Carlo's Corner: I'm starting to think Tony Abbott might be a left-wing plant

Issue 
Comrade Tony Abbott is setting back the neoliberal agenda by years.

It increasingly seems these days that we don't have a prime minister, we have an instant Internet meme creator. In fact, I am starting think that Tony Abbott is proving so good at generating outrage and bemused laughter in equal measures that he might actually be a left-wing plant.

How else could he prove so useless at actually pushing the hard-right, pro-rich, anti-poor, socially reactionary agenda he claims to stand for?

His endless counter-productive “gaffes” start to make sense if, as seems increasingly likely, he has actually just been burrowing away inside the far-right of the Liberal Party, pretending to combine a worship of corporate interests with extreme socially conservative views.

And then, as was Comrade Abbott's plan all along, when he finally takes office as prime minister, he proves so buffoonishly incompetent and blatantly out-of-touch with anyone born after the 1850s as to guarantee a huge loss of electoral support for the Coalition and set the big business neoliberal reform agenda back years.

Maybe Abbott is up late in his office each night, plotting his latest piece of stupidity, saying to himself: “OK, so I am going to propose slashing pensions and claim it's coz the 'age of entitlement' is over. Now that's pretty absurd, but does it go far enough?

“What would make even more of a mockery of such a claim and prove even more insensitive to the victims of such a policy? I know, I've got it! I'll give Prince Philip a knighthood! The most over-entitled old person on the entire planet! It's genius!”

This could be the only reasonable explanation as to how Abbott could issue a statement as counter-productive to the policy it purports to defend as his statement in response to the WA Coalition government's plan close up to 150 remote Aboriginal communities.

With all the sensitivity of a brass band starting up a cover of Taylor Swift's Shake it Off outside the funeral for a folk singer who's committed suicide out of despair at the state of modern music, Abbott offered his support to the plan to close communities by insisting the government should not be expected to fund Aboriginal people's “lifestyle choices”.

It was a brilliant way to potentially sabotage a hitherto largely unnoticed policy to drive more Aboriginal people off their land. There was Premier Colin Barnett's government, quietly going about its business of ethnic cleansing and undermining potential land rights claims in his resource-rich state by depriving Aboriginal communities of ongoing connection to their land.

Then Abbott basically screams into a microphone: “Hey look everyone! Ongoing genocide! They are driving Aboriginal people off the last bits of land they still live on! Look! Look! Over in WA! Look!”

In response, there was an angry protest of more than 1000 people in Melbourne on March 13 against the planned community closures, which will create up to 20,000 internal refugees. The protesters, hoping to directly confront the prime minister who was visiting in the city, disrupted traffic and forced road closures.

No wonder Barnett publicly described Abbott's comments as “unfortunate”. We can only imagine the langue he used behind closed doors in response to the PM's inability to complete a single sentence without infuriating the nation.

Indeed, Abbott's description of Aboriginal people living on their own land as a “lifestyle choice” proved so offensive, even the infamously right-wing Aboriginal lawyer Noel Pearson condemned it, which is a bit like Eddie Maguire condemning the Collingwood Football Club or me condemning beer.

The only thing missing was Abbott continuing: “We can't keep funding this lifestyle choice as we desperately need the funds to guarantee the fundamental cultural rights of rich white Australians to wealthy private schools propped up with state funds.

“The government spends billions to ensure these private schools allow the young from rich families to enjoy a privileged culture that in some cases stretches back generations, so you can see why we must close rural communities of poor Black people.

“Anything else is an insult to the long-suffering peoples of Sydney's North Shore.”

I am sure, given time, Abbott will no doubt get around to making that point. The only question is whether the Liberal Party will wake up to the rat in their ranks and remove him before he gets the chance.

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