What a good name for some Gothic band to take!
I refer of course to Tony Abbott’s ghost cabinet — a cabinet of Dr Caligari.
An Abbott, two Bishops and Nick the Impaler
A Cadaver, a Barney and Kevin the Tailor
That refers to the famous couplet on Richard III:
A Cat, a Rat, and Lovell the Dog
All ruled England under the Hog
Yes, we have an alternative at last: the pit or the pendulum, the devil or the deep blue sea, Scylla or Charybdis, Hitler or Stalin… Of course the latter is particularly unsavoury, is it not? Unfair on both counts — but don’t blame me: I’m not the one who compared Copenhagen to Munich while fully aware of the spurious nature of the analogy but nonetheless knowing it would push the right buttons in punter-land. That was Tony yesterday to Alan Jones. And interviewed on Lateline last night the neuro-linguistic triggering got a typically Abbott overkill: he even underlines the cue words by raising the stress above the rest of the utterance, a kind of phonological CAPITAL LETTERS TRICK.
Peter Hartcher noted inThe Sydney Morning Herald:
…He has rejected the counsel of the Liberal Party’s founder, Robert Menzies, that ”the duty of an opposition is to oppose selectively”…
Abbott will not engage on Rudd’s terms. He will not mount an intellectual case. He will not present detailed policy alternatives.
He will circle Rudd, throwing jabs from all directions, never presenting a stationary target. He proposes deregulating the job market, for instance, but refuses to be specific: ”I am asking questions here,” he told Sky News yesterday, ”not making policy.”
”I want to make a fight of things,” he said. ”I think I have got the frontbench to do that.”
With the climate sceptic Nick Minchin in resources, the hardliner Eric Abetz in industrial relations, Barnaby Joyce free-ranging and veteran warriors like Bronwyn Bishop and Kevin Andrews on the front line, nobody would disagree with him.