Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston

Tony Abbott versus the world. The leadership battle heats up

For how much longer Tony Abbott will continue as Prime Minister no one knows but it could be over soon with a ballot highly likely next week as late on Tuesday night (3/2/15) members of his own party called for him to resign.

People are blaming the many mistakes Abbott has made but there are 2 mistakes that have not received a great deal of focus from the media that are worth looking at because both were and still are very damaging.

One was the Knighthood of Angus Houston who is the former leader of the Australian Defence Force and someone I have written about a couple of times. The second was Tony Abbott’s attack on social media users in an attempt to down play criticism of the Knighthood of Prince Philip.

Angus Houston

When Angus Houston was the Chief of the Defence Force (2005-2011) he was up to his neck in denying justice and compensation to women who were sexually abused and other abuse victims were also denied justice.

I wrote an article in April 2011 titled “How the Defence Minister Stephen Smith and others cover up the sexual abuse of women” (Click here to read the article) and followed it up in July 2011 with another article on the matter titled “Going Jack – Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston” (Click here to read the article)

Abuse victims who had their complaints stonewalled and swept under the carpet for years by Angus Houston would have been horrified when Tony Abbott read out Houston’s name for the Knighthood. This would have lost Mr Abbott and the Liberal Party plenty of support. While the Knighthood of Prince Philip was embarrassing nationally so was the Angus Houston appointment to a lot of people who know his many failings.

In April 2011 the government set up the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce because the problem had become so bad. (Click here to read more) Angus Houston resigned in July 2011 as a disgrace and should never have received any award let alone a Knighthood.

(Click anywhere on the above video to watch)

Attacking Social Media is fatal for politicians because they are then taking on the world

For any politician to attack or insult social media users is political suicide. On Australia Day Tony Abbott attacked all social media users who did not agree with the Knighthood of Prince Philip and what made it even worse is that many of them are Liberal voters. Abbott said “Social media is kind of like electronic graffiti and I think that in the media, you make a big mistake to pay too much attention to social media” (Click here to read more)

Abbott attacked social media even further in the above video and said that social media “has as much credibility as graffiti”. He was in effect attacking everyone who uses social media. What makes the comment strange is that the government spends millions to monitor social media and Abbott would have to be aware of it as it is run by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The SMH reported:

“The Abbott government has created a hub of 37 communication and social media specialists to monitor social media and offer strategic communications advice costing taxpayers almost $4.3 million a year.” (Click here to read more)

The phones of the federal Liberal MPs would have been ringing continuously from their own supporters complaining about Prime Minister Abbott. You can attack the opposition all day every day but once you start attacking your own supporters you are stuffed. And that is why Tony Abbott is in so much trouble. It is pretty much all his own doing.

If Tony Abbott loses the expected ballot next week whoever ends up leader will probably not be much better than Abbott. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before things get better. I thought we had bottomed out with Gillard and Rudd but it looks like we have further to go and it could last a few years.

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44 replies »

  1. Abbott’s judgement, or lack of , was never more evident in his selection for “knighthoods of both Prince Philip and Houston. The man is simply not a good leader and has demonstrated this time and again since his election to the leadership of this once great country.
    To further demonstrate his removal from reality is his unilateral decision to reintroduce titles. Clearly there should be a review over the powers of the prime minister. Shackled comes to mind.

    • His lack of judgement AND his lack of accountability to the people are becoming very evident. MPs today do not represent and exercise sound judgement on behalf of those who elect them. They call themselves leaders but were never elected to lead. They are elected to represent us in parliament and manage good governance for us.
      Two-party adversarial goverment is the root cause.

    • he is a tool for the global criminal elite. or possibly one of them. examples: his attack on russia considering the overwhelming evidence of CIA activity in ukraine and MH17, his support of israel murdering palestinians and seizing land etc, shows who he REALLY is. i now understand what shorten meant when he warned us about him.

      • You think Abbott’s bad on these subjects? Wait till you taste a load of Turnbulldust. Abbott will look a true patriot compared to Goldman’s traitor in Canberra.

  2. My God, why can’t people just know when its over and leave gracefully, as to the Knighthoods why would anyone bring them back, to cause more problems than they are worth in the first place..!!

    Lastly I suspect that Electronic Graffiti in the 21st Century may now be, “Mightier than the Sword” and nobody told Abbott that.. 🙂

  3. While I am not particularly a supporter of Tony Abbott I as a CONSTITUTIONALIST do not regard he is worse then others. He just appears to many to be so. I have plenty to criticise Tony Abbott but generally the same as with other former Prime Ministers. the danger is getting rid of Tony Abbott is likely to get back to a carbon tax and other such nonsense. Julia Bishop appears to me to be a good Foreign Minister, but that doesn’t make her a good Prime Minister! As for Malcolm Turnbull, I view he be the worst choice. He cannot even follow up on his own 2013 writings! Perhaps we should now see it as a rude wake up call for Tony Abbott and he might just now prove to improve himself for the better. We are all humans and make errors in some way or an other and I view that despite what anyone may view about his errors we should give him the opportunity to prove he has learned a lesson. he mere fact that he dropped his “signature policy” may show the man has accepted to humiliate himself big time and as I see it for the better. Again I have ample against Tony Abbott of the past, but quite frankly, have the view it would be a big mistake to now get rid of the man as Prime Minister. there is a lot more I could add but for now this will do.

    • I totally agree with you Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka. I think he will get the message he has been given and will be better than anyone else for Prime Minister.

  4. Why have our lives become a bad dream ? at least that is how it seems , and yes I hoped too that after Rudd and Gillard ,things would get better ,but I was severely mistaken .

    Words just cant express ,my Frustration in the recent decisions by Abbott ,The Houston Knighting because of the sexual abuse and compensation fiasco is just a total sham , with rule of Law in Play we probably would see the guy in jail for perverting the course of justice ,among other charges .

    As for Prince Phillip He is German isn’t he and related to the queen ? either way the stories coming out of England at the moment are all bad in relation to this supposed Honourable man , another total disgrace in my book .

    Not much has been said about the Lowering of flags to half mast for the Now dead King Abdullah of Saudi , 87 innocent people were beheaded by his Government last year and 15 already this year , apart from the myriad of other human rights abuses ,I think the world should have been celebrating the death of this evil man .

    And it’s for those reasons that Abbott has to go ,Australia is in the worst position it’s been in for decades and it’s only getting worse day by day , when will some real men and women step forward ? This Government has Zero credibility , as does Labour .

    • Bob, I too thought how lucky Houston was to slip under the radar so to speak (how apt) with all the broo hhar har over the D of E getting the award as well.

      Putting himself in front of the cameras almost daily, (have you seen a Defence Chief before or since do that?), he allowed himself to become far too politicised as CDF during the Gillard years, and despite what the newspapers say, some of his decisions relating to Defence left a lot of people within the ADF seriously questioning his judgement.

      One put it to me very well: Angus was more the master of being SEEN to be getting the job done rather than actually getting the job done. A near perfect attribute for someone working for Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd.

  5. I’m starting to think the government will be gonsky at the next election no matter who leads them into opposition so although Abbott should be replaced they might just leave him as who wants to pick up the slops bucket?

  6. Tony Abbott has said that he went to a Jesuit school. If you want to know what the Jesuits are about and then you may understand why he is giving drop kicks like Houston and Prince Phillip knighthoods. First Gillard now Abbott – who’s next? Time for a complete change of politics in this country and giving Labour, Liberal and the Greens the flick. It doesn’t matter who you vote for but if you stay with any of the existing major parties you will be getting more corruption. They say that they offer alternatives but they all dance to same tune and obey the same masters.

  7. Social Media is similar to Letters to the Editor, except nearly everyone gets published. Instead of disregarding Social Media, Abbott should study it carefully to get to know what the real electorate is thinking>

  8. I think Tony Abbott got the social media remark very, very wrong..another mistake I guess you could say..any politician that doesn’t take social media very seriously is doomed to fail. That said..although I’ve never been a fan of Abbott, the Libs will lose me if Malcolm Turnbull or Mal Brough is put up as their leader. Julie Bishop would have my vote..l really like her style..classy and determined. The Sir Prince Phillip thing was just stupid and Angus Huston was even stupider.. are we that hard to find people to honour?

    I do vote not to change leaders at this point..but one more gaffe will do my head in and I will definitely change my mind.

  9. Just another stuff up by Tony Abbott with his 2 unjustified Knighthoods .No wonder the populace is so disenchanted with him, as these were gross miscalculations of his judgment.. Duke of Edinbugh’s case was the worst as it was totally undeserved and all he would do would another ‘GONG’ to his wardrobe. Totally disgraceful and he should go.!!

  10. I have been on this planet for 78 years and have met a great deal of people,some of them personally and some of them through what you call the social media. I have come to the conclusion that the world is half full of grubs and the other half are perfect. most of the people that use the social media come into the second category, including the post operators. Someone please find me the perfect human being to be our next Prime Minister,what about you Shane I am sure you fill the bill.If the coalition dump Abbott they will be dumping their chances at the next election .And we will have the perfect prime minister Bill Shorten. Allan from Myalup.WA.

  11. Just a question Shane. Do you think Bill Shorten will be the prime minister after next year’s election?. If so, it would be horrifying. What’s your opinion Shane?.

    • We’ll deal with that when we get to it. I am due for a post that relates to Shorten which I will do in the next few days or so. But first lets see how this leadership battle plays out. We are all just spectators now. It is up to the Liberal Party MPs to decide what to do.

  12. Liberal leadership crisis: A disaster for NSW, Tony Abbott should stand aside, says former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett

    The federal government’s poor standing may propel the Baird government out of power and Prime Minister Tony Abbott must relinquish the leadership for the good of the Liberal cause, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett said.

    The outspoken Liberal party elder said rather than spruiking Team Australia, Mr Abbott should spare a thought for “Team Liberals”, saying domestic politics was “a shambles” and the federal government’s misery may trickle down to NSW and cause an electoral rout.

    Read more at:

  13. The election of the A.L.P. in Queensland is a disaster. They won’t last long. As for Tony Abbott, I think he is the best man to lead the coalition. I’d hate to see Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister or even Julie Bishop (after Gillard we don’t ever want a women prime minister again). Tony needs to have a fair go. He has done a lot of good in his short time in office. What a mess he has had to clean up……..he’s doing a good job.

    • We never want to see another woman PM? my god! we’ve had quite a lot of failed MALE Prime Ministers and Premiers!! would you ever say that about that gender? words fail me! can you see how FURIOUS I am at such a stupid comment! grow up!!!! and with your user name I can only presume you’re female..I’d better stop right now because Shane would not print the words I’d really like to say!!

  14. It’s a pity that the media is continually stirring the pot. Tony is a very good PM. Leave him alone to do his job!!!!!!!

    • “It’s a pity that the media is continually stirring the pot”

      Tony Abbott made sure all the media were present when he trotted out the missus at Childcare, to tell all their wonderful future that lays ahead, her husband will see to that!

  15. Personally I am against all awards. Be it a knight , a dame or Australian of the year.
    On the whole the average Australian is a pretty good person, (do not include the crime-gang of course.
    I believe awards cause division, no matter how carefully they are chosen.
    As for defence-personnel I believe they get paid, we have not had any wars lately, so no awards are required.

    In regard to the leadership, Mr Abbott may be who he is, I think he has achieved a lot, considering the Senate, which is unworkable, with the idiots, now being Senator..

    Ms Bishop was a very bad Treasurer some years ago, Mr Turnbull is a very bad Communications Minister, as he has done nothing about the ABC, which seems to be totally out of control.
    He was leader, but made some very bad choices, so they had to get rid of him as Leader, so neither are suitable as Prime Minister.

    I believe we have to support Mr Abbott, we have to think of Australia, our country, so do we have to get it totally ruined by Shorten? Please!

  16. QUOTE “we have not had any wars lately” UNQUOTE

    Excuse me???

    YOU might not have had any wars lately, but I’m sure there are more than a few service families, including 40 families who have had their son/husband /father killed on active service in Afghanistan and Iraq who would disagree with you.

    However, there’d be many in uniform who’d agree with you that the knighthood for Angus Houston was perhaps inappropriate.

    I agree that the comment that because Julia Gillard was a disaster, (as she was), we should not have another female PM was silly in the extreme.

  17. How could we forget that ‘Silly old Bugger ” I think those were his words to an old pensioner one day , And yes remember his 1984 Speech to the Fabian Society the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing”, ….. “lie in wait and strike hard like Fabius did , Ect

    Seem to remember Julia did a speech too in 2000 I think , The whole problem is all Parties are beyond Redemption , and we the People Deserve better than this , Laughable to think,….” Tony is doing a good job and we should give him a fair go” ,he is a dismal Failure in my book .

  18. What a mob of clowns we have running the country and states. Only a waste of money having an election because whoever should get over the line there does not appear to be any leaders on the up and up. Very sad state of affairs and would seem to be little hope of improvement in e near future.

    • We don’t elect them to lead. We elect them to do as we tell them. That means all of them in Parliament. There is no Opposition called for in the Constitution. That is a figment of partythink that leads to the corrupted government we have today. A Politician and PM with any balls and regard for the people would give us a recall of Parliament. The last three governments have not shown any regard for good governance. If they had we would be in much bettert shape economically today.

      • Unfortunately neither has any of the State parties shown good governance either…Victoria is a right old mess and has been for awhile now, NT is going through their own rubbish…,NSW threw Labor out and was replaced with the Libs who turned out to be just as dirty as Labor with their brown paper bag own Liberal MP Craig Baumann is a thieving grub and was forced to stand down in December, leaving my electorate MP has missed not having one btw! Unless an independent pops their head up in the next few weeks that we can check out…Libs and Labor are our only options. I despair.

  19. Lots of screams from the left about royalty and that fact they their succession to power is hereditary. Where are the same howls about Ms Paluschez, would be Qld ALP Premier who inherited her fathers seat- the safest Labor seat in Qld?

  20. I tend to agree with both Leah and Suan. The last Labor female Prime minister was a total disaster and a small percentage of male prime ministers have also failed but one hundred percent of female prime ministers have failed. It is not the gender that fails it is the stupid party members that pick the duds whether male or female. they would be good on the farm picking lemons. We do not want film stars and rock singers in parliament we want men and women with guts Menzies and Maggie Thatcher, are a good example.Allan from Myalup.

  21. I wrote the below story is 2012 and it is well worth another read with the current leadership speculation:

    Malcolm Turnbull the rain man who speaks with forked tongue.

    Malcolm Turnbull has called for more truth in parliament. I agree, so in this post we have a look at what a dirty rotten lying scoundrel Malcolm Turnbull is.

    In a speech that Mr Turnbull gave in Perth last Wednesday it was reported “Malcolm Turnbull has decried the state of political discourse in Australia, saying it had deteriorated to such an extent that the nation suffered “a deficit of trust” and there was an urgent need for honesty in politics.”

    Read the full article at:

  22. Electronic graffiti indeed – you can bet your life on it that phony Tony, his party and every pollie who nominates for elections, be they local, state or federal will actively engage to use social media to garner votes for themselves. Their junk will fill our inboxes far, far quicker than what fills our street letterboxes!! Electronic graffiti is identical to junk mail. Perhaps Peta Credlin can remind her boss of this fact.
    We are a part of the Common – wealth with the operative on being labelled Common by the Monarchists. In this day and age, it is high time we dispensed with those useless titles that are really only rewards for the little boys club. We are Australians and our Australia Day medals, titles and ceremonies should be about rewarding those true blue, dinky di Australian efforts – by not using those outdated poncy titles from another country.
    As to the media monitoring and associated costs. So true Shane. I processed the accounts for a single state agency to a company based in Sydney and the monthly amount is horrendously high! Multiply that figure by every state agency in just a single state and the cost is enormous. I think the figure you quote is quite understated in value to that which is actually costing the public purse (either that or agencies are not truthfully detailing their expenditure).

  23. I see that Tony Abbott retains his spot as Pm. He should start to be less autocratic from here on in and maybe giving Peta Creldin a holiday as I think she is useless as chief of staff if she allows the PM to make outrageous decision like giving a gong to Dukey boy.

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