Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia’s new prime minister today and has immediately ordered the scrapping of the nation’s carbon tax and the halting of asylum-seeker boats. Two options that would appear easier said than done.
What’s interesting is the fact that in Australia; Labor was so hated after almost years of political turmoil that many are singing the praises of Tony Abbott’s win whilst there are huge issues with his swearing-in and overall rise as Prime Minister.
Often described as a sexist bully, Australia’s new Prime Minister has never been particularly popular amongst the people, despite his popularity against former PM Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard consecutively.
Concerning is the evidence that Abbot’s win was one thanks to an unpopular government and constant promotion (and you might even suggest propaganda) from the ever-biased media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Labor contends that Abbot’s success is due in part to completely uncritical coverage provided by News Corp., which controls over 70 percent of Australia’s newspapers and media.
Abbot’s supporters may have forgotten, but his critics certainly have not.
A student newspaper editor took a 20-year-old Abbott to court, accusing him of groping her during a student debate in 1977. In 2012 a peer from his university alleged that he had punched a wall next to her head in an attempt to intimidate her.
Human rights activists are against his vocal policies to “stop the boats” and prevent asylum seekers and illegal refugees from gaining access to Australia for support. One of these policies ensures that all asylum seekers will not be entitled to family reunion, petitions against the decision to decline them entry, legal rights or any ability to gain permanent settlement in Australia.
Somewhat of a dictator-type, WikiLeaks has previously released details where the US ambassador to George Bush called him a “polarising right-winger” with a “propensity for insensitivity and controversy.”
Entirely against abortion and most likely due to his conservative religious beliefs (bearing in mind Australia is quite a secular nation) Abbot was health minister in 2006 and prevented the abortion pill mifepristone (RU-486) from being legally obtainable and usable.
A friend to allowing the richer to get richer and the poorer to lose out; Abbot’s $5.5 billion dollar plans that would give paid maternity leave to even the most upper class of Australians; it’s safe to say that despite the non-stop outrage and discontent caused and felt, Tony Abbot will be running Australia under a conservative government.
This is Australia – a supposedly open and ‘no worries’ country that has mostly right-wing governments. It’s only a matter of time.