Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Live by the boot, die by the boot

Couldn't help snickering this afternoon as I listened to radio reports of today's health debate debacle, particularly the tape of Tony Abbott -- who had arrived 34 minutes late for this crucial and nationally broadcast affair -- muttering at the end to his Opposite number Nicola Roxon, even as he shook her hand, that in making the most of his lateness (in what I thought was a rather gently witty way), she was 'being deliberately unpleasant' and that she 'couldn't help herself'.

So. Had the boot been on the other foot, had Abbott arrived on time and Roxon been over half an hour late, how would the government's chief attack dog and head-kicker have behaved? Would he have been deliberately pleasant? Or perhaps accidentally unpleasant? Would he have been able to help himself?

(There is no tape being played, at least not on any news broadcasts I've heard/seen so far, of Abbott apologising for his lateness to Roxon herself, which, as any student of basic good manners will know, should have been his first priority.)

10 comments:

zoot said...

Good manners?? Tony Abbott????

Mindy said...

I heart Nicola Roxton. I so wish the media had taken her up on her offer to do an impersonation.

Mary Bennet said...

Me too on the impersonation. I agreed with Nicola's point that Abbott could have controlled his schedule. It's not even as if he was allowed to launch the Coalition's health policy himself. The only footage I saw showed him grinning vaguely in the background as the Prime Minister said something about nurses.

TimT said...

I heard Louise Maher and Chris O'Brien discussing this on ABC Radio recently.

Apparently Abbott's off-microphone comments about Roxon being 'deliberately unpleasant' were in reply to Roxon observing that he couldn't even arrange his schedule properly.

From the context provided by O'Brien, it appeared to be an exchange of nasty comments, though Abbott obviously made a mistake in swearing.

(Though I do think Abbott is losing his grip - the arrogant and aloof tag fits him perfectly. )

Kate said...

I assumed at first that he was inadvertently late (a traffic jam or somesuch) but it wasn't. It was his schedule, his flight could never have gotten him there on time. I think after that rudeness he was lucky Roxon didn't just leave without debating at all.

meggie said...

Tony Abbott?? What a RUDE cock! As several commentors pointed out, when you are under pressure, you trud colours show...

meggie said...

"you trud colours"
Obviously, I meant "True colours" !!

Pavlov's Cat said...

I thought it was exquisite poetic justice that Abbott's lateness gave Roxon a chance to up her public profile by about 3,000% and she grabbed said chance with both hands.

TimT, nobody is denying that Roxon herself might have been a bit terse (and who can blame her), but the point I was really making is that Abbott is so famously a bad bastard himself that he showed a bit of a glass jaw in whining about someone else being unpleasant. I mean, I ask you. That said, I had to appreciate his bottle in turning up on Lateline that night regardless, especially when he knew he'd have to go head to head with the brilliant Gillard, who had him on toast. Even Tony Jones showed some admiration for that last night, calling it 'crazy brave'.

Meggie, I think 'trud' is rather a good word for the Abbott's colours. Very onomatapoeic.

Lunar Brogue said...

I get the feeling that in trying to have it both ways and appear, on the one hand, as a decent, likeable, even-tempered, witty, considered, pluralistic, modern bloke and, on the other, as a strong and principled Catholic-conservative loyalist, Abbott sometimes finds himself a little 'tangled'.

His vanity and arrogance don't help either.

meggie said...

Dare I suggest, that when under pressure Abbott has displayed his true colours.
Walking turd brown.