Abbott: look over there, I see a boat



Since being elected, Tony Abbott has gone into hyperdrive on the asylum seeker issue. Without a doubt irregular maritime arrivals are not the ideal way for those seeking asylum to arrive into Australia, however to all but the most ignorant, logic states that in order to put some order into disorder that a primary goal is the goodwill and cooperation of Indonesia.

In 2009, Kevin Rudd and Indonesia were in close cooperation on the issue:

AUSTRALIA is preparing to dispatch police across Asia to fight people smugglers and expand intelligence and security ties with Indonesia under a landmark deal that could be unveiled within weeks.

From the same link, it was none other than John Howard who recognised that a diplomatic solution was the prime solution:

But the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, said yesterday the so-called Indonesia solution had begun in ”about 2002” under the former prime minister John Howard, who provided millions of dollars to Jakarta to assist with processing refugees and preventing illegal migration.

I wonder where all that cooperation went to? Gone like the wind under hamfisted, egotistical and inept handling by the Abbott-led government.  Completely at odds with his mentor John Howard, one of Tony Abbott’s first actions as Prime Minister was to enact the opposite, and instead of providing “millions of dollars to Jakarta” . . .

Australia will cut $75.4 million from humanitarian, emergency and refugees programs, including $8.5 million from the International Committee of the Red Cross, $4 million from planned donations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and $1 million from the United Nations Peacekeeping Fund.

Therefore with a diplomatic solution effectively thrown in the wastepaper basket by Abbott and Morrison, what remains?  What else but Turn Back the Boats, irrespective of the wishes of the other party, Indonesia.  Some of a more bogan bent might stand on their soapboxes shouting loud “Huzzahs!” that we white fellas are showing those others a thing or two – here Indonesia; you can like it or lump it!

Stopping the boats has rather interesting history, and it took close to a year before anyone in the mainstream media got around to asking the question, “How?” clearly being far too interested in the politics of it all rather than the policy and that policy’s practical application.

December 31, 2009:

…the Opposition Leader declined to say what specific policies the Coalition would implement to stop the boats.

August 16, 2010:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott believes he can ”stop the boats” entering Australian waters within three months of a coalition government being elected on Saturday.

Decisions would be made by Mr Abbott personally and on a case-by-case basis, based on the advice of naval commanders making contact through a hotline to the prime minister’s office.

Although the idea of a Boat phone caused a great deal of mirth, expressed in headlines such as “Holy asylum seekers”, the fact of the matter is that Abbott originally came up with this idea when cornered during an interview. Abbott when asked the question; if or when it did occur that people did die at sea due to his turn back the boats policy whether they be asylum seekers or enlisted personnel, then who is it who is going to be taking responsibility for these deaths? Whose responsibility would it be to turn back the boats? Abbott’s sudden and quite odd explanation is that he would have a Boatphone to the commanders, “In the end it would be a prime ministerial decision,” he said.

So where has this Prime Ministerial responsibility suddenly evaporated to?

Mistakes by sailors blamed for breach of Indonesian water

Senior navy officers and customs officials face possible disciplinary action over six incursions into Indonesian waters while turning back asylum-seeker boats under the government’s border protection regime.

And what might this quotation be construed as meaning?

However some blame was placed on headquarters, which while knowing the importance of respecting Indonesian territory, had ”effectively devolved the obligation to remain outside Indonesian waters to vessel commanders”.

How can respect for another nation’s territorial waters “devolve”, and under what circumstances were orders given, and by whom, that this should devolve?  But of course, this is none of Tony’s business, as after all it’s nothing more than a cricket game or a football match.

During a press conference at Parliament House on Tuesday, the Prime Minister was asked how it could transpire that professionally trained and highly skilled naval personnel could mistakenly sail, more than once, into Indonesian territorial waters.

“Even people who are at the very top of their game… will occasionally make mistakes,” Mr Abbott replied, while praising the skill and professionalism of the Australian navy.

A game?  A match?  Apparently not, it is now a devolution.

I can’t think of anything that Tony Abbott has going for him

Public service cuts

I don’t remember too much about Paul Keating. I do remember his arrogance, which many argue was the driving force behind his 1996 election loss. Nobody likes an arrogant politician. But I will say this about him: he was a brilliant economist and outside of politics a straight forward, normal bloke. No pretenses. You got what you saw. He had a lot going for him and his legacy is being widely hailed.

John Howard, well, I remember too much about him. What sticks in my mind the most was that he was a mean-spirited, lying little prick. I’m being honest here. But I will say one thing about him: he had some dignity. There was no way that he would have allowed his senior ministers to stand under “Ditch the Witch”signs at public rallies. He would have been silently appalled at the behavior we’ve seen from Abbott et al on that occasion.

I worked under Kevin Rudd and he was a hard task-master, verging on being a control freak. And he had difficulty grasping the concept that not everyone was as brilliant as him. But he was only doing what he thought was best – in the long run – for society’s battlers. He also had the strength to stand firm and stand by his convictions. A couple of his political decisions were monumental stuff-ups but all in all, he did try very hard to understand and deal with other people. And he listened to them.

Julia Gillard should be ashamed of whoever headed up her public relations department. She, personally, gave the impression that she was above all the criticism that she and her government faced. However, there was no way that she was above it. It was a misconception. But I’ll give her lots of credit where it’s due: she had guts and she had dignity. And having also worked for her I can vouch that she worked diligently to improve the lives of all Australians.

Tony Abbott. Well, he has nothing at all going for him. He has nothing in the bank. He is devoid of any of the good human qualities that the above are remembered for.

Let the politicising begin

Let me begin by quoting Part 3, section 10 of the Public Service Act 1999 which has the heading APS Values (APS = Australian Public Service):

Committed to service

(1)  The APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.


(2)  The APS demonstrates leadership, is trustworthy, and acts with integrity, in all that it does.


(3)  The APS respects all people, including their rights and their heritage.


(4)  The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of Ministerial responsibility.


(5)  The APS is apolitical and provides the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

Number 5 is the interesting one: the APS is apolitical. For those unfamiliar with the term, our friends at Wikipedia provide a succinct explanation:

Being apolitical can also refer to situations in which people take an unbiased position in regard to political matters. The Collins Dictionary defines apolitical as “politically neutral; without political attitudes, content, or bias”.

And that is exactly how the Australian Public Service is. And this defines the code of conduct demanded of an employee of the APS. It looks like all that is about to change:

Workers at [the Department of] Industry were told on September 20 – 12 days after their secretary Don Russell was sacked by the Abbott Government on its first day in office –  to quit if they didn’t want to implement the new government’s agenda.

In other words, let the politicising begin.

It’s nothing new from a Coalition Government. From the time John Howard won office in 1996 one of his first actions was to turn the Public Service into a political ally. (Read more here about his swift move and a more recent reflection of it here). But Howard’s response was more transparent; openly replacing department heads with ones that could best be described as Howard loyalists. The latest move since Abbott took office lacks transparency. It’s sneaky. It goes against the grain of the Act.

What the hell is going on? The Public Service is apolitical. Let’s keep it that way. We don’t want the Public Service turned into an arm of the Liberal Party.

But the Government obviously has other ideas.

Media mud chuckers

It appears that no matter who leads the Labor Party, whether in Government or Opposition, the media always manage to dredge up some mud to throw at them.

When Rudd took over the leadership in 2006 they went into a frenzy over the story about him visiting a strip club in New York years earlier, or that he lunched with former WA Premier Brian Bourke. Bourke was painted to be evil, a disgraced person, therefore Rudd was not a worthy Prime Minister because, gulp, he had dined with him.

The Government at the time, led by John Howard, naturally chimed in. Howard was producing dirt files quicker than he was producing policies. Senior managers in my department were asked to gather as much mud as they could on Rudd’s wife, Therese Rein, who had had dealings with the department through her business interests.

Then there was Julia Gillard. Just look at how she was treated. Her achievements as Prime Minister were less important than who she slept with 17 years ago. And of course she was a ‘commie’ because she was a member of the union in her university days. The list of her alleged crimes of the past was endless, with each entry encouraging and attracting another mud chucking session.

She also had to cope with being labelled a back stabbed for replacing Rudd, aided of course by faceless men. Tags that never left them.

Rudd’s return was met with reminders that he was not popular with Gillard’s backers. He was a psychopath, if you were to believe the media.

There could be another election in six months if Abbott calls a DD. Whoever leads Labor going into it needs to be squeaky clean or the media will go in for the kill. If he is one of the so-called faceless men he’ll be murdered for it. If he or she was openly a Rudd or Gillard backer they’ll be exposed as someone who helped destroy the other’s leadership.

In a nutshell, the media will screw them on whatever flimsy evidence they can dig up. God help them if, at some time in the past, they had provided a personal referee for a priest later charged with pedophilia of had a history of pissing in shoes in Canberra restaurants, among other noteworthy ‘çrimes’.

At the moment there aren’t too many people in the party who’d be safe from the mud chucking. But anything will do. Kissing the wrong baby in 1985 or dumping a girlfriend as a teenager would be enough get the sharks circling.

In your opinion, given my assumption that the media would want political blood, who could thus be ruled out as the person to lead Labor at the next election?

Good luck

Good luck to whoever wins the election.

Most people know I support Labor but if Tony Abbott wins, as he has been tipped to do, then I wish him all the best. Whilst I can’t imagine how horrible this country might become under his leadership I hope, sincerely, that he serves us well.

All he needs to do to become a good Prime Minister is to finish the great work Labor has done for six years. In Government he does not need to be a wrecker. He won’t need to say “No” to everything, good or bad.

He won’t lose any friends if he keeps the NBN. Most voters want it even though they’ll most likely vote for the man who threatens to demolish it.

He won’t lose any friends either if he changes his antiquated views on same-sex marriage. Again, most voters approve of same-sex marriage even though they’ll most likely vote for the man who wants to close the door on it.

Neither will he lose any friends if he continues with the Gonski reforms. Again, funnily, most people want a good education for their children yet they’ll most likely vote for the man who will ignore their wants.

I doubt he’ll lose any friends if he doesn’t stop the boats, though he will definitely lose credibility because of it. Many people in this country don’t mind the boats coming. They’d rather see them drift safely to our shores than be turned around at sea.

He definitely won’t lose any friends if he keeps to his word and not reintroduce WorkChoices. Dare I say it again, but funnily enough the strugglers who will suffer most under WorkChoices will most likely vote for the man who probably can’t wait to rob them of their rights at work.

I could go on and on, but my main point is that if Mr Abbott wins then I wish him well. And he would be wise to remember what John Howard said in 1996 that he inherited a good economy from Paul Keating. Tony Abbott will be doing the same: inheriting a good economy. No, a great economy.

He would be wise not to stuff it up.

We’ll be watching him. Closely. We’d be happy to turn him into target practice if he ruins this great country.

If Kevin Rudd defies the odds and pulls off a surprise win then good luck to him too. His predecessor has left him some of the greatest reforms of the last decades to build upon. He has been part of a team that has seen Australia leap to the top as one of the most economically sound countries in the world.

I hope he is rewarded with another term. This photo (origin unknown) succinctly sums up why I want his team rewarded.

I'm voting for

“Get a life”

Former Prime Minister John Howard has told anyone offended by Tony Abbott’s controversial comment that a Liberal Party candidate had “sex appeal” to “get a life”

“Really, that’s all I say. Really. Come on. He said what he said and I think the reaction of some people who tut-tutted about it is out of proportion and ridiculous . . . Get a life.”

Personally, what Abbott said didn’t hugely bother me and I think that many people who were critical of him were so because they don’t particularly like him anyway. I actually find what Howard said to be far more offensive. Offensive, and ignorant.

But he probably has a horde of followers happy to say the same thing. And I can’t work these type of people out.

What is it with some people that gives them no capacity whatsoever to appreciate how other people might feel? Or that those people have a right to hold whatever belief that they want to.

Australians are so ethnocentric. So many believe that their owns views and opinions are the only ones that matter. Feminists, Aborigines, non-Christians, gays, immigrants – to name a handful of groups as examples – hold different beliefs and people like John Howard have it set in their mind that those beliefs are inferior. Because John Howard finds nothing sexist in Abbott’s comments. he is quick to ridicule those people that do.

If someone were to tell me to “get a life” simply because I hold different values to them, well, I would find it very insulting. I can’t help but imagine how insulted feminists might feel after Howard’s public and much publicised outburst.

And naturally, The Daily Telegraph was quick to sink the boot in as well to those who were offended:

HAVEN’T we all had enough of the confected outrage over Tony Abbott’s attitude to women?

But the Hawker-Britton zombies were out of the gates at lightning speed yesterday to denounce the opposition leader for saying that his comely candidate in Lindsay, Fiona Scott, had “sex appeal”, among other attributes.

Renowned bearded feminist Kim Carr and Penny Wong were scathing.

Honestly. This sort of flim flam might play well on twitter and mummy blogs but in the real world it’s a joke. Especially in marginal western Sydney seats like Lindsay, where Abbott was speaking.

Disgraceful, isn’t it?

Mind you, I can’t disagree that much of the outraged might be confected, but I will maintain my outrage towards the people who criticise and ridicule those who ‘dare’ to hold values different to their own.

I’d like to say it’s un-Australian, but sadly, it’s not.

So many people mock Aborigines for not being as dark-skinned as they expect them to be. So many people mock immigrants who wear different clothes. So many don’t think gay people have the right to marry, and they mock them too. They mock feminists who fight for women’s rights in what is deemed a man’s world, and so on and so on.

Really, who needs to get a life?

John Howard tells people offended by Abbott to 'get a life'

Photo credit: the Australian Woman’s Weekly

Now we know: John Howard had us fooled.

I’d prefer to leave John Howard in the dustbin of history, but when he comes out of his promised political exile to impart another of his pearls of wisdom I just can’t help but notice.

John Howard, as we know too well, likes to be noticed.

Do you remember him scary the living wits out of us during the 2004 election campaign about interest rates, in particular, how a vote for Labor in essence would be a vote for higher interest rates? He pushed the message hard, and won an election on it.

He famously said:

“It is an historic fact that interest rates have always gone up under Labor governments over the last 30 years, because Labor governments spend more than they collect and drive budgets into deficit . . . So it will be with a Latham Labor government . . . I will guarantee that interest rates are always going to be lower under a Coalition government.”

Yesterday he confirmed what many people have long suspected: that it was a great big lie. He was only fooling us. Yesterday he said:

“For anybody to run around between now and election day and say that a cut in interest rates means that the government has got the economy well in hand, they’re deluding themselves.”

I’m no economist so don’t know either way if falling interest rates are good for the economy, bad for the economy, or indifferent. This was argued yesterday. But I do know when lies are being told and I’m pleased that John Howard has finally – in an indirect way – admitted to his dishonesty.

As Kaye Lee pointed out at The AIMN, now Tony Abbott has abandoned the Liberal Party’s mantra that interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government, yet, according to the Coalition itself:

The Coalition will protect the Australian economy from economic shocks and create the conditions which keep interest rates as low as possible . . .

I get the feeling that someone’s lying again.

Interest Rates

The enemy within

A couple of articles have appeared over the last 24 hours that suggest all may not be well in the Liberal National Party. They are reproduced below for your amusement and discussion.

The most recent article – hot off the press – is about John Howard giving the thumbs up to the Australian economy. This, naturally, flies in the face of what Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have been trying to scare us with. Vivienne Kelly, in her article Ex-PM praises strong economy writes:

Former prime minister John Howard believes the Australian economy is in “good shape”, especially in comparison to the rest of the world.

Speaking at the MFAA conference in Sydney on Friday, Mr Howard said that while many people believe the Australian economy is “running on empty at the moment”, it has actually shown an unexpected resilience.

Mr Howard said he is optimistic and bullish about the future of the country.

“When the current prime minister and the treasurer and others tell you that the Australian economy is doing better than most – they are right,” he said.

“We are still fortunate that we have an unemployment rate with a five in front of it. I wouldn’t have thought that was going to be possible a couple of years ago, and I don’t think many people would have. Our unemployment has remained pleasingly quite low.

“And our debt to GDP ratio, the amount of money we owe to the strength of our economy, is still a lot better than most other countries.”

That said, Mr Howard said it was important for Australia to be constantly striving for growth and betterment, so that our competitors don’t overtake us.

“In an international environment, in a globalised world economy, you have people who are in that economic foot race who are trying to get past you. And the problem about slowing down in that footrace, even if you can’t ever get to the finishing line, is that if you slow down, other people are going to go past you,” he said.

“And that is a bit like what’s happening at the present time. We’ve been doing well in that footrace for about 25 years, but we’re now starting to slow down.”

Meanwhile, at the Sydney Morning Herald Paul Sheehan’s piece A Liberal undermining his leader suggests there’s more than one enemy within the LNP. Sheehan writes:

When Julia Gillard called a federal election seven months in advance, her greatest hope of survival was that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would step on a political landmine, or his own party would undermine him. After all, it was a group of NSW Liberal factional obsessives and vengeful ex-Nationals who saved her in 2010.

As if on cue, one of those factional obsessives, Liberal federal backbencher Alex Hawke, has openly confronted Abbott’s credibility and authority in an election year. Last week he portrayed Abbott’s core policy on paid parental leave as ”unaffordable”, ”unsustainable” and ”unnecessary”.

The same can be said about Hawke. His political career is a civil war without end. His obsession with his own self-advancement has in effect destroyed it. He may sit in Federal Parliament, he may hold a safe seat, he may pull factional strings, but in the Canberra caucus he is indelibly marked by episodes of treachery, scorched earth tactics and backbench Siberia.

The first time I met Hawke was during an interview with state Liberal MP David Clarke, in Clarke’s office in the NSW Parliament. Clarke is one of the most eccentric men in politics and Hawke was his right-hand man, his protege. Clarke has since come to despise Hawke, for reasons that are infamous within the party.

On September 30, 2009, Hawke called the police to a branch meeting in his electorate office in Castle Hill. It was a desperate ploy, and a black mark against the party, but Hawke’s local power base was under threat. The Liberal Party later produced a detailed report about the incident. Although the party bans its members from discussing internal matters with the media, the past president of the Mitchell Federal Electoral Council, Tim Abrams, who lodged a complaint about Hawke’s actions, is on the record as stating: ”I have now received the ruling confirming that the behaviour of preventing members from entering the meeting and calling the police was inappropriate … The decision accurately sets the record straight and notes there was no basis or reason to stop the meeting by Alex Hawke MP or indeed his calling for the police to attend.”

I checked with Abrams to make sure his published comments were correct, which does not breach the party’s suppression rule. He confirmed they were accurate: ”Yes, he used the police to close the meeting.” Hawke, too, has claimed the party report vindicates him. I disagree.

This ugly tactic was critical to a wider stealth campaign Hawke was waging to build his factional base and end the career of his mentor, Clarke. Having been elected to Federal Parliament, and having ministerial ambitions, Hawke now regarded Clarke as a liability. Clarke, unaware, had assumed Hawke was an ally, not realising that Hawke had organised a carefully planned attack to have Clarke lose his preselection in 2010 and thus his seat in Parliament in 2011.

On January 28, 2010, Barry O’Farrell wrote to the NSW Liberal Party state director, Mark Neeham, supporting Clarke’s re-endorsement for the upper house ticket, adding: ”I am especially grateful for David’s support in my efforts to reform the NSW Liberal Party and put an end to the antics that have so damaged our electoral prospects in the past.”

Hawke defied his state leader. He moved against Clarke, opening a fissure within the party with exactly the sort of ”antics” O’Farrell was condemning.

On February 4, 2010, Abbott wrote to the NSW state director: ”It’s important for the stability of the NSW Liberal Party, and for the party’s success at the upcoming state and federal elections, that David Clarke remains in the Legislative Council.”

Hawke, in defiance of his federal leader, moved against Clarke, and almost succeeded. On June 28, 2010, Hawke’s key factional ally, Nick Campbell, was forced to resign as president of the NSW Liberal Party, after he tried to stop a vote to curb the frequent use of special powers, a tactic which Campbell, Hawke and another factional warrior, Michael Photios, had used frequently to build their factional numbers.

The use of these special powers, meant to be invoked only in emergencies, had affected the outcomes of numerous preselection contests. Campbell, Hawke and Photios were part of the majority factional alliance in the state executive which failed to have key marginal electorates ready because of factional manoeuvring.

This blew up on July 17, 2010, when Gillard announced a federal election for August 21.

The Liberal preselections for the key marginal seats of Greenway and Parramatta had not even been completed. No candidates were in the field. Preselection for a third crucial marginal seat, Lindsay, had only just been completed. All three seats are expected to fall to the Liberals this year. But in 2010 the Liberals were not ready, Labor held all three seats, and this turned the election.

During the past year, Hawke, with no prospect of advancement under Abbott, has been cultivating Malcolm Turnbull.

Last week, Hawke mounted a frontal attack on Abbott’s authority with a piece for the Institute of Public Affairs calling for Abbott to scrap his paid parental leave scheme. Last Monday he gave a series of radio and TV interviews elaborating on his opposition to this signature Abbott policy. Whatever misgivings Liberals may have about this policy, the place to air them is the party room, not the media.

Having chosen to undermine his leader, again, during an election year, again, Hawke is burnishing an inedible association with division, delusion and disloyalty.

Two very revealing articles. BTW, don’t expect to see them given any oxygen in the Murdoch media. The only place you’ll get a chance to talk about them is on social media sites, such as here.

Tony Abbott: high anxiety


It seems that politics in Australia exists in some sort of parallel world. Is it that the Australian media is completely disconnected from reality, or is it that it chooses to be so?

From reading or listening to little but mainstream, it would seem that the media and the Liberals would prefer the impression that nothing has changed since the last election. The rhetoric remains stagnant: the Gillard government it is repeated, is in deep trouble. Julia Gillard’s hold on power is tenuous we are told; and we have been told the same thing since 2010. As Rossleigh so ably put it in his topic at The Australian Independent Media:

A leadership spill is speculated to occur tomorrow, and on Thursday . . . Friday at the latest. If not Friday, certainly sometime before or after the next election.

Yet strangely, little is forthcoming from the Opposition to enlighten us as to why this is “a bad government”. Where is the rhetoric, the photo ops, the hard luck stories to back up the imagine which Tony Abbott wishes to convey?  It seems that it exists in this parallel world, in the imagination of Tony Abbott and the media.

If The Master (and I do not use this term as a compliment) John Howard was in charge today, then by God we Aussies would know we were in strife as not a day would go by without pictures of Howard’s “Battlers”; photos of Aussies “doing it tough”. Mums, Dads and kiddies would be out there on the streets displaying their ragged and torn Nikes while mum sobs into her somewhat bedraggled pure silk Ralph Lauren hankie. The headlines would read: This is what has become of Howard’s Aspirationals under a Labor government.

Yet where is Tony Abbott? Tony is on the beach with a daughter or two, Tony is hard-hatting it with the workers, Tony is downing a cleansing ale. Empathy with Howard’s Battlers does not exist for Tony.

Tony (not) empathising with workers and unhappy domestic situations, and yes he managed to do this all in one brief sentence:

Bad bosses, like bad fathers and husbands, should be tolerated because they do more good than harm…

Tony (not) empathising with the gay community:

Well, there is no doubt that it challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things…

To me, this is a WTF moment on indigenous issues:

Racism used to be offered as the complete explanation for Aboriginal poverty, alienation and early death. Racism hasn’t disappeared. Still, if racism caused poverty, why hasn’t poverty declined as racism diminished.

Tony yet again (not) empathising with the indigenous community:

There may not be a great job for them but whatever there is, they just have to do it, and if it’s picking up rubbish around the community, it just has to be done.

Tony (not) empathising with the difficulties facing Australian businesses:

To be honest, I think that Australian-made campaigns are feelgood campaigns at best.

Tony (not) empathising with mental illness:

…we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice…”


We can’t stop people drinking; we can’t stop people gambling; we can’t stop people having substance problems; we can’t stop people from making mistakes that cause them to be less well-off than they might otherwise be.

Is this the picture of public anxiety which the Liberals wish to convey? If there is community anxiety, it should be that a person with these opinions might become Prime Minister.

However, onward Tony Abbott hastens all a’flurry on a road back to nowhere in particular, and all the while providing constant visual images that just perhaps Australians aren’t doing it all that tough after all. Yet again and all the while, glossing over and trivialising the many important issues which Australia has been facing, and will face in the future.

So here is our parallel world where Whyalla, the government and our society are about to collapse in chaos and despair we remain where we started, with a photo op and little else.

It is with some gratification that an article in the Herald Sun announces that:

TONY Abbott’s budgie smugglers have been replaced with ”stopping the boats” and ”people smugglers” in an analysis of the most used political words in mainstream media.