slightest bit surprised – Abbott is running true to form.


Bernard Keane at Crikey finds that Abbott’s form is changing. He’s shedding the carefully scripted, softer-spoken persona he presented before the election and is returning to the more pugilistic Abbott of the Gillard years.

If you are not a Crikey subscriber but are on Facebook you might be able to read the piece here, courtesy of Mark. It begins:

“Tony Abbott is a man in a hurry. There’s a blue on, and he wants in. The Prime Minister has regressed from statesman to pugilist. He’s back to Punchy Tony, the Rocky of the Right, a bloke who’s up for any fight, even if he has to start it himself, the former boxing “blue” and front rower ready to deck anyone (including a young Joe Hockey), if they get in his way. Or even if they don’t.

Keane is speaking of Abbott’s statements hyping the terrorist threats:

But they also reflect Tony Abbott’s aggression, a trait he laboured hard to keep under wraps as opposition leader and harder still in his early days as Prime Minister—remember that parliamentary transition to the soft-voiced Prime Minister from the often shrill Abbott of the Gillard years.

But bit by bit it has re-emerged—the boyish grin sitting in the cockpit of a mocked-up F-35 (appropriately, on the ground, where the F-35s spend all of their time), the near-hysterical rhetoric about the threat of Islamic militants, and now dispatching tonnes of military hardware and some of our best troops to the United Arab Emirates, there to await whatever America wants them to do.

For a truly scathing assessment of the first year of the Abbott government, however, take a look at Nick Feik, the editor of The Monthly.

Feik says he’s passed six pieces of legislation and

After almost a year, the Abbott government has repealed one tax, a move that left the nation without a climate-change policy but had no discernible impact on prices, and implemented an increasingly inhumane, secretive and quite possibly illegal asylum-seeker regime designed in large part by the ALP.

And it has been good at undoing things:

It has cut funding to social, educational, health, research and advisory bodies. Any and every environmental action, movement, organisation or legislation has been made a permanent target.

Feik sees incompetence and incoherence everywhere. He concludes:

Beyond the budget, it’s unclear whether the government has a legislative agenda of any kind. Perhaps this explains recent efforts to reposition Abbott as an international statesman, in charge of keeping Islamic terrorism, Russian tyranny and Scottish independence at bay. He needs to be above the fray, because domestically his troops are stuck in the trenches, and they’re starting to turn on one another. They must be relieved the Opposition is showing no stomach for a fight.

I’ve used the cover image from The Monthly as the featured image on the home page.