Tony Abbott may be the greatest self-harmer in the history of Australian politics, but Christopher Pyne is not too far behind, setting his own cracking pace with his petition demanding that the ABC not close down production houses in Adelaide, despite his government cutting $250 million from the ABC budget.
Except that ironically, it might just turn out to be one of the greatest political victories the Abbott Government is ever likely to enjoy. And we mean that seriously – Greatest Political Victory For Abbott, Ever.
Which says plenty about what constitutes success for the Tories, and even more about just how bad their year has been. 2014 could go down as one of the most ‘Annus Horriblis’ years on Australian political record.
A fortnight ago, Pyne launched his petition to stop cuts to the Adelaide branch of the ABC. It is lumbering – slowly and inevitably – towards reaching its goal of 5,000 signatures.
Indeed, Pyne is more than halfway there. By Monday afternoon, he’d reached 3360 – just 1640 left to get (an ironic number when you consider that most of Pyne’s political values come from precisely that era of human history).
Although there is a problem. Well, two actually.
The first is that the ABC has already confirmed the cuts to its production facilities in Adelaide. Which is very bad news for the poor staff there, but even worse for Pyne, who will no doubt weep away the summer break internalizing the agony of a jobless Christmas for more than a few of his constituents.
The second – and perhaps more troubling – aspect is that almost every single one of the signatures on his petition appears to have been posted for the sole purpose of enabling the petitioner the opportunity to leave a comment… and assault the Minister for Education with the sort of language that our children most definitely do not learn in school (unless they had Professor Barry Spurr for … in which case, maybe).
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