Andrew Bolt: Feel the fear, re Abbott
Feel the fear. They’ve told us for years Tony Abbott is finished.
Yet the ABC’s Insiders today devotes around 10 minutes to attacking, ridiculing and misrepresenting him.
And Miranda Devine today lists half a dozen things Abbott has said that were absolutely right – and angrily tells him to shut up. Turnbull meanwhile says something very dishonest, and Devine defends.
Last week, Turnbull showed the strain of having to shadow box an enemy he cannot name with an emotional outburst at a press conference.
This “emotional outburst” was actually not against Abbott but Home Affairs Peter Dutton, who’d suggested (correctly) cutting immigration numbers but was overruled by Turnbull, who last week falsely claimed that an Australian report on this was “completely false”. Turnbull later backtracked – and this is how Devine reports all that.
On Monday, to mark Turnbull’s 30th Newspoll loss, Abbott told Ray Hadley on 2GB, “it really is something for Malcolm to explain, why it applied for me, but shouldn’t apply now.”
Abbott is right: it is indeed for Turnbull to explain when losing 30 Newspolls meant Abbott should go but Turnbull not. But Miranda says Abbott should not say anything when asked this on his regular guest spot.
On Tuesday, he warned 3AW’s Neil Mitchell of “damaging blackouts in Victoria” if the Hazelwood power plant were not kept open.
Abbott is right. The closing of Hazelwood – responsible for a quarter of Victoria’s electricity – does threaten Victoria with blackouts. But Miranda says Abbott should not say anything.
On Wednesday, on Ben Fordham’s 2GB program, he attacked the PM and Julie Bishop for being “very clever with words”, having their “knickers in a twist”, and being at odds with Peter Dutton. “A sensible government” wouldn’t behave this way.
Abbott is right. Turnbull and Bishop had both made false claims in denying that Dutton had suggested cuts to immigration, and a sensible government would not mislead like that. Nor should Turnbull have blocked cuts to our out-of-control immigration levels. But Miranda says Abbott should not say anything.
On Thursday, he told 2CC’s Tim Shaw: “ … My problem with the National Energy Guarantee is that it puts a higher priority on reducing emissions than reducing prices”. Which was the opposite message to Frydenberg’s National Press Club address the day before, prioritising prices and energy security.Abbott is right. The NEG puts cutting emissions above cutting prices, the most urgent political problem. But Miranda says Abbott should not say anything.
That night, Abbott was interviewed by his former chief of staff Peta Credlin.
Abbott was right to give an interview that was exclusively about a charity he was supporting – returned soldiers needing help – and for which he has just raised $500,000. But Miranda says he should not say anything.
Friday morning he was on 2GB with Alan Jones, decrying subsidies for renewables, and saying Turnbull had to force AGL to keep the Liddell power station open: “No sensible government can see a vital piece of national infrastructure taken out of the system for the private profit of a particular company”.
Abbott is right. Renewables should not be subsidised, as Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg last week hinted (but didn’t have the courage to announce), and Turnbull himself is trying to keep open Liddell for the very reasons Abbott gave. But Miranda says Abbott shouldn’t say anything.
Abbott is right, and if Turnbull and his cheerers would get over themselves and heed his advice they might just win the next election.
Instead, they are so consumed with hatred and fear that they’d rather lose that next election than change.