Yesterday Tony Abbott was booted from Question Time for repeatedly ignoring the Speaker’s warnings not to try to block the shot of Julia Gillard answering a questions about WorkChoices. Today he has threatened — presumably with the blessing of his leader, but we don’t know that — that the Opposition might boycott Question Time.

“I’m not going to pre-empt what the Opposition will do, but the Government must know that there will be consequences if it continues the kind of abuse that we’ve seen over the last few weeks,” Abbott said.

There’s something tiresomely predictable about MPs used to being in government suddenly discovering the importance of good Parliamentary practice and greater accountability when they find themselves on the Opposition benches. That’s just the usual hypocrisy of politics and not to be taken too seriously.

But Abbott’s dummy-spit is particularly egregious as a senior member — and, better yet, Leader of the House — in a Government that systematically debauched the most basic standards of accountability, including Parliamentary oversight, during its time in office.

Moreover, if Abbott doesn’t like the Government attacking the Coalition over WorkChoices, the answer is simple and lies entirely in their own hands: don’t give the Government the opportunity to do so, and if you do present such an opportunity — as Malcolm Turnbull did on the weekend — don’t go out and simply enhance it by happily enlarging on the benefits of individual workplace agreements and greater flexibility, as Abbott himself did yesterday. Simple.