A Click of the Fingers. John Menadue

Oct 29, 2013

We badly need someone close to Tony Abbot to click their fingers and break him out of the hypnotic trance that he has been in for a long time. He has been hypnotised into campaigning mode and has yet to be released.

Many had hoped that as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott would successfully make the transition from an aggressive critic to a more constructive, sober and positive prime minister. But he doesn’t seem able to help himself. He continues in attack mode.

The Washington Post has just carried an interview with him. He describes his Labor predecessors as ‘wacko’ and ‘embarrassing’. He added for the Washington Post readers that the Labor Government had been a ‘circus’.

What gouache behaviour. We don’t want our Prime Minister airing our domestic linen when he represents us overseas.

Words can be bullets and one would have hoped that Tony Abbott’s grovelling apologies to two prime ministers and a president at the recent APEC meeting would have encouraged him to be more moderate in his language.

Last week he dismissed the Executive Secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, as ‘talking through her hat’ on bushfires and climate change. Ms Figueres knows more about the science of climate change than Tony Abbott who dismissed the science a few years ago as ‘crap’. She politely and professionally explained that Tony Abbott had got it wrong. She was not talking through her hat.

For the good of Australia it is desirable that our prime minister speaks temperately and respectfully in public debate. Will someone please try to help break him out of his aggressive and intemperate opposition mode?

There is also media speculation that the Abbott Government in considering a judicial enquiry into the pink batts installations. Putting aside the responsibility of state governments to regulate such installations, it does portray the vindictiveness of the Abbott government. It should forget settling political scores and get on with governing for us all.

After the loans crisis, the dismissal and the 1975 election many Liberal ministers urged Malcolm Fraser to hold a Royal Commission over the loans affair. Malcolm Fraser refused. He decided that governing and unifying the country was more important than carrying on an old political battle.

Tony Abbott does not yet seem to understand that different behaviour is expected of a Prime Minister.

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