Part of the secret of Tony Abbott’s success is that Labor and Greens underestimate him. The torrent of accusations that he is too dumb to be PM that has followed his election on Twitter and social media generally is proof of this.
For a really amusing example of this genre – Tony as ventriloquist’s dummy – check out “Earpiecegate“.
The allegation is that because Abbott wears an earpiece in some TV interviews it is because he is so slow on his feet he needs “Radio Kredlin” in his ear to tell him what to think. Huge kudos to Peta Credlin, Abbott’s Chief of Staff, but it had me rolling around the floor for a few minutes. Everyone wears an earpiece when interviewed remotely on TV.
Another part of his success is that Labor also understimates, or just plain misunderstands, average Australians, and in this category I include what used to be their core vote – working class Australians.
This may be what Bob Carr was referring to when he accused Labor of not being “cunning” enough.
You get no better example of this than the last week or federal parliament.
If there is one issue that Labor should steer clear of it is asylum seekers.
Sure, the government will make mistakes, but there is no gain, and plenty of pain, for the opposition in trying to exploit them, because every time they raise the issue of the boats all most Australians will recall is that they were the ones that created the problem in the first place.
Now you may argue that it wasn’t Labor’s fault that the boats ramped up while they were in office, and that push factors are more important than pull factors.
I won’t have that argument with you, because as far as average Australians are concerned, their perceptions are set that Labor created the problem. You won’t change their minds, so whether the point is well-made or not, in terms of public relations, it is irrelevant.
Abbott and his team must love it every time someone limbers up on the other side to hurl down a delivery accusing them of failure on the boats.
Tony Burke is probably the best example of a political quick without line or length. His accusations that:
The reason the secrecy is going on is, in large part, they don’t want to admit that the policies they took to the election in this area, they’re not implementing.
are so wide of the pitch that the government gets to score without even moving their feet.
Anyone who was paying attention knows that the Abbott government never promised to buy Indonesian fishing boats, or even turn boats back, except in certain circumstances. They also know that the promise on boats was to stop them coming, and that policies, and the policy mix, will change over time.
Average Australians don’t care how the government gets there (within the law), as long as they get there.
No doubt there is frustration in the Opposition because the Government that made such an issue of the illegal entrant issue when they were in opposition is now denying the current opposition the oxygen to make an issue of it.
They have some justification in thinking that Scott Morrison was doing his best to make their refugee policies fail, but they are mistaken if they think they can get away with the same tactic.
If the Abbott government fails to stop the boats, it won’t be the Abbott government that gets the blame, it will be the former Labor governments.
In trying to sabotage the present government’s policy, all the opposition does is sabotage its own prospects.
Interesting to see the cunning Carr in today’s Australian approving Australia’s donation of two patrol boats to Sri Lanka, surely part of the “stop the boats” campaign but not a policy telegraphed during the election:
FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr has described a decision by the Abbott government to give the Sri Lankan navy two patrol boats as “sound policy” and revealed that Labor contemplated doing the same thing.
It’s a lead Bill Shorten ought to think about following.
But wait, what’s that I see in Carr’s ear? Who’s he taking his riding instructions from?