It’s a big call I know, we’re 43 days into 2015 and there is so much left to go – but in the past few days, today in particular, Tony Abbott, Australia’s current inept, arsehole, Prime Minister, has raced ahead of all other contenders and seized the crown for Arsehat of the Year. No one else, possibly no one else this decade, will demonstrate how much of an arsehat they are, as Tony has so far this year.
Today, for example, Tones decided that fair trials were things that people who were accused of terrorism did not need:
Despite prominent lawyers calling for restraint in public commentary on the case because of the potential for court proceedings to be prejudiced, Abbott disclosed key details of a briefing from police and security agency chiefs.
On Thursday the president of the New South Wales bar association, Jane Needham SC, urged restraint in publicly commenting on the case, warning that the men may not receive a fair trial.
“The association has concerns about the degree of public comment in the media concerning the two terrorism suspects appearing today in bail proceedings. Such comments have the potential to undermine the proper administration of justice,” Needham said.
“Our courts should be allowed to deal with matters before them without public statements being made that could prejudice subsequent proceedings and we would urge caution in this regard.” (Guardian)
He also, apparently under pressure, but really just because he’s an epic arsehat who engages his brain only rarely, suggested that the previous Labor government, oversaw a “a holocaust of jobs in defence industries”. Yes he went there, he also subsequently apologised.
Mr Abbott was being pressed in question time about the surge in unemployment and the government’s plans to potentially buy submarines from overseas, instead of commission Australian-built vessels in Adelaide.
The opposition’s workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor asked Mr Abbott: “South Australia’s unemployment rate has now reached 7.3 per cent. Prime Minister, when will good government actually start and the Prime Minister deliver on his promise to build submarines in South Australia?”
The Prime Minister went on the offensive, telling Parliament: “Under members opposite defence jobs in this country declined by 10 per cent. There was a holocaust of jobs in defence industries under members opposite.”
Labor frontbencher Tony Burke got to his feet but before he raise a point of order, the Prime Minister withdrew his remark.
“That’s what there was Madame Speaker, jobs, jobs, jobs, I’m sorry if I, I’m sorry and I withdraw Madame Speaker. There was a decimation of jobs,” he said. (SMH)
He also, today, accused Australia’s Human Rights Commission of writing a partisan report, and that it was clearly a stitch-up, something the Human Rights Commission should be ashamed of publishing. Clearly he also hasn’t read the report, because it covers “nine months of the Gillard and Rudd governments and the first 12 months of the Abbott government. And it references policies in place for a decade.” (Guardian). While unfairly criticising the Human Rights Commission, he also said the following distasteful bile:
Asked on Fairfax radio on Thursday morning if he felt any guilt over the findings, the prime minister said “none whatsoever”.
“The most compassionate thing you can do is stop the boats,” Abbott said.
“Where was the Human Rights Commission when hundreds of people were drowning at sea [under Labor]?
“This is a blatantly partisan politicised exercise and the Human Rights Commission ought to be ashamed of itself.
“I reckon that the Human Rights Commission ought to send a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison to say ‘well done, mate’,” Abbott said. (Guardian)
This week also saw Tony being found “shockingly incompetent” by a US think tank. I’m surprised that a US think tank was even looking at Australia’s political goings on, but clearly Tony and his team are making such monumental arsehats of themselves, that the rest of the world is beginning to pay attention.
A leading United States think tank has published a piece posing the question, “Is Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott the most incompetent leader of any industrialised democracy?” and answering, quite comprehensively, in the affirmative.
Published on the Council on Foreign Relations website before Mr Abbott survived a spill motion on Monday, the piece argues that he has proven so “shockingly incompetent” that he deserved to lose his job.
“Abbott has proven so incapable of clear policy thinking, so unwilling to consult with even his own ministers and advisers, and so poor at communicating that he has to go,” wrote the CFR senior fellow Joshua Kurlantzick, a US specialist in south-east Asian politics. (SMH)
Also this week, because it is an epic week of Tony being an epic arsehat, in response to the Closing the Gap report, he said that, “indigenous Australians must “grasp” the opportunity to close the gap of disadvantage and not expect it to be granted by government” (The Australian). This is despite the ongoing racist policies and legislation enacted by the Government such as The Intervention, continued child removal, and the cutting of Government funds towards services aimed at improving Indigenous Australian lives. Amy McGuire at New Matilda has more:
“Closing the gap is not something to be granted by this Parliament to Indigenous Australians; closing the gap is to be grasped by them.”
This is smoke and mirrors of the highest order, because it assumes blackfellas have some sort of choice. It assumes they have an ability to “grasp” this lifeline extended from HMAS Abbott, when in reality they are being left in the sea to drown.
If you dig into report, and it really isn’t hard given it is only 20-pages long, you’ll find a much more insidious agenda at play.
According to the report, the removal of CDEP resulted in a 60 percent decline in Indigenous employment rates. But governments have continually failed to view CDEP jobs as real employment, even though they kept Aboriginal people active and engaged, and paid real wages through ‘top up’.
The Remote Jobs and Community Program (RJCP) replaced CDEP in remote areas, and effectively takes Aboriginal people back to the days before award wages.
And finally, for this blog post at least, Tony is going to be investigated by the audit office for a federal budget proposal:
Tony Abbott’s decision to hand over $3 billion of public money for the East West Link without a rigorous benefit-cost analysis will be formally investigated by the national audit office.
Auditor-General Ian McPhee is apparently so keen to pursue the issue after making preliminary inquiries with Infrastructure Australia and the Department of Infrastructure that he adjusted the audit work program to accelerate his investigation.
The promise of $3 billion appeared to breach a Federal Coalition promise made before the 2013 election that there would be no Commonwealth infrastructure projects of more than $100 million without a rigorous benefit-cost analysis.
Mr Albanese said taxpayers deserved to know what due diligence process Mr Abbott undertook before deciding to fund the project.
“Based on documents released by the Andrews government, the Napthine government sought to conceal its business case from the Commonwealth and then attempted to cook the books to make the East West project look worthwhile,” Mr Albanese said.
“It also appears Mr Abbott did nothing to satisfy himself that the project represented value for public money.” (The Age)
This has just been one week in the Prime Ministership of Tony Abbott. Given he survived a leadership spill with no clear alternative on Monday (it’s only Thursday now), I don’t imagine with more weeks like this under his belt that he’ll be around for much longer. My eyebrows would appreciate him not being around much longer given they’re tired of being raised so frequently, I’m worried that soon they will start living on the back of my head. Ideally he and his party would also vanish up their own arses when Tony is removed from leadership, but we’ll have to put up with their continued wreckage for a bit longer.
For everyone else who got this far, here is the tracker of all the promises that Tony has broken since his election, and the details of the mess he’s made.