News National Self-delusion reigns in a week of chaos

Self-delusion reigns in a week of chaos

tony abbott
Tony Abbott may get his time in the spotlight once again with a return to the frontbench. Photo: Getty
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If there was a theme running through the shambles that was politics this past week, it was self-delusion.

Our news feeds were jam-packed with past and present politicians and their enablers who refused to see things as they really are – a hot mess that claims to be our “stable government”.

First this week was the latest News Corp columnist to push the case for Tony Abbott to be appointed to the Turnbull ministry.

Just like the previous conservative commentators who’ve recently done so, Cate McGregor claimed the best way to stop Mr Abbott from undermining his successor was to reward him with a promotion.

However Ms McGregor went even further, suggesting Mr Abbott would make an excellent Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Apparently Mr Abbott’s regular glamping trips to remote Indigenous communities have given him a special insight into Australia’s first people.

Really? Then how is it that Mr Abbott has regularly shown a blatant disregard for those people, with comments that Australia was “um, scarcely” settled before British colonisation and claims that it is a “lifestyle choice” for Indigenous Australians to live in remote parts of the country?

The former PM’s regular proxy, Peta Credlin, also needs a reality check.

Apparently taking on the role of Mr Abbott’s spokesperson, Ms Credlin claimed the former PM doesn’t want a job in Cabinet and aspires to be nothing more than a strong backbench parliamentarian.

Peta Credlin
Ms Credlin needs a reality check. Photo: AAP

Then why did two of Mr Abbott’s closest confidantes write columns in the past two weeks arguing for his return? Ms McGregor even claimed she had done so with Mr Abbott’s knowledge (and implied consent).

Meanwhile, the man himself was doing his job as a strong backbencher, not on Manly beach in his electorate, but in Papua New Guinea where he visited Australian Federal Police officers and dropped in to see his good friend, the Prime Minister of PNG.

The man Mr Abbott is not trying to emulate, again according to Peta Credlin, was also kidding himself in the news this week.

Perhaps prodded by an angry Bill Shorten, Kevin Rudd entered the fray this week, claiming his 2013 proclamation that boat-borne asylum seekers would never get to Australia had a twelve-month cap on it.

At the time, it was an attempt by the newly re-installed PM to out-macho the Opposition leader Tony Abbott on the issue and there was never any mention of it being temporary.

Nice try Kevin, pull the other one.

Appeasing the xenophobic right is at the heart of the Coalition's latest policy, says Kevin Rudd.
Kevin Rudd entered the debate over Australia’s asylum seeker policy. Photo: AAP

But wait, there’s more. Not to be outdone by the old political hands, some of the nation’s newest political players have also shown a troubling disconnect with reality in recent times.

Family First Senator and a member of the crossbench, Bob Day, announced and then put on hold his resignation from office, claiming he wanted to vote first for the Government’s proposal to re-establish the ABCC.

Then he resigned again this week when it became clear the collapse of his construction empire would render him bankrupt and ineligible to hold office.

Senate crossbencher Bob Day.
Senator Day resigned, then un-resigned, then resigned. Photo: AAP

Or was it because, as it also emerged this week, Mr Day’s financial interest in the building that housed his office ruled him out from being elected in the first place? That’s one for the High Court to sort out on Monday.

The Court will also rule on whether the election of another crossbencher: One Nation Senator, Rod Culleton, was invalid because he’d been convicted of an offence that can attract a prison sentence of a year or longer at the time of the election.

Almost taking the prize for self-delusion this week, the former business entrepreneur and wool classer Senator Culleton told the assembled media, “This is a constitutional matter, and boy am I sharp on the Constitution so this is right up my veggie patch”.

And yet there is one person even more disconnected with reality than this miserable lineup.

Yes, our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull outclassed everyone in the self-delusions stakes this week when he scoffed at a journalist for suggesting the Senate crossbench was in chaos.

“There is no chaos,” the Prime Minister said, with a completely straight face.

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