Team Abbott and Prophecies of Doom

Abbott Team

“We’ll all be rooned!” said Tony Abbott,
Attacking government as per habit,
Trying to bring the economy down,
Applauded by the big end of town.
Indeed, some managers and bosses,
Well able to bear short term losses,
Saw a good chance to shed employees,
Later replace them with cheaper trainees.

As Tony, Julie, and Joe spread ‘the facts’
About carbon pricing’s dire impacts,
Worried Aussies, supporting a family,
Cut down on spending, unsurprisingly.
Nonetheless the economy boomed.
The world didn’t think that Oz was doomed.
Towns weren’t destroyed or industries dying,
But in some big stores people weren’t buying.

“Of course they won’t if they’ve lost their job,”
Sneer Barnaby Joyce and Andrew Robb,
“And for that they can blame this PM!”
Rubbish!”  Wayne Swann shoots back at them.
The respected World’s Best Treasurer,
He’s backed by another good measurer
Of growth rates,  the Reserve Bank boss!  He blames……
Guess who?  He makes it clear…..without naming names

It’s Tony Abbott and his prophets of doom!
Without them we could go full bore….vroom…..vroom….Vroom….VROOM….VROOM!

NOTES:   Lots to write about as I consider all the negativity and destructiveness of Tony Abbott and how much more Australia could achieve without his prophesies of doom.  His party too could be more productive without his leadership.

The photo I’ve used as the header for this pome is from the official Liberal Party site’s page The Abbott Team.  These seven people are all former Howard government ministers.   Perhaps their loss of former ministerial status explains their somewhat gloomy demeanour here and not their current status in opinion polls which should have them all smiles.  Are they trying to suggest it’s serious work being shadow ministers in an Opposition supposedly ready to take over from a  government they describe as our  worst ever,  causing economic ruin with its unsustainable levels of debt?  That’s their message.  Unless this Gillard government goes, the country will never recover from its reckless spending and radical reforms which are destroying whole towns and major export industries like mining.

So they’ve chosen an image which they hope will present them as strong, determined and serious politicians who mean business.  I think they look miserably stressed rather than strong, and likely to find overwhelming the burdens of governing a country they claim is in dire straits!  Any  one of them could crack at any minute and who is likely to succeed them?   I wondered what we can learn about the rest of the Coalition shadow ministry listed  here and not immediately visible.   If I clicked their names I got pictures and biographical data.

But not a lot, and it was in very small print because there’s not much room! Every Liberal MP’s page is formatted and dominated in large red print by news of Labor and its latest failures.  Even bold blue Liberal news is invariably about bad things caused by Labor.   Check out Malcolm Turnbull’s page and see how similar it is to Sophie Mirabella’s.  They are all the same with standard stories about Labor’s latest scandal or gaffe with messages of doom and disaster if or when the carbon and mining taxes come in.  Even policy (mostly PDF 2010 downloads) and community pages are dominated by these formatted columns in heavy red about Labor’s disastrous doings.  Always alongside is Tony Abbott’s clean cut official image and now his very latest Twitters of Doom!    Nationals, though using different colors and more distinctive presentation,  still focus on the same thing – The Labor Party and how bad it is for country people and the nation generally.  Barnaby Joyce if he get’s Warren Truss’s job will simply be a louder more strident voice with same message.  Labor is BAD!  They have to go or we will all be ruined!

I didn’t check out all Coalition backbencher pages, but those I did have the same format with their pages dominated by these standard features. I wonder if any of them are weighed down at all by the complaints and carping, the accusations of criminality and scandals in large letters and headlines alongside the comparatively small print details on themselves?   Haven’t they have heard it already over and over in the tirades from Tony Abbott in Parliamentary debates and his sloganeering speeches on his tireless tours of factories and community halls in their own constituencies?  Do they flag at all repeating the same old message again to their constituents via local newspapers and radio interviews. What could be worse than saying it all over again in face to face conversations with alarmed pensioners and parents of little children worried that their lives could be blighted forever if the hated Gillard government does not go.

Many of these Coalition MPs can surely see that Julia Gillard and her government will not go, as Tony Abbott has been promising. In Canberra they see first hand how strong her leadership is and how successfully her team steer legislation through Parliament and enact reforms, some of which they privately would want to support.   But Tony says “No!” to everything and despite all his shouting and Parliamentary shenanigans the “Ayes” always have it, and he fails every time.  The PM has survived a massive ongoing media blitz echoing his predictions of gloom and their own best efforts at spreading his word at grass roots level.  Are any of them close to burn-out or depression after working for so long in an atmosphere of unrelenting negativity?  And failure too.  They know that is the reality, despite the polls and media hype.    How stressful do these MPs find the undermining of  local business and consumer confidence – the essence of Tony Abbott’s strategy against carbon pricing and the mining tax legislation?  His frenetic pace and overweening confidence that victory was weeks, then months and now perhaps years away, must be wearing, particularly for those on a knife edge in marginal seats.

When Parliament is in recess and they are away from Abbott’s driven persona  how do they sustain the myth of imminent doom with their constituents who live in the real world?  How can they sustain the party message when that reality is confirmed by the facts of low unemployment, low interest rates and sustained growth?  We have watched Joe Hockey’s facade fragmenting in press interviews, as he at last faces questioning about the facts of that reality. After all the numbers are the numbers!    He surely is in mental turmoil.  Less experienced backbenchers with even a little imagination will be having similar doubts.  It must be increasingly difficult to sustain gloomy predictions with worried and often angry constituents.  Their messages of d0om are being gainsaid daily by more and more good news about our economy which has to be published by the media however biassed till now.  They cannot ignore the comments of the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, about their own role in “the public discussion” which had become “unrelentingly gloomy and which has intensified over the past six months …… grimly determined to see our glass as half empty.”

And if they aren’t convinced by the RBA Governor to persuade themselves and their constituents that their glass is more than half full perhaps they will read what Peter Hartcher quoted from Greg Combet about the message their leader has sent them out to convey.  He describes that message as predictions of doom, spread by them for so long now.

…”There is doom for families, doom for pensioners, older people, younger people, babies, the middle-aged – they are all doomed. And none of it is true. No one over on that side of the House believes him either. No one believes him. They put their money where they think the markets are really going.”

Journalists like Peter Hartcher have of course been spreading their own prophesies of doom about the likely fate of Gillard’s ‘embattled’ government, its many gaffes,  woes and poor chances of survival.  His major theme and that of fellow journalists like Michelle Grattan has been about how disliked Julia Gillard is, the most unpopular PM the country has had and how her leadership is doomed.

So surely at the ALP site I would find some evidence of stress and strain.  But no, they looked a pretty cheerful lot in spite of all the jeers and sneers from team Abbott and the insults directed at the PM herself.  There was no group photo of Julia Gillard’s front bench of senior ministers.  showing her as leader. She is pictured like all of them,  perhaps as first among equals.  A click on every individual smiling thumbnail snap on that first page brings up lots of information from MPs about themselves and their individual portfolios and related policies with stories and pictures of apparently relaxed MPs interacting with their constituents.  I loved Wayne Swann’s site page.  His smile suggests a man deservedly bursting with pride in the work he does and the achievements of Labor.  Sometimes the Prime Minister is photographed at functions, or to make policy announcements relevant to particular ministries or localities.  On her own page she tells us a lot about herself in a pleasantly conversational tone.  There is no angry rebuttal of all the slander and insults Tony Abbott has thrown at her.  In fact I don’t think the Coalition rate a mention at all on her page or elsewhere much except occasionally in terms of policy differentiation.    Yes, policy!   There is lots of information everywhere on the Labor site about policies;  policies which are in the pipeline, policy goals achieved and community consultation about new policy plans and  development.

It is with policies I’ll finish because this is what Australians need and want to know about and discuss with politicians instead of all these scandals and predictions of doom.  I have two favorite blogsites, Cafe Whispers and The Political Sword.  At Cafe Whispers we’ve just seen that there are many people who admire our PM and her government.  They are sick of all the slander and negativity and they want to hear how the country is being run and about plans for our future.

Blogger NormanK  (June 8. 2012 11:18 PM) at the Political Sword said it for me when he talked about Labor’s vision and capacity for policy on huge infrastructure projects like the NBN.  At the same time Labor keeps working and consulting on policies about all sorts of things like intellect-intensive industries…… desalination technology……  food production sustainability…… novel and innovative ways of growing food…..floating farms near desal plants…….vertical farms where water gets re-used three or four times……….

Read his comment and you’ll understand his despair when we get no policy development or discussion from the Opposition.  Instead they have been deluded into talking only about DEBT, DESTRUCTION and DOOM.  Tony Abbott is not leading them into imaginative and constructive thinking for their party and country.  Instead the Abbott team are entirely pre-occupied with the confected failings of the Labor Party and Julia Gillard.  Their official website makes that clear.  There are more distortions there about the Labor Party than about their own plans and  policies!  They seem obsessed with replacing our Prime Minister with their own much pictured leader, Tony Abbott.  Thank God we have Julia Gillard, her cabinet colleagues, her Caucus supporters and other allies working together to lead Australia into a greatness beyond its dreams.