Abbott’s Denial of Reality

Another good analysis of this repugnant regime by Jennifer Wilson at No Place for Sheep. Thank you as always, Dr Wilson.

“Tony Abbott recalls how to deny . . .”
(Image Credit: Paul Kane/AAP)

It’s the goal of every political party to impose its particular concept of reality onto the nation over which it desires governance. Treasurer Joe Hockey, for example, wants to convince us that if we have a “good” job that pays sufficiently well we will be able to buy a house, even in what governor of the Reserve Bank Glenn Stevens describes as Sydney’s “crazy” market.

In other words, Hockey wants to impose his party’s ideological belief that all that is required is hard work to get you where you want to be. In the matter of affordable housing this fallacy is easily challenged: nurses, emergency workers, teachers, police, all essential to the safety of any community, are paid so comparatively poorly they have reduced opportunities to purchase a home in the city in which they serve, yet their jobs are “good” in every other sense of the word, and they work hard in traumatic and difficult circumstances.

In Hockey’s ideology the individual is entirely responsible for his or her fate, and the wider social and cultural context in which we exist is of no relevance whatsoever.

Even cabinet ministers occasionally have difficulty meeting their mortgage payments, Prime Minister Tony Abbott folksily tells us, and his own daughters are wondering how they’ll ever get into the market. These comments only serve to confirm the “craziness” referred to by Glenn Stevens; however, this is not Abbott’s intention. In yet another cosy homily, the Prime Minister is attempting to brainwash the nation into the belief that it is normal to struggle mightily to own a home, and that housing is a privilege, not a human right.

The LNP ideology in general, not just as it is revealed through the prism of the housing market, is based entirely on the denial of the reality of everyone other than themselves and the like-minded. So as another example, in what must be the most twisted effort thus far to keep the country free of asylum seekers arriving by boat, we now hear that the Abbott government is allegedly using tax payer dollars to persuade people smugglers to turn their over-loaded boats towards Indonesia where they presumably will either offload their cargo of human misery, or conceivably turn right back around in the hope of being intercepted by another representative of the Australian navy and border patrol who will, if they are lucky, pay them more thousands of dollars to turn back to Indonesia.

This interesting variation on Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence will, the government assures us, ensure ongoing success in its campaign to turn back the boats and keep Australia safe. The fact that we pay those vile people smugglers to turn around will not, of course, encourage the people smuggler trade, because the Abbott government wants to stamp that trade out and paying them to turn back will stamp that trade out, dummy, what is wrong with you that you can’t get that? It won’t even risk more drownings at sea because paying people smugglers to turn back their boats will stop drownings at sea, or at least in the bit of the sea that belongs to us, because the people smugglers have been paid and paying them means nobody will drown.

Are you gas-lighted yet?

The government has zero interest in the reality of waterborne asylum seekers, their struggles and their fate. The only reality that matters is that of a group of largely white males who currently comprise the orthodoxy, and whose sole goal is to remain in power. Their task is, by hook or by crook, to quote their leader, to persuade enough of the citizens of this country to share that reality and vote them back in. Denial of every other reality is essential to achieve this outcome, onshore and off.

Denial is an insidious psychological mechanism, on a personal, community, national and political level. One of the most destructive of its effects is the barrier it inevitable constructs against change. Nowhere do we see this played out more dramatically than in the Abbott government’s fanatical loyalty to the continued use of fossil fuels, brought yet again into stark focus this week by the Prime Minister’s brain fart on the aesthetic offensiveness of wind farms and his intention to find, by hook or by crook, expert evidence to prove their danger to human life.

A few weeks ago Jeff Sparrow tweeted about the demented wind farm phobia displayed by both Hockey and now the PM. Its roots, he claimed, lie in the fear that at their every turn the turbines are whispering: “Hang the bourgeoisie. Hang the bourgeoisie.”

Denial, in the psychological sense, causes a refusal to accept evidence-based reality, refusal to acknowledge the repercussions of one’s own actions and the effects those actions have on others. The denier uses minimisation, rationalisation and justification to cling to a status quo under challenge, and the more frightening the challenge, the more desperately the tools of denial are brought into play.

The Abbot government suffers a group psychosis, so deeply ingrained is its pathological denial of any reality other than its own; its callous disregard for the effects of its actions on any other group, and its narcissistic belief in its own entitlement and superiority. This can only go one way: downhill. Currently, we have no significant organised challenge to the Abbott government’s dominance, but when we do and we must, even it means widespread civil disobedience, the orthodoxy will decompensate, and hopefully implode. This will not be a pretty process: overthrowing tyrants never is.

Change is an anathema to conservatives, and we are in a time of enormous global changes that must be maturely addressed. They will not cope. They are already not coping, and if we had an opposition with any kind of a spine, the government’s sick reality would be under real and consistent challenge.

(Image Credit: Desertpeace)

703 thoughts on “Abbott’s Denial of Reality

  1. This little black duck

    Danish general elections today , Lars Rasmussen or Helle Thorning-Schmidt ?

  2. kk,

    Go Helle!

    Even though she is married to a Pommy MP.

    She is of the left.

    It’ll be a test of how many are racist there.

  3. I see TURC has agreed to Shorten’s request. They are still going to get their pound of fresh. Appears they wanted to deal with him in one hearing. For some reason, if he appears early, they cannot do that. Therefore he will have to come back, later in the year for questioning. Something stinks in Denmark. They have now issued a summons. From watching TURC, this is not necessary. What they want to do, is set him up by interviewing other witnesses first. Maybe Shorten can manage to cut them off at first hearing, as Gillard managed to do.

  4. Janice
    i’m so sorry to hear the bad news about Witchetty. My commiserations. Many hugs.

  5. I think the” turn back turnball”thing was the funniest thing i’ve seen in a long time.Did’nt Burke enjoy himself.

  6. Witchety has gone to Rainbow Bridge, and don’t anyone tell me it doesn’t exist. We think it does so it does. There is some rule of thermothingyparticle dynamics multiple universality that says we can think things into existence.

    Run young, free and happy at Rainbow Bridge, Witchety.

  7. Just had a look at the Danish election polls and it looking very tight which is a bit of a turnaround (a few months ago Thorning-Schmidt and the Social Democrats were trailing pretty badly).

  8. “Appears they wanted to deal with him in one hearing.”

    He’ll be questioned by Counsel Assisting. Jeremy Stoljar SC no doubt. And there will be no cross-examination then.

    No knowing what’ll happen later but I have a lot money I’d like to invest on what’ll happen.

  9. In Denmark, as in Sweden, the “Social Democrats” are anything but. Go, Helle!

  10. I reckon Shorten will have abbott’s guts for garters. I suspect Shorten has dealt with bastards just as bad or worse representing workers. Tony is very very afraid of Bill.

  11. The NSA’s take on came-down-in-the-last -shower Natale

    Coalition & Greens pension changes set to hit middle Australia

    Pension changes announced by the Coalition will pass through the Senate next week with the support of the Greens.

    The changes, which economists say will hit mid to low income retirees, represent the biggest savings measure of the 2015 federal budget ($2.4 billion).”

    National Seniors says the changes are poorly thought through, and should be rejected by the parliament to allow a comprehensive whole-of-system retirement income review that considers the interplay of all components including tax and superannuation, to occur first.”

  12. Abbott has boasted about ‘getting rid of’ Krudd and Julia Gillard and has said he will get rid of Shorten too.

    The Labor Party ‘got rid of’ Julia Gillard, the voters got rid of Krudd, Abbott was just the figurehead LOTO. He does love a bit of chest-beating though. In his diseased mind he is a mighty conqueror. To us he’s just a deluded prat.

    Shorten will come out of TURC OK, he has done nothing wrong, and his decision to appear ahead of schedule has sort of mucked up Abbott’s plans. Shorten was meant to appear closer to an election, TURC’s final verdicts were to be released just before an election campaign. Now that has been dealt a blow. I think Shorten, having succeeded in getting an earlier hearing date, might have his lawyers ask for the cross examination to be done earlier too, on the grounds he needs to get it out of the way while parliament is in recess.

  13. Yes maybe a slip, but reminded me of who was it ? Ros Kelly behind Paul Keating going into fits of laughter

  14. Janice, sorry to hear of Witchety’s passing. I remember crying like a baby when I had to have my chihuahua put down.

  15. Leone,

    Once Stoljar has done his bit, Bill will be free to talk.

    I don’t think a certain ex-Minister for Employment will relish that.

  16. I might be wrong, but it feels as if the 24 hour news cycle has already chewed up the “get Shorten” story and spat it out. Events are already starting to overtake it. Unless there’s a simple, substantive, damaging allegation that can stick, it’s just going to die.

    The trouble for the LNP is that there just isn’t the will out there to hammer Shorten; people aren’t looking out for a way to reject him. The death of any politician these days is over-exposure. It’s what killed off Rudd for sure, and it most likely killed off Gillard as well. Abbott’s team were aware of it – whenever his polling went down in the last term, he just disappeared for a few days. It worked every time. Shorten’s got a bit of that invisibility about him. He turns up now and then for a brilliant set-piece speech that gets largely ignored, and apart from that he’s just a name. It mean the electorate can’t form a definite mindset against him. And maybe that’s what the LNP/MSM are trying to flush out here.

  17. Aguirre,

    It’s not that Bill won’t lie down and die. It’s just that he won’t turn up to the msm’s Inquisition.

    Stoljar will not get their pound of flesh for them either.

  18. TLBD

    Once Stoljar has done his bit, Bill will be free to talk.

    What odds the media rent-boys and harlots will still bang on about “There are questions that must be answered” ? 10-1 on I’d say.

  19. Kaff’..I bet that about now, there are a legion of legal eagles out there reviewing their exact language when writing recommendation reports…

  20. The MSM – apart from Ms Murphy, who did a great job today, much as it pains me to say that – have been ignoring the big story. Abbott’s citizenship legislation will not be going back to cabinet, it will be taken straight to parliament. The only ministers who have seen it seem to be Dutton and Brandis.

    Other stuff the MSM probably didn’t think worth reporting , state of origin, the frocks worn by Margie and Chloe last night, and ‘get Shorten’ being far more important.

    Tony Shepherd, one of Abbott’s best friends, came to the defence of Bill Shorten today. Shepherd said the deal Shorten negotiated to build the EastLink road delivered workers one of the highest rates of pay of any project.

    Malcolm Turnbull said there had been lots of ‘collegiate’debate on the citizenship stripping legislation. there had not. Only Abbott, Dutton and Brandis have seen it and it was being kept from the rest of cabinet.

    No-one seems to have mentioned a side effect of the FTA with China ‘ Chinese companies building whatever in Australia can now bring in their own 457 workers without going through the usual procedure of ensuring there are no suitable Australian workers available. They will also be able to pay their imported slaves much less than the going rate for Australian workers. The Abbott government- exporting our jobs along with the beef and wine.

    The MSM think you don’t need to know any of that, or any of the cool stuff happening around the world right now, or any of the bad stuff either. you just want to know about My Kitchen Rules, and Masterchef.

  21. But considering how the ABC. ; an Abbott “bestie” from Tues’, will crawl even lower to please their “patron” I doubt many will change their habits just because of something as trivial as a complete f#ck-over!

  22. Member for Canberra Gai Brodtman held a meeting tonight at Tuggeranong regarding the NBN and the bastardry replacing it under the LNP. Jason Clare was guest speaker. An overflow audience attended including me and my OH.

    Ms Brodtman still appears small and diffident, but speaks well, and gives a hint of some steel beneath lovely velvet. She is a much improved performer compared to her early days. She also appears to have improved the calibre of her staff.

    Jason Clare is a most capable performer, charming almost to excess, handsome and very intelligent with a clever turn of phrase and a comics sense of timing. Very impressive young man. He was speaking to an audience ranging from idiots like me to senior figures in the local IT industry and handled the crowd adroitly and effortlessly..

    The last 45 minutes was turned over to questions and answers and Ms Brodtman showed considerably more skill than her spouse in letting people speak but keeping them on point without trying to put words in their mouths.

    The crowd was seemingly very pro ALP, but there was at least one self identified LNP person there. He started his statement arguing along the basis that the ALP NBN was too expensive, but the more he spoke the more he came to acknowledge that over time it was better, cheaper and more equitable. He was in the middle of a group of men of Indian appearance who all seemed scornful of the LNP plans. They, and many others in the crowd were in IT industries and gave anecdotal evidence of jobs and businesses leaving Australia because of our current internet limitations and lack of confidence within industry circles that the LNP NBN will be any improvement.

    It was an enlightening function and enjoyable to hear so many points of view, some of them put in an hilarious manner which did not hide the importance of the points being made.

  23. “Ms Brodtman still appears small and diffident, but speaks well, and gives a hint of some steel beneath lovely velvet.”

    As CTar1 says, she is a bright lady.Sadly, for me, she got stuck into the Norfolk Islanders.

    She, it seems, spent “time” there. I spent seven days there this month and got some vibes, con and contra. she has NFI.

  24. Anyone else watched Ardilla Roja?

    It is, for me, a totally rivetting film. It does psychology better than Rear Window.

  25. TLBD. No doubt your feedback would be more valid than what I sensed tonight in a setting where she could hardly fail.
    I had some dealings with her and her staff early in her Parl career and it was not such a good experience, mostly because her staff were more inclined to concentrate on their “West Wings” impersonations than be effective conduits to and from the Member. More recently I have had exponentially greater sucess in getting a receptive response from her Office, and from her personally.
    Because of my personal dealings with her, I am an admirer. Tonight probably made me even more so, although it was NOT a tough audience..
    Jason Clare will go far, I believe.

  26. Kambah Mick,

    I’m very much of your opinion regarding Jason Clare – though I still have qualms about the name “Jason”.

    How any parent could name their son after such a pusillanimous character as the original Jason I truly don’t understand.

  27. Fiona.Some parents show no respect to their offspring, do they? Was Jason the first incarnation of Forrest Gump?

    I am one of the last of my clan to be named under the old Celtic tradition of the first son being officially named after his grandfathers, but being informally called after his Godfather. It makes for a very small pool of first names though.

  28. Kambah Mick,

    I cherish a lovely memory from when I was pregnant with DD.

    I was visiting my parents in Canberra, and attended my mother’s weekly sewing morning. Of course, my being pregnant got all the ladies in the room very excited, and the subject of names came quickly to the fore.

    My mother was asked, what would you have named Fiona if she had been a boy?

    Her response:

    If she had been a boy, I would have named him Luke Augustus after the grandfathers. If a girl, Madeline Mary after the grandmothers.

    My instant riposte was:

    Given you named me Fiona Janet, what gender did I turn out to be?

    For anyone slightly interested, DD is Felicity (because I was so delighted to have a daughter) Madeline (after my very witty, highly intelligent, and absolutely drop-dead gorgeous maternal grandmama) Louise (partly because my dad kept on saying “Louise is a lovely name” and whistling Every little breeze whispers Louise but also because OH’s uncle Louis who was in the RAF in WW2 was gunned down over the Channel – so it was a sop to OH’s side of the family).

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