Losing the War on His Own Terms

The first comment on Lenore Taylor’s report card on abbott’s first two years in “government” was a ripsnorter from JC Lucas. I have taken the liberty of republishing it here, to bring it to the attention of those Pubsters who don’t always get as far as the comments.

(Image Credit: Fairfax; Alex Ellinghausen)

Tony Abbott is losing the war on his own terms. In his victory speech two years ago Tony Abbott stated that he looked forward to forming a government that “accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words.”

In an unprincipled fashion, the government always seem to place their political interests and ideology ahead of the national interest, and seem to believe that whatever they have to do to realize them is justified, whether it means driving young children insane or allowing them to be sexually abused, unfairly balancing the budget on the backs of the most disadvantaged in the community, or lowering the standard of political conduct to new depths each week just so long as their political objective is reached every day.

In lieu of delivering coherent economic policy that serves the people, Tony Abbott has delivered a perpetual national security and terrorism scare campaign that constitutes the government’s own brand of dog whistle politics, using coded xenophobic language to frighten while offering the illusory consolation of appearing to pass “strong” legislation to fight terrorism to console. It is a low form of politics, but then Tony Abbott has a long track record of demagoguery, irrationally appealing to the lower emotions, while ignoring the facts.

Only by using subtle racism and fear of the other can right wing neoliberal politicians persuade average people to vote against their own best economic interests by distracting them from their true agenda: to redistribute wealth upwards, cut welfare, and reach the other goals of neoliberal policy, like privatization – of public health and education – and cutting taxes for corporations. The ultimate goal for the Abbott regime is to transform Australia into a neoliberal plutocracy which serves the interests of the rich and powerful above that of everyday Australians.

Tony Abbott‘s arrogance and dictatorial nature are but a signal of the seriously disturbing proclivity for authoritarianism in his government which threatens the civil and human rights of the citizenry. Indeed, the Abbott government have a pronounced authoritarian tendency to aggregate power to the executive, reject transparency, and to aggressively attack their political opponents. The government seem to believe that they are above the law, ignoring the rule of law’s primacy over the executive. In fact, the Abbott government have several characteristics of an authoritarian regime: repression of dissent, an absolutist ideology, an autocratic leader, a parochial political culture, and the sense of its legitimacy being based on an appeal to emotion rather than reason.

The unconscionable track record of Operation Sovereign Borders’ persecution of the weak, the Trade Union Royal Commission’s politicization to weaken Bill Shorten and the union movement, the concerted attacks on Gillian Triggs for upholding human rights, the autocratic conduct surrounding the stripping of citizenship, the metadata retention laws, the fanatical pursuit of an extremist neoliberal agenda, and the habitual refusal of the executive to demonstrate accountability to the parliament or the courts are all ample evidence that the Abbott government’s marked tendency towards authoritarianism has risen to the level of actually threatening democracy in this country.

The Abbott regime, and infamously Tony Abbott himself, have a distinct disrespect for objective truth and the habit of confabulating their own alternate version of reality, in Orwellian proportions, to the extent that what the government says and believes to be so is presented as the truth.

All of this leads to the irony and outrage that Tony Abbott himself, and several of his ministers, themselves, have been terrorizing the populace with their dictatorial rhetoric, incessant lies, and distortions of reality, and the hyperbole of the terrorism and national security scare campaign. “Daesh is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: ‘Submit or die’” juxtaposed against, “Whose side are you on?” and “…heads should roll over this” lays bare more than perhaps the PM has intended.

The inescapable impression ends up being that it is actually the Abbott government who are coming to get you. Instead of defending the country from them, they are doing the work of the terrorists for them: debasing democracy, frightening people, ignoring the rule of law, and attempting to narrow the national mentality down to a laser thin ray of insecurity. The government seem to want the people of Australia to feel every bit as afraid of themselves, as of the enemies they pretend to protect them from. Last weekend the country appeared to be one email away from tyranny with Operation Fortitude.

Tony Abbott is losing the war on his own terms. In his victory speech two years ago Tony Abbott stated that he looked forward to forming a government that “accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words.”

In an unprincipled fashion, the government always seem to place their political interests and ideology ahead of the national interest, and seem to believe that whatever they have to do to realize them is justified, whether it means driving young children insane or allowing them to be sexually abused, unfairly balancing the budget on the backs of the most disadvantaged in the community, or lowering the standard of political conduct to new depths each week just so long as their political objective is reached every day.

In lieu of delivering coherent economic policy that serves the people, Tony Abbott has delivered a perpetual national security and terrorism scare campaign that constitutes the government’s own brand of dog whistle politics, using coded xenophobic language to frighten while offering the illusory consolation of appearing to pass “strong” legislation to fight terrorism to console. It is a low form of politics, but then Tony Abbott has a long track record of demagoguery, irrationally appealing to the lower emotions, while ignoring the facts.

Only by using subtle racism and fear of the other can right wing neoliberal politicians persuade average people to vote against their own best economic interests by distracting them from their true agenda: to redistribute wealth upwards, cut welfare, and reach the other goals of neoliberal policy, like privatization – of public health and education – and cutting taxes for corporations. The ultimate goal for the Abbott regime is to transform Australia into a neoliberal plutocracy which serves the interests of the rich and powerful above that of everyday Australians.

Tony Abbott‘s arrogance and dictatorial nature are but a signal of the seriously disturbing proclivity for authoritarianism in his government which threatens the civil and human rights of the citizenry. Indeed, the Abbott government have a pronounced authoritarian tendency to aggregate power to the executive, reject transparency, and to aggressively attack their political opponents. The government seem to believe that they are above the law, ignoring the rule of law’s primacy over the executive. In fact, the Abbott government have several characteristics of an authoritarian regime: repression of dissent, an absolutist ideology, an autocratic leader, a parochial political culture, and the sense of its legitimacy being based on an appeal to emotion rather than reason.

The unconscionable track record of Operation Sovereign Borders’ persecution of the weak, the Trade Union Royal Commission’s politicization to weaken Bill Shorten and the union movement, the concerted attacks on Gillian Triggs for upholding human rights, the autocratic conduct surrounding the stripping of citizenship, the metadata retention laws, the fanatical pursuit of an extremist neoliberal agenda, and the habitual refusal of the executive to demonstrate accountability to the parliament or the courts are all ample evidence that the Abbott government’s marked tendency towards authoritarianism has risen to the level of actually threatening democracy in this country.

The Abbott regime, and infamously Tony Abbott himself, have a distinct disrespect for objective truth and the habit of confabulating their own alternate version of reality, in Orwellian proportions, to the extent that what the government says and believes to be so is presented as the truth.

All of this leads to the irony and outrage that Tony Abbott himself, and several of his ministers, themselves, have been terrorizing the populace with their dictatorial rhetoric, incessant lies, and distortions of reality, and the hyperbole of the terrorism and national security scare campaign. “Daesh is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: ‘Submit or die’” juxtaposed against, “Whose side are you on?” and “…heads should roll over this” lays bare more than perhaps the PM has intended.

The inescapable impression ends up being that it is actually the Abbott government who are coming to get you. Instead of defending the country from them, they are doing the work of the terrorists for them: debasing democracy, frightening people, ignoring the rule of law, and attempting to narrow the national mentality down to a laser thin ray of insecurity. The government seem to want the people of Australia to feel every bit as afraid of themselves, as of the enemies they pretend to protect them from. Last weekend the country appeared to be one email away from tyranny with Operation Fortitude.

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