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Tony’s trifecta

Pub test, best campaigner and now the American beer test

2 June 2018

9:00 AM

2 June 2018

9:00 AM

Surely it was obvious that, on any reasonable examination, Donald Trump was by far the better candidate in the 2016 election and thus, would probably win.

Or that Brexit was by far the better option and would also probably prevail.

Or that the Keating-Turnbull republic would have been a constitutional disaster, (as several constitutional experts admitted in a leading law journal after the defeat) and that it too would obviously be defeated.

Or that even if the worst IPCC predictions were to take place, stopping all Australian CO2 emissions would have no discernible effect whatsoever on the world’s temperature.

Surely today it is obvious that a return of Tony Abbott to the Liberal leadership, with his current popular but not populist agenda — one which passes the ‘pub test’ with flying colours— would be the very best option for the nation? And that if the voters were given the choice, Abbott would be likely to prevail?

It is an extraordinary fact that none of the past conclusions above were supported by most of the battalion of commentators who grace our media. When shown to be in error, they just move on —‘drive by media’, as Rush Limbaugh puts it.

Similarly, neither the tribes of LINO (Liberals In Name Only), Labor and Greens politicians who infest our several parliaments, nor the hordes of opinionated experts, celebrities and other elites were any more correct.

Nor are any of them, commentators, politicians or elites, likely to be any more correct about the impact of an Abbott return.


Interesting parallels are now emerging between the voting in the US 2016 election and Australia’s 1999 referendum and, no doubt, other votes. This is in the polarisation between inner-city districts with a cosmopolitan, well-paid elite who have spent many years as students and outer suburban and rural districts where the rank-and-file are to be found.

There is also an interesting parallel between the way Democrats and Labor have abandoned their base in preference to the latest fashionable elite positions, ones to which the blue-collar voter is either indifferent or strongly opposed. Unsurprisingly, RINO politicians (Republican In Name Only) and our own LINOs follow in their wake.

Take for example the mandatory sensitivity to finding Islamophobia everywhere, and recall not only the Labor but also the LINO outrage when Pauline Hanson entered the Senate in a burka. Then there’s finding racism everywhere and pushing ‘transgender’ rights to a ridiculous extreme.

High on their agenda they put world government, open borders, one-sided free trade agreements, running down the armed forces (in Australia through unconscionable raids on the defence budget for political purposes), appeasing hostile powers and compromising on supporting Israel against threats of annihilation, as well as a hatred for coal, oil and uranium and obsessive support for the unproven theory of man-made global warming.

The result in 2016 was that even rusted-on Democrat voters endorsed Trump. With his agenda, a return to Abbott would probably see a similar rearrangement in Australia. To those who would scoff, just recall the Tampa affair in 2001 when rusted-on Labor party members threatened Kim Beazley if he didn’t come in behind John Howard on illegal immigration. Remember also what happened in 1999, when so many Labor voters ignored party instructions and voted No.

It should be as obvious as night follows day to any sensible observer that an Abbott government would strike terror into Labor, its policy being exactly what especially old- style Labor voters are demanding: cheap and reliable energy, taking back Liddell, the rate of welfare and chain immigration, reducing debt, the return of jihadists, and reversing the appalling decline in educational standards.

Add to that, on any assessment of campaigning skill and ability in today’s Parliament, Abbott wins hands down over everyone else.

Probably unbeknown to Abbott, he enjoys yet another advantage available to neither Turnbull nor Shorten because both remain distrusted, and especially for their acts of treachery against their leaders. This flows from the increasingly presidential aspect of Australian elections, no doubt encouraged by the 24 hour video news cycle both broadcast and streamed. Although we still formally elect MPs, most are now more likely to vote on whom they prefer as prime minister. Hence voters’ understandable outrage when, as they saw it, Turnbull and Shorten stabbed their leaders in the back while serving in their front bench, Shorten twice.

The advantage for Abbott comes from the rule-of-thumb in predicting American presidential elections. As the syndicated columnist and CNN contributor Salena Zito, with veteran Republican strategist Brad Todd, observe in their ground-breaking study on Trump voters, The Great Revolt, the way Americans choose between presidential candidates is as emotional as any consumer behaviour.

They say the consensus answer to one test used by political ‘pros’ rarely loses on Election Day. This is the ‘beer test’.

Applied to Australia, this would be: ‘Who would you rather have a beer with, Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten or Tony Abbott?’ To head off the commentariat, this has absolutely nothing to do with that superfluous pollster question, ‘Who would make the better PM?’

Whenever I have asked anyone this question, I have received the same reply, ‘Tony Abbott’.

When I ask why, I’m told, ‘Tony’s genuine… a decent man… no back-stabber… volunteer bush fighter… lifesaver…you can see he’s a good bloke…’.

This test invariably works in America. Why not Australia?

Easily the winner of the pub test because he has a winning agenda, easily the best campaigner and now also the winner of the beer test, Tony has indeed won the trifecta.

So why is his return not only blocked but derided by the commentariat? Apart from an inability of Liberal politicians to say they were wrong, the reason is the commentariat, Labor and the Greens fear that he would then not only win but that he would introduce an agenda the Australian people want and in particular, this would signal the end of their beloved global warming myth which is destroying the Australian economy.


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