Feb 1, 2012

Abbott’s nostalgia for Howard’s Oz is no basis for an economic policy

Nostalgia is a fine political tool if you can use it and half his luck if Abbott can make it work for him. But it’s no basis for an economic policy.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

There is much to ignore in pursuit of the core of Tony Abbott’s philosophy of government, to the extent that he outlined one yesterday at the National Press Club, amid the generalities, motherhood and vagueness of “aspirations”.

It was, at least, good to see the Opposition Leader trying to be at least slightly clearer about what an Abbott Government would look like, something we’re still not clear on despite more than two years of Abbott’s leadership and a federal election. It was also comforting to see him talking positively about immigration and in particular the Howard government’s program, which saw high levels of immigration. That makes a change from the fearmongering about “a big Australia” that Labor and the Liberals engaged in in 2010.

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41 thoughts on “Abbott’s nostalgia for Howard’s Oz is no basis for an economic policy

  1. Jimmy

    Finally we get back to an actual policy based article instead of the politics based ones we have been getting.

    Abbott’s speech yesterday reinforced the fact he is all rhetoric and no policy, we “aim” for tax cuts, dental care and disability insurance but probably won’t actually do them. We will repeal the carbon tax & MRRT while keeping the spending attached to them and increase the paid parental scheme to be ridiculously generous and still get the budget back into surplus by finding $70b in savings from somewhere.

    If Abbott does become PM those who constantly spruik him here need to have the courge to own the disaster that will surely follow.

  2. DF

    Well done, Mr Keane.

    Grog, writing at The Drum – here’s the link (http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3804996.html) – asked if there were any journos prepared to take Abbott to task over his speech yesterday. I just sent the link to this article to Grog – let’s see if the ABC will publish it.

  3. shepherdmarilyn

    Agreed Jimmy, I don’t know why the MSM so slaver over this clown.

  4. Steven Warren

    Totally agree Jimmy.

    Should we make a pool on how many days it will take for another Australia journalist to actually write another article contain discussion about policy rather than reiterating sound-bytes or discussing how delightfully entertaining and Machiavellian they find various politicians current escapades and peccadillos?

    I’ll put my money on 32.

  5. Masters Jill

    good article, thanks for the read.

  6. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Humphrey B Bear (with no policies) with his hands tied behind his back could beat Gillard at the moment.

    Abbott is not the answer as I have said, and neither is Gillard.

  7. Masters Jill

    it’s unfortunate though that if/when he does get in, after the inevitable backflips and the “they were only aspirationals”, we’ll have 4 years of blaming labour. judging by the way vic libs get away with the same tactic the feds will have a smooth ride throughout their whole term. you can fool most of the people all of the time.

  8. Son of foro

    [It would be nice, in that context, for Abbott to acknowledge when he drones on endlessly about cutting government spending that the previous government ended up making the Whitlam government look like misers.]

    Amazing that in the whole of the National Press Club yesterday not one – not one – of those hopeless hacks felt the need to challenge Abbott.

    I’ve yet to see an emperor with fewer clothes and yet day after day the media continue to admire his fine threads.

  9. klewso

    It’s not that hard really. “Don’t look at that GFC thingy (till we get our hands on Treasury – then you have too)”, and all he needs is a time machine and we’ll be back in the loving administrative arms of good ol’ Bronny “Kerosene Kate” (No Smoking Near The Old Foges Dip) Bishop – the people’s hero tearing strips of public servants in front of the camera in Opposition, defending them in government; do I hear hear “Bron, your stomp”? “Lucky Phil” Ruddock Minster for Information About Boat People throwing their Children Overboard. Kevin “Pass the Heart” Andrews overseeing IR and TPTR (Tourism and Politicised Terrorism Relations). And it looks like the ABC is rewriting the resume of Peter “Plucka” (pick a “cause” – he’s Multitalented – “Phone Allowance Man”/”House Standards Man”/”Patricks Training Man”/”Lie Low and Children Overboard Man” – just pick a cape) Reith :- to the ABC (Drum/7:30?), it seems, “pick a special subject, other than “The Decline and Fall of Political Standards in This Country, and My Role in It”, and he’s “yore man” for expert advice!
    As a matter of fact, it’s easier than first glance – sod the time machine, we just need an election!
    Their mates should have all the “viewsmedia”/PR sown up by then, so there won’t be any negative publicity to scare the punters or horses either – piece of pisciculture.

  10. klewso

    SOF – look who “owns the souls” (along with the creativity, tied economic stones) of most of those “zombies” …… sorry “hacks”! “The Sunless King”.
    “No negativity please, we’ve an election to win!”

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