The whole time Tony Abbott was leader of the opposition I was living in New Zealand. A running (partly serious) joke of mine was that if he were ever elected Prime Minister, I wouldn’t be able to return to Australia. As it turned out, the Labor party was unelectable, Tony did become PM and I came back to Australia anyway.
To say that Tony’s Prime Ministership has been disgraceful is to be guilty of serious understatement. Aside from creating an interesting variety of cringe-worthy gaffes, embarrassing Australia in front of the world, Tony blatantly broke multiple pre-election promises that there would be no cuts to the ABC or SBS; demonstrated a callous and venal approach to asylum seekers; sent out, with the help of old mate Joe two hopeless budgets – the first cruel the latter, crawling; knighted frickin’ Prince Philip (this too comes under “embarrassing Australia in front of the world”); displayed his remarkable beholden-ness to the campaign donations of the oil and coal industry in his refusal to support renewable energies; been seriously retrograde towards marriage equality; and has, thanks to his remarkable out-of-touch attitude generally been worthy of the ignominious title: “Australia’s Worst PM, Ever.”
Fortunately, now Tony is gone. I’m referring, of course, to the #libspill of Monday night where Tone was rolled by Malcolm Turnbull. This leadership challenge has been a long time coming; Tone’s downfall very nearly happened this February. Although Malc wasn’t successful then, he managed to keep his hands completely clean (he’s a smooth operator alright) and bided his time, waiting for the opportune moment. When it all happened, I was reminded of The Herd’s song about voting John Howard out in 2007 – The King is Dead.
(Unfortunately, the downfall of Howard left us with KRudd – a perfect example of the adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”)
I was also reminded on Monday night of this excellent political cartoon on February’s aborted leadership spill by the wonderful Tone Abet. And actually, given how the chips fell on Monday night, I think Tone Abet managed to predict pretty accurately how Tone’s Cabinet would vote this time round too:
Sure, it took six months longer to get rid of Tone than we all expected, but leadership spills are increasingly emblematic of Australian federal politics, as this humorist Wikipedia editor points out:
I’ve pointed out previously that my political commentary generally takes the form of memes and gifs; hence, I’m not going to spend this post dissecting Tone’s downfall, or predicting what will happen to the Liberal party and the government under Malc’s leadership or speculating on whether it is possible for the Labor party to win the next election now. If you want that kind of thoughtful analysis, read this or this or this. Instead, with the help of Buzzfeed, I leave you with a sample of the best political cartoons and tumblr posts about the #libspill, the axing of Tone and our National sport, the leadership spill: