Caught like an Abbott in the Spotlight

Just in case you didn’t notice it, there’s been a crevice that’s opened up on Tony Abbott’s long road to the Lodge.   A crevice that in just a few days has opened up to bloody great yawning credibility gap.

It was just last week, in the wake of  the Qantas fiasco, and the critisims from old stagers that he was being weak kneed on IR that Mr Abbott’s blokey swagger and chin jutting suddenly started to look phoney.    A more convincing performer would have leavened the posturing with a bit of pensive self-reflection, But for Mr. Abbott it’s pop out the chin, grit teeth to get those jaw muscled looking pumped, and adopt the pose of determined leadership.

Problem is that Mr. Abbott’s posing pouch is no longer ample enough to cover up the hideous truth.  The country’s rooted if he gets his hands on it.

Sober and respected business commentators are calling Mr. Abbott guilty of a gross failure of economic credibility,  and big-nob political journos who write for the Murdoch press are saying he’s gone feral, with outlandish ill-considered opinions on the Mining Tax, the European bail-out and a knee-jerk response on Qantas.

George Megalogenis says that “the fundamental weakness of Tony Abbot is that he’ll say anything to get his face on TV” [12:12].

Whether you’re in the Laurie Oakes camp and you reckon Abbott’s  lashing out at everything like a shark in a feeding frenzy, or whether like me (and probably George) you think the whole thing’s a  B-Grade act, by a B-Grade actor who’s learned his trade from Chuck Norris films – one things for sure – people will start to twig to Mr. Abbots fatal flaw -and maybe – just maybe – Labor is in with a shot.

Interestingly Mr Megalogenis, thinks that the best strategy for Labour in these circumstances is to lose the next election.

If I were Labour I’d be prepared to take a loss in the next election knowing that their turn will come pretty quickly if they cede power to a political party that is not interested in the big ideas. [18.36]

The theory, I assume, being that if Mr. Abbott gets in then we’ll really get a taste of how much of a disaster a Prime Minister can be, and in our repentance we’ll push the reset button on Australian politics.

I think there might be something in that – Perhaps it calls for a Labor campaign under the slogan “We hope you get the government you deserve”.  But on second thoughts that sounds bitter and lacking the compassion that hopefully is still somewhere in the DNA – so perhaps a campaign based on the style of community awareness campaigns.  A simple direct message to the good people of Australia  “We are handing over the controls to your new pilot. please fasten your seat-belt and assume the brace position – there may not be time for last drinks”.

This entry was posted in Politics - national. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
85 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Persse
Persse
10 years ago

Much as I respect George Megalogenis’ opinion, a nation is not for gaming with. The task for Labor is to do the best job they can in front of them, and then deal with the Economics for Dummies team when and if they have too.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Abbott’s a worry, no doubt about it, but describing the current govt as the opposite of the economics for dummies team is a laugh. If there is a good next PM around I can’t see him or her yet.

Steve X
Steve X
10 years ago

Who knows what kind of PM Abbott would make.

Before Howard was elected large swathes of the left told people he wasn’t up to the job and so on. Why should this scare campaign be any different?

It doesn’t affect the people drumming up the fear either. If Abbott gets in and runs a reasonably competent government everyone will just forget the past.

Still, before Rudd got in quite a bit of the right was saying he wasn’t up to the job and that the NSW right would remove him when they saw fit and that the ALP would introduce a range of new taxes that they hadn’t campaigned on.

Hmmm, perhaps we should worry.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
10 years ago

I think the government needs to stop being so publicly and hysterically obsessed with Abbott. It simply reinforces the impression that they don’t have the electorate’s confidence, they’re on the verge of being tossed out and they’re shit scared. “But he’ll be worse! He’ll be worse!” Whatever. Get on it with it. At this stage, there’s no obvious reason why the government shouldn’t complete its term. Govern. FFS.

Catching up
Catching up
10 years ago

If you look past the media frenzy, you mught notice the government is getting on with it.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

The government has a very good record on the economy.
such a pity they cannot sell a beer on a hot day.

Only this ALP could put Swan as deputy PM who whilst being a good treasurer, perhaps the best we have seen, is lamentable in selling anything

At this stage Abbott would be normally only received with fits of laughter after the Opposition’s attempt at econmic policy at the last election where their costings were so woefully inaccurate.

Maybe with people expecting them to win they will actually be put under some scrutiny.

At this stage their numbers are even worse for the budget.

murph the surf.
murph the surf.
10 years ago

While Abbott may not be credible is he aiming his message eleswhere?
At those who don’t understand the economy but thing moral character and ‘good’ standards of personal behaviour are an indicator of something they can relate too?
I mean,sober, respected and influential business writers might appeal to some but how many?
I’m not that conversant on the inner mechanics of the Liberal Party but I’d guess cabinet would get to work if elected and Abbott would hardly ever be off the bike, out of the water or standing still.

Sally
Sally
10 years ago

Abbott is both physically and politically fugly and as such is repulsive to most women voters. And this is the principal reason why Abbott will never be PM. Such are the times in which we live. And in this case, I rejoice.

You need to understand that most women voters will never forgive the grinning, moronic, violent, malevolent ape for standing between them and Malcolm Turnbull, who is everything Abbott is not: modern, principled, caring, intellectual, canny, competent, articulate, witty, handsome, hot, someone who loves his wife and daughter, as equals, indeed as his whole world, and whose politics, unlike Abbott’s, at least marginally align with the 21st century in all its infinite complexity.

Brian
Brian
10 years ago

There ain’t nothing wrong with this government. Look at the facts: Strong employment, strong finances, stability in Cabinet, a coherent policy agenda, a sensible, assured PM who knows how to negotiate a middle path with independents and minor parties.
The only sour note for me has been the asylum seeker issue, which both sides of politics have behaved appallingly over. My heart says process them here but my head says stop them getting on the boats (to save them from drowning), which is why I actually think the Malaysia Solution may have been an unrecognised piece of policy genius.
Labor should increase the number of immigration officials processing paperwork in camps and increase refugee intakes from camps five-fold and make it clear anyone coming in on a boat can expect a long wait behind barbed wire, somewhere, before the paperwork gets looked at – that should hopefully serve as a disincentive.
Of course, Abbott is an idiot and Hockey is third rate and between them they haven’t got a brain cell of economic nous. When I look at who’s lining up behind them – Corey Bernadi, Sophie Mirabella, Barnaby Joyce etc I shudder to think what this country would look like five minutes into a Coalition administration.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Sally, I’m sure you relate to exactly 2% of voters. The worry is that Abbott gets the success he has.

But Homer, where is the evidence that the current ALP is good on economics. Taking dictation from Ken Henry in the recession is one thing. Where is the rest of the vision? Even their own team is bagging them on this score, and rightly so.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Pedro,

Your economic illiteracy is showing up.

The Stimulus worked par excellence.
Now we have their fastest fiscal contraction we have ever seen.

Both appear to have been just right.

Those critics that said the stimulus was too large have large dollops of egg all over their face particularly given the RBA actions.

I didn’t say they or Swan were perfect just much better than their predecessors.

That is a relative not an absolute judgement.

I would have thought that was obvious from the second and third sentences.

I should say anything to say about the next election means that after the ETS . not carbon tax, is implemented. A lot of thing change.

If a week is a long time in politics this is going to be a decade

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

“Taking dictation from Ken Henry in the recession is one thing.”

Harder than it looks given scare campaigns on (completely manageable) debt from the honourable members opposite.

“If fiscal stimulus was overdone, as many critics argue, it is incumbent on those critics to explain why growth of just 1.7% between September 2008 and December 2009 is too high and should have been lower. Such an explanation should also take account of the fact that unemployment rose by 1.1 percentage points over this period.” – Chris Barrett

Re: Sally’s point – I would have no trouble at all voting for Malcolm Turnbull for PM, if he was leading a party that shared his values.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

I guess you could call a completely hypothetical party led by Malcolm Turnbull and sharing his values something like, say, ‘the Liberal Party’.

…Wait.

whyisitso
whyisitso
10 years ago

I would have no trouble at all voting for Malcolm Turnbull for PM, if he was leading a party that shared his values.

He should be in the Labor Party or the Greens. He’s more popular in the electorate than Abbott, but his support comes from the Left. The Coalition is pretty weak on party discipline which is why people like Georgiou and Turnbull keep getting pre-selected, but you’ll notice, in the latte-set electorates.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Homer, you said:

“The government has a very good record on the economy.
such a pity they cannot sell a beer on a hot day.

Only this ALP could put Swan as deputy PM who whilst being a good treasurer, perhaps the best we have seen, is lamentable in selling anything

At this stage Abbott would be normally only received with fits of laughter after the Opposition’s attempt at econmic policy at the last election where their costings were so woefully inaccurate.”

And I asked, ignoring the response to the recession, where is the quality economic vision? You’ve answered by banging on about the stimulus. And swan is the best treasurer ever? Better than Keating? Crikey.

Dan, the question is whether the level of debt makes sense, not whether it is managable. If less money could have achieved the same result on employment then that would be better. I see the employment effects are being much more important than the growth numbers, indeed, preserving jobs that would otherwise be unnecessarily lost is the point.

JC
JC
10 years ago

And swan is the best treasurer ever? Better than Keating? Crikey.

Pedro, It’s a sad sad day in mental limbo when homer finally dumped Keating. A truly sad day.

Homes lived for PJK.

Homer, on a serious note, if you really think Swan is a better treasurer than Keating, you need medical help and possibly assisted living.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Pedro,
Keating would have been as good as Swan at getting the stimulus but not as good at the fiscal consolidation which is near perfect and quick because of that.

No-one has had to deal with a GFC yet Swan did and very well.
for all that he is one hell of a lousy salesman.

no JC you merely need to understand economics. you do not, never have and never wil.
It is pretty easy to see what Swan’s plan is. A tighter than need be fiscal policy with the RBA having a looser monetary policy than need be to offset this.

That way he gets a surplus plus lower interest rates.
however he could get a recessed economy and even lower interest rates depending on Europe

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Pedro@14: “If less money could have achieved the same result on employment then that would be better.” No – really? When should Treasury expect your detailed submission Continuous Improvement in Fiscal Policy: Case Studies and Recommendations? Can you please CC me?

KB@16: “Keating would have been as good as Swan at getting the stimulus…” Not sure I agree here. The response to the recession we had to have was contractionary and Treasury lost a lot of credbility over it.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

the RBA caused the recession we had to have and it was only apparent after the fact rather than before to most although a few in the markets saw it coming.

The fiscal response was not needed as there was no liquidity trap and cash rates were at 18%

Everyone could see the GFC coming however few wanted to go the whole hog.
Credit markets were completely frozen. No major bank could get funds from O/S for a considerable time after the GFC even with a government guarantee.

Sacha
10 years ago

“Just in case you didn’t notice it, there’s been a crevice that’s opened up on Tony Abbott’s long road to the Lodge. A crevice that in just a few days has opened up to bloody great yawning credibility gap.”

How do people think that the passing of the carbon tax, has affected Abbots “credibility”?

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

That probably wil not occur until next July when little happens and people realise Tonee wasl having a lend of them.

Sacha
10 years ago

““Just in case you didn’t notice it, there’s been a crevice that’s opened up on Tony Abbott’s long road to the Lodge. A crevice that in just a few days has opened up to bloody great yawning credibility gap.”

No sorry. You haven’t made that case. You see the real credibility gap is with the Australian economics profession. What a bunch of belligerent blockheads, malevolent natters, and wicked white-anters they are.

First we had the proven failure of the stimulus…. Such incompetence is so hard to understand. Such wickedness. Total failure. Stagnated our living standards, and threw thousands out of work. And these people are alchemists. They turn gold into crap. Because you had the pretty good idea like the NBN, and they’ve turned it into a nightmare. You had a reasonable idea like privatisation, and thats now the most ghastly nightmare, that none of us can wake up from. Thankfully a handful of patriots has called for a moratorium on that score.

And then now we have the carbon tax. How can these economists live with themselves? Both alleged wings are just blockheads. They cannot tell good theory from bad theory. They cannot seem to tell good theory, from the different reality in front of them. They represent a wrecking-gang. A rolling thunder of white-anting.

And the utter utter failure of analysis of these people when it came to judging the global warming racket. My goodness. Thats the test isn’t it? If you bought into that clearly you are just a poser.

Sacha
10 years ago

It just never ends. At the moment we have this Quisling, in the Australian newspaper, called David Uren. Day in day out, he is arguing IN FAVOR OF WASTE IN GOVERNMENT. The fellow is such a blockhead, and it says something about the traitor Murdoch that he gets David Uren writing this anti-scientific rubbish for him. Why not just get Homer to write the pieces? Homers completely faithful to irrational Keynesian orthodoxy. I don’t know why people argue with Homer. If the pure irrationality of Keynesianism is correct then Homer is always right. Live with it. Either piss or get off the pot. Either reject the anti-Athenian lies of Keynes, or accept by your own wrong beliefs that Homer is correct.

And I’ve got news for the chosen-one white supremacists around here. You and your synagogue-buddies sitting around citing each other has some ways to go as a form of reason or science. Sorry you had to hear it from me. Time to come down from your ethnocentric and bigoted cloud.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Sasha = Bird

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Birdy,

The stimulus would be a failure IF it didn’t boost growth or it boosted growth too much and we ended up with much higher interest rates.

Neither happened.

We do not have a carbon tax we have an ETS that starts with a fixed price and then turns into a flexible price.

By the way you cannot compare a fixed price to a floating price as permits are only traded on a floating price.

No go away

JC
JC
10 years ago

Everyone could see the GFC coming however few wanted to go the whole hog.

Oh. You must be a Quazillionare now Homes, yea? Shorting every leveraged stock in 08 like a busy little gofer storing food for the winter.

jtfsoon
jtfsoon
10 years ago

Ooh, a Homer vs Bird debate.

This is like Hitler vs Stalin. Who to root for?

JC
JC
10 years ago

Homer,

So the exchange rate dropping an unprecedented 40% in a month or so had not effect. The RBA telegraphing huge drops in o/n and saying they would keep doing so allowing the market to adjust forward. No effect.

China essentially running US monetary policy through the exchange rate thereby suddenly heating up the economy.. no effect.

It was that hump in the stats that got us out of trouble.

Sacha
10 years ago

Look Homer. Attempt to read what I said.
You are just restating Keynesian error.
I’m fine about your understanding of erroneous
Keynesian doctrine. You know nothing about economics.

Authentic economics tells us this
about the stimulus:

1. It increased short-run GDP
2. It reduced Growth.
3. It threw people out of work, as proven by the fact that people were thrown out of work.
4. It increased average profits.
5. It reduced long-run GDP, but thats not important since GDP is a lame metric.

Your ignorance of economics ought not be used as cover for the loony-toons and traitors white-anting our prospects of survival, and the good life.

Sacha
10 years ago

Good Lord Cambria spins such utter nonsense. Reminds me of when Cambria insisted that you couldn’t cut government spending during a recession. And the blockhead didn’t consider himself a Keynesian. All Australian neoclassicals and Keynesians are Keynesians. That leaves Gerry Jackson, and Steve Kates as the only non-Keynesians on the Australian scence. The rest of you have failed macro-economics 101.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Latest headline Abbott denies he is too negative

Abbott says No! to No?

Sacha
10 years ago

He’s not negative enough. We have serious malevolent natters running things. He’s too compromising and weak with them. Plus he comes up with dopey ideas like CO2 abatement, and getting poor people to pay so that rich chicks can breed.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Go easy Birdy, I have found that JCs advice to be always wrong – there is much to admire in being consistent.

Long or short he is your ever reliable contrarian indicator.

He reserves his best advice for after the event eg “like I always said ……..”

Sacha
10 years ago

Quite.

Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

Homer, Keating drove substantial economic reforms. Swan??? You’re just embarrassing yourself.

Dan, my point was that Barrett’s metric is not the only basis for assessing the many criticisms of the size of the stimulus. I’ve said before that I think it impossible to judge, but Homer certainly has not established that the stimulus was “just right”. That’s not even an opinion on Homer’s part, its just arse-licking the ALP and blind partisan defence. The extent of the blindness is amply demonstrated with the claim that Swan is likely our best treasurer ever.

Sacha
10 years ago

You eeeeeeedddddiiottt Pedro. Just accept you know nothing. You are a lawyer. You know nothing about economics. Stimulus throws people out of work and retards economics progress. What sort of a brain-managed mutant would then ask “Would you like that a bigger or smaller cup of arsenic?”

How much arsenic is too much, too little or just right?

Get the theory right you idiot. And if don’t understand something ask an honest question. Thats what I’m here for. You won’t learn economics from practicing Australian economists. They are all dummies, liars, and traitors.

Stop talking nonsense, and start learning economics.

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Pedro, not a lot of reforms to drive in the micro side.
on the other hand in terms of macro he was infinitely better for reasons
i have outlined.

JC,

Net exports only contributed to GDP growth for a short time and that was because imports fell a lot more than exports.

As for china Commodity prices really only took off in err 2010.

Cash rates can fall to 1% but if credit markets are frozen it doesn’t make a damn.

This is why first home buyers took off in housing but investors were no where to be seen and this is very unusual.

the other thing about monetary policy is that it takes a rather long lag to have an effect yet somehow it reacts instantaneously in 2008!

In other words JC is too lazy to even look at basic statistics

KB Keynes
KB Keynes
10 years ago

Pedro,

of course the stimulus was just right.
It took effect at the right time and we avoided recession. It is now taking away from the economy thus leading to the fastest government contraction we have seen.

you are simply blind to the obvious

Sacha
10 years ago

Pretty good post Homer. Blissfully free of Keynesian error. But I must pick you up on your terminology:

“the other thing about monetary policy is that it takes a rather long lag to have an effect yet somehow it reacts instantaneously in 2008!”

The interest rate subsidy that our Reserve Bank doles out to our commercial banks, does not deserve to be called “monetary policy”. It ought to be called “unjust enrichment” or “criminal give-away or resources” or the “gang-bang or society at large”.

Authentic monetary policy, not based around banker-subsidy, works immediately. No doubt about that at all.

Sacha
10 years ago

“of course the stimulus was just right.
It took effect at the right time and we avoided recession. ”

Good grief you really are mentally challenged. And here I am attempting to stick up for you. Everything you say here is with the assumptions that:

1. GDP is spending.

2. GDP growth is GROWTH AS SUCH. And

3 when GDP falls thats a recession.

None of these howlers is true.

GDP is just a metric. Not a very good one. Get that through your thick head Homer.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

“Sacha” appears to have been another stolen ID Graeme Bird sock puppet. IT has been banned too.

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

At least Bird has a certain ironic sensibility (if probably unconsciously). He stole his latest ID from a State Labor candidate from the last NSW election who is also a long time blogger. The “about” page on his site starts: “My personal values are integrity, honesty and openness”. You can see why Bird would immediately identify Sacha as an appropriate avatar.

rog
rog
10 years ago

Birdy is a cuckoo.

JC
JC
10 years ago

Net exports only contributed to GDP growth for a short time and that was because imports fell a lot more than exports.

Homer, so imports falling with the collapse of the exchange rate doesn’t have an expansionary effect on the domestic economy? Are you serious? What an extremely ignorant statement.

As for china Commodity prices really only took off in err 2010.

Homer, Coal prices troughed in August 2009 at US$ 65 bucks a ton. In January 2010 it was 104 bucks a ton. Here, take a looksee.

You’re making crap up as you go along.

Iron Ore troughed in April 2009 at 60 bucks a ton. By January 2010 it was trading at 126 bucks a ton. look!

Everything, absolutely everything you say has to be checked for obvious reasons.

This is why first home buyers took off in housing but investors were no where to be seen and this is very unusual.

First home buyers were getting a huge deal, so of course they would go out and buy a home if they could. What’s so shocking about that? Provide enough incentives and you get the hump.

the other thing about monetary policy is that it takes a rather long lag to have an effect yet somehow it reacts instantaneously in 2008!

If the Central bank telegraphs its punches and tells the market what the lay of the land is for the foreseeable future the market will react immediately. If you’re suggesting that isn’t the case you are not only ignoring reality but you should return both degrees to the institution that gave them to you and apologize.

In other words JC is too lazy to even look at basic statistics

I did. You’re emphatically incorrect, as always Inspector Clouseau.

JC
JC
10 years ago

“Sacha” appears to have been another stolen ID Graeme Bird sock puppet. IT has been banned too.

It’s going to the stage where everyone posting comments here will be inadvertently banned and he’s the only one left standing.

Sacha Blumen
Sacha Blumen
10 years ago

I open up my email and see I’ve been subscribed to a Club Troppo conversation! It’s been a long time (alas) since I’ve read a blog here. Work’s been too busy.

Is Bird still campaigning against special relativity?

Ken Parish
Admin
Ken Parish(@ken-parish)
10 years ago

Hi Sacha

No, he moved on to the second law of thermodynamics not so long ago. He actually supports that, because he reckons it proves that global warming is false.

JC
JC
10 years ago

Is Bird still campaigning against special relativity?

Hi Sacha… No he’s left “science” for a little while and focusing on economics and the interplay of Jewish people/finance/ banksters. He’s on page 89 of the Protocols at the moment so you can imagine whats going on there.

Don’t feel he’s victimizing you. In fact you’re a non-entity if he hasn’t stolen your name/moniker to go hogwild on the web.

Sacha Blumen
Sacha Blumen
10 years ago

Ah – he’s in fine form. I can only imagine how readers would react to his attempted use of the concepts of entropy and states (very nice concepts).

Nice to see Club Troppo still going – hope there are a few new contributors since a few years ago :)

Sacha Blumen
Sacha Blumen
10 years ago

PS anyone here read Fukuyama’s latest tome? I’m enjoying slowly getting through it.