Prime Minister Tony Abbott is clearly more worried about his standing with the Australian public, and that of his government, than I thought he would be. Flying off to the Netherlands to say a few thank-yous has all the signs of a gesture motivated by panic.
The government is clearly stunned at how unpopular it has become since introducing its budget but encouraged by the response to the Prime Minister’s reaction to the deaths of Australians on the Malaysian aircraft shot down over Ukraine. Let’s keep milking that favourable sentiment appears to be the motivation for the hurried decision to fly away.
My guess is that the mob will see it as the shallow gesture it undoubtedly is and that there will be no further revival in approval for the way the Prime Minister is performing his job.