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Thu May 22, 2014, 11:33 PM

How Australia’s winking Tony Abbott became one of the world’s most unpopular prime ministers

When I last checked, this ranked #2 on the Post Most, the top stories at The Washington Post website.

[url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/05/22/how-australias-winking-tony-abbott-became-one-of-the-worlds-most-unpopular-prime-ministers/?tid=pm_pop[/url]

Finally, the madness has taken its name: Winkgate. The gate opened when Australia’s prime minister, who has recently bungled his way from one scandal to the next, took a call from a listener on a radio show that was filmed.

The caller was worried about money. She was a grandmother. And a sex hotline worker. “I am a 67-year-old pensioner, three chronic incurable medical conditions — two life-threatening,” the caller, named Gloria, said. “I just survive on about $400 a fortnight after I pay my rent. And I work on an adult sex line to make ends meet.”

Abbott, who took office last September, then smirked for the briefest of moments and winked — unleashing a tidal wave of criticism, tweets and headlines.

This, of course, is nothing new for Tony Abbott, who’s quickly becoming one of the world’s most hated prime ministers. He just unveiled a draconian austerity budget that analysts call the most extreme and least popular of the past four decades in Australia. His approval rating has plunged to 30 percent. And then there’s the irreverent hashtag #MorePopularThanAbbott, which suggests that both toilet paper and flat tires are more popular than the prime minister.

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Reply How Australia’s winking Tony Abbott became one of the world’s most unpopular prime ministers (Original post)
CBHagman May 2014 OP
Matilda May 2014 #1
Matilda May 2014 #2
mackerel Jun 2014 #3
Fairgo Jul 2014 #5
foreigncorrespondent Jun 2014 #4
Matilda Jul 2014 #6

Response to CBHagman (Original post)

Fri May 23, 2014, 04:35 AM

1. How good that a major U.S. paper has taken up the story.

I believe it's running in the U.K. as well.

We've had other prime ministers from time to time for whom people have had contempt, but I really can't think of one who is as hated as Abbott.

And this cretin dared to name himself as the Minister for Women (and that, believe it or not, is a real appointment).


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Response to CBHagman (Original post)

Tue May 27, 2014, 08:56 PM

2. New scandal erupting.

Nearly $7m previously earmarked for the royal commission into child sexual abuse has been redirected into the Abbott government's $20m inquiry into Labor's home insulation scheme.

The attorney general, George Brandis, had previously denied that funding for the insulation royal commission had been offset by cuts to any other royal commission.

Brandis told a parliamentary committee hearing in February he understood the funding for the insulation royal commission had been "absorbed by the department itself" and "no money has been taken away from anywhere else". But he vowed at the time to take the question on notice.

The formal answer provided to the Senate estimates committee shows the Attorney General's Department, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Industry each contributed $6.7m for the home insulation royal commission, while the Finance Department provided $1m.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/28/sex-abuse-royal-commission-funds-redirected-to-home-insulation-inquiry

Of course, the unthinkingly right-wing Catholic Abbott would want to do the best he could to help his mate Cardinal Pell out of the scandals of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Just like the Church and its covering-up though, the failure to follow through will cause more damage than the truth would.

And the insulation commission is all about getting Kevin Rudd, on whose watch the poorly-executed scheme was initiated. But Rudd has already accepted responsibility, as then Prime Minister, and nothing can alter the fact that those directly responsible were the shonky operators who failed to take proper safety precautions.The worst that can be said of the Rudd administration is that the scheme was too hastily organised, without proper organisation.

Four deaths are regrettable – but how do you balance that against tens of thousands of abused children, some of whom did take their own lives as a result, and many whose lives were shattered ever since?

Yet again, the instinctive reaction of the Libs is to lie, making a bad situation worse. If Abbott thinks the Australian public are going to accept this ugly little political exercise, he's sadly mistaken. Like everything he touches, the dirt will ultimately stick to him.











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Response to CBHagman (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 11:23 PM

3. Omgeeee that winking really creeped me out

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Response to mackerel (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 4, 2014, 04:22 AM

5. All you had to do was watch...

His mannerisms told you exactly what it meant. That he could entertain such thoughts revealed something deeply disturbing about the man.

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Response to CBHagman (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 01:52 AM

4. Even Murdoch...

... can't protect his puppet for much longer. Too many people are watching, and not just here in Oz, either.

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Response to foreigncorrespondent (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 09:29 PM

6. Pity about Fairfax and the ABC,

who are still being generally kind to Abbott and his ministers. Mark Scott might as well go on the attack - the ABC is doomed under this mob, so he might as well go down fighting.

Even so, the polls suggest that a lot of people have woken up to Abbott, and I hope the slide continues. But if his parliamentary colleagues do decide to replace him, who would they choose? Even Turnbull has blown a lot of his cred by following the Abbott line faithfully, and any of the others are too disliked to have any chance of winning an election. Some people think Morrison is positioning himself - can you imagine?

One good thing going for Labor is the wealth of talent on the Opposition benches - not just those who are already ion the Opposition frontline, but some promising younger people too, like Richard Marles, Mark Butler, Jason Clare, Ed Husic, Alannah McTiernan, Nick Champion - I think Labor will have no trouble in presenting a really strong PM and Cabinet when they're re-elected. Pity we're stuck with Shorten at the moment - I guess Labor is wary of changing leaders even in Opposition, but if they replaced him with Tony Burke or Albo, I think Abbott's figures would be even worse than they are now.

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