David Flint is part of the chorus demanding that our Dear Leader do the right thing and resign as Prime Minister, so the rightful heir, Tony Abbott, might resume his position on the throne and lead our nation out of the valley of darkness. In time measured by Newspolls, Mr Abbott has had 30 of them without the benefit of a significant staff, has lived and somehow survived on a backbencher’s salary, and has come into contact with some members of the public.
The usurper to the throne was a known quantity long before he entered parliament. In terms of character it was well known and remains so to this day, that Malcolm Turnbull combines the worst aspects of Scar from The Lion King with Iago from Othello, and likely the worst aspects of a lot of other literary characters thrown in too. Mr Turnbull’s moral failings are sufficient to justify their own website which lists them under the heading “Why Malcolm Turnbull is a Dangerous Leftist Ideologue”.
But Mr Flint and many others have forgotten why Mr Turnbull was able to pull off his successful coup. And that was because of the failings of Mr Abbott himself. The first alarm bells rang for me when I read not long after the 2007 federal election that Mr Abbott had complained that he was finding it hard to live on a backbencher’s salary because his outgoings had risen to consume his salary as a minister and he felt entitled to continue living in the manner to which he had become accustomed. The significance of that was that, sure enough, as Prime Minister, he couldn’t rein in the budget deficit and balance the budget as a good conservative leader is hardwired to do so. That was a big kick in the guts to the people who voted him in, and who realise that the ongoing profligacy that started with this treachery will result in a period of high inflation, eroding the value of savings and causing great distress. Mr Abbott set the tone for the current lack of interest in running the nation as a long-term, self-sustaining enterprise.
Three days after the election that saw him elected as Prime Minister, Mr Abbott turned around and said that he wasn’t going to repeal the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act of October 2007, Howard’s last dark deed. That act is the auditing basis of the carbon tax. Why keep the auditing act if you are going to repeal the carbon tax? And sure enough, the carbon tax has risen from the grave and amid industries closing and great turmoil in the power market. So on this particular matter, Mr Abbott was stupid, or lazy, or didn’t understand what he was dealing with. With each act of stupidity, the people who had voted him in with so much hope in their hearts groaned and lost heart. If Mr Abbott hadn’t betrayed his supporters, he would still be prime minister. So when the knighthood for Prince Phillip came along, that was another idiotic captain’s pick that became the trigger for his defenestration.
Mr Abbott is too stupid to think for himself but insists on doing so, and thus absurdities like the Paid Parental Leave Scheme. And if you think loyalty is a virtue that leaders should have, his reneging on 18C was another kick in the guts to those who had supported him. Mr Abbott could become leader again but it would have to be like King John at Runnymede – signing up to a list of things that would be done, hell or high water, and he wouldn’t be able to betray the conservative base this time. Being a backbencher again means that Mr Abbott has had more time to meet members of the public. Hence his recent interest in bringing immigration under control, power prices etc. — things he did nothing about while he was Prime Minister.
History does repeat itself and it looks like we are set for a rerun of the events of 2009 in which Turnbull was deposed by Abbott due to the former’s support for the carbon tax. Which is why the Monash Forum is so dangerous for Turnbull. First, his ministers were directed to attack the initiative as socialism and now Turnbull is stating the obvious — that AGL’s planned closure of Liddell is driven by price gouging. It looks like AGL is going to be hoist on its own petard. AGL is saying that Liddell is clapped out and worthless, and so could be forced to disgorge it at a price well below what it is going to be worth to its next owners, who will make out like bandits.
That’s all very well and amusing but do we have to have Abbott again to lead us out of the darkness? He had his go and it was amateur hour. In the words of Yoda, there is another.
Craig Kelly may not have initiated the Monash Forum but he is its leader and reasoned, sensible public voice, filling the leadership vacuum on the conservative side of politics. Apart from being a good bloke, he is a tabula rasa upon which we can project our hopes and dreams of sensible policies, balanced budgets and other good things that we dimly remember as having had once. In your prayers, beseech God to make the unspotted and unblemished Craig Kelly our next Prime Minister. Then we can sleep soundly knowing the Nation is in good hands.
David Archibald’s latest book is American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.
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