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March 08th 2017 print

Gary Scarrabelotti

Abbott’s Return from the Wilderness

The ousted PM has served the highest interests of his party and its supporters by declaring openly and emphatically that the Turnbull government is doomed. He may well be the only person who can rally disenchanted and deserting Liberals to the cause of renewing the party's Menzian vision

abbott mugTony Abbott is back – this time with power and conviction. On February 23, Tony Abbott launched the book Making Australia Right, published by Connor Court and edited by the distinguished James Allan. The book is a collection of essays from Australia’s right-of-centre luminaries. The speech Abbott gave on the occasion was the best of his political career and may turn out to be the turning point in his political fortunes. This was his policy punchline:

“In short, why not say to the people of Australia: we’ll cut the RET, to help with your power bills; we’ll cut immigration, to make housing more affordable; we’ll scrap the human Rights Commission, to stop official bullying; we’ll stop all new spending, to end ripping off your grandkids; and we will reform the Senate to have government, not gridlock.”

It’s a great program.  If any political leader took it up with conviction, breathed its message with persuasion and sought to accomplish it with prudence, he (or she) would surely make a long-serving and well-remembered Prime Minister.

Our present Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, unless struck down like Saul en route to Damascus, does not have what it takes to carry the weight of such a project. In saying this I do not want to dump on Turnbull.  Unlike many Australians, I am drawn to his urbane style, his fluent speech and his reservations about playing politics like a rugby forward. He breathes reasonableness and balance and I like that.  The problem is a want of indicators that, behind the urbane manners, lie deep convictions.  They may well be there, but they don’t come readily to the surface.

Such convictions as he has acknowledged are the commonplaces of Australia’s richest postcodes: multiculturalism, naturally; climate change, but of course; same-sex marriage, whatever. Of these, one by itself rules him out as a candidate man-of-destiny called to reforge the shattered liberal-conservative elements of the Menzian political vision. Hoping against hope that Turnbull might answer the summons to such a mission, The Australian’s Paul Kelly wrote on February 25 a desperate peroration to an article describing the crisis within the “conservative” side of Australian politics:

“The Liberal Party waits on Turnbull. Its philosophical history is rich enough to meet the challenge of the Trumpian age. Under assault from the different brands of Bill Shorten’s populism and Pauline Hanson’s populism, Turnbull cannot keep delaying. He needs to ­articulate his inner core, expose his heart, address the dilemmas facing his party, offer his own version of liberalism and a credible reason why conservatives should remain within the tent.”

It won’t happen; it can’t happen.

Earlier in the same article Kelly pointed to the reason why such a hope is misconceived.  One of pillars of the Menzies synthesis was “homes material, homes human, homes spiritual”. This is truth perennial.  Menzies understood it.  If our our leaders in public life, letters, academe and the arts do not get this, they are either creatures of folly or servants of destruction.

As Paul Keating once put it, in a flash of brilliance, “Two blokes and a cocker spaniel don’t make a family.” Malcolm Turnbull allows that they might, indeed, be so. On this ground alone, he can never propose a vision of Australian society that would call back to the Liberal Party those who are deserting it for One Nation and others. Like the foot soldiers who hand out how-to-vote dodgers for the Liberals, those trekking to One Nation — however tolerant they might be in practice of the sexual revolution in their families and wider social networks – are, on the vital point of family life, closer to the old unburnished Keating than to the up-to-date socially polished Turnbull.

Wiser for scars

Abbott, however, really does have the potential to give new expression to the genius behind Menzies’ idea of the Liberal Party. Whatever else he is, whatever failings he might have, he is not a child of the zeitgeist.  He carries wounds, to be sure. But precisely because Abbott has been scarred by events — especially by his preoccupation in office with accommodating the socially liberal aspirations of colleagues who, in the end, betrayed him — he has acquired the kind of experience necessary for renewing the Liberal Party’s fraying political fabric.

His address at the launch of Making Australia Right was line-by-line true to the point of obvious, telling to the point of painful and precise to the point of surgical.  And it was devastating. For instance, on subsidizing renewables:

“The government is now talking about using the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to subsidise a new coal-fired power station; creating, if you like, a base-load target to supplement the renewable target.

“We subsidise wind to make coal uneconomic so now we are proposing to subsidise coal to keep the lights on. Go figure. Wouldn’t it be better to abolish subsidies for new renewable generation and let ordinary market forces do the rest?”

If I can speak as one who, in the past, has dallied with the idea of an RET, the power crisis in South Australia has blacked out all its sometime allure once and for all. Let power be sourced by the market and new technologies develop unsubsidized: this is the way to go and Abbott got it right. He also reduced it to a politically marketable formula.

Above all, Abbott served the highest interests of his party and its supporters by declaring that, on it’s present course, the Turnbull government is doomed.

“Self indulgent.” “Unhelpful.”  Not the genuine “team player.” Such were the cries that went up in response, even from some of his closest supporters in the final showdown with Turnbull.

In one sense it is “unhelpful” (even boorish) to repeat what everyone knows: that the Turnbull experiment has been a political failure. And to rub it in, the latest Newspoll, published after Abbott’s “Making Australia Right” speech, shows the Coalition now five points lower than it was in the weeks leading up Turnbull’s overthrow of Abbott.

Two things to consider here.

Politician or statesman?

The first is that the critics are right, but only if their (and our) expectation is that Abbott should be a “politician” in the low sense the term has acquired in common usage.

A statesman, however, is one among practitioners of the political craft who cleaves to what is true, at least as he sees and judges it. He understands the deeper treachery of bogus loyalties: like not warning of hidden shoals known to lie ahead on present bearings. Whether Abbott has reached “statesman” status remains to be seen. He will never make it, however, or serve those who elected him, if he refrains from self-indulgence, contrives to be helpful or buries his judgement in team play.

In the final analysis, the statesman is a rule-breaker. He defies conventions and disciplines. He is a disruptive influence. For which reasons he has known the wilderness. But those in public office unprepared to go there, cannot hope to accomplish great things.

Secondly, Abbott is not merely repeating uncomfortable, widely broadcast measures of the decline in the Coalition’s electoral credit. What he is talking about is the policy reasons for it. This is quite a different and deeper matter and one to which every MP has been called, especially in times of emergency, by right of election to Parliament.  Doing his duty, however, is not something that impresses the embarrassed colleagues who ran Turnbull against him or who climbed on board the Turnbull bandwagon after Abbott was dispatched.

Sure, Abbott is deeply unpopular right now among his parliamentary confreres, but among the rank-and-file of the Liberal Party he speaks for a great many. His proposal, for instance, to cut back our immigration in-take – to confront the mantra of “big is better” – comes like welcome rain after a long drought of respect for the native accomplishments and aspirations of our ‘non-cosmo’ “forgotten people”.

Although the idea of curtailing Australia’s immigration program is not new — Bob Carr, for example, has been a prominent, politically centrist advocate — it certainly represents a watershed that a mainstream political figure should make it a central feature of a new political program.  If implemented it would signal a remarkable change in Australian political culture and a threat to the elite monopoly over who gets to define and shape the make-up of our national population.

Abbott has taken the risky but high road to the wilderness from which he might never re-emerge.  Without taking it, however, he will not be Prime Minister a second time.

Forlorn hope, the insiders say. I am not so sure. this year, 2017 is going to be the Year of Disruption. Great dangers lie ahead for incumbents.  If Turnbull should fall under the press of events, Abbott’s present chorus of critics will have few options other than to recall him from the desert.

Comments [47]

  1. Jody says:

    This is an absolute hoot!! Funniest moment this week, after “The Four Yorkshiremen” sketch this morning on radio.

    • John says:

      Yet another in-depth analysis. Well done.

    • Tezza says:

      Jody, you are an absolute bore. Comments like yours contribute nothing to analysis or debate.

      Why did you find the article an “absolute hoot”? Were you on something illicit? We’re you laughing in agreement or opposition? Stop wasting readers’ time.

      • Jody says:

        I’m laughing that you’re still bandying around the old chestnut that Abbott is relevant. He’s a backroom boy and philosopher but that’s all; he had his time and squandered it. Did nothing.

        They’re all going to go down with the ship anyway. All politics ends in tears.

  2. Lacebug says:

    Those who know Abbott personally, reckon he is a fabulous person. I loved this evaluation from The Spectator:
    Most of the media just don’t ‘get’ Tony Abbott. They think he’s critical of Malcolm Turnbull because he wants his old job back. But after all Abbott’s been through, why would he want, for a second, to have to again work closely with the likes of Julie Bishop and Scott Morrison?
    Actually, Abbott is thinking of the future of the Liberal Party and the fate of the government in trying to alert his colleagues to their peril while it may still be averted.
    You’d never know it from the bile regularly directed at him by the likes of Niki Savva, Laura Tingle, Laurie Oakes, Peter Van Onselen and Mark Kenny, but most of Abbott’s life has been devoted to public service. A selfishly ambitious man would not have spent three years of his life training to be a priest. If Abbott were merely interested in his own advancement, he would not have been John Howard’s one-man Praetorian Guard at such risk to his own reputation and would not have spent so much time as opposition leader defending Howard’s legacy.
    If it was ‘all about Abbott’, he would not have stuck by Joe Hockey and Peta Credlin when even Howard was semi-publicly urging their sacking. A politically vain person would not have allowed Morrison to take credit for stopping the boats, Andrew Robb to take credit for the big three FTAs, and Bishop to take credit for the international kudos Australia gained as a strong and dependable ally.
    For all his faults, Abbott was not only the most reliable political warrior of the Howard government, but he kept the Liberal Party and the Coalition together for four tough years after the first disastrous Turnbull experiment. Moreover only Abbott – along with Robert Menzies, Malcolm Fraser and Howard – has ever brought the Liberal Party from federal opposition to national government.

    Despite the most public humiliation by the party he’d served, Abbott campaigned hard last year for the re-election of the Turnbull government. In fact he deserves praise, not last week’s over-the-top attack from Mathias Cormann, a minister whose career he’d nurtured.
    Unlike our current multi-millionaire prime minister who boasts about making large donations to charity, Abbott – for the past 20 years – has actually ridden his bike to promote the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Carers Australia and Soldier On, and raised nearly $5 million.
    Even as prime minister, Abbott kept up surf lifesaving patrols and did duty crews with the Rural Fire Service. And he kept his promise to spend a week each year in Australia’s remote indigenous communities. Imagine how a Labor politician, or even a left-wing Liberal with this record would be feted! At a time when voters have never been more cynical about politicians, ask yourself who is more likely to restore trust: a person who lives in a modest suburban house with a hefty mortgage and who reluctantly moved to Kirribilli House to save taxpayers a $1 million a year; or the bloke who insists on living in his own far grander harbourside mansion at a cost to taxpayers of a reported $3 million a year?
    Cormann may not have been coached by the PM’s office before his attack on Abbott, but it’s inconceivable that he wouldn’t have spoken to the PMO before the interview. Then Cormann was wheeled out again on Sunday, although then he at least had the grace to concede that Abbott had a very strong record in just two years as PM. Turnbull’s backers are now trying to blame Abbott for wrecking a good few weeks for the PM. But it was Cormann’s intervention that turned Abbott’s book-launch speech urging conservatives to maintain faith in the Liberal Party into such a public brawl.
    I still think that Abbott is by far the best person to lead the Liberal Party and the country. But if not Abbott that leaves Bishop, who has been a bridesmaid far too often ever to be a bride, and Peter Dutton who has yet to do the hard yards and prove himself. Then, somewhat out of left field there is the Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, who, if he were to replace the Labor-lite Turnbull, would be Australia’s first Jewish PM.
    But as Abbott’s highly publicised speech last week demonstrated, he’s not focused on who should lead but on the task to be performed – whoever the leader might be. Because it’s the ‘what’, not the ‘who’ that really matters if the federal coalition is to have a reasonable chance of winning the next election.
    It wasn’t the first time that Abbott raised freezing the renewable energy target to make power more reliable and more affordable, and allowing a joint sitting to decide bills rejected twice in the senate without the need for a double dissolution election. What Abbott did last week was to formulate a potential manifesto that the Liberals could take into the next election. As usual, it is crystal clear and quite specific: freeze the RET to take the pressure off power prices; scale back immigration (at least until land supply and infrastructure have caught up) to take the pressure off housing prices; avoid all new expenditure and end all frivolous spending to stop ripping off our grandkids; de-fund the Human Rights Commission to end official bullying of people who refuse to be politically correct; and reform the senate so that we might have effective government instead of gridlock.
    Abbott’s five point plan has the great virtue of being exactly what most Liberal voters and even some Labor voters would instinctively support.
    Turnbull and his backers should spend less time backgrounding against Abbott and more time delivering good government. As Peta Credlin recently observed, Turnbull branch-stacked his way into parliament, back-stabbed his way into the opposition leadership and then back-stabbed his way into the prime ministership. Since then, he’s failed to keep Cory Bernardi in the party, is about to lose George Christensen from the Coalition, has been One Nation’s chief recruiting agent and has made it clear that he’ll never have Abbott in his cabinet (even though Abbott had Turnbull in his). A Liberal leader with no capacity to keep the conservative side of politics united, should be grateful for advice from someone who could.

  3. Bill Martin says:

    It is impossible to miss, and would be a mistake to disregard Gary Scarrabelotti’s kind and generous comments about Malcolm Turnbull. “… I am drawn to his urbane style, his fluent speech and his reservations about playing politics like a rugby forward. He breathes reasonableness and balance and I like that. The problem is a want of indicators that, behind the urbane manners, lie deep convictions. They may well be there, but they don’t come readily to the surface.” he writes. If he does happen to have any genuine convictions – which is extremely doubtful – he most certainly lacks the courage to go to with it. It is obvious to even the casual observer that he is pretty much line ball with the attitude of the Greens on key issues, especially on climate alarmism but hedges his bets as required by prevailing circumstances. If he were a genuinely truthful individual, he’d not only give up the prime ministership but resign from the Liberal Party and join the Greens. Of course he would instantly lose the prominence he currently enjoys and that would be too high a price to pay for honesty.

    Scarrabelotti’s casual mention that “If I can speak as one who, in the past, has dallied with the idea of an RET …” casts more cloud over his credibility as a genuine, dinky-di conservative who never for a moment considered the CAGW to be a string but a crazy, dishonest scam. Having said all that, the bulk of the article is is excellent.

    What is lacking, though, is the need for Tony Abbott to toughen up, to be ruthless in pursuing what he believes in and not ever be concerned about the attitude of his opponents. He needs to hit back twice as hard instead of appeasing his attackers. As for being a team player, that requires a team of loyal teammates, which is achieved by getting rid of the traitors and shirkers, instead of catering for their idiosyncrasies. That seems to be an order too tall for Abbott ta attain.

    • ianl says:

      > “If I can speak as one who, in the past, has dallied with the idea of an RET …”

      Yes, it is depressing. But far more depressing than the dalliance is the reason Scarrabelotti gives for dropping this dalliance: the devastating SA power losses.

      Why is this excuse so dismal ? Because Scarrabelotti lacked (lacks ?) sufficient technical intelligence to have grasped the danger *before* the power losses. For two decades or so, we have been saying a reliable, affordable power grid must be in place *before* you destroy the existing grid. So Scarrabelotti is now frightened by destructive but predictable results he refused to countenance initially. Such confidence and respect this inspires in our self-described elite … utter technical dills.

      I can remember an ALP member for the NSW Lower House opining at a seminar over 15 years ago: “Don’t worry – we won’t let the lights go out”. My heart sank then – why would this dill even need to say that ? The answer is, and has always been, obvious.

  4. Keith Kennelly says:

    See Jody,

    Articles like this have been app aring for a he last couple of weeks.

    The action for the coalition after Saturday will become self evident.

    And once again Jody you haven’t presented any in depth or cogent argument to refute the thesis of Abbotts return.

    You only ever pass asanine comments.

    Tell us why, in the same depth and nuance as in this article, why Abbott cannot return.

    Don’t go screaming wrong wrong wrrong or offering bets you won’t take or making silly predictions without solid evidence or quoting % chances … offer something showing real thought and reasonable foundations.

    You’d find that easy, with your i depth reading and nuance, wouldn’t you?

  5. Colin S says:

    I had a few beers with a similarly leaning mate of mine at Central station, this week, after a several week hiatus. As previously, we bemoaned the state of the nation and in the Turnbull Government, in particular. I guess you could call it a mini pub-test. After 50 years of being Coalition supporters, we both agreed that One Nation was most likely to get our vote in the coming state election and if there was a surprise federal election, One Nation would get the votes, too.
    More or less as an aside, we went through what Leader could bring us back to the fold. After 4 beers and lots of discussion, Abbott was the only viable leader.

    • pabloAU says:

      Not that everything fits, but there is this 18th century rhymed fable by a poet-bishop in central Europe, going more (or less) like this:

      Ox was a minister and ruled sensibly
      things were going slow but orderly
      Monotony bored the Monarch(Lion) in the end.
      Swapped Ox for Monkey as a funny friend.
      The court was content, so was citizen – at first.
      Joy stopped soon, there was mess around
      Laughed the ruler, his court – shed tears paupered people.
      So when even worse times and trouble came
      Monkey was thrown out. To manage the disaster
      Fox was put to the task, but robbed and betrayed.
      Not the funny one, not the traitor was up to the job.
      Ox was back as minister and put things like they should be.

  6. Jody says:

    I sent my soul into the invisible,
    Some letter of the after-life to spell,
    And by and by my soul came back to me and said,
    “I myself am heaven and hell”.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    All the Kings Men

    All the fair of heart and mind
    All the fear of worry and dread
    Embodied in the crowd of kind
    Common in past and daily fed
    The bread of hearth and home
    A land of fair and ancient rights
    Governed values sharp of hone.
    Wielded strength and might
    Regal realms majestic loan
    Commonwealth from form past
    Egalitarian wealth has grown
    In values ancient born to last.

    • Jody says:

      Love that foot-stomping meter!! Very subtle.

      • Jimbob says:

        Isn’t it just wonderful! We of the conservative bent can enjoy differences, live poetically and even laugh at ourselves. How civil!

        The alternative is just a horror.

        • Jody says:

          Never a truer word was spoken! Today I was with my GP and we started talking about lefties, political correctness and all the barnyard animals promulgating this stuff. He held out his hand and asked me to shake his, “congratulations; you are one of only about 10 patients I can have a decent discussion with about these things”!!!! After a while he started swearing in frustration. He’s several years my junior but we both agreed the antidote to this horror is spending your money and having a great and comfortable life in retirement!!!

    • whitelaughter says:

      OK, I’ve seen poetry descend into mudslinging, but this is the first time I’ve seen mudslinging flower into poetry! Kudos all round, for both quotes and original composition.

  8. Steve Spencer says:

    For me, the question isn’t whether or not Abbott could rediscover his conservatism and rediscover his testicles, but what would the strategy be for combating the inevitable onslaught from Labor, the Greens and perhaps more importantly, the media.His last term was painful to watch but another would be even worse, I reckon.

    I think he can deal with Labor and the Greens, but he needs to find a way to neutralise the leftist media so that his messages can get through.

    • Jimbob says:

      No need to neutralise the leftist media – just needs to shout louder!

      In his game, he who shouts loudest wins and the reason the Libs are losing are because their opponents on the left and on the more extreme right are currently making a whole lot of noise while their “urbane” “cultured”, “rational” (and I would add, totally boring and incapable)leader either parrots his opponents policies or makes no noise at all!

      Geez I can’t hear myself think for all the noise Mal and his mates have made on RET, S18C,Islamic non-integration, cultural decay etc. etc. etc.

      • Warty says:

        Jimbob, I seem to remember an interesting ‘alternative’ conservative writer, Moses Apostaticus, once saying that the radical left have access to all the energy, or drive, to rant, rave and protest, and we only have to look at the energy GetUp and the Socialist Alternative are able to conjure up, to disrupt legitimate conservative meetings, to wreck Cory Bernardi’s Adelaide office, to prevent gas exploration and mining ventures, almost conveying a sense of invincibility. The conservative revolution is quieter, slower to rise up, more deliberate in execution, but seems to be slowly gathering momentum. They will never produce the sorts of anti Trump demonstrations we have seen in America, but damn it, they elected a President.

    • Jody says:

      He needs to get a job outside politics, instead of being a humble back-bencher with Relevance Deprivation Syndrome.

      • Steve Spencer says:

        And you need to get help with your Abbott Derangement Syndrome. Seriously my dear, it’s starting to look terminal.

        • Jody says:

          Listen up; the Coalition lurch to the Left STARTED with Abbott and his refusal to do anything about 18C, as well as a raft of other concessions to lefties. Now look what we have!!! (Avert your eyes if you cannot bear the facts.)

          • Warty says:

            I don’t think it is a matter of nobody listening, Jody, it is more a difference of opinion. As for Tony, you may recall, it wasn’t that he refused to do anything about s.18C, it was more the intransigence of the senate, and his unwillingness to do battle on yet another issue. OK, it was a bit limp-wristed his not picking up the cudgel (which he used so effectively as Howard’s attack dog) but the ‘lurch to the left happened independently of anything he may or may not have done. I could rattle off a number of names, but you’d know them anyway.

    • whitelaughter says:

      Abbott *won* because he knew how to use hostile media. Remember, any publicity is good publicity! That’s the stupid thing about his being toppled; knighting a prince was tactically brilliant, because it was harmless but ensured a new rabid outbreak from the media…and if the worst thing that could be said about Abbott was a knighthood to Phillip, then swinging voters would assume that he was doing a good job. But no, loons like Andrew Laming have to wreck everything.

  9. Keith Kennelly says:

    Thanks Jody.

    Usually I only use iambic this is something very new. I work very hard at metre, flow and try to make the world da sing. Poetry is all about imagery. There is only a little in this but lots of disguised metaphor. Metopher is something else I try hard with.

    My public recitals can have an impact.

    Keith

  10. Keith Kennelly says:

    Make the words sing. Not make the world sing.

  11. Keith Kennelly says:

    I think the leftie media won’t influence his probable support. Deplorables and conservatives. The centrists will vote for Abbott ahead of labor. Labor is just so poor.

    With the deplorables and the conservatives and most centrists voting for me he’ll win against Shorten in a canter.

    The media will be left preaching to the con vetted and themselves and will only make things worse for Labor. The greens are finished as a force.

  12. Warty says:

    Very decent of you not to ‘dump’ on Turnbull, Gary (a rather unfortunate phrase, ‘to have a dump’, so I can understand why you might not want to do that even to the likes of Lee Rhiannon of the Greens). But crudities aside, I do think there are still major problems, even should Tony regain the leadership., and regardless of any programme he might bring to the table.
    For a start, the fluency you admire in Turnbull has been plainly absent in his defense (or lack of) of the penalty rates issue; in fact every time he’s attempted to say anything, his head is down, he mumbles out foggy-brained platitudes and fails to address some of the down to earth economic aspects that might support the commission’s finding. That is, that a Pauline Hanson level of small business (a fish and chips shop) currently pays double time on a Sunday, whilst Maccas need only pay time and a half (and yet possesses many many times the capacity to pay the double time that Pauline would have had to pay). He has not effectively rammed home the fact that a good many small businesses simply avoid the issue altogether by not opening on a Sunday, so existing workers don’t get anything on that day, when they could at least be getting time and a half). He might also remind small business themselves that they need to get galvanized and engage in a bit of ranting on their own behalf. No, Wormpill hasn’t been even vaguely fluent of late, let alone reasonable and balanced. How can you be reasonable and balanced if, like Neo Anderson, in Matrix, your mouth is sealed?
    Now as for Tony resuming the leadership with his wonderful policy punchline; how on earth is he going to change the spots of more than half the Coalition MPs, who currently register as limp lettuces? How can you persuade someone who has centre-left written all over him or her to become a conservative? The whole divisiveness issue remains.
    So here’s a possible solution: do nothing. Allow the Coalition to drive the 1950s bus over Bill Leaks cartoon cliff, with a sleepy Wormpill at the wheel. Don’t worry, Australia won’t become a country governed according to a cartful of Trot. doctrines, because little Billy will not have any more control over the senate than his opposite number (who will by then be back in merchant banking, earning a good $6 million p.a.). The party will then shift to the right, lick its wounds and belt the bejeebers out of little Billy the following election, by which time our Labor leader will be a confirmed alcoholic, with a bit of an ICE addiction to boot.

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    I stopped worrying when Turnbull’s popularity started to slide but Shorten’s didn’t increase.

    Similarity when the coalitions rating dropped by about the same amount as One Nation rose, and combined with the drop off for the greens. Labors 2 Party lead was only influence by the allocation of One Nation preferences.

    It was all over for labor, the greens, and Turnbull then. None of them could arrest the falls, and in my opinion the falls will continue except for One Nation.

    • Warty says:

      You seem to suggest One Nation will end up forming government one day, Keith. Much as one admires the pluck of a Pauline, I don’t think One Nation has either the substance or the leadership to ever take over from the major parties. Having said that you are right in that the disillusionment is as significant as the lack of realisation within the major parties. The ‘phoney war’ of business as usual, pursued by Coalition and Labor alike is symptomatic of the malaise of mainstream politics both here, in the UK and Europe.
      It looked as though Geert Wilders would be the man to step up in Holland, but he is falling behind in the most recent polls, suggesting things have to get a lot worse over there before the public actually wakes up. I think the same applies here.

  14. Jody says:

    I think the Coalition deserves at least one term in opposition, so that it can decide what it stands for. The country, which screams ‘unfair’ and ‘entitlement’ (while sucking on the public teat in its millions) deserves a dose of salts via Labor. They’ll not get a cent from me. Only what I’m forced to pay via GST (considerable!). After that they can go jump.

  15. Keith Kennelly says:

    Warty

    I did not mean to infer that. I should have said up tho the next election or until Malcom is dumped and the Liberals become conservative again.

  16. Ian Matthews says:

    Bill Shorten wakes up screaming when an Abbott resurgence populates his dreams.

  17. Keith Kennelly says:

    After last night Turnbull and the Liberals can no longer rely on or expect One Nation preferences to hold Government.

    Pauline was right to blame Barnett. He should have let someone else lead to have a chance at winning.

    I hope the Federal Liberals are not to stupid and learn the lesson.