Australian Politics – How Much Do Journalists Hate Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott?

Posted on Sat 02/25/2017 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

How much do journalists of the Left – especially in the Canberra Press Gallery, hate former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott?

Consider Laura Tingle, improbably a politics writer for the Australian Financial Review.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

She has long suffered from Abbott Derangement Syndrome, and now suffers one of her worst bouts yet:

Politics is full of catastrophic debacles and tragedies that nonetheless finish up in weed-covered, neglected dead ends. The Soviet Union comes to mind. All that work. All that butchery. All those millions killed. And then pffft! It was gone. Similarly, Tony ­Abbott.

Then follows a stream of abuse which suggests the poor dear may also have Tourette Syndrome:

what an utter destructive force … an utter waste of space … not much to recommend him … no-one remembers anything particularly positive … feral … deadly … negativism …. firmly set on a path of destruction … negative … destructive … truly deluded … disingenuous, hypocritical and dishonest … leaves a stinking pile of loopy policy ideas steaming on the footpath … simplistic … deluded… unfashionable

And there’s this giveaway:

Can you remember anything positive that he has contributed to our polity that has not involved tearing something down?

Well, yes, millions can, actually.

Abbott stopped the boats, for instance, which had the very positive effect of not just stopping drownings, savings us billions, making Australia safer and freeing up more space for real refugees. Another positive was that it made a complete fool of Tingle, who’d predicted he’d fail:

The Coalition has opted for theatrics … perhaps to give it some cover for the inevitable time when ambitious claims made in opposition – such as “we will turn back the boats” – proved to be impossible to implement.

That wasn’t the only time Abbott proved Tingle clueless and driven more by malice and ideology than reason. For instance, he led the Liberals to election victory after first driving into minority government, confounding Tingle’s predictions in 2009 when he was voted leader over Malcolm Turnbull:

The election of Tony Abbott as Leader of the Liberal Party is a disaster of epic proportions for a party that was already up against it in the race to remain competitive at the next election. They have now taken a major step to the Right, towards their base, and away from mainstream voters.

Hmm. I suspect Tingle is today repeating that historic mistake in every detail. Here she goes again, deploring Abbott personally, misunderestimating his effectiveness and raging against his attempts to bring the Liberals closer to their conservative base.

Tingle really doesn’t learn from her mistakes, does she?

But let’s go on with the charge of hers, that Abbott did nothing positive as Prime Minister. Other positive things he did, which I’m astonished that someone writing for a financial newspaper would forget, was sign free trade deals with Japan, South Korea and China.

He also scrapped the useless carbon tax that Tingle so loved, thus easing pressure on power prices. He scrapped the disastrous mining tax that had raised virtually no money yet suppressed mining investment – an incredible double. He proposed the billions of savings measures which Malcolm Turnbull now takes credit for. He reduced the destructive renewable energy target, albeit by less than he’d have liked, saving us from worse than what we’ve already seen in South Australia. He led the U.S. into confronting Russia more strongly over the invasion of Ukraine and the shooting down of MH17.

Tingle’s abuse, so juvenile, is the tell-tale sign that she has no arguments. In fact, as I have shown, what few she advances have in the main no substance.

What becomes clear from her piece, in fact, is that she is scared by Abbott – and by the very things that made him such an effective leader in Opposition. She is scared of his conservative policies and scared of the Liberals’ conservative base.

There is a lot to be said for Abbott if the mere mention of his name can reduce a Leftist journalist to such a gibbering wreck. Why a pity for the Liberals that Turnbull’s name makes Tingle purr instead.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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