Freerange on Tony Abbott: how gays make him uncomfortable, how to publicly insult dying men, and how lying is ok sometimes, or something…
Here is a selection of choice cuts from the mouth of soon to be Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Don’t say you were not warned!
This is an excerpt from Freerange Vol. 5: Dangerous and Wrong that was written late last year.
By Nick Sargent.
We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the future Australian Prime Minister for his imminent contribution to popular culture, to get in while he is still a little bit underground and show we are not bandwagoners, but genuine cultural explorers here at FR. Whilst we know the last laugh will be on us, the prospective “Decider’’ has been revealing a talent for clumsily (or slyly, your call) insulting minority groups that is, at the very least, uncomfortably entertaining. He’s unfortunately a little too silver-tongued to ape like-minded idiot savant and meme producing tour de force George W, and therefore is unlikely to ever acknowledge “how hard it is for you to put food on your family’’ or take the opportunity to explain the value of life to “children living in, you know, the Dark Dungeons of the Internet’’. Nevertheless his carefully planted seeds are beginning to germinate into forms that tenderly suggest the mean little fruit they will bear once he takes power.
Abbott’s most recent claim to mainstream success was this little poison-plant about the mostly Muslim and very clearly desperate people trying to enter Australia via treacherous seaward journeys:
“I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door. I think the people we accept should be coming the right way and not the wrong way. If you pay a people smuggler, if you jump the queue, if you take yourself and your family on a leaky boat, that’s doing the wrong thing, not the right thing, and we shouldn’t encourage it.’’
As flagrantly un-Christian as that display of chicanery may have been, it was not without significant hostile precedent. Speaking about a man dying from asbestosis who presented a petition for better care to government:
“It was a stunt. I know Bernie is very sick, but just because a person is sick doesn’t necessarily mean that he is pure of heart in all things.’’
And in response to the inevitable public outrage this caused:
“Bernie is a sick man and obviously he has the moral high ground. Obviously I shouldn’t have been as dismissive as I was.’’
Not an apology as such, but a surprisingly cocksure public statement about morality. Up next, maternity leave:
“Compulsory paid maternity leave? Over this Government’s dead body, frankly.’’
He has actually completely changed his mind on that by the way, but don’t think that means women are getting off lightly:
“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.’’
Apparently this was meant as criticism of the Gillard government’s new emissions trading scheme (a pollution tax that the government states is not a tax), but it also succinctly describes his own proposed carbon tax:
“If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax. Why not ask motorists to pay more? Why not ask electricity consumers to pay more?’’
OK, so he doesn’t really have a stone cold position on many things. But what about that archaic little bit about the ironing, and the outcry that caused:
“It’s just people being hypersensitive. But I think in many households it is still much more common to see the woman of the house with an iron in her hand.’’
Naturally this also caused some offence, but don’t go thinking Abbott’s not down with the ladies:
“I just want to make it clear I have never told an inappropriate joke, I’ve never pinched a woman on the backside and I never make inappropriate gestures to women.’’
Phew! And how do you feel about homosexuals?
“I probably feel a bit threatened, as so many people do. It’s a fact of life.’’
Again, some vocal upset. The response:
“There is no doubt that (homosexuality) challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things.’’
And the response to the outcry that caused:
“Yeah, look, it was a poor choice of words. Look, I think blokes of my generation and upbringing do sometimes find these things a bit confronting.’’
Which I must admit is a refreshingly honest admission. He was straight forwardly honest, too, when asked about whether he would continue Labour’s policy to reduce homelessness:
“No. The poor will always be with us.”
Which is actually a Biblical quote that is considered by many Bible scholars to be on their most frequently misused list, basically a sentence that contradicts the overwhelmingly and unarguably major Biblical message about taking care of the poor. But that is, at least, consistent with our flagrantly un-Christian opening quote and the theme running through all Abbott’s frank truths: the savvy ‘I don’t care what I say as long as the majority of people like it.’ And, about this, he is also consistent:
“Misleading the ABC is not quite the same as misleading the parliament.’’
And, famously, here:
“I know politicians are going to be judged on everything they say, but sometimes, in the heat of discussion, you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark, which is one of the reasons why the statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth is those carefully prepared scripted remarks.’’
All this honesty & truth lead former Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister Sir Malcolm Fraser to describe Abbott as “unpredictable’’ and “dangerous’’, basically willing to say or do whatever is necessary to get power, which is pretty much the definition of a tyrant or, in more puerile terms, a “bad boss”, about whom Abbott had this to say:
“A bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband. Not withstanding all his or her faults, you find that he tends to do more good than harm.’’
The point being, this is all suggestive of surprising chasms and bridges between what the future Prime Minister thinks, what he thinks he thinks, what he thinks he ought to think and what he actually says or does. The expression of which should see frank Tony transfigured in the unflinching media light into Australia’s budgie smuggling Prime Minister Pantsdown. This we predict, unless Jesus, growing tired of all this misrepresentation, intervenes before the big show in November, 2013. A closing quote about Jesus (and, again, immigrants) from the future Prime Minister:
“Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.
(But) let’s not verbal Jesus, he is not here to defend himself.’’