Tony Abbott: Who is he?

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Vote for Tony Abbott tomorrow if you like — but before you do, says Bob Ellis, read this and find out just what you'll be getting on Sunday.

(Caricature by John Graham / johngraham.alphalink.com.au)

He’s not that good at keeping promises. He swore a vow of chastity. He squirmed out of his shotgun wedding. He stood up Bernie Banton, who had ‒ at some inconvenience ‒ come to his office to see him in the last week of his life. He agreed with his hero Howard that global warming was real then called it ‘crap’. He defended a convicted pederast, Nestor, in court, and got him out of prison. He begged a friend of pederasts, Hollingworth, not to resign. He concealed, according to his uncontradicted biographer, acts of homosexual rape by trainee priests at St Barnabus’ — his college.

He gave up the priesthood because his friends were making more money (so he told Annabel on Wednesday). He was elected Opposition Leader by Peter Slipper’s lone vote and went to his wedding. He turned up to the wedding 20 minutes late, leaving everyone waiting and Slipper's bride in tears. He then tried to drive his "friend" to suicide.

He ran from the chamber to refuse Craig Thomson’s vote, then later accepted it.

He employed David Oldfield, and snorkled with him, then tried to destroy him. He framed Pauline Hanson and put her in gaol until she was proved innocent and was let out. He did the same to her business partner David Ettridge. He alleged Cheryl Kernot was a pederast and ruined her.

Some of his closest allies were homosexual – Pearson, Pyne, Chifley, Nestor – but he won’t, if elected, let gays marry. He claims to love his sister but believes she will fry in hell for sinful practises if she does not repent them.

The worst he did was to Kathy Donnelly. He used no contraception with her. When she was pregnant, he agreed to marry her. The church was booked, the guests invited. A week before his vows, he decided to call it off, and trained for the priesthood. Scared to tell her, he asked his mother to make the call. Devastated, Kathy had the baby, a boy, and suckled him for five days. Then he was taken away by a Catholic agency and sent to Perth.

Ruined, she then became pregnant again, had another baby. Decided to keep this one, and raised him as an unwed mother. Abbott did not become a priest for another seven years, and after four years, during which he was ‘not as celibate as I should have been’, he gave it away.

He married, had three daughters and pined for the son he had not kept. The boy turned up as a sound man around Parliament house. Abbott embraced and acclaimed him. Kathy met him for the first time in twenty-six years. It then turned out he wasn’t Abbott’s son, but the by-blow of a one-night-stand. Kathy, disgraced, defended herself on national television. She soon grew ill, and began to die.

Abbott did not visit her deathbed, or call, or write to her. He did not go to her funeral. At the Apology For Forced Adoption, however, he praised her as the ‘finest person I ever knew’.

If you want to vote for him, do. He has many other qualities – a good mind, a social conscience, a love of family, physical fitness, great skill as a writer and speaker – but you should know about this.

Choose carefully.

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