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Crikey Says

Jun 11, 2014

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.

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10 comments

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10 thoughts on “Crikey says: watch out! The grown-ups are back in charge

  1. old greybeard

    In Pyne’s case not the wooden spoon, definitely old George’s cane that lived behind the aforementioned principal’s door and was a good manners corrector.
    More seriously, I have never seen such a miserable collection of cowardly playground bullies and remedial malcontents in 40 years of watching> Adults? No wonder the nation’s going down the gurgler.

  2. Tom Jones

    It would be much more effective if men acting like boys weren’t making the gibes aimed at women. The not so subtle message is women can never be grown up because they are like children – a message reinforced by the lack of women in the Abbott cabinet. It is a claim unsupported however by real grown up behaviour by the boys who have similar single sex education in their background.

  3. bushby jane

    That earpiece is amazing. Keep up the exposing of this embarrassing moron’s tricks to try and keep up, they don’t seem to be working at the moment!

  4. JMNO

    In an essay I read a few weeks ago, can’t remember the book but it wasn’t about politics or about Australia, the author made the point that the only people who use the terms ‘grown-ups’ are children. It is not a term used by adults to refer to themselves or each other.

  5. Luke Hellboy

    Any viewing of Question Time will demostrate a distinct lack of maturity

  6. Jaybuoy

    Listening to the juvenile Pyne use the slogan makes me want to get the wooden spoon out..

  7. Rohan

    The first time Abbott uttered those words I was floored by the chutzpah, given the sheer juvenility of the relentless bitching, moaning and spoiling that defined his opposition leadership.

  8. David Russell

    Ah, excuse me, but surely you should chastise the Tele, if anybody, and not Abbott’s minders. Their governance may be rather inadequate but the retort was – in so far as you have attributed – a media one and not that of the PM’s spin doctors.

  9. AR

    At least groned-ups would know baddies from baddies.

  10. David Brooks

    “… there’s no good comeback to being told to grow up…” You are right! We only have to look forward to being old, ancient, anachronistic and out of date like the writer?

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