For the first time since he was elected in 1994, Tony Abbott has a serious chance of losing his seat in the blue-ribbon electorate of Warringah. He’s being challenged by one the wave of socially liberal, economically conservative independent insurgents – in this case, former Olympian Zali Steggall – who are set to attack traditionally Liberal seats.
Facing an actual, material challenge for the first time has meant that Tony has to pretend he is a normal man – which he absolutely isn’t – and also to start actually arguing for local North Sydney issues instead of knighting British royals for literally no reason. Hence why we got this bizarre video of a shirtless and moist Tony demanding more toilets at Manly Beach.
The most famous surf club in Australia shouldn’t need port-a-loos every time a crowd turns up. pic.twitter.com/NJMm6U9RsJ
— Tony Abbott (@HonTonyAbbott) February 3, 2019
Or this video demanding the Northern Beaches Tunnel be built,. (Note: the tunnel is happening under the purview of the state government, he just wants it built quicker. Thank you Tones, for your thought leadership.)
The B-Line is making a big difference to transport in our area, but we really need the Northern Beaches Tunnel built – and that’s what I’m fighting for. pic.twitter.com/LkTf9bsm8e
— Tony Abbott (@HonTonyAbbott) February 6, 2019
Yesterday he penned an op-ed for the Sydney Morning Herald asking the good burghers of Warringah, who seem pretty fed up with his deeply weird conduct since he lost the prime ministership in 2015, to hold their noses and vote for him again.
Most of it is Tony promising he will fight the Labor push against franking credits, pointing to his history of fighting for his constituents, and celebrating his brief record as PM. But, because it’s Tony Abbott – the weirdest man in the country – he has to include this strangely spiteful paragraph:
The idea that our Parliament should lose people with a proven record of achievement and the insights that only experience brings just because they’ve already been prime minister is absurd, especially if they’re as fit as most people 20 years younger. Likewise, the idea that backbench MPs should refrain from speaking and writing or somehow dilute their ideas lest they be accused of “wrecking” doesn’t bear scrutiny.
Tony… why did you have to mention that you’re heaps fit? How is that relevant? I can just imagine him sitting in front of his laptop, tongue poking out slightly between his lips as his two index fingers hover over the keyboard, pondering how he can include reference to his incredible fitness in his article begging the country not to vote him out.
Or this mystifying final line:
And when you think about it, only a dyed-in-the-wool Labor voter would want to deprive the parliamentary Liberal Party of a most effective political warrior.
Nothing like a weird hostile jab at the disaffected Liberal voters who are betraying him to remind you that, yes, this is a Tony Abbott piece.
Folks: prepare yourself. We’re about to see an entire election campaign’s worth of Tony Abbott doing a tortured pantomime of a normal man so Warringah doesn’t vote him out. Tony Abbott, the least normal man in Australia. You can’t even imagine Tony, say, going to the cinema to see a movie. It’s just not possible.