The obsession with defaming Abbott at the G20

Wow, it’s been a weekend of headline after headline from the ‘progressive’ outlets seemingly obsessed with undermining, embarrassing, and defaming our Prime Minister to suit their own political ends.  

People complain about the bias of the Murdoch press, but it really is a sad state of affairs when every headline on the largest meeting of world leaders in history has been focused on embarrassing Tony Abbott by nit picking tiny, insignificant elements of his speeches and finding every possible, desperate angle for attack. The issues of growth, conflict and tackling disease gave way to a national commentary that descended into an asinine obsession with personality.

It started with Abbott’s apparently failed ‘shirtfront’ on Vladimir Putin – where the ABC attempted a pathetic skit of satire aimed at mocking Abbott while seemingly forgetting they were offending the families of people who died on the MH17 flight. Then came Abbott’s supposed ’embarrassing comment that when the first settlers arrived here, Australia was ‘nothing but bush.’ In the context of what he was saying, there was nothing factually incorrect about his statements. From an infrastructure point of view, in which he was talking, Australia was nothing but bush. It should be noted that the world leaders then trotted off to join in a Welcome to Country ceremony to pay their recognition to the country’s first owners, but this didn’t rate a mention over all the faux outrage over Abbott’s comments.

Where next to find the ’embarrassing’ story? It didn’t take long. Abbott was in the firing line again after his supposed ‘cringe worthy’ opening speech when he made a minor comment about each country’s domestic agenda and the difficulties that come with passing difficult reform, to which he then cited his government’s $7 GP co-payment as an example. Never mind that world leaders in discussion also mentioned some of their own policy frustrations at the summit, and never mind the fact that the majority of the speech urged leaders to maintain optimism in the face of challenges occurring in the Middle East and West Africa. Never mind the emphasis on freer trade, growth, and tackling unemployment. Abbott mentioned GP payments – cue outrage.

Meanwhile, radicals outside in the streets of Brisbane were burning Australian flags in protest over indigenous rights. Talk about embarrassing. B2iD6qRCQAEVADa Yep, the headlines keep flooding in, and they all focus on one target- Abbott. Meanwhile, beneath the noise, the leaders did actually do some talking and the following commitments have been made under their Communique:

  • Raising global growth to deliver better living standards and quality jobs for people across the world.
  • Implementing structural reforms to lift growth and private sector activity, recognising that well-functioning markets underpin prosperity
  • Establishing a Global Infrastructure Hub with a four-year mandate.
  • Setting new targets and implementing initiatives to tackle youth unemployment.
  • 2015-16 G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan
  • Establishing increased collaboration on global energy markets.
  • Committing to lift the G20’s annual GDP growth to at least an additional two per cent by 2018
  • Agreeing to the goal of reducing the gap in participation rates between men and women in our countries by 25 per cent by 2025

Did you read about much of that over the weekend? Probably not. You see, Abbott led the G20 meeting, and Abbott is bad, you know. So bad, so every headline must be…bad. Because Abbott is bad. The reports will continue to come flooding in – Abbott embarrasses Australia at the G20. Abbott sends Australia backward. Abbott was bad. Abbott ‘insert negative headline here just cos.’

So what did the US president say? Obama thanked Abbott and said that Australia had been an ‘extraordinary host’. But hey, the headlines will no doubt suggest a huge rift between the leader of the free world and our lowly Prime Minister. sun18-20141116121803943609-620x349 There was a blatant aim by the nation’s progressive class to undermine the G20 at every turn this weekend, and it was nothing short of disgraceful. It was particularly concerning that one of our elected members, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, had the audacity to mock the meeting of world leaders on our shores, by posting this on his social media account: scott ludlam Because I’m sure no security at all would have worked wonders. Now THAT could have been embarrassing. The chattering classes wanted to hijack this weekend and utilise it to promote their pet causes – climate change, equalising wealth distribution, and same-sex marriage rights. Barack Obama was happy to indulge, free from the difficulties of actually taking action on such matters in his own country. Without a doubt, the China-US deal on reducing carbon emissions is laudable and an achievement worthy of celebration, but these headlines were quickly used as a platform for the Left to embarrass Australia by pointing out Abbott’s dissonance on climate change. Perhaps people should look to Obama’s own modest record on climate politics, and before they high five the Chinese for their ‘achievement’, perhaps look at their record over the past decade.

Barack Obama, the charismatic and charming US president, has always been brilliant at the arousing, inspiring speeches, but when one looks at his record as president they could only conclude that he’s done much on seeming, and little on doing. It’s true that in his time as President US carbon emissions have decreased, but that’s more a product of recession rather than any lasting policy achievement. In fairness to Obama, he has faced an obstructionist congress from day one, but Abbott faces the same issues here in the Senate with his budget – but don’t expect much sympathy there.

Here, we had a world leaders meeting where common ground was reached in tackling world disease, freeing up our borders for trade, closing the gender pay gap and promoting economic growth across the world, with a particular eye to easing youth unemployment. But those issues didn’t matter, because Tony Abbott ran the show; and because Tony ran the show, the political left could not see past their own hate to look at the issues that matter.

Fellow Australians, we don’t have to worry about Tony Abbott embarrassing us as a country. We have plenty of people out there going out of their way to do it themselves.

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45 Comments on The obsession with defaming Abbott at the G20

  1. What a great article – this is spot on!

    • Well remember his time as opposition leader ? It was basically open season on Rudd and Gillard. He was the most negative opposition leader ever . I am not trying to defend Gillard . But Abbott was the worst when it came to dishing out – now he needs to take it. His rules

      • Dale Hughes // November 19, 2014 at 7:21 pm //

        Yes, as opposition leader this would be expected. But when it comes to media reporting, there should be some sort of balance. (I’ll acknowledge that the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph were unreasonably bias towards Abbott during the 2013 election campaign). The point is, that many outlets are becoming cheerleaders and campaigners rather than reporters.

  2. I’d hate to be labelled as part of the “progressive class” (a section of society that favours innovation and/or social reform)
    I don’t think this label is fitting, not because it’s insulting, but it implies we live in a society split into different classes. I like to think we live in a country of equality and fairness…
    But… at the risk of perpetuating these classist brown nosers’ paradigms of societal organisation, I’d like to respond by saying I think who ever wrote that piece should first look up the definition of “defamation”.
    Maybe I’m mistaken, but it’s not defamation to point out truths, it may well be biased to concentrate on particular truths to further a particular way of thinking, but it’s not actually defamation.
    I’m just glad mr Abbot kept his speedos out of sight 🙂

    • And there you go. Mr Abbott wears his speedos when he is participating in triathlons or when he is surf lifesaving. Both occasions are correct and appropriate. When he was at the G20 he wore a suit. Again, correct and appropriate. It appears, unlike much of the media, that he may be able to actually dress himself without assistance. 🙂

      • Dale Hughes // November 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm //

        Interesting that it’s also okay to criticise our male PM for his dress sense, but similar commentary on a female politician would earn visceral criticism from many corners of the media.

    • Sorry that’s not new . Again – and I’m not a labor supporter but the media has also been extremely vocal against Rudd Gillard Swan . This is not new against Abott

  3. Best article yet. I am so over the Australia bashing…. Lets face it lefties and Greens….. Australia did us proud! Get over it…….. Next

    • The Abbott government has achieved more in forteen months that the other lot did in two terms and then some. Bishop, Morrison, Robb, Frydenberg, Bilson and Turnbull are ministers doing an outstanding job and kicking goals left right and center and still the media are obsessed with all things negative! The media are a disgrace in this country!

      • Dale Hughes // November 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm //

        They were basically out to get Abbott from the day he was elected. For most of the Left, or all, it wouldn’t matter if Abbott gave them all a bar of solid gold – they’d complain about the package it came in.

      • Are you kidding? Show us all these “goals” that have meant to have been kicked by this government. You obviously must be in some kind of business that will benefit from reduced wages, higher taxes, no penalty rates. Then there are the funding cuts in health and education, the loss of major manufacturing and the near collapse of our iconic airline. Soon we’ll be signed into free trade agreements that will further erode our industries and workers rights (have a good look at the TPP).
        Yep, they’ve certainly kicked some goals…..
        Just not the right ones.

  4. Linda Marshall // November 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm // Reply

    Yes,noticed the way our Priminister was being addressed in the media. Good work that you picked it up. We should have had our heads held high, but it was a little hard to listin to the snide reporting. Should not have been allowed in my books. The media makes Australia look bad.

  5. Good story…except Obama didn’t face an obstructionist congress from day one. He had control of the House and the Senate…until his first midterms, where he lost the House and his second midterms where he lost the Senate.

  6. I guess all sides might agree on one thing at least – the importance of free press as an essential part of democracy.
    Ideally we all get to decide what is most true and fair for ourselves. So, thank you for writing this and lending me some more perspectives to consider 🙂
    Ps. Sorry for calling you a “classist brown noser” – it takes guts to write articles like yours, so for that at least I should still commend and thank you 🙂

  7. My main problems with Abbott are:
    1 He said before he was elected that he would increase our overseas aid. After being elected PM he made the biggest cut to overseas aid in our history.
    2 He has cut $180,000 from Nungalinya College, Darwin, an Aboriginal Theological college.
    3 He persists in calling asylum seekers “illegal” when they are not.
    The problem is that we have no real Opposition.

  8. I’m not a fan of the Sydney Morning Herald

  9. At last we have a government with sound and responsible leadership, with a Prime Minister with education, leadership qualities and a sound background in family values. I wouldn’t say that I am a practising Christian, but I do believe that Christian values and teachings, have made our society strong and very morally successful.
    If we are to have change, it needs to be for the right reasons. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it as they say, whoever they are! I hope we have Tony Abbott and his team leading our great country, for many years to come. I do worry though that he might be persecuted to the ends of despare. It takes a special character to take all the flack Tony keeps getting, to just keep going, let alone stick to his unpopular, but necessary, agenda.😓

    • Sound background in family values. Christian values. Morally successful. The man supports pedophiles! He writes references for pedophile priests!!!!! Good Lord!! At least get your facts straight!!!

      • Robyn Croft // November 19, 2014 at 11:47 am //

        I guess if you were really a strong believer in your Government you would also attach your name. We in this country believe in a ‘fair-go’ and equality generally, but this comes with a need to stand up and take responsibility for your own actions, as well as your words. Unless you are Tony Abbott, him being a magician when it comes to the art of changing a seeming promise into a new and healthy strategic policy statement, then perhaps you are in fact Mr Abbott hiding behind the ‘anonymous’ tag above.

  10. Australia is a stronger nation with character because of Tony Abbott, he is indeed a Statesman .

  11. What a load of crap it isn’t a obsession it’s just easy

  12. Defaming?
    The opposite is true.
    Defamation refers to untruthful allegations.

  13. Anyone who defends Abbott is a delusional fool plain and simple. If you can’t see the error of his ways and the damage he’s caused Australia on the world stage then you must be living under a rock. This article is an embarrassment and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    • You can defend a politician and still disagree with key elements of their agenda. It’s called balance. Dealing with the issues – not the person. Thats pretty much the essence of this article.

  14. Abbott and the liberal party didn’t want to talk about climate change but the g20 did anyway. It was included in the communique simply because it couldn’t be prevented by Tony Abbott.

  15. “The chattering classes wanted to hijack this weekend and utilise it to promote their pet causes – climate change, equalising wealth distribution…” – OK, guilty as charged, I must be part of the ‘chattering class’ because I care about the environment and human rights (and yes, I did join a protest about tax havens and another about cruelty to refugees – G20 seems to have made some progress on the first of those).

    • So you plead guilty to promoting climate change because you care about the environment. It must irritate you that Obama’s solution to Climate Change is Shale Gas (Fracking)…

  16. I love biased articles on biased articles.

    • When we know better we do better, said Mia Angeleou. In this case, action beats inaction any day. We learn from doing, we progress from doing. There is not a Scientiest alive today that would not agree that none of us can see mystically into the future with a crystal ball. We need to trust and believe in the science of the day. If not, what have we got that can possibly trump it in History, unless of course you have the said crystal ball, if that is the case, then why would we need need governments. The mass production of crystal balls would all that would be needed.

  17. Your comment Dale: ” Interesting that it’s also okay to criticise our male PM for his dress sense, but similar commentary on a female politician would earn visceral criticism from many corners of the media.” During Gillard’s time in power the media constantly criticised everything about her regarding her looks and dress to the point of vilification. She never appeared in swimwear or dressed in a way that could be interpreted as embarrassing for the public to witness yet they never let up on her.

    • Fair call. The main point is that it’s useless and meaningless commentary to be discussing a politician’s dress sense when there’s more serious issues at hand.

  18. Dale,

    Great article.

    Just wanted to point out one thing though. You claim that “It’s true that in his time as President US carbon emissions have decreased, but that’s more a product of recession rather than any lasting policy achievement.”

    This is not in fact correct, the recession has only caused a very small reduction to emissions. The main reason behind the incredibly large carbon emissions in the US, which are now at a 20 year low is in fact due to a huge move towards Shale Gas (Fracking).

    The actual demand in the US for energy has hardly changed one bit, but Shale Gas produces approximately 50% less carbon emissions so by increasing production of this “cleaner energy” emissions have naturally fallen.

    The US, Canada and China are the only countries in the world who extract Shale Gas in a commercial volume and it is no wonder they are promoting “cleaner energy” as it is the only affordable, cleaner(er) fuel that could meet existing energy demands and they have a comparative advantage in producing and selling it to the rest of the world.

    The G20 was an economic forum and it makes perfect sense for every nation’s head of state to push their economic agenda, and that is EXACTLY what Obama was doing in regards to climate change and using it as a political tool to push his economic agenda. The leftists in this country were just too busy bashing Abbott to see it.

    Personally, I am not against Fracking, but 99% of people on the left are… I found the hypocrisy of them applauding Obama to be quite entertaining.

    Australia has huge Shale Gas deposits, I wonder if the inner-city socialists think we should start Fracking here and selling our “Clean Energy” to the world.

    Random Supporting Link: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/project_syndicate/2012/09/thanks_to_fracking_u_s_carbon_emissions_are_at_the_lowest_levels_in_20_years_.html

  19. Dale, I find your article typical. The last Gocernment, and especially the Prime Minister(s) put up with years of atrocious name calling and nit, picking far worse than anything that Mr.Abbott has seen yet. Did you object to that or was it more aligned with your own beliefs. I abhor the way Australians want to tear down other Australians and so was shamed by the lack of respect for Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. If and when the commentary on Tony Abbott falls to the same base level I will be equally ashamed and vocal. But it’s not in the same ball park yet.

    • I acknowledge that Rudd and Gillard copped a fair whack – and much of it personal and unacceptable – especially in regards to comments about Gillard’s father and her dress sense.
      However, Abbott has fallen victim to the same visceral hatred. The worst example thus far being at a gig when a band decapitated an effigy of the PM before declaring that they’d love to do it for real. Sure, that’s only one extreme example, but there’s a strong level of hatred levelled at Abbott that does the rounds on social media every day.
      The problem with social media is it has given rise to keyboard warriors who feel free to heap vitriol on elected officials. They show no respect for office.
      I’ll admit, as a blogger, I’m a key board warrior too – however I would argue that I present my views with a level of respect.

  20. Isn’t it amazing that the most vitriolic statements come from anonymous people who don’t have the courage to show their faces when they direspect, villify and slander our Prime Minister. At least he (Tony Abbott) has the courage of his convictions and the strength of character sadly missing amongst the so-called keyboard warriors. Shame on you…..

  21. Great article! Tall Poppy Syndrome in full swing in Australia.. If only we knew the value of honor as a society! I am embarrassed to share citizenship with anyone who burns our flag.. A total lack of respect to the brave men and women that have given their lives so that we can live in a free nation..

  22. The only disgrace to Australia here is the people involved in burning our flag. Lowest of the low.

  23. Well let’s be honest, the man is a pshycopath, intent on ruining Australia as we’ve known it. Turns out he’s just done a deal with the devil, China, good bye Australian minimum wage oh and australian food security. The man is a scurge and needs to go.
    All you supporters have been had by this moronic leader and govt. Hope your kids are happy now cause they won’t be for long.

    • How can a comment be taken seriously when it opens with labelling an elected Prime Minister a ‘psychopath’? Clearly it’s not objective.
      Free trade is good for the economy and it’s good for people. We can accept globalisation or we can resist it – but such resistance will be futile.

  24. Sean Colepeper // November 19, 2014 at 7:35 am // Reply

    Great article Mr Hughes; and I also agree with your response to the comment alleging that Tony Abbott has been treated less unfairly by the media than Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

    An example of the media treating one camp more fairly than the other leaps to mind: when Julia Gillard made the statement that there would “never be a carbon tax” under any government she led, and then introduced a carbon tax, elements of the media defended the move by implying that she had not lied, she had made one statement based on available information at the time nd then changed her stance as additional information became available. (“I’m never wrong, I’m only misinformed”)

    When Tony Abbott makes a statement that Australia will not put government employees in harm’s way by sending them to assist in fighting the Ebola crisis until a robust evacuation plan is in place; and then commits resources to go to Sierra Leone after Britain agrees to evacuate them should the need arise; then the media (especially the ABC) calls it a back-flip. This is the sort of double standard that riles me.

    A second example of the visceral hatred you mentioned (great term, by the way!) was a post on social media showing a female protestor with a sign that read that Kings rule kingdoms, Emirs Emirates, Princes Principalities etc. and then remarked that it is no wonder that we call Australia a country. Tame compared to beheading an effigy of Tony Abbott but, still, calling an elected Prime Minister a c*nt is hardly the stuff of informed discourse.

    Even Kevin Rudd, who was the saviour of the day when he was elected amongst scenes of rapturous, almost hysterical national euphoria only lasted about two months before the first headlines started heaping criticism on his shoulders.

    Nationally, we have zero respect for our elected representatives and using terms like “larrikinism” to describe dissent and “tall poppy syndrome” to describe how we cut people down simply lessens the reality of how bad it has become.

  25. It,s the typical Aussie “Tall Poppy Syndrome” It doesn’t matter who you are what you are in charge of, you always get belittled/critisiesd by the “wanna be’s”! Unfortunately, respect is very hard to find those days.

  26. Australian people for some reason have no respect for anyone in authority. We have a problem with anyone in a high position. Look how Julia backstabbed Rudd. Disgusting. I wouldn’t want to be a politician in this country. It would be like trying to be a teacher to a bunch of spoilt brats. There are tough decisions to be made to get out country back on track. Those decisions cannot be made properly by any Govt, whether Labor or Liberal or other, because the public (whingers) make such a song and dance about any tough decision that they lose support in the polls and need to think about the next election!!! The public is to blame because we just want everything handed to us, generation with sense of entitlement, and not willing to sacrifice or work for it like they do in other countries. That’s why the rest of the world is leaving us in the dust. It’s not our politicians fault!!! We have an awesome country. Why don’t people look at the giant strides we are making… FTA with China – huge boost for our Service Industries and farming. Would you rather a good “speaker” or a “doer”. I remember when Obama came into power with all his great speeches, what has he done, nothing, he’s been the biggest embarrassment to the US. Cut our prime minister some slack and have some respect peeps.

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