Abbott’s address to the Press Club was a “please don’t sack me speech”.
He was begging for his job. It was not about popularity, but competency
he said. The problem is just that. He has proven to be incompetent.
“I promise to be more consultative, more collegiate”. Mark Reilly
pointed out that he had made that promise 15 times in the last five
Joe Hockey suggests he should retain his job because the country
needs stability. By that reckoning we should retain an incompetent
leader because stability is more important. Get your head around that.
In Australia, over the past few years we have had a revolving door
attitude towards leadership. The Labor party was thrown out, not because
of its policies, or its governance but simply because of instability of
leadership. The Gillard-Rudd farce became too much for the Australian
It has to be said that John Howard was unpopular but respected. His longevity of tenure proves it.
Tony Abbott, said to be the best opposition leader ever (something I
have never been able to fathom) sought in his time of office to belittle
the office of Prime Minister on a day-to-day basis.
The current undermining of Abbott’s leadership, which will continue
even if he retains his job, was eminently predictable. Words written to
describe his character, or lack of it, reach Biblical proportion.
His history is that of an incompetent lying bastard, a gutter
pugilist politician with no redeeming features. One who openly displays
his disdain for others with vile hate filled utterances. A person of a
bygone era who retains a love for the country in which he was born, over
and above, the one he now leads. He is a Luddite without any
comprehension of technology and science and the benefits to mankind they
will bring. He governs for those who have and not for those who have
not. His attitude to equality in terms of social values is legendary.
The fact that his party elected him in the first place, given that
all this was known, reflects as much on the party as it does on him.
What sort of a leader whose leadership has been so
abysmal-so condemned in the court of public approval, would then suggest
that the good performance of colleagues is as a result of his splendid
captaincy? That’s arrogance of the highest order.
“It takes a good captain to help all the players of a team to excel”, he said.
What sort of a leader in the face of all this would openly suggest that he is good at his job and needed to skite about it more?
What sort of a leader would insult voters by suggesting that the electorate only elected Labor Governments in “a fit of absentmindedness”?
What sort of a leader would say this and then do the opposite?
“It is an absolute principle of democracy that
governments should not and must not say one thing before an election and
do the opposite afterwards. Nothing could be more calculated to bring
our democracy into disrepute and alienate the citizenry of Australia
from their government than if governments were to establish by precedent
that they could say one thing before an election and do the opposite
What sort of leader would with spellbinding, cringe
worthy ignorance call social media “graffiti on a wall” while his
government spends 4.3 mil on finding out the extent of its influence.
Seriously, bullshitting is bad enough but when someone believes their own, that is intellectual dishonesty.
Leadership is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a
life and grow over time. They govern moral choices and demonstrate
empathy toward others. In the recipe of good leadership there are many
ingredients. Few leaders have all of them due to our human fallibility.
However there are some ingredients that are of necessity.
So if I were electing a leader I would have a check list of the
following. Dogged determination, credibility, respect, truthfulness,
vision, a positive attitude, trust, delegation skills, confidence,
creativeness and ideas, honesty, the ability to inspire, intuition, good
communication skills, morality and ethics.
The question then arises which, if any of these attributes did the Liberal Parliamentary Party did they believe Tony Abbott had.
Australian voters might like to also reflect on that.
A just released Essential Poll asked the following question:
Q. Which of the following describe your opinion of the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott?
Out of touch with ordinary people 72% +6
Arrogant 65% +4
Narrow-minded 63% +2
Erratic 60% +8
Hard working 58% -4
Superficial 55% +1
Intolerant 54% +1
Intelligent 50% -1
Aggressive 45% -4
Good in a crisis 36% -6
Understands the problems facing Australia 35% -5
A capable leader 34% -9
More honest than most politicians 30% –
Trustworthy 27% -3
Visionary 22% -5
On the evidence it is hard to believe that there are those who actually support him.
Julia Gillard may have been unpopular but competent she was. On the other hand Tony Abbott is neither.
Now the Liberal Party is caught between a rock and a hard place. On
the one hand it retains an unpopular characterless Prime Minister with
no redeeming features because they need an image of stability. On the
other, his lack of competence for the job will create instability and
mean one term only.
All because they didn’t question his qualifications for leadership.
They and we might like to do the same in the future. The catalyst for
all this has been Abbotts love of all things English. His knighthood
obsession has become his own personal Knightmare.
Given the choice between stability and competency I would settle on the latter because competency brings about stability.