Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Tony Abbott

Magazine article New Internationalist

Introducing. Tony Abbott

Article excerpt

The new prime minister of Australia (elected 7 September) looks to be good news for the pet passions of that country's right wing - climate change denial, an end to political 'correctness', restrictions on access to abortion and stopping the supposed 'flood' of asylum seekers. These are just some of the emotive issues that carried the British-born and Jesuit-trained Abbott to power over the bickering Centre-LeftAustralian Labor Party.

Abbott, leader of the Centre-Right Liberal Party, previously came to international attention when he was so effectively pilloried for his barrage of sexist comments, in a speech given by the former Labor leader Julia Gillard, that her riposte went viral on YouTube as an example of a woman standing up against sexism.

But by the time the 2013 election rolled around Gillard was long gone and Australian voters were distracted by a blitz of xenophobia and Abbott's decisive 'manliness' in promising to 'stop the boats' of vulnerable refugees. …

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