Abbott vs Boris?

by PAUL COLLITS – THE conservative stalwart broadcaster Mark Steyn has made the suggestion, in apparent seriousness, that the British Tories should draft Tony Abbott as the next leader of the Conservative Party. 

Mark’s interviewee at the time, Kathy Gyngell, editor of The Conservative Woman news site, wholeheartedly agreed with the idea. 

Abbott will continue to traverse the globe giving sound advice and thoughtful speeches while having his audiences wonder why on earth we ever allowed ourselves to lose him.

The discussion was prompted by Boris Johnson’s implosion over his various illegal parties, aka work events, while the rest of the country was locked down and prevented from doing things like burying their dead with dignity and shared love. People like Queen Elizabeth.

A debate has quickly arisen as to whether the Tories would be worse or better off with a new leader who might be less conservative (even) than the morals-free, reflexive “faker” Boris, who has, up until now, held a strange attraction for voters.


That this consideration is even part of the equation shows how far political standards of propriety have sunk in the home country, as well as in Australia.

Once upon a time, something so abominable as Johnson’s tasteless hypocrisy and subsequent obfuscation over “Partygate” would simply be a sacking offence, no further questions asked.

It actually had a name. It was called ministerial responsibility. It was about where the buck stopped.

Now, in an age of dispensable political morality, even the slightest deference to non-negotiable principle is overrun instantly by base electoral equations.

Holding power is the pure, unalloyed currency of the career political classer. And the Conservative Party is full of them.

But now Boris “Calamity” Johnson (as Michael St George at TCW has termed him) has lost his electoral sheen, what with the polls showing the critical class of ’19 behind the so-called Red Wall in deep trouble.

The turd is now unpolished. So, the Tories are in a funk. They could lose a hundred seats.

Boris is an emperor without anything much, let alone clothes.

Certainly, he has little dignity. Zero credibility. He never had any ideological moorings. His big thing, apart from seeking and clinging to public office, has been Brexit.

He was on the right side of history on this one, but was it even for the right reasons?

He has ceased to be a liberal (look at the totalitarian lockdowns, the lost freedoms, the toying with egregious vaccine mandates and the fealty owed to socialist health care), and he never was a conservative.

Just look at carbon net-zero, strangely also taken up, though with perhaps less relish than greenie Boris, by our lot here.


And he couldn’t organise a pub chook raffle, such is his total ineptitude in managing a government.

Steyn opined that there are probably no conservatives left in the Party of that name. Who then might step up?

Whimsically, Steyn noted that you don’t have to be born in the United Kingdom to be British Prime Minister.

You can be a citizen of the (British) Commonwealth. Hence Steyn’s reference to the (apparently forgettable) Canadian Andrew Bonar Law, a British PM in the 1920s.

He might also have noted the coincidence that the other non-British-born PM is one Boris Johnson, born in New York.

Another unmentioned irony is that the Oxford educated Tony Abbott was actually born in … London.

The main problem for the Steyn thesis is that the Tories probably wouldn’t actually want to be led by a conservative, alas. Even if they had one.

What would Abbott bring to the job?

He is still fit and at the peak of his powers as a youngish sixty-something.

He remains an ideas man and a thought leader with global reach and an astonishing range of policy interests.

Despite the dominant narrative, he actually wasn’t a failure as a prime minister.

Rather, he wasn’t really given a chance to grow into the job as Howard and Menzies famously were.

As an Anglophile and a great friend of Britain – he is currently a trade adviser to the British government – he is already halfway there.


He understands the reasons for Brexit and seeing it through, without feeble-minded back-tracking or a predilection for caving into the legacy Remoaners, wouldn’t be a problem.

He is no Europhile. As a former Oxford blue, he would, more than likely, have some sound advice for the English cricket establishment on how to regain much-needed Ashes cred. After all, the Poms are considering Justin Langer as their next coach.

Abbott is a great opposition leader (possibly the best Australia has had) and, after the likely hosing out of the stables at Westminster come the next election, the Tories will need someone who is clear-headed, capable of strategic and tactical focus, with the capacity to seek out the political weaknesses of opponents like an Exocet missile, and one who knows why he is there and actually believes in something.

He would most likely lead them back to government, and ensure that the next Tory administration is far better than its predecessor.

It would know what it is there for.

Nor is Abbott tainted by Australia’s COVID lunacy and our tarnished reputation abroad. We cannot blame Tony for that one.

Abbott could provide much needed mentoring for Jacob Rees-Mogg, the erstwhile conservative of promise in the Tory ranks but who has now lost his edge, buried under COVID mismanagement and policy chaos.

Abbott would really give the Leftists the irrits, something (sadly) for which conservative leaders in many jurisdictions have lost their appetite.

The Left really hates Abbott. When Leftists do not hate Liberal/Conservative leaders for what they believe in, you really have lost the battle and most likely the big war.

The best Right-of-centre leaders (Howard, Reagan, Thatcher, Trump) are the ones hated the most by the Left. (The much-loathed George W, of course, was the exception that proves the rule.)

No, a little reverse-colonialism would definitely not go astray in the mother country.


Clearly the Liberals down under (in both Sydney and Canberra) didn’t want Tony around anymore, and so we ended up – post the disastrous experiment with the Malchurian Candidate – with a contest between also-rans Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, each of whom would have struggled to be even considered for John Howard’s outer ministry.

The Liberals here still don’t want anything to do with Abbott, I assume because he would be considered “toxic” by the globalist bien pensants who apparently now decide these things.

In other words, he is a conservative.

We have seen what the political class does to real conservatives these days. Indeed, we have seen what the Liberal Party does to conservatives these days. Also, think of John Anderson and the National Party.


Sadly, this eminently sensible strategy proposed by Mark Steyn for the British Tories will remain a figment of wistful conservative imaginations and the stuff of what-if history books.

Tony Abbott will continue to traverse the globe giving sound advice and thoughtful speeches and having his audiences inevitably wondering why on earth we allowed ourselves to lose him.

And Tories at either end of the Qantas One flight path will continue to be led by people without bottom (as the fictional Sir Francis Urquhart might have said), without principles, without moral compass, without coherent strategy and without direction.

A funny old world, indeed.PC

Paul Collits

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Tony Abbott (L) & Boris Johnson. (courtesy The Guardian)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Spectator Australia on January 25, 2022. Re-used with permission.
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10 thoughts on “Abbott vs Boris?

  1. This section has two prongs!

    Firstly, I agree wholeheartedly with Carol Ann Flaherty. Tony was Australia’s Marvellous Gift, but this gift was destroyed by the extremely treacherous Turnbull and his band of scungy turncoat spongers within the Party.

    However, as for Tony leading Great Britain? Sure, some wise-heads know his undoubted strengths, his experienced and pragmatic intelligence; they have – and will again – use him for Britain’s benefit. But so unfortunately, a huge proportion of affluent and influential Poms still regard Australians as mere ‘colonials’, even our great thinkers, — our movers and shakers, among whom Tony is one of the best.

    I wish he would return to Australia and once again have a say in leading us forward on the RIGHT path to fair and vigorous prosperity.

    Second prong: When at first, nobody knew if the new virus would kill our economy, or indeed kill most citizens, a National Cabinet seemed a good idea for nutting out what responses were needed. However, once the Premiers (mostly those of a socialist bent) had started displaying their draconian dictatorial traits, Morrison should have dissolved them and once again taken the whip hand to show this lot just who was Prime (or first) Minister.

    Yes, border closures are unconstitutional and Morrison should have insisted they stay open, even to a point of sending an army unit to ‘help’ with the free flow! Also highly unconstitutional is ‘mandating’ vaccinations; also absolutely unnecessary as most Australians have exhibited their good sense.

    Perhaps Morrison should have reminded the Premiers, that in order to start paying off the gargantuan Covid-induced debt, Treasury’s hand outs could always be up for adjustment.

  2. The rot set in the Liberal Party when Tony Abbott was replaced by Malcolm Turnbull! What a major travesty! Tony Abbott wasn’t given a chance as Prime Minister of Australia and, boy, are we paying for that now. Those in the Liberal Party who voted for Malcolm Turnbull should be deeply ashamed. The party is a shambles. Right now we need a leader like Tony Abbott and if we lose him to Great Britain it will be a huge loss to this country. However, he deserves a place on the world stage and I wish him the success he deserves. Tony Abbott is a man of principal with more integrity than the rest of the party put together with the exception of Peter Dutton. In the absence of Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton is now our only hope to properly deal with China.

  3. If the Tory Wets could destroy Margaret Thatcher, they’d demolish TA’s chances before he even reached No 10. The more’s the pity, but Steyn’s idea is a complete non-starter.

  4. Borris, Biden, Macron, Trudea and “Davos Great Reset Cabal; could be caught swimming with thier pants down. TRUMPS TRUTH MEDIA which starts in March 2022 will allow the tide to go out and Truth to come in. Exposings Tony Fauchi and the true impact of big pharma lies, corruption and inceased deaths due to covid vaccines.

  5. Abbott was a four-termer until that treacherous Turnbull piece of sh*t simultaneously destroyed PM Abbott and himself.

  6. Abbott would not have instituted the irrational National Cabinet. He wouldn’t have panicked and covid spent like a drunken sailor.

    1. So you do not understand the reason for the National Leaders Cabinet, not a real government cabinet but a forum for discussion to try and gain cooperation and coordination between State and Territory Premiers, and the Prime Minister, noting that the States have sovereignty in accordance with constitutional laws and Federal Government cannot instruct them, only negotiate with them.

      Consider interstate border closures, not constitutional many believed until courts of law upheld the right based on pandemic reason for closure. Also consider that Emergency Powers were legislated in State Parliaments and enforced by State Health, State Police, State Government Ministers. No Federal intervention possible. There are circumstances in which States cannot infringe Federal areas of responsibility but public health and pandemic lockdowns and restrictions are State rights.

      Therefore the NLC forum made good sense, but the failure was Labor Premiers not cooperating and using it as a political attack weapon base with the 2022 Federal Election in their minds.

      1. Another point is quarantine, Federal Government authorities handle International arrivals at airports and ports but once cleared to enter Australia during the pandemic State authorities took over and decided what people from overseas or interstate must submit to, hotel quarantine for example in State contractor hotels.

        Djokovic was caught up in this and of course did not comply with Federal-Commonwealth Immigration entry requirements, and apparently relied on State and Tennis Australia advice that did not apply to Commonwealth vaccination requirements. It looks like he was misled, but then again we later learnt that he was not compliant in his own country or later in Spain before flying to Australia.

        1. And as for economic stimulus, what most media fail to report is that the national economy is growing again, GDP growth increasing, despite the basket cases of State small to medium businesses in trouble because of State Government excesses and lack of consideration, Labor States mainly.

          It was not panic spending by the Federal Government, they had no choice other than to sit back and watch the economic implosion taking place.


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