Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tony Abbott: The Finer Points of Idiocy in Public

With the approach of yet another Australian Federal election it becomes the right and privilege of bloggers around the country to bag out the candidates. In accordance, here is the sordid little history of Tony Abbott, and some of the highlights of the two decades he has spent ritualistically assassinating his own public credibility - seemingly without political repercussions bar being nominated as the Coalition candidate for (gulp) our next Prime Minister.

You're laughing already, aren't you, bitch?

Here is a collection of some of Tony's most memorable public statements, foibles, and episodes of apparently total public idiocy.

Back to your Ironing, Woman! (2010)

Tony was having a good old chin-wag with a country local dry-cleaner earlier this year about the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme. Being the sort of guy that he is, Tony thought he'd put in the terms of an ordinary person. This comment was taped:

What the housewives of Australia need to understand, when they're doing the ironing is if they get it done commercially it's going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up.

When his comments were criticised for being old-fashioned and sexist, Tony did little to reassure angry women, standing by his comment and claiming that his wife did all the ironing in house. When the predictable backlash occurred, Tony organised a film crew to follow him to a laundromat, where he learned to use an iron for the first time in his life, at the tender age of 52.

The Dying Man is Pulling a Stunt (2007)

Specifically, this guy:

His name was Bernie Banton, and he was dying from advanced asbestosis and mesothelioma. Here's a visual aid to put that into perspective:

Banton was a social justice campaigner representing thousands of workers who had been exposed to asbestos and other dangerous building materials in previous decades. During the lead-up to the 2007 Federal Election, Banton had been compiling an enormous community petition to try to have a new mesothelioma medication added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - in other words, so that those who needed the drug could afford to get it.

Understanding the delicacy of the situation, Tony accepted to meet Banton at his electoral office and receive the petition - and then basically blew the meeting off cause he was interstate. Rather than apologise, Tony labelled the event as a stunt, and stated;

I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn't mean that he is necessarily pure of heart in all things.

For the record, Bernie died three days after the election.

Gay People Are Threatening (2010)

Tony has never made it a secret that he feels this way, repeatedly opposing gay marriage, access to IVF for gay couples, and generally any extension of social recognition to homosexual relationships. To this day he remains unashamed of his standpoint, as recently evidenced by the failure of his tongue to communicate with his brain in a 60 Minutes interview. Upon being asked how he felt about homosexuality, Tony replied;

I probably feel a bit threatened... as so many people do.

He "clarified" this comment the following day, stating that:

There is no doubt that (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things.

I suppose the one thing that the guy has going for him here is that he can actually admit he's a bigot. Unfortunately, he seems to think that everyone else is, too.

And it's a shame, cause he would fit in perfectly at Mardi Gras.

Tony Wins! (2002-present)

The Ernie Awards are to a political honour what the Razzies are to the Oscars. M0re specifically, the Ernies are annual awards for Australian men who make the most sexist, misogynistic, or otherwise unhelpful remarks about women. They've even compiled a book of this crap.

Tony, who seems to have a peculiar dislike for women's policy issues, was "honoured" with the 2002 Silver Ernie for Politics, for stating that a paid maternity leave scheme would happen "over this government's dead body!". He has been awarded four "Repeat Offender" Ernies in 2002 and 2005-7, and was also nominated for the Gold Ernie for his 2004 comment that "abortion in Australia has been reduced to a question of the mother's convenience."

There's a hot tip out there that he might well be re-nominated this year. If not for the ironing board remark, then for his bafflingly hypocritical statement to the Australian Women's Weekly that young women should consider their virginity to be a "precious gift" they should not give away lightly. Hypocritical? Well, yes, in light of...

The Phantom Love-Child (2004)

In 2004, a young man who had been adopted as a baby went in search of his biological parents. He found his mother, who directed him to the man she thought was the father - Tony Abbott, who it seemed had fathered a baby boy at the age of 19. Tony found himself in a peculiar and delicate situation - a son he had never met, a media pack swarming around his every door, and the need to reconcile the current scandal with his heavily self-promoted image as a Christian family man.

He ended up using his reconciliation with his son to promote his anti-abortion, pro-adoption stance - conveniently, in the run-up to the parliamentary vote on RU486. He published several mushy interviews expressing his delight in finally meeting his "long-lost son", and condemning how "callow" he was to put the child up for adoption in the first place.

In all the excitement, nobody bothered to wait for the results of the DNA test. By early 2005 it had become apparent that Tony bore no biological relationship to his widely publicised "son". Tony was left with a soiled reputation and no long-lost family members to show for it.

Don't Believe Me (2010)

As though in an attempt not to merely piss all over his credibility but actually stomp it into the ground and bulldoze it into submission, Tony came out with this purler on the ABC's 7:30 Report. Inexplicable failures of grammar and thought processing do little to mask the brilliance of this half-hearted admission to lying during interviews;

Politicians are going to be judged on everything they say, but sometimes, in the heat of discussion, you do go a bit further than you would if it was an absolutely, ah, calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark.

Which is one of the reasons why the, the the statements that need to be taken absolutely as, as gospel truth is those carefully prepared, scripted remarks.

You have it from the horse's mouth.


  1. yep...i'm FBing it.

  2. I'm not a huge fan of Tony Abbott either but you could write just about the same things for Julia Gillard within her first two weeks as PM.

    The faux "reluctance" in taking the big job that she took advantage of so quickly, seemingly no knowledge of any members of her party about how much garbage small businesses have to put up with, the unwavering support of Unions who in turn have unsubtle support and who directly interfere in parliamentary process - look at the last elections' campaign ads - not paid for by the Labor party. "A good government losing its way" is not a good government.

    Also, find me a politician who wouldn't take advantage of the "Phantom Love-Child" situation Tony found himself in, to support their own ends. To say otherwise would be kidding yourself. Like I said, not a huge fan of Tony. I am a fan of balance though.

  3. I'm disappointed in Julia's first couple of weeks as well, but I'd take her over Tony in a flash. For one, she doesn't bring her religion (or lack thereof) into the public area in an attempt to collapse church and state.

  4. 10 things I hate about Tony

    1. he is a monarchist
    2. he is a fundamentalist catholic with myopic views
    3. he is anti-gay
    4. he is anti-abortion
    5. he thinks women should stay at home and do the ironing
    6. he wants to bring back work choices legislation
    7. his policies on refugees lack basic human decency, humanity and compassion
    8. his thinks climate change science is crap
    9. he sides with mega wealth miners over ordinary Australians on tax issues
    10. he wears budgie smugglers

  5. First of all, I'm not religious and don't beleive in God, but I have the view point that no human, no matter what, should decide when another human dies. That goes for capital punishment, suicide, euthanasia and abortion. If you think for one second that abortion is not killing a human being then you are extremely ignorant. Science can tell us that a human being is created at the point of conception and much like infancy, childhood and adolescence, a foetus is just another stage of human development. This rampant killing is repeatedly overshadowed by the religious debate but the moral debate is real. I don't agree with his views on homosexuality but do you think that the Labor party is any better? Please, they care ONLY for unions and the working class. Also, as far as his reaction to his suppossed love-child, I can't think of anything more honourable, what was he suppossed to do? Ignore him completely? Instead he opened up and accepted him despite the potential backlash. That shows heart. BTW, christianity is a religion not about conservatism as most people think but of forgiveness and love. To me what he did was perfectly christian, to welcome in a long lost son. Ignorant, psuedo-educated, singleminded feminism shows insecurity.

  6. "Mark said: they care ONLY for unions and the working class."

    Not true, but that would be a good idea. Workers should unite to put down this capitalistic crap.

  7. if Tony was my dad i would abort myself.

  8. I deplore any politician who will say divisive things for their personal political gain.

    Tony Abbot is not alone in this camp, but on a scale of 1 to 10 in a lineup of Australian politicians, he is closer to 10 than 1.

    I was indoctrinated into the same church as him as a kid, my memories of christianity in the 70's are pretty firm on it being a following of Jesus. While everyone else in the bible would have chained women to their iron boards, Jesus didn't.

    Jesus would have given the cloak of his back to help mesothelioma sufferers, the others woud have viewed it as god's punishment. As for Abbots view "There is no doubt that (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things." - Jesus overthrew the right order of things (overturning tables in the temple anyone?).

    My conclusion, Christians follow Christ and Tony follows Paul and/or every other high handed biblical contributor - you can join the dots...

  9. This is my first time to your blog, and just wanted to say thank you for your lovely, succinct rundown on why Tony Abbott is so dangerous.
    Surely Australia won't vote this lunatic in??

  10. Tony Abbott is beneath contempt.

  11. Budgie...

    1. he is a monarchist - meh...
    2. he is a fundamentalist catholic with myopic views - disturbing, however there is NO WAY that this will ever get imparted on the Australian people even if he is elected... Stop with the scare-tactics!
    3. he is anti-gay - I wouldn't say "anti", probably as "anti" as Julia is...
    4. he is anti-abortion - yeah fucked up, i'll give you that
    5. he thinks women should stay at home and do the ironing - oh come on! I'm sick of hearing this one... It was a throw away line which in no way insinuated this. People like to jump to conclusions...
    6. he wants to bring back work choices legislation - ???
    7. his policies on refugees lack basic human decency, humanity and compassion - negative... please tell me your solution
    8. his thinks climate change science is crap - negative, just doesn't agree on the best way to approach... Isn't it funny that most other countries shelved their ETS as they believed it was a waste of money for little benefit...
    9. he sides with mega wealth miners over ordinary Australians on tax issues - firstly, what did Julia JUST do? Secondly, I believe he was siding with most "ordinary Australians" as most "ordinary Australians" were opposed to the tax
    10. he wears budgie smugglers - hmmm

    As for Clever Bitch, it saddens me to see you lowering yourself to such political bashing. Shouldn't you realise that they're all fucked? And the fact that you're jumping on an anti-bandwagon just shows how naive and bias you are. I'm sure you would find a problem with ANYTHING Tony did... (and subsequently vote labor regardless...)

    I'm not Liberal, nor am I Labor. I just think you need to take an objective, less emotional approach to studying the politicians of today. This high and mighty 'evangelical-like' approach is embarrassing...

    Just think of the things that the others haven't said, because they can forsee the backlash. Doesn't meant that they believe any different - just playing the game.

  12. Oh and I forgot to add - I love your work! Keep it up :)

  13. Nice reading your article. Most of it i will leave unchallenged however i want to say something about abortion. I dont think it is such a backward, unenlightened thing to be anti abortion, Tony is perhaps quite courageous on his stand against it. I am a complete atheist, i dont believe in the church at all. However just because the church is discredited it doesnt mean that all religous beliefs should be scoffed at. Many of beliefs held by religion are just and good, such as respect for life and forgiveness. I used to be a supporter of abortion until i saw a protest in Toronto a few years ago. The protesters had placards showing the remains of babies that had been pulled out of the womb during an abortion. It was pretty shocking but it made me confront my own beliefs and realise that a unborn baby is still a baby and we probably shouldnt be killing them. I think sometimes we dont like to confront things that make up feel bad and that feminism and pro choice campaigners, for all their good (almost self rightous) intentions, are perhaps promoting a great evil without even realising it.

  14. I really enjoyed reading your blog post here, this article was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for mesothelioma resource subject last week. Keep it up. Thanks.

  15. @ anonymous at 6:48

    Thanks for your comment. That's the problem with the whole idea of abortion, isn't it? I'm very uncomfortable with it myself, leaving aside any religious standpoint. I like to think that if faced with the choice, I would not choose to terminate a pregnancy in my circumstances. I'm lucky to have never been faced with that choice. The only thing that concerns me is the idea of making that choice on behalf of another woman in different circumstances. My belief is basically that abortion is sad, but necessary as an option for women who aren't in a situation to bear or raise a child.