Far Out Fully Flabbergasted Friday Raffle Evening!

The Boss is running late, and has asked me to prepare this Friday’s thread-starter in return for a pie, peas, and a red on Sunday 22nd.

Given such an offer, how could I refuse?

(Image Credit: Xu Haijing/Xinhua/Photoshot)

So, it’s ON.

Next Tuesday.


According to Our Dear Leader,

As you know, two of my colleagues have called for a leadership spill of the two senior positions in our party. They’ve called for a spill of my position as leader and they’ve called for a spill of Julie Bishop’s position as deputy.

The first point to make is that they are perfectly entitled to call for this, but the next point to make is that they are asking the partyroom to vote out the people that the electorate voted in, in September 2013.

I want to make this very simple point. We are not the Labor Party. We are not the Labor Party and we are not going to repeat the chaos and the instability of the Labor years, so I have spoken to deputy leader Julie Bishop and we will stand together in urging the partyroom to defeat this particular motion and in so doing, and in defeating this motion, to vote in favour of the stability and the team that the people voted for at the election.

We have a strong plan. It’s the strong plan that I enunciated at the Press Club this week and we are determined to get on with it, and we will.

But is Ms Bishop the Younger trooly rooly gunna

Apparently so. In the time that I’ve been typing, finding pics and songs, Gabrielle Chan has liveblogged:

Her office says she is not making any statements. Ross Cameron, who is close to Abbott, made the point on Sky he would like to hear from Bishop herself. The twee Tweets yesterday between Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop – as well as some of the earlier events in the week – suggested a distance between Bishop and Abbott.

Some are suggesting that Julie Bishop has to stand firm and recommend against the spill motion because she is in the deputy’s position already. A vote for a spill motion is effectively a move against her.

Sky has just announced a statement by Julie Bishop: “Due to cabinet solidarity and her position as deputy there should be support for the current leadership in this spill motion”.

Then again, while I was setting up that excerpt . . .

(Image Credit: Watts Up With That)

Popcorn futures are, it seems, at an all-time high.

So settle in, folks, for yet another ride on that crazy merry-go-round called Oz Politics.

Order your raffle tickets, help yourself at the bar and from the buffet.

It would probably be as well to

Promises, Promises: Abbott’s Survival Modus Operandi

Today’s Guest Author is Aguirre (see – told you I’d get a thread-starter out of you one of these days . . . ). As we at The Pub know, Aguirre is a fine analyst of politics and – as importantly – policies. In my opinion (and that of at least one other, Your Royal Leonine Majesty) his ability to get to the heart of the matter is better than almost every mainstream journalist, and the equal of the best of the fifth estate. Thank you again, Aguirre, for permission to republish.

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.

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!