As far as I can tell, on this afternoon when the end of the Australian car manufacturing industry has been announced, the Abbott government has a very limited range of interests:
a. counting its money, and keeping it; except in the case of -
b. politically motivated inquiries into political enemies, for which there is always a pile of spare cash to be found to pay for these expensive exercises that they plan on lasting up to the next election;
c. treating the military as if it is a part of government which it is treasonous to question;
d. claiming secrecy for military tasks even when it is clearly not needed;
e. towing people in boats around the ocean and forcing them into other boats - an action of highly questionable legality which, one suspects, is bound to end up with a lethal accident;
f. trying to re-start culture wars which most people have already moved past.
It is certainly completely uninterested in:
1. science (not even a Science minister, for crying out loud);
2. climate science (lining up a climate denialist into a top advisory position, for example)
3. industry policy that is more nuanced than "let the market work it out".
This combination in its own way is a perfect storm of government uselessness. Sure, manufacturing of cars has been problematic for years due to a variety of reasons, but one sector (energy) where you might have thought Australian manufacturing might try to find a niche market is more than likely going to be hit by change in government policy soon too.
This is a really appalling government led by a Prime Minister with poor, poor judgement.
It is hard to find a Minister who is not equally embarrassing and currently compromising their better sense by having to stick with the team. Yes, I'm looking at you, Turnbull.
I actually didn't expect them to be quite this bad, and I hope their polling continues to go down.
Update: I see they are in an election losing position still, across all polls I think, although the 3 point swing from Labor to the Greens looks very odd to me. I think Shorten's loss of points is partly due to his being absent overseas recently. I wouldn't be in a panic over it.
Abbott's approval rating, while a net negative, is higher than it deserves to be.
I can't emphasise enough how creepy I find the way this government is using the military, not just operationally, but in a PR sense. (And then going completely over the top in attacking media for reporting possible misbehaviour of members. That performance by David Johnston was worthy of a full blown totalitarian state.)
In fact, I am surprised that they seem to have found a current crop of top brass who seem to be happy to be used a part of government PR this way. During the Howard era, the Navy's unhappiness with its role in dealing with boats was palpable. This seems not to be the case now, and you have to wonder why. And has Angus Campbell always been known as a bit of a government suck up? He sure comes across that way.
I still predict it will all end abruptly and not in a way of the government's choosing.