This Week with David Barnett | March 8

With David Barnett

What if Tony Abbott was telling Malcolm Turnbull how to win the next election, instead of seeking to undermine his leadership? What if the furore that has broken over Abbott’s head is an example of what Donald Trump calls fake reporting?

TONY'S TIPS: David Barnett says Malcolm Turnbull should listen to the lessons of his predecessor.

TONY'S TIPS: David Barnett says Malcolm Turnbull should listen to the lessons of his predecessor.

Abbott made five good points, which were mentioned in news reports but not examined. Instead, to a man and woman, reporters saw good advice as an attempt to undermine Turnbull’s prime ministership.

The first of the five points was to cut immigration to take the heat off the demand for housing. That makes elementary sense. Since the end of World War II, a country of 7million people has made room for another 20million. Our GDP has gone up but not when divided by 27million to get a per capita figure.

That’s why as individuals we feel a growing financial strain. The governor of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe, no less, has just become the highest official to call for a cut in immigration.

Abbott’s second point was to end the Renewable Energy Target, which shifts a country with the world’s greatest coal deposits from cheap energy to unreliable energy. 

Abbott’s third point is that we should cut taxes. Our company tax rate is one of the highest in a world, where other countries have cut their rates to help business.

His fourth point is that the government should stop spending money. It’s not the government’s money. It is a mix of taxpayer’s money and borrowed money. Former treasurer Peter Costello was proud to announce when he balanced Budget that it was worth $5 billion in saved interest.

His fifth point was to abolish the Human Rights Commission, which has become a left-wing body that hounds its political foes.

Tony Abbott, our first and undoubtedly our last de facto DLP prime minister, has learnt a lot since he lost that job. Why didn’t he do those things while he was in the Lodge? Undoubtedly he wishes he had.

Why didn’t Malcolm  Turnbull embrace those policies, instead of rejecting Abbott’s advice as “sad.” Now the polls say the electorate will eject his government with the mess left by the ALP still not cleaned up.

Now that’s really sad.