Monday, 5 August 2013

What the New Zealand Herald is telling its readers about Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott

Having a wife who hails from New Zealand does not confer an advantage on British-born Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

The New Zealand Herald 3 August 2013:

…derided as the Mad Monk for his Jesuit past and moral conservatism, and parodied for elephantine ears and his red surf lifesaving budgie smugglers, Abbott remains one of the most unpopular leaders in the polling history of federal politics.
Even many Liberal supporters do not like him. Most, like the rest of the nation's voting public, would far prefer Malcolm Turnbull, ousted by Abbott by a single vote in a bitterly contested 2009 challenge.
He trailed former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in both popularity and as preferred prime minister for much of her time in office, despite the Opposition's all but unshakable ascendancy over the Government. He is now a distant second to Rudd…
…Abbott's portrait is one of a shallow and ruthlessly ambitious politician, lacking in conviction and policy….
Voters have trouble deciding how Abbott would emerge as prime minister. In Opposition he has been contradictory, divisive and ruthless, his style marked by negativity, simplistic sloganeering and a policy vacuum.
His knifing of Turnbull was every bit as nasty as Gillard's assassination of Rudd. And, like Gillard, he has backflipped on policy ranging from parental leave to public funding and parliamentary pairing.
He relentlessly pursued former Labor MP Craig Thomson over allegations of fraud. But he refused similar condemnation of Liberal trangressors….
How far Abbott's moral and social values would influence government policy concerns many voters. He refuses to allow his MPs a conscience vote on gay marriage, for example, and has a historical list of radically conservative quotes on issues such as the monarchy, climate change, premarital sex, and women's rights, roles and employment….
It is the uncertainty that hurts Abbott - and the reality that, to paraphrase the late disgraced US President Richard Nixon, he doesn't have Julia Gillard to kick around any more.


Greg Ross said...

You've nailed it beautifully, he's a great attack dog, but not a leader of the pack.

zz said...

The psycho Abbott is a sick sick individual. God help both Australia and NZ if by some madness he is elected PM

Vera said...

I would say the author made good points. Spend an afternoon listening to parliament there (I lived in NZ for years) and you would not hear the type of attack, arrogance, sneers, sexist comments and rudeness of Abbott's style there.
Another view from here in Oz: [Fraser] The thoughts of one of the LNP's more successful leaders. He can't stomach their current loony tunes, fascist, far right wing nonsense. They have spent far too much time hanging out with Tea party radicals, and right wing parties in the UK and Europe who have destroyed their countries with harsh austerity programs. The only winners, if they are elected, will be billionaire bankers, tobacco companies, mining magnates, and of course Murdoch. Ordinary Australians won't stand a chance. Australia, don't risk it!