Inside The Abbottalypse

From Laura Tingle:

A quick count of numbers after two West Australian MPs surprised virtually everyone in the party by formally moving for a leadership spill suggested Tony Abbott could rely on 55 or 56 votes in the 102-member party room. He needed at least 70 to emerge with any ongoing authority in tact.


…The events of the past week have revealed a government of spectacular dysfunction. Even as it has enjoyed strong tailwinds from a slathering media, supportive business community and lobby groups, as well as an unprecedented period of leadership stability, revelations that have emerged in the wake of the spill about the way the government’s internal policy processes don’t work – from submarines policy to health policy – are truly alarming.

…The vote in Monday’s leadership spill: 39 votes for a spill and 61 against (and in support of the Prime Minister) has left many questions. There’s been lots of attention paid to how many ministers may have peeled off in the secret ballot to vote for the spill.

But more important for what happens next are questions such as how many MPs voted against the spill because they didn’t believe the timing was right, or how many voted for or against the spill because they believed it might favour or work against their own preferred alternative candidate.

And there is the hugely significant question of what the Prime Minister may have promised other MPs if he was prepared to make such a spectacular backdown on the question of submarines to get two South Australian votes. For it appears that, at some point over the weekend, Abbott was able to claw back at least five votes.

Power above all.


  1. Sounds like a shortage of group hugs.

    One day every week the entire group of LNP MPs should work in an open plan environment with the PM circulating and offering shoulder massages.

    • If someone could find footage of Christopher pyne on the 7pm project a few weeks back i would be forever in their debt.

      It was comedy gold.

      Anyone with a half dirty mind would have cringed hearing him. It was so terrible i could sense the commentators biting their tongues.

      • That’s why 3d gets on my nerves so bad! He’s basically the electronic graffiti version of Pyne. The libs can do no wrong, Labor are to blame, anyone else is a nuisance party, you’re just jelly you’re not rich…

      • The Traveling Wilbur


        That’s a well reasoned and quite complex piece of thinking their Mig (to backup your opinion). Personally, I think it’s a lot simpler. The man is an ass. Oh, and a paid spruiker – but that just makes it worse. Noticed last week that he’d (as I aniticipated some time ago) started his attempt to rewrite history in terms of what his perspective of events unfolding at the time were – in this particular case I refer to, it was about his ‘previously declared’ (cough) sanguinity over China and how it was natural that the Party wouldn’t be adding yet even more stimulus to increase GDP numbers. What a pile of steaming lama-turds. Apparently he failed to remember all the “China… so many tricks up their sleeve / so much cash / it’s so big / don’t forget India” statements he’s made specifically in the context of China preserving growth levels (albeit with a different slice of the pie for capex than had been present up to now). Of course as soon as the whispers start about China possibly formally setting a growth target below 7%, all that disappears out of the large box of floppy disks in which he keeps his ‘convenient memory storage’. Or should that be ‘incovenient memory’?

        I couldn’t be bothered posting at the time in reply to the errant, misleading, specious, deletourious, decepetive, gag inducing, keyboard destroying, mind-numbingly stupid collection of words with which that post had been formulated… on the “don’t feed the troll” basis. But to avoid the further possible corruption of young minds I can no longer remain silent. To allow evil to triumph all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing. And I shall not.

        And in aid of that cause, MB, I have a suggestion. Facebook has ‘Like’. And a population consisting laregly of mindless jerks who should be the first against the wall when the revolution comes (I exaggerate for effect). MB has a collection of outstanding minds who add value to the world (note: no ‘value’ metric applied to the Facebook related sentence). But it also has people who take advantage of that. And younger readers who, understandably, don’t know the difference. Certainly not initially. Consequently, what we need (and I’m blantantly stealing this from The Last Leg) is a Bullsh#t button. We could call the application of such a button a ‘bull’ (or a ‘sh%tty’). Registered members only of course – and I’m sure Mr H can work out for the nuance’s on ‘Top Users and Staff’ bulls vs ‘All Registered Users’ bulls. This would make the world a better place in a small but very satisfying way. I would welcome this idea being appropriated / feedback. Thank you.

        Mr Becker would just *LOVE* this I’m sure (e.g. get 25 bulls and a Spaceballs video grab automatically appears – Chewie screaming probably).

        EDIT: He’s right about India btw.

  2. it has enjoyed strong tailwinds from a slathering media

    But, but, 3d keeps telling us about poor Tony suffering because of the hostile media.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Yes, the Chief Political Reporter at the ABC was so mean to him that Tones gave him a job.

      That’ll learn him.

      • ResearchtimeMEMBER

        I like Piers – we need more skeptical journalists like him – calling a spade a shovel. And I have to agree with him of the SMH, it seems over the past three years to become a complete tabloid, more articles on sex, gossip, fashion, food, travel (cars section is always worth a look) than real news anymore. The transformation from what it was like five years ago is simply amazing. Or it maybe its just be reflecting what society in general is like – and/or what it is interested in… i.e. not real news or issues.

      • You “like Piers”, well colour me unsurprised. 🙄

        Piers Akerman is a Murdoch-employed conservative known for his uncritical opinion of the Liberal and National Party Coalition and anti-homosexuality views. He is also an avid climate change denier and persistently writes articles in both the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph where he mixes facts with fiction and tells readers that climate change is a scam and a conspiracy. His articles usually quote secondhand information from people and organisations who have been exposed as having vested interests in denying climate change, they are usually listed on SourceWatch and other concerned sites. He never gives readers any opportunity to comment publicly on his articles.

        He’s also a drug abuser. In 1999 in the New South Wales parliament, Richard Jones used parliamentary privilege to allege that Akerman had used many illicit substances. Here is a snippet from that parliament hearing in 1997:

        The joke is that Piers Akerman, when he lived in Albion Street in the 1970s, used LSD and marijuana regularly. He also used cocaine regularly when he was in the United States of America, in Los Angeles and Washington. I have spoken to someone who shared a number of cocaine lines with Piers Akerman. He was a drug addict. He also sexually harassed young female employees of News Limited in Washington and was sent back to the United Kingdom, where he tried to become the editor of the London Times but was denied that. He tried to get a job recently with the Sydney Morning Herald but was denied that, too. Here we have this hypocrite who is working hard to oppose what would have been a very useful reform in the drug fight in this country and now he is working against the interests of the community by torpedoing that. He himself was a drug addict and he still is a drug addict on legal drugs to this very day.

        Sexual Harassment: Five former employees, three of whom agreed to be named, have said they witnessed Mr Akerman “sexually harass” female members of his staff, according to a 1991 story in The Sunday Age.

        Assault threat: One of the most controversial episodes in Akerman’s life was his alleged threat to assault the literary editor of The Advertiser, Shirley Stott Despoja. The dispute ended before a full bench of the Supreme Court where the newspaper appealed against Stott Despoja’s successful worker’s compensation claim for stress-related sick leave pay. Stott Despoja alleged: “I was physically threatened by the editor while alone with him in an office in a dispute over my work”. The appeal by The Advertiser was dismissed and Stott Despoja won her $4,000 claim.

      • I already liked Piers, but hell, aspects of R2M expose make me like him more.

        His article on Triggs raised fair and valid points. A political player. Her expediency astounds.

      • I already liked Piers, but hell, aspects of R2M expose make me like him more.

        Which aspects, the drug use or the threats to women?

    • Hostile media? WTF!!!

      If you look at circulation the LNP have had extremely favourable media coverage. I’d argue favourable to the point of doing damage to media credibility.

    • Lorax, that was a misprint. ‘Salivating’ was the word, as in salivating an Abbott downfall. Tingle would know.

  3. Adverse selection:

    “[S]uppose that a monopoly right is to be auctioned; whom will we predict to be the highest bidder? Surely we can presume that the person who intends to exploit the monopoly power most fully, the one for whom the expected profit is highest, will be among the highest bidders for the franchise. In the same way, positions of political power will tend to attract those persons who place higher values on the possession of such power. These persons will tend to be the highest bidders in the allocation of political offices. . . . Is there any presumption that political rent seeking will ultimately allocate offices to the ‘best’ persons? Is there not the overwhelming presumption that offices will be secured by those who value power most highly and who seek to use such power of discretion in the furtherance of their personal projects, be these moral or otherwise? Genuine public-interest motivations may exist and may even be widespread, but are these motivations sufficiently passionate to stimulate people to fight for political office, to compete with those whose passions include the desire to wield power over others?” (James Buchanan and Geoffrey Brennan, “The Reason of Rules”.)

  4. More from inside the Abbottalypse…

    On Sunday, May 25, last year Queensland backbencher Wyatt Roy was part of a group of about 30 marginal seat-holders invited to dine privately with the Prime Minister in the cabinet anteroom. Abbott’s practice at these dinners is to go around the room, asking each member to say their piece.

    Roy, trying to be helpful, stood at the table to tell the Prime Minister that broken promises were the fundamental cause of the government’s problems. It might be a good idea, Roy suggested, to apologise to people a la Peter Beattie and move on.

    Abbott was furious. He rounded on Roy, yelled at him, then directed his remarks to all of them that there were no effing broken promises and no one should concede there had been. The incident stuck in the mind of MPs, first because of Roy’s bravery in broaching it, then because of the Prime Minister’s use of the F-bomb.

  5. In management theory, there is an increasing call for authenticity or genuineness from leaders — in Abbot’s case it seems it’s when he is most authentic that he causes the most problems!

  6. Hostile Media… no News Corpse still supports the Mad Monk, regardless.

    Also notice the change in tune for those for the spill, Wyatt Roy was on ‘taking point’ yesterday claiming it was a great week for the Government. Did the boy receive a spanking from Peta during the week?

    • Dunno, on there’s an article on Abbotts shitful week that has a ‘bullshit good government started today’ angle. The Australian might be different but I never read that recycled toilet paper so wouldnt know.

      • “The Australian might be different but I never read that recycled toilet paper so wouldnt know”

        +100 – The West Australian is a $hit paper -one of the lowest in Australia & I get it on the W/End only — just for the TV Magazine

        The Weekend Australian is available here (WA) & it’s been over 3 years since I bought a copy -even when travelling around Oz for 2 yrs. Its a pity The Weekend Age isn’t available here even at $10 a copy it would be a buy.\

        F$%# Murdock & anything he’s linked to.

    • What is unbelievable is that the AHRC chastises the current government over children in detention rather than applauding the fact the policies pursued by this government have resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of children detained, working towards the ultimate goal of no children in detention.

      Then in a clearly political move AHRC calls for the relevant Minister to face legal penalty by international bodies. Wtf.

      Triggs is a national embarrassment and has single-handedly undermined the integrity of the AHRC.

      Good riddance.

      • And rather kind of Brandis’ office to offer Triggs an option to exit with dignity before besmirching her professional standing and the legitimacy of the Commission.

      • The report goes from 2013 and includes pointed criticism of the Labor Govt, but the current govt’s thickheaded and thin-skinned reaction is unbelievable.

        There probably needs to be a royal commission into the entire Abbott Govt.

        Describing them as ‘Incompetent’ doesn’t cut it anymore.

      • I had a quick look at the report and it kicks the crap out of the ALP.

        It’s almost as if those making all the noise haven’t even read it.

    • Its all out culture wars at the moment. We need a leader to heal the wounds.

      Malcolm your country needs YOU!