Abbott Family Values

As we get ever closer to the federal election and still no sign of any substantial policies from the LNP, Abbott's flailing supporters have opened a new front on the campaign: family values. Of course Catholic father Abbott is a more upstanding candidate for Prime Minister than that shameful childless man stealer Gillard! The Abbott family will restore family values to The Lodge and the nation after the godless communism of the Gillard era. Roll on September 14.

Family values are the last refuge of a desperate (to be Prime Minister) man. Abbott is playing this card with everything he's got, his family giving constant media appearances. Abbott hiding behind his daughters as they refute many of the accusations of misogyny and thuggery against him may represent a new low in Australian politics. Seeing the young Abbott women spin what a splendid guy their dad is, many of us say "wait a minute, I'm glad he treats his daughters well but his public record tells a different story about his attitude to women." The right wing howls back "why do lefties hate the Abbott girls? Why do they hate families?" Abbott uses his daughters to talk himself up, forbids scrutiny of the praise. I guess it makes a change for him from his normal method of dealing with tough questions - running away. 

What are the values that Abbott stands for anyway? Abandoning the woman he believed to be pregnant with his child? The indecent assault charges?  Violence?  Tony Abbott, well into his fifties, has never had a real job and comes from a background of privilege, yet is seen to be more in touch with average Australians than his opponent from the western suburbs of Melbourne, simply by virtue of being married and having daughters. Like Fred West, or Osama bin Laden, or any other man whose X chromosome got in first.

Now I'm not defending Gillard's moral character here - not saying she did or didn't start a relationship with  a married man, is  or isn't shacked up unmarried. What I'm saying is it doesn't matter. Of course, I want to know her record on shady deals and broken promises. But what she gets up to in her private life with other consenting adults? I don't care. It doesn't matter. This sudden obsession with family values is a bizarre backwards step for Australia. Even the United States has largely abandoned "family values" as a federal election issue in the last two decades, but here, we're not talking about infrastructure, education, the economy (apart from the ill-informed obsession with debt). Family values, whatever the hell that means, have been made an issue in a country that never much cared about such things before. In 2013, the LNP is trying to win an election by slut shaming the Prime Minister.

But maybe we want a Prime Minister who is a national version of a father in a 1950s sitcom. Gruff, demanding respect, often absent but ever present, knows what's good for us. He'll sit at the national breakfast table, reading his paper, dispensing favours. "Please, can we have the Gonski reforms? We've been real good, including private schools in funding." 
"Humph. I don't care about these silly things. Ask the treasury. But no NDIS until you get that budget back into surplus like you promised!"
"But Dad..."
"No! And that's my final word. I'm off on a taxpayer-funded charity bike ride. You be good or I'll hear about it when I get back."
And if he does come home from the pub on a Friday night in a bad mood,  and shouts and swears and punches the wall, we won't tell anyone. You keep such things within the family and anyway, Abbott tells us bad bosses are like bad fathers, doing more good than harm. We're about to find out if either is true.

Comments

  1. All very true , but all thinking socialists have resigned themselves to the fact that the only way of wrestling the fatal grip of narcissist Paul Howes from the throat of this once proud socialist party is to perform radical surgery , lose this election and walk in the wilderness until we find the true path again without this fascist pulling the strings. If Howes had a single socialist bone left in his body, he would set Julia free. Maybe, Howes needs a real enemy like Abbott to fight, instead of destroying everything Labor held to be true or maybe he will simply be happy with his threesome with Alan Joyce and Olivia. We will always remember you Paul Howes ..the man whose bipolar ego single handedly destroyed the once great Australian Labor Party.

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