19 December 2013

Tony Abbott - the 'populist opportunist'

Tony Abbott is the master of improvisation. He has a history of playing the 'populist card' on climate change, paid parental leave, the NBN, the no carbon compensation pledge and Medicare Locals.  
However, before the last election, Mr Abbott realised his education policy was an albatross and that the Labor government had a vastly superior alternative. So on 2nd August he reluctantly 'accepted' the Gonski education model.  
Recently, he tried to slip out of his pre-election commitments by sending his shrill-prone Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, to announce Gonski was a mess.
Enter 'the adults'.
The Abbott Government claimed their funding was better than the ALP's because they were offering $230 million to the non-signatory jurisdictions of Queensland, Western Australia and The Northern Territory. Under Labor they would have received $1.2 billion but those states preferred to hang out for their ideological counterparts to give them 'something better'. But even these people could count and they realised that they were not getting even 20% of what the ALP had offered. Mr Pyne bemoaned that he simply did not have the money.
But then several opinion polls, including Newspoll, showed Labor to be ahead once more, reflecting a surprise shift away from the Coalition.  These polls revealed that this government has had the shortest honeymoon since polling began. It was then time for another change. Tony Abbott slapped down Mr Pyne (not for the first time), and decided the government did have the money after all!
So just three days after saying there was no money they suddenly found it.
Even Mr Hockey had obviously not looked very well in the cupboards that he claimed were bare!
Mr Abbott could go down as the most populist opportunist to lead this country and someone who has made Paul of Tarsus look very second rate.
Frank Carroll

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