Crikey says: watch out! The grown-ups are back in charge
Why white terrorism doesn’t count. Labor’s odds shorten. The mystery of Abbott’s earpiece. Napthine buys time. The Conversation’s plan for world domination. A certain scribe who smokes. Palestine’s question for Australia. And Virginia Haussegger, the anti-feminist’s feminist?
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Is it just us, or does the use of the term “grown-up” to describe a government sound decidedly defensive and, um, immature?
Tanya Plibersek’s dig yesterday that Tony Abbott was a “Nigel no-friends” on the international stage was bizarre, but The Daily Telegraph’s slap on the wrist today, which takes its cues from Abbott’s talking points, is infantalising rubbish. The Tele editorialises:
“Labor’s Tanya Plibersek, the member for Twitter, is worried Tony Abbott will be a ‘Nigel no-friends’ on his current overseas tour … Plibersek is welcome to her slight and asides. Meanwhile, the grown-ups have some important matters to discuss.”
Before the election, Abbott promised us a “grown-up, adult government”, and he’s repeated the backhander many times since.
But is it really having the desired effect? When we were kids, “grow up!” was a term used by people who weren’t yet adults to insult each other. So who in Abbott’s inner circle decided it would make for effective political spin?
Of course, there’s no good comeback to being told to grow up — responding that you are will only make you sound, well, pretty un-grown-up. Wisely, most members of the former Labor government have not deigned to respond. Memo to Abbott’s spin doctors: it’s time to treat us like adults and drop the childish retorts.