Perhaps Tony Abbott does have leadership problems and it’s nothing to do with Malcolm Turnbull. Even worse for the Prime Minister than having Andrew Bolt defending him is having Bolt’s principal employer laughing at you.
In a regular segment devoted to ‘Other countries’ Presidents of the USA’, the HBO satirical US news programLast Week Tonight with John Olivertoday aired a segment ruthlessly collating our embattled PM’s most embarrassing moments.
News.com.au reports how the program described our current leader as “hard line right-wing Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power promising to be pro-business and religiously anti-immigration — literally, religiously anti-immigration.”
It then cut to Mr Abbott on ABC panel show Q&A, explaining to host Tony Jones that “Jesus knew there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia”. Cue much laughter from the Last Week Tonight studio audience. “Exactly. Australia is for real Australians, like Tony Abbott — who was born in London, England,” the Last Week Tonight voice over intoned.
From there, Last Week Tonight cut to clips of former Prime Minister Paul Keating, protesters and even schoolchildren lambasting the PM. “My mummy calls him Tony Dum-Dum,” said one young boy in an undated interview. Then followed clips of Mr Abbott’s disparaging remarks about women (“What the housewives of Australia need to understand is they do the ironing”), gay people (telling 60 Minutes’ Liz Hayes he feels “a bit threatened” by homosexuality), the Irish, and his now-infamous wink while speaking to an elderly sex-line worker.
They finished with his silent response to a journalist who asked about his choice of words when speaking about a fallen Aussie soldier:
“Yes, Tony Abbott knows, one panicked pant-sh**ting expression is worth a thousand words,” the voiceover said.