In his first speech as leader he attacked the ETS as just another great, big, Labor tax and quite rightly compared the government's reckless spending to that of Whitlam.
Opinion polls are published regularly showing that people are 'concerned' about climate change (in the same way that the Secretary-General du jour of the UN is 'concerned' about Iran building a nuclear weapon or genocide in Darfur) and that they want something done about it.
The left uses these polls as evidence that Australians want something done and they want it done now.
What are not published are any of the polls showing that climate change doesn't rate in the top half dozen things that voters are concerned about, which show that the economy and jobs are, unsurprisingly, at the top.
Tony Abbott can't win the next election, but he can make big inroads into the government's majority by focusing on jobs.
If I was him I'd be banging on at every opportunity that "The Liberal Party is the party of jobs and we are not going to sacrifice even one Australian job to implement a great, Green tax that will achieve nothing without the world's major emitters acting first."
Focus on jobs. Focus on the cost to families.
If he calls the ETS a "great, Green tax that will achieve nothing" then he might even take out a few Greenies along the way, which would be the greatest public service of all.
Labor, and its media acolytes, think that Tony Abbott is easy meat, that he can be made fun of for his Christian beliefs and history as a political strongman.
I think that they will be given a rude wake up call over the next few months as the Coalition finally gets its act together and forms a coherent policy narrative that the Australian people can support.
Andrew Bolt highlights a line from the Sydney Morning Herald as summing up the policy line that will be run:
TONY Abbott will steer the Liberal Party back to its conservative roots with a 2010 election campaign portraying Kevin Rudd as a Whitlamesque big spender whose climate change policies will smash Australian jobs.Can you imagine Malcolm Turnbull coming up with such a simple strategy?
People can both understand it and relate to it.
I might send Tony Abbott a copy of Frank Luntz's Words That Work:It's not what you say it's what they hear to help him keep on message.