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Home » Australian Politics » On “Abbott Was A Wrecker In Opposition; Who’s Surprised He’s A Wrecker In Office?” at New Matilda

On “Abbott Was A Wrecker In Opposition; Who’s Surprised He’s A Wrecker In Office?” at New Matilda

Tony-Abbott-SisiS_1The thing that so many on the fringes of the political spectrum for get is that politics in this country is a game with a well defined rule book and no matter which side (speaking of the ALP/LNP ) you are part of the way to convince the public to give your side the treasury benches at a general election is by being far better at the day to day battles in the parliament and in the court of public opinion. The simple truth is that Abbott  succeeded in opposition and at the last general election not because he was “a wrecker” As Chris Graham insists in his article but because he was a far more effective playing at the game of politics than Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. He would not have had a chance of success however had the ALP government not been so deeply flawed.

In the first instance Rudd was deeply flawed insofar as he was really good at capturing the imagination of the polity during 2006 and he made all of the right noises to convince the voters that he would be “Howard lite” he insisted to those of us concerned that a Labor government would be mad spenders were wrong to worry because he was “an economic conservative”. To the left he promised to be a champion for their environmental bet Noir of climate change  and to do something about the then non problem of asylum seekers.

The history of the ALP’s last been much written about by its (cough!) stars (12 books and counting!) but one thing is clear and that the they were the wreckers, making changes that made no improvement to the country, Things like Rudd’s abandoning of the successful suite of policies dealing with boat people and  the sorry story of “the greatest moral challenge of our generation”  which when it came to the crunch he lacked that cahones to take to a DD election(which most pundits thought he could have won)

Rudd was a wrecker not because of his flawed ideologies but because of his flaws as a leader. A good leader of men is able to delegate and trust those to whom he delegates his authority to. Rudd was almost pathologically incapable of doing this. As an egomaniac and a control freak he managed to destroy the belief and trust of the  public servants in his administration wasting both their good will and much of their work effort in his unreasonable demands and a bullying style to both his staff and parliamentary colleagues. Gillard was likewise a wrecker. First and foremost she was tainted with the dripping blood of the plotter’s   knife but worse than that she was a political whore willing to say one thing to win office only to change like the wind when she needed the support of the Greens in the hung Parliament. The betrayal of her infamous “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” broken promise wrecked the remaining credibility of the ALP. The sad truth is that had she stood up to the Greens &’indies” and told them she would only agree to a carbon tax after the subsequent election  Abbott would not have had his most powerful campaigning slogan.

In government the LNP under Abbott have not been perfect but they have been scrupulous in their determination to be true to their election commitments Against all of the predictions to the contrary the Abbott government has been able “stop the boats” and although this has upset the usual suspects, (hi Marilyn ;o) ) now that there is not the eternal new arrivals into the system the problem can be solved. There is still a large legacy of Rudd’s wrecking in the detention centers but that is being addressed.

Much has been made in this piece about the deployment of ADF people and planes to the fight against ISIS in Iraq but really what is the alternative? Can we really just look the other way and do nothing? Can we, as part of the civilized world ignore the slaughter of Shia people or the treatment of women and girls as prizes of war?   Surely even the left must realize that destroying the Islamo-Fascists of ISIL is a moral and justified cause? Sadly too many seem unable to let go of their hatred of the United states for long enough to realize that they are all that stands between the world and the rise of a totalitarian Caliphate with global ambitions.

That said the problem that our own Muslim minority feels somewhat  besieged by the tide of events is clearly not of the magnitude that many of the left claim it to be. In fact the number of anti-Muslim incidents has been very small and the panic from Islam apologists has been of far greater magnitude than any criticism of Islam in this country. Even the recent concerns about the Burqa in our parliamentary precincts has not created the sort of anti-Muslim hysteria that so many of the left invoke when ever there is an issue with ISLAM. On this Issue Abbott has been both calm and truthful He was honest about how confronting it is to have people who hide their faces in public yet accepting that we are not a society that wishes to prohibit those who want to do this.

    To insist that  Abbott Was A Wrecker In Opposition; Who’s Surprised He’s A Wrecker In Office? is to misread both the politics of the period of the last Labor government and to misunderstand the nature of a soundly administered government.

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3 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    I think it’s too early to tell if this is a “soundly administered government”, Iain. Somehow I doubt their record over this term will actually bear that out. I’m talking in economic terms here and, so far, there is no evidence whatsoever that Abbott and Hockey et al are any better on that score.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Nice to see you back on deck Ray 🙂

    That said I concede that only time will tell if the Abbott government is very good at administration but even so I think that they have done better than Gillard or Rudd over the last year, especially when you consider the very bad position they inherited.

  3. Richard Ryan says:

    The war in Iraq, may cause some problems, for the leader with the “blue tie”!

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