I’m just jotting this thought down here, because I don’t want to say ‘well, I always thought-‘ and have it be some forgotten tweet far off in the past that nobody can cite.
Simply put, if Tony Abbott goes sometime this week, I’ll be happier, but not happy.
A sentiment I’ve heard outside observers say about Abbott is that he was Australia’s Dubya, which isn’t true at all. Dubya was an incompetent supported by a complex interconnected web of relations and friendships, as most of American politics tends to be. Dubya failed endlessly, played at soldier, and had a warmongering, deliberate streak of proactivity that came from an imperial sense of right and wrong. Ultimately, Dubya is a horrible war criminal and monster, but he’s also a bit dim and relies heavily on the plasticity of memory to not be recalled as anything other than an extremely dumb cheerleader, or a lionised-by-history cowboy badass. Dubya had aims. Dubya had ambitions and Dubya wanted to do things.
Abbott’s not really that sorta guy.
A quote of Abbott’s that’s enduring in my mind is he wanted to not be ‘the best candidate to never be Prime Minister.’ Tony Abbott has been trying to be Prime Minister for a significant portion of my life, and he’s been a hardline conservative, a conciliatory reformer, he’s been pro-war and anti-war, he’s been in favour of gun control and he’s been against gun control. He’s an immigrant who opposes immigration. He’s a hard-liner who doesn’t want any of his stances to apply to him. This is a grown adult who stood mutely before a reporter for thirty seconds and left the reporter convinced he had no idea what was going on. Tony doesn’t care about very much at all in the world, but he sure as hell cares about getting elected. Sure, the man’s scum, and when you do hear him say something genuine, it’s usually shockingly horrible, like his comments on how womens’ primary purpose to the nation was to breed. Otherwise? The man’s a boneless reptile. He has interests he services, he has people he opposes, but everything he says and does is calculated to the immediate surroundings.
Tony Abbott isn’t Australia’s Dubya Bush, he’s Australia’s Mitt Romney.
I don’t think he’ll be ousted tomorrow or the day after. I honestly do not hold out hope for anything like that happening, in no small part because I don’t think we get nice things, these days. But the other fear is, if he’s ousted… what then?
We might get someone just as horrible, but who actually believes in shit.
We got concentration camps, oppression of the young, poor and marginalised, invisibling non-binary people, fostering racism, classism, sexism and all-around shitheeliness out of a government that pretty much didn’t give a shit.
I can’t lie to you, I don’t imagine anyone replacing him will be better as long as that party and government is beholden to the forces in media and business as it is.