Melania Trump (above), wife of the Republican Party's presidential aspirant, is being attacked for borrowing cliches from Michelle Obama, a fuss and bother about not very much at all. How different it is to be a Democrat, plagiarism being customarily ignored by the media if deemed in a good cause.
Real Science, available via the link below, offers some telling examples.
The Weekend Australian contained a letter from one Neville Williams of Darlinghurst, which offers the following observation:
There’s no question about Tony Abbott’s strength, resilience, tenacity, passion, determination and application. He’s proven he has all those qualities. But having watched his negative war against two prime ministers opposing everything put forward by the Labor government was to display a reason he is not PM today.
One of the things that really gets my goat is the mindless, ad nauseam repetition of some glib untruth until it becomes established wisdom. Gerard Henderson is waging a campaign against the enduring myth that Robert Menzies won the 1961 election on the back of Communist Party preferences. I’m not sure what moral point the Left thinks it has established with this rather inconsequential issue, but there you are. Nothing is too trivial that it can’t be twisted into some point scoring ‘gotcha’ moment. And, of course, of recent vintage is the claim that Julia Gillard qualified her "no carbon tax under a government I lead" commitment with the words ‘but I am determined to put a price on carbon’.
But you get my drift. Back to the point at issue.
We hear this ‘Abbott negativity’ claim all the time but it is an absolute fabrication. I was under the impression that during Gillard’s inglorious reign, the opposition supported 87% of legislation passed. I thought I should check this, so I consulted Dr Google and, as usual, he obliged handsomely. My confirmation came from none other than Professor Peter Van Onselen in one of his very few pieces critical of Labor, by which I mean he resisted the temptation to temper any attack on Labor with a near-obligatory and counterbalancing swipe at Abbott. Incidentally, Van Onselen is back to normal form in his weekend column, observing:
He (Howard) also had done more in his first term than the woeful output of the Abbott years.
That woeful output would include stopping the boats (enough on its own to justify Abbott’s two-year tenure), getting rid of the carbon and mining taxes, disbanding the Climate Commission, commencing the long and difficult task of weaning industry off the public teat. If Van Onselen is talking about legislative achievements, he might like to remind himself of the aforementioned article in which it was he who proclaimed that it is not the quantity of legislation that is important but its quality.
Contrary to Neville Williams’ assertion in his letter to the editor, Abbott did not oppose everything put forward by the Labor government. He only opposed those things he believed were against our national interest and, as it happens, have subsequently proven to be so. These included relaxation of border control, the carbon tax, the mining tax and Gonski -- all highly contentious issues that Abbott opposed aggressively and effectively, as it was his job to do. And there is the genesis of the myth about ‘unrelenting negativity’. Contest a Labor policy -- it matters not which one or how bad its like;ly consequences -- and you are a wrecker. To our chattering and scribbling classes, it is that simple.
If Williams recognises and admires Abbott’s bona fide qualities, as he states, a consistent perspective would see him similarly scoff at the embittered, cliched orthodoxy of those who would recast the Gillard years as a golden age of enlightened governance.
For a further taste of the institutionalised Left's relentless efforts to portray the ousted PM as the devil incarnate, follow the link below to the laughably named ABC "Fact Check" unit's appraisal of his record and promises, where truth is whatever taxpayer-supported propagandists want to to be. One example: Abbott is rated a liar for asserting that marriage traditionally has been accepted as the union of one man and one woman.
-- Peter O'Brien