If you never hear from me again, it’s because Bushfire Bill has dealt with me for publishing this brilliant post that should have been up on Sunday.
Just because he hasn’t had time to do the pics!
I ask you!!!
Anyway, if I’m not around tomorrow, that’s why.
So, I leave you with . . .
If Murdoch has to write letters to Abbott through his newspapers, then that means he’s not getting to him via the usual channels: closed door meetings, a quiet word, Friday night get-togethers, surreptitious visits to the New York News HQ, and so on.
Abbott seems to have gone off the reservation. He’s always had a high opinion of his own judgement and intellect, and now there’s no holding him back.
Truly Murdoch has created the monster. It has broken its shackles and now wanders the world, frightening children and shirt-fronting adults at random. Its crazy ideas, reflecting its piecemeal make up – part journalist, part thug, part priest – are being let run wild. It won’t even listen to its master now, the man that gave it life.
Only one thing can tame its excesses, and that is Peta’s sweet whisper. She is with him night and day, always at hand, just off camera, in the room at even the highest level meetings. But lately even her calming words are not being heard.
Abbott is becoming used to being in charge. He’s learning that what he says goes. He’s never had this before. He’s always been the protégé, the golden boy who’s headed for great things, guided by the wisdom of a wise patron.
Well, now he’s arrived – and he’s doing to do those great things. Why confine your psyche to just inside your head, keeping counsel, waiting for The Day when you can paint a nation with your grand ideas and force even the mighty to call you “Sir”? There’s no more waiting. This is destiny. Tony’s mind has expanded, and now his canvas is a nation, but one he’s never loved for itself. It’s always been one he wanted to change to look more like where he came from, not realizing that place too has changed and has moved on.
He got rid of the schoolboy fringe he used to cover his thinning hair. He applied … something … was it Botox? Or some surgery? … to his forehead and his eyes to ease out the wrinkles. He’s combed his hair over like he’s seen real leaders do, the better to look the part. And his speech patterns have changed. He sounds more hesitant now, as if every word he utters is gold, to be taken down by adoring scribes and kept for posterity.
Sure, he can’t resist the simian swagger, and his suits are still too tight. That’s the boy in him, wanting to show off his physique. The hands are everywhere too: defensively, pushing away questions and criticism. He used to have a cruder use for his hands in his boxing days. One king-hit out of nowhere and he’d deck his opponent. But he can’t do that now. He has to settle for mugging his old punching bag, Joe; not really satisfying, but something of an outlet for his natural instincts.
Maybe he’s timed it well. Maybe he thinks he can cast off his backers in the media because the media isn’t as powerful as it once was, making and breaking kings and queens. Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s wrong.
But he can’t cast off the ridicule. As he tries harder and harder to be ever more serious and statesmanlike, he’s the butt of more and more jokes. He believed once that cometh the office, cometh the man, but the cartoonists cruelly still depict him with those ears, those budgie smugglers, that hairy torso, those exaggeratedly cruel lips. They never show the New Tony, the one he’s always wanted to be, and was always told he could be. They laugh at him and his narcissm instead.
The man must be going crazy with frustration. It’s all fallen apart. His Macbethian plan to claw his way to the top has ended as all such progresses do: with more enemies to use as shields, no-one to trust, more blood and more dysfunction.
He thought Labor was dead. He killed it himself, didn’t he? He won so many battles against it … and still Labor lives. He made promises he shouldn’t have, and which he couldn’t possibly keep, right on election eve – and now they, like Labor, are coming back to haunt him, no matter how much he licks his lips, protests his innocence and redoubles his lies. Now he’s lying about lying. Did he say he’d never do that? He can’t remember. There have been so many lies. So many contradictions. So many speeches and interviews. Can he be expected to remember them all?
Bill Shorten just won’t play the way Tony wants him to play. Bill – boyish, quiet, considered, and intelligent, won’t come on to the battlefield and fight him man to man. Bill’s biding his time. It’s a war Abbott doesn’t like: one of manoeuvre, skirmishing, probing, even agreeing with him from time to time, avoiding a fight. With each clash Abbott loses a few more devotees he can’t replace. Volunteers and supporters are thinning out as they contemplate whether being otherwise engaged is the better option. He just can’t line up Bill Shorten for the sucker punch. He has to face it, Bill intends to go the full fifteen rounds. Until that time, Bill will dance and sting to weaken his opponent so that Abbott will be wounded and bloody when they come out into the ring for the penultimate bell.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. People have always been scared of Abbott, of his sheer naked aggressiveness, his mercilessness and of his ability, without reflection, to turn on anyone who gets in his way. He’s always liked being surrounded by bodies – friends or enemies. They’ve been his substitute for sandbags. But bodies bring blood and flies. People start to notice the stench of death around him.
The Catholic Bishops saw his temperament, and threw him out of the seminary for it. Jesus didn’t need a holy warrior to minister to a parish. He needed someone with empathy and humility, not a thug.
Australia celebrated his thuggishness, in a shameful period where they valued light entertainment because they could afford to. The nation was prospering. Vilifying Gillard was good sport. We kidded ourselves that if we called Gillard a liar over legislation then that would mean Global Warming would go away. We were on top of the world … ironically because Labor put us there while other countries fell by the wayside.
But now, digging holes and lecturing other nations has lost its authenticity. We’re becoming a basket case state, with a basket case leader at the helm. It’s no longer Reality TV. It’s Reality. Slogans and slagging-off won’t put meals on tables. A nation that is taxed higher and suffers cutbacks to basic services simply to satisfy its government’s insane surplus fetish – when that government puts little back by way of innovation, and actually closes productive industries down – is not a prosperous nation. It is a nation that is being laid waste by its own rulers to serve their vanity.
Why did we close down manufacturing? Who cares if imports are cheaper, if no-one can afford to buy them? What’s the point of the government’s coffers being full if the peoples’ are empty? And then there’s the dollar … are imports really even cheap anymore? We have high price tags on the things we’ve taken for granted for so long, and diminishing capacity to compete with those who charge them. We’ve pissed our economy up against the wall, in favour of a few brief, nothing moments on the world stage so that Abbott can indulge himself in his schoolboy fantasy of someday growing up and being respected among his peers. He had the chance to impress world leaders with his vision for a magnificent estate, and all he talked about was how he’d tidied up the back yard and pulled out a few weeds. Not satisfied with stalking the land, the monster now stalks the world.