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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Broken Election Promise No. 48: Tony Abbott Didn't Stop The Boats After All |

Broken Election Promise No. 48: Tony Abbott Didn't Stop The Boats After All |

Broken Election Promise No. 48: Tony Abbott Didn't Stop The Boats After All

By Chris Graham

Russian warship Movska… heading for an Australian beach near you.
Russian warship Movska… heading for an Australian beach near you.

Russian warships steam towards Australia, Tony Abbott is preparing to
shirt front one of the world's most powerful leaders. How in the hell
did we end up here? Chris Graham has no idea either.

Well. That escalated quickly.

Tony Abbott came to power promising to ‘stop the boats’. And yet this
evening, a small fleet of Russian warships is steaming towards

Not, it should be noted, to start a war. That would be quite silly.
Their mission, we assume, is to simply send a clear message to our Prime

That message is something along the lines of, ‘That’s not a navy. Thiiiissss is a navy’.

That or, ‘So, how about that shirt fronting Tony? Still up for it?’

All of this, of course, is predicated on the notion that any of this
is true. It has been reported in the Australian mainstream media, so,
you know... it might not be.

But assuming it is, Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly has,
in the past, sent naval vessels to accompany him on overseas trips. It
makes sense – he’s one of the world’s most powerful leaders, and having a
bit of military might in the background is not always a bad idea.

But this is something else altogether. And while it may seem alarming
– and let’s face it, it is alarming – the arrival of Russian warships
in international waters just outside Australia is more embarrassing than
anything else.

Because we’re not going to attack them, and they’re not going to
attack us. And that’s simply because if we do, they’ll kick our arse.

Apparently, we’ve sent an Anzac Class Frigate to keep tabs on them.
Awesome. That should go well. Shame about the billions we’ve spent on
those Joint Strike Fighters which still aren’t ready.

And if all that doesn’t work, maybe Abbott could convince his mates
at the Manly Surf Lifesaving Club to kit up and start heading north.
Numbers count, even if they’re half naked.

The wash up is that tonight, Abbott looks like a meek fool. For all
his strutting, his budgie smuggler wearing chest puffing, he’s been
called out for what he is – a small-time bully with a big-time mouth. A

Thus, Abbott has several options before him.

The first is to do what he’s done to all the other boats that came
since he took office – bully them into submission, and then ‘send them
back where they came from’… or at the very least, jail the occupants of
the boats without charge. For the rest of their lives.

Admittedly, beyond getting an awful lot of people killed, that might
cause a bit of an international incident. It’s one thing to demonise
people who can’t defend themselves. It’s another thing altogether to
take on one of the world’s most powerful armies.

So option one is pretty much off the table.

Option two is to do nothing. We could just pretend they’re not there.
Warships? What warships? That’s probably our safest option. Although
Abbott has to spend several days with Putin in Brisbane this weekend.
It’s going to be painfully awkward, but at least it might de-escalate

Option three is to apologise for his ‘shirt front comment’, and then
shut his f**king mouth. There remains no evidence that Putin or Russia
had anything to do with the downing of MH17. If you’re going to accuse
people – in this case a world leader – of mass murder, best to have a
bit more than American intelligence, given their shady past.

Option four is to let Tony Abbott speak, and just see what happens.
That would be in-line with the great Australian passion for two-up and
gambling. Of course, it’s what got us here in the first place, but if
we’re in for a penny, we may as well be in for a pound.

Option five is for Abbott to try and use this to scare people. It's
worked on lots of other stuff, although generally Abbott has only tried
to ramp up fear and loathing against things that are unlilkely to
actually hurt us, like Ebola, Muslims and asylum seekers. So not the
best option.

Option six is to retreat to an area you know well, in this case three
word slogans: 'Stop the Russians'. Or, if we choose to placate them,
'Vodka is awesome'.

The seventh and final option, of course, is for Abbott to resign
before the weekend, so that he doesn’t have to wet himself in front of
19 other world leaders while trying to stare down a smug, smiling Putin.

That’s obviously not going to happen – there’s nothing Abbott, in his
own words, wouldn’t do for the Prime Minister’s job, and now that he
has it, putting an entire nation at risk, again, is unlikely to shame

Which doesn’t get us very far. So we’ll all just have to watch and
wait and see how Tony gets himself out of his latest mess. Which on the
upside, should be very entertaining. And on the downside, is no
long-term solution at all.

For just as Tony Abbott was a wrecker in Opposition, he’s proved to
be perhaps the greatest wrecker The Lodge has ever seen. And he’s only
been in a year.

Imagine where we’ll all be in another two.

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