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Crikey Says

Dec 13, 2013

Crikey says: Abbott must do better in 2014

The MPs tasked with monitoring our spying activities have been selected -- for better or worse. Watch out, Maccas; woefully underpaid US workers are rising up. We ask whether the Coalition's NBN will ever be sellable, and should ABC journos be taking a 10-week paid summer break? Plus, Crikey needs YOU to vote in our Person of the Year ... or Clive Palmer might just win it.

The end of the parliamentary year couldn’t have come soon enough for the new government, which is unexpectedly ending 2013 beset by problems both of its own making and thrust upon it by outside forces.

The General Motors announcement has provided Labor with the platform for a strong ending to the year, enabling the inexperienced Bill Shorten to hammer the government yesterday over an issue on which Labor still has an edge with voters — managing the economy to provide jobs. It was Shorten’s strongest parliamentary performance to date.

It is now up to Treasurer Joe Hockey to end the year on a stronger note with Tuesday’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. Hockey must get the Coalition on the front foot and begin re-prosecuting the government’s narrative that whatever the problem, it’s all Labor’s fault. It appears that Hockey, who put the case for no longer propping up the car industry in Parliament this week, will have to play the role of economic hard man in this government while his Prime Minister sits on the sidelines.

Abbott appears unsure of himself on economics and, alarmingly, appeared yesterday to urge the Reserve Bank to spend the $9 billion gifted to it by Hockey, to intervene against the Australian dollar.

While much of the blame for the government’s problems rests with external causes, it’s much easier to be knocked off course by external events if you don’t have a clear sense of where you’re going. The impression emerging from this government is that it is led by a Prime Minister pulled in different directions by both the Coalition he leads and his own, often decidedly un-Liberal, economic views.

When Parliament resumes on February 11, Tony Abbott must be more sure of where he wants to take Australia.

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16 comments

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16 thoughts on “Crikey says: Abbott must do better in 2014

  1. Tristan Wilson

    Well he can hardly do much worse in 2014. He’s already killed the NBN, permanently damaged our diplomatic relations with Indonesia (Labor is also to blame for that mind you), stuffed up the Gonski reforms, is about to sign away our Internet rights and liberties with the TPP, is about to give foreign businesses the ability to sue our governments (again, thanks to the TPP), has taken money from child and aged care workers, allowed the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef… The list goes on.

    Frankly, if he DOES do worse next year, I shudder to think what Australia will look like by the end of it.

  2. klewso

    “Abbott appears unsure of himself on economics”? What a turn up for the books?

    Why is it, that when a Labor government is in power it seems all Right for everything that goes wrong to be sheeted home to them – but when a Coal-ition takes over, suddenly there’s “external forces at play”?
    The countenancing of external factors now, are just as irrelevant as they were for Labor, surely?

  3. The Pav

    I’m guessing that’s Abbott’s chickening out of his threat to sit thru Xmas is now dead in the water.

    Not that ist was ever likely as good ole Aussie Abbott was doing the patriotic thing and heading off to Europe for his holidays.

    Oh well at least his absence will raise the decency quotient in Australia but what has Europe done wrong to deserve his presence

  4. The Pav

    I mean how bad can you be when you make Hockey look good by comparison

  5. Iskandar

    Crikey, calling this government “new” is a misnomer. It is actually a tired and discredited old government, lurching like zombies out of the political grave of John Howard. Except for a couple of yapping young mediocrities whose names slip me at the moment the rest are dusted off old guard for whom the clock stopped in 2007. At least during the Rudd-Gillard period there was, in spite of Labor’s internal turmoil, some semblance of progressive governance. How this country has fallen!

  6. j.oneill

    It has taken a remarkably short time for those who held reservations about Abbott to be proven correct. It is one thing to be a negative naysayer in opposition. It is quite another to lead a government. Abbott clearly hasn’t made the transition and given his appalling ignorance on matters both economic and foreign affairs it is unlikely that he will improve. He is perhaps a good illustration of the Peter Principle: promoted beyond his level of competence.

    The latest revelations about the NBN roll out and its true costings demonstrate yet again that we got this government because of the manifest failings of Labor to demonstrate at least some of the vision of Keating, and not because there was any great love for the tired Howard era crew that surround Abbott, bereft of any ideas other than their belief in the god-given right of Tories to rule.

  7. zut alors

    ‘…Abbott must be more sure of where he wants to take Australia.’

    Sadly, he appears to have scant clue and no plan. He’s spent the last four years in wrecker-mode – his performance since September proves he remains trapped in that mindset.

  8. klewso

    He was supposed to have a plan for after………?
    He beat the baddies and won didn’t he?

  9. Bill Hilliger

    Yes Abbott must do better in 2014, my mates and I expect nothing less …that is, make an improvement to graduate from the opposition three word slogan, to an in government a four word slogan.

  10. Malcolm Street

    zut – Abbott is ONLY a wrecker, just as he’s been since he was Sydney Uni SRC president.