There’s the long version, and there’s the short version.
Here’s the short version.
I would love to say that it’s one of mine. But this fine juxtaposing of image and caption belongs to another. Unknown Memer, I salute you.
And so to the long version… cue music and rippling video, as we go back to 2013.
Three years ago, everything looked fine. We were in the dying weeks of the worst Labor government since Gough Whitlam in the early 1970s. The Circus of Ineptitude was about to leave town; the Years Of Ruddlard were drawing to a close. Joolya, having supplanted Kruddfuhrer as Prime Minister in 2010, had herself been booted in favour of none other than Kruddy himself. Kevin Rudd had been brought back by a gutless Labor crew who knew that the election was unwinnable with Ranga Monsterarse at the helm. They knew that they were doomed as well with Kevin – just slightly less doomed. None of them had the desire, or the courage, to be at the wheel themselves when the bus went over the cliff.
The government had disintegrated into a shambles under Gillard. To distract from their underperformance the government targeted Liberal opposition leader Tony Abbott. Gillard or one of her ministers would make a startling accusation which the left-loving MSM would trumpet. None of these attacks did the Opposition leader meaningful damage. Within 24 hours, 48 at the most, the broader facts surrounding the charge would be revealed. The full picture left the government looking ever more stupid.
Rudd wasn’t expected to win the election for the Australian Labor Party. The hope was that with his face leading the campaign the voters might be rather less savage. As it was, two million Labor voters changed sides on 7 September 2013. Led by Tony Abbott, the Liberal-National coalition took the Treasury benches with a 13 seat majority.
We pause now for a brief interlude.
In the midst of this endless cycle of charge and collapse the Labor government was able to discard legislation that had the potential to greatly stifle freedom of speech in Australia. These proposed laws would have put many of the popular news blogs under the eye of a Public Interest Media Advocate. This followed a court case against Andrew Bolt. Bolt had written articles about ‘white aboriginals‘. (Ironically, Bolt’s accusation has recently been heard again – from indigenous leaders.)
Bolt’s supposed slur sent the SJWs into a frenzy. The Labor Cheer Squad, aka the Mendacious Selective Media, supported the legislation. Apart from a few notable exceptions – Bolt, Tim Blair, and Piers Akerman being the most prominent – the media had no qualms. Not at first. By March of 2013 however it was clear even to the press gallery that Jooolya and Co were doomed. Press supervision under Labor was a comfortable prospect. Under Abbott and the Liberals it was far less appealing. The proposed laws were suddenly up for question. Was this really such a good idea? Wouldn’t these laws give the government an unreasonable amount of power? (Remember that moment in Nineteen Eighty-Four when the enemy changes mid-speech?) Communications Minister Stephen Conroy made an abrupt change of course. Having vowed the laws would go through, his line became This is the legislation. Take it or leave it.
Parliament said, We’ll leave it.
Goodbye, Public Interest Media Advocate.
Back to our main story.
Abbott came out of the blocks in good style. He disposed of the carbon tax we were never going to have, and the mining tax that didn’t quite meet Labor’s revenue expectations. Most importantly, he stopped the people smugglers. The left have never forgiven him for that. The rules put in place by John Howard’s government were removed by Kevin Rudd, and thus began a steady flow of people from distant lands who managed to lose their documentation between there and here. When the flow proved unmanageable the left went from ‘We should let them in’ to ‘Nothing we can do to prevent this’. Abbott and Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, proved them wrong.
Australians wanted TA as PM. But that didn’t prevent them from pulling the old one-two on election day. The Liberals won a solid majority in the House of Representatives; the Senate was a very different story. Minority parties picked up enough seats to take the balance of power. And Labor, now in opposition, blocked changes that it had espoused while in government. Within a few months of the election the rumble started: Double Dissolution, Now. Abbott held firm and the government made whatever bargains it could.
The gloss was beginning to come off. Then Tony Abbott backed down on 18c.
Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people because of their race or ethnicity. This is the law under which Andrew Bolt, mentioned above, was prosecuted. As Opposition leader in 2012 Abbott had vowed to remove 18c. His reversal in 2014 drew a storm of criticism. Abbott was accused of yielding to the Muslim community; when he met exclusively with Muslim leaders for a friendly chat, the accusation grew louder.
Discontent among the citizens was rising. In the view of the press, naturally, Abbott had done nothing good from the start. If the Prime Minister had found a cure for cancer, the headlines would have been ABBOTT DELIVERS THREAT TO DOCTORS. If he’d walked on water: PRIME MINISTER DECLARES INTENTION TO CLOSE SHIPPING INDUSTRY. You get the picture. Nevertheless, when a leadership challenge was announced in early 2015, the public came out strongly in support of Tony. No challenge eventuated.
The challenger’s name was Malcolm Turnbull.
Part 2 to follow.