From the very outset of Gillard’s government, she and her ministers have seen Tony Abbott as an easy target. Let’s face it, he’s stiff and he’s religious, nerdy. It obviously seemed like a good idea to play the man not the ball. Everything was blamed on the AbbottAbbottAbbott. Even the famous misogyny speech was an ad hominem attack … the ball, for those who lost sight of it, was Mr Slipper.
Tony turns out to a bit like an onion. As the attacks took off layer after layer it revealed a fresh, juicy, wholesome interior. Is he a simpleton? How many simpletons were Rhodes Scholars? He graduated with a Master’s degree from Queens College, Oxford. A whole bunch of other things weren’t obvious on the surface, years of voluntary work with aboriginal projects and with the Rural Fire Brigade. He’s the misogynist with a female chief of staff!
You’d think they’d learn. Someone once said “No publicity is bad publicity”, to which Brenda Behan added ” … except your own obituary.” Mr Abbott can thank Julia and Penny for giving him plenty of publicity and as they have done so their standing has fallen and his has done nothing but rise. They are writing their own obituaries.
So desperate are they to land a telling blow on Mr Negative they have not paused for a moment to consider the counter punch. This last jibe is a gift to Abbott, a free kick and fifty meter penalty … Abbott is an economic simpleton, Abbott is a wrecking ball. This from an outfit that had the luxury of being elected with a budget in surplus and have run up a massive debt, and with modestly declining income are determined to spend vastly more. They did promise to get back to surplus and as with all their promises they’ve got nowhere near keeping it.
Do you remember this little interview ... ?
JOURNALIST: If you don’t make a, get the Budget back in to surplus in 2012-2013, this is a question to both of you, the cameras are on – will you resign?
PM: (laughs) The Budget is coming back to surplus, no ifs no buts it will happen.
JOURNALIST: So that’s a ‘yes’?
PM: Matthew, I know and you know like these questions during campaigns but the Budget’s coming back to surplus. There’s no credible analysis on our economic plan that it won’t come back to surplus. I haven’t added a cent to it during this election campaign. The figures are plain, they’re transparent, they’re from the Budget. They’re there from the Mid-year Fiscal and Economic Outlook, they’re there from the Pre-Election Fiscal and Economic Outlook. The figures are there for all to see.
The figures are there for all to see, simpletons …