Where In The World Is Tony?
Last night saw yet another QANDA on ABC without the presence of the man who wants Australia to believe he is the best choice as a Prime Minister who’ll represent all of us. I understand Tony has been on QANDA as this profile shows, but I believe the last time was in April 2010. As far as I can make out, Tony has also refused to go on the ABC’s Lateline program since November 2010.
Whenever this is raised on twitter, one gets a chorus of Coalition faithful saying it’s because of the left wing bias on ABC TV, presumably this is exactly why Tony is all too often to be seen on News Limited’s media – all be it it in well scripted conversations, or his famous 30 second ‘arse kick’ soundbites.
My first concern about the lack of Tony Abbott on the ABC is that I feel as if my democratic right to hear Tony is being stifled. I confess I avoid commercial media like we’re told medieval people avoided the plague. I can’t abide stimulating intellectual conversations being interrupted every five to ten minutes by advertisements [Editor’s question: stimulating intellectual conversations on 7, 9 & 10?]. Surely a Rhodes Scholar like Mr Abbott must also be tiring of three years of not being able to truly get his vision for Australia out. His intellect must be itching to be allowed to break through the soundbite barrier and show us who he truly is?
My second concern is that this lack of appearance on ABC’s flagship current affairs programs (watched by the Australians who actually think and talk about politics) is portraying Mr Abbott as either (a) Scared (b) Arrogant or (c) both. Surely the man who has been chosen by his highly experienced peers to walk in Mr Howard’s (*all bow deeply*) footsteps can’t possibly be either of these things. If the Coalition are to successfully remind the voters of Australia that the policies and cabinet ministers that saw Prime Minister Howard loose government and his seat [Editor’s note: to an ex ABC Journalist] so resoundly, then aren’t the viewers of these programs exactly the people he will need to convince?
This all being said, I haven’t allowed for the possibility that it could be Tony’s humility as a transformational leader that is seeing him stand out of the spotliight to allow his troops to fight the good fight in enemy territory. Bishop, Payne, Hockey have all repeatedly shown up and QANDA and Lateline and demonstrated their steadfast loyalty to their leader and the Howardian cult. They’ve loudly trumpeted Tony’s policies from Boat People to Boat People for three years now…so successfully that they forced Labor to adopt the very same policy.
Then there’s poor old Malcolm Turnbull who’s been forced onto the political stage by Tony’s lack of appearance. Like Kevin Rudd, Malcolm is clearly terrified of the media spotlight and unlike Tony, struggles to get the approval of the Australian people. But Malcolm’s real trouble is sticking to well scripted answers [Editor’s question: answers or non-answers?]. Instead, Malcolm wonders off piste showing his true colours with well thought out, intellectual and common sense responses – all at the drop of a leather jacket. Surely Tony must step in, he can’t prolong Malcolm’s agony much longer?
On the bright side, Robbie Dean’s has finally been toppled from the position that he has been so unpopular in for so long to be replaced by the popular, intelligent, experienced Ewen Mackenzie [Editor’s note: who’s been wearing a red tie for many years] …so I hear on the ABC anyway.