It seems everybody hates Tony Abbott these days... well, almost everybody. Mike Seccombe makes the case in the Saturday Paper for the Institute of Public Affairs being Abbott's only friend, with some quotes from the IPA's John Roskam. Yet Seccombe's argument falls down at the first hurdle, as he has to acknowledge that Abbott has not been doing the IPA's bidding on (to them) key policies like repeal of s18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
The repeal of section 18C of the RDA became number four on the IPA’s policy wish list, and before you knew it, Attorney-General George Brandis had personally drafted changes to protect, as he memorably put it, the right to be a bigot. Alas, the public debate has run overwhelmingly against them. Roskam fears “we’ll lose that one”.Similarly, Quadrant calls Abbott and Brandis cowards and quislings for failing to stand up for the rights of old white guys like Andrew Bolt to be racist. The paleoconservatives at the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, who at least are open and honest about their nationalist strain of white power politics, characterise this as "establicons" turning away from the Coalition.
Meanwhile, the Ayn Rand acolytes of the libertarian movement are in even more disarray. David Leyonhjelm got smashed from pillar to post on a recent proposal to sell Australian citizenship for $50,000 a pop by the Establicons, with the Randsformers powerless to defend the silliness of the LDP's egghead Pollyannaism. Open the front door, says David? Shut the front door, say the Cat's resident tories.
So, libertarians hate him for failing to defend freedom or lower taxes, while conservatives hate him for reindexing pensions and disrespecting diggers... is there anyone left on Tony Abbott's side? One has to turn to the News Limited papers to find them - some of whom are connected to the IPA, to be sure. Murdoch's continued support is not about ideology, though, but about media ownership laws. As Jason Clare said yesterday:
“Media reform is a well-trodden minefield and Malcolm Turnbull is welcome to it.”Turnbull can't even have lunch without causing a national incident, so if Murdoch thinks the Liberals are going to be able to finesse a bill through the Senate past Clive Palmer to enable him to take over the Ten Network for which he has been angling for years, he's going to be sorely disappointed.