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Who do you admire?

You can tell a lot about someone by whom they admire. It shows their priorities in life.

An early influence was founder of the DLP party, Bob Santamaria. A staunch Catholic, who believed the Church had a role to play in governing the State, Santamaria was vigorously opposed to birth control and abortion and decried what he described as contemporary sexual decadence. He wanted to turn us into a nation of farmers and cottage industries, with women permanently barefoot and pregnant. He was convinced that Australia was under threat from Communism, warning people that communists in Australia were buying up arsenals and guns in preparation for the revolution, and likening the Vietnam War to a crusade.

In a speech in 1998 Tony Abbott described Santamaria as “a philosophical star by which you could always steer” and “the greatest living Australian”. Abbott has said that what impressed him about Santamaria was “the courage that kept him going as an advocate for unfashionable truths”.

And then we have Cardinal George Pell, the man who has been complicit in the cover-up of child sexual abuse for decades, actively assisting pedophile priests in avoiding prosecution. Pell told a World Youth Conference that “Abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”. Like his spiritual advisor, Tony Abbott also assisted a pedophile priest to avoid punishment by writing him a reference.

In recent days, Tony Abbott again defended Pell’s actions saying “Cardinal Pell is a fine man . . . Cardinal Pell is one of the greatest churchmen that Australia has seen”.

In April this year, Tony Abbott expressed his admiration for Rupert Murdoch, the man whose media empire illegally hacks phones and bribes officials as standard practice. Murdoch has said power is his aphrodisiac and he revels in manipulation of public perception and his role in bringing down governments.

Abbott described Murdoch as Australia’s most influential businessman going on to say “Along with Sir John Monash, the Commander of the First AIF which saved Paris and helped to win the First World War, and Lord Florey a one-time provost of my old Oxford College, the co-inventor of penicillin that literally saved millions of lives, Rupert Murdoch is probably the Australian who has most shaped the world through the 45 million newspapers that News Corp sells each week and the one billion subscribers to News-linked programming”.

Tony also greatly admires Gina Rinehart, the woman who sponsored that fruitcake, Lord Monckton, to do a speaking tour on climate change denial. This is a woman who makes a million dollars every half hour but cannot afford to pay the mining tax, and who wants a special tax zone in the North so she can pay even less. At least nine Coalition MPs have declared in their register of interests that Ms Rinehart has supplied free travel, hospitality and accommodation and she donated $50,000 directly (and up to $700,000 indirectly) to Barnaby Joyce’s campaign to win New England.

As Tony Abbott said, “Mates help each other; they don’t tax each other”, and Gina must be well pleased with the fruits of her investment so far, with the mining and carbon taxes about to be repealed and the biggest coal mine in Australia getting fast-track approval already.

And let’s not forget John Howard. Tony considers himself Howard’s protégé and longs for us to return to those halcyon days. This despite the fact that Howard’s government has been identified by the IMF as the most wasteful ever, whose middle class welfare and tax cuts for the wealthy have saddled us with a structural deficit, and whose sale of assets cost us billions in future revenue. Howard lied to take us into a war that cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives. He lied to us about the children overboard affair. Eleven of Howard’s Ministers either resigned or were sacked for indiscretions and many more were forgiven for their conflicts of interest and rorting of entitlements, a practice which this government seems to also enjoy.

Tony Abbott told his former leader and mentor John Howard on election night that he was the only person he could turn to for real advice in his new role as Prime Minister. That may explain Tony’s view that climate change is crap and that we should spend whatever it takes to stop the boats.

On the international stage, Tony has expressed his admiration for Japan (don’t mention the whales), and Indonesia (doing a great job there in West Papua), and Sri Lanka (hey shit happens . . . what’s the odd kidnapping and torture between friends . . . need some gun boats?). He loves America and China so much that he wants their corporations to be able to sue us if we hurt their profits with health, safety, competition or environmental laws.

Add to that the fact that Tony’s Chief of Staff not only makes policy decisions, she now also dictates who the public will have access to and what they may reveal. I call it pleading the Morrison Amendment – say nothing that may incriminate you. And we have Tony’s chief strategist and PR guru entering the world of foreign affairs and diplomacy by comparing Indonesia’s Foreign Minister to an aging porn star. These are the people who run and advise our government – the Star Chamber.

So, in summary, our PM admires staunch Catholics, power, wealth, big business, climate change deniers and all world leaders with whom he can have a photo taken. He prefers the advice of advertising spin merchants and power brokers to that of experts.

If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea. If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself. Maybe you can become rich, but you don’t care whether other people’s kids can go to school, or can afford food to eat, or things like that. In the United States, that’s called “libertarian” for some wild reason. I mean, it’s actually highly authoritarian, but that doctrine is extremely important for power systems as a way of atomizing and undermining the public.”

  • Noam Chomsky “Business Elites Are Waging a Brutal Class War in America”.

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  1. hilderombout

    I can’t really say that i like this article even though i pressed “Like”. It just reminds me of how far off track we are with this mob in power and especially the one who so called runs the government. I can’t bring myself to call him by his name right now for i only feel disgust about him, so it is better he remain nameless. The worst thing about him is that he hides under the mum of being a Christian. That really is an insult to all decent Christians who must be wondering what their faith is all about. I wish i could make him and his mob superfluous to my life, but i am part of Australia and i can not live an independent life without considering my fellow countrywomen / – men. I am not sure what to wish for right now that would benefit us all. I doubt if a DD is in the making especially since the progressive parties seems to make a good come back in the polls. And three years with this mob looks like eternity. But i must remain positive and not succumb to despair. Thank you Micheal and Kaye Lee for your continuous telling us how things are based on your research. This is very important to me.

  2. lawrencewinder

    Many years ago I read Joachim Fest’s “The face of the Third Reich”.
    The parallels between that lot and this lot are very disturbing.

  3. Stuart Dean

    I despair. I really do. It is affecting my health to the point where I feel I should abandon Fb and alternative news groups and live in ignorance, as so many others do. I naively thought we were all human, on the same planet, caring for each other, brothers-and-sisters-in-arms. Sharing the wealth. Remember the ‘Commonwealth of Australia’? That wealth has been stolen, exploited and exported.
    I wasn’t very aware of American politics, I gave an occasional sideways glance to the idiocies of Reagan, Clinton and the Bushes. Although most of Bill Clinton’s achievements reported, were of a sordid nature. I did never think that these seemingly insane actions and wanton greed would ever visit our shores. Yet the recent Teabonics display and the subsequent reveal of Republican thinking has alarm bells at deafening pitch.
    I have since gone a little further into American political parties and there is only really two of them – the Republicans and the Democrats. Confusing titles, but we can safely assume that ‘Republicans’ are on the same level as our very own teabag party – Liberals. The ‘Democrats’ are pretty much like Labor. For whatever reason, our LNP coalition – remember that: co-aligned parties – are hell bent on selling out this country for what? What EXACTLY are they after? What agenda have they signed their souls for?
    I suspect that we will only find out when it is too late…

  4. joy cooper

    Cannot say that I have ever had any heroes who have had any serious influence in/on my life as I have puttered along taking many turns. Some right, some wrong. C’est la vie.

    What I suddenly realised, with all these heroes & mentors Abbott goes on about, (all of whom are rather dangerous people) he seems to have never once mentioned his parents nor, indeed, his wife, as having any influence on him. Strange that but then again Abbott only ever thinks about himself

  5. JohnB

    How long will it take for Mum & Dad long term conservative Liberal voters to realise that the LNP party they last voted for is neither conservative or liberal ???

    Do they think at all ?
    Have they any moral values ?
    Is truth now just a worthless commodity ?
    Is personal integrity and character a thing of the past ?

    And they claim to follow religious beliefs ?

    Does not compute !!!

  6. Fed up

    Listening to Suu Kyi making an address at Monash University. I was surprised, that in a democracy, one has to keep asking questions. Yes, she is right. Not only ask questions, but question the answers.

    Democracies are not just rights, but also responsibilities.

    One must also have not just law, but just laws.

    From his body language the other day, I do not believe Abbott admires this lady.

  7. Terry2

    Fed up

    I saw Suu Kyi with Abbott and was embarrassed at his bumbling ineptitude contrasted with her eloquent articulation: it appeared to be in his office that they met and he seemed caught off guard as though he was not expecting her.

    Of contemporary Australians, Michael Kirby tops my list.

  8. Buff McMenis

    Dear gods and goddesses … how low can we sink? 🙁 Will someone explain to the great unwashed masses what they have done to our country by putting this racist little bully “in charge” (I put this in parenthesis to illustrate that he is merely a puppet and his puppet master either his companion, who appears to have taken the place of his wife, or the media mogul and maniac Murdoch!).

    The comment about Aung San Suu Kyi and his likening 15 years of infinitely torturous house arrest with loneliness, fear and danger a daily occurrence and his meagre years of screaming and ranting in Opposition is an appalling act! I have never been so embarrassed by a PM since “Wishy Washy Willie” was in the position!

    And the other thing which makes me feel quite ill is the admiration he seems to hold for the racist, bigoted, increasingly arrogant and ignorant of common decency and empathy. People like Morrison, Julie Bishop, Hockey, Robb and especially Christopher Pyne. Variously know as Chrissie or Poodle Pyne, and now bearing my dubbing as Sissy Chrissie Pyne, he must be the THE worst attempt at Education Minister ever!! Appalling descent into the lowest level to appeal to the lowest common denominator of the population! I am also sickened by the apparent “amalgamation” of the RC Church and the Government. This is against the Constitution and should be punishable by Law! I’m surprised no-one has brought this about .. yet! Although I do know that Morrison is a Member of the extreme Hillsong Church. All in all, it is a rather nasty group.

  9. johnlord2013

    His list Kaye is certainly a long way from mine. And all these decisions of late come back to the character of the man. Or the lack of it.

  10. Stuart Dean

    The seperation of church and state must remain SACROSANCT!

  11. Stuart Dean

    Separation, sorry.

  12. Kaye Lee

    John me too. My list contains people like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks – people who have fought for others’ basic human rights.

    Suu Kyi is a woman I admire. I wonder if she will be accused of playing the gender card as she calls for constitutional change to allow a woman to become president in Myanmar.

    “While she confirmed her ambition to win presidential office at the next election, the constitution requires a president to have military experience.

    Myanmar does not allow women in the defence academy.”

  13. Kaye Lee

    “Prime Minister Tony Abbott refers to her as ”the boss” and Peta Credlin is proving why, stamping her authority on the make up of the government.

    Fairfax Media has learned Ms Credlin, who steered Mr Abbott’s path to The Lodge as his chief-of-staff, is deciding every government appointment from top ministerial aides right down to the electorate staff of new MPs.

    She sits at the head of the government’s ”star chamber”, which has already knocked back some applicants put forward by cabinet ministers.

    Sitting on the star chamber panel are federal Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane – Ms Credlin’s husband – along with John Howard’s former chief of staff, Tony Nutt, and ministers Michael Ronaldson and Kevin Andrews.

    ”It’s fair to say they are putting the Howard band back together but there are three key categories: Credlin loyalists, Abbott loyalists and Howard loyalists,” said a Liberal source.”

    Read more:

  14. Bacchus

    Buff & Stuart – Australia’s constitution has no provision for separation of church & state. The only restriction is that the federal government cannot form a religion.

    Hence why religious schools can receive state funding in Australia whereas this is not allowed in the US…

  15. turnleft2013

    Diannaart, the date of the election is determined not from the date of the previous election, but from the date that parliament resumes – hence Tony dragging it out so long

  16. turnleft2013


    Duration of House of Representatives
    Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first meeting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor‑General.

  17. diannaart


    I did not know that. And now, I wish I didn’t. This government is scaring me far more than Howard’s – and that is saying a great deal.

    The GG; the out-going Bryce is unlikely to repeat the Whitlam dismissal and if JWH is appointed…. can’t see John Howard ever relinquishing that job.

  18. turnleft2013

    Diannaart – when Bryce offered her resignation upon Shorten being made LOTO, and Abbott refused, my first thought was: Abbott has someone in mind who isnt available at that moment to take the job
    I think it probably will be hoWARd or one of Abbotts other idols, then what weve seen so far will be tame to what comes next

  19. diannaart


    What you say makes perfect sense AND explains his unusual grace at the content in Ms Bryce’s recent Boyer lectures. He is not at all concerned at anything the current GG has to say.

  20. rossleighbrisbane

    “It’s better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.”

    I have always admired people who can continue to light candles and to realize that the big picture is made by people doing simple things. The people I most admire, nobody has ever heard of.

  21. Misst

    The Gonski fiasco hasn’t surprised me in the least. I’m expecting NDIS to be ‘endowed’ with more attention and, how long before he turns to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. He couldn’t even name the church in his apology, it would have choked him. All you have to do is look at his mentors and there you are …. our PM!!!! So utterly despicable!!

  22. diannaart

    Thanks Kaye Lee for reminding me of Rosa Parkes – whenever I am feeling lacking in courage, I remember her.

    To anyone reading this who voted for the Abbott government:

    If you voted for the LNP and are happy thus far – good for you, there is nothing I could possibly have in common with you on any level, but you got what you wanted.

    If you voted for the LNP and are somewhat disappointed – What were you thinking? OK, Abbott and Co are all liars – but that was clearly obvious BEFORE the election, you are totally beyond contempt – you are pitiful.

    For the rest of us, 2 years 10 months to go – if Abbott calls an election exactly 3 years from September 2013.

    He will call an election eventually, won’t he?

  23. Fed up

    What a lovely family. A mother that all should aspire to be.

    …..The youngest daughter of mining magnate Gina Rinehart wants to use her sister Bianca Rinehart’s mental health issues – including an eating disorder from which she has since recovered – to show why she should not be trustee of a $5 billion family trust, in a twist in the bitter family saga.
    Ginia Rinehart wants her sister to hand over her medical records relating to any psychological issues as part of an investigation into whether she would be an appropriate person to manage the warring siblings and their share of the lucrative family business, Hancock Prospecting.
    Mrs Rinehart, who is Australia’s richest person and worth an estimated $22 billion, is the only other shareholder.
    Bianca Rinehart and husband.
    “My husband’s motivation in agreeing to be put forward as a trustee replacement was to shield me from further personal attacks”: Bianca Rinehart and husband. Photo: Supplied
    On Friday Bianca spoke out for the first time since the proceedings began, saying despite.×349.jpg

    Read more:

  24. Kaye Lee

    diannaart, I don’t think he is really concerned about anything that any of us have to say. Hosting the G20 summit in Brisbane next year could prove uncomfortable for Tony as he also isn’t listening to them.

    “Leaders of the 19 nations and the European Union reaffirmed “our commitment to fight climate change.”

    Read more:

  25. Fed up

    Kaye, that is her daughter, that she is using. Using one sister against another.

    When I first seen the headline, I thought it must have been about Gina’s half sister. By the way, is Indigenous, and a very nice person.

    Gina did not even know, her daughter had married.

  26. Kaye Lee

    rossleigh, you have reminded me of the wonderful people I have come across doing volunteer work. They most certainly rank right up there, making a practical difference every day to their communities and the world when they can. I just delivered a load down to some local ladies who organised a donation drive to send to the Philippines.

  27. Fed up

    Kaye, it was the misleading headlines. No wonder the poor girl suffered the stresses she did.

    Cannot see how illness would make one incapable of looking after her own trust fund,

  28. Kaye Lee

    Think about what teachers and nurses and police and ambulance workers and firemen and social workers actually contribute to the well-being of our society. Consider the responsibility they have. Peoples lives are in their hands daily. Compare that to what Gina and Rupert contribute. I would even go so far as to say, considering the tax loopholes we offer to the wealthy, the teachers etc are contributing more towards government revenue.

  29. Stuart Dean

    See if this works…

  30. jasonblog

    I think Abbott is more an opportunist than hero-worshipper. He was more of a binge drinker and womaniser than devotee of Santamaria. Abbott has commented that he believes Santamaria was out of step on economic issues. It should be noted that Santamaria was appalled by Neoliberalism in much the same way that the present Pope denounced this week. Abbott doesn’t really know what Abbott stands for other than purely, simply, and deceitfully himself.

    Murdoch and Rinehart propelled him into the leadership of the Liberal Party. Damage will be done to Australia because of it, but hopefully nothing to irreversibly damaging. Life will go on after him.

    The biggest worry is for democracy and what will become of the Liberal Party. If the Libs simply want to govern in 2013 by harkening back to the days of Howard then it will end in unceremonious disaster. The Liberal Party is a minority party that could never form government in its own right, yet I’m not sure that is necessarily how it has to be for it. It’s opportunity to reinvent itself afresh and provide contemporary meaning to the Australian public after the fall of the Howard government is now an opportunity lost. Abbott – the Puppet – seized the day and eventually the election, but all he offers is negativity, division, a woeful understanding of a complex, nuanced, world beset by crucial issues that are far from his Anglosphere world of a white supremacist attitude imbued with unfettered adulation of Western civilisation.

    Abbott isn’t a leader. He’s a convenient and expendable tool. But the reason for Abbott’s brief moment of glory is to appeal to a small minority of an insular, insecure, aging, white population of intolerant bigots and anti-multiculturalists who live in fear and loathing of change. They live in fear of a world where they no longer rule supreme. There world has been turned on its head and they want somebody to blame and no-body does the blame game like Abbott. I suspect Australia’s present burst of irrational hatred won’t last long. At least not in government. The ALP, Greens, and the anti-Abbott forces within the Liberal ranks, need to articulate an alternative to fear. They need to explain that the fear of economic uncertainty does not need to exist in such a wealthy country as Australia. They need to explain that the growing disparity between advantage and disadvantage, opportunity and despair, that is becoming apparent in Australia does not need to exist. They need to explain that the politics of Australian democracy does not have to be the play thing of Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart.

  31. Kaye Lee

    FU, what a disgusting toad of a woman she is. She sues her kids to dud them of their grandfather’s legacy, she uses her sister’s mental health issues to try to maintain control. She has more money than some countries have and has become so entranced by it, she has lost all perspective about what truly matters. She will end up a very lonely old woman with only those who are paid to do so keeping her company.

  32. Kaye Lee

    oops….rereading…I see it’s a case of like mother like daughter.

  33. bighead1883

    November 30, 2013 • 6:36 pm
    Thank you for that
    One new thing learned a day is a good day.
    We have now entered A Bizarro World even more incredulous than the Dubya/Deputy Dawg era.
    I admire this speech by Charlie Chaplin as it`s just as Imporatant todat as in 1934.

  34. salmongum


  35. Kaye Lee

    In 1988 I was in London and joined the “Free Nelson Mandela” protest in Trafalgar Square. The article below is from that time and is a wonderful explanation of the history of the struggle, what Mandela represented, and how he united and mobilised the world.

    “For Mandela represents freedom and democracy, and the urge for a peaceful transformation of South Africa from a land of racist oppression to a democratic State – from a source of conflict and war to a force for peace and cooperation – through a process of consultation, reconciliation and negotiation. He is in prison because he stands against a racist regime which seeks through violence and terror to perpetuate white supremacy, and has caused immense suffering all over southern Africa.”

    RIP to a man the whole world admires and to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for making the world a far better place.

  36. hilderombout

    I am glad to be back on this site again. Getting access to it was problematic today. I so wanted to express my gratitude and admiration to Nelson Mandela, who is one being i admire. I am grieved by his passing and at peace with his going. He no longer needs to suffer. And meanwhile we can keep his dream of a better world for all of us alive, as he told us in his hmagnificent speech in 1999:
    I just signed the pledge to do so on

  37. Kaye Lee

    hilderombout, thank you for sharing that wonderful speech. We need to continue to read what these inspiring people have said and reflect on what is truly important in the world.

    Some notable quotes from it that our current leaders should bear in mind….

    “This century has seen enough of destruction, injustice, strife and division, suffering and pain and of our capacity to be massively inhuman the one to the other.

    This century, unfortunately, had too many leaders attempting to exploit communal differences for their own political ends.

    the real leaders of the world are those who for 24 hours a day think in terms of the poorest of the poor. It is those men and women who know that poverty is the single most dangerous threat to society in the world today.

    The escalation of poverty in a world that is at the same time marked by such opulence and excessive wealth, the suffering and marginalization of vulnerable groups at a time when the concepts of democracy and equality are supposed to have become universal, the growing degradation of the environment often caused by the greed of industrial development. These are but some of the contradictions that at heart are moral and ethical questions.

    the general citizenry to which we referred — those women, men and children who merely desire and have inalienable right to lead a decent life — continue to suffer deprivation and poverty. The world is still marked by massive inequality. In too many parts of the world warfare and violent conflict still reign. The powerful dominate at the expense of the poor and the vulnerable. The symbolic turn of the century calls us to a commitment to make the coming century one in which these and other issues of human development are fundamentally addressed.”

  38. cornlegend

    I really thought about who I admire and always hark back to people like Clarence Darrow, Gough,the Dalai Lama. etc, but on a day like today when we lose such an influential person as Mandela I have been tending to think of people who I admired, but also influenced me.
    People without names, so I do know.
    The mothers of Save our Sons in the Vietnam war era, the hard working rank and file union members who though their sacrifice gave us the conditions we take for granted, the people in demos against Apartheid, Uranium Mining, the Vietnam war, the S.E.Q.E.B dispute, Land Rights the Whitlam dismissal and all the other civil actions, in their efforts to make the world in their view, a better place.
    The people that made an effort, to create a fair and just society.

  39. cornlegend

    sorry, “some I do know” not” so I do know”

  40. Pingback: THE TONY ABBOTT RED ROOM OF PAIN – Written by LYN BENDER | winstonclose

  41. Pingback: The Tony Abbott red room of pain - Papuq's Snippets

  42. townsvilleblog

    Who do I admire? Answer: Ged Kearney ACTU President, the ACOSS organization who try to give those of us without a voice a public persona. I also admire Senator Doug Cameron, who for many years out-debated the CEOs of companies who had no respect for their workers, and who until July 2 will be Shadow Minister for Human Services, and thereafter hopefully the Minister. I admire my dear wife, who puts in the hard yards, because I can no longer do them, she has terrific organizational skills and manages to remain on top of our finances, work as an RN and provide our family with love and guidance, she’s brilliant!

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