Australia Day marks the unofficial end of the summer holidays. Until then, even if you have returned to work, it seems perfectly acceptable to dress less formally and work within a looser structure than usual.
It’s no different in politics. Media outlets scramble to fill their slots because the regular camera chasers decide to have a few days out of the spotlight. For some, the lull is an opportunity to get stories up that otherwise wouldn't see any coverage. For others, it’s about scoring the cheap shots with little chance of rebuttal. Unsurprisingly, Bill Shorten chose the latter route this week. Fresh from the self-imposed hibernation from his 2015 annus horribilis where he dealt with plummeting approval ratings and a lashing by the trade union Royal Commission, he took the path most travelled by the vacuous left - personal denigration. The target this time was former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who committed the grievous offence of going to talk at a pro-family, pro-freedom conference in the USA. Shorten decried Abbott as an extremist and part of the ‘far religious right’ because he accepted an invitation to speak at the Alliance Defending Freedom dinner. Both former US President George W Bush and former US envoy to the United Nations have addressed this group. The dinner is attended by around 150 diplomats and ministers with the goal of highlighting the importance of promoting and protecting the family. The ADF describes itself as defending free speech, human rights and religious freedom. In The Australian newspaper today, the ADF says that they affirm: “the good of marriage and the value of strong families around the world, particularly on behalf of children, who flourish when society honours and promotes the roles of both mothers and fathers in children’s lives.” To the uninitiated, that means it supports both traditional marriage and the rights of unborn children. And that’s what has got Bill Shorten so upset. You see, the hysterical left aren't capable of entering into a debate about the substance of their positions so they are reduced to name calling and personal attacks whenever someone disagrees with them. Their ideology is so scatalogical and inconsistent that to actually have to address the counterfactual would result in exposing just how shallow progressive politics has become. That’s why Bill Shorten took his cheap shot at Tony Abbott this week. He has nothing of substance to say and that’s why the Australian people cannot take him seriously as an alternate Prime Minister. His record of dodgy deals, duplicity and deceit has left him with so little credibility he is forced to insert himself into the dead zone of political media to have a cheap shot at a back bencher. It’s just another example of why he isn't fit to lead our nation.
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