Tony Abbott is facing growing backbench anger over his government’s mishandling of the GP co-payment and university funding changes from last year’s budget.
This comes after Liberal party voters gave Tony Abbott a rough time on talk-back radio, with one of labelling him “the worst salesman ever.” In fairness, Abbott is not meant to be a salesman. He’s meant to be the prime minister. But clearly voters, even liberal voters, don’t think he is very good at either.
It also comes as Christopher Pyne’s attempts to force the tertiary education reforms through the Senate have been rebuffed yet again. The government is preparing to spend nearly $15 million on a campaign advertising the reforms.
Advertising to whom? To the Senate? The opposition and cross-ench senators have made it quite clear that they are not going to pass these measures. But Pyne keeps trying to push them through. it would be better to spend the $15 million schmoozing Clive Palmer expensive Canberra restaurants.
Pyne must be a great fan of the the Frank Sinatra song High Hopes whose lyrics run
Once there was a silly old ram
Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin’ that dam
‘Cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes
He had high apple pie, in the sky hopes.
But, whereas in the song the ram was successful, for Pyne getting his legislation through the Senate looks very like high apple pie, in the sky hopes
One of Abbott’s colleagues said that the Prime Minister “had “just months” to turn things around or his position was terminal.”
Abbott’s defence of his position was that his colleagues should be aware of the fate that befell the Labour Party when it changed leaders in mid-term.
It is now a case of “dammed if you do, and dammed if you don’t.”
If the polls are any indication, the Liberal party will lose the next election if Tony Abbott continues as Prime Minister. But they know, as Abbott knows, that there will be massive electoral backlash if they depose a current and elected prime minister.
It is profoundly ironic that Abbott, who ran a vicious and destructive campaign against Julia Gillard, may be facing a similar threat but from within the ranks of his own party.
I called this the phenomenon The turning of the personal worm in a blog I wrote on September 19, 2014.