Feb 14, 2014

Abbott’s Closing the Gap speech might be the high point of the year

Tony Abbott's Closing the Gap speech was one of the best of recent times, but he will have nowhere to hide if results do not improve.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The highlight of the political year may well have come early, on the second sitting day of Parliament for 2014, when the Prime Minister rose to deliver his first Closing the Gap statement. If you haven’t read the speech, you should: it was one of the best speeches by a politician of recent times, generously non-partisan, honest and personal, suggestive of how, beneath the appearance of the aggressive, highly partisan, relentlessly negative politician an intelligent, decent national leader could lurk.

Abbott, of course, can afford to be honest about the mediocre outcomes of six years of Closing the Gap, as they reflect more on the efforts of his predecessors than himself, and some might argue Abbott’s personal journey on indigenous issues is irrelevant to real outcomes. Moreover, it must amuse Paul Keating no end that the Coalition, which when he was prime minister subjected him to the most disgusting abuse and smear, now champions him as everything that contemporary Labor is not.

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23 thoughts on “Abbott’s Closing the Gap speech might be the high point of the year

  1. form1planet

    I wonder who are the “fragrant exceptions” the Prime Minister mentions at the bottom of p1 of his transcript? And what made them so appealingly scented?

  2. klewso

    Suggestive that someone else wrote it?

  3. CML

    I wouldn’t listen to one word that the rAbbott had to say on any subject, let alone waste my time reading a transcript of his speech. He is a proven l*ar just about every time he opens his mouth!
    You may think the rAbbott is wonderful, Bernard. Just shows how easily some people can be fooled, swallowing all the spin and nonsense he sprouts!!

  4. Pamela

    So is he exonerated because he managed to deliver a speech written by someone cleverer with words?
    Speaking aint DOING.
    Besides no one can be ashamed at his abysmal abuse of another minority as he claims to want to uplift the FIRST AUSTRALIANS while dumpning and destroying the latest arrivals.

  5. drmick

    You and your bromance with the “politician of the year” has just got sickening.
    This is a five star nong, barely able to dribble a prepared speech by another author, and that is a high point? Cant wait for the low point then. No, really. Can he get worse?

    He is an international disgrace now and very quickly taking his place, internationally, as the “special” ridiculous leaders of a country referred to when the author/comedian is making a joke. He is right up there with all the current fascists and while he is aware of the terms goodies and baddies, he cant tell the difference. Maybe he can make politician of the century?

  6. klewso

    They get companies to fight their IR wars – so Abbott can carry on this cynical pretence about caring for “Australian workers” for their votes.

  7. Jimmyhaz


    This is the high point of the year?


    I look forward to an utterly abysmal year then.

  8. zut alors

    ‘… poor results will reflect directly on him and there will be nowhere to hide from them, not after the language he used on Wednesday.’

    Bernard, regardless of what he spouts Abbott doesn’t need to hide since Murdoch temporarily deemed him a protected species.

    What were the consequences when the ABC aired 2009 footage of him suggesting putting a tax on carbon? Zilch. Abbott went on his merry way, unbothered and uninterrupted by commercial media not interested in making him squirm.

  9. AR

    As those above have noted, if this is the best, then it is going to be a very drear year. Or three.
    If we accept that BK has to be… Bernard (and I do not!)could he at least try to have the odd latte, maybe even weave a basket or three?

  10. aliso6

    proves you would dance with any devil, Bernard.

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