TheBigSmoke now funneled into FridayMash
Ten things I hate about you: Why I miss Tony Abbott
This morning last year, we awoke to discover that we had a shiny new PM under our Christmas tree. It was only September, but that didn’t matter. All through the House (of Reps) there was promise anew, cheer in the air. On Spillsmas Eve, Malcolm Turnbull led what appeared to be a shining-armoured revolt against the broken toy factory for naughty children of Mr Abbott. So, a change of management was made, with the only innocent victim being a marble table.
It was all good.
He made great promises of a “thoroughly Liberal” government (whatever it is exactly that means).
He promised a “new style” of government.
He promised to “put fairness centre stage”.
If by “thoroughly Liberal” he meant that the Liberals would (essentially) lose their majority at the Federal election, causing a messy race of handshaking with some of our political embarrassments, then yes, it is a “thoroughly Liberal” government.
If by “new style” of government, he meant that his ministers would wander off out of parliament early and miss votes, or filibuster about TV shows or things they saw on Facebook, despite it being the same day a same-sex marriage bill was introduced, then yes that is certainly a “new style” of government.
If by “put fairness centre stage” he meant promising to accept over 12,000 Syrian refugees and only actually resettling one sixth of them; if by fairness he meant leaving men, women and children to a hell on Nauru and Manus Island, despite our “boundless plains to share”, then yes, he has put “fairness centre stage”.
It is with regret that I say at this point that, in all honesty, I miss Tony Abbott.
Somehow, his towering maniac figure has been transmuted by the passing of time. It’s almost nostalgic to think of a PM that was straight with us (really straight). You know where you stood with the man, and that was good. We knew where to aim our rocks. Disliking Abbott made the world go round. It was like the only movie theatre in town. You went, because there was bugger-all else to do. Abbott brought a sense of continuity. You knew that if you flicked on the news, he would be talking about “stopping the boats”, or how homosexuality makes him feel “threatened”, or that his broken robot brain would have him eat something he should not be eating.
Also on The Big Smoke
- The night Tony Abbott took my political virginity
- Why Labor’s Mediscare worked
- Malcolm Turnbull: To be PM, or not to be PM?
- The Masked Liberal: Bernardi’s OzCons set to fly
- Frenemies Turnbull & Abbott: The story of revenge – a dish best served spilled
He never pretended to be anything he wasn’t. What you saw was what you got with PM Abbott. What you got wasn’t good but it was exactly what you were promised.
Things have got rather complicated since then, and it can be boiled down to one rather toxic eggnog.
Malcolm Turnbull promised to be better. He promised to act and do and be a shining light. He presented himself as a confident, well-spoken man who would fix what was broken in this nation, fractures caused by his predecessor, some pre-existing. He ended up being Abbott 2.0: the same but with the Charisma Interface Upgrade™. We lapped it up because he said it with confidence and, to be frank, he was much less terrifying to look at.
Since then, well, you know we’ve all lived it. Turnbull has walked us down the road toward the Merry Land of Oz(tralian) politics, fleet of foot, possessing that magnificent glint in his eye that makes us believe that somewhere within, you had heart all along, Turn-man. If anything, Turnbull was the all powerful Wizard of Oz, obscured behind the curtain of our optimism, his voice speaking booming tones, charisma aflame, as we quivered and quavered in his very presence. But, at that curtain was slowly drawn back, it was not a great wizard, but an average man in a shiny suit.
So, now that we know Malcolm, I’m unsure that we can no longer unsee.
And you, Tony, because I miss you, I stole this poem:
Ten Things I Hate About You
I hate the way you talk at me
And the way you cut your hair
I hate the way you drive my car
I hate it when you stare
I hate your big dumb combat boots
And the way you read my mind
I hate you so much that it makes me sick
It even makes me rhyme
I hate the way you’re always right
I hate it when you lie
I hate it when you make me laugh
Even worse when you make me cry
I hate the way you’re not around
And the fact that you didn’t call
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you
Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all