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. BB or Fiona are either of you still here? I have another pic du jour that I’D like
    to post.

  2. As I understand it, Adam Giles is a half-way decent bloke (never mind his being a blow-in from Sydney).

    Does the downfall of the Police Commissioner have anything to do with the current shenanigans?

  3. The tumbrils are certainly being readied

    The Coalition backbench appears determined to force a leadership showdown, with two MPs openly calling for a vote and others claiming that a third of the party room are already behind a change of prime minister.

    West Australian backbencher Dennis Jensen – who has regularly attacked his own government’s decisions – said it was time for the leadership issue to be “brought to a head” because Tony Abbott’s leadership was “terminal”.

    Jensen said he had texted Abbott in January, before Prince Philip’s knighthood, to say he no longer had his support and the political situation was “untenable”. “There is no strategic direction in where we are going,” he said.

    He said as opposition leader Abbott had been “a great wartime leader” but the country now needed “a great peacetime leader”. Jensen said a leadership spill did not need to have a specific challenger but he was not “directly” aware of whether a vote would be moved when MPs returned to Canberra next week.

    Queensland MP Warren Entsch also called for a ballot and confirmed that he would support Malcolm Turnbull’s return to the top job.

  4. And Portia can take her quality of mercy and stick it: I want my pound of flesh.

  5. BREAKING NEWS……………………….

    Abbott even loses support from his own reflection.

  6. Things didn’t end well for Narcissus: he killed himself.

    Is that Peta as Echo?

  7. If you want my two bobs worth. I think that Abbott will survive this challenge and one reason is that he has got more rat cunning then the rest. Next thing he has been playing these games since Uni.where he had roving goons threatening people so that he kept his position. If you look at the front bench he has plenty of goons

    The main reason that he will survive is that conspirators have shown their hand too early as the earliest they can have a party meeting is next Monday when the Libs come back to Canberra. It give him plenty of time to punch a few heads, twist a few arms and punch a few walls behind their heads.

  8. So, if Mr Abbott manages to survive the putative party push next week, how long does anyone think it might be until the whole shebang blows up and implodes?

    Not to mention that if it is shown that Mr Abbot is guilty of GDV*, will Australia be eligible to claim victim compensation – or would that only apply to those who didn’t elect Liberal representatives?

    *GDV = gross** democratic violence
    **red budgie smugglers

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    And they’re off and racing! Jensen produces the detonator and has a few mates in wanting to blast Abbott out.
    Michael Gordon reckons Abbott has one remaining advantage.
    Mark Kenny and Abbott’s deepening leadership troubles.
    Lenore Taylor stands back and has a look at how things currently stand.
    The bromance between Rupert and Tony was never going to last too long.
    Malcolm Fraser talks about Gillian Trigg’s HRC report on children in detention. It was delivered to George Brandis last year and is required to be tabled very soon.
    How the Sir Phil decision left Abbott fighting for his political survival.
    Ben Eltham says Abbott is wedged between the ideology of much of his party and the concerns of the voters.
    Michelle Grattan parses Bishop’s carefully worded undertaking.

  10. Section 2 . . .

    Here’s Tony Wright’s contribution. I don’t know how this windbag holds down a job.–and-tony-abbott-survives-another-day-20150203-13522h.html
    Ross Gittins laments the decades of broken promises. He’s on the money.
    The right wing reaction to the Queensland result shows their desire to rule rather than to govern.
    Will Abbott’s much-admired Kathy Jackson run out of excuses and finally front up in court on Friday?,7330
    Stephen Koukoulas reckons the interest rates still have more cuts in front of us.
    The RBA has done its job. Will the banks do theirs?
    Hockey is either a hypocrite or incompetent or both.
    Another plum job for a Liberal boy.
    The 38 worst things the Liberals did yesterday.
    Another former West Coast Eagles player in drug-related trouble.

  11. What is emerging from the Royal Commission as it examines what happened in this Jewish outfit is simply disgraceful. And to think they get extremely favourable taxation treatment!
    The ATO has relaxed its attention on big business. Now there’s a surprise!
    Why was Newman handing out millions to an Indian coal company that didn’t need it?
    Would you want your child to be a scientist? Are the Luddite’s winning?
    And the cartoonists didn’t disappoint. Firstly Cathy Wilcox.

    Andrew Dyson – Is this a press pass or is it inferring Abbott is wearing a suicide belt?

    Alan Moir accurately describes the NPC speech content.

    David Pope follows up on Abbott blaming the voters for it all.

    This one from Mark Knight is rather pointed.

    Bill Leak and “back to work Tuesday”.

    John Spooner with Toy and Joe surveying the wreckage of another signature policy.

    Exit stage left – Ron Tandberg.

  12. That’s Big Clive, Gravel. But as with a lot of Bill’s more recent work, it seems to reflect the Murdoch view more than what is happening.

    As to the discontent, the media is excited and the backbench is unhappy, but I wonder if a frontbencher has the nerve. I’d agree with Cliff and Jaeger. The Idiot is a streetfighter and may well keep his nerve better than the potential challengers. Hard to imagine any voter recovery though.

  13. gorgeousdunny

    Thanks, I was wracking my brain, couldn’t get past Gina. I can’t believe that none on is pointing out the it’s the policies, the unfairness. They are just talking about personalities. Listening to Faine, he hasn’t got a bloody clue either.

  14. 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.

  15. 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’.

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. Thank you Leone for pointing out who King Joffrey “is”….for those of us who don’t…

  22. 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?

  23. Aguirre
    That was so well said. If only we could have just one journalist who could do as well.

  24. 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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