Tony Abbott has been Prime Minister for long enough for the press gallery's initial thrill to wear off. That thrill lies largely in the linkage between their thinking well of Abbott, their giving him favourable coverage, and people voting according to that favourable coverage.
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The whole idea of being a liberal is because you can't be sure who or what is right, you allow different people with different perspectives and different information to debate civilly and come up with an answer that suits most people. This allows progress while maintaining civil order - non-liberal regimes tend to manage one or the other in fits and starts, but ultimately cannot sustain both.The problem with this government is that they can't cope with alternative sources of information.
The demise of Phillip Ruddock as Chief Government Whip put paid to the idea that Abbott might learn anything from Monday's vote, and resolve to do better. When George W. Bush was running for US President, his image as a callow and immature man turned off conservatives who were looking for a bit of dignity to follow Bill Clinton. Republican messaging held that Bush could draw upon the gravitas of his father to guide him through foreign policy and other issues requiring a calm and steady head.
It was a relief to read a report about Australian politics that actually identifies and even quotes real people with names. However, it slumps back into press gallery sludge by covering important policy issues (matters of life and death, literally) as though they're somehow beside the point.
We passed upon the stair, we spoke of was and whenAlthough I wasn't there, he said I was his friendWhich came as some surprise I spoke into his eyesI thought you died alone, a long long time ago- David Bowie The man who sold the world
I'm standing here on the groundThe sky above won't fall downI see no evil in all directionsResolution of happinessThings have been dark for too longDon't change for youDon't change a thing for me- INXS Don't change
If you believe that Anna Bligh led Labor to defeat with a huge swing in 2012 over asset sales, then you must also believe that Campbell Newman led the LNP to defeat last night for the same reason. Policy matters in political analysis. Only the analysis about what state government is actually for, the focus on schools and hospitals and law-and-order, makes any sense of why Queenslanders voted as they did.
Strumming my pain with his fingersSinging my life with his wordsKilling me softly with his songKilling me softly with his songTelling my whole life with his wordsKilling me softly with his song- Gimbel/Fox Killing me softly
As I've said before, when Tony Abbott gets into trouble he will reach out to his base on the far right, and that's why he offered Prince Phillip the knighthood. Only right-wingers can even discern what Prince Phillip's service to Australia has been. When he married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 the State of Queensland presented 500 cans of pineapple to the happy couple.