Reluctant as we are to report on the work of noted right-wing megaphone Andrew Bolt, this particular one was simply too much to let slide.
“In many ways he seemed too moral for the job, yet he achieved more in two years than the last two Labor prime ministers achieved in six.
Compare. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard left us with record deficits after blowing billions on trash — on overpriced school halls, “free” insulation that killed people, green schemes that collapsed, “stimulus” checks to the dead.
They meanwhile opened our borders to 50,000 illegal immigrants and drowned 1200. They hyped the global warming scare and forced us to pay a job-killing carbon tax just to pretend they were saving us.
But Abbott? I won’t go through the whole list: how he stopped the boats, curbed spending, scrapped the useless carbon and mining taxes, led the world’s defiance of deadly Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and made us safer from terrorism.”
And then goes on to blame not just the media for pulling him up on his pitfalls – of which there were many – but also blaming you, the voting public, for falling for this clearly diabolical trickery.
“And he did all this in the face of astonishing heckling and even vilification from our media class, and despite often feral opposition in the Senate.
But your mistake was not to care about all that. Deeds didn’t count with you. Image was all.
And so you told the pollsters you didn’t like Abbott. You believed the vicious crap written about him, until his MPs finally panicked and dumped him.
Your mistake was that you couldn’t look behind the flim flam — the way Abbott looked, the way he spoke, the way he walked, the way he ate an onion — to see what he’d actually done for you and for your country.”
Not close to done yet, Bolt then laments – goes a little woe is me-ish – on the demise of his good friend’s professional career.
“Truth is that Abbott is not a thug, bully, racist, fool, liar, woman-hater, homophobe or bigot. He’s not cruel or lacking compassion.
If he were any of those things he would not be my friend. Those are deal breakers for me. Those I love best are people of honour, warmth and kindness.
Tony Abbott is one such man, and that he has been betrayed and deposed doesn’t just break my heart. It makes me fear for this country. I can only hope that Australians will one day wake up to what they’ve tossed away.”
And then he goes squarely onto the front foot in mythbusting all of Abbott’s more contentious personality traits.
“A woman hater? Ask his daughters or female chief of staff. Ask the many women on his staff, so loyal that he had one of the lowest turnovers of modern prime ministers.”
A homophobe? Impossible, because he has at least two gay friends.
“A homophobe? Abbott actually had a deep friendship with one of my friends, too, the out-and-proud gay commentator Christopher Pearson, and even helped carry the coffin of this much-missed man.
In fact, when one Fairfax writer this year accused Abbott — on entirely fictitious evidence — of having had a “possibly homophobic” moment, a gay adviser on Abbott’s staff texted me in rage: “If PM was so homophobic he wouldn’t be sharing the C1 car with me.”
A bully? Impossible, because he was nice to children.
“A crash-through insensitive bully with no people skills? Ask my children how gentle he was when he called around.”
Hell, Bolt even concedes that at times he was hard on his gr8 m8.
“Yes, I know Abbott made mistakes, and I was hard on the worst. I know he was too stubborn. And I know he was clumsy in selling himself.”
Y’know, like the time Bolt suggested that Abbott’s Knighting of Prince Phillip was “pathetically stupid” that was “so damaging, that it could be fatal.”
“Every Prime Minister thinks they don’t get the press they deserve. But I bet Abbott’s friends would agree that none could have been so different in the flesh from what you read in the papers — and so much better. Shame on the journalists responsible for this great slander.”
And that is why today, Andrew Bolt’s greatest lament is for the loss of a man of such moral fibre, of such upstanding political character, that the only correct emotional response is one of misery.
“I admit I even quarrelled with him privately when he too-nobly refused to whack Labor leader Bill Shorten over some detail of national security.
No, the country before politics, he declared. I could have shaken the silly bugger, who played politics like it was cricket when everyone else was cage fighting.”“But that was Abbott, and for me character always counts in the end.
That’s why I say: this country has despised and rejected a great servant. It is a time of sorrow.”
Righto, m8. Whatever helps “Australia’s most read columnist” sleep at night, we guess.