Health Minister Tony Abbott must have been very displeased to have recently learned he is one of the most unpopular senior politicians in Australia. Yesterday he set out to ramp up his unpopularity even further, by launching a foul, insidious attack on the woman who is set to become Australia's deputy prime minister, Julia Gillard.
Tony Abbott told the Sydney Daily Telegraph :
"It would be a lot easier for her to realise her ambition if there was evidence of a broader lifetime experience."
"The average person would look askance at such a political animal," he said.
"The thing about (Ms) Gillard is that she is very bright, just uber-professional and a formidable debater," Mr Abbott said.
"It's very hard to be a leader in a democratic society if your life has been consumed by the job."
Incredible stuff coming from Australia's most vicious political animal himself. A man obsessed with his own power and image, who still appears morosely uncomfortable in the presence of female politicians, and someone who was, and remains, so determined to fulfill his role as the 'executioner' of Australian federal politics that he once teamed up with 'the enemy' to destroy the rise of a popular and viable third party choice, that being the 'peoples' movement' of Pauline Hanson.
Abbott's attack is yet another sign of the panic now eating away at the front bench of the federal government, as they try to deal with the reality that the tide of public opinion has finally turned against them, and they will soon be thrown out of power.
But Abbott's attacks on Gillard are all the more bizarre because it was his own government that transformed the lives of millions of Australian families by forcing through the reality of 'working families', where mothers are encouraged to park their children in childcare before they can even walk, so they can 'embrace' the opportunities of our so-called 'economic miracle' by taking jobs they didn't necessarily want, or even need.
It was Abbott's government that launched a psychological war on Australian women, through propaganda and mind-numbing TV ads, that created the mindset that any mother who stayed home to look after the children was somehow less than worthy, was not pulling her weight, or was refusing to actively engage in Australian society.
Julia Gillard, who now enjoys some of the highest poll numbers for any Australian female politician in history, responded to Abbott's vile attempt at character assassination :
She responded by questioning whether Mr Abbott could have succeeded in politics if not for the fact that his wife had brought up their children while he pursued his career.If Abbott means his kind of "humanity" then he truly has lost the plot.
"Could Tony Abbott have been at the same stage of his political career if he'd been the mother of his three children, rather than the father of them?" she said.
And she predicted her rise to the top in the Labor Party will pave the way for other single women - and men - to enter parliament as part of a "diversification" of politics.
In the latest sign the election will become a brutal war of words, Mr Abbott said voters were seeking a "bit more humanity" from their political leaders.
Abbott, naturally, then tried to withdraw his remarks. But he meant every word he said. Of course he did. He just thought that he could get his attacks into the papers, and into the headlines, and that a day or so would pass before Julia Gillard fired back.
It didn't work out that way.
"I should not have said anything that could be construed by anyone as a personal attack on Gillard," Abbott said, when he realised he had monumentally fucked up. Yet again.
Yes, but you did say all that, didn't you Tony? And you meant every word. And now your government will have to pay the political price for it.
Does the Howard government even want to win the election? Sometimes it's hard to believe they do.
Tony Abbott : Voting Against The Howard Government Could Result In "Very Dire Consequences"