Category Archives: Tony Abbott

2001: A racist odyssey

Ok, so the pun on the title didn’t really work, until I remembered that the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey is 2010: Odyssey Two, and what we have here folks is a wonderful piece of synchronicity, with two federal elections run on racism. Oops, sorry, “illegal immigration” – which doesn’t exist, by the way, because it’s not illegal to go to another country and claim asylum.

Fuck, this place has become The news with nipples and Tony Abbott, and apologies Lexy but I really have to blog about him again:

I’m going to ignore the fact that while he goes on and on and on about “real action” he has so far not offered any “real action”. There’s a vague threat to cut public service jobs and stop boat people – because that’s what Jesus would do – but why let details get in the way of a good scare campaign?

I get the feeling that between now and the federal election, Australia is going to get ugly again. We don’t need Pauline Hanson and One Nation anymore, because the new racism – cultural intolerance – is now perfectly acceptable and perfectly mainstream.

Thing is, I reckon that most people talking about foreigners being bad for social harmony aren’t even aware that it is a form of racism. And I also suspect that many of the commenters on news websites saying “oh, won’t someone think of the water crisis, and the housing affordability crisis” are using these issues as a cover for their desire to keep non-whites out. Seriously, if you’re that worried about water resources then start lobbying very fucking loudly for an end to flushing our toilets with drinking water. If housing affordability bothers you (and I say this as a renter with little chance of having a mortgage before I’m 45, if ever, probably never), then lobby even louder for a limit on the number of investment properties someone can own. How many houses do you really fucking need?

Anyway, to end on a lighter note – and before I get even more incoherent – I simply must include this:

And people trust Abbott to run the country?

Ok, so I’ll find any excuse to give Tony Abbott a virtual kick, but Ben Eltham has a great piece in New Matilda: Someone Lend This Man An Economics Textbook:

Unfortunately, the Coalition seems to have largely abandoned any connection with sound economics. Exhibit A in this sad display is the Opposition’s utter obsession with government debt. There is no doubt that too much government debt is a bad thing. It’s just that Australia has very little government debt.

A simple glance at the OECD league tables should be enough to convince any numerate person of this. Yes, we have borrowed money during this downturn. Yes, the Australian government is running a deficit. But the budget will return to surplus in three years and public debt will peak at only 6 per cent of our GDP. Compare that to the US (53 per cent in 2009) the UK (60 per cent in 2008) and Japan (164 per cent in 2007) — none of whom are in any danger of defaulting — and you can see why the debt and deficit scare is completely vacuous.

I love this bit:

But courage of that magnitude eludes Tony Abbott so far. After railing at length against the big new mining tax last night, he then reiterated his commitment to his own new tax on companies — in order to pay for the Coalition’s generous, non-means tested maternity leave policy. Like any politician, Tony Abbott likes to be able to have his cake and eat it too.

I am also an economic lightweight, but I’m not the leader of the Opposition.

Bernardi’s burqa bullshit

Cory Bernardi is spouting his particular type of bollocks again, this time saying criminals have hijacked the burqa so we should stop all women from wearing it: Bernardi backing for burqa ban reflects right-wing influence:

THE shadow parliamentary secretary assisting Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi, has called for Islamic women to be banned from wearing the burqa in a pointer to the growing assertiveness of the party’s conservative wing.

Writing on his blog yesterday, he argued his case on law and order grounds and the basis of respect for women. ”The burqa is no longer simply the symbol of female repression and Islamic culture, it is now emerging as a disguise of bandits and n’er do wells,” he wrote.

Yep, Cory Bernardi who founded an anti-Earth Hour group saying people who care about the environment are communists, and shows his ignorance and xenophobia by “othering” migrants, after pointing out that he is from a nice Italian family, and his wife is from a nice Irish family, but they – They – the asylum seekers, are not: “They seek to use our freedoms, our systems and our tolerance as a means of undermining our values and indulging in behaviour that is anathema to most Australians.” He then blames “race problems” on their children. And Islam. Which is what all this is about.

Anyway, back to Bernardi’s burqa bullshit:

He was responding to a police report describing a hold-up in Sydney by a suspect in a burqa and sunglasses and said the garb could be used as a disguise.

One incident and he wants the burqa banned. I didn’t hear him calling for a ban on spas after that little girl drowned in one in Forster. Or cars. Or cigarettes. Bernardi’s anti-Muslim sentiments are well known. This has nothing to do with women’s oppression – although I note he used the word repression – and everything to do with his campaign against Australian Muslims. It’s “new racism” – rather than being viewed as inferior, ethnic minorities are seen as threats to social cohesion and national unity. (Professor Kevin Dunn has all you need on this.)

Mr Abbott responded by saying: “Senator Bernardi’s call to ban the burqa reflects his personal views rather than Coalition policy. There is understandable concern in the community about what former prime minister John Howard called a ‘confronting’ form of attire.”

And right on cue, Abbott endorses Bernardi’s views (after all, he made him shadow parliamentary secretary for population policy), and gives Howard another public blow job.

Update: My heart rose when I saw this from Victorian Premier John Brumby:

“For those who suggest that this will somehow make Australia safer, I think that’s a nonsense,” he said today.

“Anyone can put a balaclava on their head if they want to cover their face and commit a crime.

“I don’t think it’s helpful, I think it’s actually quite divisive.”

And then sank again when I saw the results of the Herald Sun poll:

NOOOOOOooooooooooo……….

Tony Abbott is starting a nine day charity bike ride. That’s nine days of Abbott in lycra on the news. Oh my eyes, it burns, it burns!

Here’s a thought ol’ Tones: get off the fucking bike and start doing your job. Yes, that’s right, the job we are paying you for. And you might want to start thinking about developing some policies.

Pfft. Political lightweight. All trousers and no pants.

Tony’s mass debate*

I think Kevin Rudd won the health care debate today, and not just because I really dislike Tony Abbott and hope he is never PM**. At times Rudd looked really pissed off – which was funny – but Abbott just looked smug. Like he was so sure he’d win that all he had to do was turn up, crack a few jokes and the media would hang off his every word. Although to be fair, it’s easy to see how he’d get that impression, since it’s what does happen.

I was watching with one eyeball while also doing some uni work, so I can’t really comment on the content of the debate. Plus, I’m a little high on paint fumes. But I can talk about what it looked like. And about body language – which, incidentally, Abbott brought up, about that photo of Rudd and Kristina Keneally, as some sort of evidence that Rudd is the great white devil. Oh no, two people in the same party might not like each other. Quick someone call a journalist, that man cannot be trusted to run the country!

The whole time, Rudd pretended that Abbott wasn’t sitting on the other side of Chris Uhlmann, yet addressed his comments to him. That was weird. You know what else was weird?***. That Rudd and Abbott wore matching jackets and ties. It was like watching a high school debate.

Abbott looked like he wanted applause for everything he said, and at one point he did his mock disbelief/outrage laugh and looked around expecting others to join in. No one did and he quickly stopped. He dismissed direct questions about his health policy with “we’ll release something closer to the election” which was a complete cop out. He called the damn debate. He should have had something to talk about.

Every time Rudd said “local people” I giggled. I was hoping he’d say “new direction”…

Does anyone have anything to add about the content of the debate?

* Yes, I think I’m being clever
** So of course this post will be incredibly biased
*** Ya mother

Tony Abbott is scared of gay people?

Maybe I need to rename this blog News with Nipples and Tony Abbott…

Tony Abbott on ABC: There is no doubt that (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things… I probably feel a bit threatened, as so many people do. It’s a fact of life.

His explanation for his comment afterwards? It was “spontaneous”. Which means it’s what he really thinks, as opposed to what he’s been told to say.

I love the response by gay rights campaigner Gary Burns: Why is he using such dangerous words? How could he feel threatened? You know what I’m frightened by? Funnel-web spiders and crocodiles.

Happy birthday to my Nipples!

Today News with Nipples turns one. I probably should have made cakes, like the ones above. How cool are they? So instead, a massive “THANK YOU” to everyone for your comments, for showing me your own blogs, for your lurking (my “silent readers”), and for making the News with Nipples a really interesting and fun place to be.

I wanted to write about fun things today. But instead I’m writing about Tony Abbott. What a sucky way to spend a birthday.

Does anyone seriously buy the whole “we’re lost near Fossil Creek” story? As Mark Davis writes in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Six hours later, we found ourselves separated from Mr Abbott’s ”guide and guru”, the Aboriginal entrepreneur Ian Conway; with nightfall looming, we were seriously worried.

Yet later he writes:

After inspecting some 500 million-year-old crustaceans, Mr Conway and one of the Aboriginal owners decided to head into the bush in search of pitchuri, a plant with kava-like properties.

But the time dragged on and there was no sign of the pitchuri seekers, the only people who knew the way out.

I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Mr Conway: We’re going to find some pitchuri. Wait here, we’ll be back.
Mr Abbott: Ok. But we’ll need a housewife to make the drinks for us. And to iron our shirts. Unless there’s a tv crew around. Then I’ll do the ironing.

So, who thinks Abbott, NT Opposition Leader Terry Mills, and three journos were really lost? They had a satellite phone but no one knew how to use it. But the next bit is really unbelieveable:

After failing to make a voice call, Mr Abbott tried sending a text to the only mobile phone number he could remember, that of his press secretary Claire Kimball back in Canberra. ”WERELOSTNEARFOSSILCREEK” the text said. No one could work out how to put spaces between words.

Two politicians and three journos, yet only Abbott had a mobile phone with him, with no phone numbers stored in it, but the only number he knew was that of his press secretary? And of the two politicians and three journos, no one could work out how to put spaces in a text message? Give me a fucking break.

How does the story end? Mr Conway came back and got them, but they were all scared because it was dark. The end.