It is sad that we must occasionally have to go to countries where Rupert Murdoch and mining magnates don’t have a stranglehold on the media to get an accurate report on what people think of Tony Abbott. Australians should be genuinely embarrassed to know how some international media report on Tony Abbott.
Putting aside all the embarrassment he is generating with his travel rorts and diplomatic inadequacies being reported today, let’s go back to the day after the election and see how one foreign newspaper reported his election victory. My French isn’t great but I know a few words and on reading the headline I immediately knew it was going to be an interesting story. So settle in for a very frank assessment. Now, because my French is dodgy and google translate potentially dodgier, some of the translations may not be 100% but you’ll get the gist.
The New Observer
September 8, 2013
Sexist redneck: Here Tony Abbott, new Australian Prime Minister
This is called a tour of political magic. This Saturday, Tony Abbott led his conservative coalition to victory and became prime minister of Australia’s parliamentary elections.
If he had not had before him the Labor split, this victory would not have been so simple. In the past, he was even nicknamed “Mr. Ineligible” by one of the managers of the Liberal Party.
And in 2007, a former U.S. ambassador also criticized him in a note published by WikiLeaks. He said he (Abbott) was a “marked man very right and biased” and had a “strong tendency to be insensitive and provoke controversy.”
To put it more clearly, to read the output of Abbott, we sometimes just seem to have quite a big redneck. More on those controversies.
On women, the new Australian Prime Minister has an opinion of his own, but not very modern. In 2010, he launched into a tirade about the ironing:
“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year “
In October 2012, he had, after these words, the audacity to demand the resignation of the Speaker because of SMS “sexist”. Julia Gillard, then Prime Minister, had reminded him about this in the spice:
“To see what sexism is, the Honourable Leader of the Opposition does not need to read a parliamentary motion, he only has to look at a mirror. ”
She also reminded him that he had called her “witch”. This video became viral.
On abortion, he also said in 2010 :
“Abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that peopleshould choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations.”
2. Not very informed on the environment
The man who became the Prime Minister of Australia does not seem to have a very thoughtful opinion on climate issues.
During a show in 2010 on ABC, he said:
“The argument of global warming, this is the absolute crap, but policies are hard for us because 80% of people believe that climate change is a real and present danger. “
3. …nor on immigration
About the “boat people” refugees trying to reach Australia for a better life in another talk show for ABC News in August 2012, Tony Abbott launched this generality:
“These people do not seek asylum so they look for a permanent residence. If they were happy to have temporary protection visas, they could begin to argue more credibly about their willingness to access seekers. ”
These ideas have earned him this Saturday, the day of the election, to face angry protesters when he visited a school. The demonstrators shouted:
“Refugees are welcome! Abbott no! ”
“Go away Tony! ”
While a woman had this sign:
“Tony Abbott: sexist, racist, bigoted. “
4. …nor Aboriginals
The Aborigines, he also accumulated controversial statements . In a television program in March 2010, he boasted :
” Western culture came to this country in 1788 and I’m very proud of that. ”
Then, in June of the same year , he estimated that for racial inequalities decrease, the Aborigines had to accept jobs they are offered:
“It may not be the best job for them, but whatever happens , it just that they do, and if it is picking up trash in the community, it’s just something that needs be done. ”
Some Australians do not forget about either of which date back even further . In 2006, with his still legendary finesse, Tony Abbott , Minister of Health, expressed his views on funeral ceremonies among Aborigines :
“If you want to develop the culture of work , you can not have three months of season ceremonies and you can not take six weeks off because your cousin is dead. I can not imagine that long before the arrival of the white man, death forced people to stop hunting … ”
In an article published on the site The Age, three indigenous leaders had responded :
“Has the minister said the Jewish, Christians or Muslims should change ? “
He was nicknamed “the mad monk” because at 26, he decided to take holy orders and eventually abandon this mission three years later.
He remained very close to the church, said he was better for women to remain virgins until marriage, and he said to his two daughters that their virginity was a “gift.”
6. A guy who would sell his daughters?
If Tony Abbott was able to win in this election is that it was able to adequately control its image during the campaign and focus on the cool capital of his daughters. Unlike him, they are ainsifavorables gay marriage.
As recounted on the blog Monde.fr Australia, Friday, Aug. 6, at the end of the race, he still missed this gem about them. Whether to vote for him is because he was “the guy with the not bad-looking daughters.“
So, to sum up, this newspaper portrays Tony Abbott as a bigoted, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, racist climate change denying redneck who pimps his own daugthers. I would say they nailed him pretty well and you voted for him Australia. Don’t blame me, I didn’t and he doesn’t represent me. The original article in all it’s French glory is here.