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Tony Abbott in Abbottland says 'Above all we are patriots’. Who is he kidding?

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At the end of a week of blood and carnage a phrase from insurgent Tony Abbott skewed the whole sorry chaotic mess into another arena.
As Abbott was leaving the executioners’ room in which Scott Morrison had leapt out from the barricades and ambushed rampaging Peter Dutton, slain his ambitions, and thus part of those of Abbott’s, the ex-PM spoke that “above all we are patriots”.
In the circumstances, what a curious term to use. It wasn’t, and isn’t, entirely clear to whom he was referring – his cohort, the entire partyroom, or indeed the entire party.
“Above all we are patriots.”
It is the reactionary, defensive mark of one who has been embattled, and who now seeks to tell the nation that whatever you see, whatever you think, you must see it in this context. “Above all we are patriots”. Was he, to the eyes of the world, trying to repress ambition, revenge, indeed the personal in the name of the greater good, the country? Had he been accused of not being a patriot?
One only expects to see and hear this type of phraseology if there is smoke rising from the ruins of cities and towns, if society has been laid waste in the fight to save, well, everything. Perhaps he had just watched Patriot Games and had subconsciously become Harrison Ford.

One wonders what sniping, wrecking and undermining looks like in Abbottland.

Abbott’s full comment was this: “We have lost the Prime Minister, there is a government to save. That’s what all of us will do our best to do now, to save the government.
“As we have been reminding ourselves, we are the custodians of great logical traditions. The Liberal tradition of smaller government, greater freedom, lower taxes, the conservative traditional support for families, small business and values and institutions that have stood the rich test of time, but above all we are patriots, we want to make sure the country is strong and as good as it possibly can be, based on the wonderful achievements we already have to our name.”
One wonders at the meaning of the opening remark. “We have lost the Prime Minister.” What, has he been misplaced, perhaps strayed into the woods and can’t be found. Perhaps eaten by wolves? Or can it be seen in a battle context, but without implication on who led the assassination.
In 2014, as PM, Abbott made it clear about the terms of inclusiveness. “Everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first, and you don’t migrate to this country unless you want to join our team.”
Team Australia didn’t brook dissent, and still doesn’t, even to prime ministers.
After he lost to Malcolm Turnbull in a previous spill, Abbott, in what is now a famously mocked comment, said: “There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping. I’ve never leaked or backgrounded against anyone. And I certainly won’t start now.”
One wonders what sniping, wrecking and undermining looks like in Abbottland. Armageddon by the sea, coffee in Warringah.
As to Turnbull after the vote, he was out of there: “Former prime ministers are best out of the Parliament. I don’t think there’s much evidence to suggest that that conclusion is not correct.”
Abbott, who can appear at times to live as the title of the film suggests, in the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, said on the Saturday: ‘‘This is a reset. I think it is a fresh start. I certainly am going to give Scott Morrison total support, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the weeks and months and years to come.’’
But then on Sunday, a silence fell on Abbott himself. He is not to return to Cabinet. It seems Morrison preferred not to have him close to his side.
There are many quotes on patriotism – Mark Twain (“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it”), Samuel Johnson (“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”) and Edward Abbey (“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government”).
But Ambrose Bierce, as ever, cuts through the lunacy:
“Patriotism, n. Combustible rubbish ready to the torch of any one ambitious to illuminate his name. In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit it is the first.”

12 responses to “Tony Abbott in Abbottland says 'Above all we are patriots’. Who is he kidding?

  1. The people of Warringah have a responsibility to Australia
    to get rid of this tool at the next election.
    The same with Dutton’s electorate, oust the spud.
    They are both pathetic excuses for humans, let alone ministers.

    1. Spot on Felix. And I’m sure the people of Warringah will live up to that responsibility, as long as an even just half-decent independent candidate emerges for whom these electors can vote (an emergence which I have no doubt will happen).
      Abbott is completely out of step with the small-l liberal views of the overwhelming majority of people living in the Warringah electorate who voted for marriage equality in substantial numbers and who care deeply about environmental issues. And I’m sure they will relish sending the message at the next federal election that “time’s up, Tony”.

      1. Yes; Susan I completely agree;no place for Dutton or Abbott in Australian federal politics We had an even worse born to rule
        member for Indi Sophie Mirrabe[[a with more skeletons in the cupboard than Dutton and Abbot combined.

    1. Who’s the real tool, Ian ? Turnbull? Compared to at least half of the Federal Coalition, he’s an also-ran in the tool stakes, surely

  2. The best thing that could happen to Tony Abbott is that he be ignored. He serves the interests of no one but a small ultra conservative clique within the liberal party who do not represent the broader views of the community. The press should treat him as invisible and mute. If that were to be the case he would fade into the obscurity that he richly deserves.

  3. Yes, well Warwick, Abbott was and remains a laughable hypocrite. That’s an extremely well-worn theme.
    I’d rather hear you on the hypocrisy and risible pomposity of this new PM. Like all zealots he believes his own BS. He seems to be pitching himself at middle Australia, dropping suburban references and talking about his local footy team. Trying to play the Bob Hawke-esque man of the people. “On our side” !!! Trying to leave his nasty bullying, enforcer past behind him.
    He’ll be made to look stupid, doctrinaire and put of touch pretty soon, is my prediction

  4. The weasel hypocrite says…
    “As we have been reminding ourselves, we are the custodians of great logical traditions. The Liberal tradition of smaller government, greater freedom, lower taxes, the conservative traditional support for families, small business and values and institutions that have stood the rich test of time, ….” one might add… ‘the test of time with which it doesn’t move or change’. The rest of us know that time and change are an inevitable part of the universe. And that ignorance will be not only his downfall but the the downfall of the party which he speaks so fondly of and loves. Good riddance to him and all the dinosaurs.

  5. BRAN NEW DAY
    now we got unk, unk, unctuosity
    oh what a gross monstrosity
    unknown in all philosophy
    swampthing so lethal and obscene

  6. How does Abbott reconcile his supposed Christian values with being in reality such a nasty and unpleasant person? So Trump-like. His boxer’s gait symbolises his aggressive attitude, and the obvious self-loathing constantly portrayed on his face (due possibly to his Catholic upbringing) spell out that he is only happy when causing destruction. Warringah voters, please rid us of this accursed abbot.

  7. Thanks for all those perfect quotes defining the meaning of patriotism. I’ve already forwarded them on – attribution to your piece here in Daily Review!

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