An Open Letter to Tony Abbott

TonyAbbottDear Tony Abbott

I notice that you’ve been getting a free run in the mainstream media over your whole career and it occurred to me that you are out of practice in responding to scrutiny. So I thought I’d do you a favour and scrutinise your supposed vision for our country, on the off chance that this experience might come in useful one day. Like, just say, if you become Prime Minister of Australia and someone dares to ask you what on earth you might actually do during your time in the top job. Assuming anyone cares.

Now bear with me as I examine your policies, as I do understand that you are very keen not to reveal these until the last minute before the election. So I’m just going to have to go by ideas that you’ve floated and talking points that your colleagues have mistakenly inserted in between the barrage of harassment, verbal abuse, smear and stunts that is your unique brand of Opposition conduct.

Let’s start with an important policy – the Carbon Price. We haven’t missed that you don’t like this policy. You resigned from Turnbull’s Shadow Ministry in 2009 in protest against his support of Rudd’s Emissions Trading policy. You won the Liberal leadership by one vote (probably Peter Slipper’s) by promising to attack this policy. You won the support of your fossilized front bench by mounting a mission to destroy the Carbon Price. And most importantly, you won the support of Gina Rinehart, someone who appears to hate the Carbon Price more than you do, by promising to ‘axe the tax’. This strategy has literally paid dividends to your party. So I can see, from your point of view, your opposition to this policy is a winner. But this is where I have a slight problem. It’s the whole ‘your point of view’ thing. You see, Tony, when I look at your policies, all I can see is that they are going to benefit you. You personally. When your policies also coincidentally benefit some of your rich mates like Rinehart, the end result is that these rich mates pay your party money to continue your quest to help them. Their support personally benefits you. You’ve made it very clear that you’re an ambitious person and you obviously desperately want to be PM. Tony Windsor has a voice mail from you that outlines this desperation succinctly. But here’s the rub. I feel you’ve also made it blatantly clear with your behaviour and ideas over your time as Leader of the Opposition that you are more interested in short term personal gain for yourself, than long term, difficult but ultimately beneficial reform for Australia.

Your Direct Action Policy is obviously bullshit and won’t go anywhere near meeting the emissions reduction target agreed to by your party. You don’t seem to mind that you’re attacking market based mechanisms (Carbon Pricing and the ETS), which is odd because your party is very fond of letting the market run free. Instead, you are advocating a centrally controlled, government funded scheme that will cost tax payers $30 billion dollars and would definitely be labeled ‘Communism’ by your friends from the Tea Party. $30 billion dollars, Tony, is a lot of electricity bills. And worst of all, you don’t seem to give a crap about the environment and the effect that Climate Change will have on my generation and future generations of Australians. (Notice how I used the word crap).

The Carbon Price was a difficult reform for the minority Labor government to implement. Good reforms are often challenging political battles to win. Successfully implementing the policy, of course, was made a lot harder by your anti-Carbon Price circus, but thankfully the Labor government prevailed, the sky didn’t fall down and Whyalla hasn’t been wiped off the map. In fact, emissions are already reducing. Good result! But rather than applaud this policy success, and acknowledge the good that it will do for reducing Australia’s emissions, and also the importance of acting as a responsible global citizen, you are basing an election campaign on a promise to kill this crucial, once in a lifetime reform. To deliver what exactly? Slightly cheaper electricity bills. So you’re appealing to the electorate’s lowest common denominator – their hip pockets – today – rather than being a leader and making the necessary tough decisions to ensure the safety and economic security of our nation’s future.

What about the National Broadband Network? Your so-called mate Turnbull is trumpeting this reform around town as a waste of money. Like a used car salesman trying to undercut a dealer down the road, Turnbull is offering a cheaper, lesser quality broadband network, in the place of the one that experts in the technology sector say is the only viable option for sufficiently increasing broadband speeds Australia wide. Getting the National Broadband Network right the first time, rather than paying less and installing a lemon, is, in my view, very important for the future efficiency and productivity of Australia’s economy. Your party likes to talk about increasing productivity doesn’t it? But again, you take the easy road to policy popularity and mislead the Australian public into thinking that you can wave a magic wand and fix everything with your supposedly bottomless pit of revenue. It’s clear that experts and you don’t see eye to eye. But I can tell you, the electorate is going to be rightly pissed off if you rip apart a high quality, revenue generating broadband network, and replace it with one that keeps Telstra in the arrangement, relies on rotting copper and will result not only in lower speeds but in tens of thousands of ugly fridge-like cabinets churning away on suburban streets and sucking power. That’s right, the NBNCo cabinets currently being installed around the country are small and don’t require power. The fibre being installed currently is waterproof, so it won’t cut out when an area floods (due to Climate Change) and will provide the fastest possible signal to most of the country. But you plan to replace this technically superior product with a dodgy ‘solution’ that will require a new coal fired power station just to run it, and will keep Telstra happily maintaining copper that is way past its used by date. In fact most experts are now questioning whether Turnbull’s Fibre-To-The-Node solution will end up costing more than the current NBN. It’s interesting to note that you don’t seem to give much thought to what might happen on the other side of September 14. There’s only one thing you care about. You and you being in power, right now.

I noticed that one of your policies (or so called ‘Discussion Papers’) about a northern Australian economic zone accidentally got leaked to the media this week. I see you have been busy denying that this plan will ever be put into practice, but excuse me if I don’t believe you. You see, we know how much Rinehart means to you (your pocket) and your future plans for your career. We know how important getting rid of the mining super profits tax is to Rinehart. Funny that you and your colleagues have been calling on Wayne Swan to resign because the Mining Tax so far hasn’t brought in enough revenue. Don’t you think this attitude is pretty rich coming from the party who has promised to get rid of the tax, and it’s resulting government revenue, altogether? No doubt you think you can get away with such hypocrisy since the mainstream media never call you out on anything. But we all know how much you would like to support Rinehart in her quest to pay little or no tax at all. So we can see that you’re working behind the scenes to bring Rinehart’s plan for this country to fruition. It’s really not a good look that you’d prefer to support Rinehart’s ever growing multi-billion dollar fortune, rather than sharing the benefits from the sale of mineral resources with all Australians. I think the electorate would think this was a pretty bad look too if the mainstream media bothered to make as big a deal out of it as they would if they had any professional integrity and journalistic skill.

The more I scrutinise the bare bones of un-costed ideas that claim to count as political policy, the better I get to know you Tony. You’re that five year old who takes the one marshmallow now, instead of deferring gratification in order to wait for two in the future. You’re offering the Australian people a magic pudding economy of higher government spending, lower taxes, a better economy, lower cost of living and no concerns about Climate Change, that anyone with half a brain can see that you have no hope of delivering. Yet you are so blinkered by blind ambition and selfish yearnings for personal success that it’s clear that you don’t give a shit about Australia. And this is why I think you don’t deserve to be captain of a CFS unit, let alone Prime Minister of this country.

Yours Sincerely
Victoria Rollison


  1. Sorry Victoria but your argument is a total failure.
    A> the carbon tax is both based upon a lie and little more than a huge money churn and while I share your reservations about the oppositions counter scheme it does at least have some tangible environmental advantages

    B> The NBN may well be the best thing since sliced wholemeal bread but the pertinent questions are can we afford it and is it the best way to get Bang for our broadband buck? especially given the lead time and the changing face of the hardware and user interfaces.

    C> discussion papers are generated by both sides on a regular basis and its hardly fair to judge them as if they are an announced policy.

    • Thanks for your comment. Great example of someone who just said nothing at all. Read what you wrote again and think about it for a moment. You’ve provided a statement full of nothing. Have you been taking lessons from Joe Hockey?

  2. Thank you for writing this. My additional points are not meant as criticism. I just want to add my two bits 🙂

    You left out Superannuation and how he is going to screw the 3 million or so poorer workers and yet support the richest 5%. Also his Parental Leave of $150,000 PA vs the government’s current and equitable Parental Leave Scheme.

    There is so much more.

    This man of the past wants to divide this country. I hope, as what happened in the USA with all the MSM pundits predicting a massive win for Romney but Obama won handsomely happens here. I would love to see MSM eat some humble pie.

    I also think that as people wake up and see the Rhinehart Right Wing dystopia that Abbott will bring in he will lose. Obviously it depends on how well progressives use social media and if MSM do their duty and provide much needed critique of the Opposition’s plans.

    Thanks again for a great piece.

  3. At Iain

    A) What lie?

    B) The NBN will generate revenue and not cost anything. If it is such a terrible thing why has Turnbull invested in an FTTH network in France?

    C) True discussion papers are released by both parties, but they are never denied that this is what they are thinking less than 24 hours after their realise.

    Maybe Iain you could open your eyes look beyond the MSM, for your factoids.

    • Victoria I see you have attracted to the blog one of the great anti Labor trolls in Iain? who has been banned from more blogs and sites than MarilynS, who is an angel compared to this person.

      • The trolls are like a virus nobody wants. They are invasive, uninvited and pestilential. Ultimately they make their hosts sick. Sick is what Oz will be if that big virus Abbott has his filthy way.

  4. Great article as always Victoria. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply from the Phoney. Doctor No even says NO to his own policies. Like the MSM he is as thick as two planks. In your guts you know he’s nuts. Keep up the great work Victoria.

  5. Another excellent article Victoria. I disagree with Iain about the NBN. Yes it is expensive but it is technology for the future, not the past.
    Cast your mind back to infrastructure projects of the past, The Snowy River Hydro scheme, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Murrumbidgee Irrigation scheme etc etc. All very expensive projects conceived & created at times of economic restraint. Each in their own way has contributed untold wealth to the economy over many decades, far beyond their original cost. There was much opposition at the time these projects were created, mostly from opponents with short term vision based on “how much will it cost” rather than a long term vision of “yes it will cost a lot but look at the long term benefits for future generations & also look at the long term costs of either doing nothing or supposed political benefits of opposing change for the short term political benefits of a few”

    I recently read an article published in “New Matilda” , written by Ian McAuley, Lecturer in Public Sector Finance at the University of Canberra & a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Development. In this article he addresses many of Mr Abbotts published economic policies & logically dismantled each and every one of them. I have no tertiary qualifications at all but even I could see the logic of his arguements. I would strongly recommend this article for any person interested in the economic debate in this country.
    Interestingly I wrote a post to the blog of Mr Chris Kenny the Liberal Party “barracker in chief” at the Australian newspaper, where he wrote one his usual diatribes against Labor economic policies. Not only did he refuse to publish my post but when challenged on this, he called my post “inane abuse” I pointed out to Mr Kenny that it was ironic that posts to his blog regularly contain abuse of a very personal nature directed at the Prime Minister & other public figures but little or nothing in the way of constructive political debate, yet my post was referred to as “inane abuse”. As I wrote in my challenge to him, this reflects more on the standards of his followers and himself than it does on those of us looking for improvement in the standard of economic & political debate in Australia.

    However, I do despair of Ms Gillard & Mr Swann. When are they going to get their act together & start selling the positive achievements of their government? Whilst not exactly legion, there have been some notable successes worthy of public acknowledgement. I keep waiting for the Government to ignore the taunts of the Opposition & the opposition within (Mr Kevin Rudd) & get on with the job of effective government. I fear that the voting public has stopped listening but this should not deter them from getting on with their job without looking over their shoulder. If they subsequently lose the election then so be it. We will then judge Mr Abbott on his performance.

  6. To Chris Grealy at 3.31pm. Yes Chris, the main point of my post to Mr Kenny was the article by Ian McAuley. I asked if News Ltd would consider publishing the article or solicit further articles from Mr McAuley as a counterpoint to articles by economists such as Judith Sloan & writers from the Institute of Public Affairs who unfailingly boost Mr Abbott’s policies whilst scorning all Labor policies. As I said earlier, I have no tertiary qualifications to debate economic policies, all that I seek is a balanced debate which would advance the interests of the nation rather than the narrow minded prejudices of idealogues who are unable to advance logical debate & so resort to mindless slogans they hear from Alan Jones & co & snide comments about the physical appearance and percieved personality traits of public figures.
    Still I live in hope!

  7. A friend of mine sent me a link to your open letter, adding “This is music”. I couldn’t agree more. If only Tony would read it.

  8. Sadly this is a brilliant article.
    ‘sadly’ because it emphasises how bad the COALition’s leader is and how the media fail so dismally at infoming us of such.


  9. Always interesting reading, Victoria. Always better than the MSM take or lack thereof. Could they just do their job FFS?

    And you despatched Iain Hall’s usual half-tracker to the boundary without turning a hair. He’s been around forever you know. Yes, he opposed Federation; and the vote for women; campaigned tirelessly for conscription in 1916 and 1917; failed in his brave bid to have the Communist Party banned during the 50s (but now sees them everywhere); voted a big NO in the 1967 referendum; ran around like a headless chook over Mabo in 1993; and will maintain to his dying breath that those children really WERE thrown overboard in 2001.

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