Why Tony Abbott won’t win his war on the ABC
Those “free speech” advocates over at the LNP have taken the extraordinary stance of boycotting any further appearances on QandA following the public spat over allowing a poor deluded individual to spruik some pro-terrorist nonsense on the national broadcaster’s night time live debating show.
The Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently declared that he would be boycotting the show, despite the fact that he’s failed to appear since becoming PM – joining the ranks of the insipid Kevin Andrews who similarly declared that he would no longer appear on the show (despite never being invited).
Building on his free speech credentials, The Gutter Trash understands that the PM has issued a directive to his frontbench staff instructing them to boycott the show.
Stopping within a hare’s breath of accusing the national broadcaster of treason, Mr Abbott recently described Q&A as a “leftie lynch mob” and said: “I think the ABC does have to have a long, hard look at itself and to answer a question which I have posed before — whose side are you on?”
However that hollow wreck of where once stood a man and leadership aspirant Malcolm Turnbull, has been placed in an invidious position by the PM’s arbitrary ban.
The ironically titled “Communications Minister” is due to appear on QandA next week and is yet to confirm whether or not he will keep the commitment in the wake of the PM’s ban.
Smashing pumpkin Barnaby Joyce has today withdrawn from this evening’s show citing the PM’s directive. However in contrast, statements made by Malcolm Turnbull suggest he does not support a boycott of the show.
“In due course I have no doubt that all of us will be appearing on ABC programs including Q&A in the future,” he said in late June.
Adhering to the ban would put Mr Turnbull on a collision course with voters in his own electorate, a majority of whom support protections against political interference in the ABC.
According to recent polling, voters living in electorates held by some of the Abbott government’s most prominent ministers support the ABC so strongly they would vote to change the constitution to protect it from political interference.
The polling shows a majority of voters in the seats held by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Education Minister Christopher Pyne would support including the functions of the ABC in the constitution to ensure its independence from government.
And most voters in the three blue-ribbon Liberal seats also oppose the $254 million funding cut handed to the ABC last year.
The question remains as to whether Malcom Turnbull will acquiesce to Abbott’s boycott demands or will he finally grow a spine?