Tony Abbott channels Goebbels

By January 21, 2019Australian Politics

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.




  • Arthur Baker says:

    I have lived in the Warringah electorate since 1995, and still do. So Tony Abbott has been my so-called “representative” for more than 23 years, although it’s very obvious he doesn’t actually represent, as such, anyone other than himself. He pretends to listen, then just goes and suits himself.

    But ever since Wentworth, the mood of the Warringah electorate has changed substantially. In the past, Abbott’s commanding majority in Warringah was always seen as impregnable, but the swing of almost 20 percent in Wentworth changed everything, and as you mention, there are groups springing up all over the place, including some run by former Liberal voters dissatisfied with Abbott’s tin-eared indifference to them. Abbott will have to fight hard to retain the seat, but we’re all aware that he will – he’s that kind of guy, a bit like Donald Trump, who never, never takes a backward step.

    But let’s not get carried away just yet. As Michelle Grattan opined on Radio National Breakfast this morning, it will take “a very strong independent … with a good profile in the electorate … from the Right side of politics … a ‘local champion’ ” to unseat Abbott, and such a candidate has not yet emerged.

    I don’t know much about the latest new candidate, Alice Thompson, but I can tell you Susan Moylan-Coombs just won’t cut it. Her continual (harshly-worded, confrontational) emphasis on aboriginal issues will do her no good at all in Warringah. In fact it is likely to be counter-productive for her. Every word she says is true, but that approach simply won’t work around here.

    We await the kind of candidate Michelle Grattan described, but he or she ain’t stepped forward yet. The involvement of GetUp! is likely to be the critical factor, because they are cashed up and put lots of boots on the ground. Susan Moylan-Coombs has neither of those assets, and I forecast she will make little impact, except to deliver a few preferences to the prominent independent, whoever that may be.

    • admin says:

      Thanks. It is interesting to get the local perspective. I only occasionally visit Warringah, and the thing that struck me was the number of the anti-Abbott posters. A friend of mine also lives in the electorate and, like you, he sees a significant amount of dissatisfaction, even ire, directed at Abbott.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Ire is not in short supply in Warringah. Abbott is the kind of guy who generates ire, inside and outside of his electorate. In fact I think it’s one of his deliberate strategies, he thrives on it, and it’s what keeps him in the public eye.

        But in years gone by, the local wisdom was that if the local Liberal pre-selectors chose a fence-post, the rusted-on Liberal voters would elect the fence-post. And they did select one, and LO, the fence-post was elected. Again and again. Post-Wentworth, Tony can no longer rely on that. His margin is way lower than the Liberals’ margin in Wentworth. I forecast that on election night (May? April? March, even?), Antony Green won’t be calling Warringah early. It may be the early hours of Sunday morning before the result is known, or even several days later like when the “unflushable turd” Howard lost his seat.

        I’m going to instruct Klank (he’s our domestic robot) to stockpile more popcorn for that night. It’ll be a cracker.

    • admin says:


      And she seems to be a ‘small L’ liberal, which would make her perfectly acceptable to the millionaires on the northern beaches. I think Abbott might be stuffed.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Acceptable also to those of us who are anything but millionaires. We outnumber the millionaires quite considerably, even though the electorate also includes Mosman and Cremorne Point. I’ve been following comments on SMH and Guardian websites and others, and there are many cries, badly uninformed, for a candidate with a more lefty disposition. I have been quick to point out that any shade of lefty WILL NOT be elected around here, and that there should be one, and only one, priority in this campaign – to stuff (as you put it) Abbott. All other issues can be addressed later. Baby steps – stuff Abbott first, the rest nowhere. It’s going well, Steggall was on ABC Breakfast TV this morning, talking intelligently and non-threateningly. Abbott was invited but declined.

        • admin says:

          I think you are right; nobody from the Labor Party could ever get elected in Warringah. However, someone who is at least socially progressive should walk all over Abbott, given that his electorate voted over 70% for SSM, despite his opposition to it.

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