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Why Tony Abbott won the bunfight debate at Rooty Hill


Like a lot of political tragics I watched the debate last night and in many ways it was a reiteration of the recent debate here in Brisbane. Like the Brisbane debate Rudd talked more  but as usual he actually said less than Tony Abbott and there is little doubt to me that he is already a beaten man, a man who is now just going through the motions to get to the September 7 election as quickly as possible so that he can finally leave his life in politics behind him. Sadly for Labor I suspect that there are an awful lot of voters who are dead keen on helping him do just that.

I’ll give Rudd points for an improvement in his delivery at last night’s debate  but as Abbott has also improved on his own performance Rudd still came out the loser at the debate with stunts like his attempt to welcome Abbott into the ALP with an ostentatious handshake falling very flat when Abbott refused to take his hand,

More than anything though what killed Rudd on the night was his refusal to show any generosity to Abbott and concede that his rhetorical points were rubbish . His eternally repeated “seventy Billion dollars” is the perfect example. This figure has repeatedly been denied and denounced as false by Abbott and yet Rudd keeps trotting it out as if it is holy writ, Likewise the claims about the PPL scheme are overblown and over sold. While the generosity of the scheme can be subject to criticism for Rudd to give the impression that every woman who will benefit form it will be getting 75K  is just utter nonsense.

By way of contrast what we got from Abbott was a consistent and credible show of humility and a desire to serve the people with real engagement with the questions and the voters who asked them. Certainly he trotted out his rehearsed responses but even then his delivery was far more persuasive than Rudd and in this sort of debate its all about positive engagement, Abbott engaged while Rudd performed his routine which is why in the end it was Abbott who won the debate,

Cheers Comrades

Did someone say buns?

Did someone say buns?


  1. Ray Dixon says:

    You’re kidding, aren’t you, Iain? Not one journo or commentator (even from the hard right News Ltd) gave the debate to Abbott. Tony Abbott came across as completely wooden, spoke in slogans and at times was stuck for a response and looked to be under pressure. Rudd was right on the ball with every answer.

    The highlight for me was when one audience member asked “what question would you both like to ask each other?” Abbott stupidly responded that he’d like to ask Rudd why people should re-elect him, which opened the door for Rudd to (a) give a stunning, off-the-cuff, 3-point response (b) ask Abbott about his costings. It was a dumb move by dumbstruck Abbott. I scored it Rudd 7 Abbott 3.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    I don’t care what other commentators say , I called it as I saw it and the worm on Seven was with me showing a marked ‘like response when ever Abbott was speaking. In any case why does my view of the event have to be consistent with other commentators?
    Yesterday you were Poo Pooing my mockery and now you are doing the same thing about this (slightly ) more serious piece focusing on the differential between each man’s debating style. Frankly I think that you are letting your residual love of Rudd blind you to the faults in his style and debating substance.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, your view does not have to be consistent with how nearly everyone else (including the audience) saw it. But it probably suggests you are wrong about who won the debate.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    He’s done it again, Iain. Here’s the bloke you want as Prime Minister talking dirty to 15-y.o girls in skimpy netball outfits. Today:

    Tony Abbott welcomes ‘body contact’ between teenage netballers



    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has encouraged a group of high school netballers to “make body contact” during an election campaign photo call, telling them a little of it never hurt anyone.

    Mr Abbott is promising $3 million for a local netball centre of excellence in the western Sydney seat of Reid, and a further $3 million for the 2015 World Netball cup.

    While talking to a group of girls Mr Abbott encouraged them to continue demonstrating their “skills” and told them he would “humbly watch” while wishing he was younger again.

    Body contact? Watching them while wishing he was younger again? Sounds like he had a hard-on. If a teacher made those remarks he’d be sacked.

  5. GD says:

    Ray, if Rudd is winning all these debates, why is Labor behind in the polls and heading towards losing the election?

    As for News Ltd being ‘hard right’, you do remember that they backed Rudd Labor in the 2007 election, don’t you?

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    I dunno, GD, but I think there’s still a perception that Rudd was only parachuted in at the last moment as (reinstated) PM and that’s created (legitimate) doubts in the public’s minds. They left it too late. If Rudd had been reinstated earlier, it might be different. But he’s definitely outpointing Abbott in those debates. Don’t forget, they’re not widely watched, being on Foxtel and secondary free-to-air only. The bogans are probably watching Home & Away.

    And the support from News Ltd for Rudd in 2007 was nowhere near as full-on as the propaganda campaign they are now running against him. You didn’t see front page assaults and insults on Howard, did you?

  7. James says:

    Maybe it’s got something to do with Rudds sheer arrogance. Here he is having another make-up artist moment, another air stewardess moment and not forgetting his Afghan Hair drying clanger…..

    POLITICAL hopeful Clive Palmer has accused the prime minister of stalling his campaign by stopping his private jet from being refuelled at Melbourne airport.

    Mr Palmer says he was left stranded at the airport on Thursday morning, unable to fly on to Tasmania.

    The billionaire says the refuelling hose was hooked up to his jet when a call came through that the fuel was needed for Kevin Rudd’s plane, which was yet to land.

    Mr Palmer says the prime minister’s plane then sat at Melbourne Airport for over an hour without being refuelled, while the fuel meant for his aircraft was left sitting idly on the tarmac.

    The Palmer United Party leader suspects the move was a ploy from Mr Rudd to hinder his campaign efforts.

    “Rudd directed that to happen from the air in his jet, because we saw the telephone call go to the refueller, who unplugged us and refused to give us our fuel,” a livid Mr Palmer told AAP.

    “It’s a sad day for democracy when the prime minister tries to use the power of government and the law to crush people in Australia and to stop people from having the right to freedom of speech.”

    Mr Palmer says there were heated scenes at the airport, particularly when he was told to move his plane for Mr Rudd’s and Australian Federal Police became involved.

    “I went down the steps and said: ‘Arrest me’,” Mr Palmer said.

    “‘We’re not moving our plane, arrest me, mate’.”

    Mr Palmer says the saga has cost him at least three hours of campaign time in Tasmania.

    Comment is being sought from Mr Rudd.

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/stranded-palmer-blames-rudd-for-delay/story-e6frfku9-1226706504722#ixzz2dJxYcyui

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    Good to see you believe what Clive Palmer says, James. He also claimed Mal Brough set up the Slipper saga and was complicit in bringing the (now discredited) sexual harrasment claims against him. Clive Palmer makes a lot of wild and unfounded accusations against all manner of people including the Coalition – do you believe those too or do you just chose to cherry pick a wild claim he happens to make against Rudd?

    (PS: Even if it’s true, I reckon most Australians would tell Clive “stiff shit, you lunatic”)

  9. Iain Hall says:

    You should check this out:

  10. Iain Hall says:

    From bolta

    Tony Abbott wins the debate at Rooty Hill by being calmer, more practical and more focussed in this answers than Kevin Rudd. He also punctured several of Rudd’s scare claims. Rudd also had a weird moment offering Abbott his hand as a deal to vote Labor.

    But then Abbott won even bigger because many in the audience really went for Rudd on honesty and debt. Moderator David Speers also had to drag him back to the point several times.

    Then Abbott won bigger still because Rudd desperately needed some traction in this debate. He got none.

    This time there will be no debate-about-the-debate contest. There was no does-this-guy-ever-shut-up line to dominate the coverage.


    Rooty Hill has been a Bermuda Triangle for Labor campaigns. In 2010, Julia Gillard got badly beaten in the people’s forum – not least by lecturing the crowd from the stage while Abbott did the shirt-sleeve routine. Early this year Gillard started her disastrous western tour there, and was filmed sweeping through the RSL Rooty Hill crowd for a private meeting with mummy bloggers imported for the night.


    Channel Seven’s audience gives the debate to Abbott, 67 per cent to 33. The party vote is 64 per cent Coalition to 28 per cent Labor.

    Channel 10 gives it radically the other way.

    You must have been watching on Ten Ray

  11. GD says:

    You didn’t see front page assaults and insults on Howard, did you?

    They were in the Fairfax papers and on the ABC. Howard copped far more than Rudd has had to put up with.

  12. GD says:

    Great Sportsbet page isn’t it, Iain.

    We’re so confident of a landslide Coalition victory for Tony Abbott and his team, we’ve paid out more than $1.5 million in bets to our members – a first in Australian federal election history.

    Following last night’s third and final debate between the two leaders, the Coalition is at Black Caviar-like odds ($1.03) to claim government. Kevin Rudd and Labor is $11.50 to win the election.

    Before the debate Sportsbet had Labor at $10.00. It must have been something Rudd said 🙂

    (Labor’s) highest price since betting markets opened immediately following the 2010 federal election

    So Rudd has driven up the price since Gillard was PM… hmmm

  13. Ray Dixon says:

    I watched it on ABC 24, Iain. The audience @ Rooty Hill gave it to Rudd and that’s the most reliable poll (because it was handwritten). Don’t care for Bolt’s biased opinion.

    GD, it’s not that long ago (2007) – why don’t you Google up a few DT or Fairfax front pages & headlines against Howard that are anywhere near as bad as what Rudd has copped lately? I know why … because they don’t exist. But go on, back up your claim.

  14. GD says:

    No Ray, you misunderstand me, I meant that the ABC and Fairfax stuck it to Howard far more than News Ltd has to Rudd this time. I’m not just referring to front page mock-ups. BTW Fairfax wouldn’t have enough of a sense of humour to think of the Hogan’s Heroes lay-out. The ABC were just nasty, very nasty.

  15. James says:

    Guess it’s true what they say GD, that “Some People Can’t See The Forest For The Trees”, Rays living proof.

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    Then Google some up, GD. If what you’re saying is true, give some proof. It’ll still be there.

  17. Ray Dixon says:

    James, when you can see beyond the end of your own nose, I’ll give some credit to your comments. But when they’re not even a considered opinion, let alone a supported one, you’re just wasting cyber space and eveyone else’s time with your childish jibes.

  18. Tony says:

    Yep James, for someone supposedly voting lib this time, and not a dyed in the wool laborite, the comments above look pretty well balanced to me ? (sic)

    As for Clive Palmer, if I had his money, and labor had done that to me ? I would have, when I finally got down to Tassy, gone to all the commercial networks, and offered them triple for advertising space, to replace all labor ads with his.

    The ironic thing is James, that with the advent ot digital television, down in Tassy apparently, the reception is so s/house, that the government subsidises VAST straight off the satellite. Lordy oh lordy, guess where the channels are for that system ? You guessed it. WA ! So, they apparently get all the ads from him anyway. Ain’t that a giggle ?

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m not voting Liberal, Tony, I’m voting for an Independent, Labor 2nd, Sophie last.

    If I voted for Labor and put Sophie last (as I would normally), my vote would effectively go to McGowan anyway – as she will outpoll Labor.

    And in the unlikely event Labor outpolls her, my vote for McGowan would then go to the ALP.

    So it’s 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. I am NOT voting Liberal and not even a lot of Liberal voters in Indi are voting Liberal either. McGowan could get an absolute majority, looking at this:

  20. GD says:

    Yep, I’ll Google some Ray, when I can be bothered, just like you when asked to back up a claim. Your usual response is ‘it’s all over the media, go look for it’. BTW whether a headline or front page lay-out is offensive is highly subjective. I found the DT front pages to be very funny. The Stalin one directed at Conroy and Roxon wasn’t so much funny as well-deserved.

    We had a similar ‘discussion’ about the level of personal abuse Howard and Gillard received. I won my point, remember.

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    Yeah, well, we know what you find “funny”, GD. Strapped-on dildos on a female PM, sort of thing. Hilarious. So tasteful. So respectful.

  22. GD says:

    There is nothing tasteful about what Gillard and Rudd have done to Australia.

  23. Tony says:

    I guees McGowan is the independent ?

    Gee Ray, I really don’t mean to be critical here, but, after all the supposed independents have done to US ALL over the last six years, I would have thought that would have turned you off voting independent forever ? I know it has done for me ?

    Go Clive ! 😆

  24. GD says:

    In Ray’s electorate, the labor candidate may not be real good and the independent far better for the electorate locally. I doubt Ray is concerned about the independent siding with Labor in the case of another minority government.

  25. Iain Hall says:


    I’m not voting Liberal, Tony, I’m voting for an Independent, Labor 2nd, Sophie last.

    Which means you are still voting Labor Ray 🙄

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    No, Iain, that’s wrong – read the full comment. McGowan will easily outpoll Labor.

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, I don’t care who she “sides” with but you need to keep up to date – both parties have said they will NOT form coalitions with independents this time.

  28. Iain Hall says:

    Here is the Ballot order for your seat Ray:

    Candidate name: DUDLEY, Robert
    Ballot position: 1
    Party ballot name: Rise Up Australia Party
    Candidate name: McGOWAN, Cathy
    Ballot position: 2
    Party ballot name: Independent
    Candidate name: LEEWORTHY, Rick
    Ballot position: 3
    Party ballot name: Family First Party
    Candidate name: MIRABELLA, Sophie
    Ballot position: 4
    Party ballot name: Liberal
    Candidate name: ASCHENBRENNER, Helma
    Ballot position: 5
    Party ballot name: Sex Party
    Candidate name: HAYES, William
    Ballot position: 6
    Party ballot name: Bullet Train For Australia
    Candidate name: WALSH, Robyn
    Ballot position: 7
    Party ballot name: Australian Labor Party
    Candidate name: O’CONNOR, Jenny
    Ballot position: 8
    Party ballot name: The Greens
    Candidate name: ROURKE, Phil
    Ballot position: 9
    Party ballot name: Katter’s Australian Party
    Candidate name: MURPHY, Robert Denis
    Ballot position: 10
    Party ballot name: Palmer United Party
    Candidate name: PODESTA, Jennifer
    Ballot position: 11
    Party ballot name: Independent

    Now it seems obvious that you can still make Sophie your last choice without effectively making yours a vote for Labor

  29. GD says:

    And you trust Labor to honour that promise 🙂

  30. James says:

    The bunfight, well when it’s all boiled down, this was about what it came to….

  31. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you’re either not listening or not thinking. This is how it works:

    There are only 3 real contenders for the Indi election, Liberal, Labor & McGowan. The others will all be eliminated early.

    So if I put Sophie last (where she belongs) and vote McGowan first but she comes 3rd, my vote goes to Labor – even if I put them 2nd last.

  32. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, I am not the slightest bit interested in your incessant nonsense and picking fights over my vote for an Independent. I doubt we’ll have a hung Parliament but if we do, I couldn’t give a shit who McGowan “sides” with, if she does at all. How many times do I have to explain, I am voting for her because I believe she will work for what we need in this electorate? I don’t give a shit how that impacts on the national situation and nor should I. But I guess you’ll vote for that total numbskull Diaz or one of the other weird Western Sydney Liberal candidates though, just because they’re Liberal. Good luck with that but you’ll be a long time waiting for them to kick the muslims out of Western Sydney, which is what you want.

  33. GD says:

    Geez, Ray, calm down…I was agreeing with your choice, apart from the minority gov issue. Of course you should vote for the ind.

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    It sounded more like you were suggesting my vote was for Labor in disguise, GD, but okay, apology accepted (not that you’d make one). Btw, are you voting for that gormless dimwit Jayme Diaz? Or is he not your ‘brilliant’ Liberal candidate? What electorate are you in, who are you voting for and why?

  35. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh, I’ve just checked, GD. Toongabbie is in Greenway and your Liberal candidate is indeed Jayme Diaz, the most ill-informed candidate in the land. Less impressive than Pauline Hanson, mate. Are you really going to do it?

  36. Richard Ryan says:

    Is Rolf Harris a Liberal? snigger-snigger.

  37. Richard Ryan says:

    Rolf’s favourite song——THANK HEVENS FOR LITTLE GIRLS.

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