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Australian Politics: PM Tony Abbott to become the nation's No. 1 Mr Whippy!

The sooner Tony Abbott becomes a Mr Whippy
franchisee somewhere beyond  the Outer
 Barcoo the better.
Sydney's right-wing shock jock Alan Jones has told Tony Abbott to become more like Mr Whippy and ring his bell even louder.

Supposedly to get his message out to Australians that he is really a good guy with a good message to tell.

The only problem is that Alan Jones is in a time-warp with Mr Whippy's bells having fallen mostly on deaf ears across Australia for over 30 years.

But if there is a Mr Whippy franchise still available in Coober Pedy, Coonabarabran or the Outer Barcoo, many Australians would gladly fork out the franchise fee to see Tony Abbott depart for the nether regions where he couldn't do any more harm than he is at the moment - even driving an ice cream truck around and around while wearing a cut-down version of Bob Katter's crazy hat.

Better still, send him to one of those places where he could be stuffed and mounted and kept as a permanent attraction for curious passers-by.

At the height of his powers? Tony Abbott during
 question time on Tuesday.
The SMH reports: Amid the confusing clamour that is federal politics, Prime Minister Tony Abbott appears to have misheard his radio mate Alan Jones' Tuesday morning advice to become more like Mr Whippy and ring his bell louder.

The image of Mr Abbott tooling around seaside resorts jangling his bell and tempting kiddies with ice-cream cones, as it turned out, was not the most bizarre of the day, even if it seemed attractive to the curious Mr Jones.

That honour went to Mr Abbott himself.

Illustration: Ron Tandberg. 
Beset on all sides by unbelievers, including a cabal of his ministers said to be counting the days until he is gone and a party treasurer spectacularly unimpressed by the marital partnership of the PM's chief of staff to the Liberal federal director, Mr Abbott declared himself on top of the world.

"You know what it is like to be young and vigorous and at the height of your powers?" beamed the 57-year-old PM on morning television. "That is exactly how I feel."

Could he have been enjoying an early-morning hallucination brought on by an overload of pushbike-induced endorphins?

Or had he read the first paragraph of the story accompanying the latest Newspoll, which brought the glad tidings that he "appears to have weathered the budget and leadership chaos to rank ahead of Bill Shorten as voters' preferred steward of the economy…"?

It wasn't long, of course, before killjoys in his party room in Canberra began chipping away at young Mr Abbott's vigorous euphoria, chiding him over sacking Philip Ruddock as whip, complaining about the uncertain future of submarine building in Adelaide and chaffing about the government's continuing attacks on Professor Gillian Triggs and the Human Rights Commission.

By then, the Prime Minister may also have read the second paragraph of the story accompanying the Newspoll, which noted, less cheeringly, that the poll "reveals the government remains well behind Labor, only one-third of people believe the PM is in touch with voters and 77 per cent consider him arrogant".

By the time Mr Abbott strode into Parliament for question time, his early-morning high seemed altogether missing.

Someone had to pay.

It would be Professor Triggs, already undergoing a long and excruciating inquisition in a Senate committee and inconveniently resisting all pressure to resign.

Within minutes Mr Abbott was using the parliamentary floor to rail against the commission's inquiry into children in detention, bellowing, "It's absolutely crystal clear this inquiry by the President of the Human Rights Commission is a political stitch-up".

"It's a political stitch-up and, Madam Speaker, this government has lost confidence in the President of the Human Rights Commission."

The Prime Minister, believing himself at the height of his powers but confounded by evidence suggesting he might lack the confidence of voters and colleagues, had transformed in the space of hours to Mr Whippy, but in a decidedly more 50 Shades of Grey style than Mr Jones might have had in mind.