May We Live in Interesting Orwellian Times: Perpetual War Means Perpetual Campaigning

Today’s Guest Poster is Aguirre, whose brilliant comment on Saturday more than deserves republication as a threadstarter. Aguirre, I’m not sure if this is the first time you have been a Guest Poster. If so, thank you, and have a

If not, apologies for my failing memory.

(Image Credit: The Template)

If Abbott loses the next election, that’s it for him. He’ll be persona non grata around the Liberals, and they’ll all run a mile to distance themselves from him. He’d be lucky to survive past his concession speech. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Turnbull given the nod as leader for an interim period, and then have them turn once again to the negative politics 18 months in, this time with Morrison.

Abbott doesn’t do humility, he is a very sore loser, and he is of course a bit of a loose cannon. They simply can’t afford to have him around as a continual reminder of what a mess he made of his only term. It will of course be fun to watch the MSM eating their own BS about what a great leader and statesman Abbott has been. But if the polls don’t shift they’ll start doing that well before the election.

If he wins, however . . . sheesh. He’ll likely start with a purge of his party, demanding public statements of loyalty to him personally, and dumping anyone who’s even half-hearted about it. He will make sure everyone is licking his boots. Possible challengers will be given the worst portfoliios. And then he will attack whoever is leading the ALP personally and endlessly. I don’t even want to think about what he’ll do to the ABC.

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from this term, it’s that the Abbott government is not about policy, and it’s not about governance. It’s about politics-as-warfare. The whole country can go to hell in a hand-basket as far as Abbott’s concerned, just as long as he gets to keep hold of the reins of power.

That said, I don’t think Abbott has the faintest idea how to run an election campaign as PM. A major part of any campaign is standing on your record of achievement. You have to balance that against what you want to say against your opponents. He’s achieved nothing. His focus has been on chasing a lost plane, trying to scare us over terrorism, and throwing money at royal commissions that went nowhere near the denigration of the ALP he was counting on. The only thing he can even talk about is the abolition of carbon pricing, which nobody seems to have cared about all that much. People are about as engaged with its loss as they were with its introduction. It’s just a thing that happened. He can say he stopped the boats, I suppose, but there’s so much secrecy and doubt around that claim that he can’t do all that much with it.

And there has been a constant stream of own-goals from him and his team that not even a compliant press can gloss over. Every time the MSM sheepishly proffers a piece of mitigated bad news to the electorate, the reaction is almost always, “He did WHAT?!” They can’t stop that. Abbott’s front bench can’t stop screwing up, and the press can’t stop people noticing. That’s the main reason the polls aren’t shifting. It takes a supreme effort from all concerned just to keep them at 47-53. I have no idea what they think they can do to get it closer than that. They don’t seem to know.

(Image Credit: 1984 Redux)

221 thoughts on “May We Live in Interesting Orwellian Times: Perpetual War Means Perpetual Campaigning

  1. Flew into a wet chilly Melbourne before. I looked for keros chopper as we went past Essendon. The people I am with down her a really dirty about it. Maybe a vic nsw thing

  2. Leone (from earlier):

    For me to accept that I would also have to accept that Abbott’s behaviour (and Bishop’s) a year ago was strong. It wasn’t. Abbott leapt in, without waiting for facts and made an arse of himself with his ludicrous claims and stupid behaviour. He’s damn lucky he didn’t cause a serious international incident. If that’s what Abbott looking statesmanlike is like then thank goodness it has not happened since then. Abbott has always been a gormless idiot, something the MSM ignored for years. Even now they are very reluctant to admit it, everything is dolled up with ‘but Abbottt handled xxxx so well….’

    I totally agree with you. The press gallery are past masters at saying things like “Abbott handled things well back then, and he will again”. But we know it’s all crap. The process goes something like:

    1. Abbott screws something up
    2. Press gallery furiously turd-polish, and get as far as neutralising the damage
    3. Time passes, people forget
    4. Press gallery re-write history to make Abbott look like the hero
    5. Which they then contrast with the perpetual present where Abbott is struggling

    They can therefore fantasise about Abbott ‘re-capturing’ that lost winning feeling. Which never existed.

    That’s what’s happened here. If Abbott was any good at all at handling these issues, he and his party’s polling wouldn’t be in the toilet. But due to a situation that can only be explained as a nexus between the LNP and the MSM, polling doesn’t seem to be high on anyone’s agenda right now. Unless it’s about Shorten’s approval rating, which is the only thing they can shift. And boy do they spend a lot of energy and time on that. They just want to talk about what a ‘great guy’ Abbott is. Or was. In some fond misremembered past.

    Abbott will never be a statesman. It will never happen. He will never be able to get his speeches out of the gutter, he will never do anything with them except try to badmouth someone. Doesn’t matter what he’s talking about, how ‘above politics’ it needs to be. He will badmouth. He’s not really a gormless idiot, he’s a goon. He’s somebody who’s used to kicking people when they’re down, whose only motivation after he fails at something is to blame somebody else and extract revenge on them. He’s incapable of taking responsibility for anything. He’s still got loads of people following him around picking up after him. He’ll blame them and hate them all when he’s turfed out of office. He’s like that.

  3. Caught a few seconds of Abbott at the MH17 anniversary do. He seemed to be wearing a whole branch of wattle nailed to his jacket.

    I didn’t stick around to hear what he had to say. I can guess. ‘I know I speak for all Australians when I say…..blah blah…..terrorists are bad people….blah, blather……. keep you safe from terrorists by stopping the boats because they are coming to get us all……blather, blather……’

  4. Labor have referred the Bishop matter to the AFP. NOW..this is when we may see some movement from Abbott on the militant front !..This may be the moment when he will act.
    It will be interesting if the AFP. first go to Herr Abbott for advice on how to act in the matter.

  5. Of course this has to go ahead. It will be needed to handle all that lovely coal from the Liverpool Plains…….

    Seriously though, this article has excellent information of the falling demand for our coal and, by implication, the sheer stupidity of destroying farmland to dig up more coal.

    A white elephant proposal for Newcastle coal port

    I saw this video the other day.

    The reactions of some of the Gunnedah business people are just astounding. It reminds me of this –

  6. Joe, I’m up here at Peregian and people are just as pissed off about Bishop. They refer to the treatment of Slipper. BTW I had to meet Bronnie a few times in the 80s, and she was a total princess then. A pretender and preener. I couldn’t stand her. Ah well, what comes round …

  7. Fiona,
    And to think she was running to be Leader all those years ago. Who will ever forget the photo of her dolled up in a Parramatta jumper kicking a bloody football. Jesus wept.

  8. It does seem as if Choppergate might have opened up a can of worms on rent-seeking.

    As the article stresses there is nothing to suggest Gibbs or Jones acted improperly or corruptly. It does, however, shine a spotlight on the ‘insider’ knowledge and way of doing business. Gibbs acted for Myjet, which does not even have choppers but subcontracted to another. Gibbs is worth a lot to the companies he represents because of his government contacts.

    From my memory, now about 3-4 years old, Myjet was a company that our taxi company billed for airport transfers in Warrnambool. Politicians were part, but only a small part of the overall business. Our most lucrative line was ferrying racing stewards between the airport and the racetrack. There was no contract, only an account, and they phoned us for any services.

    The issue, as I see it, which is alluded to by Mr Gibbs, is that DAS should seek tenders or quotes to ensure the best available price for the service. It should not be handled by ‘contacts’ which may speed up the process but can lead to rent-seeking types of creaming off. I suspect that this might have happened in this case, probably because it was all at very short notice.

    The way it was let is a separate issue to why it should have been claimed as parliamentary or Speaker’s business in the first place. There is no way a fundraiser can be classed that way. Labor is on solid ground in seeking the AFP to check out.

    But someone needs to check out closely that these arrangements are out of the reach of lobbyists.

  9. These should probably come with a ‘this might cause damage to the eyes’ warning –

  10. Al Palster & Leone,

    I have dim memories of an interview broomhilda gave back in the brief sunshine of her wannabe leader moment when, on being asked what was her preferred evening meal, she replied wtte:

    “A bottle of red wine and a block of chocolate.”

  11. Nice capture, Leone. And interesting to note on the jersey that Parramatta’s sponsor was James Hardie. later to achieve fame over asbestos, and featuring the other Bishop as a player.

  12. What a shocker to throw up to a Parramatta supporter! Only yesterday I had an eye test and ordered new glasses. Maybe another appointment will be necessary.

  13. There’s a few “limp-dicks” over on twitter demanding that Bishop be addressed as to her “deeds” and not be slandered using gender terms…
    Screw that!…as if politics is or ever has been played by some sort of “Queensbury rules” !!…the bitch has betrayed the parliament, The House, her nation, corporate interests, to her parties own twisted ideology and her own vicious, self-interest….as far as I’m concerned, if she dresses like a slapper, brays like a pimp, “whores” herself to her party and the corporations and pickpockets the public purse, then in my mind, the gloves come off and she is a traitor to her gender AND her nation…Forget the moral high-ground, we’ve lost too many battles in that swamp.. take the fight right up to her door..
    The Bitch!!

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