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Seminary similarity



Recently I came across an extraordinary article published in the Bulletin magazine (reproduced at nofibs) written by Tony Abbott in 1987, six months after he left St Patrick’s seminary.

Before I go any further, I realise that is 27 years ago and that people change or “grow” as Tony likes to put it. The disturbing aspect of this story is how much it reflects the Tony we see today. All quotes come from the article Tony wrote, and an article published in response a week later written by Bill Wright, a priest and church historian, who was vice-rector at St Patrick’s whilst Tony was there.

From the start, Tony was a controversial figure at the seminary. Whilst some seemed to admire him, others found him “just too formidable to talk to unless to agree; overbearing and opiniated”. After the heady days of university, “Tony was not, on the whole, impressed by his companions”.

In his article, Abbott blames the church for not living up to his ideals.

“Looking back, it seems that I was seeking a spiritual and human excellence to which the Church is no longer sure she aspires. My feeble attempts to recall her to her duty — as I saw it — betrayed a fathomless disappointment at the collapse of a cherished ideal.

In addition, a “cooperative” style of management ran counter to the Church’s age-old hierarchical structure.

The more they played up lay ministry and ecumenism and played down the unique role of the priest in the one true Church, the more the struggle seemed pointless and the more I wanted to participate in worldly activities which were much more to my taste.

l felt “had” by a seminary that so stressed ”empathy” with sinners and “dialogue” with the Church’s enemies that the priesthood seemed to have lost its point.”

Contemporary Catholicism did not sit well with Tony who said his was “a hard-headed, worldly faith ill-wed to the “softer” kind of Catholicism predominant at St Patrick’s.”

“At university the need to defend Catholicism in a hostile environment had led me to an extremely naturalistic defence of traditional beliefs and disciplines. Abortion was wrong, because it violated instinctive respect for life; contraception, because it was usually part of a “me now” mentality. The Mass was a chance quietly to restore one’s energies; confession enabled embarrassing problems to be discussed safely before they became crippling. ”

Whilst at the seminary, Tony was very public about his criticism, speaking on radio and writing an article about St Patrick’s that was published in the Northern Herald , giving the “real reasons why people leave — which include ennui, psychosomatic illness and an unwillingness to conform to whatever model of the priesthood happens to be momentarily fashionable.”

Tony’s lack of empathy was highlighted when he was given the role of infirmarian at the seminary, a job that involved supervising the medicine cabinet and ensuring that the ill were not forgotten in their rooms.

“My view was that I knew nothing about medicine and that those too sick to eat in the dining room ought to be in hospital. Anyway, I thought, most were malingering. So I encouraged “self-service” of medicines and suggested that meals would be better fetched by the friends of the sick. Many deeply resented this disdain for college’s caring and communitarian ethos. And, I confess, I did not have the courage to refuse room service to members of the seminary staff.”

Inevitably, Tony fell out with seminary authority. Fr Brian Wright said

“The study of theology did not capture Tony’s imagination. He did passably well; not as well as his academic background may have indicated. I do not recall that he ever talked about theology while at Manly. His concern was with churchmanship, how the Catholic Church could better commend itself to the hearts of Australians; how the individual priest could enliven and uplift those who were turning away from uninspired ministers.”

In other words, he was interested in the politics and in attracting the swinging voters even then. Fr Wright goes on to say

“Tony is inclined to score points, to skate over or hold back any reservations he might have about his case.”

What an astute observation about our current Prime Minister by a man who knew him well and watched him in action.

With a growing concern about Tony’s motivation and suitability for the priesthood, the head of the seminary suggested that Tony do a “pastoral year” living in a presbytery and working in a parish. Tony, after initial resistance, spent some time out at Emu Plains about which he said “I found it difficult to believe that this was meant to be my life.”

After a few months Tony was sick of it. He wrote to Patrick Murphy, the new Bishop of Broken Bay, spelling out his demands.

“My preference was to live at Emu Plains and to study theology at Sydney University. Alternatively, I wanted to study at St Patrick’s on a part-time or quasi-correspondence basis.”

The bishop had other ideas. “Along with others,” he wrote, “I admire several qualities which you obviously have shown. However, there are some radical attitudes about Church and priesthood … which will have to be worked through before you would be accepted for the diocese or profit from seminary formation.”

Tony was asked to see a psychologist who concluded that he had developed an inability to be really intimate and that without the warmth and trust of real intimacy he would find life in the celibate priesthood too frustrating and lacking in peace”. Rather than interpreting this to mean fellowship with his brothers and empathy for humanity, as it was intended, Tony’s mind turned to sex.

“Lack of sensual intimacy is something that priests have always had to handle. In my case, this had become a heavy burden because I was not naturally drawn to the life of the priesthood and because the modern Church — by minimising its mystique and spiritual elan — had eroded any other basis for its undertaking.”

But Tony didn’t want an analysis of his difficulties and especially not an analysis couched in the terms of psychology, saying “it was really the seminary staff who needed psychological investigation”. He wanted tangible support for his agenda. The Bishop of Parramatta eventually agreed to accept Tony as his student and offered a return to St Patrick’s on a full-time live-in basis or studies at the Marist seminary at Hunters Hill and residence at another presbytery within the diocese. By the Church’s lights, it was a generous and radical proposal, one that had never been offered to anyone before. They were bending over backwards to accommodate Tony but it wasn’t good enough.

“I think I had subconsciously stipulated that the Church needed to forget the usual considerations of prudent caution and simply agree, just once, to what I wanted.”

Father Wright suggests that

“Once Tony had beaten the system and was no longer able to locate the ‘struggle’ as being between himself and authority, he had no-one much else blocking his path but himself.”

A commenter at nofibs summed up Tony’s article well.

“As a catholic myself what struck me about Abbott’s account here was his overweening self-importance and sense of entitlement. There must have been many quiet prayers of thanks when this restless soul left the seminary. He seems to be a man driven by the need to oppose. Debating, boxing, rugby, student politics marked him in youth as a formidable adversary. He took that fighting spirit to St Patrick’s which let him down because it did not offer enough ‘bravura’ to sustain him. Now of course the admiration for belligerence as Opposition leader has probably provided a new yardstick for assessing the success or failure of future incumbents of that position. I would like Tony Abbott to explain why he wanted to be a priest rather than why the church did not meet his expectations. I would also like to know why he wants to be PM and whether this country will have enough ‘bravura’ for him or whether he will have to reshape us in his own image.”

Father Wright finished his article with some advice for Tony which is chillingly relevant today.

“I only know that we must try to make things come out right, in the full knowledge that it may serve some higher purpose for them to come out wrong”.


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  1. hannahquinn

    Reblogged this on The Kettle Press and commented:
    Abbott is not a man who has changed or even to have grown other than to become more entrenched in his own views of knowing what it is best for everyone and everything, and having the determination to reshape the world according to him. Some might even go so far as to say the man has a god complex.

  2. Quint

    Yeah, or you could just keep it real and call a spade a spade. He is a lunatic.

  3. nickthiwerspoon

    How absolutely fascinating. I’ve come to think of him as one of those rugger-bugger bullies at uni: loud, domineering, narcissistic, despising men not in their image, narrow, always having to win, unable to compromise, unable to listen. Nothing here persuades me otherwise.

  4. bjkelly1958

    It makes a lot more sense now. As a seminarian he wanted to become a Pharisee or he wouldn’t play at all. So to politics, where he eyed off being an elite there. Now he has the top job, he lacks true direction and no wisdom.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Nick, I was at uni with Tony Abbott. That is exactly what he was like.

  6. Kaye Lee

    One disturbing quote that I left out because I wasn’t quite sure what he meant.

    “There was something disturbing, for all the real ambiguity of male sexuality under celibacy, in the ready acceptance of homosexual orientation. ”

    Did he mean tolerance of people’s sexual orientation? Did he mean homosexuality within the seminary? Or was he alluding to the coverup of child sexual abuse?

  7. John Fraser


    @Kaye Lee

    Most likely all 3, but he was still a novice liar then.

  8. curioz

    “In my case, this had become a heavy burden because I was not naturally drawn to the life of the priesthood and because the modern Church — by minimising its mystique and spiritual elan — had eroded any other basis for its undertaking.”

    I must admit that I am glad that Mr Abbot didn’t become a priest. However, it does raise the question as to why he ever thought that that he might become a priest. Or was it that he only read the exciting popes like the de Medici or Borgia who had both temporal and spiritual power, and according to his hagiography was ‘destined to either Pope or PM’?

  9. mikestasse

    It’s been obvious to me for ages Pope Francis should excommunicate the Abbott……

  10. lawrencewinder

    A person so spiritually and culturally bereft that his only ambition is power…. this piece nearly made me ill.
    I recommend Joachim Fest’s, “The Face of the Third Reich”…where Fest profiles the ordinariness in the most evil of people.the similarities are alarming.

  11. uknowispeaksense

    Perhaps he saw that he was never going to be Pope. What I read though are the ramblings of a psychopath.

  12. Fed up

    What stands out about Abbott then, is his inabilitybilty to listen, more important to hear. Seems to be his biggest problem today.

    What was said above says this. His comments on what Indonesia says is another.

    This week, it was reinforced by his belief that SPC would not close down. Same went for GMH.

    He ignores the warnings of all.

  13. zachary

    Kaye this should be ‘required’ reading for every Australian. This is the Abbott we know today. Frankly is bloody scary.

    Couple of points. To me it appears one of his prime reasons for wanting to become a priest was as a stepping stone to much higher office within the church, rather than to be merely a pastoral servant, ambition before dedication to serving God,,,quote “it seems that I was seeking a spiritual and human excellence to which the Church is no longer sure she aspires. My feeble attempts to recall her to her duty — as I saw it — betrayed a fathomless disappointment at the collapse of a cherished ideal” he wanted to recall the Church to her duty. probably take it back to the ‘Inquisition’.
    Given his comments about homosexuality, which I took to be a condemnation, his support of a pedophile priest in court is even more surprising.

    I’m reminded of his mothers wish that he become Pope or PM. It seems Pope was first on the list, the ruler, ruling from on high but the rank and file do all the work.
    Other point is to agree with John Fraser. All 3 seems on the money

  14. Fed up

    He seems to get into his mind, his own ideas, One that comes to mind, is that his daughters intend to live at home until they are married. He says this, when one has already moved out. I believe the other two are now packing their bags.

    I am sure they have talked him, but to be so stupid, that they work is going when ready.

    Like many deserted husbands that one comes across. Wives have told them for years, they are going. When they wife does go, as she said she would, they go into shock, not being able to work out what happened.

  15. Fed up

    Kaye, I have a son in law, an ex brother who says the same. In fact, says the sister was not much better.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Tony’s attitude towards those “malingering” seminarians with the flu is typical.

    He couldn’t care less if they died in their rooms – if you need medicine get it yourself. If you can’t then go to hospital. He would rather them starve, or struggle down to the dining room and infect everyone else, rather than him having to be bothered taking them meals in their rooms. He wasn’t there to be doing that sort of menial job.

  17. Fed up

    What is more scary, that since then, he has married and had three daughters.

    Has not changed his thinking in any way.

    I refuse to believe that what he says about his daughters. Wanting to live at home , saving themselves until marriage is the truth in any way.

    What frightens the hell out of me, that is what he truly believes.

    He does not appear to have any relationship skills, in any way. Neither good or bad.

  18. Fed up

    His mother also made another statement, that when it comes to food, she was unable to fill her son up. It seems that he cannot be in the vicinity of food, without stuffing as much as he can Into his mouth. No manners apparent either.

    Abbott’s personality fascinates me. I just wish he was not PM

  19. Kaye Lee

    In 1967, 29 Sydney priests signed a statement which declared that seminary life destroyed “the flexibility and toughness needed to cope with the outside environment” and that many left the institution “mentally ill”.

    IN 1984, the then-president of St Patrick’s, Reverend Dr Grove Johnson, submitted a 28-page report to the Australian Bishops’ Conference in which he declared that “the over­ introverted and celibate life of the seminary” risked producing “loyal and devoted members of the clerical club … at the expense of truly human develop­ment”

    Might explain a few things……..

  20. Stephen Tardrew

    Mad, mad, mad, mad, mad,mad; narcissistic, mad, mad, mad, antisocial personality; mad, mad, mad; neurotic,mad, mad, mad, compulsive liar; mad, mad, mad, delusions of grandeur; mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, God complex; I could go on forever. It’s not that I don’t like you Tony it just that you’re thoroughly unlikeable prick.

  21. Stephen Tardrew

    Sorry typos in a hurry.

  22. Kaye Lee

    “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, about a group of strangers fighting tooth and nail over buried treasure, is the most grandly harebrained movie ever made, a pileup of slapstick and borscht-belt-y one-liners. For sheer scale of silliness, Kramer’s wildly uncharacteristic film is unlike any other, an exhilarating epic of tomfoolery.”

    Sadly, the movie reminds me too much of our government.

  23. Eileen Naseby

    How many Federal Liberal members feel the same way as we do? How long before they try to challenge him?

  24. Kaye Makovec

    ““There was something disturbing, for all the real ambiguity of male sexuality under celibacy, in the ready acceptance of homosexual orientation. ””
    Sounds to me like he meant many priests were homosexuals.

  25. zachary

    That’s how I read it also Kaye

  26. Fed up

    Kaye, the look on Peta’s face in Savos, might suggest, she is losing patience as well.

  27. Fed up

    I really think when it comes to the Abbott, it has little to do with either the church or sex. His problems go much deeper.

    The episode with what he thought was the son he adopted out tells us much. He deserves the abuse he got at the apology for mothers who were forced to give their babies up.

    Sadly, I believe he did not attend that woman’s funeral. Never bother to see her.

  28. Fed up

    PS. I believe that both did believe the baby was his,

  29. awombatsweb

    Having spent 11 years in Catholic schooling, I cannot think of any time where Abbott’s POV was ever tolerated, yet alone taught. And this, coming from myself as a person who never fitted in with the Church and it’s sinful community.

  30. Kaye Lee


    Here are some other quotes from the article that tend to indicate he has a messiah complex.

    I shared fully in the ordinary foibles of youth. But why should personal ambivalence, parental misgivings and peer incomprehension hinder God ‘s plan?

    I came to believe, the Church’s purposes would be better served by ordaining world-proven men than by exposing untried boys to the vagaries of “formation”.

    The notebook I kept at the time reveals masochistic introspection of the “I should be happy to be despised and rejected for the sake of the Kingdom” type.

    The same sense of boundless human potential, of man soaring to God’s right hand, which led me toward the priesthood led me away in the end.

  31. Josh

    Very interesting read. I find the connection to B.A Santamaria very interesting also. Clerico-Fascism anyone?

  32. Kaye Lee

    It should be remembered that Tony wrote this when he was a 29 year old nobody, but he obviously already had an over-developed sense of his own importance. What should have been a very private personal reflection, and consultation with the church, was used as a stage for Tony who chose to express his personal travails and views in a magazine.

  33. zachary

    That in itself reveals his sense of ‘born to rule’, now, Apology is not a word in the Abbott vocabulary and if forced to use it, is a means to a personal end. For me it’s all in the walk. The gait opens the gate to reveal his true self.

  34. Fed up

    Are some hinting, that Abbott sees himself as a saviour?

    Could explain a lot.

    As for his understanding of the church. It bears no resemblance to the one I was reared in., The nun even thought they would get me, in my early teens.

    Has sense enough to know it was not for me.

  35. Fed up

    One has to have some insight into the possibility they could be wrong, to be able to apologize.

    Look at his last effort with the Indondesians. The boats were swept off course. Yes, no wrong, what occurred was accidental. The worse thing is, he believes they will buy this rubbish.

    I suspect the Indonesians have summed Abbott up well, and it suits them to play games with him, probably working out, it is all Abbott, and will not last long.

  36. Graeme Rust

    and still doesn’t give a shit about anyone sick or not, lock the loon up for his own good , tell him he’s the pope and let him live it out in the psycho ward.

  37. Kaye Lee

    A lot can be learned from body language. His handshake for example

    The double-hander is a favourite in the corporate and political arena. Through this particular handshake, the initiator aims to portray sincerity, honesty, and a deep feeling for the receiver. By using it, you increase the amount of physical contact and by restricting the receiver’s right hand you gain control of the interaction.

    When you use the two-handed handshake, the left hand conveys two points worth noting. Firstly, it reveals the intensity of feeling you’re demonstrating towards the receiver. The higher up the arm your left hand goes, the deeper the level of intimacy you want to show. This is a complex movement in that the gesture shows both the degree of connection you have with the receiver as well as the amount of control you’re exerting. The second point is that your left hand invades the receiver’s personal space. Unless the receiver has positive feelings for you, this gesture can lead to feelings of suspicion and mistrust.

  38. Fed up

    When one watches Abbott closely, his body language seems to be indicating all is not well. Seems to be alone much of the time. Mood and attitudes change day to day.

    Some days, he looks ill and hesitant. The next outing, he will be full of confidence and bravo.

    That little episode at the G20 about climbing mountains was at the very least, bizarre. The official involved appear to be doing his best to get away from Abbott.

    The look on Credlin’s face was one of frustration.

  39. Fed up

    Personally, I cannot see him being around for long, I fear for his health, if he fails. He will know, there will be no more chances for him to succeed. Worse for him, I feel he will not know or understand if ity all goes wrong, once again.

  40. Kaye Lee

    I agree that Tony will have no more chances to succeed should he get the boot from this job. I can’t see anyone paying him on the talking circuit, or to advise them about trade and economics, or to open doors to foreign leaders.

    But I disagree it will be injurious to his health. He will just blame others for not appreciating his sagacity, and sit back enjoying his lifetime pension, free travel, chauffeured car, staffed office, and all those photos he has accumulated.

  41. rossleighbrisbane

    Just heard Abbott’s sister tell the news that she was a Liberal, and she’d always be a Liberal. So it seems it doesn’t matter what policies they have she’ll support them come what may. I shudder.

  42. diannaart


    Your drawing of parallels of the self-belief of Abbott being comparable to the type of man who despite his partner’s many warnings and pleas, is amazed when his wife finally gets up and leaves.

    My ex-husband – after refusing to attend a counsellor with me, (he never abused me in front of anyone – which saved me on one occasion) stated if I left (this was after the threats of throwing me out the door in whatever I was wearing) he would start ‘courting’ me all over again. I did escape and he did send flowers and gifts all to my work place – not because I hadn’t given him my address (sounds crazy to me now but I did give him my address) – the gifts in the work place drew a lot of unwanted attention – no one could understand why I gave these gifts away or threw them in the bin.

    For reasons I will not reveal here I moved again and never gave him an address where he could reach me again. I became concerned when he would suddenly turn up at my mother’s home. My mother moved home also.

    Anyway, that set look that Abbott gets on his face reminds me too much of my ex-husband, the self belief coupled with the inability for self-relection or to admit mistakes… we have a very scary man for PM.

  43. John Kelly

    This has all the elements of someone so overtaken with their own importance they have failed to contemplate a purpose for their future. History is full of them.

  44. Fed up

    diannaart, funny you say that. I was not thinking of my ex when I wrote that. Yes, he not only did not hear, I do not believe he ever accepted the separation, up to the day he died. Caused havoc with my kids, even as adults

    This in spite of the hell he put us through, and the harm he caused my eldest, the disaster that led to the separation.

    Yes, now you mention it, Abbott also reminds me of him. My ex was definitely ill, but hard to define.

    To this day, I do believe, he had no concept of the harm he caused. I do not believe he deliberately set out to hurt.

    No my comments came from my interest in how people behave and psychology.

    Says something, that the ex did not come to mind. To me, that is good.

    Most5 people, somewhere in life come to a stage where they are forced to face reality,. I suspect this will occur, if Abbott is forced out. Will be a reality, he cannot ignore. He will be alone, of use to no one.

    Just a thought.

    I do know, this man frightens me. More so, as so many are around and support him. They have no excuse.

    Would love to be wrong, but every day, it seems to become more so,.

  45. Fed up

    Yes, John, but they rarely become PMs.

  46. Mishel Reynolds Loring

    Not trying to be mean spirited, but it does seem to me he might be a sociopath??
    Just the seeming lack of empathy, and obviously I haven’t met him and am only going on a feeling I get through the media, but that’s what it seems to me.

  47. Karen Lea

    The man is sick….Narcistic Personality Order to a tee!!

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.

    People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.

    In laypeople terms, someone with this disorder may be described simply as a “narcissist” or as someone with “narcissism.” Both of these terms generally refer to someone with narcissistic personality disorder.

    Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    Requires excessive admiration
    Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

  48. 'george hanson'

    tone may not have found what he wanted by being a priest , but he certainly found what he could get by being a member of Opus Dei . [ Apparently christine keneally is also a member ] . It has infiltrated every aspect of the catholic church and politics .There is a book – ‘THEIR KINGDOM COME -inside the secret world of opus dei ‘ written by ROBERT HUTCHISON [ isbn 0-552-14186-0 ] published by CORGI , that is a great expose of this evil empire . [ Go to – – for cheap copies ]. This manipulative , insidious ,ultra-right wing organisation will stop at nothing to achieve its aims of returning society and the church to the 18 th. century .They have control of the vatican bank , and the vatican media conglomerate [ which makes MUDROCK’s empire look like a corner store …btw …rupe is a vatican knight and one of his companies has the world rights to publish the bible ].Tone will be a cardinal yet . And you don’t need to be a priest to be a cardinal. [ laymen can be made cardinals as a reward for services to the church ] …but only a priest-cardinal can vote for a new pope .with O.D. that may change . So get that book and pass it around …….the’ 999 maxims ‘will make your hair curl .

  49. Mike 1

    Just read this Loonies body language, He needs all the physiological help he can receive. A nutter and a coward, PM he is not.

  50. Mike 1

    Karen Lea.

    You defined this Idiot perfectly, I just shortened it to a three word slogan.

  51. Chris Andrews

    “hannahquinn” makes an astute observation. In my younger more theologically passionate days I recall reading a religious book called “The God Players” (Earl Jabay) which described people like Tony – people who see themselves as being the center of the universe rather then the God they allegedly worship. These are the self seeking and elitist qualities of the Coalition and its business supporters so in that sense he is a good fit. Unfortunately for Tony history will demonstrated time and again that for them that style of political management is for losers.

  52. Sandra

    The guys a flamin’ lunatic

  53. jasonblog

    Congratulations on an important blog post. The wheels are turning slowly but finally the ‘masses’ are starting to catch up. Hopefully, Kaye Lee’s post is the pivot from which change will come. Tony Abbott’s intelligence should never be questioned because he is an astute, manipulative & opportunistic man.

    Tony Abbott is probably homosexual (and as they said in ‘Kramer’ all those years ago nothing wrong with that) however it probably does fuel the war with which he rages with all around him. His need for physical excess & personal obliteration in extremes is suggestive of somebody not quite at ease with their place in the world. He loves his mummy and hasn’t outgrown his daddy.

    Abbott is essentially a fascist who wants Australia to return to a world of feudalism. A world in which the priest profited generously. This of course was known to Malcolm Fraser years ago. The ALP voters ignored Mr Fraser because they were too entrenched in their self-righteousness & the Liberal voters bought into the Murdoch / IPA line that Fraser was a failure. Fraser was right check it out for yourself. But it’s good too see the ‘independent’ media finally catching up.

    Abbott views Australia as the motherland and he does not want his mummy penetrated repeatedly by strangers. That’s why we have the asylum seeker policy that we have.

    Abbott’s Malthusian approach to medicinal dispensation is what underscores Neoliberalism. It is at the heart of Laissez-faire. It is the impetus for chaos & anarchy and hierarchy can only be retained in the face of chaos & anarchy with brutal authoritarianism. Abbott is a fascist. Abbott is a Catholic who is completely at odds with Pope Frank. Abbott finds himself on diminishing grounds of certainty & his leadership is crumbling.

    In earlier comments: lawrencewinder recommended ‘The Face of the Third Reich’ by Joachim Fest. In addition to this I would suggest ‘The Mass Psychology of Fascism’ by William Reich. (OT personal note to lawrencewinder my blog is presently in recess).

    Also Eileen Nasby asked “How long before they try to challenge him?” – One would suspect the longer Abbott remains the puppet Prime-minister enthrall to the forces of Minchin, Murdoch, Rinehart, & IPA (which includes Loughnane & Credlin) then the onus really is on the decent remaining members of the Liberal party to take a stand. Ultimately Abbott doesn’t just represent the tainting of the Liberal party (as Fraser predicted) but the destruction of the LNP coalition. You’d think it would be in the interests of those moderates in the Libs & Nats to do something soon.

    ‘George Hanson’ and ‘Karen Lea’ are spot on with their comments.

  54. Dave Miles

    I read somewhere the current government described as The Catholic Taliban. I think he’d like that…

  55. steve wales

    please tell me how many of you haters come from Victoria, the left wing capital of the world

  56. The Doc

    Psycopathic with an inability to empathise. A mother who wanted him to be pope or PM Ye gods the woman was loony herself, and he too weak to resist her or too brainwashed so that he believed her. I dispute one commentator though, this article was written for the Bulletin, even though Tony was a no-body in our eyes, at that time, he obviously felt he was a somebody who should write to the Bulletin and get published. Of course his article gives a type of insiders view of a closed shop – hence the fascination and possibly why it was published, but to be rebutted so publically the next issue. Oh Dear. However, there was and surely will be more inglorious episodes than this revealing article he wrote all those years ago.

  57. Heather

    I read an interesting article recently in which the writer stated that: many Liberals thoroughly disdainTony Abbott. However, they put up with him because he is doing their dirty work for them (the things they secretly want done to the Australian community, but won’t say out loud).
    I think there is truth in that – and explains why (to some extent) he hasn’t yet been thrown out on his ear.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Tony has a great deal of trouble sticking to anything.

    After marrying Margie the year after he left the seminary, Abbott decided that writing for The Bulletin was boring and he wrote to a number of “business leaders” asking them for a job.

    His plea for a job was answered by Sir Tristan Antico, a “prominent member of the wider Jesuit network” who offered Tony Abbott the position of Plant Manager at Sydney Concrete in Silverwater, a job for which he had no qualifications nor experience.

    Abbott, thumbing his nose at the lifeline he had been offered, soon quit the job as it “wasn’t paying enough money” and accepted a position with The Australian as a journalist.

    He continued writing at The Australian until John Howard recommended Tony Abbott for a position as the then Federal Liberal leader John Hewson’s press secretary.

    He finally had his foot in the door he had always been heading for and could see the affluent future to which he felt entitled.

  59. Fed up

    Recently I read a comment that listed Abbott’s achievements. Among the many achievements listed, was him being in a partnership as a practicing solicitor for a decade.

    I am aware that he studied law, among other things, but I have seen nowhere, when he qualified as a solicitor.

    Can anyone enlighten me?

  60. Carmen Macpherson

    Excellent views on Tony Abbott but frightening. The question is not will he survive for three years but will we!

  61. cassilva48

    Well he knew that the position of Pope was already taken!

  62. Tony Hogarth

    This s a hard pell to swallow !! However this is further proof that the current P.M has a serious mental problem !! this first became clear to me way back in the ” my long lost love child era ” and when he sat on the morning after pill whilst having the position of health minister in The Howard Era !! Now much to my amazement he has become bulletproof !! And all his weird antics must be caused by stress !!(As in a runaway train ) Not in any way helped by the behavior of the people surrounding him over whom I feel he has lost control ! (I do not know who 2 but could be a combination of P.C, Rupert and Gina !!) Whilst on the subject of sensual intimacy ! I am not against it in any way ! unless of course you want to do it 2 our country ! and let us the taxpayers foot the bill ! That kinda smells like Rorting and Rooting at the same time which is a Cardinal Sin !! Lets get it all out in the open and March in March ! When my sign will say TONY WE DESERVE THE WHOLE TRUTH !

  63. archiearchive FCD

    @Carmel, And that is my fear. Abbott is not “Just another PM”, he is an intellectual nobody who is manipulated by the praise of those he admires. Unfortunately he admires the rich, the powerful and the corrupt. His legacy will be decades of depression, economic and personal, as we attempt to recover from the rape of our economy and of our way of life.

  64. Nick Hall

    Are we asking ourselves, why(or how) have we allowed a psychopath (small group of psychopaths, read up on Eric Abetz and others) to be our representative leaders?

  65. Helen Light

    Someone above commented on body language. I used to watch in horror as Abbott repeatedly turned his back to Gillard when he was speaking to her. He rarely used her name, often simply calling her “she”.
    I tried some time back to find a youtube clip showing a visiting Chinese dignitary with both Gillard and Abbott – you know the sort of thing, where at the end of a meeting they shake hands at a “meet the press” event. It showed the Chinese dignitary very warmly relating to Gillard, and trying as hard as he could to avoid any contact at all with Abbott, who he obviously regarded with disdain.
    I am not surprised that we are now offside with many different nations. The lack of diplomacy skills is appalling.

  66. Paul Williams

    Thank heavens he only got the top job in Australian politics. Imagine how damaging a ‘Cardinal Abbott’ would have been, for that is surely where he would have felt destined to be? I regard him as an eco-path as well as somewhat of a sociopath. To think, Tony and I came to australia at the same age on the same boat, but not the same sailing. There was time for the then Menzies government to have introduced a ‘Stop the boats’ policy, but they weren’t inclined to back then.

  67. Alphonse

    No surprise. First time I ever saw him was on TV. It must have been about 15 years ago (guessing) when he was a newly elected MP. A TDT presenter introduced a segment where two politicians would be invited to loosen up and talk about the things that hamstring them; toeing party lines that they have reservations about, not acknowledging some truths that are pretty obvious because it would still be impolitic, not opening themselves up to obvious counterattacks no matter how wrongly based, etc.

    The two politicians were Bob McMullen from the ALP and Tony Abbott. McMullen tried to observe the premise of the segment. Abbott did nothing but snipe and point-score. The moderator tried to tell him he was not abiding by the rules of engagement, but to no avail. McMullen had to eventually say that there was no point in continuing if all Abbott could do was stay in combative debating mode. Bravura indeed!

    Nothing had changed by then. Nothing has changed since. He’s a warrior for a cause that will never prevail, soldiering for an end that will never come about, but who will do no end of damage as skirmish after skirmish distracts from real issues and weakens what even former conservatives before Howard – an almost-Abbott – helped build. The guy is a destructive sociopath who seems to operating on the unshakeable premise that god (sorry, the Vatican that used to be) is on his side and he can do no wrong – despite what the seminarians tried to point out to him and Pope Francis is now trying to point out to him.

  68. zachary

    Michele, adds weight to the thought his was a marriage of convenience (to him). As long as I have seem Marge Abbott in the public eye she has looked awkward, uncomfortable, gives the impression she would rather be anywhere but at his side.
    Of course there were the smiles and happy couple snaps pre election, posed, again convenient to him, not much of her in the public arena appearances since.
    That he admitted to storing Credlins fertility drugs in his office fridge frankly is gob smacking, well to me it is.
    i have never heard of that particular type of generosity ever in 40 years of professional work. Believe me I am no prude. The preference to sleeping in the Feds barracks rather than the home provided, while the Lodge was being renovated. Curious? His apparent obsession with things military/uniforms
    Nope Abbott is a phoney, there lurks another within, another dark side and I don’t want to be part of it. The nation, those who put him in the PM’s chair will regret that eventually, that is painfully obvious.

  69. Alphonse

    Paul, I think we already have a Cardinal Abbott. Pell’s the name.

  70. Michele Bottroff

    For such a passionate Catholic, it’s hard to believe he only had three children!

  71. Tony Hogarth

    Margie is obviously very selective on what she will reproduce ! lets hope his p.c is sterile!! MIM and carry a banner that says “You tube has more sense than AUSTRALIA !! “

  72. Dan Rowden

    I met an interesting woman recently who provided with me with some astonishing insights into Tony Abbott’s character and psychology. Her sagacity was a tad beguiling. Fascinating woman. She originally wanted to be an actress but failed at that so she turned her hand to hairdressing. After a lot of intense study she could not only do people’s hair but she became an expert in Hairstyle Psychology. I believe she conducts courses somewhere in Ballarat. They cost is somewhere in the vicinity of $2,000, but it’s an intensive 6 hour course and you get a Certificate in Hairstyle Psychology and Analysis at the end of it, so it’s probably worth it. I don’t think she offers pensioner discounts, though.

    She told me that the fact that Abbott changed his hairstyle throughout his life indicated a continual state of existential angst. Abbott never quite knew where he stood in the scheme of things and so tried to compensate and give meaning to his life and goals through hairstyles he thought would provide him with the emotional security and sense of significance he longed for. She said that people who change their hairstyle a lot have a 23% greater chance than average of being on the psychopathy spectrum. I looked into it and couldn’t find anything to suggest she was wrong.

    She also made some compelling points about his current hairstyle. As it turns out, men who part and comb their hair like Tony does are 18 times more likely than the average to be pedophiles and 12 times more likely to have wives who take a drink before 2:00pm. She said her years as a hairdresser confirmed this. You can’t hide the smell of gin with sugar-free mints.

    She said there was a lot more she could tell me but defamation laws being what they are – plus she had a business to think about. Still, it’s amazing what you can find out from people who are experts in their field.

  73. Kaye Lee

    ummmm….is champagne allowed before 2pm?

  74. Fed up

    Are we being too hard on Abbott. I find it hard, that such a man could be PM.

    Could we have it wrong. I ask myself this, because my perception of this man is unbelievable. Yet, he has turned out exactly as I expected. Only more so.

    No, no matter how hard or fair, I try to be, I come back to the same belief.

    I can find nothing in his actions or presentation, that leads me to believe this man should be PM. In fact, he scares what wits, I have left, out of me.

    What terrifies me more, is those closest to him, seem quite happy to see him in the role. What does it say about them.

  75. John

    It seems to be increasing that people I meet that leave the seminary do not agree with the church’s stance becasue they arwe too leniant. Perhaps this is just the norm now. Strange because people disagree with the evolution of the church as well as the lack of evolution of their beliefs.I guess it’s hard to keep everyone happy and maybe that’s our problem. Looks like Tony’s keeping himself happy though.

  76. John Fraser


    Ahhhh ! Dan.

    The wind changes my hair regularly and I change from Cary Grant to .. oh jesus I almost wrote Rock Hudson …. to Elton John , there that's better.

    Uh Oh … wait a minute my better half is telling me Elton John is gay I must have meant the character John Jarrett plays. … yeah that's probably it on a windy day (for the record I hate windy days … make of that what you will).

    I think scotch on corn flakes is overrated.

  77. The Doc

    Tony’s Wikipedia entry is an interesting read. No he has never worked as a lawyer.

  78. diannaart

    Thanks for that link, leighton8, have FB’d -Am betting this will not wind up on any of the Murdoch rags,

  79. Martha my dear

    Big whoop. I’ve got better things to do with my time than get on board with Tony bashing. The left can sit all warm and fuzzy with their brainwashed ideals all thy like and in doing so, kiss goodbye to this nation. Wanna read some dirt on Julia? There’s dirt that may involve long jail time for her… I don’t see you do goodin b*stards attacking her. Get with the program.. You people will do anything to attack Tony, Anything. Then you wonder why he keeps his mouth shut. Good on him. Getting on with the job of running a country without the PR spin machine BS. The socialist left is the most evil mentality this country could ever see period.

  80. John Fraser


    Ahhhh Martha my dear woken up feeling a little tetchy have we ?

    Don't you worry about that …. just take this little red pill and all will be right again.

    Nurse .. Nurse could you raise the valium levels for Martha.

  81. David Linehan

    Martha Martha Martha, there there now, where does it hurt? Oh there, just have another swig dear, you will be napping in no time. Blanket warm enough, slippers comfy. That’s it, whose a sleepy girl then? So peaceful now………………………………………

  82. Kaye Lee


    I fail to see how publishing excerpts from two articles published in the Bulletin, one of them written by Abbott and the other by one of his teachers, can be considered Tony bashing. He published it presumably for us to read therefore it is natural to comment on it.

    And sooner or later you guys are going to have to give up on trying the “but but but what about Gillard”. She is three Prime Ministers ago. If you have an actual factual story about wrongdoing by Julia I am surprised you haven’t given it to the police or to the Telegraph or to Michael Smith. I would be interested to read it if you do in fact have any actual evidence or “dirt” as you call it.

    As far as “Getting on with the job of running a country without the PR spin machine BS.” is concerned, could you tell me what we are paying Peta Credlin and Mark Textor for?

    You may also like to discuss some positive things about this government. I would be very interested to read your views on that too.

  83. Fed up

    Martha. What we are discussing is an article that Abbott did indeed write himself. Not rumours or hearsay.

    Shorten now on ABC 24 from SPC. Looks like it’s going to be a quick break in the link.

  84. Fed up

    Transmission broken, when the Labor state opposition leader was telling us, what the nation is doing. Why can they not keep Labor connected when they speak. Yes, Shorten was strong, and appeared to be in his element.

  85. Fed up

    Martha, I am desperately searching for positive things to say about Abbott. You know why? What I see now scares me, yes scares.

    If he was not PM, it would not matter.

    Please Martha, give us all the positives that you must know about. It would make many here, feel better.

    I know after 72 years on this earth, no one is all good or bad. Usually a mixture of both, and in between as well.

    Therefore, if that is true, there must be good things that can be said about Abbott.

  86. Fed up

    Looks like Martha has not the time or maybe the willingness to point out Abbott’s good qualities.

  87. Sharyn

    Martha My dear (god), Julia Gillard is no longer prime minister although it seems that the LNP and their supporters are still in opposition mode. Funny how you say you have no time for this and yet here you are

  88. Michael Taylor

    The Martha in “Martha my Dear” was Paul McCartney’s pet dog.

    How fitting.

  89. John Fraser


    O Martha please come back.

    I love it when the extreme right comment here.

    Please come back and share more of your wisdom.

  90. Stephen

    So, who believes he’s changed?

  91. Dan Rowden

    If someone asked me to list Kevin Rudd’s good qualities I think I’d struggle. Doesn’t mean I didn’t want him to PM if that was the only option.

  92. BrennanJ

    I have heard around the traps that Margie wanted to leave him and would have done so had he not won the election – that’s why the spawn were trotted out for media appearances.

  93. Dan Rowden

    Gossip-mongering doesn’t magically take on some higher moral or intellectual character because the person being subjected to it is a public figure – even one we don’t like. It remains at all times and in all contexts, pathetic.

  94. Kaye Lee

    I agree Dan but Tony was the one who used his family shamelessly during the campaign. Their sudden departure from the scene will inevitably raise questions.

  95. Jim & Edna Longmuir

    To sum it up, when he realised that there was no chance of him becoming thr POPE, he picked up his ball and buggered off.

  96. Lynn Meyers

    All of you are so spot on,Abbott is a very scary dangerous man.

  97. emile

    Wish he had become a mad priest instead of mad prime minister…

  98. Sue Tamani

    Psychopathic with an inability to empathise. Be very very scared.

  99. johnlord2013

    I have read that account previously but it was good to have my mind refreshed.

  100. Helen Nikolioudakis

    Soulless evil person. Love to shove this in the fww lib voters face such as Prue Mcsween & its buttrose who agrees with his policy on pensioners working. Die hard abbott love are mean just horrible!.

  101. John Collins?

    This article’s intention is to ridicule the PM and perpetuate the idea that he is not fit for high office. Ultimately, this heresy will never make it past first base.

  102. Kaye Lee

    Interesting choice of words there John.

    Heresy is an opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system. Are you suggesting that Tony’s position as PM is Church sanctioned?

    As the article is quoting the opinions of Tony Abbott and Father Wright I fail to see how it could be heretical. I do not set out to ridicule people, purely to inform. If you found Tony’s words ridiculous or unbefitting of a person aspiring to high office then that’s your judgement call.

  103. Dan Rowden

    Other than a touch of the hubris and arrogance that comes with youthful idealism, I didn’t find much to be critical of in Abbott’s piece. The numbers of young men entering seminaries and leaving disenchanted or unable to “conform” is significant for the modern church. Abbott is hardly on his Pat Malone. Mostly his account was boring.

  104. Kaye Lee

    Hubris, arrogance, hypocrisy, double standards, a lack of empathy, an unwillingness to do jobs that he felt “beneath” him, archaic attitudes to contraception (something he obviously didn’t use himself), intolerance, inability to accept that he may have been part of the problem, unwillingness to take advice, blame shifting, lack of any pastoral care, a Jerry Springer approach to dealing with his personal concerns, an overwhelming belief that he is right about everything……

    I saw it in the 70’s when we were at uni together. His article from the late 80’s shows the same traits. And they are being played out before us again today.

    You may find it boring….I find it chilling that this man has now been given so much power over our lives.

  105. Dan Rowden

    I said I found his essay boring. I agree that it’s chilling that he’s been given so much power. I do, however, find that this particular piece doesn’t especially add to any case against him.

  106. randalstella

    Kaye Lee,
    Your own experience with Abbott is sufficient. I would heed personal experience, from someone of proven integrity and restraint . Any further speculation diverts from the task at hand; to undermine him and get rid of him.
    Everyone needs to beware of gossip. It only does decent people harm. It mythologises the evil. Whatever is speculated on, fable surrounds them with prodigious aura, distracting from what they actually are, and what can be done about them. It makes their ordinariness seem something more.
    Abbott is a pretty ordinary lout and louse; a very common if dogged variety – with extraordinary power bestowed on him. It will take ordinary, but diligent means to get rid of him. He has no magic powers; just a lot of the earthly ones now; thanks to an inattentive electorate, too susceptible to myths.
    For example, there is Sharman Stone, longtime Liberal for the electorate which includes SPC. She has just called her own Abbott Government liars for blaming the present difficulties of the company on allegedly over-generous wages and conditions of its workers.
    Relevance is that ordinary; and the ordinary pops up so often. It needs opposition to take up the opportunity offered, and make something substantial of it. No magic needed when peoples’ jobs are threatened and they are blamed for it.

  107. Dan Rowden

    Stone’s criticism of the Government is certainly a courageous one and she should be given appropriate kudos for it, especially given the likelihood of political career damage that may follow.

  108. David Linehan

    Mr Collins or is it Father Collins? Rev Collins? CertaInly Catholic Collins, a few lines and you reveal much more about yourself than you intended.
    List me 10 policies beneficial to middle and lower Australia introduced by Abbotts lot since elected. I will be happy to respond, with the destruction

  109. Kaye Lee

    If you disagree you get cut out of the information loop and kiss goodbye to any promotion, just ask Judi Moylan who had the courage to speak out and even cross the floor on a number of issues.

  110. Kaye Lee

    Wise words randalstella.

    There are definitely enough policies to disagree with and it should be what we focus our energies on in the fight before us. In the end, individuals are irrelevant. We have to make this government understand that they have a responsibility to us to act for the common good, and that money is not the only consideration in making decisions. We have to drag them into the 21st century and make them listen to what the rest of the world is saying, and to act in concert with them to tackle the problems facing humanity. We have to demand they listen to the weight of expert opinion rather than to a few hand picked cronies.

  111. Fed up

    Has one noticed that Abbott comes alive when on the attack, putting the boot in.

    Last night was a good example.

    If he has to defend himself, he becomes unsure and hesitant. Same goes for when he tries to sell his policies. Seems to resent having to tell and explain what he is doing.

    It appears he is out to destroy the lady, he cannot bring himself to mention by name.

    It looks like they are really in revenge mode when it comes to the humans. I suspect they see a great need to get revenge for the role the unions played, ubn bringing down Howard.

    It has been my observation, over my life, seeking revenge always destroys true avenger.

    Abbott believes he g=has a war to fight, with the ABC, unions and weak knee employers. He is now in glory, in the only role he seems comfortable in. That of demolishing.

    The word “sportsmanship” is not in his vocabulary.

    He really believes that all that counts is winning. The means are of no importance.,

  112. Tony Hogarth

    We are the fools !!Becoz we allow him to play smoke and mirrors and keep a murky shadow over his comings and goings !! > How can anyone get away with allowing secrecy and affairs to exist under the guise of “normal ” politics especially with their ‘holier than though “Catholic principles ! is Pell really his private confessor ! ? How embarrassing for all the old folks told to give generously and vote for Abbott ‘s team ! Now to be confronted by Rorting, , Rooting and secrecy ! C’mon Marge tell the truth and put he devil to shame !! And I still haven’t touched on the sister ! Which is just 2 bizarre !!! and in a strange way kind of sad ! now we have a whole new meaning to the term dysfunctional family ! Move over Clintons ! Meet the ABBOTS !!

  113. abbienoiraude

    Again Kaye you write a compelling piece and this time straight from the horses mouth.
    Like many here I try so hard to understand who this person is that is representing Australia ( aka me) on the world stage.
    The handshake comment brought back to me seeing Abbott approach and take the hand of the Japanese representative at Davos. It was terrifying. Unless you have a modicum of understanding about cultural sensibilities you would not have realised how rude, arrogant, and inappropriate was Abbotts’ handshake.
    It makes me cringe with embarrassment, but hey that is how I am feeling each day that this Govt is in power.

    And I too try to find one good thing about Abbott, one good policy, one good MP, one good minister, one good idea or vision for Australia’s future; I look and read, and study and look and listen and ……

    THAT is what scares the bejesus out of me…this leader, this catholic, this christian, this ex-seminarian, this politician, this arrogant, narcissistic nobody, this male lacking in compassion, knowledge, empathy, intelligence, vision or understanding is pushing us to the limit of ever being a worthwhile and progressive nation.

  114. diannaart


    This man thrives on drama – another theme running through his letter to the Bulletin and the entire trail of his life is a need to escape what he perceives as boredom and authority.

    Hence he finds the job of PM “exhilarating”.

  115. Rob

    PM Abbott is not perfect like all of us but to judge him on the basis of an after-seminary fuelled article is ludicrous or unreasonable at the least.
    I can only imagine what would happen if our politicians, were judged from their rebellious university days similar to Tony Abbott, I suggest most of them would be seen as self-important.

  116. abbienoiraude

    I agree diannaart.
    However, he has no idea about ‘Leadership’ or ‘Statesmanship’ or ‘Vision’. Abbott may find it ‘exhilarating’ to have hit the heights of politics but he is a poor excuse of a person who has no idea how vicious the annuls of history will treat and remember such a gross misuse of his position. It is the great and compassionate directives of our leaders that last and are remembered ( Medicare, Parenting payments, Land rights, Apology to the Indigenous, Apology to those taken from their families, Concept of Gonski reforms, NDIS, National donor register, Free further education, TAFE system, Free dental system for the poor, Mental health support, Extended care plans for those in need….etc). Note most of those things were brought in by the Progressive side of politics and the Conservatives, each time, are determined to bring them undone ( although the move to the right by the Labor party was a blip in its records; aka the removal of the support for sole parents- a wrong move in any caring persons books).

    Labor needs to revisit its own history and purpose and sell it to the majority of struggling Australians.

  117. David Linehan

    Rob are you deliberately missing the point of the whole discussion or just a thick Tory troll? My guess is both.

  118. Kaye Lee

    Rob there is truth in what you say and others have said similar things to me including my husband.

    Tanya Plibersek said an astute thing on Q&A…something along the lines of “It may be interesting but it’s irrelevant.”

    Focus should be placed on policy direction rather than rear gazing. It is something I disliked as a tactic used by the Opposition under Abbott and something we should avoid now.

    It has been an interesting discussion and I appreciate the input.

  119. The Doc

    I certainly hope that when Australian history is being taught, Abbott’s legacy will be in the column that contains Holt, and McMahon, hmm even Holt gets a guernsey in the other column if only for the spectacular departure, So in the Invisible column we will have, Watson, Reid, Cook, Page, Fadden, Forde, McEwan, Gorton, McMahon, and Abbott. In the World stage made a difference column, in recent years we have Howard – took us into war, Rudd – Apologised to Aboriginals, Gillard – Apologised to abused children and first woman PM. Those before Howard, whichever colour they favour, their credentials have stood the test of time.

  120. Dan Rowden

    How did Tony Abbott ever get elected as Prime Minister of Australia?

    In much the same way that George Bush got elected President, I suppose.

  121. randalstella

    Something like Bush. In terms of ‘appeal to the electorate’.
    But in terms of the count – Abbott really was elected. No hanging chads. No partisan officials. (No Ralph Nader.)
    Yes, he really was elected. Yes, he was. He was elected. Really.

  122. Rosemary McHugh

    How did Tony Abbott ever get elected as Prime Minister of Australia? When can he be voted out of office?
    It is sad for Australia that he is your Prime Minister.

  123. jane

    Dan Rowden, I think you’ve missed the point of the article. It’s that the views expressed by him 30+ years ago have not changed at all. That is to say that all of life’s experiences have made no impression on him at all.

    I’m not sure about your reference to his daughter-he has three daughters, but some years ago believed that he had fathered a son from a previous relationship, unfounded as it happened. Probably the only time that a rare confession that he was mistaken, was the truth.

    That he lies and continues to lie in the face irrefutable evidence is borne out for example by his lying about Alcoa’s intentions despite the CEO of Alcoa contradicting him publicly and in writing and the latest example wrt SPC Ardmona’s staff pay and conditions.

    And of course there’s the infamous slush fund to prosecute Hanson & Ettridge.

    John Collins the article is not written to ridicule Abbott and prove he is not fit for high office. He alone is responsible for all his actions which not only leave him open to ridicule, but which confirm he is totally unfit for high office.

    Rob, the point is Abbott has not changed one iota from the nasty, spiteful, bully in his student days. He is completely one dimensional, like a cartoon character. what is in the surface is what you get-there is no depth, no maturity. He behaves as you’d expect a teenage buffoon to behave.

    Kaye Lee is absolutely correct in her assessment of Abbott; only the willfully blind would not see that. Abbienoiraude has expanded on Kaye’s assessment with her long list demonstrating his shallowness, childish spite and viciousness and complete lack of maturity. I’ll add his behaviour in Parliament.

    Literally running away from Craig Thomson’s vote demonstrates an embarrassing kindergarten mentality, along with his name calling, bullying and inability to negotiate.

    I have yet to see anything admirable in Abbott, unless bullying, victimising and sneering disrespect for the disabled, the disadvantaged, the poor and unemployed is an admirable character trait.

  124. Bill Jones

    He will be the best Prime Minister since Menzies.

  125. Kaye Lee

    Can you explain why you think that Bill? I am always interested to hear how people feel this government is performing so far and why.

  126. Dan Rowden


    Dan Rowden, I think you’ve missed the point of the article.

    Well, yes, of course, being the dim witted person that I am (and despite the fact that Kaye Lee reveals the agenda of the article in said article). Thank you for the lecture regarding Tony Abbott’s political failings. I would have had no idea about them if you’d not enlightened me.

  127. Rob

    David L your comments are flat open abusive. I agree with Dan R earlier comments. I don’t see all that Tony Abbott has been doing but cannot fathom the depth of the Tony gossip I am reading on some of these posts.

  128. Kaye Lee

    On reflection, and after criticism I find justified, I have removed a couple of my comments and, with apologies, I edited a couple of yours Dan that were referring to my comment. A reminder of what we must never become……..

  129. Dan Rowden

    Kaye Lee,

    No sweat!

  130. David Linehan

    Dear sensitive Rob, join the human race. If you are cant see and understand what Abbott and his henchmen are up to, then suggest you pop over to Bolts blog or even better Akermans, you will feel quite at home amongst the ‘abuse’ aimed at the Labor Party and Unions.
    Incidentally does the name Julia Gillard mean anything to you? Think before responding, if you would

  131. Rob

    I am sensitive and sometimes I wipe my tears on my sleeve, this is how I am. But I am not blind to PM Abbott or Ex PM’s Julia or Rudd past policies & plans as you suggest.
    The point I am making is the 1987 article proves little of the PM’s character today. It is closer to gossip and speculation than facts.. I am directing my comments to you David because you have called me a troll and one who has missed the point.

  132. Bacchus


    If you cannot see the behavioural similarities between Mr Abbott now and circa 1987, perhaps you are not quite as sensitive as you think you are?

  133. Kaye Lee

    I disagree that the article is gossip and speculation. It was written by the man himself therefore it is neither of those things. It “proves” nothing, but the thing that struck me was how many of the traits that I see in Tony today were also shown in the article he wrote back then.

    We are all a product of the experiences in our lives. No one experience defines us, they just add to the tapestry. Biographies are interesting for that reason. It is reasonable to look at our Prime Minister’s history through his own words.

  134. Rob

    Maybe you are right B. Maybe PM Abbott has not changed since 1987 and maybe his principles remain but this article does not prove it.

  135. Kaye Lee

    Rob, I am not trying to prove anything. I am not sure how one would go about “proving” someone’s character.

  136. Rob

    Kaye L. Your article is full of quotes and I was sure you stated it could be used as a type of blueprint to show Tony’s character or his lack of it.
    If this is not your intention sorry I misread the article’s purpose.

  137. Kaye Lee

    I don’t recall saying any such thing Rob. I have said I see similar behaviour traits today, and the quotes are from Tony and one of his teachers at the seminary.

    I also find it somewhat surprising that he chose to air his private concerns this way. It smacks of justification to me, a very public way of saying “wasn’t MY fault”.

    If he actually had concerns about the church’s direction and his place in it, this was hardly likely to cause positive change. It’s self-indulgent and arrogant to my mind.

    I also see the same disregard for pastoral care in the policy direction the Coalition has taken which is very much skewed to favour the rich whilst demonising the poor, not to mention the appalling treatment of asylum seekers.

    The pursuit of wealth through huge new coal mines shows a very selfish short term approach and lack of care for the planet.

    Nothing I am seeing so far makes me feel that Tony has changed. Power and wealth are what he admires.

  138. John Fraser



    This article is only a signpost pointing to Abbott's character.

    I personally believe Abbott's character has changed very little in the intervening years between then and now.

    But that's a personal observation formed over many years …. and one that many people agree with.

  139. abbienoiraude

    Dear Kaye,
    How on earth do you do it?
    It does remind me of the vilification of Rudd AND Gillard…the nit-picking and vilification, ‘please explain’, and the constant ‘this is what you were REALLY saying’ diatribe by the minutia of the botherers.
    You are a better woman than I and I admire and respect you more for it.

    Power to you, sister!

  140. Rob

    Yes Kaye, I do agree his treatment of the poor is not my own view and of the asylum seekers.
    This is a complex inherited problem though I am glad the people smugglers are being hit hard but very sad that this has translated to the undermining of basic human rights towards those seeking refuge in Australia.

  141. Rob

    Thanks John F. Maybe your estimation of PM Abbott is correct. Only more time will tell if he has or has not what it takes to Advance Australia Fair.

  142. Kaye Lee


    I am not here to win arguments and Rob has a point in that we should judge Abbott by his actions as PM, not his history. I look back at how Julia was treated and I do not want to be guilty of the same vitriole. Communication is important and it helps to understand how others feel and why they feel that way. We are all entitled to an opinion and I am happy to discuss issues with those who disagree with me. I have been known to be wrong before. I want to learn and I want to inform and I want to improve.

  143. abbienoiraude


    You just proved my point. I know you do not want to ‘win arguments’. By your writing, by your careful research, by your links and quotes you are putting forward ideas, observations and points for discussion. I too ( especially during the vitriol against Rudd within the Labor party ) do not want to fall into the same trap. I want to be informed and I am naturally curious about who and what the followers of Abbott see and hear in him as PM.
    I was praising you for your steady ‘hand’, of how you remain reasonable against some very silly ideas, and how respectful you are.
    That’s all.

  144. cassilva48

    I agree that by resorting to personal attacks we are acting no better than the Murdoch cronies.

  145. Kaye Lee

    Thank you for your kind words abbie and I agree cass. After what we endured during Julia’s leadership it is hard not to resort to the same tactics, particularly when there is so much ammunition and so much hypocrisy, but abuse is a self-indulgent exercise that detracts from our message. I might swear at the tv but if we want to be heard then we must stick to the facts and leave the other side to do the puerile name-calling.

  146. Nemi Nath

    If you talk positively about a person they eventually turn that colour.

  147. guest

    The Coalition places great store by examining Oz history so that the populace can understand where we come from. But, according to some, we cannot examine what Abbott said about himself in the past in order to understand the present Abbott.

    Examining the present government, it is possible to make negative comments. But when we ask Coalition supporters about these negative comments, we find they are not listening.

    There are contradictions, for example. When Gillard called for inquiries, she was criticised for conducting talk-fests instead of getting on with governing. Abbott is now calling for inquiries into everything.

    Labor called for looking closely at ‘crap’ published in the media – a move criticised in the name of freedom of speech. Now the Coalition is criticising the ABC for saying what the Coalition did not wish to hear.

    Labor was criticised for its Malaysia Solution when it attempted to avoid the Coaltion’s, Pacific Solution, saying it was too cruel. But it is Ok to send the Navy into Indonesia to stop boats and a dozen or two people smugglres, leavinf hundreds of refugees languishing in prisons, including children’ with no hope of reaching Oz or of joining their families any time soon. No cruelty there.

    We hear of Abbott lecturing people about the dangers of debt and deficit, the same people who are in debt and deficit more than Oz is. He also accused Labor of fiscal mismanagement, despite the fact Oz was highly praised overseas. Many news outlets did not report Abbott’s Davos speech – and no wonder.

    When we see the extensive list of lies, deceptions and plain dumb policies of this present government, we can only shudder and fear for the future.. .

  148. David Linehan

    I will till my last breath is expelled, never forgive Abbott and his head kickers for the demonising of PM Julia Gillard over her ‘change of mind’ re Carbon pricing, when the circumstances of the minority Govt she ended up leading were revealed. Yes she ‘considered’ a tax but decided on a pricing mechanism which saw an agreement with the cross benches enabling a solution that enabled the Govt and the country to join the majority of the civilised world in slowing and hopefully stopping climate change.
    For 3 yrs Abbott and his tribe used that one, repeat one circumstance to base their entire dirty attack on everything her minority Govt achieved, over 500 individual pieces of legislation. A Govt with a AAA rating, low unemployment, record low interest rates, manufacturing and building prosperity, infrastructure progress -previously unheard of, under the guidance of Minister Albanese. International kudos and respect. Attempts to solve with humanitarian means the plight of Asylum Seekers. All those while having to fight the attempted negativity of Abbotts No No No
    Since September 2013 Abbott and his Ministers plus the puppets on the back benches have lied, broken election promises, moved to tear down the living conditions of middle and low income families, beneficiaries, stripped charities of money, enabled the obscene destruction of segments of the environment, treated Asylum Seekers as low life criminals,so it goes on.
    March in March is building as one of the biggest shows of National protest against a Government since the Vietnam War and the Springbok Tour of the 80’s
    Abbott ignores the nation and he will not last until 2016.

  149. Anthony John Hogarth

    this thread is going round and round and will end up vanishing up your over analyzed arses / bums ! the only thing that has come out all this are rhetoric and opinionated remarks ! except for one that is we should MIM 2014 to get rid or this virus in our political system ! So lets hit the streets !!

  150. Dan Rowden


    Please explain to me how MiM has the capacity to have the Abbott Government kicked out? I’m feeling as though far too many people involved in this have ludicrous notions of what it’s capable of achieving. Some reality, please.

  151. revolutionarycitizen

    Sorry David but the first half of your post is nonsense,

    Our AAA credit rating was largely a product of an increasing tax base, an extension of the Keating and Howard Governments who by 2007 achieved a AA rating with the third arriving shortly after the election. Also, these rating agencies were recommending Goldman Sachs as a buy right up till the minute it fell over. They have ZERO credibility. In-fact, they down-graded US Government Bonds, and people brought more of them!

    Any payment to government for anything it doesn’t own is a tax, regardless of what they call it, it is a tax. Secondly, she had every obligation to live up to her promise and tell the Greens (who would have been decimated if a new election were held) to take a walk over the issue. In-fact, chances are, had she done so she would have won a majority in her own right in a new election. She lied, she had every intention of introducing the “price on carbon” and had we had the re-call provisions in our constitution like the Americans in theirs her government wouldn’t have lasted 6 months.

    The 6 year experiment that was Rudd/Gillard/Rudd saw 3 manufacturing industry jobs lost every hour for 6 years.

    The record low interest rates were a result of the Reserve Bank of Australia introducing extraordinary stimulatory measures to stop the entire economy falling over, they were at the point of considering printing money to get consumer spending to resume.

    This was while the government achieved record inflows to the treasury, which is really the government had ratcheted-up the amount of money it was taking out of the economy to fund its $30,000,000,000 increase in welfare payments.

    Sorry, nothing against old school Labor but the current crop of communist party refugees can go jump, they’ve done untold damage to our country and it’ll be a long time before the ALP ever have a PM in the Lodge as a result.

  152. Anthony John Hogarth

    MIM 2014 kick them out !

  153. Michael Taylor

    Anthony, marching won’t kick them out, but let’s hope the message is sent good and proper.

  154. Luke Weyland

    He certainly does not possess the Church’s concerns for the well-being of refugees!

  155. Studmeister

    Whats interesting is the observation many years ago that Tony tended to ‘skate over the facts and hold back reservations about his own case’. This is apparent in demonising carbon pricing when it is the model favoured by the large majority of experts.

    And Revolutionarycitizen makes a ludicrous rebuttel of the other guy. Blaming loss of maufacturing jobs on the Gillard government when its been happening for 40 years and made worse by a 30% rise in the dollar? Thats your credibilty gone. I might add that the structural budget deficit we are now in was created by the Howard Goverment giving tax cuts and middle class welfare.

  156. paul walter

    In other words, he’s just a big kid who’s never grown up.

    Where is the self reflexivity, the ability to see himself as others see him.. the ability to empathise with others rather than humiliate them

    Only in the worst pathologies of the NSW ALP Right or the upper echelons of the Dalek Empire do you see such a dislocation from the basic elements of what makes life, life: such a lack of groundedness within reality.

  157. Kaye Lee

    I agree paul. Tony has an arrogant belief that he knows best – the church should reshape itself to HIS archaic views rather than reflecting the society of today. He wanted a priest to be some sort of magical omnipotent figure – “the unique role of the priest in the one true Church”. He was disappointed that the hierarchical structure was being eroded.

    Pope Francis, on the other hand, said he doesn’t want his bishops to just be leaders of the flock, he wants them to smell of sheep.

  158. paul walter

    Thanks, Kaye Lee.

    There seems, with a number of politicians, a complete incomprehension of the reality and integrity of the other.

    As we saw also with the 4 Corners this week on the revelations uncovered by ICAC, to such people other people are obstacles at best, hopefully reduced as quickly as possible to the category of collateral damage. The system seems gridlocked and unable to bring the rogues to book, just not built to effectively deal with them because ordinary people are not so destructive, derive value and meaning from relationships and the behaviours are inconceivable to most folk.

  159. Sean

    good points all, except for a few trolls. Interesting quant. research by the psychic/psychological hairdresser, lol

    it’s interesting to note, though, going back to Abbott’s days as SRC head, that he speaks in one interview almost like a wannabe future Education Minister rather than a Bolshie student union head. Obviously his personal politics at that time would not let him truly represent the students, rather he seemed to be treating them as ciphers and pontificating on matters that a Minister might in trimming a Budget, as we see today. So it’s as though he has been rehearsing for a Ministerial spot from day one, regardless of achieving the PM position. The seminary and cement factory worker period seem to be in between.

    Note also on leaving U Syd to go to Oxford that his spare time was taken up obstructing anti-Thatcher marches to the best of his ability. His history in boxing etc at Oxford was more tragic than stellar, he only joined the boxing team because he was dropped from the rugby team, and he had to make his blue to retain his Rhodes scholarship. his sparring partners said he was afraid of being hit, and just struck out blindly.

  160. Sean

    Oh, and he was a shockingly laissez-faire Health Minister, gifted by John Howard, easily the worst in living memory. The little constructive work done by the dept in his time was done by others, of course.

  161. Florence nee Fed up

    Why did he buy the Mersey Hospital in Tasmania, a few days before the election? Only reason I can find, a brain fart, that sounded good at the time.

    Abbott says there is a huge difference between trade and student unions. Why did he not point that out to Howard and co, when they leglisated to get rid of student unions.

    Yes, feminism did indeed prove not to be of any consequences. Still as blinkered today, as he was then.

  162. Sean

    Too good not to quote:

    By the end of the 70s, the [U Syd] campus was screaming with anti-Abbott graffiti. He also believed, erroneously as it turned out, that he had fathered a child. Knowing that two of his many, jostling ambitions – becoming a priest and applying for a Rhodes scholarship – were not open to parents, he had split up with the mother and the baby had been adopted. In Sydney, Abbott was feeling increasingly hemmed in.

    Then, in late 1980, he won his scholarship to Oxford. “A Rhodes” was supposed to have sporting as well as intellectual and leadership ability, and at Sydney he had played rugby keenly, sometimes for the first team.

    For all Abbott’s boisterousness and likability at Oxford, some who knew him there felt, as one puts it, that underneath, “He was positioning himself for a political career. It was the way he comported himself. He had this air … of expectation.”

    Another says, “He would use your name at the end of every sentence. He would look you in the eye and shake your hand. I didn’t feel it was terribly genuine.”

    Then as now, women were less drawn to him than men: “He would do that charm thing, but he would always end up with the
    blokes, talking about rugby.”

    Abbott’s politics stood out: “He loved Maggie Thatcher,” says Crowe. “He was even more conservative than he is now.”

    In December 1981, just before the all-important annual Varsity Match against Cambridge, participation in which earned a Blue, he was dropped. “He was very emotional,” remembers an Oxford friend. He never played rugby for the Oxford first team again.

    Others suggest less elevated Abbott motives also played a part. He had just been dropped from the rugby team. Getting a Blue – both a burning personal ambition and almost a social requirement in the gregarious, sport-fixated world of the Australian Rhodes scholars – now required other means, and boxing was a shrewd plan B.

    “It’s the easiest way to get a Blue,” says Nicholas Stafford-Deitsch, who became Abbott’s sparring partner. “Unlike in other Oxford sports, you could win one as a novice, within months.”

    Hardly any students had prior boxing experience, and even fewer wanted to win a Blue by getting hit.

    That Abbott did has played a large part in his personal mythology ever since. On his website, boxing takes up a third of the space he devotes to Oxford.

    As a tightly wound man – perhaps from keeping all his contradictory impulses in balance -– physical exercise has always been a release; and sometimes also a useful form of public machismo.

    Yet at Oxford Abbott was not actually a great boxer. A heavyweight then, but of modest height and reach.

    “He was crude, with very little technique,” says Stafford-Deitsch, then the university’s best fighter. “He wasn’t a huge puncher. He hardly ever touched me.

    “He shut his eyes when he boxed – that meant he was scared. He certainly didn’t have the toned physique of the toned athlete. And he was a heavy breather as he started to get tired – another thing an experienced boxer hides.”

  163. Dan Rowden

    Put as much shit on the man as you want, it doesn’t change the fact that he is our Prime Minister. That’s the fact we have to deal with. Whether we think he deserves to be strikes me as significantly immaterial to that fact.

  164. Sean

    yeah, Dan, apparently he is — elected by a bunch of idiots who were swayed by Murdoch’s deeply partisan election campaign. I’m afraid you live in the corrupt anglosphere with its corrupt politics, and Murdoch as the kingmaker.

    the question of course is how to get rid of the aberration.

  165. Dan Rowden


    the question of course is how to get rid of the aberration.

    Indeed, but I don’t imagine undergrad dolts like you are going to be part of the equation that solves that problem. Or are you? If so I hope you manage to lift your level of political engagement beyond the jejune attention to whether Abbott could play football or not.

  166. Florence nee Fed up

    Yes, he is our PM. Does not mean we have to like him. Does not mean we have to cover for his lack of ability for the job.

    He has to gain our respect, not the other way around.

    He is also a legitimate PM duly elected according to the Constitution, Yes, sometimes the voter gets it wrong.

  167. Dan Rowden


    With respect, no-one is suggesting that we have to like nor respect that Abbott is PM. What I’m saying is these constant and almost fanatical references to his supposed failings as a younger person are utterly immaterial to the simple fact that he is the Prime Minister. I’m sick of this irrelevant and tedious nonsense. It’s essentially this:

    “Oh, God, I’m out of things to demonize Abbot with so I may as well make a point of the fact that someone of no consequence whatsoever once said he sucked as a footballer and didn’t seem to want to take a punch as a boxer.”

    As a person of some intelligence, I am just sickened by the stupidity of that rubbish because it’s an insult to intelligence and reasoned political discourse. It actually scares me that we all aren’t.

  168. Florence nee Fed up

    Mr. Abbott’s failing as a youngster are important. Important, because he is still the same today. He has not grown one iota.

    That is aside, from the fact we seen a woman PM pillared because of allegations and accusations from over twenty years ago. Allegation that were investigated more than once.

    It was Mr. Abbott that led this charged. Not only against Gillard but many others. One to the extent, of seeing her jailed.

    No, it is he, that needs to show us, he is no longer that person.

  169. Kaye Lee

    It is not unreasonable to look at the history of public figures…what made them who they are today and why they chose that course. It is Tony who chooses to use his sporting past to make a point. I was horrified when he recently told the story of how “sometimes to be the best and fairest you have to throw the first punch.” That is his mentality. My father, husband and son all played representative rugby and they NEVER threw a punch. Biographies can be revealing.

  170. Florence nee Fed up

    ……..“My view was that I knew nothing about medicine and that those too sick to eat in the dining room ought to be in hospital. Anyway, I thought, most were malingering. So I encouraged “self-service” of medicines and suggested that meals would be better fetched by the friends of the sick. Many deeply resented this disdain for college’s caring and communitarian ethos. And, I confess, I did not have the courage to refuse room service to members of the seminary staff.”..

    This paragraph was from Abbott’s own writing’s. His own words.

    We see him having the same attitude today, in the way he and his government are treating the unemployed and the disabled, even retirees.

    He sees them all as ripping off the system, not to be trusted and malingers.

    He seems to believe it is his role to dish out tough love, forcing them to stand on their own feet, to become independent. I hate to say this, but Abbott and those who supposed to live and believe as they do. They cannot even consider, they could be wrong.
    To me, this man, and his government is terrifying.

    Yes, his past does count. It is not allegations or rumours. it is what the man has said and does that worries many.

  171. Ingrid

    What a hilarious blog I stumbled upon. All the left nutters in one basket. Catholic, catholic, catholic…..and you bunch of losers go into a meltdown if somebody else mentions the world Islam.

  172. corvus boreus

    To clarify my own standpoint, and hopefully evade the stigma of being defined as a “loser” by someone with your obvious perspicacity and eloquence, I think anyone who acts violently or militantly in the name of paterno-monotheism, whether under the banner of crescent, cross or six-pointed star, is a deluded and deranged devotee of a deified dick.

  173. Kaye Lee

    Thank you for your erudite contribution Ingrid. This article wasn’t actually about Catholicism but about the character of our current Prime Minister who, as you say, seems in a total meltdown about Islam and very keen to whip up the bigotry of the Ugly Aussie.

  174. Ingrid

    corvus boreus Get off your high horse mate. Abbott/Liberals were voted into power and we will have them for another few years to come at least it looks like it. However…wait until his time is up and vote him out if you don’t like what has been achieved by him and his ministers on ability and not on his faith whatever that might be. There is so much I could say about this article but I have to work to keep most of you going and I hate wasting time. Keep feeding your paranoia if you like. We are in a free country.

  175. Florence nee Fedup

    Might be nearly three decades but the man obviously had the same views and fears when incomes to Russia. His hatred of Putin seems to know no bounds. Still has not use the communist word though.

    Is seems with Abbott, the views and beliefs he held as a adolescent are the same he holds today.

  176. Kaye Lee


    We are having faith shoved down our throats by this government. Christopher Pyne has threatened to withdraw funding from the states if they allow secular as well as religious counsellors in schools. They refuse to allow gay people to marry. We have elected representatives who wish to ban abortions and who argue against stem cell research, all for religious reasons.

    Have a good day at work but I fail to see how you earning a living is keeping me going. Please, waste no more time on us, and I will continue working hard to provide a job for my ten employees.

  177. Don Winther

    Keep working Ingrid Australia needs you. I havent seen a pair of overalls in public for years, what do you do for a job?

  178. corvus boreus

    Forgive the tardiness of my response, I have this thing I do(labour for financial recompense) that fills my days.
    Can I take it that your exhortation for me to dismount my elevated destrier, in response to my statement of viewpoint, was an indication that you support some forms of violent/militant action in the name of religious fervour?
    As for the rest of your response, it was completely non-sequiturial to my post, which is unsurprising given that your first posting consisted of imprecise/inaccurate generalisations and assumptions, littered with petty pejoratives.

  179. MEB

    What a shame so many responses here miss the real point of what Abbott is really saying.

    I too knew him in his student days and vaguely know him now. To me, the disillusion he had with the seminary was typical of the church in the seventies and eighties. ie it was full of compromise on everything in an attempt to be “relevant”. Abbott hated that I suspect because it denied basic Christian truths. And he was right. The church has weakened over the last 30 years and demonstrates that true values shouldn’t be mortgaged to achieve popularity which is exactly what happened.It’s a shame in some ways that he didn’t carry that conviction to political promises. But Abbott, believe me, and for all his faults , is a decent man.

  180. DanDark

    So this is how the “decent man” Tony Abbott treats dying people,

  181. Heather

    Chillingly accurate

  182. Cool Pete

    Paul Keating was bang on target when he labelled abbott “an intellectual nobody.” He could not be described as a deep-thinking intellectual, nor could he be described as someone deserving of a Rhodes Scholarship. His scholarship was more sporting than academic. Anybody could see that abbott was a power-hungry maniac from day one!

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