Gee, now that everyone across the political spectrum is acknowledging that Tony Abbott is proving to be the hopeless Prime Minister that I always said he would be (did you see his closest buddy Greg Sheridan on Lateline last night suggesting he stop the stupid repetition of what he just said?) it's getting a bit boring coming up with yet more examples of his bad political judgement.
But I will. Everyone needs a hobby. (Heh).
While everyone - again, really, across the spectrum - has acknowledged that his opening remarks at the G20 about his own political problems were weirdly inappropriate for the occasion, I was reminded while Googling around this morning that he has precedent for not understanding when not to try to score points. In this paper, someone from ANU back in 2011 noted that Abbott was routinely using addresses in Parliament to visiting foreign leaders to try to score points again the then Labor government.
As for the government generally, I see that the Australian today (in an article by Chris Kenny, of all people) is talking up some bashing of HRC head Gillian Triggs by Scott Morrison over her revising explanations at a Senate estimates hearing about why she didn't enquire into children in detention while Labor was in power.
Now I don't hold any particular card for Triggs - she seems to have decided to deal with her politically appointed Human Rights Commissioner for Selfies, Gays and Transgendered (but mainly selfies) by giving him unlimited travel and accommodation allowances and sending him on his way on a never ending tour of the nation - but this kerfuffle is pretty small change. The blindingly obvious point about children in detention that arrogant wannabe fascist Morrison overlooks is that while a lot went through it under Labor, the ones there now have absolutely no idea what the future holds for them. They have been left in a protracted, hopeless situation in hot, isolated, inadequate facilities in the middle of nowhere. Maybe some of them will end up - one day, no one has any idea when - in poverty stricken Cambodia, because the Coalition decided Malaysia was not up to it when Labor wanted to send some there.
And did anyone see the appearance of ABC head Mark Scott at the Government dominated Senate estimates hearing this week? The hate against him was strong, for his making the entirely justifiable claim that the budget cuts were quite large that would lead to hard decisions that would have some effects on what they can do and where. There was a bit of back and forth over whether he had really sent a letter to Christopher Pyne (Pyne rang into the hearing to say he never got a letter, Scott said it was sent. How petty. The Chair at one point angrily reminded Scott he was "under oath". He said something like "am I?")
The political optics of the hearing was terrible - it was like they thought they could cut the ABC's budget and then blame Scott for any blowback. "If you cut anything you're making us look bad!" seemed to be their theme, but Scott is such a smooth performer who is so obviously on top of his game, there was no way that was going to work. And do Coalition politicians only get their views on the ABC by reading Bolt, the IPA and the Murdoch press? How do they not notice the consistency high approval of the ABC in seemingly every poll that has ever been held? If they had any sense at all, their approach would be a sympathetic one, not trying to angrily pass the buck.
So suck it up, Coalition Senators and Members. You're a bunch of thin skinned cry babies whose own incompetent policies, politicians and Prime Minister have got you to where you are. And there is no sign of when a turnaround in popularity is going to arrive.