You’ve seen him wearing speedos, kissing babies, driving a mining truck and campaigning on Big Brother.
But who is the real Tony Abbott?
In the grand tradition of Bushisms and The Wit of Whitlam, here are the sayings of Australia’s Prime Minister, unvarnished and rich in revelation — the very best and worst of Abbott, the irrepressible mad monk.
Tony speaks — on family: “If you want to know who to vote for, I’m the guy with the not bad looking daughters.”
Adversaries: “Does this guy ever shut up?”
Honesty: “There will always be some issues that are contentious, but the best way to deal with them is openly, candidly and behind closed doors.”
Female colleagues: “They’re young, feisty, I think I can probably say have a bit of sex appeal and they’re just very connected with the local area.”
Poverty: “we just can’t stop people from being homeless if that’s their choice”
Climate change: “absolute crap”
Christian teaching: “Jesus knew that there was a place foreverything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.”
And that’s just a taste.
Russell Marks is the author of Crime and Punishment: Offenders and Victims in a Broken Justice System. He has worked as a criminal defence lawyer and academic and as a writer for the Monthly. He is currently a policy advisor to the Greens and an honorary associate at La Trobe University.