Forget about Katy Perry’s Superbowl halftime performance — Tony Abbott’s National Press Club speech was today’s most high-pressure performance.
With support for Tones dwindling faster than the nation’s interest in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here even before he decided to knight a British royal, and Queensland voters sending the Coalition an emphatic message (“No, just no”) at the weekend’s state election, it’s fair to say he’s on the back foot at the moment.
So, is the leadership spill on? Well, no, not just yet, if you believe Abbott’s address to the nation. “It’s the people that hire,” he told the Press Club, “and frankly it’s the people that should fire.”
That’s right — the Coalition will ride this thing right into the ground, rather than admit Labor might have been onto something by knifing its leaders.
Abbott was asked if he is the best person for the job and if he has considered resigning — “Yes and no,” he answered.
On the possibility of a Julie Bishop-led coup: “Julie’s a friend of mine, Julie’s my deputy… I believe I have her full support and I certainly look forward to continuing to have that.”
On the Knightmare: “I have listened, I have learned, I have acted and those particular captain’s picks which people found difficult have been reversed… all awards in the Order of Australia will henceforth be a matter for the Order of Australia Council.”
On paid parental leave: “I admire stay-at-home mums, as Margie was when our children were young, but support better paid parental leave to maximise young people’s — like my daughters’ — choices to have a career and to have a family too. I accept, though, that what’s desirable is not always doable, especially when times are tough and budgets are tight.”
On, uh, the boats: “The Abbott government has stopped the boats — and only this government will keep them stopped.”
On the carbon tax (are people really still asking him about the carbon tax?): “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.”
You can watch the whole speech here, if you dare:
Do you think it’s time for the Liberal Party to make their move on Tony? Or should they stand by their man? Vote in our poll and have your say in the comments below!
UPDATE: This poll has closed. 64 per cent of you believe it’s time to dump Tony because he can’t win the next election, and 27 per cent of you think Tony probably can’t win, but they should stick by him anyway because it would be hypocritical not to. Meanwhile, nine per cent of you believe the Coalition should stick with Tony Abbott because he can win the next election. Is that you, Tony?
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