Running For Office

Tony Abbott is running for office,
The highest in all the South Land.
As the favorite of the bosses
He’s got his victory speech all planned.

But his rival is proving a tough nut,
Unexpectedly for a female,
Metaphorically kicking his butt,
And his strength is beginning to fail.

“It’s a marathon race, not a sprint,”
She’d whispered, all womanly and small.
Did he shiver and shake at the hint
That she’d tail him till he hit the wall?

Judging his manner and giveaway gait,
He knows now who’s setting the pace.
He is about to disintegrate
As Julia Gillard takes the lead in this race.

NOTES: It’s my birthday today, November 11th, and Migs was kind enough to send me greetings early this morning which I missed because I was out breakfasting at South Beach shed cafe with an old running friend who had bicycled across from Perth to meet me at seven our time. I was very buoyed up not so much by my birthday, or even the good health and happiness we both still enjoyed, but because things are looking so much better for Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her government and so much worse Tony Abbott!

As long-ago distance runners we talked about that in terms of Julia Gillard’s comment in an ABC interview last July, mentioned in Age article, that the carbon pricing campaign is

“… a marathon, not a sprint…..”

We agreed that she had been proved right. Tony Abbott has been steadily losing ground to Julia Gillard in the latest Newspolls which reveal a trend also confirmed by Nielson and others like Galaxy, as documented and discussed week after week by the Poll Bludger, William Bowe. Her remarkable personal resilience, her government’s legislative achievements and the soundness of the national economy must have been getting him down privately for some time, no matter how loudly he proclaimed her ineptitude and her government’s failings to the public.

Ad Astra at The Political Sword noticed that Tony Abbott was not only losing ground in the polls and in the media but he was also deteriorating physically in himself. As a retired medical practitioner he wrote about it in terms of

“The inexorable disintegration of the Leader of the Opposition (which) continues apace.”

As a one time runner myself I remembered that comment of the PM from last July. Tony Abbott is distance runner, often running marathons, so would be very familiar with the term ‘hitting the wall’ or sudden extreme fatigue. It’s a loss of strength experienced in endurance sports such as cycling and running, caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, and is particularly feared by marathon runners. It may be fanciful, but I like to think that Julia Gillard knew about this and had already made a shrewd assessment of Tony Abbott when she observed that poor polling didn’t worry her because she viewed the struggle with him and the Coalition as more of a marathon race than a sprint.

His supporters in the media like Samantha Maiden have certainly made that connection and are advising him to take a break, rest up. He is also seen to need some time out of the limelight since Julia Gillard’s worldwide PR triumph with her misogyny speech. Earlier he had foolishly and flatly denied an anecdote recounted by David Marr from his student days which depicted him as a misogynistic bully. In that detail of his past of the phrase “hitting the wall” had a different significance! The idea that he could have menacingly punched the wall behind the head of a woman who had defeated him in a student election seemed very credible in light of what is generally perceived to be his character by his political critics, at least. He had tried to gainsay that reputation by bringing the women of his family onto the political stage to defend him but that had little effect on his popularity ratings. All their protestations counted for nothing once he had pushed Julia Gillard into her passionate outburst with his loose tongue.

This little pome plays with the idea of Tony Abbott suddenly realizing that Julia Gillard has his measure and will out-run him. She will wear him down. He will hit the wall. Metaphorically this time, of course, in this political race. He possibly knows deep within himself that he has already done that once before, long ago, quite literally, and that he does not deserve to win office.

48 comments on “Running For Office

  1. And a Happy Birthday to you, Patricia. Thank you for another lucid post. Our Tones is definitely looking as though he has hit the wall. (I also used to run long distance in my youth – know all about that wall 🙂 )

  2. Happy birthday Patricia hope it was a good one, and am glad to hear you are feeling much better now.

    I agree with your assessment of the marathon, and wrote about it myself in the 2013 political olympics.

    Cheers and♩ 
♪ Happy birthday to you ♩ 
♪ 😀

    Good post by the way Cheers

  3. Another gem, Patricia. You are a rare talent.

    When I hear of Tony Abbott and running I’m always reminded of his dash like a startled gazelle to the door in Parliament House when Craig Thomson crossed the floor.

  4. Thanks, Miglo! Yes there are so many lovely instances like that and had I had more time yesterday I would have explored them. I will some time this week e.g. what about that other running metaphor that came up – HITTING THE WALL!

    What I wanted to do in response to your acknowledgment of my birthday was to post something here at the Cafe and to thank you for the encouragement you had given me in 2010 when I started writing the odd pome. It was your encouragement and attention at a time when you had your hands full in your own job and with this site which helped me find my way into a new late life career!

    Your patient technical help with setting up my polliepomes site where I could collect all the pomes and the comments they received from your readers has resulted in the best reward of all – the PANDORA nomination for the National Archives. As well there are all the shared friendships of the internet, people like Lyn at TPS whose links are such a support and enrichment to all we like minded lefties!

    I have slowed down a bit recently, so I can’t keep up a running exchange on a thread any more. This little pome seemed relevant right now and gave me a chance to talk about you. I am sorry that your health has brought early retirement to you, but I hope you realize how simply being more available at the Cafe makes you a great support for would be writers and a great resource and publishing outlet for more established authors like Archie.

    So a big thank you to you and to all your readers and commenters who make such a difference to the political atmosphere of Oz.

  5. Möbius, just imagine all the film clips which Labor has at it’s disposal eg the 30 seconds of deathly silence with Abbott’s head nodding furiously.

  6. Patricia, your contribution in helping the Cafe being the success which it is today is truly astounding. Migs and I appreciate only too well how health, time constraints and other concerns can impact on a person’s ability to contribute as often as they would wish..and appreciate it all the more when they can.

  7. I’d like to add my best wishes Patricia for your birthday yesterday. I know that I’m a ‘newbie’ here on this blog site, but I can’t believe just how lucky I am to have discovered you all here. Guess that being retired has some benefits as it does give one time to find like minded people in a mostly relaxed atmosphere.
    One day I hope that I will feel competent to contribute more to the discussions but in the meantime will settle for my daily reads of all of your comments.
    There is only one thing left for me to say in agreement with you all and that is TA is definitely looking very jaded (has been for some time now). I reckon he knows that his number could be up. All we can hope for is that certain senate and opposition members of the front bench keep up their great foot in mouth tactics – it is but a joy to watch.
    Hope you all have a great day.

  8. “dash like a startled gazelle t”

    Migs, you must still be sick. Nothing gazelle like in Abbott’s running. They are pretty and graceful, a joy to watch.

    More like a startled fox that has been cornered in the chooks pen.

    Happy birthday, Patricia.

    Nice to see his church mate in a little strife and being brought to account, as well.

  9. Been away from the blogs for a while, but nice to read something so inspiring on my return. Well done patriciawa, and a belated happy birthday to you as well.

  10. Whats water… 😕 …. sounds disgusting 😯 …..
    Happy ‘B’ day Patriciawa *waves*
    Tom, Migs didnt even open the cellar when CW passed the 100,000th….. some pathetic excuse about being sick 🙄 ……BTW hope your feel’n better Migs 😀

  11. There is yet again bad news for Tony Abbott on personal ratings: his approval is down three points to 27% and his disapproval is up five to 63%. This marks a new low for him on net approval, and has been matched since the inception of Newspoll (in late 1985) only by the polls which preceded the downfalls of Alexander Downer in January 1995 and John Hewson in April 1994, and several for Andrew Peacock in the lead-up to the 1990 election.

  12. Thanks Jane, Min, Ricky, TomR, M Jack, LOVO, Shane, Catching up and Roswell! Well, everyone here at the Cafe. I read all you have to say on other CW threads and I’m always impressed by the lively exchanges you keep going. The Cafe has it’s own style, of course, compared with TPS and the Poll Bludger, which I also visit as I know others of you, like Silkworm, Nasking and Truth Seeker do too. Of course there’s the odd troll who tries to spoil the tone but Migs handles them as well as any ‘mein host’ in a conventional bar!

    Having friends like this scattered all over Oz really brings another dimension to one’s social life. Get well soon, Migs. You deserve a real rest, feeling no pain at all!

    Hi Sandra! You’ve now shown us you’re pretty good at throwing a sentence together there. I’m sure you’ll soon be joining in the general chat. Archie listed yesterday all the sorts of things we lefties seem to talk about on our favorite sites. Here at the Cafe they keep a range of those topics going at any one time.

  13. And a very nice one it is too! Thank you, ME! Good to see Abbott increasingly ’embattled’ and so becoming increasingly ‘rattled’

  14. Hahaha… Abbott has been told to shut up over the Xmas break by his own party.”

    I guess the personal attacks which appears to be McTurds idea are starting to work.

    I have more evidence to believe that the Australian Labor Party is a corrupt and immoral political party elected by corrupt and immoral people.

    The idea that he could have menacingly punched the wall behind the head of a woman who had defeated him in a student election seemed very credible in light of what is generally perceived to be his character by his political critics

    So what if he did. The guy was 19 years old at the time.

    If you want to go into past behaviour I think you will find that Gillard could be in trouble. But you are not interested in corrupt behaviour of ALP politicians before they enter parliament.

    Your selective morality is amazing.

  15. Abbott did it.

    You think Gillard might’ve

    “Your selective morality is amazing.”

    Not as amazing as how your brain works Neil.

  16. Abbott did it.”

    Did he?? But so what if he did.??

    You think Gillard might’ve”

    And Abbott might have to. But he was 19 years old at the time.

    But nobody on this blog has any interest in what Gillard might have done when she was in her middle 30’s.

    Now if it was John Howard???

  17. If Neil is correct, the PM beat Abbott at his own game.

    Brandis is wrong, it is not Labor’s put down of Abbott that has caused his downfall.

    It is the fact that Abbott’s lies and threats are coming home to roost.

    It is as the PM predicted back early in the year, Mr Abbott would lose popularity when people realized that the so call carbon tax would cause very little pain to the community. That the sky would not fall in.

    Mr. Abbot problems are not caused by Labor, but by his own big mouth and stupid, repetitive stunts. People do become bored, seeing the same every day.

    It was also said that the PM popularity goes up when she is away, overseas. What was ignored in that comment, is that the PM is well received overseas, and she is not exactly doing nothing.

    Mr. Abbott’s rant on the so called carbon tax each day, is sounf\ding a little stupid.

    Mr. The Abbott’s problems are of his own making.

    I do not believe that the PM spends much time thinking about him. The PM just gets on with the job each day.

  18. LIBERALS have urged Tony Abbott to have a rest over summer and delegate more to his shadow ministers to prevent a further slide in his voter support.

    As Labor sources pointed to a “solid recovery” in the party’s polling, the Opposition Leader declared voters would judge the government on its record, rather than its “endless personal attacks” on him.

    Liberals have warned Mr Abbott not to become spooked following the latest Newspoll, which shows a three-point slump in his personal approval rating, and a five-point jump in the proportion of voters who disapprove of his performance.

    But some are calling for a recalibration of his approach going into the New Year.

    One source said voters were becoming sick of politics, and Mr Abbott would be wise to absent himself from the daily media cycle during December and January.


    Voters turn off Abbott: Newspoll

    Negativity pays off in the short run

    “He needs to take a break and freshen up over Christmas,” one Liberal frontbencher said.

    “He doesn’t need to be in the media every day.”

    Another Liberal backed the strategy, saying it had worked for Julia Gillard during a year of frequent overseas travel.

    The source said senior Coalition shadows should be used more in Mr Abbott’s stead.

    “Tony has done an incredible job in carrying the load,” the source said.

    “But the shadows have to step up. If there’s one thing we’ve been lacking, it’s that we need to see more from the frontbench.”

    Mr Abbott said today he would not respond to Labor’s “endless personal attacks”.

    He said that come election day, “people will be focused on this government’s record, not on its spin”.

    A Labor tactician said this was Mr Abbott declaring everything would be “alright on the night”.

    The source said with the government’s two-party preferred vote consistently hovering around 49 to 50 per cent, “Labor is now electorally competitive again”.

    “In every poll she gets stronger and he gets weaker,” the source said of the Prime Minister.

    “And her recovery is being matched by a recovery in Labor’s fortunes.”

    Newspoll shows less than one third of voters, 27 per cent, are satisfied with the way the Liberal leader is doing his job, and the highest number on record, 63 per cent, are dissatisfied with his performance.

    Ms Gillard also continues her two-month lead over Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister – 46 per cent to 32 per cent.

    Despite Mr Abbott’s poor run on personal approval, the Coalition continues to hold solid primary vote support, 43 per cent, up from 41 per cent two weeks ago, while Labor’s primary vote is unchanged on 36 per cent.

    Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis said it was inevitable that Labor’s “dirt unit” would take its toll on Mr Abbott’s support.

    But it should be remembered the opposition was still in a winning position, and Mr Abbott had put it there.

    He said the Opposition Leader’s success in aggressively prosecuting the government’s policy failings meant that sometimes it reflected on his own standing.

    “But equally, the real test is what the party’s standings are in the bottom line,” Senator Brandis told Sky News.

  19. when people realized that the so call carbon tax would cause very little pain to the community. That the sky would not fall in.”

    Well then why have a Carbon Tax?? The whole purpose of the CT is to stop us using fossil fuel and to make us use renewables. If the tax is not hurting it is not doing its job. The main purpose of the Carbon Tax is to destroy the coal mining industry. It is obviously not doing its job

    Perhaps all Labor was interested in was getting the extra revenue from the CT and not to change our behaviour???

  20. It’s interesting that the Lieberals revert to type when backs are to the wall, a tactic perfected under Howard – projection. The current push from the Lieberal “think tanks” is to paint the Gillard government as “negative” and using “dirty, personal politics.”

    FFS, for the last two years the Lieberals and their minions have been the most negative, personally nasty opposition in the history of Australian politics, and now they’re trying to paint the Labor government with their own brush 🙄

  21. If the tax is not hurting it is not doing its job.

    Neil, this meme has been flogged to death in the last few weeks. It shows an appalling lack of awareness of how the price on carbon is designed to work… The price is not aimed at individual consumers – it’s aimed at business & producers. These have the most to gain by modifying their emissions, and the smart ones are making it work for them.

    Any business that has energy as a cost input can now, with certainty, plan to reduce the costs of these emissions by various means – co-generation, solar, more efficient use of energy. It’s SAVING these businesses money!

  22. personally nasty opposition

    Why do you say this?? I think they waited a very long time before they asked any questions about why Gillard was thrown out of Slater and Gordon for immoral behaviour. If it was John Howard they would have gone for the jugular months ago.

    How else have they been nasty?? It was Gillard who lied to Wilkie to win govt.

  23. Neil, you are wrong. It is designed to make the use of carbon emitting fuels more expensive. This will encourage industry to replace burning fossil fuels wit renewals.

    Most industry’s knowing for decades that this would be the case, have already moved onto other technology.

    Companies such as Coles have moved so far down this path, that the rise in electricity did not affect them

    There are alternatives. There are new cheaper and cleaner ways already in place.

    In the long run, the renewals will be the cheaper option.

    No Neil, it is not planned to make things dearer. It is planned to help the industry to move to more efficient methods of production. An example is the new methods of making aluminum. It is cheaper, cleaner. The plants cheaper to build, than the technology it is replacing. The same goes for refrigeration. That is one of the reasons Coles is ahead.

    A little truth goes a long way in this debate,

  24. Neil, dd you not read the story of that piggery a week or so ago. It could advantage of the assistance available to move to cleaner production.

    The result is that it has cut fuel bills of many thousands a month. It now makes money instead of paying. At the same time, it has reduced its carbon emissions. it is actually making money out of those emissions. Not bad going.

  25. Pingback: Hitting The Wall! | polliepomes

  26. Catching up, I really hope that Abbott doesn’t listen to the advice of his supporters you quote above

    LIBERALS have urged Tony Abbott to have a rest over summer and delegate more to his shadow ministers to prevent a further slide in his voter support.

    I am just sick of him and reading about his latest foot in mouth comment over urban aborigines and yet the LNP don’t kick him out of his job. I really think that no one with any real ambition in the Libs wants it right now! So do we have to wait for him to make such a mess of things he really blows it?

    I did try to write about him “Hitting The Wall!” and doing just that with some really ghastly gaffe, but nothing came up except a tightening of what we have already discussed here. So that PINGBACK above to is just that, a PINGBACK with a new title for the pome. I did find it interesting to toy a bit more with the idea of Tony Abbott suddenly realizing that Julia Gillard has his measure and will out-run him. She obviously knows what a marathon is, and for sure has been amused by the coincidence of him hitting/punching the wall way back in his student days. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if he were to hit the wall in this most important political race of his career?

  27. anet Albrechtsen reckons the left is full of ‘new puritans’ who can’t take a racist joke. It must be hard defending the white patriarchy, especially as it’s falling apart, writes Damian Spruce

    Janet Albrechtsen had a curious piece in the Australian yesterday, a reaction to the controversy over an off-colour Welcome to Country joke told at Sydney University’s St John’s College. According to Albrechtsen, the scandal was a beat-up by left-wing “New Puritans”. She writes……….

  28. Patricia, I’m still not certain Abbott will make it to the wall, the ‘wall’ being the 2013 election as leader of the opposition. I hope he remains in his job until then as he just keeps giving for Labor, but I find it incomprehensible that his party want to stick with him. Surely they must eventually wake up. Logic tells me they will.

  29. Migs, I don’t think we’ll miss Liealot at all.

    I imagine there will still be the same complement of lard arses sitting on the Nopposition benches.

    Bishop J, will still be a loser, Sloppy still won’t be able to add up, Prissy will still be a slimy, incompetent git, Bernardi and Morrison will still be disgusting oiks, Slagabella will still be a revolting slag, Bronnie will no doubt still be buying kerosene to bathe pensioners…. Need I elaborate? 😯

  30. Jane! You could embroider it a little more so that we really understand how you feel about Julie, Jo, Bronnie and mates.

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