Job Application: Abbott at the National Press Club, 2nd February 2015

(Image Credit: The Guardian)

During questions after his extraordinarily flaccid speech (I suppose it might be useful if you suffer from insomia), Our Dear and Fearless Leader the embattled Prime Minister (my eternal gratitude, Mr Brissenden) confronted his colleagues regarding leadership change both covertly and not so covertly. This is one of his not so veiled responses:

It’s the people who hire and frankly it’s the people who should fire.

Katherine Murphy’s summary of his National Press Club Address is as follows:

  • Abbott used Labor’s record to remind colleagues it’s the Australian people who should “hire and fire” the leader.
  • He has not considered resigning.
  • He believes he has the confidence of the partyroom.
  • He dropped his paid parental leave scheme and flagged reform of childcare, without detail.
  • He flagged a small business tax cut of at least 1.5%.
  • He promised not to change the GST without bipartisan support.
  • He would not take a knighthood if it were offered.

while Aguirre’s analysis is much closer to what the embattled Prime Minister really meant:

Sure, sure I beat you up, and I lied to you, I don’t listen to you or your petty problems. I promised I would change and I didn’t. I get defensive when you ask me questions. I said I was going to fix all those broken things and I never got around to it. And yes, I’ve pissed the neighbours off and you cant hold your head up in public any more. I accept all that. I accept it. I accept that I’m not reliable. I know you’re miserable and depressed and if I have in some small way contributed to it I accept that. But this year will be better, I promise. It won’t be like all the other ones. And you married me so you can just shut up and get on with it, never said I was perfect. You’d be lost without me, and you’ve never had it better. And look, I bought you some flowers so quit your griping. All right, I will bring you some flowers, I forgot.

The troops were very impressed

Tony Burke is on the money:

I will leave the final word to Aguirre, with his critique of the Canberra Press Gallery:

You might have noticed that, no matter what dodgy claim Abbott made, no matter what dodgy numbers he brought up to support those claims, not one journalist picked him up on them. The closest we got was Mark Riley with the ‘collegial’ stuff, which is more a question of redefining his words to describe himself than anything else. On facts he was left untouched.

None of them do journalism as such. They do commentary. And their commentary mostly relies on whatever they’re told in press releases. Examining claims seems to be beyond their brief. All they can do is comment on the impact those claims have on polling. As far as they’re concerned, if a lie gets told and it gains general acceptance, that’s good politics.

It’s almost impossible to run an economy properly without some scrutiny and analysis. Otherwise it just runs off in any direction the government thinks it can ‘sell’ regardless of effectiveness. It’s why Abbott still sounds like he’s campaigning in 2013. They’re all just lines he knows have worked in the past. Pretending that the slogans he used to swing opinion in the past are still effective in the present is an Abbott hallmark.

Well played, all Pubkateers!


342 thoughts on “Job Application: Abbott at the National Press Club, 2nd February 2015

  1. Gravel,

    Some of what Faine is talking about – the very narrow “gene pool” (better, work experience pool) of the majority especially of Federal MPs, and the length of time that so many hang around politics – is completely accurate.

    The thing Faine is missing (wonder why?) is the complicity of the media – which at least Clive Palmer has just sort of brought up.

  2. I keep seeing that one third of the party room want Abbott out. That’s a lot of anti-Abbott numbers to make up before a spill next week, if that happens. It looks like Abbott might just scrape over the line and stay PM. I really, really hope so. Abbott staying PM is Labor’s best hope of winning the next election, whenever that might be.

    Here’s hoping the waverers get spooked by the thought of the Rudd/Gillard wars and decide to stick with the leader they have.

    I’m looking forward to a year or more of endless MSM chatter about leadershit, breathless reports of leaks from ‘senior MPS’ saying Abbott has lost the confidence of his MPs and lots of photos of journalists amd camera crews waiting outside the offices of the NE, Bananas and Mr Utegate because they believe ‘it’s on’.

  3. Slightly old now, but a nice summary of the Queensland election.

    Which reminds me… in all the hurly-burly about whether Abbott was a factor in the LNP’s Queensland loss (which he clearly was, even a -1% influence would have been meaningful, in retrospect of course) I haven’t seen any analysis (other than the tweet above) of the effect of pollie-bombing an election campaign onto the Queensland people during holiday time.

    Early elections are always suss, but in this case the motivations and reasons given were outright dodgy. There was no reason to hold the election other than Newman thinking it could only get worse if held in the normal order of things.

    The Punters don’t like that kind of thought.

  4. If past patterns are anything to go by, Abbott can’t remain PM and regain popularity. From here on, even if he remains leader, the media is going to suffocate everything he does with leadership questions.

    I think it’s unlikely he’ll win such a ballot though. The polls are in the 43-57 territory now and his net approval is nearly -40%. It’s still a year and a half to the next election, so are they really going to hold out that long just to be wiped out for the sake of Abbott’s career?

  5. Re the Leek Cartoon.
    I think that is Anastacia Palaszczuk. During the campaign the LNP posted a cartoon on social media of a naked Anastacia riding a wrecking ball and indicating if Labor was elected it would result in Chaos.

  6. Abbott staying PM is Labor’s best hope of winning the next election,

    It’s disheartening to think that Shorten may only be able to beat Abbott and none of the other possible contenders. To me it shows that our Labor leader is not very flexible or cunning or skilled. Personally, I cannot wait to see Abbott dumped, considering all the harm he’s already done to the country, with much more to come. The country will end up being so wrecked that Shorten will never be able to repair it, certainly not in one term. Going through another 18 months of damage is a terribly depressing thought. I just feel that with another Lib leader – not that I care for any – would have to change the agenda.

  7. Well, we all know Abbott’s MO is to survive the next thing, whether it be an interview, a party room meeting, a presser or a session of Parliament. He’s happy to sacrifice all future credibility anything one of his colleagues might have said, any promise he might have made, even the workability of his own party, just as long as he survives that next thing. He’s made promises to WA that shaft Tasmania, and then gone straight to Tasmania to make promises that shaft WA, just so he could survive each of those particular speeches. He’s gone on TV and actually called himself a liar, simply because there was no other way out of that line of questioning, and then pretty much gone straight out into the community and said “Trust me.” He did an NPC speech a couple of years ago where he came out with all sorts of wonderful policy promises, his ‘new direction’ or whatever it was, and we watched him back away from all of them within a half hour of questions. Just because there was no other way out. If he needs his wife an daughters to act as a buffer against curly questioning, no worries, out they trot. Just as long as he gets through the next hour, the next meeting, the next day, the next interview.

    So the next thing is the spill. You can bet he’ll go around to each of the backbenchers, individually, and promise them whatever it is they want from him, hand on heart. They’ll be different promises to each backbencher, and the promises will all contradict each other. A lot of them won’t believe him, but given he’ll have some support already, and given there could be three of four candidates and Bishop and Turnbull might split their votes, he probably only needs to con 15-20 of the backbench. He’d be thinking he could win a three-way contest. Just. But just is enough.

    Maybe he’ll tell some of them he’s confident he has the numbers, and there’ll be retribution for those who don’t back him. Maybe he’ll tell others they’re close to a ministry position so just hang in there. Maybe he’ll tell others he’s begging them for the stability of the party, don’t change horses mid-stream. Whatever pushes their buttons.

  8. What all the journalists who love using Game of Thrones references never tell you is this – King Joffey came to a very early and unpleasant death, poisoned on his wedding day. There were many suspects, the young king was not exactly loved or admired.

    So if the silly comparison holds, Young Kingmaker Wyatt is destined for an early death.

    See how silly it is to try to compare an inept government with an epic saga?

  9. Clive has been “wrecking balled” before by Rupes minions but Clive has been at war with Newman for a while. Suing him , getting the Senate to look at Candos gov , backing Alan Jones.

    “Jul 7, 2014 – Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer wants to see Campbell Newman Government’s brought down in Queensland

    IT IS always the ones you love the most that can inflict the most damage when a relationship sours, and the bust up between Clive Palmer and the Liberal National Party in Queensland is one of the messiest of divorces. ”

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