Tony Abbott has conducted what he calls ‘the ultimate pub test’, having ‘hundreds’ of conversations with Australians who say that they’re “sick of politicians”.
Mr Abbott has also published a five-point plan for the Government’s re-election.
And he’s warned the Government that Bill Shorten “could soon be in the Lodge”.
In response to Tony Abbott’s five-point plan, Labor MP Andrew Leigh thinks the former PM is laying the foundations for another Liberal leadership change.
“Tony Abbott’s clearly fighting a rear guard action to the return to the prime ministership,” said Mr Leigh. “When you talk to backbenchers, what’s evident there is that all they’re looking for is a clear challenger to coalesce around.”
However, in Mr Abbott’s own words: “The best way to keep Shorten out is not to sack an elected prime minister yet again but to ensure that the Government does its job better.”
Mr Abbott recently conducted what he called “’the ultimate pub test’ during a charity bike ride in which he visited pubs and cafés, listening to middle Australia about their thoughts on the current state of political affairs.
“Between the riders, the sponsors, and the passers-by, I reckon I spent the best part of eight days listening to a pretty good sample of middle Australia. And people aren’t happy,” he writes. “There’s the usual grizzling about poor roads, not enough services, and out-of-touch government … But there’s an added dimension of frustration with everyone in politics: with governments that don’t deliver, with oppositions that oppose just to score political points, and with minor parties that are all grievance and no solution,” said Mr Abbott.
“My ‘take’ from hundreds of conversations on the road is that people are sick of politicians who are more talk than action and are especially sick of politicians who change their policies to suit their political convenience.”
Tony’s take on Australia’s attitude towards politicians doesn’t seem to concern Trade Minister Steve Ciobo.
“I’ve been in politics more than 15 years and I’ve never in that 15 years known the Australian public to love politicians,” said Mr Ciobo. “I think it’s stating the obvious to say that Australians don’t like politicians.”
Tony Abbott has called on the Coalition to consider his five point plan to reclaim public trust, saying that things are “going to go badly” unless it takes urgent action.
“This budget is better than any time to get on with it,” he said.
Mr Abbott’s five-point plan:
1. Reform the Senate so we have government, not gridlock.
2. Stop subsidising new wind power to take pressure off power prices.
3. De-fund nanny state bureaucracies that persecute journalists but do nothing about Muslim extremists.
4. Protect existing employees, but make it easier for future generations to get work.
5. Don’t apologise for Australia – celebrate it.
Mr Abbott may be accused of fighting a rear guard action to reclaim the top job, but his ‘research’ has certainly revealed the underlying attitude of Australians towards our political climate.
Many Australians are tired of the never-ending too-ing and fro-ing of politicians, with ceaseless backflips and broken promises.
Today, the Government may say that the family home is exempt from the Age Pension assets test, but that won’t give older Australians much solace, as they understand such ‘assurances’ could be open for debate within a year.
Such is the state of Government.
Australians want a strong leader. They want someone who is prepared to make the tough calls. Someone who’ll stand up for the rights of the working class and the poor, so they too can live a life of dignity.
But all we see is a Government seemingly intent on looking after the needs of business owners, property developers, multi-national corporations and the wealthy.
Australians need to send a message to Parliament. If the people truly are sick of politicians and if the power is indeed in the hands of the people, it should be the people who win the next election. And whichever party ascends the throne should be the one that ensures such an end.
And say what you will about Mr Abbott, but at least he’s talking and listening to the people.
What do you think of Tony Abbott’s five-point plan? Do you think he’s being sincere in his actions? Or is he laying the groundwork for another coup? Do you think the Government should focus on the needs of the average Australian rather than those of the wealthy? Are you sick of politicians?