Apr 6, 2018

Rundle: Abbott is a joke, a backbench gargoyle seemingly addicted to failure

The recent Monash Forum fiasco suggests that, beyond concrete objectives, Tony Abbott is devoted to the beau idéal of failure.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


Tony Abbott

The Japanese are in Johore

It isn’t funny any more

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22 thoughts on “Rundle: Abbott is a joke, a backbench gargoyle seemingly addicted to failure

  1. Richard Thompson

    It would seem with the close proximity of Easter, and his religious purity, Tony should get off his bike pick up a large wooden cross and a whip and wander around the bush flagillating himself, now that would really attract attention.

    1. kyle Hargraves

      Yes indeed Richard. The Flagellants (1349) attracted great sympathy and when it became too popular (the movement spread throughout Europe) it was condemned by the Church as heretical; only one authority at a time!

      Given that Francis canonised a deceased nun from current-day Macedonia who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of sick people [“the sick must suffer like Christ on the cross” – but she selected sophisticated treatment for her cardiac condition] with a bit of money laundering on the side (read Robert Maxwell) then why not Abbott?

  2. Barry Reynolds

    “Abbott has been a would-be Pope Julius II, Savonarola, De Maistre, a Guy Crouchback, latterly an Iago, of which Australian politics has no shortage.”
    More like Homer Simpson.

    1. jmendelssohn

      Other than incompetence Abbott has nothing in common with Homer Simpson , who is a boofhead but hardly malign.
      He’s more like a human manifestation of Gollum. Once he had his “Precious” but lost it through a “thief” and now is only focused on getting it back whatever the cost. If by some bizarre act of political lunacy he achieves his aim, the Lord of the Rings analogy will hold even more true as Abbott will fall with the Precious into Mount Doom and destroy the Liberal Party’s hope of power forever (or for at least a generation).

      1. Dog's Breakfast

        Gollum is good. The facial similarities are substantial, the mannerisms similar.

        1. Evil Garry

          I always thought Dutton had the greater similarity to Gollum, both in terms of looks and actions.

  3. Nudiefish

    I agree with your premise that Abbott has failure as a personal fetish – it explains everything you need to know about the man quite adequately.

    But, to pretend for a moment that Tony is a rational human being – what is his possible endgame? I mean, looking through the lens of the man himself. Does he really believe that with these stupid antics, and in such cretinous company, he will return his good self to power? It is one thing to rub Turnbull’s nose in the 30 Newspol anniversary thing, and deservedly so, but what will it achieve apart from well aimed spit of gob in the PM’s eye? Not much?

    Abbott is political antimatter.

  4. zut alors

    Repeated failure means Abbott can wear a hair shirt continuously, perhaps this fills his Catholic heart with glee.

    Australians should be grateful that, instead of picking on Philip, he didn’t make ERII a dame.

    1. AR

      I often wonder how many cilices the Abbotrocity has upon his person.
      Their number, not to mention location, would explain a lot.
      Let’s at least hope that they hurt, a lot.

  5. Decorum

    Hmmm, don’t know, Guy. Failure would attract Abbott only if it were noble and for that there needs to be some perceived and worthy, albeit Quixotic, grand Principle – it might be narcissism in practice, but it’s surely not the thought of that that is getting him to sleep at night. The problem he has is that he has ditched every possible coherent cause that he could pin to his mast, particularly with his latest Grand Nationalisation plans that would have made Chavez gasp with astonishment and admiration. No, I think the failure is just a spandrel of his particular “skillset”: greed, solipsism, narcissism and negativity. The consequence of the greed is that he has no underlying philosophy, the narcissism and solipsism mean he does not consult others (or see any need to) and the negativity results in entirely destructive outcomes, so failure is almost inevitable.

    This conjecture can be proved false, of course, by pointing to others with that same constellation of attributes who have not routinely and repeatedly failed in their endeavours. I am happy to be wrong here and invite suggestions.

  6. Charlie Chaplin

    Heard John Laws lament it was a shame Tony Abbott didn’t turn his assassination talents away from his leader and on to Bill Shorten. It’s disloyal of Tones, Lawsy opined, and Tones was such a Liberal party asset when he was the attack dog dismembering Rudd and Gillard.

    I bet the Labor party hope Tony listens to Lawsy. If he does, Chloe can start measuring for curtains.

  7. Zeke

    You do a grave disservice to gargoyles. Gargoyles are useful rainspouts, protecting buildings. Tony Abbott has no use whatsoever.

  8. tonysee

    ‘But he is the exact opposite: a joke, a gargoyle hanging among the buttresses of the backbenches, a jester whose outsize features are redolent of Mr Punch’.
    Not sure of his inner motivation … your contribution in that area is as good as any I s’pose … but I sure hope you’re right about his current standing and his prospects — phoenix-like — for future ambition.

  9. EG

    An amusing take Sir Guy.
    What is not rib tickling is the refusal of his cycling buddy Kevvie Andrews to the request of Monash’s family and the RSL to not use the name of an actual great Australian for their grubby little cabal.

    1. John of Alphington

      even GR couldn’t parse Heavvie Kevvie

  10. Barry Rowe

    I wish to record my objection to the pompous and verbose language used by Guy Rundle “correspondent -at -large” in his article on Abbott.. Please spare us the show -off style and focus on the story. Successful and enduring journalists connect with their readers . Paragraph 4 commencing , “Society, in this conspectus, must have transcendent institutions” … is a waste of space and references to De Maistre, father Tertullian, Pope Julius 11, Beckettian Westminster politics, Savonarola, etc. fail to connect. The topic is important and we deserve better.

    1. kyle Hargraves

      Its possible that you comment could a tad unjust here Barry. There isn’t a lot that is new in (contemporary) human affairs and if we make any effort to scratch the history a (for all practical purposes) near identical event had occurred previously and “surprisingly” defended; e.g. Turnbull today on the 30th poll. Understanding how particular people (in public life) justify matters provides an insight to their thinking patters (or absence of them). Once again : another justification for examining history.

      Any question beyond the utterance “rhubarb” (as HRH put it 40 odd years ago) requires an examination of the history pertaining to the question. In point of fact the story very much “connects”; it becomes a matter of conceding (or otherwise) the (implied) conclusions.

      Rundle doesn’t always put the ball between the goal posts but most readers (this list an an example) can see where the ball has gone – and, moreover, can determine what ought to have occurred to correct the initial shot.

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