Updated December 16, 2013 09:45:39
Tony Abbott’s above adviser Terry Barnes offers four suggestions for how the Prime Minister can apprentice from his aboriginal 100 canicule in appointment and about-face the anecdotal about in 2014.
Immediately afterwards the acclamation of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, I wrote in The Drum that the added bodies see of him, the added that they will like him.
Post-election assessment acclamation advance this isn’t happening. Aftermost Tuesday’s Newspoll gave a disconnected and discredited Labor Party beneath new baton Bill Shorten a two-party adopted advance over the three-months-old Abbott Coalition Government; but this is not a absolute endorsement of the Opposition. Instead, it indicates anxiety about the Government’s administration and performance. It is an anti-climactic way for Abbott to end 2013.
If not tackled quickly, such aboriginal perceptions will amalgamate and accomplish the Coalition’s re-election in 2016 no abiding thing. The Coalition’s own accretion afterwards its beating by Kevin Rudd and Labor in 2007 should admonish conceited Coalition supporters that balloter ascendancy is added than a big majority of bums on aldermanic seats: aborigine abutment is ever-fragile, and re-election is never a foregone conclusion.
As allotment of demography banal as the year ends, there are four things that the Government needs to do.
The Coalition thrashed Labor on the aback of repealing the carbon and mining taxes, endlessly asylum-seeker boats and reining in debt, arrears and waste. Yet in its aboriginal 100 days, the Senate blocked the tax repeals; relations with Indonesia – acute to the Australia’s adeptness to aish people-smuggling – were artificial by the fallout from the Rudd-era Yudhoyono eavesdropping scandal; the Government’s standout aldermanic accomplishment was abandoning the antecedent government’s debt beam to acquiesce the arrears to abound rather than shrink; and, accepting campaigned adamantine on decay in government, it abominably misjudged the electorate’s acrimony about perceived abuses of aldermanic entitlements.
That best of these problems were affiliated from the ancient Labor administration is immaterial: this is now the Coalition’s watch and, accepting alone Labor decisively, bodies appetite appropriately absolute activity from their adopted leaders. Afterwards three months, the acclamation announce that at atomic some voters are cerebration that Abbott is not in ascendancy of his own calendar or, worse, that the calendar didn’t absolutely amount in the aboriginal place. Alike Blind Freddie can see that these are alarming perceptions, about untrue.
If any one agency ensured the Government’s poor Newspoll result, it was Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s aggressive and ultimately absurd shirt-fronting of the states over schools allotment deals based on the Gonski review, contradicting pre-election assurances. Pyne, Abbott and the Government about were damaged by the uproar and their administration of it. If they didn’t like Gonski, the Coalition should never accept committed to honouring Labor’s Gonski allotment deals in the campaign. To aftermost in Government, promises fabricated charge be promises kept.
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s advised admonition aftermost anniversary of General Motors to “come clean” on whether Holden will accumulate accomplishment in Australia may not accept affected Detroit’s hand, but it fabricated it too accessible for Labor and the unions to accusation the new government for the GM’s final accommodation to leave in 2017. The Gonski uproar and the Holden accommodation are aciculate reminders that governments charge to ahead strategically, ahead problems and apprehend the unexpected. While abounding Abbott ministers were inferior ministers or aldermanic secretaries in the Howard government, alone eight accept above-mentioned Cabinet acquaintance (nine including John Howard’s admired arch of staff, Arthur Sinodinos) – several of those alone in 2007. Pyne, especially, is re-learning basal political acquaint of government – like advancing the arena thoroughly afore alteration your position – the adamantine way.
Abbott’s aback appointment abutment additionally needs rethinking. The bound command and ascendancy Coalition administration so accustomed in Opposition isn’t advice to active a sprawling and aggrandized Government. Abbott is a able accepter in Cabinet ascendancy and deliberative decision-making, and his agreement to restore able Cabinet processes afterwards the aberrations of Rudd and Gillard years reflects his long-held convictions. As allotment of honouring that commitment, however, the PM needs to ensure that his and added ministers’ offices abutment Cabinet, not the added way around. That his all-over arch of staff, Peta Credlin, has become a recognisable accessible amount in her own appropriate doesn’t advice her boss.
The 2013 acclamation attack absolutely started in June 2010, with federal backroom actuality conducted at alarming acceleration anytime since. Mistakes and misjudgements back the Government’s acclamation at atomic partly reflect bit-by-bit fatigue: alike the fittest can burn beneath amaranthine pressure. As the anniversary asinine division begins, the best affair the PM, ministers and key admiral can do to refocus is get away, absorb some time with their families, watch the cricket, and apprehend some abject novels instead of conference papers. Besides his across Christmas breach with his family, Abbott himself should don his budgie smugglers at every befalling in January.
As I wrote in September, Abbott is smart, accomplished and likeable. He has the adequacy of a abundant Prime Minister aural him. But aboriginal he charge fix the teething problems dogging his government, and arch off abrogating aborigine perceptions from acceptable entrenched.
In his end-of-year interviews the PM candidly accustomed mistakes made, and declared his assurance to apprentice from them. To ensure his Government’s success, he charge administer those acquaint in 2014.
Terry Barnes is a action adviser and was a chief apostolic adviser to Tony Abbott in the Howard government. He writes consistently for above newspapers and magazines, and blogs at Cormorant. Follow him on Twitter @TerryBarnes5. View his abounding contour here.
Topics: abbott-tony, federal-government
Aboriginal acquaint December 16, 2013 09:42:07
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