I’m wondering if Bob Carr intends to follow Alan Jones in apologising to Julia Gillard for capitalising for political purposes on her loss of her father, because you’d have to put him and Alan Jones in a similar boat.
Certainly the last person who ought to be apologising for anything is Tony Abbott.
A week ago Jones let off steam in a speech to a student club function which he thought was off the record. He claimed that Julia Gillard’s father had “died of shame”.
This is pretty poor form, but surely a problem for Jones and maybe the organisers of the function, but no-one else.
Jones speech only became public yesterday, but today Bob Carr tried to hook Tony Abbott into it.
“Tony Abbott ought to do the decent thing and say today loud and clear that he apologises to Julia Gillard for unacceptable remarks, made at a Liberal party gathering attended by frontbench liberals.
“Tony Abbott ought to send a message that the extremists at that gathering who cheered and applauded and laughed at that appalling utterance, Tony Abbott ought to make it clear that those people are denounced by him as well.”
Just like Jones, Carr is trying to trade off the prime minister’s loss. Unlike Jones, he casts himself as her defender, but that’s where the difference ends because they both use the death of her father for political purposes.
Further, while Jones’ comments were off the cuff and as the transcript shows, a little jumbled, and designed to be broadcast to around 100; Carr’s are premeditated and designed to be broadcast to the nation.
There is no reason for Abbott to apologise. What’s more, if he does apologise for one utterance of Alan Jones, then every other utterance of Jones becomes his problem for ever.
Abbott didn’t put Jones up to this, and despite Carr’s claims, this didn’t even occur at a Liberal Party function (Student Clubs are not part of any political party), so the Liberal party in general has no connection to it at all. The comments also appear to have gone down poorly at the function, a repudiation in themselves.
What we are seeing from Carr is a demonstration of one of the ways Labor has failed around Australia, including in New South Wales under his leadership. Bullying, politicking and harassment are practised to the exclusion of good government. He’s in New York at the moment, supposedly looking after the national interest. It’s not his job to moonlight as a Labor hatchetman at the same time he’s supposed to be being a statesman.
Carr knows Abbott doesn’t share any blame in this, but he can’t resist the temptation to try to implicate him because it suits the script that the ALP has been writing: that you can’t vote for Tony Abbott because he is a misogynistic, homophobic, extremist religious fundamentalist who is a physically intimidating, socially unacceptable caveman.
When you’ve got a government running that sort of abuse as its main re-election strategy it’s no wonder that verbal violence is breaking out all over the place.
Time to take all the trolls out of politics.