Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged people to vote Labor rather than for independent candidates in the upcoming federal election1. This is something clearly playing on his mind, such as it is, because a seemingly popular independent candidate has surfaced to contest his seat of Warringah. She is Susan Moylan-Coombs; the former head of production at NITV and founding director of the Gaimaragal Group, an organisation which aims to foster connections between indigenous elders, youth and the broader community2. It was also rumoured that high profile social commentator Jane Caro was considering running in Warringah, but she has not made any announcements, except to say that it was important to not split the vote3. There are numerous bodies or micro-campaigns to unseat Abbott4. Having visited the electorate recently, I noticed that there are anti-Abbott posters everywhere, but most are unlike your average political posters. They are simply a photograph of Abbott with one of his bizarre or inarticulate quotes printed verbatim beneath. That is enough.
During Abbott’s rant, he had a go at Rob Oakeshott, who has announced that he will run in the electorate of Cowper on the north coast of New South Wales, which is being vacated by Luke Hartsuyker5, another of the Coalition members who have jumped ship because they can see the writing on the wall. My initial thought was that Rob Oakeshott had paid Abbott to cast aspersions, because as recent history demonstrates, a thumbs-down from Abbott is to the target’s benefit. In his rant, Abbott used the same bogus complaint used by Murdoch ‘ruperter’ Elias Visontay5; that Oakeshott was in it for the money; that he was a “serial candidate and serial collector of taxpayer-funded money [sic]”1. Abbott neglects to mention that he is a serial candidate, having held Warringah since 1994. He also neglects to mention that all candidates get public funding to the tune of 273.454 cents for every primary vote (beyond a certain number), so he (or at least the Liberal Party) would have obtained a substantial amount of (tax-payer funded) money for winning his seat5.
Tony Abbott is lying by omission, which he commonly does6; and in this he is simply using the technique enunciated by Josef Goebbels in a 1934 Nuremberg rally7, to accuse the opposition of that of which you are guilty. These demonstrate how pathetic he is and how he is unfit to represent anyone, let alone an electorate in parliament.