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When your dad is not the PM

Image courtesy of smh.com.au

Image courtesy of smh.com.au

Frances Abbott, 24 year-old daughter of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, made news a couple of weeks ago when it emerged she’d been offered a $60,000 scholarship to attend the Whitehouse Institute of Design. The scholarship has been awarded only once before, to the daughter of the school’s director, and students interviewed say they had no idea such a scholarship was available, and would have applied for it if they had.

As the scholarship is apparently awarded on merit, the Whitehouse Institute of Design appears to have a remarkably low number of meritorious students, the Director’s daughter and the daughter of the Prime Minister being the only ones considered worthy of such financial largesse in the Institute’s entire history.

Today it’s been revealed that Ms Abbott broke her lease agreement on an apartment she rented in Prahan, citing lack of security in the ground floor dwelling, and telling a VCAT hearing that “My dad is the Prime Minister” and he and his security teams did not consider the apartment safe for her. Ms Abbott had signed the lease without first consulting her father on the security issue because she wanted to be “independent.”

For reasons I find completely incomprehensible, not least because they haven’t been explained, VCAT found in Ms Abbott’s favour, and she was not obliged to pay $1000 requested by the landlady, a single mother recovering from cancer who was forced to default on a mortgage payment to cover her costs after Ms Abbott broke the lease.

Nobody would disagree that members of the PM’s family need security, however, it is remarkable that Ms Abbott herself did not think about this, or consult her father prior to signing the lease. This does not sound like the same standard of mature, responsible behaviour Mr Abbott demands from other 24 year-old Australians, especially those who are unemployed.

If you are in this category, and your dad is not the PM, you will have to apply for 40 jobs every month for six months before you are eligible for meagre government assistance, and quite how you are going to house, feed and clothe yourself during those six months is anybody’s guess.

Mr Abbott clearly believes young people ought to be independent, unless, of course, they are his young people. Handouts never encouraged anyone to stand on their own two feet, unless of course they are handed out to his children in the form of $60,000 scholarships. If your dad isn’t the Prime Minister, you won’t be offered scholarships nobody else knows about to get you through university, private college, or TAFE, if you choose to learn instead of earn between the ages of seventeen and thirty. Indeed, the cost of your learning, set to double or triple in the coming years, plus interest, may make it difficult for you to carry the burden of a mortgage as well, so you will be facing extraordinary challenges of the kind we are not used to in Australia, where education has been a right, and not simply a privilege available to the wealthy and powerful.

The matter of Ms Abbott’s security, and the matter of the broken lease are two separate issues. While I sympathise with Ms Abbott’s struggle to carve out her independence, something many of us had to do before we were twenty-four but let’s not carp, surely it is Ms Abbott’s responsibility to fulfil her legal obligations. The lease was signed. The property proved inappropriate after the lease was signed. If this happened to me, or you, we’d be stuck with it or we’d pay the penalty for breaking our agreement. If our dad earned half a million dollars a year, he might help us out with whatever costs we’d incurred, but only if he had political power could we get off scot-free, leaving another out-of-pocket and paying for our irresponsibility.

Mr Abbott insists that families should be off-limits in the political arena. However, he did rely heavily on the presence of his wife and three daughters throughout the election campaign, not least of all to prove he isn’t a misogynist, though I remain unconvinced by that dubious evidence. When politicians’ families benefit from the spouse and parents’ occupation, it is impossible to argue that they should be left out of the fray. They can’t be in it for the goodies, and out of it for the critiques. Ms Abbott is an adult. Her father is making enormous demands on adults of the same age, and much younger. It is these very demands made by their father that will continue to ensure the Abbott daughters remain under intense scrutiny. The Prime Minister cannot see his daughters favoured, while he subjects the daughters and sons of others to harsh and cruel demands that have the potential to ruin their lives.

This article was originally posted on my blog No Place For Sheep.

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52 comments

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  1. Foot rot Flats

    Abbott is a cheap disgusting Prime Minister. The overuse of his daughters during the election campaign spoke volumes. Sorry; but his daughters are fair game.

  2. citizen smith

    disgusting PM INDEED. . didn’t he teach his daughters that they were not entitled to deprive a single mother recovering fromj cancer of rent owed. Its called integrity, and also when Ms Abbott uses her fathers name and position to win such cases then she has has left her self vulnernable to attack.

  3. Lawrence Winder

    Do this lot have any sense of propriety, any sense at all?

    Insufferable aspirational bogans.

  4. Pingback: When your dad is not the PM | OzHouse

  5. xiaoecho

    Brings to mind another female close to the Prime Minister who apparently, can drink and drive and know the law will not apply to her. Cronies’R’Us.

  6. SilverBear

    Clearly a product of her upbringing, she is someone who has absolutely no empathy for anyone but herself. What do they call them again? Sociopaths?

  7. JohnB

    What a mean, selfish and inconsiderate person Frances has proved herself to be.
    All for sake of $1000!! What a grub.

    My self respect would not allow me to stand-over the unfortunate landlady in that way –
    she ought gladly pay the $1000, and apologise to her for thoughtlessly causing such inconvenience – in fact, if her parents had any sense of decency they would insist on their daughter “doing the right thing”.

    There can be no excuse for her conduct – lack of personal finance cannot excuse her, given her privileged wealthy family background.
    Just proves yet again, money doesn’t buy style or class.

    If there are any potential suitors out there, take note – you can do much better.

  8. Bob Rafto

    Security reasons and vouched by the cops.

    Now most of you folk know I’ve been having a very looong running feud with Can Do Newman, the cops, the judiciary, in fact one could say the whole establishment.

    But for some you folk who are blissfully uninformed may I suggest this site http://bobrafto.wordpress.com/

    Anyway, during my battle with Council planners over a small townhouse development, they imposed a condition for an easement which went alongside the bedrooms of my house and the easement fence butted against the house and could have been scaled to the bedrooms which at that time (2007) I had 2 young daughters and as a father, I was freakin’ mad.

    This easement was totally unnecessary as I was Gifting council $160K to upgrade a lane with a footpath and street lighting. So 3 townhouse residents could use this lane way.

    So I called the Crime Prevention cops, the female constable shook her head when she saw the location of the easement, there was no sight line from the street to the easement due to a steep gradient. It was a huge security risk.

    Constable M said to me that “SHE WAS NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE ADVERSE FINDINGS AGAINST A COUNCIL CONDITION.

    But she also said that she would do a plan to minimize the risk. That plan was CONFISCATED by her superintendent.

    So there you have it, Council assholes can impose security risks on a family and the Queensland cops ENFORCE IT.

    But that was not the only reason Council planners imposed that condition, it was done deliberately to devalue my house by as much as a $100K.

    The reason the Council planners imposed the easement was becos they wanted the 3 townhouse residents to take their WHEELIE bins to the street.

    I told them that was why I was gifting Council the upgrade of the lane way for that purpose.

    The Council manager thought about it for awhile and emailed back saying Council wanted the easement for the townhouse residents to have pedestrian access to the street so they don’t have to walk too far to the bus stop..

    I emailed back and said via the laneway it was only a 2 minute walk.

    That fcuken bitch emailed me back and said we want it for the WHEELIE bins.

    Straight after Newman got re-elected he wrote to me saying there would be a review of my development approval and asshole Council officer Rory Kelly was doing the review and we had a phone chat where he said he was going to get an INDEPENENT security experts to do a report on the easement.

    And lo and behold, he informed me that the independent SECURITY EXPERTS were none other than Council’s Waste Management and it was in Newman’s (cover up) report, that Council required the easement for wheelie bins without any reference to security issues. And in this report Newman incriminates himself with the signing off of a fraudulent engineering certificate, but that’s another story.

    This easement that Council imposed had a different terminology “Prioritized Pedestrian Pathway”, nice generic name, except there is no such fcuken thing, it’s not described or prescribed in any Council Town Plans or in any Act. Therefore it has no legal standing and is in effect what may be called EXTORTION. Council is conferring benefits to 3 townhouse residents at my expense, my house is being devalued for the benefit of others. Judge Griffin in the P&E court said that Council did not HAVE THE RIGHT to impose that condition and by doing so sanitized a Council crime.

    Thanks for putting up with my rant but all I wanted to say there is also inequality when it comes to security issues and if you think that I got the rough end of the pineapple with Council, let me say that there were more than a half a dozen large pineapples (criminal issues) used by Council in a 12 month period.

    Cheers!

  9. Lynne Newington

    Tony Abbott’s claim that private lives of politicians are off liimts is self condemning to say the least; Prime Mnister Julia Gillard was treated like a rag doll by he and his offsider Heffernan, with their living in sin, barren an atheist and unfit for the job, not to mention the silence of his spiritual director advising him only on all things pertaining to the character of God.
    And with Heffernan of the same Christian affilattion, his treatment of MIchael KIrby……..remember?

  10. Sir ScotchMistery

    What type of scrubber is Francis Abbott? A completely ordinary, not very skilled, lying one. Poor darling can’t even make it in an ordinary job. Needs daddies mate.

  11. Kaye Lee

    ‘The Festival of Bridget’: Tony Abbott’s youngest daughter celebrates her 21st birthday in style with huge party.
    And Tony Abbott’s youngest daughter kicked off her milestone birthday in style with a party on Saturday at Manly Life Saving Club.
    The Prime Minister discussed the event held in honour of ‘Bridgee-babe,’ as he called her on KIIS FM, this morning.
    Bridget told a reporter last week that she hoped her birthday celebrations would turn into ‘The Festival of Bridget’.

    ‘I’m hoping to stretch it out to be two weeks of celebrations, with lots and lots of dinners with friends and family here in Sydney,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald at the David Jones winter launch last week.

    Bridget, a radiology student and retail worker, also said she’s planning on heading overseas for the majority of 2014.

    ‘I’m going to travel, figure things out, get some direction. I’m not too sure where I’ll go and for how long. I guess I’ll just see what happens,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2551901/The-Festival-Bridget-Tony-Abbotts-youngest-daughter-turns-21-celebrates-style.html#ixzz34nOyrjbT

  12. Kerri

    Frances earns no sympathy for her selfishness.
    The financial and health condition of the landlady is irrelevant!
    The lineage/occupation of Frances father is also irrelevant!
    A contract is a contract and if you have not carried out due diligence before you sign you have no right to deprive someone of their legal right to compensation for your breaking your contract.
    What a poor job of parenting Tony and Margie have done.
    They have raised a princess who puts herself above others and inconveniences others without conscience.

  13. Kaye Lee

    I’m wondering if Bridget will have to travel with a security team? I’m also wondering if Tony’s shameless pimping of his daughters has contributed to the security risk.

  14. Sir ScotchMistery

    At the end of the day.. who gives a …

  15. John921Fraser

    <

    As a Queenslander I completely understand what Francis Abbott is saying when she says she wants to be "independent".

    Here in Queensland Abbotts political party now has an "independent" Chief Justice ….. and just like Francis he came out and told Queensland/ Australia he was "independent" …. most likely the first time a Judge has ever had to explain that.

    http://www.independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/why-queensland-attorney-general-jarrod-bleijie-must-resign–immediately,6577
    <
    http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/here-we-joh-again-carmody-promotion-a-throwback-to-terry-lewis,6580
    <
    http://nofibs.com.au/2014/06/16/a-crisis-of-confidence-bowlerbarrister-on-the-carmodycrisis-qldpol/

  16. Lord Angel

    So imagine your under 30. Tony makes law that under 30 get no unemployment benefits for 6 months

    Place is rented but you just got laid off and no dole to pay rent.. So you tell landlord that your leaving and ask for bond back

    Landlord says no and you go to VCAT who rule against you and you lose your bond

    Welcome to Abbotts Australia

  17. jane

    The interesting thing is that Frances has had $60k handed to her on a very dubious platter, so she could well have afforded to pay the landlady.

    As with everything to do with this family, there is something more than a little whiffy about this.

    Frances Abbott is obviously a very spoiled, selfish and uncaring young woman with little or no appreciation of, or sympathy for, the position she placed the landlady in. She deserves absolutely no sympathy.

  18. Anomander

    Her father taught her well how to lie and get away with it.

  19. Eileen Dixon

    I wonder if it is possible to find out the name of this poor landlady so that we decent people could pass the hat around and give her a helping hand – anyone?

  20. Gay

    Count me in, I am willing to donate 🙂

  21. Keitha Granville

    Yep, me too. Won’t take long to get the $1000 in the kitty.

  22. corvus boreus

    I’m kind of with Sir Scotch on this, the tenancy dealings of Ms Francis Abbott are not a personal focus or priority.
    In better times acts of legal favoritism, or nepotism by extension, would be scandalous.
    Currently, in view of what else is being perpetrated and contemplated by her father’s government, legislative, budgetary, and in terms of ethical conduct, it’s the least of the current crop of infamies.

  23. Carl

    In a way, I feel sorry for the kid. For all three of the girls. Think of how they’ve been brought up from the time they were little children and the role model they had in their father. Can you blame them for turning out the way they have. I would be equally concerned if they have inherited their father’s deficiencies as well. That would be a real shame as all three girls are good looking young ladies and could have great lives ahead of them. But, if they turn out like good old Dad, who would be willing to put up with them? However, these girls are in a particularly harsh spotlight, given who their father is and how he has used them for his own political advantage. There are a many ordinary Australian young people out there who have fathers just as gormless as their own father and who themselves have done similar things as Frances has just done. Some even worse. But, what sticks in the craw of most people’s necks is the blatant and unconscionable way in which Frances has used her father’s position and influence to get her own way. But, how many other young people would do the same thing given the right set of circumstances? Don’t kid yourselves that they wouldn’t. Though, that being so, it doesn’t excuse Frances in any way, shape or form. She maybe wet behind the ears, but she is old enough to know what it means to have signed a contract and the consequence of breaking said document. It doesn’t bode well for her future at all, if that is going to be the way she will conduct herself in dealings with other people and parties. I doubt she will have learnt anything from this little fiasco, but in the final analysis that boils right down to the guidance her father and mother still provide her…more so her father, but I only hope her mother had some words with her about this. If her mother remains silent, then she will be just as guilty of allowing her daughter to get away with a wrong as her father is for not pulling her aside and making it known to her, in no uncertain terms, that what she did was wrong and that she should pay her landlady what she owed her, for breaching the contract. Then to acknowledge that and apologise for the whole matter. However, given his own personal failings and past/present behaviour that would’ve never occurred to him.

  24. Eric

    This really proves that old saying is true “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”

  25. Jeanette Lewis

    Double standards. The landlady could get Shine Lawyers or the like to see this matter in court plus expenses. Great to see idiot PM daughter in court. Still with luck he’ll soon be dumped. A total embarrassment. Interesting Hilary Clinton’s changed views on Australians ABC re treatment of Julia Gillard, body shape, clothes etc. The male population media and politics really showed true nature of attitude to women. I still feel offended in the misogynist attitude prevailing today in this country. Back to the Abbot kid, well daddy earns enough money to support her, although good investigative journalism would be able to track if she’s applied for Newstart or the welfare for students.

    PS Regarding commentary of body shape, not much in media re Abbot’s style of walking, gorilla like, just check at your local zoo and watch the walk of gorillas, waving of arms, poor articulation, still I think gorillas articulate better, chest beating, no comments in media continual blue tie, at least Bill Shortens game enough to wear a different colour . Blah!!! to all media double standards!

  26. popsie

    It’s all part of the war on terror.

  27. Sir ScotchMistery

    I’d be in that hat passing quite happily. Someone find out who she is and we can start a pozible for her.

  28. Lynne Newington

    Carl, as a parent myself, they are my sentiments absolutely, in fact mine have been known to take food off their plates literally for an unexpected visitor, the home front always welcome to those less fortunate due the many and varied connections I’ve been involved with over the years.
    A blessing indeed.

  29. Garth

    ‘The Festival of Bridget’ ??!! Are you kidding me !! What kind of narcissistic bastards are this family ?

  30. Dude

    I’m glad that Ms Abbott was able to engage her rights as a tenant, as under Victorian tenancy laws a lock must be provided to every door and window as detailed at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rta1997207/s70.html

    Until locks were provided to every door and window, the apartment was not fit for renting to anyone, let alone someone with significant security needs. What instead of this being Ms Abbott, it was another woman with a AVO on someone who’s known to be violent, is that ok to continue to allow unlocked doors or windows on the ground floor apartment?

    Being a home owner and a landlord comes with responsibilities and I feel for the predicament that the landlord is in but they did not fulfill the requirements needed to be met before attempting to rent out the location.

  31. Lynne Newington

    Well it was up to her to check all those conditions were met before she signed the contract; in fact to have contents insured that is one of the questions that would’ve have been asked.

  32. Stephen

    The scholarship was awarded in 2011. I didn’t realise PM Gillard had children. Nothing like strafing clear of the facts. Fail

  33. Winifred Jeavons

    Like father , like daughter. A contract is a promise, and this family does not accept this basic premise . no one should have dealings with such blackguards, unless they are prepared to lose out.

  34. Kerri

    Seriously mate? What are you smoking?

  35. corvus boreus

    yeah,seriously mate, you’re off with the pixies and living in la-la land,
    and as for your pineapple pizza…
    .
    .
    hang on, who were you talking to, kerri?

  36. geoffreyengland

    Abbott just loves to pimp out his daughters when it suits his power grab. it’s the only time he requires the services of a woman.
    Margie is clearly superfluous to requirement….not accompanying him on his first major overseas trip to Europe and the USA. Peta however seems to fulfil the wifey role with relish.
    I wonder if they have interconnecting rooms?

  37. Lynne Newington

    It would have to be an aquired taste…….I’m sure half the time he’s reliving his training for the priesthood convincing himself if the camera doesn’t lie……even if he is.

  38. Kerri

    Corvus borreus that was directed at Stephens comment about Gillard.

  39. abbienoiraude

    When did it become that a 24 year old is a ‘kid’?
    During the Howard years when he stopped the 21 age being ‘adult’ and moved it to 25 for Centrelink recipients as being ‘independent’. How pathetic and shocking was that!
    My children left home for uni far far away at 17 years of age and lived on the ‘ration’ of Austudy, alone far from home and us. We could not help them but sent a ‘food package’ when we could afford it ( being on DSP).
    So we have infantilised our adults and Abbott is pushing it to 30 years of age now! How weird, sick and restrictive is that!!! THIRTY! I had married, and finished having my children by then and had bought and sold two houses ( moving with my husband to where the work was) with huge mortgages of 17% interest. No help from our family in a different state from all family members we did it along too.

    If I was wealthy and my child received a ‘scholarship’ of such magnitude I would encourage my ‘child’ to donate said amount to another less wealthy person, or at least to charity, as a sign of consideration for others less well off.

    Talking to my youngest daughter ( mother of my only grandchild) by phone to see how her baby was dealing with childcare ( as she had to return to work) she interrupted the phone conversation and I could here a kerfuffle in the background. When she came back on I said what was that. “Oh nothing” she said. “I just had to help a man in a wheelchair as he dropped something and was having trouble”.
    Now THAT is the kind of human this poor Welfare recipient raised…not that spoilt little shit that the Abbott’s have raised.

    Time to grow up Bridget-baby…and you too Frances and know you are not the centre of the universe no matter what mummy and daddy say and do..find your own value system and moral compass. FFS!

  40. Sir ScotchMistery

    Dude, are you serious? Did you actually READ any of what was there?

    Let me help:

    Let’s have an open day
    OK on Saturday we’ll open it up and let the punters take a wander.
    Punter Abbott the younger “OMG it’s sweeeeeeet daddy will soooo hate it. It has no crucifix over the bedheads”.
    “How much”
    $1,250 per week
    “OMG I’m just a student on a “scholarship” (nudge nudge wink wink)”. No matter Daddy will pay. Or he will find a business to pay for him because he is catholic you know.
    “Where do I sign?”
    Here and here and here and your witness signs here and here.
    “When can I move in?”
    “As soon as your bond is deposited and we do the usual tenancy reference checks”
    “OMG do you know who my daddy is?”
    “Yes”
    “Well….?”
    “Bond?”

    At no point in that conversation was there any mention of locks.

    So Francis is just another liar like the whole family.

    No sympathy at all. Scrubber.

  41. Lynne Newington

    I suppose Mr ScotchMisery I mean Mystery, I suppose it’s alright to use such foul language to get your point across……..

  42. john atkins

    If Tony Abbott stepped down as leader of the Liberal Party, would Peta Credlin still be Prime Minister.

  43. Sir ScotchMistery

    @Lynne – so nothing to add to the conversation dear?

    “Mistery” as in Scotch Mist, for the unenlightened.

    Also the second “I suppose” was unnecessary.

    Perhaps you missed the expression from your chum, Christopher Pyne? I missed your comment on that.

    And Newington was such a good school apart from the liberal kids who were all up themselves, (and each other with trying regularity).

  44. DanDark

    Was it grub or was it you know the c–t word
    We all know it was pyne the poodle, yapping you know what 🙂 And it was not grub
    They are so in denial these rusted on libs, they are a joke, just a joke and dumb as a boot !

  45. Lynne Newington

    You’ve got a problem……..

  46. Sir ScotchMistery

    @Dan Dark – fairly certain it was the c bomb.

    @Lynne – did you say something?

  47. DanDark

    Yes Sir Scotch
    We all heard it, couldn’t miss it,
    Pyne the poodle is a liar and a bad one at that

  48. Mick

    Abbott’s daughters AKA spoilt little irresponsible bitches. They are more then happy to enjoy the perks of being the PM’s daughters so they can also enjoy the criticism. Fair targets in my opinion as they are more then probably right wing little fascists just like daddy.

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