Ad Astra, eminent owner and founder of The Political Sword has been on fire this last week, writing a very incisive ‘play in several parts.’
He has graciously allowed us to publish the first part for the enjoyment of Whispers’ Cellar readers.
A play in several parts
Prologue. A herald addresses the audience:
Recall how many times Tony Abbott promised us that if elected he would head an ‘adult government’, one that would contrast starkly with the immature, incompetent, chaotic Gillard and Rudd governments? Can you remember hearing that haughty promise over and again?
Recall how he painted Labor as a gaggle of kids, squabbling as they played at being a government, pretending, as kids do, but not really knowing what they were about. Six hundred pieces of legislation, passed despite vitriolic, hostile opposition, were never allowed to accrue to Labor’s credit. In Abbott’s eyes they remained a mob incapable of adult behaviour. All the adults were on the opposition benches – all the maturity, knowledge, experience and expertise was there.
Recall how when playing make-believe, kids use their imagination; trying to simulate the real situation, to act like grown-ups. We are still waiting for the Abbott government to show if it really is adult. The signs are not encouraging.
Senior ministers are taken one by one and given the ‘adult test’.
‘Adult-in-chief’, Prime Minister Abbott
Act 1 Scene 1
Abbott – The Big Man!
Abbott seeks to emulate Putin, that bare-chested, horse-riding macho man. He realizes that he is but a child-like shadow of the Russian dictator, but nevertheless puffs out his hairy chest, accuses him of being behind the MH 17 atrocity, talks daringly and pointedly about bringing the perpetrators (the Russians) to justice, labels him as a ‘baddie’, calls him a bully, threatens him with trade sanctions, and then some more, accuses him of subterfuge when sending a convoy of aid to east Ukraine, (as does Julie Bishop, who cops a Russian backhander for her trouble), and leaves Putin’s attendance at the G20 summit hanging in the air. There he is, just like a kid, hands on hips, jaw jutting, acting out his tough guy stance in the schoolyard for the benefit of his toadies, with his Foreign Minister standing just behind him, thumbing her nose. He’s playing to a domestic audience hoping to hear ‘good onya Tony’ reverberating from the boys at the front bar, clutching their ice-cold schooners of VB.
He hopes his tough talk will give him a boost with his sycophants, and indeed he has had some success.
His dignity and apparent compassion for MH 17 victims, which certainly did earn him some kudos, faded though as his attention reverted to tough macho man talk, and as he conflated the MH 17 tragedy with Islamic extremism which he painted as the threat to our way of life that needed drastic action. The schoolyard loudmouth could not resist the chance to big talk himself. He played the protector. The game plan was to first scare the chooks so that they ran around squawking in terror, but then promise to look after them, so they would lamely fall into line, quivering.
Abbott the kid, the Big Man, was on full parade. Very little adult to be seen there!
So much of the time Abbott looks like a kid play-acting the hairy-chested tough man, often with unseemly condescension. His gentler moments stand out in stark contrast to his bullyboy demeanour.
We know he’s been a pugilist from his university days; how much has he grown up since then?
Act 1 Scene 2
Abbott – The Slogan Man
Kids love smart slogans, a few clever words they can use to berate their enemies, to humiliate and bully the little kids, and most of all to look awfully smart. Abbott is this country’s three-word supremo. ‘Stop the boats’, ‘axe the tax’, ‘repay the debt’ still ring in our ears. Now we have a couple of new ones: ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’, and more recently ‘Operation Bring Them Home.’ Presumably, he believes that such superficial mantras are effective, and he’s probably right for some of his supporters. But he really is treating the electorate like children as he continues to assail us with such trivial representations of complex issues. When he throws his slogans around, he sounds like the schoolyard loudmouth he is.
Now we have ‘Team Australia’. All of us had better join Team Australia or we will be not be seen as team members, but as traitors. Again, his use of the term is childish, immature, and offensive to any who by implication don’t belong. Such as Muslims with extreme views! When will he grow up? Can he?
Abbott, the slogan-mouthing kid, is there for all to see.
Act 1 Scene 3
Abbott – The Liar
There are lies, more and more lies; there is no need to catalogue them. Habitual and unashamed lying is not necessarily a childish attribute – adults do pretty well in the lying stakes – but when he bald-facedly tells his astonished Party Room that he has kept every election promise, is that adult behaviour? A kid might think he could get away with such a mendacious claim, but what mature adult would so think?
Writing in The Guardian, Bruce Haigh writes: “His predilection for playing fast and loose with the truth, occasionally contradicting his own statements within days or even hours, indicates a degree of immaturity not seen in an Australian prime minister since Billy McMahon.”
We agree. With an immature leader like Abbott, what better can we expect from the rest?
The child within Abbott keeps popping up like a creepy clown in the box. Only blind-sided sycophants can’t see the clown. Glimpses of any adult within are elusive.
The Abbott government is a gift that keeps on giving.
The rest of this brilliant ‘play in several parts’ can be found at:
I strongly commend this to Whispers’ Cellar readers.
While you’re there, also from Ad Astra this week is his take on the Hockey budget – also well worth reading!