You know how Abbott is just too appalling for words? How every single thinking Australian – and many others besides – are all cringing in horror at the evil clown act we have as Australian Prime Minister? Which is insulting to evil clowns?
You know how all these claims are kicking around social media about Tony Abbott’s brain, some of which have – but should not have – ventured into intellectual disability and mental health diagnosis territory? Because we simply can not fully comprehend the repulsive creepiness of this which was apparently democratically elected?
Yes, it is all questions. Tony Abbott is stupendously dense and revolting. But that is not the main problem. The key question we struggle with is this: how is it that a man who is an apparently legitimately elected leader of the country incapable of speaking sense? What the hell kind of system produces a head of government so gross and so hypocritical, so deceitful and so nonsensical? Abbott makes his nasty paterfamilias – the terror-mongering racist John Howard, a conscience-free zone who sowed the seeds for this disaster – seem like a relatively benign and harmless old man. What the hell is going on in this country?
There are four key areas of explanation, and all stem from the fact that Tony Abbott is a typical privileged white male of the most destructive and greedy kind. He is typical, yet extreme. Abbott represents an extreme point on the spectrum of what goes horribly wrong when elite white men continue to hold power, as white men have, for century upon century, lording it over – and profiteering in – human lives, among other imperialist abominations, of which slavery is but one example.
The first is Abbott’s Englishness. This is not about Abbott and his failure to renounce British citizenship before standing for Commonwealth Parliament. (As an aside, if Abbott did renounce his British citizenship prior to the first time he contested the seat of Warringah in 1994, you may colour me very very surprised.)
No, this is about Abbott’s imperial attitude to women and Indigenous people. It is about his utter disregard for our rights, his inability to understand that we are not only human but better humans than those who reproduce elitist power structures based on exclusion and greed.
Tony does not get this. He appointed himself Minister for Women and for Indigenous Affairs because of the same basic character flaw. As an English-born wannabe try-hard non-aristocrat, he follows in the footsteps of the old-school English elite. Abbott thinks that by declaring something so – a misogynist declaring himself the minister for women, for example – that the rest will simply fall into place. Because he said so. A typical linear elitist thinker, if we can call him a thinker at all.
This brings me to the next two of the four key areas that explain Abbott’s unfitness for office: his Catholicism. We need not spend too much time on it. That particular type of sectarianism is a thing of the past, thank goodness. Simply take all the observations about try-hard Tony, and multiply each by at least two, because Tony is not Church of England, but Tony is a wannabe non-aristocrat of the English-born variety.
Many of us whose ancestors were relatively early occupiers of this continent, and who rarely identify as any nationality other than Australian, are descended from the feckless second sons of the minor British aristocracy. The gamblers and womanisers and drunks. Those who missed out on primogeniture (probably just as well) and were sent to the colonies to become magistrates and police chiefs and senior bureaucrats because who better to lead a new nation than such characters? Who better to benefit from – and bequeath to their descendants – the riches of the stolen land?
Such is the pseudo upper-class English mind, and its mindless faith that blue blood – even said blood diluted to within an inch of its minor aristocrat concentrate by whiskey and miscegenation and interracial marriage – somehow trumps merit-based promotion, genuine leadership, local knowledge, and belonging to the land. This wholly untrue and ultimately disgusting elitism is how the LNP collectively thinks, and this is how someone like Tony Abbott ends up in power.
So Tony Abbott embodies an imperialist Aust-Brit mentality with its aristocratic pretensions; as well as embodying a Catholic-Brit try-hard attempt to be accepted by the protestant majority. This is bad enough, but Tony has two other flaws that feed into his way of speaking – his inauthentic and meaningless mendacity, that vision-free zone that lacks any global outlook, which in fact lacks any quality that a Prime Minister should display.
Abbott is still the Australian Prime Minister, difficult as that is to withstand. The first two explanations are historically based. The next two are current. Together with his gross and apparently incurable creepiness, the history and current afflictions represent a kind of quinella of incompetence and nastiness that no polity should endure. He is destroying the country.
In his Oxford days, Abbott was a boxer. He was an average student. He would not have been eligible for the Rhodes scholarship on which he famously went to Oxford university had he not eventually applied for Australian citizenship – in order to get the scholarship – and not before – we will always be a bunch of colonials to Abbott. The scholarship is designed for a renaissance man, exceptional in sport as well as in mind. Abbott is neither. I am sure I do not have to point out to anybody that an idiotic bully like Abbott is not a renaissance man. But he was nothing if not ambitious, and boxing was his chosen ‘sport’.
This is hardly surprising: fighting is all Abbott does. He can not build consensus, or form a coherent sentence, let alone a persuasive argument. His only achievements are reliant on the fact that he is a privileged white male who attended elite educational institutions, a path forged and paid for by parental and demographic wealth rather than individual ability of any kind. This is contrary to liberal ideology of course, but liberalism – like democracy itself – has always been by the propertied white male for the propertied white male.
Abbott likes to punch, literally and metaphorically, and it has got him to where he is, but that does not make him good at anything but punching. Disastrously for us, Abbott punched his way to the top in an organisation – the Liberal National Party – which rewards thuggery.
So Abbott can punch, but not very well. He took a lot of hits to the head. This is the third explanation for his imbecilic performance at the G20 in Brisbane this weekend, his partisan, parochial bullshit, his inability to rise to the occasion. Abbott is incapable of rising to any occasion for that matter – other than an election campaign (the 2013 version of which he is apparently still waging).
I am told by a colleague of a specialist sports injury professor and a retired wrestler that Abbott shows every sign of frontal lobe damage. The ahhh and umming. The unspeakable tongue thing. The lip smacking and man-handling. Yes, he is an unreconstructed sexist racist homophobe, but he is also incapable of retaining more than one thought at a time, or processing any input without assistance. No-one in need of this much neurological rehabilitation should be in his position.
The final problem relates to the point about Abbott the man who is incapable of processing thoughts. Affairs of state, geopolitics, the measures by which a civilised society shows its values – say, treatment of the vulnerable – are all beyond Abbott.
Abbott has a Chief of Staff who assumes all roles and delegation power over what assistance he will receive. This has been a monumental failure at every level except one. The one success is that Abbott got elected to the Prime Ministership.
Other than that, his first year in office has been a nightmare of incompetence, spin, cruelty and creepiness. We can not ignore the winking, lip-licking creepiness, because it rears its ugly head so often. Abbott has been spray-tanned and hair-dyed and botoxed to within an inch of his appearance, yet still he can not articulate a policy, or take the reins of government. He can spout three word slogans and bad-mouth the opposition – but this is to not take the reins of government at all.
I do not pretend for a moment that I think Tony Abbott was ever capable of any sort of statesmanship, or leadership, or anything other than his ugly bullying power-seeking self. He found his spiritual home in the Liberal Party, and it is by membership of the Liberal Party that he has become Prime Minister. But I do think that these four general points go some way to explaining just how low we have gone with this man in the Prime Ministerial seat. And what a crying shame it is that the Liberal Party is not motivated to be even slightly more true to its principles, simply because he is in power, despite the fact that liberalism is being trashed by Abbott and his cabinet, trashed beyond repair.
So here we are: the country run by an LNP coalition headed by a delusional misogynist, a racist homophobe; an elitist white male in thrall to an imperial past; driven by a sectarian history; a man so embarrassingly inarticulate he is both intellectually and spiritually incapable of putting together a warm or constructive sentence; who is also a bully and a liar; and who is unfit to hold public office.