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A Few Good Tones: Why we want Abbott back

A Few Good Tones: Why we want Abbott back

Friday 7 October, 2016
Here’s something inherently awkies to kick the morning off on the incorrect tootsie. As a country, I think we want Tony Abbott back; and it’s a truth we can’t handle. Bah! I deride our truth-handling abilities. No truth handler, you. This time yesterday, accompanied with the headline “I can be PM again, Abbott tells Tories”, it was […]
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Here’s something inherently awkies to kick the morning off on the incorrect tootsie. As a country, I think we want Tony Abbott back; and it’s a truth we can’t handle. Bah! I deride our truth-handling abilities. No truth handler, you. This time yesterday, accompanied with the headline “I can be PM again, Abbott tells Tories”, it was known that our wandering ex-PM Tony Abbott apparently stated that he’d have the support to return to Kiribili House if he were keen to choose to do so. Hence the fire alarm was clanged, and both sides of the political plane ratcheted up the political dial all the way to muy picante loco, in the form of memes, rants, confusion and praise – all of which resulted in his moniker trending on the spitting viper pit named Twitter.

With the passing of hours, the story was refuted by the man himself.

So, story dead? Well, not so much, for the return of Tony has long been prophesied, and I mistook it as fear. We feared the vanquished foe, the man in the black hat, rolling into down, as we hide behind saloon tables, waiting for the guns on his hip to speak blunt Abbottian policy. But it’s simpler than that; I think we want him back. If not, why does this narrative continue to fill column inches?

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I have two theories. First, much like primary school romances of yore, we yank the ponytail and fling birdshit at the one that we hold most dear to our confused hearts. Second, the whole situation has more than a pang of familiarity…think the courtroom scene in A Few Good Men. Colonel Nathan R Jessup, Commander Officer, Marine Ground Forces, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Abbott) is a man who answers to no-one, as he follows his own rules (policy) because he believes them to work. Tom Cruise (the Left) wants Abbott to admit wrongdoing during his command (Prime Ministership), even if they don’t know it’ll happen, or what it means if he does. How this is relevant to this pickle, is that we in the audience wanted Jack Nicholson to win. We wanted him to win because he was powerful and because he was Jack Nicholson. Who watched that scene thinking, “Phwoar! Get ’em Tom!”? And while Tom (the Left) won, and it ended in the banishing of Jack (Abbott), it still felt like a loss on the larger scale, especially with the benefit of hindsight.

Are we clear, readers? No, well, let’s break down the scene and butcher it.

We step into the courtroom as Abbott asked, the left, perhaps subtextually,

Jessup/Abbott: Have you ever served in a political office, son? Ever served in an electorate area? Ever put your career in another man’s hands? We follow the party line, son. We follow party orders, so people die. It’s that simple. Are we clear?

(Are we clear? No?)

Cruise/The Left: If he knew that Santiago (election promises) was not to be touched (not met), then why transfer him off the base (make those promises)? Colonel Jessep (Abbott), did you order the code red (boats to be turned back)?

Jessup/Abbott: You snotty little bastards.  I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

Cruise/The Left: I want the truth.

Jessup/Abbott: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in in a country (on an island) that has walls (borders) and those walls (borders) have to be guarded by men with guns (guns). Who’s gonna do it? You? You Lieutenant Weinberg (Bill Shorten)? I have a greater responsibility that you can’t possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago (election promises), and you curse the Marines (the Coalition). You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that Santiago’s (election promises) death while tragic, probably saved the lives (careers), and my existence, while grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, saves lives (careers). You don’t want the truth, because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that poll, you need me on that poll.

Hmm. Interesting stuff. Dismiss this as the ramblings of the half-drunk and full-crazy if you must, but if it isn’t true, why is this the oft-beaten narrative mule that never dies?

 

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