“We’re setting sail to the place on the map from which no one has ever returned…” – “Ship of Fools” (subtitled “Save Me from Tomorrow”) Karl Wallinger, World Party.
Tony Abbott is in charge now, and I am all the better for it. He is the real deal – a political fiend right out of “Wag The Dog” and an extremely sneaky foe. He can shake your hand and punch you in the teeth at the same time. He has lied to his friends and betrayed the trust of his constituency before; and before his time is done he will lie and betray again and again. Even Robert Manne, Australia’s leading public intellectual who declared “[I have] nothing whatever personal against Abbott,” wrote before the 2013 election, “I fervently hope, for the sake of the country and also for the sake of the Liberal Party, that later this year [Tony Abbott] leads the Coalition to a crushing election defeat.”
Oh well…now the people have spoken and opted to install a liar, a leaker, a plotter – and worse – as their 28th Prime Minister of Australia, I am not worried. I have been aware of that despicable bastard for years, and I am a better person for it. Tony Abbott has always possessed the unique ability to make his enemies seem respectable, and we have developed a keen sense of community. Some of my best friends have hated Tony Abbott all their lives. My partner hates Tony Abbott, my daughter hates Tony Abbott, I hate Tony Abbott, and this hatred has brought us together.
Tony Abbott smirks when he hears things like this. “I know all about hate,” he says, “I’m one of Bob Santamaria’s ultimate true believers and we hate you too.”
It was Tony Abbott who got me into blog writing, and now that he’s Prime Minister, I feel inspired. He is a miracle in his own way. As long as Tony Abbott is politically alive – oh and he will be all the way to the bitter end – we the people will always know where to find him: wallowing in the gutter politics of the American Tea Party that he introduced into our wide brown land. No need to look for him, the adoring media seizes upon his filthy lust and keeps us “informed.” He has the fighting instincts of a scorpion about to turn a hapless rodent into a hearty meal. The scorpion easily defeats his prey by a progressive attack that begins with the strategic trapping of limbs and ends with a fatal injection of poison. The scorpion is an arthropod, secretive, passionate, resolute, insensitive, steadfast, painstaking and stubborn. In the zodiac the key life phrase of the scorpion is: I will.
That is Tony Abbott’s style – and if you have forgotten the fable of the scorpion and the frog let me remind you. A scorpion cannot fight fair. It is against their nature.
As a young man Tony Abbott received a Catholic education, and breathed in the apocalyptic and fanatical world view of Democratic Labour Party leader Bob Santamaria. Those with a Catholic background account for nearly half of the 28th Prime Minister’s current cabinet; Santamaria’s DLP is alive and well, Abbott frequently jokes.
When Tony Abbott was promoted to the Cabinet in 2000, Prime Minister Howard chucked him under the chin and called him “an effective performer” (like a Navy F/A-18) with an “endearing style,” (like a leather saddle). By contrast, The Opposition described him as a “bomb thrower,”the name of a World War I weapon used to absolutely no effect by belligerent countries. It wasn’t long before the sick and dying were filing lawsuits and serving him with partitions. But the scary thing is Abbott perhaps read the Australian people better than he is generally given credit for, even though the other side of that coin meant hearing his sly, populist sentiment pandering on the Macquarie Network – not the hallmark of a great leader. But what-do-you-know; despite being captive of his own false gravitas he became a rock star. He fulfilled the prophetic words of Donald Horne who argued half a century ago that Australia was “a lucky country run by second-rate people who share its luck”. Now Tony is Prime Minister it’s hard to disagree.
That Australians gave him the job is not news to stigmatised Green Left types like me who always knew it would come to this.
Now the jackals are circling the weak and vulnerable, some Australians realise the pendulum has swung too far and fear that Abbott’s jabbering of queer values and sacrifices of a pious life will (if only for their constant repetition) not reset when the pendulum swings back. We may remain intellectual salt bush and keep the bully-nation moniker forever. It’s in keeping with Catholic policy. The first thing to remember about Catholic’s, see, is in actuality the last thing: that the body of the dead one will be resurrected and reunited with the soul when Jesus comes again at the Last Judgement. It means sometime in the future, long after 2016, long after years of enduring the most inexcusable thugs in Australian history, and successive governments misapplying their methods, there’s an outside chance that Tony Abbott’s legacy will rise from the dead to be glorified and to possibly lead the nations of the meek to vote for…. – (NOTE TO SELF: google anti-resurrection spell.)
These are harsh words considering the government was recently anointed by yet another jump in the popularity polls. Never mind; I have written worse things about Abbott’s gang, many times, and the record will show that I laid the boots in repeatedly long before they got the better of the Australian electorate. I will continue to whip them like it’s the dark ages every chance I get, and I’ll be proud of it. They are cancer.
Look beyond the hallelujah chorus from News Ltd and it’s plain. The Abbott coalition is vicious to the core – vicious in a way that only those who believe in cloven hooves, leathery wings, and faces in strange places can understand. They are utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Nobody trusts them – except maybe Georgina Rinehart – and any honest journalist will declare them a pack of hounds who keep returning to their vomit.
It is fitting that the coalitions latest gesture to the Australian people is the bloody orchestrated riots on Manus Island and The Immigration Minister’s cone of silence that leaves we the people free to assume the worst: parliamentary gangsters better suited to Russian politics rather than Australian. Let just enough fact seep out and infect the entire system. Operation Sovereign Borders is designed to transmit the correct dosage of fear up the food chain to the ears of people languishing for years in Indonesia. Come to Manus and languish further before having your skull crushed by fanatical beasts.
Many are incensed by Operation Sovereign Borders – but we know there is nothing we can do about it now – not with former Prime Minister Howard sitting in the front row looking baffled at the unsubstantiated claims of guards wielding sticks and iron bars. It is Tony Abbott’s war, and he is winning.
The news updates are a tedious affair, finely crafted for television and astutely dominated by Angus “cow” Campbell and his revisionist defence force. Malcolm Fraser, still sprightly and expressive at the age of 122, pops up to remind us how far we’ve fallen, but his postulation is cut off mid-stream by Billy “boy” Shorten stamping his foot and demanding the government explain until the poll numbers cripple him and he’s blown off stage by Joe Hockey, who reminds us that the future of Medicare is unsustainable and utters such a shameless, self-serving justification for hiking up taxes that even he bursts into tears at the end of it.
Joe Hockey, still recovering from the “single-punch” Tony Abbott landed on his Fred Flintstone jaw years ago, continues to see his fearless leader as more than the sum of his many filthy parts. He seems to think history will not have to absolve Tony, because he has already done it himself in a gigantic act of will and crazed arrogance that already ranks him supreme, along with other comic book heroes like Thor, The Hulk, Human Torch and Judge Dread. In point of actual fact, all of Tony Abbott’s cabinet have catapulted him to the status of multiple gold medal winner, claiming that when the definitive history of the Liberal Party is written, no other Prime Minister will come close to Tony in stature. “He will be greater than Howard and Menzies,” said Christopher Pyne in a stolid speech containing little more than a high rate of perspiration.
It’s all bullshit, of course. Tony Abbott is no more a gold medal winner than he is Mother Teresa. He’s more like Idi Aminn than Billy McMahon. He is a lucky thug and a merciless western chauvinist who regards the dispossession and destruction of the Aboriginal people as merely a failure “to extend to Aboriginal people the kind of sympathetic understanding that was readily extended, say, to the Irish and their predicament” and the decades-long forced removal of Aboriginal children as “a mild enough form of racism”.
Certain people will say that words like thug and vicious have no place in Objective writing which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Tony Abbott to slither into Canberra in the first place. He had so much ministerial experience you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so typically Australian, so much like a life saver, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective writing. One has to get Subjective to see Tony Abbott clearly, and the shock of recognition is often painful.
Abbott’s meteoric rise from John Howard’s bitch to the highest office in the land would never have happened if Labour had not imploded so thoroughly. It allowed him to get away with the denigration of Parliament and cast Bob Santamaria’s “spell” over ignorant voters already duped by the headlines of their local, Murdoch newspapers. When Abbott finally had to face the TV cameras for real in the campaign debates, he whipped Kevin Rudd simply by asking what most voters were asking at the time: “Is this guy ever going to shut-up?” Even Alan Jones was impressed by his nasty and faintly menacing persona. Interestingly, most people who saw those debates thought Abbott was at times intellectually dried up, disjointed, loutish, and even policy perilous. But they just loved watching him punish Labour on their behalf so they voted accordingly. A decision as embarrassing as it is bizarre. For Tony Abbott is not a Liberal, he is not a neocon, he is an ultra-conservative, fundamentalist Catholic, an alpha Democratic Labour Party male. Most people that voted for him had no idea what they were getting. Some still have no idea. There’s plenty who don’t care.
If you don’t, take a good, long hard stare at Tony Abbott’s front bench: Hockey, Pyne, Bishop, Morrison, Brandis. A group photo of these despots should be enough to make even a zombie care.
The Age of Abbott is still gathering momentum, but it’s already safe to assume the spirit of his administration will be with us for the rest of our lives – whether you’re me or Tanya Plibersek or you or Kylie Minogue or David Marr or Guy Sebastion or Kyle and Jackie or Lance Armstrong’s lawyer or your hair lipped bass playing dyke girlfriend who has to do it in back with a can of Red Bull or else she goes ape-shit. This is not a generational thing. You don’t actually have to “care” about Tony Abbott to be a victim of his ugly, tyrannical spirit.
From the Gascoyne River in the West to the Flinders River in the East the Abbott blight has sullied our waters. He will be remembered in common parlance as the bush mechanic who built his shit-house in the kitchen. But thanks to him we all have a shit-house in our kitchen, and that is the sin that will sink his place in history to the very bottom like cement shoes. By degrading the Rhodes legacy of sympathy for and protection of the weak, by constructing the role of The Prime Minister of Australia not around pure politics but around him, by simply walking away from questions like the craven little pipsqueak he is, Tony Abbott has turned Australia into what Captain Cook was searching for all those years ago: Terra Incognita.