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Friday, 13 June 2014

An Abbott Abroad II: Tony no-friends wants to be like Mike

An Abbott Abroad II: Tony no-friends wants to be like Mike

An Abbott Abroad II: Tony no-friends wants to be like Mike

Twitter meme circulating
this morning after PM Tony Abbott's insult to Australia's soccer team
before its opening World Cup match against Chile.

Part Two of Alan Austin’s
report on Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s bumbling visits to Indonesia,
France, Canada and the USA you will not find in the mainstream media.

Abbott’s embarrassing overseas odyssey limps lamely on

[Read Part one here.]

THE NICKNAME ‘Nigel No-friends’ caused amusement this week when opposition MP Tanya Plibersek drew attention to Abbott’s isolation in Indonesia and France.

Abbott’s office hit back highlighting Abbott’s rapport with Canadian PM Stephen Harper who he visited on Tuesday.

Both have been climate science deniers and are opposed to carbon taxes. Both won office despite manifest lack of aptitude and suitability and both are embattled at home with mounting opposition to failing policies.

Abbott embarrassed Harper and himself this week with his public call
for an alliance of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and India to
oppose global moves towards emissions reduction led by Europe and the

Bizarrely, Abbott had not sounded out his potential partners in
private. So, not surprisingly, the scheme was immediately slapped down
by Britain and New Zealand. Absolute silence from India.

“I think you can take it the UK won't be joining an alliance against regulation,” said bemused British climate and energy minister Greg Barker.

“We are engaged with Australia and New Zealand, encouraging them
to take a responsible proactive part in seeking an ambitious global
treaty on climate change.”

Abbott met general secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday to discuss climate change among other matters. The UN chief stressed that he expected Australia to participate actively and constructively in the global effort against climate change.

Ban urged Abbott to attend a critical global summit in New York in September. Abbott publicly refused.

In pursuing his spoiler alliance, Abbott has blatantly lied several
times. The man, it seems, cannot help himself. Even when the world is

Exhibit A was Abbott’s extraordinary claim in Canada:

“I am encouraged that President Obama is taking what I would
regard as direct action measure to reduce emissions, this is very
similar to the action my government proposes in Australia.”

Melbourne University’s head of political science Professor Robyn Eckersley was gobsmacked at such a glaring falsehood:

“I can't see on Earth how Australia can make that claim,” she told ABC Radio.

“What emission reductions we have achieved recently are a result
of the carbon pricing scheme that the previous Labor government put in.

“Once that's dismantled, our emissions will start to grow ... So,
how on Earth can Australia claim that it's actually doing more than the

Exhibit B was Abbott’s false claim that there is no global momentum toward carbon trading anyway:

“There is no sign – no sign – that trading schemes are
increasingly being adopted. If anything trading schemes are being
discarded, not adopted
,” he told an incredulous press conference in Canada.

Robyn Eckersley refutes that completely:

“You've seen China launch now seven pilot emissions trading
systems in its province, California has an emissions trading system, and
this is one of the biggest economies in the world. And, funnily enough,
even in Canada, you have an emissions trading system in Quebec, you
have a carbon in British Columbia, and also New Zealand.”

Exhibit C was Abbott’s barefaced lie in Ottawa on Monday that he has never supported carbon taxes:

“That's why I've always been against a carbon tax or an emissions
trading scheme because it harms our economy without necessarily helping
the environment.”

In fact, Abbott has had several contradictory positions on climate
science and remedial policy, including clear and strong support for “a
simple carbon tax” from 2009 through to 2011.

Even Rupert Murdoch’s Business Spectator called Abbott out on this week’s barefaced lies in the international arena.

In a piece titled ‘Abbott please stop telling fibs about Obama’s climate change plan’, Tristan Edis wrote:

'In reality Tony Abbott’s $2.5 billion Direct Action Emission
Reduction Fund will do next to nothing to reduce the emissions intensity
of Australia’s power supply.'

Climate was not the only source of confusion and contradiction for the hapless PM in the United States.

He announced that new rules were needed to prevent tax avoidance by big corporations. And simultaneously that Australia was cutting red tape to make it easier for business to operate.

So what does he want? More rules and regulations to control businesses? Or fewer rules?

This hypocrisy earned him a stinging rebuke in The Guardian in Britain in a piece headed:

‘It's a bit rich for Tony Abbott to lecture the US on fair taxation’.

The author suggests:

'If the prime minister wants to have a discussion with
anyone about taxation fairness, talking through the specifics of unfair
superannuation provision in his own economy are a really good place to

All this has provided rich fodder for the world’s satirists and comedians.

A piece in the Algerian media is headed:

‘L’Australie est dirigĂ©e par un clown narcissique’ (Australia is led by a narcissistic clown)

It explains:

'Australia is a beautiful and rich country that is consistently
ranked in the top 10 best-managed countries where life is good, but [it]
is ... led by a narcissistic, ignorant and xenophobic [prime

Other countries ridiculing Abbott’s bizarre recent behaviour include New Zealand, Pakistan and Ireland. And, especially, the United States.

The U.S. reporter for the Britain’s Guardian newspaper Ed Coper penned a piece titled:

‘Your George W Bush – Tony Abbott makes a splash in the United States’

The piece claims Abbott’s

'... gaffes, faux pas and missteps are a big hit with US comedians.'

So much so that:

'For many Americans, they're the only thing they know about Australia's political life.'

But among the jibes by humorists and the serious concerns of world leaders, another friend emerged this week.

That was king of the right wing nutter shock jocks, Rush Limbaugh, who applauded Abbott’s stance against Obama on climate:

"I'm sorry, folks, this is big, and this is something that ought to inspire Republicans domestically.

"The Australian prime minister is pushing back, and trying to
find willing countries to go along with him to stop Obama on this

"I got a better headline than ‘Tony Abbott Seeks Alliance to
Thwart Obama on the Climate Change Policy’. The better headline would
be: ‘World Leaders Think Obama Needs to Be Stopped’, because that's what
this story is all about.”

Just as well Abbott now has two friends abroad. Because his supporters at home are dwindling rapidly.

Issues he will face on return are reflected in these headlines:

Even his News Corp cheer squad has found it now must report negative
stories about the Government, or report nothing from Canberra at all:

And this in The Australian, which is obviously feeling extreme buyer remorse after campaigning for Abbott’s prime ministership non-stop for three years:

‘Tony Abbott is not only friendless and clueless, he walks backwards and at the rear’

And then today, to top off this tour by the person the French have dubbed la roi de la gaffe (king
of the gaffe) came a diabolical gaffe that is sure to raise the ire of
even disengaged voters in sports obsessed Australia.

From a report in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been accused of being many things, but a Socceroos fan is not one of them.

Draped in a Socceroos scarf, Mr Abbott has called skipper Mile
Jedinak "Mike" as he wished Australia well in a YouTube message just
hours before they take the field in their opening World Cup clash
against Chile in Cuiaba, Brazil on Friday (Saturday AEST).

The report continued:

"Ange, Mike and the Socceroos, in this World Cup you have the
opportunity to make the world game our national game," Mr Abbott said.


While striker Tim Cahill would be the most high profile Socceroo
in the current squad, Jedinak, as the captain of English Premier League
side Crystal Palace, is far from unknown.

This is just the latest in a long line of gaffes for Mr Abbott, who just this week embarrassingly called Canada "Canadia".

Who knows what effect this insult had on the team? Nevertheless,
Australia looked unsteady early, going two goals down in the first 15
minutes, before recovering their composure and eventually finishing 3-1.

There will be some rather irate Socceroos fans today — but not with their valiant team

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