Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had one goal and one goal only: destroy the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
When Mr Abbott became Prime Minister of Australia, it was not terribly surprising as Labor had hung itself on the civil war between Kevin Rudd and Ms Gillard. Relentlessly the Liberal Party picked away at both until Australians decided they wanted no more of the Labor civil war and voted for the Liberal Government.
But when the Liberal Party came to office, they bore the impression of rabbits caught in the headlights. They had no idea what to do. Umm, let cut taxes said the first Treasurer Joe Hockey. So they started wildly slashing the machete at any taxes in sight. Umm, lets wage open war on refugees and boat people said the first Minister of Immigration, Scott Morrison. So with reckless abandon accompanied by howls of pain from the refugees and rage from human rights organizations, the Government gleefully started treating the detainees of Australia’s detention centres almost like concentration camp inmates – woe betide anything the U.N. might have said (and did). Umm, lets shirtfront the Russian President said the Prime Minister himself (though admittedly given the probability that the only country that could have supplied such an advanced surface to air missile was Russia, Mr Abbott probably did have reason to be that angry). Umm, lets ignore the drop in demand for coal and mine for more, said Minister for Environment Greg Hunt.
The barometer plummeted. Watching the barometer of this Government plunge was truly spectacular viewing. Down, down and down it went some more. Down so far and so fast, that before the end of Mr Abbott’s first year in office, rumblings about toppling him were an everyday occurrence and before the second year ended, a reality. Malcolm Turnbull had become Prime Minister. One might have thought that this would make Mr Abbott reassess his conduct. But no. Like a two year old ignoring a telling off, he threw his toys out of the cot. Like a two year old refusing to settle, he began telling stories behind Mr Turnbull’s back.
For a time Mr Turnbull’s popularity surged. Here was a man people thought might undo the damage that Mr Abbott had done and restore a degree of confidence in the leadership of Australia. He changed Ministers around. Joe Hockey left and was replaced by Scott Morrison as Treasurer. Mr Morrison was replaced by Peter Dutton as Minister of Immigration. Maybe these changes could help Australia out of the mire it finds itself in. Maybe these guys have a plan, and an idea of how to carry it out.
Maybe that was just a pipe dream…
Now Mr Turnbull has found the surge in popularity that followed his ousting of Mr Abbott to have completely eroded. It has been undone by the simple fact that changing the Prime Minister does nothing to hide or mitigate the fact that this is the most inept, corrupt and irresponsible Liberal Party Government in Australian history.
Without second thoughts, I think despite the concessions Mr Turnbull made to New Zealand on the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia, it will be a good thing for New Zealand if the Liberal Party gets the thrash at the Australian election. No Australian Government has done so much in so little time to besmirch the great name that the A.N.Z.A.C.’s created for both Australia and New Zealand as the three year charade coming to an end. No Australian Government in recent memory has had such coldly callous Ministers like Peter Dutton to crap on Australia’s human rights record with such abject contempt for international law and Australia’s responsibilities.
And thus perhaps no Australian Government in recent history is so deserving of the thrashing that could be handed out by Australian voters on Election Day 2016.