OPINION: The opposition only tells you what you want to hear


SOME of the recent protests against our federal government — and the budget its Treasurer handed down last Tuesday in particular — can only be described as dumb and not well thought out.

The behaviour of those people who disrupted the ABC television program Q&A did nothing more than play into the hands of those who claim the organisation has a leftist bent and that those who were involved in the demonstration should “get a job” .

And what did the jostling of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop achieve?

Or the protests against the former member for Indi Sophie Mirabella?

The poor woman is not even a parliamentarian any more.

I have never seen federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne sporting a bigger smile than he did during the disruption to Q&A and he was almost giggling while criticising Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for not condemning those who jostled Ms Bishop.

Mr Pyne’s hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Surely the conservatives can’t seriously have a go at the demonstrators, given their own opportunism in making use of the rabid and personal demonstrations against former prime minister Julia Gillard.

Can they really have forgotten how Tony Abbott, when Leader of the Opposition, addressed an anti-carbon tax rally while standing in front of signs screaming out “Juliar Bob Brown’s Bitch” and “Ditch The Witch”?

And in one picture of the event, standing beside Mr Abbott was Mrs Mirabella and Bronwyn Bishop, now the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

One commentator has said that the trio and other then-opposition members did not know the signs were there.

But none of them later came out and slammed the signs as they should have, and some seemed to almost give tacit approval of a couple of them.

Sydney shock jock Alan Jones worked for Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser, Liberal leader of the NSW opposition John Mason, stood twice, unsuccessfully, for the Liberal Party for the seat of Earlwood and, unsuccessfully, sought Liberal Party preselection for the seat of North Sydney.

That’s the same Alan Jones who told a Sydney University Liberal Party event that Julia Gillard’s father had died of shame because his daughter was such a liar.

He later apologised, but his apology ended up being more insulting than the original statement.

Once again Mr Abbott took the weak way out and failed to condemn Jones’ comments with any vigour, although he did say they were out of line.

It’s ironic how offensive actions and statements can come back and bite their author.

Mr Abbott made enormous political yardage from hammering Julia Gillard about “her lies” in introducing a carbon tax — he must now suffer the same fate.

And it is no good saying that he hasn’t broken any promises, because he has, no matter what type of gobbledygook he tries to employ to make out he didn’t.

And they were made worse by the fact he emphasised before the last election he would not use economic conditions as an excuse for breaking promises.

The tragedy is the Prime Minister did not need to make the stupid promises and undertakings he did; the conservatives were always going to romp the election in.

Why didn’t he just promise his government would do everything it could to get the budget back in the black but it would not commit to anything until it was in a position to thoroughly analyse the financial status of the economy?

Instead, the families and the battlers who Mr Abbott was so keen to protect from the ravages of the Gillard government now find he is no better than a wolf in sheep’s clothing — and certainly not someone who can be trusted.

Which is a pity, because there is no way the rabble known as the federal opposition generates any trust or faith either.