(Ahh the difference between my last post and this!)
Tony Abbott is no longer Prime Minister of Australia. Let that fact sink in. Tony Abbott is no longer Prime Minister of Australia.
This sentence carries with it the same sense of solace as “the cancer is in remission”. Jubilant news to be sure, and a relief, but not without the knowledge that for a time there was a lethal, malignant tumour growing inside you.
We should not shy away from this. Tony Abbott’s stewardship of this country was a cancer. His, for want of a better term, “leadership” was a fetid cyst on this nation and like a cancer he had to be excised with a blade. Only time will tell if we will make a full recovery. I fear the damage may have been too great.
The circumstances of Abbott’s political demise were so deliciously karmic it bordered on the orgasmic. The man that clawed his way to the leadership by a single vote over Malcolm Turnbull, who cried that the “Labor circus” of instability during the Rudd/Gillard wars was over and “the adults are in charge” was knifed by the very man whose corpse he stepped over (2nd rule - Double Tap). The irony is so rich and thick you can spread it on toast.
And yet, in the few days since the coup, the apologists have crawled from the gutters to soften the memory of the worst Prime Minister in Australian history. First Turnbull, in his victory speech, then amazingly Bill Shorten who as leader of the opposition should have had his freude very schaden. Since then has been the typical menagerie of mainstream media telling us that Tony Abbott “wasn’t that bad”.
He was. He was that bad.
Let us never, ever shy away from that fact. Tony Abbott is a petty, vindictive, deceitful, despicable and craven little beast who was, categorically, the worst politician this nation - perhaps any nation - has ever seen. A bellicose imbecile who thought every problem could be solved by punching it.
A junkyard mongrel that had to be put down.
Abbott swept to power on a bevy of promises he had no intention of keeping. At the time of his political demise had had racked up 42 broken election promises. He pledged prudent and responsible economic management, yet delivered the rare double of producing some of the most crippling austerity measures the country has ever seen while, amazingly, tripling the debt. He took the previous government’s sound economic platform and ran it so far into the dirt it began to hit magma. He pledged that “the adults were in charge” and it was the time of “stable government” and produced only childish name calling, three word slogans and internecine bickering.
In fact Abbott only really delivered on two fronts. He scrapped the carbon tax and, debatably, stopped the boats. His only real accomplishments in the office of Prime Minister were the accelerated destruction of the environment and an exponential increase in human suffering. What a guy.
In his almost-term as Prime Minister he went from lunatic attack dog to downright scary jack booted fascist. He moved quickly to clamp down on any dissenting opinion, either from errant broadcasters who weren’t sponsored by his corporate overlords or the blithe dismissal of social media as “digital graffiti”. If you did not tow the party line you were an enemy of the state.
A man who presided over offshore concentration camps for people who don’t look like us.
A man who, until he was torn down by overwhelming public protest, thought it would be a good idea to have his own private militia acting as a gestapo in Melbourne, checking people’s papers on the off chance they might be brown or gay or Labor.
A man who declared war on a foreign nation, who in one of his final acts as Prime Minister declared an air-war bombing campaign on foreign soil, solely because it would benefit him politically.
But above all else, and chief among his sins, Tony Abbott is just a bloody idiot. Downright stupid. And we let him run the country for a time.
I won’t go over it again here. I can’t. His idiocy knows no bounds and it is well documented and often repeated and I…I just can’t endure it one more time. For all of Malcolm Turnbull’s faults - and they are legion - it was refreshing seeing him give his first press conference as Prime Minister. Because not once did he stutter. Not once did he struggle for something to say. Not once did he mispronounce a word or use the wrong terminology or mix a metaphor. He didn’t repeat himself. He didn’t repeat himself. I say again, he didn’t repeat himself. Abbott used the term “death cult” 346 times in his tenure as PM, I couldn’t bear a 347th.
But if there is one thing I can credit Tony Abbott with, and it is only one small thing, it is that he brought people together. People from all over this country, from all over this world, from all walks of life, were bound together by their hatred of Tony Abbott. It is so common, so rife, that is has replaced the weather as a safe topic of conversation with a stranger. “Hi” you might say to a stranger “isn’t that Tony Abbott a dickhead?” and be almost guaranteed a decent level of reciprocity.
I know hate is a strong word. I try not to use it. But I can’t think of a term better suited to my feelings for Tony Abbott. I hate the man. I hate who he is, I hate what he stands for, I hate what he has done and I hate that he ever existed. The fact that he has been ousted as Prime Minister means that, somewhere in this universe, is the smallest, most microscopic fraction of justice.
So goodbye Tony. I gain great solace from the fact that you are forced to sit out the remainder of your hopefully short political career silent on the back bench. It is my hope that you will be forced to sit there long enough to watch everything you fought for, everything you care about, everything you hold dear, torn down and shattered and cast to the winds. Because that is nothing less than what you have done to me and what you have done to this country.
In parting Tony, here’s a final three word slogan for you:
Go to hell.