My view of Tony Abbott is that he is one of the straightest politicians around. Like many on the right, I have defended him because many of perceptions that exist on Abbott are the result of an incredibly biased media, especially the ABC. The organisation has endlessly attacked Abbott with a vicious intent that is most likely driven by fear of losing their jobs if Abbott makes further cuts to their budget. As he should.
However under that layer of support, I have had to admit to substantial unease, and it has been difficult to clarify what has driven it. Until I read the Spectator article written by James Allan entitled “THe YUUY Disease”. Mr. Allen with great clarity has put into words what was in my mind.
The Y.U.U.Y. disease
Mr Abbott’s problem is that he’s got ‘yielding’ and ‘unyielding the wrong way around.
In a nutshell the problem thus far is that he has been yielding when he should have been unyielding and been unyielding when he should have been yielding. This YUUY disease did not come upon the man until after he became Prime Minister. In opposition he showed no traces of the disease.
Allan talks of the incorrect perceptions the left wing mainstream media have put out there-
….Mr Abbott’s problem is that he has been running a radically right wing government. He’s yielded to the right and not yielded to the supposedly moderate and more lefty side of political debate. Frankly, that is balderdash. Mr Abbott’s problem is exactly the opposite. What we have seen so far is a Labor-lite government, albeit incompetently administered.
Then he gets to the real issues that have upset Abbott’s Conservative base. (my emphasis)
But I certainly didn’t vote for a Labor-lite administration. I voted for a small government, free-speech favouring, right-of-centre team. And that has been nowhere to be seen. Try naming two conservative things this government has done, other than getting rid of the carbon tax and stopping the boats. Was the Paid Parental Leave scheme in any way a small government scheme concerned with limiting spending? You must be joking. The only political party remotely supportive of it was the Greens. When opposition to this boondoggle arose Mr Abbott was unyielding in his support of it.
Or what of spending restraint? In opposition Mr Abbott endlessly told us – correctly – that Australia has a spending problem not a revenue problem. Yet once in government he yielded to the big spending powers that be. He opted to raise taxes, pretending it was a temporary measure. And in return did he first ensure that the Senate passed any spending cutbacks? No. He yielded when he should have been unyielding about more taxing and spending.
Or take co-payment charges for doctor visits. Across the Tasman the charges can run to $17 a visit. If you come out and say we have a God-awful spending trajectory and must make savings, and worse that people need to see that going to the doctor is not a free good, you could make the case. It might be unpopular with some, but plenty of others would support you, just as they did in New Zealand.
Instead that message went out the window when the savings were funnelled into some medical research fund. Are you kidding me? We’re going to take this immense political pain to send a bunch of money to the huge, inefficient bureaucracies that run research in this country?
Does anyone in government have the slightest idea how university bureaucracies run? Let me tell you. First, a hefty percentage is taken off the top and goes to the bureaucracy. Our university bureaucracies look overpaid and top-heavy compared to Canada, the US or the UK. Nor is it remotely plausible to think any of this money would be anything other than of marginal benefit in terms of the worldwide race to discover cures for anything.
Personally, as someone who works in a university, I was against the GP co-payment the minute it was going to some research fund. Again, to this flabby, big government-type patronage Mr Abbott was yielding instead of unyielding.
Then there is the flip side. On repeal of 18C, for which he had a huge political mandate, Mr Abbott yielded when he should have been unyielding. And where have the various lobby groups that make up ‘Team Australia’ been these last few weeks in supporting you Tony? Nowhere. They have been totally silent, because the truth is that they support Labor or prefer Mr Turnbull.
Had Mr Abbott put emasculation of 18C through the House and then to the Senate, no one would have blamed the government for the Bill not passing. Labor would be on the record as the anti-free speech party that it is. So would the loony Senate independents. But Mr Abbott yielded when he should have been unyielding. It is as though he deliberately wished to alienate his core supporters.
He says more should be done to sort out the out of control ABC, and he’s right on the button again
…Then there’s this government’s insipid response to clear and undeniable bias at the ABC. It goes for some piss-weak 5 per cent cut that gets it as much vitriol from Ultimo headquarters as it would have got from a Canadian-style 10 per cent cut. And it does nothing about the fact that not a single, solitary presenter or producer of a big time current affairs TV show has a right of centre pedigree. As one British commentator recently put it, ‘The ABC leans so far left, it makes the BBC look like Fox News’.
Allan finishes of with good advice. I’m thinking its going to fall on deaf ears.
So it’s now or never Mr Abbott. Start yielding on all the big government idiocies and start being unyielding on all the pro-free speech, pro-small government things we all thought you stood for. You can still win the next election. Otherwise it will be Mr Turnbull – and I can get ready to cast a donkey vote for the second time in my life.
Mr Allan is about as right as you can get about Abbott. However I thought a lot of the criticism’s has made could pretty much be applied to John Key as well. Especially the stuff about saying one thing in opposition and doing another once in govt.
Full article is here. Really worth a read.