I often complain loudly that Abbott got a free run in the media during his time in Opposition and while he was campaigning (sloganeering) for the top job. Someone said to me the other day that I shouldn’t blame the press for giving Abbott this free run, because Abbott did do his very best to keep his plans as secret as his daughter’s design school scholarship. I can’t deny that Abbott and his colleagues tried to hide their moral nakedness from voters until it was too late for us to do anything about it. They clothed themselves in Labor bashing, in three-word-slogans and in yellow-vest-wearing-banana-stacking-fear-campaigns and produced a thin policy pamphlet full of promises that have now been broken.
But hang on folks. Hang on. If Abbott really did fool the media into thinking he wasn’t naked, and they in turn fooled voters, why is it that untrained amateur writers like me were spot on in our analysis of Abbott long before he became PM? Why did the open letters I and others wrote to Abbott, numerous times, so miraculously predict, like crystal ball reading savants, exactly the type of Prime Minister we have ended up with? A nasty, bigoted, sexist, rich-loving, poor-hating, expert-deriding, anti-science inarticulate thug who embarrasses the nation every time he opens his mouth? Why, when so many of us were saying that Abbott wasn’t wearing any clothes, did the mainstream media do their best to sheath the man in Teflon coated budgie smugglers, which enabled him to unleash his wrecking ball so shockingly on a mostly unsuspecting public? What I’m saying is, how did people like me see what was coming, but the mainstream media didn’t? Or worse, if they did, why didn’t they tell us?
I am upset by the Abbott government in varying degrees every day. There have been lower than usual points, like the commission of audit, the release of the budget and every policy within it, the lies about Gonski funding, the Royal Commission witch hunt into Julia Gillard and unions, the war-mongering in the aid of a poll boost, and just this week, a discriminatory stance to ban female Muslims wearing religious clothing in Parliament House. This last one seemed to finally crack the veneer of ‘nothing-to-see-here-move-along’ mainstream press reporting of the Abbott government, with, frankly better-late-than-never impassioned and obviously entirely outraged writing from the likes of Waleed Aly and Peter Hartcher. As a side note, I can’t help but wonder if Fairfax will notice the spike in traffic to these articles now that they’re finally revealing the real Tony Abbott and the justified outrage at the way he behaves.
But let’s not forget that this dog-whistling-with-a-mega-phone, Cory-Bernardi-look-alike Prime Minister hasn’t changed a bit since we first met him as the aptly described by Paul Keating ‘resident nut job’ from the Howard government. Tony Abbott has always been a creep. Tony Abbott has always wanted to wage an ideological class war on Australians and he is relishing his opportunity to do this as Prime Minister of Australia. Australians are suffering from the results of this war, as the naked-man-wrecking-ball smashes through our social welfare policies, education funding and the core pillars of universal health care. I know no one likes a know-all who says ‘I told you so’, but I totally did tell you so. Because it was obvious. He was standing right there and all I had to do was look at him, scrutinise for a millisecond and I knew what a disaster PM he was going to be. I’m not naïve enough to expect that the mainstream media would describe the coming disaster in quite as colourful language as I do. I understand the need for balance in journalism as opposed to partisan histrionics in commentary and blogging. But this doesn’t excuse mainstream journalists from doing their jobs. Please guys. Just some basic facts would be useful. Next time there’s a naked man, wearing red budgie smugglers that don’t even try to hide the horrors behind them, please consider doing your jobs and warning the public not to give this man the keys to the country.