by Tony Abbott

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780522864243
Publisher: Melbourne University Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Edition description: Updated edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Tony Abbott is the leader of the Australian Liberal Party and the member for Warringah, New South Wales, in the House of Representatives. He is the former minister for health and aging in the Howard government and leader of the House of Representatives in the Australian Federal Parliament. He is the author of How to Win the Constitutional War and The Minimal Monarchy.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Liberal Politicians Should Write More Books ix

1 The Making of a Liberal Politician 1

2 A Tale of Two Governments 22

3 What's Right? 49

4 Unfinished Business 80

5 Australia's Biggest Political Problem and How to Fix It 110

6 Making the States Do Better 132

7 If the 2020 Summit Had Been Fair Dinkum … 151

Postscript: Days from Hell 179

Afterword: A Week Really Can Be a Long Time in Politics 183

Appendix: A Bill to Amend the Constitution 188

Notes 193

References 197

Index 201

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Battlelines 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
sien on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Battlelines ( 2009 ) by Tony Abbott is an interesting, well written book that is rare in Australian political books in that it is also a book that is of interest for the future, not just the past. It's no Audacity of Hope but it is a book that also makes the writer more sympathetic.The book is a collection of related essays rather than a book with one theme. The chapters are: The Making of a Liberal Politician, A Tale of Two Governments, What's Right, Unfinished Business, Australia's Biggest Political Problem and How to fix it, Making the States do better, If the 2020 Summit had been fair dinkum and Postscript: Days from Hell.In the Making of a Liberal Abbott goes over his upbringing and early life. Abbott is absolutely frank in saying he was very privileged. He also writes about how he was reasonably wild as young man. He goes on to talk briefly about his girlfriend who thought that Abbot fathered her child and his foray into the seminary and his time as a Rhodes Scholar. He doesn't emphasize his intellectual credentials, probably because he doesn't have to. He doesn't have to pretend to be a wonk. He also talks about being invited to join the ALP which is unsurprising.In A Tale of Two Governments Abbot talks about his time in office and the Howard government. He clearly greatly admires Howard for his skill in running things. He liked the way that Howard respected his ministers but would on occasion make overriding decisions. He is clearly annoyed that Howard's legacy has not been better treated. In doing so at this point he is also helping the Liberals avoid what the ALP suffered after their loss in 1996 where the ALP unwisely disowned the Hawke / Keating legacy. In the book it also clear that Abbott does not loathe the ALP and respects them. It's good to see this lack of vicious partisanship.In What's Right Abbott discusses the Liberal Party's ideology and the way that it is an interesting combination of liberal and conservative views. He dismisses critics of Howard who regarded Howard as a Free Market fundamentalist. And correctly too. Howard raised social spending, introduced harsher gun laws and other measures that don't fit into the US Republican style of conservatism. Australia is very lucky to have two major parties that are pragmatic.In Unfinished Business Abbott goes over social policy and payments under Howard. Interestingly, he wants a reduction in means testing and increased family payments. I.e. he wants more government. He is absolutely upfront about this. This again shows that the Libs are certainly not purely a small government free market party.In Australia's Biggest Political Problem Abbott goes over the relationship and responsibilities of the State and Federal Governments. He clearly sees the States as poorly run and failing. He thinks they have little value and should have their powers reduced. It's a big change. He doesn't believe that some of Australia's regions and cities would suffer by the Federal Government picking and choosing issues for electoral reasons. Amusingly, he cites the Mersey Hospital in Tasmania as an example of why the Federal Government should run things. This would appear highly unwise. It did look like the Federal Government was playing politics on that occasion, it was like the Sports Rorts whiteboard affair during the decline of the ALP.In the chapter on 2020 Summit we get a plethora of policy outlines. Abbott sees the ALP as practicing magic pudding economics. He clearly things they will run into trouble with an inability to balance the Federal Budget. On the environment Abbot is sharp. He has read and knows who Bjorn Lomborg is. It is great to see a politician who has done this. He also quotes Ian Plimer. He is aware that the historical record shows considerably colder temperatures in Europe during the 1500s to 1800s. But he is prepared to go along with popular feeling on the issue and points out that the ALP's ETS is similar to Howard's proposed ideas.In the final chapter Abbo