Articles on Tony Abbott

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Peter Slipper made an impact in his first day as Speaker.

Speaker Slipper slips in as Gillard claims a tactical victory

The dramatic surprise resignation of Harry Jenkins as Speaker, on what was meant to be the final sitting day of the year for the House of Representatives (coincidentally also the fourth anniversary of…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled a shift towards Japan in our foreign and trade policy - but is this the right direction?. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Politics, not economics may be at the heart of Abbott’s Japan focus

Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s comments in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers point to a shift in Coalition trade policy that would give Japan higher priority over China. So why would…
Julia Gillard and her Immigration Minister Chris Bowen haven’t had the best of weeks. AAP/Alan Porritt

Asylum seekers to be processed onshore as PM weighs up a long week in politics

The Malaysia Solution isn’t quite dead, but its vital signs are certainly not good. With a steely look in her eye, and barely concealed anger, Julia Gillard blamed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for “trashing…
Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard are not seeing eye to eye on pairing. AAP/Alan Porritt

Petty politics: The perils of parliamentary pairing

The decision last month by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to severely restrict the practice of “pairing” votes in Parliament is another demonstration of the fractious and polarised state of federal politics…
Tony Abbott learnt the hard way that retro chic doesn’t extend to a 1970s sense of humour. AAP

The problem with jokes about Irishmen

Q: How do you confuse an Irishman? A: Put him in front of two shovels and ask him to take his pick Q: How do you get an Irishman on the roof? A: Tell him drinks are on the house. Q: Why did the Irishman…
Julia Gillard was confronted by a shopper about the government’s carbon tax. AAP/Patrick Hamilton

Gillard’s carbon tax fightback evens up the playing field

Before the details of the carbon tax were released this week, the government was fighting with one hand tied behind its back. Sometimes it looked like it had both hands and feet manacled as Prime Minister…
Tony Abbott says the carbon tax is “socialism by stealth”; but is it just “what’s in it for me” politics? AAP

The ‘what’s in it for me?’ carbon tax debate that’s unlikely to create change

Opposition leader Tony Abbott claims the proposed carbon policy is “socialism by stealth”? I wish! I suspect we do need some emphasis on the common good and public benefits to counter the attempts to sell…
Peter Reith votes in the Liberal Federal presidency election. AAP

Peter Reith, Tony Abbott and the industrial relations maze

“Julia Gillard’s retrograde changes to workplace relations law are slowly burning our economy and in time the voices of embattled business will be heard across the country.” – Peter Reith, The Age, June…
A Melbourne picket line during the 1998 waterfront dispute. Takver's Soapbox/Wikipedia

Peter Reith: ‘true believer’ or party pooper

After his failed attempt at winning the Liberal Party presidency, Peter Reith has become a liberated soul. As president he would be expected to avoid controversy, especially on policy issues. But now…
Few in the Liberal party are keen to see a potentially damaging return to the workplace debate. AAP

Party turmoil takes Reith off old Liberal wounds

With political debate dominated by carbon and mining taxes, the recent stirrings by Peter Reith about industrial relations may have come as a bit of a surprise – out of left field, if you will excuse the…
Julia Gillard has to communicate her government’s reason for being. AAP

Dear Prime Minister: we want stories, not lessons

Former US presidential speechwriter, the late William Safire, outlined the components of a perfect political speech as follows: “tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em – then tell ‘em – then tell ‘em what…
A single sentence conveys myriad meanings.

The Machiavellian genius of Abbott’s ‘honest politician’ jibe

“Only an election could make an honest politician of this Prime Minister. Only an election can give Australia a government with authority to make the tough decisions needed to build a stronger Australia…
Family not forgotten: Tony Abbott is congratulated following his budget reply.

Middle class welfare: terrific politics, but terrible economics

“We are animated by but one desire — to do that which is best for Australia, and fair, just, and equitable to all the states, and to all classes and sections of our community.” This quote comes from the…
Personal credibility is what convinces voters. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott comes out swinging but is light on detail

As a boxer Tony Abbott had a limited but effective method described by some as “the whirling dervish”. He was full of energy and on the attack with arms swinging. It was a tactic that could work for the…
Tony Abbott presented an alternate vision instead of an alternative budget. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott’s budget reply: alternate vision with just a hint of hit man

Tony Abbott has arguably outlined the most important public policy agenda for the next decade (no matter which side of politics forms government over that period). The major questions will now be: who…

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