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Tony Abbott is an idiot

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, March 16th, 2014 - 90 comments
Categories: australian politics, john key, national, war - Tags:

I am going to say something unusual for me and praise actions taken by this Government.  Its  promotion of a United Nation’s resolution which states that it is in the interest of humanity that nuclear weapons never be used again under any circumstances is both rational and laudable.  Good on them.  It appears that National realise the deep feelings against Nuclear weapons held by Kiwis and John Key was wise to rule out Don Brash’s previous desire that the Nuclear free legislation be gone by the lunchtime of the next National Government’s first day.

But Tony Abbott’s Government does not exhibit such principled behaviour.

From the Herald:

Australia’s newly elected Abbott Government applied secret diplomatic pressure to undermine a New Zealand led push towards nuclear disarmament last year, newly released documents show.

Australian diplomats worked to counter nuclear disarmament moves on humanitarian grounds by 16 countries including New Zealand according to recently declassified ministerial submissions, cables and emails from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade obtained by theSydney Morning Herald.

Following the election of Australia’s Tony Abbott, New Zealand in October requested Australia endorse a 125 nation joint statement at the United Nations highlighting the humanitarian consequences of using nuclear weapons.

However Australia refused after taking exception to the statement’s wording that it was in the interests of humanity that nuclear weapons were never used again “under any circumstances”.

The New Zealand led campaign seeks to apply a similar international prohibition on the use of nuclear weapons as already exists for chemical and biological weapons.

But Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has been reported as saying that approach was counterproductive.

“The reality is that disarmament cannot be imposed this way”, the Sydney Morning Herald reports her saying.

“Just pushing for a ban would divert attention from the sustained, practical steps needed for effective disarmament.”

Abbott is showing signs of being as bad a Prime Minister as liberals thought he would be.  He is that appalling that Rick Santorum thinks that he is a hardliner the American conservatives could learn something from.  Santorum is an odious conservative who is the subject of possibly the most famous Google bomb ever and Australians must be ashamed that their Prime Minister is spoken of so highly by someone like him.

Abbott’s justification for opposing what is a totally reasonable position is that nuclear deterrence must be maintained.  We have to retain nuclear weapons so that we never use them and by getting rid of them there is the risk we will use them.

John Key was relaxed at the Australian undermining of New Zealand’s position.  He said:

‘It’s kind of inevitable we might take a slightly different stance to a country like Australia that produces uranium and is part of ANZUS.  It’s just one of those things where they come from a slightly different perspective. They are part of ANZUS, there’s just different factors that might play into their thinking when it comes to nuclear disarmament.”

The basic rationale for Abbott’s position is that for its defence the West needs to preserve the possible killing of millions of human beings and the devastation of major urban centres either by way of a first strike or a retaliatory strike in the hope that this will mean that such a strike will never occur.  Yes this is as crazy as it sounds.

The insanity of the concept of deterrence is clear because it is supported by Sarah Palin.  Referring to the Crimera she said that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.  She appears to believe that nukeing Russia is a possible solution for the Ukraine problem.  A system that allows this woman the prospect of being a heart beat away from control of the nuclear button is just too scary to countenance.

90 comments on “Tony Abbott is an idiot”

  1. tc 1

    Abbott is an idiot with power, but that doesnt really stand out alongside the likes of Bishop, Morrison, Hockey, turnbull and their very own joyce, not the halfwit destroying qantas.

    Oz have a senate to counterweight the loons like him and a dipping economy that may just make him a one term PM if he doesnt keep his more insane musings within.

    The tea party would adore him, righteous, arrogant, a bully, christian and white.

  2. Wensleydale 2

    I feel for you Australia. You’re about to ingest a mouthful of the same noxious concoction we’ve been gagging on since 2008. Brace yourselves. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.

  3. captain hook 3

    idiot? more like moron or imbecile or intellectually challenged but most likely just somebody who has a deep seated need oi impose his pin headed view of the world on the rest of us and somehow has found a place in politics that allows him to do so. I dont think Australia is the lucky country if they elect a fool like him

  4. joe90 4

    Paul Keating has a wonderful way with words.

    You wouldn’t trust this mob with a jam jar full of five cent bits

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-03-16/keating-attacks-intellectual-nobody-abbott/365906

  5. Wayne 5

    Given that nuclear deterrence has been a cornerstone of defense policy for 70 years, is it “crazy as it sounds”. Invoking Sarah Palin is not enough to discredit it.

    It is at least arguable that the world has not tipped into WW3 because of the nuclear deterrent. It has restrained, at least to some extent, the behavior of great powers. For instance we can be reasonably certain that whatever happens in the East China Sea will not spill over to war between China and the US precisely because they have nuclear weapons.

    This is not to suggest that nuclear weapons are an ideal way to keep the peace, they are not. But for the great powers to abandon their weapons before they have something better in place would be highly risky. Think of the potential for spillover in Ukraine if Russia and the US did not have nuclear weapons, given the general level of mistrust between them. Would they be as careful?

    There are two lessons from WW2, one is that nations can survive a great global conflict involving conventional arms; the second is that they would not be able able to survive a general nuclear war as functioning states.

    New Zealand’s position is different to Australia’s. We are not part of ANZUS and are not tightly bound in a US alliance. We therefore have choices they do not.

    I suspect that the Abbott’s position is a broader Australian position, not just one for the Liberals.

    There are many things one would do first before moving to general nuclear disarmament. For instance NZ should work to get both China and the US to sign the CTBT. They effectively abide by it, but are not signed up. Similarly we should encourage greater inclusion of China in the general security partnerships in the Asia Pacific. All of this will build more trust in the region.

    And New Zealand could be much more pro-active in this than we are. It could be a specific task for the Centre of Strategic Studies in VUW to be funded to do some serious work on this. At present they have only a tiny amount of funding. Lifting their profile so they could take leadership role would be something that would be of real value to the region. This will count for much more than symbolic gestures that will go nowhere.

    • Bill 5.1

      It is at least arguable that the world has not tipped into WW3 because of the nuclear deterrent.

      Really?! Would ‘love’ to see that argument laid out. First ting that comes to my mind is how close a hot war between the USSR and the US came when the USSR sought to position nuclear warheads in Cuba. Then there are the many ‘near misses’ of launching nuclear warheads by mistake and the inevitable retaliatory strike. (Some of those near misses came on the back of mistaking something as a first strike.)

      There are two lessons from WW2, one is that nations can survive a great global conflict involving conventional arms; the second is that they would not be able able to survive a general nuclear war as functioning states.

      A third lesson is that nations also don’t survive a great global conflict involving conventional arms and that the conflict doesn’t have to something global to end the functioning of a state.

      Face it Wayne, you’re channeling 50s style paranoia, where anything and everything is a threat that must be confronted with the threat of deadly force. It’s a mentality that’s crap and not a little insane.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1

        And of course other other thing that the ‘MAD prevented the great powers from fighting’ argument ignores is that, Vietnam, Afghanistan, South America, Africa etc and so on, and so forth.

        The fight is just transferred. Attacking the homelands becomes too costly, so the powers simply try to drain their opponents by fighting brutal proxy wars, and when those die out, the ‘winner’ simply walks away, to start one up again somewhere else.

        The nuke deterrent enables meddling in places where otherwise the calculations would differ. The argument is that at least ‘we’ aren’t dying. ‘Our’ nations are not being destroyed, etc. But by fighting in places where, frankly, neither of the great powers give one fuck about, the conflicts are waged with the places and inhabitants of the conflict zone being treated as absolutely unhumans. They are simply pawns, their needs irrelevant. The ’cause’ of the war is largely irrelevant, and usually a lie. the point is to drain the resources of your great power opponent, which means keeping the war going, not winning it. And every one of those conflicts has devolved into human rights abuses and war crimes that should have led to war crimes charges. This is what is ignored about MAD, it generates, protracts, and intensifies small wars in proxy places, but that’s ok because they are expendable, not having the right cultural connections to the great power’s citizens. their deaths are just stats.

        It’s true that open conflict between the the great powers would probably involve much more massive death rates, even setting aside nukes. But that fact alone is deterrent. WW2 killed dead the ‘over before christmas’ jingoism that was wounded in WW1. Great powers grow war weary now with very low casualty rates, and simply won;t tolerate the economic sacrifices going on a total war footing would require.

      • Wayne 5.1.2

        Bill,

        To pick up on your first comment. As you well know, that is virtually the entire rationale for possession of the deterrent, and has been argued in thousands of articles and books. I accept that in NewZealand it is an article of faith that nuclear deterrence does not exist as a functioning concept.

        But I note that the UK Labour party no longer disputes the idea of the UK retaining the nuclear deterrent. Nor does most of Europe, though I appreciate that there are strong citizens lobbies that do not want the US deterrent. But no European govt says they want to opt out of NATO, and the US defense guarantee that is inherent in NATO. And this has been tested in numerous elections over the years.

        As for the survival of states, perhaps I should have said functioning modern societies, which continue irrespective of the state in which they exist.

        No comment on the East China Sea, or the role of CSS at VUW?

        • Bill 5.1.2.1

          And this has been tested in numerous elections over the years

          Pretty damned sure that no proposal on whether to withdraw from NATO or remain a part of it has ever been put to any citizenry of any European country.

          As for the Center of Strategic Studies – your suggestion can only be understood or seen as helpful by first of all accepting the framework of fear (betrayed through talk of security, trust etc) that underscores and bolsters a pro-nuclear stance. That world is the world of ‘uneasy crowns’….not mine 😉

          • Wayne 5.1.2.1.1

            It has often been a manifesto commitment of the various parties seeking office, for instance Labour in the 1980’s and early 1990’s sought to unilaterally disarm (nuclear).

            The CSS proposal is not really related to the fact that China and the US have nuclear weapons, it is separate from that. For instance is it really necessary for the nations of the region to keep getting more and more conventional weapons, especially those with long range deployable capabilities, or will that undermine security of the region. By this I really mean the next cycle of upgrades that will occur beyond 2020.

            • Bill 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Well, of course it ain’t necessary for nations to build up weapons stocks. But they will. It’s profitable and helps maintain that climate of fear that keeps us all in line, aye?

        • Pascal's bookie 5.1.2.2

          “an article of faith that nuclear deterrence does not exist as a functioning concept”

          see now, that’s just bullshit Wayne. It’s not that people don’t understand it or anything, it’s that they don’t accept that it is without risks and trade offs.

          For example, you'd be aware that under the last Us admin plans were developed to use nuke bunker busters against Iran. Now wiser heads may have prevailed, for now, but the idea is always there. You can't just put weapons in boxes and say 'oh they'll never be used, it's just for deterrent'. They'll be a lot more hesitant to use them against a nuke power obviously, but the idea of using them against a power seeking nukes has already been floated.

          • Murray Olsen 5.1.2.2.1

            Or against a power that they can convince enough people is seeking nukes. Murdoch and Wayne help a lot with that bit.

            But yeah, Tony Abbott is an idiot. He’s the idiot Murdoch and Stoneheart wanted running things for them. He’s the intellectual equivalent of Aaron Gilmore, with the social skills of a brain damaged ex prize fighter. A significant proportion of Australia still love the guy.

    • Tracey 5.2

      What has made you set aside your self imposed restriction to just comment on tpp and why do you think we need an expensive ambassador presence in barbados?

      • Wayne 5.2.1

        Tracey,

        This topic is not really party political – though it is political.

        And it is an area where I have been doing some research at CSIS and S Rajaratnam School of International Studies. though my prime area of work has been the steps that are needed to build trust in the Asia Pacific, with one of the outcomes being less growth in arms.

        It is also one of the reasons why I support TPP, and RCEP, which when they both come into existence will then need to unified. Bringing the Asia Pacific nations closer together on trade, investment, services etc is part of binding them into a community.

        • Macro 5.2.1.1

          Bringing the Asia Pacific nations closer together on trade, investment, services etc is part of binding them into a community.

          A “community” for corporate interests and nothing else is hardly a community.
          The “community” you describe is one that has little appeal to anyone other than the corporate lawyers, and will lead to the loss of identity, nationhood, culture, and sovereignty. But I guess that’s ok so long as the 1% get a bit more of the world’s wealth.

        • Murray Olsen 5.2.1.2

          How can you have any idea whether TPP will do what you claim or not? Have you read it? If you have, what gives you such special privilege? If you haven’t, I despair of the academic rigour that you won’t be able to apply in your research.

    • mickysavage 5.3

      Thanks Wayne. I always admire your willingness to debate issues and present ideas that most of will not necessarily agree with.

      It is at least arguable that the world has not tipped into WW3 because of the nuclear deterrent.

      The world has had a series of devastating destructive smaller wars which the presence of nuclear weapons has not stopped. Also conceptually don’t you agree it a strange proposition that having a weapon will make it less likely that it will be used than not having it?

      Besides the resolution is an expression of principle that it is in the interest of humanity that nuclear weapons never be used again. I struggle at why such a self evident truth should be considered to be so heretical to some countries.

      • Wayne 5.3.1

        mickysavage,

        On your central point I agree. The possession of nuclear weapons did deflect wars into proxy wars. But once the Cold War was over these reduced. Current wars have different wellsprings and are not really related to great power competition. They have been less destructive, though I appreciate that will not seem the case to the people involved in them.

        As for deterrence, my understanding is that it essentially requires symmetry to be effective. Thus if two adversaries have the weapons, neither will act against the other. Admittedly a crude way to stop a war, but until there is mutual trust it seems to be as good as it gets. Of course mutual trust between enemies can be established – look at France and Germany. But there is some way to go with the US and Russia, or US and China.

        My suggestion about the CSS is about the steps and ideas needed to build trust between China and the US, which affects all of us in the Asia Pacific.

        As for the point on the resolution, I guess the nuclear states and their immediate allies would think that an affirmative vote would run against the deterrent principle that their possession of the weapons is based upon. Perhaps different wording that would have the ban seen as an aspiration rather than an immediate prohibition might have had them signing up.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1

          Of course mutual trust between enemies can be established – look at France and Germany. But there is some way to go with the US and Russia, or US and China.

          That probably has more to do with inherent corruption than anything else.

          Perhaps different wording that would have the ban seen as an aspiration rather than an immediate prohibition might have had them signing up.

          Just like National’s aspirational society that has the rich getting richer and everyone else getting poorer.

        • mickysavage 5.3.1.2

          Wayne

          As for the point on the resolution, I guess the nuclear states and their immediate allies would think that an affirmative vote would run against the deterrent principle that their possession of the weapons is based upon. Perhaps different wording that would have the ban seen as an aspiration rather than an immediate prohibition might have had them signing up.

          Don’t you think that stating that it is in the interest of humanity that nuclear weapons never be used again under any circumstances is aspirational? Also the statement is that self evidently true the linguistic gymnastics required to suggest that accepting the resolution would pose a threat to the western world is astounding.

          • Populuxe1 5.3.1.2.1

            Innevitably it is aspirational – you can’t put that particular genie back in the bottle. Aside from only one country ever having given up their nuclear arsenal (South Africa), even if all the major powers gave up their nukes, you can’t make the science go away – effectively any country with the resources can build nukes. Look at North Korea.

            On another note, we may need a nuke or two if we ever have to deflect a meteor

        • Bill 5.3.1.3

          My suggestion about the CSS is about the steps and ideas needed to build trust between China and the US, which affects all of us in the Asia Pacific.

          So, we’re talking about two bastard, deeply institutionalised and distrustful mentalities. We are not talking about Chinese people and people in N.America. Well, we might be talking about a small percentage of each who, through the ‘fine art’ of propaganda, have come to adopt as their own the fear ridden bullshit and posturing of the administrations and institutions that govern them.

          Anyway, in case I’m missing something, care to explain for me in clear terms why we, ordinary people in the Asia Pacific, need either Chinese institutions or US institutions or the CSS pushing some agenda on either of them?

          thanks

        • Puddleglum 5.3.1.4

          As for deterrence, my understanding is that it essentially requires symmetry to be effective. Thus if two adversaries have the weapons, neither will act against the other. Admittedly a crude way to stop a war, but until there is mutual trust it seems to be as good as it gets.

          Always?

          If ‘yes’, then presumably you support the notion that Iran should become nuclear weapon capable, given its nuclear-armed adversaries both in the region and globally (which means, from the deterrence doctrine, a risk of nuclear weapons being used against Iran)?

          If ‘no’, then why in cases like the US and Russia?

          • Populuxe1 5.3.1.4.1

            Both arguments have merit. It is reasonable to want to balance the treat of Israel as the only nuclear power in the Middle East, and the US and Russia have managed to avoid a nuclear war all these decades excepting the Cuban crisis, so we can assume they are less likely to fire their missiles at each other than the younger and more volatile nuclear powers.

            • felix 5.3.1.4.1.1

              If it’s all about deterrent then presumably you’d exclude anyone who actually used them from the club.

              • Populuxe1

                The club didn’t exist until after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so since the existence of more than one nuclear power there has not been a nuclear attack on another country.

                • felix

                  I don’t see how that in any way relates to my comment.

                  Would you or would you not exclude those who have shown they are capable of using nuclear weapons on civilians from joining the “deterrent” club?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      Given that nuclear deterrence has been a cornerstone of defense policy for 70 years, is it “crazy as it sounds”. Invoking Sarah Palin is not enough to discredit it.

      Yes it is.

      It is at least arguable that the world has not tipped into WW3 because of the nuclear deterrent. It has restrained, at least to some extent, the behavior of great powers. For instance we can be reasonably certain that whatever happens in the East China Sea will not spill over to war between China and the US precisely because they have nuclear weapons.

      No we can’t. The simple fact that the US can’t afford to go to war with China is about the only thing that’s stopping them.

      Think of the potential for spillover in Ukraine if Russia and the US did not have nuclear weapons, given the general level of mistrust between them. Would they be as careful?

      Right, so you think that if the US hadn’t have had nuclear weapons it would have just moved in with conventional weapons rather than $5 billion dollars of subversion?

      There are two lessons from WW2, one is that nations can survive a great global conflict involving conventional arms; the second is that they would not be able able to survive a general nuclear war as functioning states.

      The lesson from the US driven coup d’etat of Iran is that a weak state will fall to an attack by a great state whether the great state uses nuclear weapons or not. Oh, and that after such a fall from such an attack the great state will then put in place a massively oppressive puppet government that it will use to enrich itself and that they’ll get really upset when that puppet government is eventually overthrown.

      There are many things one would do first before moving to general nuclear disarmament. For instance NZ should work to get both China and the US to sign the CTBT.

      /facepalm

      Nuclear disarmament would make the CTBT obsolete.

      Similarly we should encourage greater inclusion of China in the general security partnerships in the Asia Pacific. All of this will build more trust in the region.

      It could do that but I wouldn’t count on it. In fact, I think it would increase corruption.

      • Populuxe1 5.4.1

        I’m not sure what planet you’re living on, but here on earth nuclear disarmament isn’t going to happen.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.4.1.1

          Not with that attitude it won’t.

          The whole point of the NPT was nuclear disarmament. It’s failed as the so called nuclear powers ignore it.

  6. lefty 6

    Abbott is what happens when the left refuses to put up credible alternatives. After tolerating years of incompetent and corrupt State Labor Governments, on top of having to endure the awful Gillard and nasty little Rudd, it is not surprising Australians voted in a raving idiot just for a change.

    • Macro 6.1

      the msm are solely responsible for the demise of Gillard. She was far more competent than you give her credit here.

      • aerobubble 6.1.1

        Abbott would never have been Pm had not Labour imploded, and so one has to wonder did they trip up or were they falling over themselves.

        Anyway. Howard successor, you remember Howard don’t you, the guy that got kiwis in oz to pay taxes that fund australian benefitaries but not kiwi ones.

        And you do know Abbotts wife is a kiwi, should they divorce and she has work and he does not, she’ll pay for his but the reverse would not be true.

        Its call a democracy in name only, you just have to look at their electoral system, in NZ we can vote or not, then we vote for who we want, in OZ, they have to work or pay a fine, then they all but have to use the voting cards supplied or have no effect, and then to cap it off their vote can flow onto the someone they don;t want. Imagine that, forced there, inscrutable voting and then consent flows on to candidate they just loath (the big two basically).

        As for radiation, Chernobyl is killing the natural processes that would recycle plant and animals. Authorities are worried as there is a build up of material that is a fire hazard. This is of course natures way, the stuff that can’t be recycled gets diffused through the global environment. So the questions about nuclear power aren’t just single issue, as a defence matter, they are many.
        With three nuclear plants in Japan manufacturing radiation into the world environment its shocking anyone would think nuclear power was good, and there we come to the problem.

        What happens when the safety of assured mutual annihilation becomes a assured self destruction by slow radiation diffusion form all the nuclear this and that all over the place.

        Its not stupid, Abbotts not stupid, he’s part of a generation of boomer self-deluded by their Ann Randian self-belief.

        • Macro 6.1.1.1

          Any minister of govt who dismisses his advisers because they tell him something they do not wish to hear ( particularly when that advice is universally acknowledged around the globe as the truth – and when inaction will severely affect his country as is occurring at this very moment) is nothing but a fool and is a particularly stupid action.
          In Italy they put such fools in prison for 6 years!

        • PapaMike 6.1.1.2

          Are you sure that Helen had nothing to do with the changes to New Zealanders living in Australia in 2001.
          Did she not sign the protocol with Howard ?

          • Murray Olsen 6.1.1.2.1

            One of her mistakes, but apparently she was bullied into it as the best option on the table. Australia tends to be like that with smaller countries. Our sovereignty did actually mean something to Helen, unlike Key who travelled to Queensland to put the hard word on them about helping victims of the floods a few years back, but only persuaded them to accept access to the Kiwi police computer. Imagine if he wasn’t so good at driving hard bargains!

            • aerobubble 6.1.1.2.1.1

              No. Racism was core to Howards’ administration. Whether not say sorry to first Australians, or to the specter of race riots, Howard was the closet racist. The policy towards kiwi’s was based on racism, as Maori were turning up in OZ and meeting racism in employment, and so ending up on a benefit for longer. The policy naturally targeted the poorest kiwi looking for a fair go, and whom where over overwhelmingly Maori.

              Now as to Helen Clark, she is hardly responsible for not convincing Howard of not being an arrogant right wing racist, and more likely to let him hang himself historical for such an obvious oversight. That kiwis would be funding benefits for Australians but not for other kiwis (and so themselves).

              Howard is and was a dip shit.

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.2

        And the party apparatchiks killed Rudd – he was popular with the public.

      • Wayne 6.1.3

        It is not sensible to insult voters like that, though it is a common theme for many commenters on The Standard. Are you suggesting that voters are all pawns of the MSM, and are unable to form their own judgments on what they see plainly in front of them.

        It is not as if Labor did not change their leader just months before the election, which is never well received by voters. Ask Mike Moore for instance.

        • Macro 6.1.3.1

          Unfortunately most voters are.. why else do you rub your hands when the msm reports a rise in your parties polling.. because the “punters”, to use a term from one of your friends, do what they are told.
          And I listened to the reports from Australia and was appalled by their bias from supposedly well established commentators

        • geoff 6.1.3.2

          It is not sensible to insult voters like that

          Listen up, Standardistas, Wayne’s going to tell us the most sensible way to insult voters!

      • lefty 6.1.4

        But she was not even a little bit likeable as far as many of the public were concerned. That has got nothing to do with the media or with sexism. Some people are just not seen as very nice and if you were the victim of her policies, on refuges or welfare for example, you would have hated her too.

        • Macro 6.1.4.1

          She was a lot better then either Rudd or Abbott.. And any sensible action would have been to go the best of the bunch.. But as I say – the media assassinated her – mainly because she was female and she enacted the most sensible action to control GHG emissions in the western world – and that was contrary to the interests of their corporate bosses.

        • Macro 6.1.4.2

          And why wasn’t she likeable by the general public? Because the media painted her as unlikable – how else were they to judge?
          They are doing the same to Cunliffe here – it’s as clear as the nose on ones face!

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.5

        Gillard was highly competent, but was also the most fundamentalist Christian atheist I have ever come across. The less said about Rudd the better. However, they are just a reflection of the appalling state of the Australian Labor Party. On many issues they are to the right of National. If not for the Greens and the Senate, Australia would be like the US, with Abbott playing the role of Sarah Palin in the leadership and Labor being something like the famous Chicago Democrats.

        • aerobubble 6.1.5.1

          Abbott was never PM material, came a hair breath of losing his safe Sydney north shore seat. Abbott would never have snuck into office had not the Labor party imploded, even with the huge power of the mining lobby backing him.

    • tc 6.2

      Goes alot deeper than shonky state govts, neither side has done any meaningful economic reform since the fundamentals were sorted by hawke/keating as much as they dared.

      Howard got elected because he wasnt PK.

      Your point stands in so far as a credible alternative must be presented, if Kev had half the skills PK had he’d still be PM and the liberals would be doing the turnbull again.

  7. red blooded 7

    Gillard was under continual attack from a deeply sexist media and had party insiders actively campaigning against her from Day One. She took the reins from an incompetent ego maniac who then spent the next three (?) years slowly wrestling them back, convinced that he was adored by the public and apparently uncaring that he was destroying the party he was so determined to lead again. What, in your opinion, made her “awful”?

    • tc 7.1

      Agree, Labour could have won if they had taken KR outback never to be seen again.

      gillard had TA by his randian ego, hockey/turnbull/joyce/bishop etc F’d up all the time in the leadup to the election.

      but wupert went all out to assist an abbotfest and labor duely obliged by boning the first female elected PM

  8. Macro 8

    The promotion of an idiot to power is solely the responsibility of Australia’s msm. His anointment by the press has nothing to do with reality, but everything to do with the pecuniary interests of the corporates for which he is their puppet and slave, and the msm the mouthpieces. At the time of his ascension to power I wrote to my Australian friends with my sincere condolences. Abbott truly is a deluded fool, I cannot think of any other description of the man. He will leave Australia much the poorer for his presence.

    Regrettably we are seeing much the same occurring here, with the constant silliness of the msm in its treatment of David Cunliffe. They will continue with their bias because he represents a threat to their perceived right way… our idiot has already been anointed and they worship the “true ruler”.

    • tc 8.1

      The abc didnt play wuperts game so the war against aunty is on as part of the payback.

      Murdoch wants the public broadcaster and all that pesky journalism dismantled, not to mention output in comedy, drama etc that makes abc outrate channell 10.

      Lachlan and packer now control daddys old oz tv empire.

  9. captain hook 9

    +1 tc.
    wupert and the wupperts cant really do anything themselves and they are insanely jealous of anyone who can.
    Fair is foul and foul is fair.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Watching the Abbot govt destroy entire industries in order to destroy the unions is pure ‘we had to bomb the village in order to save it’ mentality.

    If someone put the big red button in front of Abott and said ‘ you have to press this in order to save western civilisation’ – he would.

    Having said this I’m part on board with Wayne. In the absence of effective global governance I accept that nuclear MAD has been an effective, albeit risky, deterrence.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Yes, Tony Abbott is an idiot. Yes he is a shill for corporate financial and banking interests. Yes, he is actively plumbing the depths of the already very low expectations that most voters (including Coalition supporters) had of him.

    And yet this is the man whom Australian Labor lost to in a landslide.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      True – but remarkably languishing in the polls very early on in the life of his govt.

      http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/abbott-polling-woes-need-a-howardlike-spike/story-fnii5s3x-1226855544966

      • Macro 11.1.1

        Maybe people are beginning to wake up to the realisation of the act of collective stupidity they perpetuated 6 months ago. They are living in a climate hell hole at the moment and yet their PM waves it away as nonsense and his first act of government is to dismiss the very people who are responsible for advising him. Then he doesn’t read a report, 18 months in the preparation, concerning the future development on infrastructure (upon which he pontificated during the election) and effectively dismisses any notion of infrastructure development.
        Finally unions are waking up to the realisation that like Margaret Thatcher did in the UK he has them in his sights.. Arguably Aussie economy is as it is today because the unions have been strong. Once they become the emaciated unions as in the rest of the western world Australia’s economy will weaken as well.

    • Tracey 11.2

      Because rudd undermined from within.

      Much like collins and slugslick will if she were sacked.

      Voting green yet cv? 😉

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        😈

        Greens 13% to 14% this year methinks. Should be almost 20 MPs.

        • Tracey 11.2.1.1

          Deffo between 10 and 20%.

          But

          ” tail wags the dog. Tail wags the dog.”

          Will be the mantra.

          • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1.1

            And the Greens should come back with:

            “we will be a serious force in the next Government. Even National recognises that.”

            • felix 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Exactly.

              ACT and UF are not even a tail on National’s dog. More like fleas.

              Whereas the Greens will be more like the legs.

    • lprent 11.3

      And yet this is the man whom Australian Labor lost to in a landslide.

      Mostly as far as I can tell because Kevin Rudd makes Tony Abbott look like a paragon of political canniness. Basically Rudd is an egomaniac fuckwit – the words that were left on his legacy.

      What was interesting was how fast the polls fell after Abbott and his government got elected.

  12. RedLogix 12

    There is no question that the ALP lost it’s ruling mandate:

    The immense loss of face over the Rudd/Gillard debacle

    The vicious sexist smearing of Gillard

    High profile cases of individual corruption and failure in the State Labour govts

    Gina Rinehart’s grip on commercial media channels

    A union movement that failed to clean up it’s act in the construction industry.

    All lesson the NZ movement should note carefully and learn from. Fundamentally I think Aussies were happy to support Labour’s agenda and policies, but eventually could no longer tolerate the lack of discipline and bad faith.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Yep.

      Labor disqualified themselves from being in government for all the reasons you stated above, and a shite useless Coalition under a shite useless Abbott wasn’t going to re-qualify Labor in the eyes of the electorate.

  13. Matthew Hooton 13

    Mickey: You do know that Don Brash signed up as a conscientious objector and then wanted the National Party to support Helen Clark in early 2003 in opposing the invasion of Iraq?

    • mickysavage 13.1

      I am aware that Brash started off with strong lefty views and then drifted over to the dark side 🙂

      I was not aware he wanted National to oppose the invasion of Iraq. All strength to him.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        I am aware that Brash started off with strong lefty views and then drifted over to the dark side.

        He’s not the only one who drifted over to the dark side. Wayne Mapp did so in the 1980s. Somewhere along the way both were seriously brainwashed – that is so evident by their current inflexible attitudes.

        Mapp, as a former Defence Minister no doubt feels it is appropriate for him to hold right-wing fixed views on so-called “nuclear deterrence” as a way of keeping the peace. Anyone with half an independent brain can see how utterly absurd and unreal such a political philosophy actually is in practice. Sure, we’ve never had a nuclear war but that has been more by good luck than good management.

        The real danger is not a war between the major powers anyway, but rather some smaller less stable state/country acquiring the means whereby they can wage war with nuclear weapons on a real or imagined opponent almost with impunity. That was the deep concern of the anti-nuclear movements of the 70s and 80s and nothing has changed!

        The irony is: not everyone involved in the military (here or overseas) supports nuclear deterrence as a weapon of peace. To the contrary, there are some who are insightful enough to recognise that many of the war-mongering types who lead them are the very last persons to trust as peace-keepers.

        But to get back to that neanderthal Abbott. All of the above would float over the top of his head so there’s no point anyone trying to argue the toss with him. He wouldn’t understand.

      • burt 13.1.2

        He started with strong left views, noted that socialism always fails and that socialist governments always run out of other people’s money so he adjusted his politics to acknowledge reality. He’s not stupid enough to stay a lefty and ignore the failure of the ideology.

        No wonder the left hated him, he refused to perpetuate the lie that socialism can be sustainable long term.

    • Macro 13.2

      Which truly paints him as a two faced B**T*D..

      • Populuxe1 13.2.1

        Or maybe he is really just a bit more complex and nuanced than he has been painted (which is not to say that I approve of his politics in general)

        • Macro 13.2.1.1

          Well he either sold out his principles, or never had any in the first place. A true conscientious objector could never agree to nuclear arms in way shape or form – simple as that.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.3

      “wanted the National Party to support Helen Clark in early 2003 in opposing the invasion of Iraq?”

      So what? He fucking didn’t support her, did he? Key said we were ‘missing in action’. Don’t recall Brash dressing him down over it.

    • felix 13.4

      I wanted to go for a 10k run this morning.

      Guess that makes me pretty fit eh Matthew?

      • Puddleglum 13.4.1

        Exactly.

        Words are easy – as our PM demonstrates on a daily basis.

        They are especially easy when they are not voiced publicly at the time that they might matter. Did Brash go public at the time with his views? If not, why not? If he did, where/when?

        The only measure of someone is how they act when the rubber meets the road.

        How many anti-war street protests in the lead up to the Iraq invasion did Don Brash attend? How many opinion pieces did he write? How many signatures did he collect for anti-war petitions? Did he commit to resigning from the National Party if it supported the invasion?

        What did he do?

        Or was/is pacifism well down the pecking order of his list of principles and priorities?

  14. Populuxe1 14

    Abbot is beyond being an idiot – he appears to be so outright delusional and dangerous that he makes our Government look positively rational and compassionate by comparison.

  15. tc 15

    And they thought Howard was an international embarrassment just sit back and watch Tony outscore little Johnny across the board.

  16. Curious George 16

    What was the main reason the US and the USSR did not come in to direct military conflict between 1948 and 1990? They had plenty of opportunities to do so such as the Berlin blockade, Cuban missile crisis, and Yom Kippur war.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      Diplomacy.

      • Curious George 16.1.1

        What was are key consideration for each side in that diplomacy?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1

          Each circumstance had its own features. There was little appetite for continued conflict in the immediate post-war years, despite the West’s technological advantage and Churchill’s desires.

          The Cuban missile crisis came very close to becoming a war – caused by nuclear weapons.

          If you think Russia and the US were gagging to go to war over Israel, despite their support for the opposing sides, you’re going to have to work harder to persuade me.

        • dv 16.1.1.2

          CG Both sides had a huge nuclear arsenal ready to go a a moments notice.
          Any launch of nuclear armament would gave seen the other side launch as well.
          Mutual assured destruction or MAD.

          There was a hot line between Moscow and Washington to give immediate communication if there was a problem, i.e. an ‘accidental’ launch etc

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.2.1

            The Soviet Union had a sum total of zero nuclear weapons during the Berlin blockade. Nuclear weapons were the cause of the Cuban missile crisis, not to mention numerous proxy wars done to other people – most likely including the Yom Kippur war.

            Pretty flimsy grounds to conclude that such weapons represent a stabilising influence, let alone the other arguments put forward on this page.

            • Curious George 16.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you think the Americans having nuclear weapons in 1948 may have entered in to Stalin’s thinking when he was deciding whether to escalate the Berlin Blockade or to step back from trying to force the western powers out?

  17. Crunchtime 17

    Uranium mining is a major contributor to the Australian economy. Good for business, bad for life on earth.

    I can smell it on his breath from here…

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  • Participation rates
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    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • The astroturf party
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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  • War of the worms
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    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
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    6 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
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    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
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    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
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    3 days ago
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    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
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    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
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    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
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    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
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  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
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  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
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    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
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    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
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    12 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
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    16 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
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  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
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  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
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  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
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  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
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  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
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  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
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  • Making progress for our kids
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  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
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    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
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    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
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  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
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    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
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  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
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    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
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  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
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  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
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    4 days ago
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  • Reform of public service a step closer
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
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  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
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    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
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    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
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    7 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
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  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
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  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
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  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
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  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
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  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
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