SkepDad


Dear Tony: Do you love your country or not?

Posted in #ausvotes by skepdadblog on July 23, 2010
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Dear Mr Abbott,

Australia deserves better than the ALP.  You and I both know that the LNP has what it takes to effectively run the country.  But here’s the problem – there are a lot of people who want to vote Lib, but won’t vote Abbott.  You know it, and it’s about time you stopped ignoring it.  You can’t spin your way out of it by airbrushing yourself out of leaflets and gurning on Hey Hey.  You need to do something big.

You can’t win.  Say it with me.  I. Can’t. Win.

But the Coalition can.

Stand up in front of a wall of Coalition MPs – as many as can be mustered, and anyone not there had better have a cast-iron excuse – and state something like the following:

My fellow Australians,

The Liberal National Coalition has the best blend of experience and sensible, well-considered policy to lead this great nation.  Unfortunately, it is increasingly clear that the Australian people are concerned about my ability to perform the duties of the Prime Minister to the standard they expect and deserve.

Ms Gillard is a formidable opponent, and to be frank, if she were leading the Liberal Party I would follow her willingly.  Unfortunately she leads the Labor party, which has no meaningful policies and has spent the last three years taking Australia backwards.  As Prime Minister, she would do what she does best – talk, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing – while the Labor backroom pulls the strings.

Australia deserves a responsible, open and progressive government, and that means the Coalition.  However, Australia also deserves a strong leader with popular support.  I regret that I am not that leader, but I cannot deny it.

It is thus with a little embarrassment, but firm resolve, that I announce my decision to stand down as leader of the Liberal Party.  We took an unpopular candidate to the election in 2007 and it hurt the nation greatly.  I could not in all conscience allow a repeat of that mistake.

My personal regrets are cancelled by my intense pride at announcing [Malcolm Turnbull|Joe Hockey] as the new, unanimously supported leader.  You all know him, and you know that there is no person on any side of politics more capable of leading this nation.  [name] will see this country right and represent Australia on the international stage as an exemplary Prime Minister.   I ask that you join me in giving him your full support – not at the next election, but at this one.

So now, as the Labor Party sharpens their spin pencils and starts drafting their next fear campaign, I give you our new leader to talk about reality and grown-up policy.  Ladies and gentlemen, [name].

Gracious, displaying immense strength of character and demonstrating to the public that what matters is the nation, not feathering your nest.  Do it in exchange for a choice portfolio, or a nice ambassador’s post, or whatever.  Just do it.  You’ve only got few weeks left as the leader of the opposition anyway, why not go out honourably instead of in disgrace?

The ALP will go after the Libs for changing leaders again; that’s why you need all the MPs there to say that it was open, voluntary, unanimously supported and in the interests of the nation.  No backstabbing.  No faceless union heavies.  Mea culpa.  What matters is the nation, and you’re prepared to make that sacrifice.

It hurts to say, but Tony: you’re our only hope.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.

Tony Abbott on #qanda

Posted in #atheism,#qanda by skepdadblog on April 6, 2010
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I enjoyed seeing Tony Abbott mano a mano with the crowd last night on Q&A.  Aside from his frankly disturbing donkey laugh, he came across fairly knowledgeable, straightforward (almost to the point of gormlessness) and inoffensive.   I disagreed with him on gay marriage, nodded at his position on border protection and generally enjoyed the program.

My one major concern was his comment about the pope (paraphrased pending the transcript):

“I won’t criticise the Pope… he is my Pope…”

Now leaving aside the fact that the catholic pope is, as is increasingly evident, a criminal accessory to child rape; and leaving aside Chairman Rudd’s alleged closeted bible-thumping; how should I feel about a Prime Ministerial candidate who is subjugated to a foreign head of state?

According to 2006 census data, 74.2% of Australians do not recognise the catholic pope as their spiritual leader.  This is probably on the low side, as anecdotally many who categorise themselves RC on the census do not recognise the authority of the Vatican over their daily lives.

Should I be concerned that Tony holds his pope, who the majority of Australians do not recognise, above criticism?  In the case of a conflict of interest, where his country demanded (for example) cutting diplomatic ties with the Vatican over its crimes against humanity, would he do it?  Could he put the people of Australia before his pope?

If Abbott had said the same about Brown, Obama and Mugabe – “I will not criticise them, they are my mentors” – would we feel differently?  What about the British royal family?

To ask Abbott to embrace true secularism is probably a bit too much of a stretch, but as the Australian Prime Minister his loyalty must be to his country and to the people of Australia first.  His own faith, and deference to his spiritual leader, must be a very distant second.