Tony Abbott’s questions of character


By @Thefinnigans
April 1, 2013

MARGO: @TheFinnigans is a friend from Webdiary days, and he’s been a serious supporter of my return to journalism for a while. He says he compiled this list of  what he feels are some of Tony Abbott’s character questions in honour of my first venture back unto political writing for many years, A question of character. Thanks, Finnie, for everything. His first list for @NoFibs, published in She’s still standing but the media is blind, is our most popular post.

Tony Abbott, 29/11/2012 – on PM Gillard: ‘She had been a dodgy and unethical lawyer. The criticism was not about gender; she had failed the character test’.

Susan Mitchell – Tony Abbott is a bully who hates women, and his outdated social views are a threat to national cohesion and plurality, according to a polemical new book. In Tony Abbott: A Man’s Man, academic and writer Susan Mitchell attempts to deconstruct the Opposition Leader’s beliefs and character so that Australians ‘think again’ about the man who came within a whisker of forming government after last year’s general election.

David Marr – Oct 10, 2012 – David Marr talks to The Global Mail’s Mike Seccombe about his Quarterly Essay Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott’s values are old fashion rock solid 1950s Catholicism, that essentially it. He is essentially an old fashioned Catholic.

Marr Unmasks Abbott from Digital Global Mail Limited on Vimeo.

Laurie Oakes: Tony Abbott has a credibility issue – LET’s not beat about the bush. Tony Abbott tells lies. So what? Is there anything surprising about that? After all, he’s a politician. But it needs to be pointed out because the central message from Abbott supporters is that the Prime Minister is the liar – Ju-liar, in fact, according to the likes of Alan Jones. The Opposition Leader is portrayed – and portrays himself – as the epitome of honesty. A man whose word can always be trusted.

Tony Abbott’s Character:

00/00/1976 – Tony Abbott kicked in a glass panel door after a narrow defeat in the University Senate elections in 1976.

00/00/1977 – He came up to within an inch of my nose and punched the wall on either side of my head … It was done to intimidate (Barbara Ramjan)

00/00/1977 – Abbott’s famous flying squad of goons crashed down the stairs, threw me against the wall, kicked in the doors of the SRC, and started creating havoc

00/00/1977 – Confess to calling Barbara Ramjan a “chairthing” rather than chairperson

00/00/1977 – Lawyer David Patch: ‘Tony used to stand outside the women’s room with his right-wing mates and loudly tell sexist and homophobic jokes’.

00/00/1978 – Abbott allegedly throwing a punch and hitting Peter Woof at Sydney University

00/00/1978 – Was allegedly caught doing unethical or perhaps illegal things like changing the locks on the student union offices and other things

00/01/1978 – Charged with indecent assault of Helen Elizabeth Wilson

00/00/1979 – Lindsay Foyle: He decided the quickest way to settle our differences was to take me downstairs and demonstrate how I was wrong by punching my head in

16/10/1995 – Euthanasia is not about the right to die; it is about the right to kill

00/00/1997 – Father Nestor (convicted pedophile) – He was . . a beacon of humanity at the seminary

00/00/1998 – If it’s true … that men have more power, generally speaking, than women, is that a bad thing?

00/00/1998 – But what if men by philosophy or temperament are more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?”

10/08/1998 – So there was never any question of any party fund being offered to Terry Sharples? Abbott:Absolutely not.

24/06/2000 – Tony Abbott was thrown out of Parliament because he moved in a threatening manner towards the Opposition benches just after Labor’s Graham Edwards, a legless Vietnam Veteran, had interjected: ‘You’re a disgrace’.

02/07/2002 – A bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or husband … you find that he tends to do more good than harm.

22/07/2002 – Compulsory paid maternity leave: over this Government’s dead body, frankly. It just won’t happen (see 01/08/2010 )

17/03/2004 – Abortion has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience

17/03/2004 – Abortion is the easy way out

06/09/2004 – Will this Govt commit to keeping the Medicare+safety-net as it is now in place after the election? Abbott:Yes.

06/09/2004 – That’s a cast-iron commitment? Abbott:Cast-iron commitment. Absolutely.

00/00/2005 – I want to make it clear that I do not judge or condemn any woman who has had an abortion, but every abortion is a tragedy and up to 100,000 abortions a year is this generation’s legacy of unutterable shame

12/06/2005 – You don’t have to be a Catholic to be troubled by the current abortion culture

31/08/2005 – If we did that we would be as dead as the former Liberal leader’s political prospects (John Brogden)

15/11/2005 – I conclude that there is no reason, based on the report from the Chief Medical Officer, to change longstanding practice in regards to RU-486.

30/10/2007 – Just because a person is sick doesn’t necessarily mean that he is pure of heart in all things (Bernie Banton)

31/07/2007 – That’s bullshit. You’re being deliberately unpleasant. I suppose you can’t help yourself, can you? (Nicola Roxon)

19/03/2009 – Adopt a sort of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy about homosexuals in the Catholic church

27/07/2009 – I am, as you know, hugely unconvinced by the so-called settled science on climate change.

27/07/2009 – It was, after all, the mechanism for ETS ultimately chosen by the Howard Govt

29/07/2009 – I also think that if you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax?

21/12/2009 – I regard myself as an environmentalist

21/01/2010 – I’ll turn back every boat

27/01/2010 – I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question, their virginity is the greatest gift

02/02/2010 – The climate change argument is absolute crap

08/02/2010 – What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing

11/02/2010 – We just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice

20/02/2010 – I don’t bring religion into the square the way Rudd did and does. I am Catholic.

20/02/2010 – Yeah, look, I don’t regard myself as God’s gift to politics

08/03/2010 – There is no doubt that homosexuality challenges, if you like, orthodox notions of the right order of things

15/03/2010 – I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons


15/03/2010 – Western civilisation came to this country in 1788 and I’m proud of that

07/03/2010 – Homosexuality? How do you feel about that? Abbott:I’d probably feel a bit threatened

15/03/2010 – we can’t stop people from making mistakes that cause them to be less well-off than they might otherwise be

05/04/2010 – Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia

05/04/2010 – ‘Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage.’

17/05/2010 – I know politicians are gonna be judged on everything they say, but sometimes, in the heat of discussion, you go a little bit further than you would if it was an absolutely calm, considered, prepared, scripted remark, which is one of the reasons why the statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth is those carefully prepared scripted remarks.

23/06/2010 – Victory is within our ready grasp…We are in reach of a famous victory

30/06/2010 – There may not be a great job for Aboriginal people.. if it’s picking up rubbish… it just has to be done

19/07/2010 – WorkChoices is dead, it’s buried, it’s cremated

26/07/2010 – I think I certainly get women, but, obviously, I’ve got some marketing to do

01/08/2010 – On paid parental leave, over your dead body? Abbott:I did change my mind on this issue (see: 22/07/2002)

03/08/2010 – Are you suggesting to me that when it comes from Julia, ‘No’ doesn’t mean ‘No’

10/08/2010 – I’ve always been very wary of debates involving women

28/09/2010 – I congratulate the member for Fisher, who has been a friend of mine for a very long time (as deputy Speaker)

20/12/2010 – Do we really want to invest $50B (NBN)…. in what is essentially a video entertainment system?

08/02/2011 – Mr Abbott saying “sometimes shit happens” after being told of the circumstances of Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney’s death when he was in Afghanistan last year.

24/02/2011 – If the Prime Minister wants to, politically speaking, make an honest woman of herself

27/04/2011 – Whyalla will be wiped off the map by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.

28/05/2011 – I last described myself as the political lovechild of John Howard and Bronwyn Bishop

09/01/2012 – Well, that was one boat (Costa Concordia) that did get stopped, wasn’t it?

17/03/2012 – On behalf of the Coalition, I offer my deep condolences to Gough Whitlam on the passing of Margaret… There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam government, but nevertheless it was a very significant episode in our history.

22/03/2012 – Walking around with targets on their (PM & Albo) foreheads

22/03/2012 – Their baseball bats aren’t there for Anna Bligh, they’re there for this Prime Minister

27/04/2012 – We take as dim a view of Indonesian boats disgorging illegal arrivals in Aust as they take of Aust importing drugs into Bali.

18/05/2012 – The carbon tax is socialism masquerading as environmentalism

29/05/2012 – Gillard won’t lie down and die, and where there’s life, there’s fight.

09/07/2012 – I don’t think it’s a very Christian thing to come in by the back door rather than the front door

15/09/2012 – I have no recollection of it – because it didn’t happen (On Barbara Ramjan incident)

24/09/2012 – PM should not be “swanning” around in New York “talking to Africans”, rather she should be in Jakarta talking to SBY

09/10/2012 – Another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame

23/10/2012 – Lack of experience within the Government of raising children

10/11/2012 – Ken Wyatt: an urban Aboriginal, he’s not a man of culture

21/11/2012 – The people who have come illegally to this country need to know that they are breaking our laws

22/11/2012 – You will never find from me any attempt to invoke the gender war against my political opponents

22/11/2012 – Now, one thing I will never do.. is deliberately set out to divide Australian against Australian

24/11/2012 – Gillard will be grilled

26/01/2013 – The first lot of Australians were chosen by the finest judges in England

10/03/2013 – Yes I can. Faith is important to me… but it must never, never shape my politics.

28/03/2013 – Five wasted years; after five years when our country has stood still


Support an independent media voice. Support No Fibs Citizen Journalism.
Monthly Donation


  1. Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  2. If this man ever becomes PM he will take us back 50yrs,,and re-introduce the most negative aspects of the past,not the positive.Along with ruining our quality of life trying to dismantle the good and just changes this government has implemented.
    We must do whatever it takes to make sure this disaster is never allowed to happen

  3. Jane Cattermole says

    Well done Finnie, that’s quite a list. One thing that sprung to my mind, especially given his penchant for parading his daughters around as his chief referees, was this piece by Annabel Crabb in which she describes him taking his girls into a radio station to be interviewed by someone who’s infamous for his part in gang-banging a teenager. In my mind it was a poor decision and another example of him failing the character test….
    Clueless or calculated? @abcnews

  4. If Abbott becomes our next PM he will be our political tsunami. He will be leader for a brief moment but it will take a long time to clean up his mess.

  5. Joy Cooper says

    To be in Tony Abbott’s brain would be truly scary if what comes out of his mouth is any indication.

    Very pleased to see his ridiculous statement re ‘The first lot of Australians were chosen by the finest judges in England’ from his Australia Day “Remarks”, a speech given at Holdfast Bay SA, was included. This speech seems to have been completely & utterly overlooked by the media as there has been absolutely nothing said about it. Even when he gives a scripted &, no doubt, checked speech he puts his big foot into his big mouth & continues to get away with it. Disgraceful.

    What horrifies me are the large numbers of his barrackers who would agree with his wacky & bizarre utterances.

  6. The way he put his foot in mouth and was jeered by the crowd at the National apology last week was not even reported or covered at all by the press. Disgraceful!

  7. VoterBentleigh says

    While I have not opposed off-shore processing since I see it as the a means of border control, orderly arrival and preventing deaths at sea, I am unable to support the Coalition’s stance and policy after reading Abbott’s comment suggesting boats were “disgorging illegal arrivals”.The word “disgorge” is usually used in reference to vomiting, so by suggesting the boats were disgorging “arrivals” (note he no reference to them seeking asylum being people), he was suggesting that the asylum seekers were like vomit on our shores. For the Coalition to portray any group of people in this manner is vile and abhorrent.

    • margaret dixon says

      I could not agree more. He is a small and vile man who, given his training as a Jesuit, would make him a worthy participant in the Spanish Inquisition. As a Catholic who was born in the 1950’s, I can see his so-called modern day policies as a terrible throw back to that era that he seems to be so fond of. If you weren’t born then, I can assure you that it was not the wonderful place Abbott perceives it to be. Do not be fooled by the current tough guy stance, either internationally or here at home. The guy is a thug. Pure and simple. The sooner we get rid of him the better.

  8. SpudBenBean says

    “Tony Abbott, 29/11/2012 – on PM Gillard: ‘She had been a dodgy and unethical lawyer. The criticism was not about gender; she had failed the character test’.”

    While Tony Abbott was out squawking the above statement to the media, The PM was in the HoR chamber introducing the NDIS bill. Only 6 members of the Opposition were in the HoR at the time.

    I’m pretty sure I know who failed the character test and it’s certainly not Prime Minister Gillard.

  9. Paul Allen says


  10. Excellent article, but for completeness, there is one more item:

    March 20, 2013: “I reject any suggestion that I acted inappropriately” (when he inappropriately touched a harmless Aboriginal female poet, on March 6 while in an Adelaide cafe).

    This conduct was first reported by Stephen Hagan in the First Nations Telegraph, and subsequently ignored by the mainstream media:

    Like most white people with a conscience, I feel deep shame and deep regret with how my ancestors have treated the indigenous population and their culture in the past, and Abbott’s touching of a woman in this way, violating a cultural taboo while doing so, leaves a grave question of character over him and his fitness to govern for all Australians.

  11. These character assassinations of the only man who can save Australia from turning into the world’s biggest joke are tragic.

    Rudd is the menace, not Abbott. Abbott is Australia’s hero in waiting..

    • paul allen says

      Abbott: “Whyalla will be wiped off the map by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax.”
      Sounds alot like bullsh*t to me mate

    • Malcolm Fraser described Abbott as dangerous – and he actually knew Abbotts style of politics. He resigned from the Liberal Party in disgust when Abbott took the reins.

      And under current circumstances, to say Fraser is wrong is an argument which cannot be supported. Abbott doesn’t appear to have any policies and has refused to debate Rudd on any of his intentions. So how could anyone know what the country would be in for if we’re unfortunate enough to see him elected. On the basis of the limited info we have been allowed to have, all that can be assumed is that they’ll follow the austerity policies which have failed so comprehensively overseas, increase GST (to further disadvantage local manufacturers competing with online overseas sellers), reintroduce Workchoices, make Australia a laughing stock by crapping carbon pricing and start a brawl with the Indonesians. Which parts of that are you keenest to have inflicted on your fellow Australians?

  12. Lachlan Ridge says

    I remember Abbott, as Health Minister, sent a bottle of wine to a Redfern Aboriginal service (legal or healthy escapes me). Given the role that grog has played in indigenous communities for over two hundred years it was an act of breathtaking insensitivity.

    Could he be autistic?

  13. listen to voiceless says

    Tony Abbott told the press the day after his by-election victory (1994) he was looking forward to being a “junkyard dog savaging the other side”. Abbott’s unending psychological abuse of others is identical to the way that psychological abuse is perpetrated by violent men on their spouses and children. He has always been simultaneously a Charmer, and Evasive Abuser.
    Now, Abusive Abbott has the Global Giant Monster Murdoch Goliath backing him. Murdoch backed Menacing Bully Mitt in the US . I prayed hard and for a long time for Camp David led by Obama to win over Goliath then. Thank God it did.

  14. listen to voiceless says

    I have also been praying really hard, every single day since Abbott got into power- by one vote- that the Camp David side -now led by Rudd- defeat the Goliath Murdoch -Abbott “savaging the other side” The “other side” is all of us who can no longer tolerate the abuse!
    My prayers are for us caring people in Camp David to win this almighty Battle of Abuse declared on us by the Goliath Murdoch -Abbott. Goliath wants more savaging of us from a now stronger than ever Goliath Power Alliance. Murdoch and Abbott are changing the Liberal National Coalition to a News Limited Party like the Republican Tea Party. DEEP IN MY HEART I DO BELIEVE WE SHALL OVERCOME ONE DAY. (PLEASE GOD ON SEPT 7!)

  15. @margokingston1 A conman ! Wasn’t it ever thus ?

  16. The best predictor of the future is his past – it’s all here, i have made it easy for you on Abbott –

  17. Tony Abbott’s questions of character via @NoFibs Abbott’s bio, stuff u won’t remember #auspol

  18. Tony Abbott’s questions of character via @NoFibs

  19. @SpeakUpAU @susanamet But doesn’t a Bad Father or Husband do more good than harm?

  20. Tony Abbott’s questions of character