Tony Abbott was not a politician anyone expected to become Prime Minister, back in 2007. Abbott was a force of reaction more than anything else. The Liberals were shattered. But then, a sort of bitter War of the Roses-type family rivalry took over the Labor leadership – both trying to slightly out right-wing each other – and the Liberals were always going to be the obvious benefactor. And so Australia has today dealt Labor a mighty blow in the Federal Election, and elevated Tony Abbott to the Prime Ministership. So, it is perhaps worth noting the new Prime Minister’s thoughts on a variety of issues.
On women, Tony Abbott said:
“I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”
“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that 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.”
On man-made climate change:
“The climate change argument is absolute crap, however the politics are tough for us because 80 per cent of people believe climate change is a real and present danger.”
– Tony Abbott here is in direct disagreement with Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007, African Academy of Sciences, International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Geological Society of London, Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, American Geophysical Union, United States National Research Council, Royal Society of New Zealand, and many more. Abbott believes he knows better. I am unable to locate any research or thesis he has written on the subject.
On the right for same-sex couples to marry:
“I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.”
– Fashion of the moment. Seriously.
On the huge life decision whether to have an abortion:
“Abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations.”
On what abortion might lead to:
“I believe that there is a vast moral gulf which separates modern Australia from Nazi Germany. But can we be so sure that, under pressure over time, we will not slide down the same slippery slope. We only have to look at the abortion situation in this country.”
On rose-tinted Colonialist history:
“Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage.”
On the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan:
On a woman’s right to control her own body:
“I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak.”
On the plight of Aboriginal Australians:
“There may not be a great job for them but whatever there is, they just have to do it, and if it’s picking up rubbish around the community, it just has to be done.”
The Liberal’s website echoes the thoughts of right-winged Parties in other developed nations, with its delusional promises:
“The Coalition’s priority will be to build a stronger, more productive and diverse economy through lower taxes, more efficient government and more productive businesses that will deliver more jobs, higher wages and better services for all Australians.
– The exact same plan is well underway in the UK, and hasn’t delivered more efficient government – I challenge anyone to suggest the Department of Work & Pensions, or the Education Department, or the Health Department are now ‘efficient’ – hasn’t delivered more productive businesses, hasn’t delivered higher wages, or better services. Quite the opposite. With an added dose of misery and a distinct lack of hope. Similar policies in Republican controlled States in the US, offer similar results. Austerity is completely unnecessary in Australia in 2013. It doesn’t work. And it wont work for Australia.
Abbott is an Australian version of the slightly less sane sect of the US Republicans in Congress, a sort of Louie Gohmert figure for Australia. It will be interesting to see how the Abbott administration acts on the positions that their new Prime Minister fosters. It’ll be equally interesting to see how Labor change and if – with Rudd having retained his seat – they can move forward, get it together with a new leader, and new direction in time for 2016.