Laura Tingle’s tangle with the truth over Tony Abbott

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I read Laura Tingle’s summary Tony Abbott and am only led to the conclusion that she is just another one of the long list of journalists who couldn’t find balance, context or perspective when letting her personal feelings get in the way of her profession. It isn’t even remotely solid in content. For all her praise of Turnbull’s achievements and the supposed failures of Abbott which would have lent so much more power to her argument she didn’t. Then again why would I be surprised when reading Fairfax?

First she likened Abbott (aka political debacles) to the Soviet Union,

“Politics is full of catastrophic debacles…The Soviet Union comes to mind. All that work. All that butchery. All those millions killed. And then pffft! It was gone…Similarly, Tony Abbott. Okay, not the millions dead, but what an utter destructive force, an utter waste of space this man has been on the Australian political landscape…Can you remember anything positive that he has contributed to our polity that has not involved tearing something down? “

The use of ‘utter waste of space’ for a leader who signed several important free trade deals, stopped the boats and formed relationships with powers like Japan with a level of cultural sensitivity that caused the land of the rising sun’s ministries to afford Australia the type of status befitting nations such as America, Tingle selectively chooses to ignore. I remember going to an Tokyo Aussie Embassy event the evening of Abbott’s ousting to hear the Aussies jeer while speaking to senior Japanese delegates who seemed far from impressed. I spoke with Japanese politicians afterwards and they were far from impressed. Many hold their opinions to themselves but not those I met.

The fallout from the Japanese subs deal soon after only highlighted how Turnbull’s personal ambition to be PM was all that mattered. Having been a defence analyst for almost two decades I have yet to see such a poorly thought out, woefully executed and incompetent deal outside of the Nimrod MRA4 deal which BAE Systems struck. Our subs deal is a $50bn disaster penned to buy votes in a failing state (which Tingle made no reference to her own climate change rhetoric loving Turnbull himself trash South Australia’s questionable recurring renewable energy debacle) to buy subs that don’t exist other than paper, that will be so late that they’ll be obsolete by delivery time and further weaken Australia’s defence capability. Shall I keep going?

“So firmly set on a path of destruction, he set about making everything in his prime ministership a negative and ended up destroying himself…You might think that at some point there might have been a moment of midnight reflection. But no…Tony Abbott has continued on his destructive path, not just trying to destroy the man who replaced him but being happily prepared to burn the government of which he is allegedly a part, and some of his closest colleagues at the same time…All in the truly deluded name of policies that he didn’t have the political ability to implement when he was prime minister but which he still thinks might win votes.”

Abbott is a Liberal Party loyalist. His love of party showed when he wrote about Bernardi before he split talking about why they need to unite, something Turnbull has failed to do. In fact those that he got to back his coup have been countlessly thrown under a bus – Morrison, Frydenberg and so on.

To talk of delusion. Turnbull’s call to give the states income tax power before the election lasted less than 48 hours. His call for a Royal Commission on juvenile detention centres in NT based on a short clip of a biased ABC report shows time and again his total lack of judgement. That he scraped home with an election victory won in part by himself funding $1.75m of the campaign. Doing deals with Obama on refugees on refugees after Trump won. Having to get Trump’s number from Greg Norman because he had done zero preparation because he presumed Clinton’s coronation.

“Abbott’s latest intervention has only had the effect of finally bringing out those who have been most admirably loyal to him – like Mathias Cormann – to call him on his disingenuous, hypocritical and dishonest policy critiques of the current government…the other own goal of this latest speech is that it has finally freed the prime minister to give an honest appraisal of what his predecessor didn’t achieve, and point out that he has, in fact, achieved things that eluded Abbott.”

OK, Ms. Tingle, please point exactly where Mr Abbott “didn’t achieve” during his time as PM? Once again in your rant you fail to spell out what he hasn’t done – simply because you can’t or like your journalism makes clear, too lazy.

“The shame of it is that, as is always the case, Abbott leaves a stinking pile of loopy policy ideas steaming on the footpath – ranging from cutting immigration to the renewable energy target – that others will have to go to some considerable trouble to avoid, or, worse, being the sort of populist nonsense they are, be adopted by those profferring simplistic solutions.”

Using potty humour to make a point once again won’t win you awards although I’m sure the group thinkers that follow you will giggle with delight. .

“Backed by the tailwind of a gushing and fawning conservative media, Abbott had every opportunity to set a new highwater mark for the right in Australia…But as his own conservative colleagues publicly abandon him, it is a sign of Abbott’s utter failure that he has even made this unfashionable.”

What Ms. Tingle chooses to forget is that Abbott had to fend of daily attacks from the mainstream media during most of his time as PM. Yes he had some bad moments – e.g. Knights and Dames but he always had his country first at heart which perhaps is why his party buried him for that fatal weakness. The SMH became an Abbott hate paper where you had to look hard to find things that weren’t connected to him. The polls sank him (let’s face it Turnbull’s are no better) and buried his party’s judgement and he is now wasted on the back bench.

I have met Mr Abbott in person and I can only say I see a genuine article. One who selfishly serves the fire brigade as a volunteer in his free time. One who apologised sincerely for making me the butt of one of his jokes at a Tokyo Australian Embassy event which celebrated a landmark beef deal with Japan. Of course he meant no harm and the joke went down extremely well. However he was above all sincere.

Ms. Tingle, if you want to follow best in class journalism you’d go pretty far to find someone with as much ‘integrity’ to model yourself on than the baseless tripe you published today. Then again I challenge you to list the achievements of PM Turnbull and at the same time please listen to the out of touch rhetoric of Minister Pyne, Senator Cormann et al and look at a party Abbott loves be turned into a mess no true conservative voter can objectively claim to be proud of. Or is One Nation just an anomaly. The LNP is toast, much like Fairfax.

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