The ever-reliable halfwit, Tony Abbott, has, as is his wont, opened his gob to utter something that is seemingly designed to make Malcolm Turnbull either cringe, or start poking more needles into his Tony Abbott voodoo doll. In support of keeping Australia day as the 26th of January, this prize moron alluded to the ‘what have the Romans done for us’ segment in the ‘Life of Brian’. He said that it’s hard to imagine a better Australia in the absence of western civilisation, as it gave us: “the rule of law, equality of the sexes, scientific curiosity, technological progress, responsible government — plus the constant self-criticism and lust for improvement that makes us so self-conscious of our collective failings towards Aboriginal people — all date from then” and added “We could all make a list of the things that should be better: trust in politicians, economic competitiveness, standards in schools, safety on our streets (especially in Melbourne), congested roads and inefficient public transport, and — yes — the wellbeing of the First Australians, but is anything to be gained by this annual cycle of agonising over the date of our national day?1,2”.
Rarely have I ever seen something written by Abbott which is so demonstrably rubbish; and that is saying much given his propensity for lying or talking nonsense3-9. Firstly, he talks about the rule of law, just as his government is attacking the judiciary, and indulging in money laundering10,11, and race-baiting12, the latter seemingly in contravention of its own Terrorism Act. Secondly, he mentions equality of the sexes, when he belongs to a church that is diametrically opposed to women controlling their fertility, and foams at the mouth when same-sex marriage is even mentioned. Thirdly, he speaks of scientific curiosity, yet doesn’t believe the myriad climatologists who tell him climate change is happening, and seemingly thinks that science is not about curiosity but developing better widgets. Fourthly, he mentions technological progress, when it was he, with Malcolm Turnbull’s help, who crippled the National Broadband Network (NBN) to appease Foxtel, lest it suffer from competition from streaming services. Fifthly, he talks about responsible government, when he lied profusely before the 2013 federal election, and since then, his government has only been responsible to its donors, and is largely unconcerned with the average person.
His list of things that could be better is just as laughable and demonstrates his lack of awareness of anything beyond his own unjustified ego. Firstly, the lack of trust in politicians is precisely because of people like Abbott, who will lie through their teeth to retain power. Secondly, his use of the term economic competitiveness has nothing to do with competition; it is all about giving corporations and the wealthy more money by tax cuts or cuts to workers’ penalty rates, so they can donate more money to the Liberal Party. Thirdly, speaking of standards in schools is hypocritical for a government who initially (while he was PM) cut spending to education, but has, with the passing of the Gonski 2 package by the Turnbull government, reversed it to a large degree13. Fourthly, he refers to safety on the streets and includes ‘especially Melbourne’ in an allusion to Dutton’s race baiting; in fact, the streets of Melbourne are safer than those of Sydney or Brisbane, as crime has been falling in Victoria12. Fifthly, he talks of congested roads and inefficient public transport. It is precisely the lack of public transport which has led to traffic congestion; and the adjective ‘inefficient’ is purely ideological. Abbott is of the neoliberal bent for whom anything done by government is bad and anything by business is good. Lastly, he mentions the wellbeing of the First Australians, which despite the efforts of many governments continues to lag far behind that of white people.
Abbott’s myopia aside, Aboriginal people have suffered horrendously since 1788. At that time it was thought that there were between 750,000 and 1,000,000 occupants of this continent, and subsequently they have suffered epidemics of diseases such as smallpox; hundreds of massacres, many ordered or led by early governors; driven off their lands with concomitant starvation; had the remains of their dead sent to museums across the world; had their children stolen and had those children used as indentured labour, and commonly abused. By 1900, the number of Aboriginals on this continent was estimated to be 93,200; a decrease of at least 88%14. Yeah, January 26, 1788, was so good for Aboriginals.