Abbott’s in

ABC News:

Outgoing health minister Tony Abbott has declared he will challenge Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership of the Liberal Party…”I’m offering myself as a candidate, I don’t know how the numbers are likely to pan out,” Mr Abbott said this morning.

Abbott is unelectable. Whatever his other merits from the conservative side – and he is articulate, and energetic, useful traits for a Liberal Opposition Leader to have – the party can’t win an election with him as leader because of his insistence on imposing his personal religious views on the bodies of Australian women. Labor wouldn’t even have to run the campaign – Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire would do it for them. Tim Dunlop reckons that even ignoring this, Abbott’s efforts during the campaign have tied him to the excesses of the dying days of the Howard government. Either way, the health of Australian democracy, one hopes that they’re not that stupid.

Posted in federal election '07, politics
57 comments on “Abbott’s in
  1. emma says:

    Robert, there are lots of Australian women who share Abbott’s horror at the murder of little babies. That includes journalists at Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire and, more importantly, their readers and advertisers.

  2. Darlene says:

    Abbott is unelectable. A spiritual man who seems to be devoid of a soul.

    There are lots of Australian women (and men)who disagree with “his insistence on imposing his personal religious views on the bodies of Australian women.” Indeed, the vast majority of Australian men and women support the right of women to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

    Yikes, Emma’s use of the word “little babies” is provocative. Anyway, the abortion debate has been won.

  3. David Rubie says:

    Darlene wrote:

    Anyway, the abortion debate has been won.

    Well, yeah, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t left little shootlets scattered around the place that need the occasional bit of round-up. Er, that sounds dreadful, but you know what I mean.

  4. What Darlene said.

    Emma, I’ve no doubt that there are readers and journalists of those women’s magazines who share your views. But they are grossly outnumbered by those who don’t, including many who might consider voting for the coalition under other circumstances.

    By the way, I’ll be keeping an eye on this thread and anything that gets too far off the topic will be moderated.

  5. Abbott is certainly out of touch with mainstream values on that one.

    He is also somewhat darkened by his role the gaoling of Pauline Hanson. (Though he is not the only one who should be sent to pinchgut over it)

    My views on him softened somewhat when he said he would shout for his entourage of journalists and staffers (about 60-70 in total), that when they had consumed as much as they desired to put it all on his card, plonked his mastercard on the bar and went straight to bed, leaving them to it.

  6. These days, some wimmin are acktually edumacated enough to read stuff that isn’t wimmins mags. U no, like de finanshial stuff an Bulletin an Monthly an dat interlektuwal stuff.

    Or so I’ve herd. LOL

  7. Katz says:

    Abbott will win the leadership contest. Social conservatives are dominant in the Parliamentary Liberal Party ATM.

    Malcolm Turnbull will be his deputy.

    Stand by for Peacock v Howard II.

  8. Mal Brough = the one who will be the Prime Minister following Kevin Rudd.

  9. pre-dawn leftist says:

    I bet Ruddy is giggling under his breath at all of this. To paraphrase Kerry packer when confronted by Alan Bond back in the 1980s:

    “You only get one Tony Abbot in your lifetime”

  10. Darlene says:

    Good call, Katz.

    Some woman are smart enough, Helen. However, the last three mags I purchased were Woman’s Day, New Idea and Who Weekly. Yikes, not even Marie Claire or Cosmo. Anyway, the woman who read Woman’s Day, New Idea etc mostly hold the views of most people about the issue of abortion.

  11. David Rubie says:

    steve at the pub, Mal Brough couldn’t get elected to the head of the Anzac day cake stall for his local RSL – he lost his seat by a substantial margin. He’s about as likely to be Prime Minister as you are.

  12. silkworm says:

    “My views on him softened somewhat when he said he would shout for his entourage of journalists and staffers (about 60-70 in total), that when they had consumed as much as they desired to put it all on his card, plonked his mastercard on the bar and went straight to bed, leaving them to it.”

    That sort of bribery would appeal to a corrupted boozehead such as yourself.

    Abbott is unelectable for a number of reasons, but one which has escaped notice is his predilection to swearing. Surely this would put off even the conservative Catholics he is supposed to serve.

    If there is one word with which Abbott is associated it is “bullshit”.

    The Catholics will lay low for a while, but next year they will go back into their frenzy with World Youth Day. Turnbull and Iemma are the ones chiefly behind it. I can’t understand why the Mad Monk hasn’t been involved in it so far, but I’m sure it’s on his agenda for next year.

  13. tssk says:

    Thing is, there are two types of Catholics. Tony Abbott is the sort of hardcore right wing catholic which would repel as many of the social justice types as he would attract the right wing conservative catholics.

    If he gets in the Libs have lost the next election.

  14. pre-dawn leftist says:

    SATP – Mal may find that a little hard, given that he got voted out on Saturday.

    And judging by this, he might even be giving the whole game away:,23739,%2022819828-5013650,00.html

  15. Sometimes I even read Marie-Claire for the articles…

    Seriously I didn’t mean to come across as implying that women are in any way stupid or incapable of engaging in “serious” politics (and I’m a bit miffed that it was read that way).

    What I was trying to get across that abortion and the right to choose is an issue that gains the strong attention a large group of people who aren’t otherwise particularly engaged in the political process, and a substantial proportion of whom would vote for the coalition in other circumstances.

  16. Paul Burns says:

    Little shootlets.
    I really wouldn’t like to pick the Liberal leadership. I suspect there’s too much ill-feeling against Turnbull for him to win at the moment, though if I was a Lib. political hardhead I’d pick him, have him knocked off at the next election and go back to the Right. Abbott is a no show. Too divisive.Even many Catholics would find him offensive.So the party won’t go for him.
    My pick, as much as I hate it, is Nelson. As a leftie I don’t mind that, becauyse he’s too right to win.

  17. Antonio says:

    Abbott is running because of the NSW Right’s fear of a Turnbull or Nelson leadership. Expect to see him fall back to a deputy position.

    Personally from a progressive Liberal perspective, any of Turnbull, Nelson or Bishop would be ok – although my preference would go to Turnbull due to his independence from the Howard era, moribund party machine.

  18. Paul Burns says:

    By the way, all Lib voters who blog LP, I’ll tell you now, though I wasn’t going to during the campaign, just in case some Lib pollie took me seriously. All Howard had to do to win this election was sign, like, actually sign Kyoto.

  19. silkworm says:

    “All Howard had to do to win this election was sign, like, actually sign Kyoto.”

    Yes, I feared that as well. Either that or reverse Workchoices.

  20. pre-dawn leftist says:


    We did sign it, we just haven’t ratified it yet.

  21. Antonio says:

    Paul Burns,

    As much as you may not believe it, Nelson is actually one of the most moderate members of the parliamentary party. Now free of the ideological shackles of the Howard cabinet, expect him to voice a more socially progressive agenda.

    At this stage I cannot see the NSW Right successfully putting up or backing a winning candidate for leader.

  22. Maree says:

    Abbott doesn’t have to be electable – he will never stand for election as alternative PM. The people with real aspirations to lead the LP to a winnable election are quietly biding their time, hiding out in a safe shadow role, building a profile and waiting for the right moment. Abbott (or whoever wins) is a caretaker leader. His job will be to hold the Rudd government (doesn’t that sound good :))to account, to be brave/brazen in parliament and pave the way for someone who can be elected. Hopefully, the LP will be able to purge themselves of the rancid right and present themselves as a good opposition and a viable alternative government. I strongly believe that effective government depends as much on a strong opposition as it does on strong leadership ion the govt benches.

  23. Ambigulous says:

    I can’t see them electing Tony. Or did they regard his “gaffes” during the campaign as good, solid stuff.

    “Now you’re being deliberately unpleasant” he mutters under his breath to Nicola Roxon: rich indeed from one who almost as much as Paul Keating or Mark Latham, has made deliberate unpleasantness his stock in trade.

    His attack on Bernie the Battler was outrageous, and cloaked in rhetoric of religiosity.

    I think PeterC has done as much damage to the Liberals as JohnH, this year.

    Are BrendanN, JulieB, and MalcolmT “progressives”? What’s the evidence, may I ask? – a sincere search for information, Mr Speaker….

  24. Antonio says:

    Furthermore, it bodes well for the future of the party that the consciences of Petro, Moylan, Broadbent, Troeth, Payne and Brett Mason are still sitting on the benches whilst the trogs in NSW and QLD were swept away.

    A notable loss though is Mal Brough who I hope doesn’t give the game away yet.

  25. Antonio says:

    Scour Brendan Nelson’s speeches prior to being made a parl sec or minister. He holds strong views on womens rights, queer rights and indigenous rights. Although as a minister he has flirted with Right-trendy issues like climate change denial and the culture wars.

    Similarly Malcolm and Bishop. I would post more info but unfortunately my blackberry is dying… 😦

  26. nb says:

    Whilst I completely agree with most posters here that Mr Abbott would make a poor party leader during an election – I suspect all other things equal he would struggle to even retain the current minority of seats the coalition holds post-Saturday – it seems to me that it is unlike that he will ever be placed in such a position. Historically, parties and Prime Ministers tend to hold on for more than a term in Australia. Furthermore, the first new promoted leader of the newly demoted opposition party have not (in my shaky Monday afternoon memory) ever managed to directly return to power as PM.

    Hence what the Libs need now is a strong opposition leader, not an alternative prime minister. However poor a performer Costello might have been, he clearly falls in the second category, and not the first. Abbott on the other hand, is perfect for the first. As a strong personally, and a powerful parliamentary speaker, he will be able to savage and brutalize the ALP for a good year and half whilst the party sorts themselves out in the background. After that eighteen months, the newly reorganized party can push a Turnbull-ish character in the head role. Some of Abbott’s hard-knock attacks on the government will stick in the voters minds and then faced with anyone but Abbott certain voter groups will happily jump on the libs’ new man’s bandwagon in time for 2010/11.

    Don’t get me wrong, even under this leadership policy, I doubt the coalition will win the next election, and in any case, I doubt the nutters in both factions would be able to organised themselves sensibly enough to pursue this policy. Even in the media and blogsphere there seems to be a belief that once decided the liberal leadership can somehow remain stable until the next election – or realistically the election after that – and therefore that ‘next liberal leader’ will be ‘potential alternative prime minister’, and this puts a lot more at stake then just a head-kicking caretaker role in the liberal leadership debate. Having all or nothing candidates like Turnbull won’t help overcoming this trend.

    To be quite frank I don’t care who is leader – particularly as I’m not much of a supporter of liberal policy – as long as they sort it out soon so as we get a creditable opposition.


  27. nb: if Labor know he can’t win an election he can be largely ignored or ridiculed.

  28. Futt Bucker says:

    This was the news I was hoping for today. All Abbott has to do is stand and he’s got the Libs leadership in the bag. They’re looking for any excuse not to elect Turnbull.

    While Abbott will be the new Opposition Leader (he’ll have the numbers) for a period of time I can’t see him still being there at the next election. Abbott and the far-right will make this party totally unelectable by then if they haven’t already.

  29. #29 Events of 48 hours ago would lead one to believe that Abbott & the far-right have indisputably made the Liberal Party unelectable!

  30. amused says:

    Paul Keating is supporting Julie Bishop. I suspect this may be the kiss of death for her

    Pity. I would enjoy her having to take on the chin, just a fraction of the garbage she dished out.

  31. Enemy Combatant says:

    Agree Robert, The Mad Monk has an un-baptised snowball’s chance in hell of achieving ascent. Modern Australia will never buy the bigotry that besmirches Abbott’s trade-mark.

    Stud Nelson’s hasn’t got the bottle. Julie Bishop needs to get her “intensity problem” worked on but the Libs must acknowledge WA’s “holding the line”, so she’ll be a serious chance at deputy.
    Petit Mal has the smarts the schmooze and the widest electoral appeal. Unless he’s slipped the Shadow Crown, internicene trench warfare will be waged in electoral wildrness without end.

    Who dances with Uglies, sleeps on opposition benchs.

  32. David Rubie says:

    What a delicious day. This is better than Saturday night – now Howard is out of the way the sheer idiocy of the dark corner of front bench suddenly gets a torch on it. Go Tony! Being opposition leader with his views would be better than a hair shirt and a cilice at the same time. I’ll bet he’s on his knees right now.

  33. PJ says:

    While this wrangling goes on over Nelson v Turnbull v Abbott for party leadership, I am surprised that there has been no analysis in the papers or on TV about one aspect of Costello’s volte-face. On Saturday evening the ABCs TV coverage cut to Costello speaking to the choir and he indulged in a long rant about the election and he spoke then as if he was already the party leader. His remarks were brimming with over-confidence. Then he is volte-face Sunday afternoon seemed very difficult to reconcile with the night before. The commentariat seems to accept at face value the reasons Costello gave (re family, political generation change etc), with a few others suggesting he was merely spitting the dummy.

    In view of the media jostle at Point Piper about 120 minutes after Costello’s Sunday “adieu” I cannot help but wonder what has gone on behind the scenes. On Saturday evening Costello was candid saying he had rung around his colleagues during the poll counting; suddenly on Sunday afternoon the mood was utterly different and again after talking to his family. I am not interested in X-files conspiracies to account for this sudden change of mind but it was 180 degrees opposite to the tone of voice and upbeat remarks Costello made.
    Those who saw the ABC telecast may recall the broadcast cut off suddenly as Howard came up the Wentworth Hotel escalators.

    Any musings on this volte face?

  34. SG says:

    I would love to see Julie Bishop win the liberal opposition leadership as Paul Keating’s anointed candidate.

    And Antonio was right – Nelson threw his hat in the ring, with a declaration that “social welfare” would take a higher prominence relative to “economic rationalism”. He is using “the electorate has spoken” as his excuse to put forward liberal ideas he didn’t have the bottle to speak up for himself when they were in government.

    Is there a greater coward on this earth than a liberal wet?

  35. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    Dunno, SG. Maybe ask Petro?


  36. Su says:

    Another big day for resignations; Mark Vaille is going.

  37. PJ: here’s the tape of Costello’s initial speech on election night. I don’t see any sign of anything other than a rather deflated looking individual, and there’s no mention of the future at all except in the most basic generalities, in wishing the best for Australia’s future. I don’t see anything in that speech to indicate that his decision not to stand for the leadership was anything other than already made – though, clearly, not discussed with his colleagues.

  38. The Rockstar Philosopher says:


    Thing is, there are two types of Catholics. Tony Abbott is the sort of hardcore right wing catholic which would repel as many of the social justice types as he would attract the right wing conservative catholics.

    If he gets in the Libs have lost the next election.”

    I was talking about this with my family the other day. With the Vatican II reforms, the Catholics started losing the “intellectual Chrisitans” that used to be attracted to the faith later in life, and along with it a lot of the social justice types.

  39. The Rockstar Philosopher says:

    Is there a greater coward on this earth than a liberal wet?

    Peter Costello?

  40. jethro says:

    Any musings on this volte face?

    According to a long article in the Australian Financial Review today, apparently Costello (realizing the walloping the Liberal Party received) had already decided not to contest the leadership on Saturday night, and communicated this to Howard before he (Howard) made his concession speech.

    Regardless, Howard announced to the nation that Costello would be the new leader anyway.

    A final act of bastardry by Howard against Costello, I guess.

  41. Peterc says:

    Like Enemy Combatant said. Go for it Tony. Over the top. Fan the flames of denial. Crash and burn.

  42. SG says:

    Rockstar, I remember years ago Costello was thought of as a liberal wet. I even remember a time when he was (oh so bravely!) trying to position himself as an alternative, softer model of PM, by speaking out (oh so bravely!) on social issues Johnny wouldn’t touch. What a pathetic little man.

    BBB, given the seriousness of the behaviour Georgiou was protesting (people held without trial for years, some of them with severe mental health problems because of it), his protests were pathetic and he was easily shut up. He and his supposedly conscience-stricken colleagues’ solution to the problem was more talk. They also took 3 years from Tampa, with an election in the wings, before they were willing to speak up.

    Cowards the lot of them, and they deserve to go down with the conservative ship.

  43. Resin dog says:

    The biggest question about Turnbull (or any other real contender with their hand up) is whether they’ll stay after the next election, which the Libs will lose. They need a couple of sacrificial chumps for 2010 and then the future king will lead the charge in 2013.

    So it’s Downer and Pyne for my money. Go Lexie! Go Chris!

  44. David Rubie says:

    In the interest of giving the Liberals a few suggestions to help the good cause of democracy, here are some fitting liberal leadership campaign songs:

    Tony Abbott: Enter Sandman
    Brendan Nelson: Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb or perhaps, more appropriately, Radiohead’s Creep. You’re so f*cking special, Mr Nelson.

    Petit Mal (props to EC): Blur’s Charmless man

    And for Peter Costello: The Tale of Sir Robin

  45. David Rubie says:

    Better Kookie link (not the right visuals, but at least it’s the right song 🙂

  46. Hal9000 says:

    Myself I like the look of a Pyne/Bishop ticket – has the advantage of replicating the winning Labor team in a Looking-Glass World Lewis Carroll crazy kind of way. Pyne the earnest pimply-faced Young Lib squeaker and Bishop the gimlet-eyed Dolores Umbridge soundalike. At least it will make Kerry O’Brien’s show entertaining for a change.

  47. This battle of the deformed pygmies is revealing. When you look at the “team” behind Howard and remember the idea that he should promote his “team” because it was so talented and you then think about the options available for the Libs…You realise what a bunch of dysfunctional boobs and psycopaths have been running this country from the last decade.

  48. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Why Peter Costello resigned all of a sudden.

    He had a conversation with Malcolm Turbull, who put this to him:

    “You’ve got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  49. anthony says:

    “When you look at the “team” behind Howard and remember the idea that he should promote his “team” because it was so talented and you then think about the options available for the Libs…”

    Exactly Robert. What were left with if Howard got back in? A lame duck on a glory lap and a successor who proved he couldn’t be bothered getting his own leadership. Try not to think too much about all the taxpayer funds they pissed up the wall on infomercials to try to themselves make themselves look good.

    (like your tunes DJ Rubie)

  50. David Rubie says:

    Bernie Banton dies. We’re sorry Bernie. F*ck you Abbott.

  51. Su says:

    Yeah goodbye Bernie. What an amazing man to accomplish so much for other asbestos disease sufferers while so ill. Truly heroic.

  52. Paul Burns says:

    Good on you Bernie. The workers of Australia, and perhaps even the workers of the world, owe you big rime.
    Bernie Banton should have a state funeral. He’s done more for this country than a lot of politicians have.

  53. Tony D says:

    If the Lib strategists are at all clever then it will be Abbott for Opp.Leader. Or Nelson would be even better.


    So whoever it is can be the target for the next 6-12 months for all the shite-canning the Libs are going to cop – you can’t stop the pie-throwing so at least put a decent target in the sights.

    Follow that with Turnbull, but frame it as a reclaiming or reinvention of the Liberal Party.

    In Vic: unless Brumby does something soon Baillieu will de-facto probably take the next state election. Combine to a ‘reinvented’ federal Libs and run a platform of Republicanism to ensure people get the point that they are truly changed post-Howard.

  54. Katz says:

    So the Mad Monk pulls the pin because his sums tell him he’s on the nose.

    This surprises me a lot.

    It’s amazing what an electoral caning will do to a pollie’s philosophy. Last Friday, social conservatives were in the ascendancy in the Liberal Party.

    But they’re all small-L liberals now!

    Remember when John Howard boasted he was the “most conservative Liberal leader evah”?

    John Who?

  55. David Rubie says:

    Yer put yer Abbott in,
    Yer put yer Abbott out,
    Yer put yer Abbott in, and yer shake old men about.
    Yer do yer stations of the cross and yer turn around.
    That’s what it’s all about!

Comments are closed.

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: