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Brer Abbott and The Undead

09 Dec

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.

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3 responses to “Brer Abbott and The Undead

  1. Benjamin Solah

    December 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    He’s certainly shook up politics, but I’m frustrated that now the debate is about whether climate change exists, not how to deal with it; how to screw over refugees not whether or not it’s the right thing; and what strategy to bust unions, not whether or not it’s a good idea.

     
  2. Neil

    December 9, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I agree, Benjamin.

     
  3. owner's update

    December 11, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Annabel Crabb is on the case. I had noted K Rudd’s tweet myself, but the penny didn’t drop.

    Even Kevin Rudd seemed haunted by the manifestations, if a little confused.

    “Took the boys to the movies last night to see Zombieland,” he Twittered the next day (I am not joking about this, by the way).

    “Zombieland gives me a whole new perspective on what to watch out for in politics. Boys loved it. I’m not sure.”

     

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