Home > Australian politics, Media > Worst. Opposition. Ever

Worst. Opposition. Ever

Opposition.  By itself the definition of the word is pretty straight forward.  But apply it to politics and capitalise it and it has a whole other meaning.

To mind, the Opposition has a vital role in the process of Government by highlighting policies that do not benefit the nation and working to amend or defeat those policies.  They also have a duty to the populace to be seen as a credible alternative Government…this doesn’t happen by flicking a switch when the election is won, it happens by showing that they have credible alternatives to Government policy.  Now all of this should be an absolute breeze in a minority government…with several unaffiliated Independents to work with it should be a doddle to convince some of them to support your alternatives…particularly if they are of a conservative bent themselves.

Which brings us to the current Coalition opposition.

To date they have not been able to stop a single piece of legislation going through the parliament of this supposedly “do nothing” government.

On top of this they have not clearly articulated any credible alternative to government policy.  The “pay polluters not to pollute” policy has been widely discredited by anyone with any knowledge of the sector to be laughably inadequate and in the long run massively more expensive than the government policy.  Couple this with the Green Army and tree planting (which will require more arable land than we currently possess) and it’s easy to see that the Opposition’s environmental credentials are a joke.  On economic matters (traditionally the Coalition strongpoint) they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.  They would have delayed the stimulus packages (if they had bothered to stay awake to vote for them…I’m looking at you TA), leading us to a worse situation than we currently have.  And despite economic gurus the world over lauding us for the state of our economy, the Opposition and their media enablers (or is it the media and their political puppets) persist in telling us that the sky is falling in and we’ve never had it so bad.  No wonder the rest of the world looks at us and shakes their heads in disbelief.  And finally let’s look at technology.  Not content with slagging off the NBN as a white elephant and stating that “no-one needs to download movies that quick” and “I’m happy with my current speed”, these Luddites try to insist that fibre to the node couple with wireless is a better solution.  Well despite the fact that wireless will never be better than fibre IN THIS PHYSICAL UNIVERSE, this is the epitome of short-sightedness and shows their complete disinterest in nation building.

In short, this Opposition has “apparently” thrived on mindless negativity, fear-mongering, empty slogans and poisonous rhetoric and in conjunction with a fawning media pack have convinced the public that the Government are useless.

But when you strip away all the spin and emotive language and focus on the facts, what have they actually achieved?  No Government ministers have been stood down, no politicians have been sacked, no legislation has been amended in their favour, no legislation has been blocked and most importantly no early election has been called.  For all Abbott’s bluster and vitriol he has yet to do anything at all in this Parliament.

What he has done is show how completely unsuited the Opposition would be to being in charge.  They have no credible policies of any note…anything they do have is simply recycled Howard era policies or total bullshit.  Abbott will promise the world to get into power but cannot afford to fund all of his policy brain farts, hence the $70 billion funding shortfall.  He has a front bench completely devoid of any talent at all…can you imagine Julie Bishop giving a speech at the UN, or Joe Hockey at the G20…my eyes bleed just thinking about it.

And now finally the Government has employed some political judo and turned Abbott’s propensity to say No to everything against him in a spectacular manner.  By dropping the Migration Act amendment legislation they have in one swoop legitimised onshore processing and given themselves a handy stick to beat Abbott around the head with i.e. “he wouldn’t agree to the legislation so that’s why all the boats are coming”.

Personally I think it’s disgusting that asylum seeker’s lives can be used as a political football and that they should embrace onshore processing wholeheartedly, but can understand why they’ve gone this route.  The hate media and Coalition racists like the despicable Morrison have whipped up the inherent racism and xenophobia of the public to such a degree that it would be suicide to go that route.  Instead this way they get to blame Tony for all the new boat arrivals to appease the rednecks, but at the same time get to backdoor in onshore processing to appease the compassionate…they could pick up the votes from both sides.

Of course, this is all dependant on the facts being aired and going by the current state of what is laughingly called journalism in this country, it’s a big ask.  After all, what was the front page lead the day after the momentous passing of the carbon tax?  The Gillard -Rudd congratulatory peck and even more speculation about leadership changes.  Even after a journalist has admitted there is no actual indication that this is a potential, they still keep peddling it out.  Their desire to inject controversy and drama into even the most mundane of things to try to generate hits/sales/ratings does the public a massive disservice.

I believe the best thing to be done is to sack every Canberra press gallery journalist (particularly those so-called doyens of the press) and get a bunch of journalism graduates on the job.  You know they’ll be hungry and out to prove themselves so who best to try to get some decent information instead of rampant speculation.  As long as you give them a thorough warning about not writing crap it could be a winner…after all it can’t be any worse than the shit we currently get.

So in summary, channeling the Comic Book Guy, the Coalition are the WORST. OPPOSITION. EVER…and hopefully doomed to stay there for a long, long time.  After all, they do need the practice.

 

UPDATE:  Excellent summary of Abbott’s “abilities” by Jessica Irvine

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  1. Foreverapom
    October 14, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    The only thing worse than the politics in this country is the journalism.

    • October 14, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      Absolutely…couldn’t agree more. I avoid TV and paper news now…only use the internet and then with a jaundiced eye. OF course I stay the hell away from anything News Limited…

      Welcome to the Spray, pom.

  2. BSA Bob
    October 14, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    A bloody good piece. I’ll throw in what I think’s the best summing up of the whole situation with a quote from Andrew Elder I trot out whenever I can- “The sheer indulgence required to keep Tony Abbott at the top of Australian politics is one of the most interesting aspects of the current scene.” I think that’s about right. You’re spot on about Abbott’s inability to get amendments passed by those of a conservative bent themselves, the reason for this is that these people have the brains to see that Abbott’s crew aren’t conservatives at all but wreckers.
    And unfortunately it is all dependent on the facts being aired. Let’s hope for a reversal of form on that.

    • October 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Bob, the only way I can see the media reversing their form and actually doing their job is if it is going to cause a ratings spike. They don’t want facts and figures, they want blood and guts and scandal…the more prurient the better.
      Arseclowns the lot of them.

  3. reb
    October 14, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    Nice one Massive. The born to rule Libs don’t cope particualrly well in Opposition do they.

    It does make for great entertainment though. Watching Sophie Mirabella spit the dummy the other day was priceless…!

    • October 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      I didn’t have the stomach to listen to her dribble…it was fun hearing the result though.
      I get the feeling we’re going to see some final desperate unhinging from Abbott before he gets given the arse. If the latest Morgan poll is any indication he won’t last much longer if the trends continue…after all, live by the poll die by the poll.

    • Catching up
      October 14, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      Especially when it was not her first attempt. She should have been thrown out in the last session for similar behaviour. It appears that Labor speakers are more forgiving.

  4. Catching up
    October 14, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Spot on. What has Mr. Abbott achieved as Opposition leader.

  5. reb
    October 14, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    “What has Mr. Abbott achieved as Opposition leader”

    *stunned silence*

    *brids chirping…*

    *tumbleweeds rolling by….*

  6. ozyman1234
    October 14, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    A fine spray! Turns on its head the whole “Worst government since Whitlam” meme. Personally, I believe Julia Gillard is the *best* PM since Gough, in terms of reform, but she has so many of the media punditocracy self-abusing about her all over their various platforms that the average punter thinks we’ll all be runed because of her.

    Please do a spray about that idiot Chris Uhlmann one day? I found a “novel” by him in my local library… honestly! He is even worse as a novelist..

  7. el gordo
    October 14, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    “What has Mr. Abbott achieved as Opposition leader”

    He’s kept his troops in order and ready to win, that’s what really counts.

    • October 17, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      Ready to win to 2 years time? You seriously think he can keep his mob of arseclowns under control that long? Let’s look at his “success” at that so far. We have the always classy Mirabella, the innumerate Hockey, the racist Morrison and the just plain annoying Pyne. Everyone one of those has form in opening their fat gobs and stuffing their feet firmly in it. And how about Turnbull? Is he part of the “disciplined” front bench?

      Face it, Abbott is the leader of the party of mediocrity…not one of his front bench could stand on their own, and the majority of them are completely invisible in a Coalition friendly media environment. How shithouse must they be if even their cheerleaders in the Oz don’t want a bar of them?

  8. jane
    October 14, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    Win what el gordo? The booby prize in the lucky dip at the school fete?

    And did you write that his troops are in order with a straight face? News flash for you. They are a rabble and are getting worse.

    Slagabella has clearly lost the plot and I think Fearless Leader will follow suit any tick of the clock. If he hasn’t gnawed off his leg by Monday after being so comprehensively snookered by the PM, I will be very surprised.

    reb has summed up his achievements above. You know he’s right.

  9. October 15, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    I agree with El Gordo Tony Abbott has kept his members disciplined and very much on message,which is why this government is in the crapper according to every recent opinion poll, Even the excesses of the member for Indi do not hurt his over all standing with the voters so its by by Labor at the next election and the few Labor members who survive the slaughter had better have some good camping gear because they are going to be in the wilderness for a very long time.

  10. debbiep
    October 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    ~ ‘I believe the best thing to be done is to sack every Canberra press gallery journalist (particularly those so-called doyens of the press) and get a bunch of journalism graduates on the job. ‘ ~

    Hear Hear. I second that.

  11. reb
    October 18, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    “What has Mr. Abbott achieved as Opposition leader”

    I was quite impressed with the whole nodding thing he had going on at Channel 7…

    • October 18, 2011 at 4:43 PM

      There’s an achievement for your…first Opposition leader to have an aneurysm (?) onscreen.
      Or is it first Noddy impression?

  12. October 20, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    He wasn’t nodding his head. He was simply practising the curtsey in readiness for the queen’s visit by which time he thought he’d be prime minister.

  1. October 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

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