Monday, March 15, 2010

Tony Abbott is continuing to use the term "All hat and no cowboy" to describe prime minister Kevin Rudd. So I'll repeat what I wrote here on March 8 :
Last night, Abbott also attempted to unleash on prime minister Kevin Rudd.
"It is pretty clear he is a guy who is all announcement and no follow through. He is, to coin a phrase, 'All Hat And No Cowboy'."
Abbott didn't coin the phrase. It's been in common usage in Texas for decades :
"It is not a compliment in West Texas to be referred to as 'All hat and no cowboy'. It is a term of derision used to indicate the person has little real character beneath the very thin veneer of appearance."
It's a good line, but it doesn't sound very Australian.

There is argument that the correct West Texas historical phrase is actually "All Hat, No Cattle", which certainly sounds more local.

Or perhaps Abbott knows this phrase, too, and decided not to use it to attack Rudd, because it has been popularly attached to George W. Bush since the late 1990s.
Abbott will stick to "all hat and no cowboy". He won't allow himself to be seen comparing Rudd to Bush. Ever.

John Howard, his unofficial adviser, wouldn't let him.