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The Boy Who Cried Leak

26/08/2010

Tony Abbott has been politically assassinated by his friend and colleague Andrew Robb. The costings fiasco has more than likely cost Tony Abbott his chance to become Prime Minister.  But it was not the only blip on his election campaign. The other deathly blow was the Coalitions’ response to the NBN with a much sized down version: sort of like the difference between an Australian made Tim Tam and an import.

The untidy end to the man who would be our PM began when Andrew Robb revealed the rinky dink alternative to what has been described by many as the biggest and most important Infrastructure project for the next 100 years. Instead, Andrew Robb revealed a no bells no whistles version that failed to impress. You can chart it with the polls of the campaign. The week Julia Gillard started to claw back momentum coincided with the Coalitions announcement on their ‘vision’ for a Broadband Network.  As far as IT understanding goes, Robb makes a good opposition Finance minister. I did not understand why the money man would be there to help announce a seemingly technical project. Yet there he was and he quickly jumped into the fray to take questions. He sounded impressive because he has a great way of announcing the word ‘billion’.

That night Tony Abbott was grilled by Kerry O’Brien in regards to some of ‘his’ policy and Tony had difficulty getting the information across. It was a bad day.

However there are many ups and downs in a campaign and Abbott managed to get very good results at the #rooty meeting and hoped to repeat its success at #rootyq but was unable to do so. ALP then gave the Coalition a free kick with the dreadful rail link announcement and the LIBs scored big points with half page ads in Sydney papers linking Julia Gillard to what many saw was a failed NSW state labor government. Abbott was on the rise. Until…

 Costings day. All throughout the campaign, the coalition had been talking up their economic credentials and when the day finally arrived for them to show this to Australia, Andrew Robb devastated Tony Abbotts’ chances. Holding on to the story of a ‘leak’ in Treasury allowed them to defy their own Charter of Budget Honesty into what many saw as a Charter of Budget Dishonesty. Still, they had some damn impressive bar charts. It may not have been so bad except for the timing so close to the polls and their insistence on using a 2nd tier accounting firm. Howarths it turns out is in the business of doing lots of much smaller work. It was a PR disaster, but they held off the assault till the polls and crossed their fingers.

The election came and went and their now totally drained of blood anaemic fingers started to cramp on them. Especially when the Independents who had gained the ultimate balance of power in the election had then asked both parties for, you guessed it, their costings. Andrew Robb had actually failed to do any. Dont get me wrong he supplied Howarths with figures, assumptions and asked them to check his numbers, but this is not a costings process. Far from it. Abbott was left facing the media. His first line of spin was the coalition policies would be too complex for the dept of treasury to understand. That failed. The next morning, Robb was back with a new spin line. Apparently Robb claims its’ all the leaks fault.

That afternoon he was interviewed by Ali Moore on ABCNEWS24 .When questioned on  Tony Abbotts refusal to supply the Treasury with the costings,  Robb claimed that he could not possible condone letting treasury do the costings because there is a leaker there and the Federal Police was investigating. When asked what the Coalition then intended to do if they won government, he  retorted the Coalition would be able to work fine with them. But what about the leaker? Robb responded that it would not be a problem as the can work with them while the police investigation continued. So why not let them cost your policies? You said the Federal Police are currently investigating now, so why will you not work with them now. Oh.. umm.. errr…

 I see a cartoon in the making.  The entire liberal party election campaign sunk like the Titanic, but not to an iceberg, but to a shadowy and seemingly non-existent hole.  And it all is due to Andrew Robb, the boy who cried leak. What a brilliant tactic. Now its time for the party to all get into the lifeboat SS Opposition.

A. Ghebranious

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One Comment
  1. lapuntadelfin permalink

    Great stuff. To continue the analogy : It was obvious as it was going down but few were making the call. Now it’s just too late for the lifeboats.

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