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Thread: The Tony Abbott Thread

  1. #1971
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    I noticed these two OPs through the week. They share an interesting common thread:

    What if Australia already had its 'Trump moment' – and it was Tony Abbott?
    If the populist moment has passed, there is just the chance Labor could win power on the promise of making the system work, rather than simply tearing everything down


    ...

    In the wake of Brexit and then the inexplicable triumph of Trump, domestic politics has been framed by many pundits (myself included) around the consensus that we were facing our own imminent populist moment.

    ...

    But the failure of One Nation to build on its vote in recent months has got me wondering whether we haven’t got it all wrong – whether we are not mistaking the windscreen for the rear-view mirror.

    What if there is no populist surge on the horizon? What if Australia has already had its populist moment ahead of the other western democracies and we are now dealing with the consequences of that misadventure?

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    Think about it: emotive slogans, simple solutions, isolationist and divisive rhetoric fuelled by a partisan conservative media, leading to bad policy outcomes that ultimately let down the very people who respond to the clarion call.

    Stop the Boats, Axe the Tax, Cut the Debt, Ditch the Witch: all would be at home at any Trump rally.

    A government that closed our borders, albeit borders already girt by sea; that turned its back on the scientific consensus on climate change; that willed away complexity by promising no one would suffer. Until they did.

    What if Tony Abbott was our Trump moment, sweeping to power on a wave of rage and discontent?

    What if the Liberal party was like the Republicans, prepared to turn a blind eye to their leader’s transgressions, so long as it delivered them power and its trappings?

    And more significantly, what if Australia’s decisive rejection of Abbott was more than a personal rebuff, but a rejection of his simplistic, divisive populist model?

    What if Malcolm Turnbull is our own Mike Pence, desperately trying to restore sanity and trust but condemned by his own collusion?

    ...

    There is some evidence to back this theory. In the post-Abbott era, belief in and support for climate action is back to the levels of the early part of the decade before the bipartisan consensus for a market-based approach was smashed.

    ...
    At this point the OP analyses some data from various recent surveys. It continues:

    ... Granted, these questions place the challenges government face in a positive light, but when complexity is shared with people, these findings suggest they respond positively.

    We say we are sick of simple solutions, we reject isolationism, we recognise that governing is tough and that we have unrealistic expectations of government. We want our leaders to work together to find common solutions.

    That said, the one proposition roundly rejected is the one that talks to the positive motivations of our leaders, suggesting fertile conditions remain for plain-speaking populist outsiders.

    But if my overriding theory is true, this has profound consequences for the political context over the next two years, most notably for a Labor party that continues to enjoy a dominant polling position.

    If I am right, then rather than seeking to tap an angry populist wave and ride it into power, Labor’s challenge is to restore confidence in government by grappling with the complex issues that populism has failed to address.

    Fundamental to this project is the need to address the three looming sources of insecurity: rising power prices in an era of energy transition, job insecurity as the wave of automation hits, and a housing bubble driven by the preferential treatment of investors.

    These are easy scabs to pick, the anger is there to be tapped, but the actual solutions are more complex, requiring government support and intervention, without stifling business activity in each of the sectors.

    ...
    More at link.

    There was also this one:

    We should be thankful for Tony Abbott. No, really.
    The 2014 budget was so unfair that it reset the national conversation.


    It is said we can learn as much – if not more – from our mistakes as our successes.

    ...

    So, too, should we view the leadership of former prime minister Tony Abbott.

    Abbott's now infamous 2014 budget horror show was so manifestly unfair in the way it targeted different groups of Australians in the quest to restore the budget to balance that it has, for the moment at least, fundamentally altered the national conversation about the role of government in society and how governments should best go about collecting taxes and spending them to improve the wellbeing of the nation.

    For all the talk of middle-class welfare, Australia today boasts one of the most efficient and tightly targeted tax and transfer systems in the world.

    ...
    I can't help thinking that we need to go very much further. Anyways ...

    The OP examines various comparative statistics, measures of inequality, the changing views of economists about the importance of inequality (all worth a read) and concludes:

    ... But overall, the Turnbull government seems to have finally realised what Abbott and his supporters fail to see, that the November 2013 election outcome was never a plea by Australians for a radical downsizing of the role of government in Australia, or a call to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest in society, but a simple denunciation of the political rabble the leadership of the Australian Labor Party had become.

    It is crucial that lesson remains learnt.

    A fantastic way to do that would be to follow the recommendation made last week in a piece for the Mandarin website by a former Treasury official, David Sligar.

    Sligar recommends we follow the example of the British Treasury, which includes with every budget a statement revealing the impact of budget measures on the distribution of income, including the dollar cost to households in every income bracket.

    The idea was also canvassed in a recent budget white paper released by Labor's shadow minister for finance, Jim Chalmers.

    It's a great idea. Let's do it.

    At the very least, the government must commit to bringing back those budget "cameos" that are still mysteriously missing in action.
    Last edited by Blue Lightning; 2nd June 2017 at 04:33 PM.
    "Just stick to the idea that science is just about making descriptive models of natural phenomena, whose emergent predictions are tested to destruction" - Woof!
    "Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves" - Richard Feynman

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  3. #1972
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    Why does it feel like Tony Abbott is trying to now take credit for the SSM result? The last couple of stories that I've seen about him in relation to his speech in parliament etc is that he seems to be basically saying that he was the person who orchestrated the whole thing.

    This is despite him openly campaigning against it and the plebicite being an obvious delay tactic. I think that there is a lot of that happening on the LNP side at the moment, they realise that this will be a "big thing" in Australian History, and they want to ensure that they are written on the winning side. Despite everything that they did to ensure that this moment never happened.

  4. #1973
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    Quote cyclist said View Post
    Why does it feel like Tony Abbott is trying to now take credit for the SSM result?
    SNIP
    Because, even if it's a big, fat, GAY wedding, Ol' Narcissus wants to be the bride, bouquet and cake as well?

    ADD: Can't trust his words anyhow.

    Sigh.

    Tony Abbott has risen again to support the Hastie amendments.

    He brings up Safe Schools. Which a) has nothing to do with this legislation; b) is deliberately misrepresented for political purposes; and c) was rolled out under his government; and d) HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS LEGISLATION.
    Last edited by The Irreverent Mr Black; 7th December 2017 at 11:55 AM. Reason: add
    EJB

    I’m not one of the dead ones yet. - Ms Fishie.


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  6. #1974
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    Quote Blue Lightning said View Post
    I noticed these two OPs through the week. They share an interesting common thread:

    What if Australia already had its 'Trump moment' – and it was Tony Abbott?
    If the populist moment has passed, there is just the chance Labor could win power on the promise of making the system work, rather than simply tearing everything down




    At this point the OP analyses some data from various recent surveys. It continues:



    More at link.

    There was also this one:

    We should be thankful for Tony Abbott. No, really.
    The 2014 budget was so unfair that it reset the national conversation.




    I can't help thinking that we need to go very much further. Anyways ...

    The OP examines various comparative statistics, measures of inequality, the changing views of economists about the importance of inequality (all worth a read) and concludes:
    I tend to agree. While I can see the parallels between the US and Oz, I think the comparison is superficial. There are certainly similar trends (e.g. the rise of racism, the drift right or LNP, the drift center of Labor) but I think the underlying circumstances are quite different and the national psyche certainly is.

    I agree with the conclusion that the last two elections were more about being sick of the Labor shenanigans than a vindication of the neo-lib policies the LNP put forth.

    On one hand I deplore what pollies will compromise on just to be (re)elected or secure their seat. Yet, I am always amazed at how they consistently ignore the electorate. It was GetUp, or the scare campaign, or the media ... It is never 'shit. my policy apparently sucks and no one likes it'. then this is invariably followed by 'but I will keep at it 'cos they must all be wrong'
    Last edited by Stub King; 7th December 2017 at 12:14 PM.
    The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it. (Osho)

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  8. #1975
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    Tony has to perpetually fight his corner. He can't concede anything now.

    He has to keep up the noise, finding issues by which to reassert his relevance because otherwise it might hit home what a tosser he is.

    What will it be next?
    Wars begin in the minds of men.
    The UNESCO motto, in Enlightenment Now, the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Steven Pinker, 2018.

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  10. #1976
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    Just when you think Abbott can't publicly sink himself any more deeply:

    Tony Abbott says politicians 'better' second time around at Pauline Hanson book launch
    One Nation leader compares herself to Nelson Mandela while former PM says Australia would be a ‘better country’ if it had listened to Hanson


    Tony Abbott has declared that politicians are “always better” the second time around …


    ... and says the Coalition ought to preference One Nation at the next election ahead of Labor and the Greens.

    He said the Turnbull government needed to “face up to the reality” that “the only way” it would win the next election was with One Nation preferences.

    ...

    Speaking at the launch of Pauline Hanson’s new book of speeches in Parliament House, the former prime minister said he and Hanson had much in common, both having spent time in the political wilderness and having grown stronger from the experience.

    He said her views should not have been dismissed so readily in the years since she was first elected.

    “If, over the last two decades, we had been more ready to heed the message of people like Pauline Hanson and less quick to shoot the messenger, I think we would be a better country today,” Abbott said.

    ...
    If that snippet isn't bad enough, go to the link for even more ghastly details of the Tones/Pauline love-in.

    Spoiler - which ends with the following, truly cringeworthy, self assessment. Pauline Hanson giving her most earnest views of … Pauline Hanson -

    ... Hanson likened her return to federal parliament in 2016 – and her ability to forgive Abbott – to Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader who became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, after enduring more than two decades in prison ...
    Last edited by Blue Lightning; 27th March 2018 at 05:46 PM.
    "Just stick to the idea that science is just about making descriptive models of natural phenomena, whose emergent predictions are tested to destruction" - Woof!
    "Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves" - Richard Feynman

  11. #1977
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    Default Re: The Tony Abbott Thread

    Quote Blue Lightning said View Post
    Just when you think Abbott can't publicly sink himself any more deeply:

    Tony Abbott says politicians 'better' second time around at Pauline Hanson book launch
    One Nation leader compares herself to Nelson Mandela while former PM says Australia would be a ‘better country’ if it had listened to Hanson








    If that snippet isn't bad enough, go to the link for even more ghastly details of the Tones/Pauline love-in.

    Spoiler - which ends with the following, truly cringeworthy, self assessment. Pauline Hanson giving her most earnest views of … Pauline Hanson -



    I think we should bow to her wishes, and put her in prison for two decades so that she can claim to be even more like Nelson Mandela. If I do recall rightly didn't Nelson Mandela also run a fish and chip shop before become a revolutionary? No? Oh well that's to bad, he would probably have been a more well rounded person if he had.
    From the mouth of a seven year old: "When you're you're dead, you don't go anywhere!"

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