Park & Pride

By DeusExMacintosh

Australia’s Opposition leader, Tony Abbott, has been criticised for making a “tasteless” joke about the Costa Concordia disaster.

Mr Abbott, who has been a fierce critic of the Gillard Government’s efforts to stem the flow of boat people, jokingly described the liner as “one boat that did get stopped”.
The Government pounced on the comments, saying they were “childish” and calling on Mr Abbott to apologise.

“You have 11 people that are dead and at least 20 people missing and he is using this tragedy to make a tasteless joke,” said an MP, Rob Mitchell.

“It shows he is unfit to be leader.”

Mr Abbott has previously drawn criticism for several other ill-considered remarks, including a comment during a visit to troops in Afghanistan when he said “s— happens” in an attempt to explain the death of a soldier.

The Telegraph

UPDATE 4.25pm: ANDREW Wilkie has scrapped his agreement with Julia Gillard to back the Government after she walked away from a signed agreement on poker reform.

His announcement late this afternoon comes after the Gillard Government earlier in the afternoon said it would trial pre-commitment amounts on pokie machines from next year and backed away from its gambling legislation deal with Mr Wilkie.

The Government will not fall as a result of his decision because the Prime Minister secured a two-vote buffer in the hung Parliament when Liberal Peter Slipper defected late last year to claim the job as Speaker.

The Tasmanian independent, who helped Labor form government in 2010 after extracting a deal to deliver on poker reform laws by May 2012, had told the Prime Minister he expected to scrap his agreement.

He announced his decision in Hobart after marathon talks with the Prime Minister.

Herald Sun


  1. Movius
    Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    If Abbott keeps that up, his re-election chances will be on the rocks.

  2. Posted January 22, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Tony Abbott is a lot of things.

    But anyone who believes that comment to be a tastless joke is a dickhead.

    The ALP & their suckholes seem unaware they are making public fools of themselves over it.

  3. Patrick
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    I’m with Steve (although unfortunately I’m not at the pub).
    The shit happens line was also fine in context.

  4. Posted January 22, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I am not sure complaining that the Opposition Leader has a sense of humour is a winning strategy with Oz voters.

  5. conrad
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It didn’t work for Alexander Downer..

  6. Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I actually really like the ‘shit happens’ line. Pinker has a great quip in his Better Angels of Our Nature on this point: ‘it seems unfair to reduce Stoicism — Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Martha Nussbaum and the rest — to a bumper sticker, but Stoicism’s greatest contribution to our intellectual development may be just that: shit happens’.

    It’s part of a general discussion on ideological systems that blame gods or other people but never dumb luck or personal incompetence for everything from earthquakes to business failure.

  7. kvd
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I very much agree with [email protected] re the ‘shit happens’ line, but you can count one for the dickheads regarding the latest – except I just ‘think’ it tasteless, rather than believe it.

    When Gabby Gifford was shot in the US there was a brief call for a ‘new civility’ in public discourse; within about 12 hours a blog I like to read but never comment on introduced a new post label – “civility bullshit”.

    For mine, I think “the day the music died” was when Greg Chappel asked his brother to bowl underarm. It’s been pretty much downhill ever since. And I’m not even a Baptist 😉

  8. Posted January 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps in light of kvd’s comment #7 I’ll change my observation to:
    Anyone who believes Tony Abbott’s comment was intended to be genuine mirth has Three serious personal issues to deal with:
    (1) They are overlooking that he was merely responding to a topic introduced by the interviewer, (and are giving a free pass to the interviewer)
    (2) They are unfamiliar with black humour
    (3) They are totally & completely removed from dry humour, & thus are bereft of the essence of Australian culture & identity.

  9. kvd
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    [email protected] Tim Blair’s blog had the heading “Ship Happens” and was supportive of your viewpoint. Now that was funny.

  10. Posted January 23, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Yes kvd, Tim Blair’s sub-editing skills are superb!
    I’m in awe.

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