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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Albanese Brands 'Negative Abbott' A 'One Trick Tony' In Stinging Parliamentary Attack | newmatilda.com

Albanese Brands 'Negative Abbott' A 'One Trick Tony' In Stinging Parliamentary Attack | newmatilda.com

Albanese Brands 'Negative Abbott' A 'One Trick Tony' In Stinging Parliamentary Attack



By Chris Graham





If
you like passionate politics and zinging one-liners, then Anthony
Albanese's speech in parliament today won’t disappoint. Chris Graham
reports.




Labor
heavyweight Anthony Albanese has delivered a stinging rebuke of the
Abbott Government in parliament today, describing the Prime Minister as
‘one-trick Tony’, courtesy of his incessant negativity in opposition and
government.



Speaking to an almost empty parliamentary committee room, the
Opposition spokesman on Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism delivered a
speech that was clearly pitched at the party faithful. Although this is
one of those occasions where you can actually pick your party – both
Labor and Liberal appear to be heartily sick of Abbott.



As all good ageing hippies should, Albanese began his speech with a reference to the Rolling Stones.


“Those great philosophers Jagger and Richards wrote and sang in 1965
‘I can’t get no satisfaction’. Australian voters might be reminding
themselves of this today as they consider the disappointment known as
the Abbott Government,” Albanese said.



And then he got nasty.


“This is a government defined by disappointment, deceit and
incompetence. The opposition leader who promised so much has morphed
into a confused Prime Minister, a man rapidly sinking into the quicksand
of his own negativity.



“Not only can he not lead the nation, he cannot even lead his own
government, which is desperately split on policy and political direction
and crippled by internal power struggles.



“The source of this government’s dysfunction is the cynical opportunism of its period in opposition.


“Most parties in opposition focus on holding governments to account
and rebuilding their credibility by developing new ideas. That’s what
Dan Andrews did in Victoria in the past few years. He made himself a
participant in the battle of ideas and now he is Premier of Victoria.



“When the Abbott Government was in opposition its only focus was attacking the former Labor government.


“As Opposition Leader the Prime Minister transformed the Coalition
into the Noalition, building his entire case for power on anti-Labor
hatred and three word slogans.



“Everything about politics, and nothing about policy.


“That’s why the Tories have retreated to their comfort zone today.
Without positive ideas, they’ve been forced to lean heavily on Tony
Abbott’s regressive and punitive personal ideology, one that values
individualism ahead of equity and opportunity.



“The Prime Minister’s negativity did make him a formidable opposition leader, but they make him a pretty bad Prime Minister.


“We now see that negativity is all he ever had. It is his only weapon. He is a one trick Tony.”


And you’ll note Albanese hasn’t even got to the part about Abbott’s broken promises yet. Or the budget.


“You can’t win the battle of ideas if you have no ideas. You can’t
run an economy on three word slogans. You don’t create jobs by saying no
to everything. And you don’t inspire people by misleading them.



“Before the election, the Prime Minister promised no cuts to health,
education, pensions, the ABC or SBS. He promised no new taxes.



“In government he has cut $80 billion from health and education,
slashed funding for the ABC and SBS and created new taxes, whenever
people visit a GP or fill up their car at the petrol bowser.



“Rubbing salt into the wounds, he has since insulted the electorates’
intelligence with Monty Python-esque claims that he hasn’t broken any
promises.”



And at this point, Albanese really got started, zeroing in on the
Coalition’s real weak spot – virtually everything it’s done since it got
in office.



“The Prime Minister is on the wrong side of history, his place
defined not by leadership and forward thinking but by a sad yearning for
a less equal and less progressive past. A place where average
Australians pay a Medicare levy every week, only to be told they have to
pay again to visit a doctor. A place where education is about
entrenching privilege not spreading opportunity. Where climate science
is derided and where a visiting US president’s praise for the splendor
of the Great Barrier Reef is attacked by those opposite as an affront to
our national sovereignty.



“It’s a place where our renewal energy target has been so successful
that it has to be scrapped, where we have only one woman in the cabinet,
where radio shock jocks and partisan newspaper columnists set the
government’s political agenda, where bigotry is a right, where people
communicate over ageing copper wire rather than 21st century fibre, a
place where the long-faded trappings of our colonial past are revived
through the re-introduction of the British honours system.



“The Abbott Government has misread the egalitarian nature of
Australian culture. Australians care about the fair go. Part of what
defines us is a generosity of spirit, one that embraces a sense of
community and common interest.”



Which is all, of course, true.


But you might equally argue that the parliamentary wing of the
Australian Labor Party has misread the electorate too, by installing
Bill Shorten to the leadership position, rather than Albanese.



You might also wonder why this sort of parliamentary theatre is delivered to an empty committee room.


Either way, Albanese’s stirring speech suggests that Labor senses
there’s more than a few drops of Prime Ministerial blood in the water,
and they intend to finally start turning up the heat.



It’s the final sitting week of parliament for 2014… expect things to descend from here.


You can watch the full 10 minute speech on Albanese’s Facebook page here. Albanese moves onto transport and infrastructure, and a brief tirade on the G20.


* New Matilda is an independent Australian media outlet that relies almost entirely on reader subscriptions for its survival. You can help fund New Matilda here. 




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