We’ve been saying that all along

We not of the mainstream media (MSM) have been a lone voice in the wilderness in our scrutiny of Tony Abbott and our expressed doubts of his political credibility. And it appeared that the more we screamed, the more we were ignored. After all, we are just the looney left, latté sippers, radicals, greenies, Julia’s cheer squad or the sorry souls backing a loser.

But wait, I hear other voices. The most surprising was from the mouth of one famous for overlooking Abbott’s inadequacies, Laurie Oakes’:

Let’s not beat about the bush. Tony Abbott tells lies.

Laurie, we’ve been saying that all along. Have you read Ad astra’s well-written, probing piece titled Tony Abbott, we are sick of your lies in The Political Sword? Ad astra reels off a plethora of issues in which Abbott has been caught out lying, including the Howarth audit, the NBN, the Home Insulation Program, the BER, the Global Financial Crisis, the Liberal’s budget ‘black hole’, boat people and his promise to repeal taxes. In a direct address to Tony Abbott Ad astra says:

It is absurdly ironic that you, the one who has admitted on national TV that sometimes you do not tell the truth, should spend so much of your time and energy demonizing Julia Gillard as an inveterate liar, not to be trusted, even picking up on your favourite shock jock’s tag: ‘Ju-liar’. You have been relentless in labeling her a liar while day after day you lie bald-facedly to the Australian public.

We are sick and tired of your lies, your misrepresentations, your deceit, which you perpetrate day after day because virtually no one in the MSM has the guts to confront you with your deception, and when a marginally less timid journalist tries, you avoid giving an answer and close down the questions. Without a compliant MSM you would not be able to get away with your disingenuousness; you would be exposed for what you are.

Thanks for catching on, Laurie.

Canberra journalist Michael Moore recently echoed our cries with his piece Why won’t Tony Abbott face his critics? Moore writes:

The technique adopted by Abbott warrants analysis. He is certainly regularly in the media at openings, as a “real man” on his bicycle, running or swimming, on a production line with workers or at shopping centres. There is always the brief “grab” and the standard line usually repeated a couple of times in different ways. A negative, sharp, smart line is delivered critically focused on the Government and the Prime Minister in particular.

Will Abbott be able to provide the depth and insight into his own thinking and that of his “alternative government”?

We will not know until he allows the cross-examination. Apart from economics, job cuts, health and education, Abbott will have to face difficult questions about how he will deal with his own minority view on the right of women to have affordable control of their own fertility and other moral issues such as gay marriage.

Ironically, Michael, I asked those same questions an eternity ago. In my Open Forum: could Abbott deliver? I wrote:

Tony Abbott keeps telling everybody, probably even the Queen, the British PM and Alan Joyce that we’re a whisper away from a federal election, the result of which will see him take up residence in The Lodge, his rightful home.

He could be right.

But he is only focusing on getting his hands on the keys to the door.  God knows what he plans to do after that.

He hasn’t told us!

Well, he sort of has.  We know he’s going to stop the boats, rip up the NBN, tear down public departments, return a surplus by within the hour, scrap the carbon tax and save us from the fires of hell, but for a man who’s going to be Prime Minister by Christmas I’d say he’s fairly well under-prepared for the job.  Is he that convinced the electorate will punish Labor that he only need to rely on this?  I believe he does.  Why else would he have nothing to offer?

Michael, thank you for noticing that nothing has changed since I wrote my piece almost a year ago. Abbott did not then, and does not now, offer much in the form of an alternative Prime Minister. It’s something we’ve been saying all along. A good piece to read is Ad astra’s Has Tony Abbott got a Plan B over at The Political Sword for further evidence of what we’ve been saying about the vision-less Mr Abbott.

Now, dear readers, you’ll need to hold onto your seats for the latest startling revelation. ABC Insiders presenter Barrie Cassidy – yes, Barry Cassisdy – has also listened to what we’ve been saying all along. In his piece on The Drum titled A rare challenge to Abbott’s free pass he expresses dismay that:

. . . the media has failed to hold Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to account for his prevarications on asylum seekers and the carbon tax.

When Jon Faine interviewed Tony Abbott on ABC’s 774 on Tuesday, something unusual happened.

The Opposition Leader’s careless use of words was actually challenged.

Abbott, discussing the asylum seekers issue, asserted:

Frankly, we’ve had 22,000 illegal arrivals, almost 400 illegal boats …

Faine responded:

They’re not illegal. Tony Abbott, do I need to remind you that the use of words in this is critical? They are not illegal arrivals. There is nothing illegal about seeking asylum when you are a refugee.

Abbott:

Well, I’m making my point Jon …

Faine:

Well, so am I making mine! And I think it’s been made to you before.

Tony Abbott did not further dispute the point. Like an errant school kid, he seemed to accept the admonishment. Yet within 24 hours, he was again referring to asylum seekers as illegals. Nobody in the media pulled him up. He knew they wouldn’t. They rarely do.

Well, well well. Haven’t we not of the MSM been saying that all along. Human rights advocate Julian Burnside QC in writing about the Myths and facts about boat people tells us that:

Asylum seekers who enter Australia by sea (or plane) without a valid visa are not illegal. They do not break any Australian law by coming here without papers and asking for protection.

The right to enter without prior authorisation is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) which Australia helped to draft.

A more in-depth attack on Mr Abbott by Burnside can be found here on The Drum. It makes delicious reading and leaves you wondering why nobody in the media does indeed pull him up, as bemoaned by Cassidy.

Claims that Tony Abbott is sexist (or even one who borders on a misogynist) have been circling the universe for eons despite outright denial from the man himself and the claim laughed off by the MSM. It is laughable only that the denial is made amid a circus of evidence. The recent evidence has been overlooked and it takes a 35 year old story for the MSM to raise a few eyebrows. From the pen of an un-named writer at the Herald Sun we read that:

When you get Tony Abbott, punch and woman all in the same sentence, Australia’s alternative prime minister has a problem.

A long-ago political rival at Sydney University, Barbara Ramjan, has emerged 35 years on to accuse Mr Abbott of punching the wall near her head in an incident she describes as intimidating.
He says it “never happened”. She says she’s never forgotten it happened.

It was a long time ago. But it is a damaging allegation to be raised about a man who is constantly accused by Labor critics of having a problem with women.

Thank you, Mr/Ms unknown writer. I’m glad someone from the MSM finally agrees with what we’ve been saying all along, yet it is amusing that your piece was titled Tony Abbott dealt another blow over his dealings with women when we haven’t yet read much about his previous blows. This is what I wrote about Tony Abbott’s sexist ‘reality’ while the MSM were still ignorant to yet another one of his many absurdities:

. . . as a modern day politician he should at least make an effort to be aware that the modern day woman is a phenomena, not a relic. Nor an object.

The circus clown with the big ears had the audience in raptures a year or so back with his comment that women should stay home and iron, or something to that effect.  Although the laughter has died down, the image he painted has not. It is an image that was all too familiar in this country: the barefoot and pregnant housewife.

He has never retracted that comment, which suggests he still carries that ideology . . . here I want to hone in on the stupidity of his ideology and how out of touch it is with reality.

Mr Abbott, you are a fool if you think the modern day woman wants to stay home and iron, and a bigger fool for saying it. Women should not be stereotyped, especially into the role model you expect of them. Instead of barking at everybody how the carbon price is going to destroy the universe, try grasping something in the real world. Here’s a start: woman don’t want to stay home and iron. They want to work. They want jobs and careers. They want what their mothers fought for. It’s been that way for 40 years. Only a fool doesn’t know that.

The article from the unknown author in the Herald Sun article provides us with another example of what we’ve been saying all along: Tony Abbott is a bully. And haven’t the press been going into a frenzy over this news-breaking, breathtaking claim? I enjoyed the headline Bully tactics came out early in Abbott and this particular paragraph:

Marr said the Santamaria dictum – when you have not got the numbers be vicious – had become Mr Abbott’s hallmark and, time and again, he had shown when there was a choice between values or politics he chose the pragmatic option.

But haven’t we been shouting that all along too?

Labor of Love, A Dad’s Legacy.

These women in Labor are feeling no pain,
Find running the country’s no stress and no strain,
All were up-beat and their spirits were high
When at a Party event they explained to me why.

Working conditions have improved much of late
With their new boss who is efficient and straight.
Labor’s productive. It’s not at all hard
Conceiving new laws with PM Gillard.

Not just these women, but ALP men
Work well with her and if ever again
Rudd were to challenge and push came to shove
They’d vote for Julia.    Working with her is a Labor of love!

NOTES

The death of Julia Gillard’s father this weekend had me thinking how proud he would have been of all that she has achieved. I had the privelege just a few days ago of meeting the Prime Minister personally at a community cabinet here in W.A. in nearby Kwinana. I just wish I could have let him know of the conversations I had with some of her colleagues at the less crowded social event which followed the public forum. All of them, both men and women, expressed admiration for her as a leader of Labor Caucus and as Prime Minister. The women expressed much more – affection, love and appreciation for her strength and her support for themselves and other women struggling to achieve more both here in Australia and in other less developed parts of the world.  Julia Gillard paid tribute to her Dad today and spoke of him as her inspiration.   For me that means all she has achieved for us in Australia and for less priveleged people elsewhere is a legacy from him.

Readers of this blog will know that I’ve long been an admirer of Julia Gillard because of what I’ve read and seen in our media. I jumped at the opportunity to observe her up close and personal, as it were, at the Community Cabinet last Wednesday 05/09/12. Here are the notes I made and posted at The Political Sword about that evening and how my experiences confirmed that admiration.

……..I”ve just spent a happy half hour writing about the ’real’ Julia whom I met last night in Kwinana at the Community Cabinet. Astonishingly fresh after a solid day’s Prime Ministerial work with Barnett on Gonski she stood up for well over the allotted hour, managed the audience of hundreds in the hall and fielded questions from the floor to herself and her Ministers, all seated alongside her by the way. Suffering the odd fool gladly with great patience she answered everything that was thrown at her or referred some to her ministers where appropriate. There were some answers that were not popular e.g. re asylum seekers, or FIFO work permits for mining companies but there was no doublespeak or efforts to placate.

Still unable to drive myself I had been given a lift from Freo by an ALP insider on condition I stayed on afterwards for the special invite for drinks with the PM. First time I’ve blessed that woman who knocked me down! WOW! I talked at length about the great things they’ve achieved to Nicola Roxon, Tanya Plibersek and Kate Ellis. All were really happy to hear how popular the PM is out here in the big wide world and promised to pass on those sentiments to her from me, with all of them having something to say themselves about how sensational she is to work with! A staffer standing with us then suggested I should tell the PM myself how I felt! Which I was able to do! I had been reluctant to intrude on her time since she was being extraordinarily generous with the scores of people lining up to get autographs or photos with her. But I couldn’t l knock back the offer of a personal introduction, could I? Imagine being hugged by the PM herself! I found myself willingly hugging her back! What’s all this nonsense about her being cold and wooden?

By the way, she doesn’t hog the limelight and went to extraordinary lengths to draw in her team, give them credit and encourage general mingling before she exited at a very late EST hour. Which is how I came to spend quite a while talking to Chris Bowen who seemed something of a social recluse, but was interesting to listen to as he responded to more than one person joining us and commiserating with him about the lousy job he’d landed. Someone has to do it, he said. “We are all volunteers, after all.” And there are rewards with many of his clients. And yes, there are some who bring out the cynic in one. Nauru is almost ready to go by the way, but PNG is a bit slower and neither of them are just refurbishments of the old detention centres. The plan is for them to be quite different. All of SHY’s worst expectations won’t be realized.

Altogether a very cheering and uplifting experience. Hardly a mention of the Opposition, even when the LOTO came up by name – the almost uniform response was a raised eyebrow, wrinkling of the nose or just a grimace and then the subject was changed. As if they just don’t want their personal space polluted with all of TA’s toxic negativity.