In a puff piece by serial ‘ruperter’ Troy Bramston in support of Tony Abbott in his attempt to hold onto his Warringah seat, the first quote from Abbott is suspect. Abbott is quoted as saying he has “at least another good decade” in him1. He has never had a good decade, so in that regard it is a lie. He has been a disaster ever since he was groomed by Howard for leadership in the Liberal Party.
The next lie is that Abbott is up against a ‘formidable machine’ supporting high profile independent Zali Steggall. The ‘machine’ is not so much one supporting Steggall but is a series of disparate groups aiming to oust Abbott; essentially an ‘anyone but Abbott’ drive2. In spruiking his worth, Abbott, at 61, makes the unfortunate comparison with Trump who assumed the US presidency at 71; presumably this was the reason he suspects he has another decade in him1. Some time ago, I made the comparison between Abbott and Trump3, and nothing either of them have done, has changed my mind.
Abbott rejected the characterisation of him as “a party wrecker” and followed this, tellingly, with “I put Malcolm Turnbull on my front bench” and “Malcolm never returned the compliment when he had the chance to do so”1. You can tell that this is something that still rankles. This is perhaps reinforced by his admitted reaction to Julie Bishop when she was touting for support during the Liberal spill which led to the demise of Turnbull, when he said: ‘Why would I vote for Turnbull in a skirt’4. This also impinges on his assertion that he believed that the Liberal Party was a ‘broad church’. His constant undermining of Turnbull and his support for the climate change deniers in the Coalition such that they have no climate policy and even no energy policy demonstrates that he either does not know what a ‘broad church’ means, or is simply lying again. Indeed, he has perhaps done more than most to damage the ‘broad church’ he says he wishes to win government again. One of the ironies of this contest, is that Zali Steggall is a conservative, and years ago would have been a natural fit in the moderate Liberal Party of Fraser or Menzies5. However, people like Steggall are now not being attracted to the Liberals because of the idiocy of the far right of the party.
Perhaps the biggest lie of all in this piece by Bramston was Abbott stating: “my position all along has been that climate change is real, that mankind makes a contribution and that we should take sensible steps to limit emissions”. This, to use one of Abbott’s epithets, is “absolute crap”. He initially used this epithet in 2009 in reference to climate science6. By then we had known for 19 years that climate change was a serious problem and could be very dangerous7. However, Abbott and his idiotic cohort of science deniers either couldn’t believe it, so it couldn’t be true, or they were gulled by the climate change denialism industry. In either case, Abbott has been derelict in his duty to the Australian people, and to the international effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. In so doing, he disgraces the parliament by his presence in it.