There’s a great story from the 2002 Winter Olympics – you may have heard of them? A wonderful skater by the name of Steven Bradbury won Australia’s first Winter gold medal when everybody else in his race was involved in a tumbling accident, leaving him to skate across the line in first place. At the time, he was referred to by some as the “Last Man Standing”.
I mention this story, Tony – may I call you Tony? – because there’s a little of the Steven Bradbury to your story, isn’t there? You know – when Johnny Howard was booted out, and his perennial bridesmaid, Costello couldn’t be bothered shouldering the responsibility of rebuilding the party, it was left to the sad Brendan Nelson to hold the baby. I know you wanted the job at the time, but everybody laughed at the idea – which was a little cruel (or perhaps prescient), don’t you think? But then, you kicked Nelson out because nobody liked him, and got good old Malcolm Turnbull in because everybody liked him. Only you stopped liking him after a while, at which point you got rid of him and took the job yourself because, well, basically there was nobody left.
Are you keeping up? I know it’s a little complicated, but I don’t think it ranks up there with your broadband policy, so you should be able to follow along. And I love that you can have a go at Labor for getting rid of one leader in the same time you got rid of four!
So you finally got the top job and you were so happy, you literally ran and swam and rode for joy. I will say that I thought the critics were wrong to have a go at you because you can be bothered to keep fit. It’s only jealousy on their parts. I know full well that they would much rather have been running along with you than sitting in their dark offices reading pages and pages of information about a national broadband network and other pesky subjects like climate change. Oh well, that’s their loss, right?
So, Tony, given that we’re only a few days away from the election, I just wanted to clarify a few things with you. Well – actually, just one thing.
What, exactly, would an Abbott government do?
You see, I’ve been watching you closely, and although I can see your lips moving, nothing seems to be coming out. I can see those ears flapping, but you’re clearly not listening. You’ve listed your 12 points – which became 5 points, and now has suddenly shrunk to 4 points on which you’re going to Stand Up. The problem is, Tone, ol’ mate, none of them are actual doing words. They’re all just undoing things Labor has done. So is that it? Is that all you’re going to do in office? Isn’t that a little, well, lazy?
Oh – that’s right, there’s that broadband policy you weren’t tech-heady enough to understand. I’m sure you didn’t mean to be condescending and insulting when you said that, so we’ll let that slide for the moment. But given that all the experts – yes, those same tech heads – think your BB policy is a total dud – I kind of assumed it might have been one of those things you say in public but don’t really mean?
I know you’re just waiting for me to bring up the subject of Climate Change – so I’ll get it over with. You said it’s crap. Now, it’s true that you’re entitled to your opinion – but er, shouldn’t you actually know something about a subject before you form an opinion? And even though you think it’s crap – for some reason, you still think it’s okay to beat up Labor for not bringing in a carbon tax. But hang on a second – it was your party that prevented the carbon tax, not Labor! And then, in your campaign ads, you have the gall to accuse Labor of wanting to bring in a carbon tax! And you sacked Turnbull because he agreed to the carbon tax!
Good grief, Tony, I spun around so many times in that paragraph, I’m dizzy! So I was wondering, could you please explain to me what you plan to do about Climate Change? It’s just that, given your performance so far, I see no evidence that you take it seriously, or understand it at all. I’m pretty sure that you still think it’s crap.
We had to wait a bit to see the real Julia – but fortunately, we’ve been seeing the real you all along, which has been great. For example, the real Tony Abbott is a committed Christian, but doesn’t believe in helping refugees find a safe haven. Instead, you believe in lying to the Australian people about the so-called ‘dangers’ of refugees, whipping up the same kind of fear that put so much power into the hands of John Howard. You know perfectly well that there’s no danger at all – but you’re happy to make people afraid, and to make people suffer just so you can move into the Lodge. Yes, you’re a real charmer, Tony.
And then there’s your position on maternity leave – which, until it suddenly became fashionable a year ago, was on your ‘not on your Nelly!’ list of things that might happen if you get into power. Now you’re all over it like a nappy rash. But your program will cost a lot more than the country can afford at the moment. You don’t really care about that because you’ll just blame Labor. What it will do however, is keep women pregnant and out of the workplace. Yes, very nice, Tony.
So nice, that you want to make it compulsory that all children study the Christian bible in school – regardless of what the parents want, or indeed, what religion the children might already be. Why is that, Tony? Are you as willing to have all children study the Koran or the Talmud, or the Hindu vedas, or the Tibetan Book of the Dead? Or the Greek myths of the gods of Olympus? Or perhaps a few good texts on atheism? No? Just the Christian bible?
That’s interesting, given you claim that your religion doesn’t influence anything you do as leader. Obviously another lie. And of course, you didn’t mean to be condescending and insulting when you pointed out that as an atheist, Julia Gillard doesn’t have any convictions, so we’ll let that one slide for the moment too.
But two nights ago, you sat there on television and told the father of a gay man that you felt everybody should be respected for their opinions, then showed you didn’t respect him by saying that gay people just shouldn’t be married. You treated homosexuality as though it were simply a choice and demonstrated, once again, that you have formed a narrow, bigoted opinion about a topic – and a whole lot of real people – without knowing anything about it at all.
So I want to know, Tony, is this what we can expect from you? You make decisions without bothering to know anything about the subject? That you say things you don’t mean? That you claim to be a Christian, and fair and open-minded, then demonstrate right in front of us, that you are homophobic, racist and against any religion that isn’t Christianity. You must think I’m an idiot if you think I’ll vote for you, and that really is condescending and insulting – but I’m not letting it slide this time.
The fact is, Tony, I wouldn’t want you to be leader of this country, even if you were the last man standing.