This blog has been banging on for years about the tendencies within the extreme rump of the Coalition to tap into One Nation style politics. Howard did it, Turnbull did it, and now Abbott is doing it. I suspect the latter has been pivotal to the strategy from day one.
As I commented on a Poll Bludger posting recently:
"I notice a lot of comments about Abbott’s mouthing of Oldfield’s nastiness. This is not surprising as Oldfield and Abbott used to be chums, with Davey boy working on Abbott’s staff. Pauline was a Liberal, and when she got out of hand as a rogue trader Howard commissioned Abbott to pull her down. No doubt Oldfield was able to supply some of the ammunition. Its like the goanna chasing & swallowing its own tail; their all round bully boy/girl antics keep being regurgitated as the tail is coughed up."
The MSM have finally picked up on this tendency within the Coalition. This has been studiously ignored by many within the political commentariat, to their ever-lasting shame. A report in The Age today highlights divisions within the Liberals on asylum seeker policy. I wrote last year:
"Abbott's macho, pseudo religiosity and manic physical self-flagellation clearly appeals to many of the 'me me journalists' and the crypto-Hansonite set but it makes my skin crawl. What does it say about the psychological health of a country that goes within a whisk of electing a major political party that had as the centrepiece of its electoral pitch the punishment of a few miserable refugees? It beggars belief that in the 21st century our body politic can be so trivialised".
Shame on you, shame on me, shame on all of us....read some of the comments on this piece in The Australian to have your stomach truly churned.