Seriously, give Tony a break.

In a Liberal Democracy, the freedom to criticise the country’s leader is our right, yet the blind hatred reserved for our current Prime Minister by some sectors of the community has removed any ounce of rationality and objectivity.

Tony Abbott, thus far, I believe, has been a mediocre Prime Minister at best. Whilst I agree with his government’s general aspiration of fixing the structural problems of our budget to ensure its long term sustainability, many of the attempted measures to tackle this issue have rightly been criticised, and some shelved altogether.

It’s fair enough to criticise and oppose Abbott on key aspects of policy. Yet too often, especially in social media circles, nasty, vitriolic venom is being hurled at our elected leader with no attempt at objectivity. There’s a vile hatred festering in facebook groups, on Twitter accounts, and in the blogosphere, that’s spitting bile at a man elected to do his bit for public life.

Take, for example, this YouTube clip –

– depicting Abbott and his family. Abbott is not only portrayed as a poor father and goofy buffoon, but as an incestuous creep.

Or take this particular spittle of filth, (http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/watch-gwar-decapitate-a-tony-abbott-effigy-at-soundwave/) courtesy of musicfeeds.com.au, that glorifies heavy metal band, Gwar, for decapitating an effigy of the Prime Minister during 2014’s Soundwave concert. The writer can hardly hide her glee and praise: ‘The universe’s mighty gods of gore and heavy metal, Virginian (by way of Antarctica) sons Gwar, have once and for all proven their status as the undisputed champions of carnage when they decapitated an effigy of Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott on stage at Soundwave. The gathered crowd of revellers then enjoyed an outpouring of the PM’s blood, sprouting from his exposed jugular veins.’

Disgraceful stuff. Ironic too, that the supposed political left in the country can harbour such hate, when much of their trade markets on moral superiority and human rights.

Even if we look to some of the more supposedly objective internet sites, there’s a complete lack of rationality when it comes to discussing our Prime Minister. Mamamia, the well known feminist blog space, yesterday posted this on their facebook page: Abbott

How incredibly bias and misleading. First of all, the post overlooks the many female members of the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade who were also present, and the post seemingly sort to demonise Abbott for representing ALL Australians. It’s commendable that Abbott, despite his position, still dedicates much time and money into the community as a volunteer, providing an admirable commitment to his rural firefighting brigade. Seriously, if Abbott rescued children from a burning building, the haters would still find some reason to criticise him, probably because he wasn’t spending his valuable time with pretentious female bloggers enjoying Sunday sippers at their spacious country club.

This photo was also doing the rounds on social media last night, and it was particularly amusing:

Abbott2

What did Abbott do wrong here? Well, for some, he was breathing air, but there were others who were attacking him for not offering his wife his umbrella when it was International Women’s Day. How incredibly disrespectful and selfish, they bellowed! They didn’t seem to look hard, because if they did, they would see that SHE’S HOLDING HER OWN BLOODY UMBRELLA!

Seriously, enough. If people wish to attack the PM on his policies, fine. I too have criticised Abbott on his performance. As recently as three weeks ago I called for Turnbull to replace him as leader. Yet unlike others in the blogosphere and other circles in social media, I don’t hate the Prime Minister for living. It’s unfortunate in Australia that respect for office is becoming a foreign concept. Former PM Julia Gillard endured her own barrage of smut and bile, and the spit and poison has evolved into something more dangerous since Tony’s election.

You don’t have to like Tony, and you certainly don’t need to give him your vote. But please, for the sake of our healthy democracy, demonstrate a degree of objectivity and rationality in our civic discourse. Thank you.

 

 

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39 Comments on Seriously, give Tony a break.

  1. Dale, Julia Gillard received just as much hatred and scrutiny from the media. It’s part of the job! If your doing a poor job then you need to expect that you will be criticized. If you continually make poor decisions and ‘captains calls’, then the badness will continue. Abbott has bought a lot of this on himself! It’s time for Julie Bishop or Malcome Turnbull to take over. This country needs a leader who is not arrogant and full of themselves. A leader who knows how to govern and inspire confidence. A leader who listens and puts the country above their own self preservation. While Abbott knows who to attack, he can’t communicate and he is far from inspiring.

  2. Dale Hughes // March 9, 2015 at 4:53 pm // Reply

    Leeanne, you clearly missed my point. It’s fine to criticise him on policy – that’s fair enough. But decapitating effigies and portraying him as an incestuous creep is an affront to our public discourse. I also acknowledged that Julia Gillard copped her whack as well.

  3. Julia received the same for being a woman and a red haired. I don’t disagree it is not appropriate, but freedom of speech. Interestingly, when we had strong leaders who governed and only focused on policy and issues, we didn’t have this sort of press. It is not just the media and he public that needs to change, but the way in which politicians conduct themselves also needs to change. Why is Turnbal and Bishop so popular? I would say the majority of it is about how they conduct themselves? They only focus on the issues not attacking.

  4. Dale Hughes // March 9, 2015 at 5:06 pm // Reply

    John Howard also copped his fair share of hate. In this age of faceless keyboard warriors, people feel they can write as they please without consequence. Our civic discourse is the worse for it.

  5. He deserves everything he gets. Remember Ditch the Witch? You reap what you sow. No sympathy. It’s part of the job.

  6. Dale Hughes // March 9, 2015 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    How sad it is that the justification for personal, vicious attacks on our PM is that it just comes with the job. Thank you Chris for illustrating my point.

  7. And this was appropriate Dale – The talkback host told a packed room of Liberal Party members: “Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he has a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament.”
    Allan Jones comments about the death of Julia Gillard’s father.

    • Dale Hughes // March 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm // Reply

      Leeanne, did you not read the final paragraph of the article? Or did you just choose to ignore it so you could prattle on?

  8. Here here!

  9. He and the LNP are Fascists , pure and simple

    • Dale Hughes // March 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm // Reply

      Really? I think you need to look at what a fascist regime actually is. The Abbott government is accountable to the people. They have not sought to circumvent democratic institutions. A very poor comment that does me the favour of illustrating the earlier points made in the article.

      • This list might illustrate the fascist for you, Dale: http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm

      • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm //

        Control of the mass media? Really? Last time I looked, the government is copping its fair whack in several circles of our mainstream media.

      • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 12:45 pm //

        Absolute hyperbole.

      • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm //

        Fraudulent elections? Wow. The fact that you would seek to link Abbott with the likes of Hitler and Franco is disturbing. And you seemingly do it thinking it a worthy contribution to debate. Thank you for illustrating my central point about the lack of objectivity out there when it comes to discussing this government.

      • Yeah, actually they did – they’ve tried more than once to get legislation passed without having it go through the senate. That is pretty much the definition of circumventing our democratic institutions.

  10. John Fuller // March 10, 2015 at 6:21 am // Reply

    Dale Two points, Abbott is not our elected leader he is elected by his party not the people, and maybe you should really look at what Fascism really is and it will show that this government is closer to Fascism then conservatism. They circumvented the the Senate to get a couple of things through because the Senate “the democratic process” would not pass them. True comments are usually classed as poor comments by people whom choose not to believe them. Just my opinion.

  11. An article written by a seeningly one-eyed sycophant, factually inaccurate and serious on missions.
    No mention of the countless election lies, the secrecy, the vindictiveness.
    Of course Abbott is hated, but not the way Howard was.
    The hatred towards Abbott is much stronger, and with good reason.
    It’s difficult to believe that anyone with half a brain would think Tony Abbott was being hard-done-by.
    HE’S the one who tore up the rule book.
    HE’S the one who has made one idiotic decision after another.
    HE’S the one who has been shown to have told more lies in his 18 months as PM than anyone else….EVER?
    How dare you call for “a break” for him.
    He has had 18 months. How much more time does an incompetent idiot need?
    How many more disasters do we have to endure?
    The article, sadly, is an attempt to defend the totally indefensible.

  12. They have not sought to circumvent democratic institutions, sorry Dale
    you better take the blind fold off

    • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 12:51 pm // Reply

      Please explain how they have sought to circumvent democratic institutions…
      Are you saying their attempts at getting legalisation through the senate would be such an example?

  13. hahahaha @ Dale Hughes for pretending to write a fair and balanced article, then attacks everyone who comments against him in

    Also he forgot to write the important fact that “Dale Hughes is a freelance writer and a member of the Victorian Liberal Party.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/dale-hughes/6003626

  14. davidgrantlloyd // March 10, 2015 at 1:04 pm // Reply

    Very gutless of you not to mention you’re a member of the Liberal party, Dale. Like most right wingers in this country, whenever progressives are criticised and abused you call it freedom of speech … but when it happens to your side of politics you start whingeing “Awww, come one, give him a break.’ Pathetic.

    Tony Abbott is an immigrant (and apparently still hasn’t renounced his British citizenship) who has implemented the most inhuman refugee policies (which has directly lead to various suicides, hunger strikes and there have even been many incidents of rape and sexual molestation against women and children in detention centers under his leadership), he has been proven guilty of tax evasion, he has been quoted to say “Sex isn’t something that should be a woman’s absolute right to withhold” (which, let’s face it, is practically endorsing rape), he has stated his opinion that white settlers, in his view, were the “first Australians”. His colourful past includes defending a paedophile priest in court and he has been charged with sexual assault, he has broken more election promises than any other PM in history (no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no cuts to ABC, no cuts to SBS, no new taxes, etc) … and this is just half of his resume …

    And you’re asking us to just ignore all this and “give him a break”???? The sheer arrogance and revolting double-standards of you conservatives is beyond insulting. Can you get any lower?

    • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm // Reply

      First of all, I need not mention any links to the liberal party. My online profile is established and there for all to see. The central points remain that personal attacks on our PM should not be tolerated. At least your assessment of Abbott is based on his actions and words. I would differ on some of your perceptions, however. Is it not true that the number of people in detention has decreased since Abbott’s election? Is it also not true that regrettable incidents in detention also occurred under Labor’s watch?

      • Dale is hilarious!

        “need not mention any links to the liberal party” – despite disclosing information like this is a standard and expected practice in journalism

      • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 1:33 pm //

        Lol well Nick, like I said, my online profile makes it clear that I have links to the party. No attempt to hide that. Should I be expected to remind people of such links on any article that I write here? My abc profile makes it quite clear and I have never attempted to hide that fact.

      • “Should I be expected to remind people of such links on any article that I write here”

        Um….yes!!!

        how many people are going to know of your connections if they ONLY view this page? The profile your avatar links to contains no information as such, and the only reason I found out was by googling you.

      • Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm //

        Regardless, whether I am linked to the party or not, it shouldn’t lessen the point that we need to improve the political discourse in this country. From all sides.

  15. it does lessen your point, as this article is very pro-Abbott and doesn’t bring into discussion the same discourse which was thrown to Gillard, Milne, Shorten, even Palmer!

    it cheapens your argument and makes what you have written invalid

  16. oh i take everything back, what you have written makes total sense, is unbiased and has swayed my opinion completely. Give this man a Walkley! Vote 1 for Dale at the next LNP spill motion

  17. Dale, normally I’d agree with you on not making any personnel attacks on a standing PM. Unfortunatly Tony has been the worst offender when it comes to attacking PM’s. HE has made, the most disgusting, vile and indefendably wicked comments ever made against a standing PM. To come on and defend him or the Liberal party (they picked him) is a waste of time. Everyone hates him. We are paying this guy 500,000 a year to represent this country and steer it to a prosperous future. Well everyone is pretty pissed off cause he ain’t doing either, if anything the opposite. The is NO vision, no anything from this goverment which is why everyone is pouring it on. The Australian population IMO is pretty smart, they know a dud when they see one. You shouldn’t be asking us to get off Tony’s back but telling the Liberal Party, YOUR PARTY. To pull thier heads out of thier butts and lay some serious foundation for Australia’s future. ie Getting rid of Tony ASAP. Repeating “WE stopping the boats and scraped the carbon tax” just doesn’t do it mate.

  18. Dale Hughes // March 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm // Reply

    Sean, attacks on policy and vision, or lack thereof, is fine. However, baseless attacks that are personal, such as decapitating effigies, have no place in our democracy.

  19. Great response Sean. Australia is a democracy, with freedom of speech and expression a part of that. Get a grip Dale. Abbott is possibly one of Australians worst ever PMs. As a public figure you expect to receive flack, and when you mess up as much as her has you are going to expect more. If he shows such disrespect to Australians, why should he deserve the same in return? Stop trying to defend a list cause!!

    • Dale Hughes // March 11, 2015 at 10:57 am // Reply

      I’m not trying to defend any ’cause’ Leeanne. As a public figure, yes, it’s fair to cop some flack, but there’s a level that we should be prepared to tolerate, and a lower level that should be called upon. I don’t know how many times I need to repeat this: attack Abbott on policy, that’s fine, but lay off the personal attacks.

  20. I 100% agree with this article we should stand by our elected leaders no matter who they are whether it be a liberal or labor leader. And for all those accusing Dale of being biased I read an article he wrote saying that Turnbul should be the Prime Minister. Clearly he’s not the biggest fan of Abbott either and he makes a damn good point Australians feel the need to pay out on our leaders and it needs to stop no matter what PM we have. People are personally attacking Abbott about anything but his actual policies this is where the people of this country have no idea.

  21. These people are talking like the PM’s job is just a walk on the park…He is not put in that position to please everybody but to do what’s in the best interest of this country as a whole. He’s there because the majority thinks he can fulfil the role.

    It’s very unfortunate how many people abuse freedom of speech by being disrespectful and irrational.

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