Tony Abbott

Anthony John Abbott (born 4 November 1957) is an Australian politician who has been the 28th Prime Minister of Australia since 2013 and Leader of the Liberal Party since 2009. He has been the Member of Parliament for Warringah since 1994.

Abbott was born in London, England, and emigrated to Australia with his family in 1960. Prior to entering Parliament, he studied for a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, and later for a Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

He trained as a Roman Catholic seminarian, before working as a journalist, business manager and political advisor. In 1992, he was appointed Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, a position he held until 1994 when he successfully stood in the Warringah by-election.

He was first appointed to the Cabinet in 1998 under the Howard Government, as Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. In 2003, he became Minister for Health and Ageing, retaining this position until the defeat of the Howard Government at the 2007 election.

Initially serving in the Shadow Cabinets of Brendan Nelson and then Malcolm Turnbull, he resigned from the frontbench in November 2009 in protest against Turnbull’s support for the Rudd Government’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Forcing a leadership ballot on the subject, Abbott defeated Turnbull by 42 votes to 41, therefore becoming Leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition.

Abbott led the Liberal/National Coalition at the 2010 election, which resulted in a hung parliament. Following negotiations, Labor formed a Government with the support of one Green MP and three independent MPs, and Abbott was re-elected as Liberal Leader unopposed. He went on to lead the Coalition to victory at the 2013 election, and was sworn in as the 28th Prime Minister of Australia on 18 September.

Climate change

Prior to becoming Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott initially supported proposals by Liberal leaders John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull to introduce floating prices to reduce carbon emissions, but also expressed some doubts as to the science and economics underlying such initiatives.

In 2009 Abbott announced his opposition to Turnbull’s support for the Rudd Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme proposal, and successfully challenged Turnbull for the Liberal leadership, chiefly over this issue.

As Opposition Leader, Abbott declared that he accepted that climate change was real and that humans were having an impact on it, but rejected carbon pricing as a means to address the issue, proposing instead to match the Labor government’s 5% emissions reduction target through implementation of a “direct action” climate plan, involving financial incentives for emissions reductions by industry, and support for carbon storage in soils and expanded forests.

On the eve of the 2013 Election, Abbott told the ABC:[J]ust to make it clear… I think that climate change is real, humanity makes a contribution. It’s important to take strong and effective action against it, and that is what our direct action policy does… The important thing is to take strong and effective action to tackle climate change, action that doesn’t damage our economy. And that is why the incentive-based system that we’ve got, the direct action policies, which are quite similar to those that president Obama has put into practice, is - that’s the smart way to deal with this, a big tax is a dumb way to deal with it.

— Tony Abbott on ABC Insiders prior to 2013 Election

Abbott’s predecessor as Liberal leader, Malcolm Turnbull, wrote that Abbott had described himself as a ‘weathervane’ in relation to climate change policy in the months prior to his becoming leader of the Liberal Party. Prior to becoming Opposition Leader in November 2009, Abbott told the ABC’s 7:30 Report in July, that though he thought the science of climate change was “highly contentious” and that he thought that the economics of an ETS was “a bit dodgy”, he nevertheless thought that the Opposition should pass the Rudd Government’s ETS as he did not think it would be “a good look for the Opposition to be browner than Howard going into the next election”.

At an October 2009 meeting in the Victorian town of Beaufort, Abbott was reported to have said: “The argument is absolute crap… However, the politics of this are tough for us. 80% of people believe climate change is a real and present danger”.

On 1 December 2009, when questioned about that statement, he said he had used “a bit of hyperbole” at that meeting rather than it being his “considered position”.

In November, Abbott outlined his objections to the Rudd Government’s carbon pricing plan on the ABC’s Lateline program:

I am always reluctant to join bandwagons. I think there are fashions in science and in the academe, just as there are fashions in so many other things. But look, we should take reasonable precautions against credible threats. I think it is perfectly reasonable to take action against climate change. The problem with the Rudd Government’s position is that Australia could end up impoverishing itself through this dramatic ETS, and not do anything for the environment if the rest of the world does not adopt an ETS or something like it.

— Tony Abbott on ABC Lateline, November 2009

Upon becoming Leader of the Opposition, Abbott put the question of support for the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) to a secret ballot and the Liberal Party voted to reject support for the policy – overturning an undertaking by Turnbull, to support an amended version of the government’s scheme.

Under Abbott, the Coalition joined the Greens and voted against the CPRS in the Senate, and the bill was defeated twice, providing a double dissolution trigger.

Abbott’s alternative ‘direct-action’ climate policy involved a 5% reduction in emissions by means of creating a $2.5bn fund to provide incentives for industry and farmers to reduce emissions and through measures like storing carbon in soil; planting 20 million trees over the next decade; and providing $1000 rebates to homes for installation of solar cells.

However estimates by Federal Treasury put the likely cost of such a scheme at A$10 billion a year or more. The Rudd government eventually deferred its CPRS legislation until 2013.

With Abbott as Opposition Leader, the Liberal party opposed a carbon emissions tax and an Emissions Trading Scheme and said that, in the absence of a global market-based mechanism, “direct action” is the better approach for Australia.

Abbott predicted in March 2012 that the Gillard Government’s carbon tax would be the world’s “biggest”. A January 2013 OECD report on taxation of energy use measured Australia’s effective tax rate on carbon at 1 July 2012 as among the lower rates in the OECD.

In July 2011, Abbott criticised the proposed powers of the government’s carbon tax regulator, telling John Laws that policing of the carbon tax would be difficult: “carbon dioxide is invisible, it’s weightless and it’s odourless. How are we going to police these emissions… this carbon cop is going to be an extraordinarily intrusive instrumentality”.

Although opposing the Labor party’s environmental policies, claiming that Labor would increase electricity prices, the Liberal party is in bipartisan support for the Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets, which would see an increase to electricity prices.

Bioethics and family policy

Abbott is an opponent of embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia. He has said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare”. He also tried, but failed, to block the introduction of the abortion pill RU-486, but promised not to change abortion law if elected.

As Health Minister, Abbott said that he saw reducing the number of abortions performed each year as a national priority. Abbott promised to launch an investigation into a product called Pink or Blue, produced by the American firm Consumer Genetics.

This test is one of several pre-natal blood tests designed to detect the sex of a fetus as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Some ethicists and anti-abortion campaigners have raised concerns that it would be used for sex-selective abortion.

Abbott opposed allowing the introduction of embryonic stem cell research or therapeutic cloning in another conscience vote. He argued, “There are very important ethical questions here and even the very best end does not justify every possible means.”

In his 2009 book Battlelines, Abbott proposed that consideration should be given to a return to an optional at-fault divorce agreement between couples who would like it, similar to the Matrimonial Causes Act, which would require spouses to prove offences like adultery, habitual drunkenness, cruelty, desertion, or a five-year separation before a divorce would be granted.[179] Abbott said that this would be a way of “providing additional recognition to what might be thought of as traditional marriage”.

Abbott opposes euthanasia. Addressing a 2009 Intelligence squared debate, he said, “Love, not death, is our obligation and our duty [to the sick]. I would be slow to judge anyone who helped the passage to death [who really needed it] … Let’s not make bad laws on hard cases.”

In his argument, he feared that legalised euthanasia could result in doctors avoiding complex responses and that there was, in some cases, a danger of unscrupulous relatives who might abuse the practice in the interests of gaining an inheritance.

In 2010, when Abbott told the ABC’s Q&A program that an Abbott-led government would not amend Australian law to recognise gay marriage, he said, “I certainly want to see – just a general principle. I want to see stable, committed relationships, but I do think that a marriage, by definition, is between a man and a woman.”


Abbott is a Roman Catholic. Prior to the 2013 Election, Abbott spoke of his religious outlook:

The Jesuits helped to instill in me this thought that our calling in life was to be… ‘a man for others’… I am a pretty traditional Catholic… I’m not an evangelical, a charismatic Christian, I’m not. I try to attend Mass, but I don’t get there every Sunday any more… Faith has certainly helped to shape my life, but it doesn’t in any way determine my politics…”.

— Tony Abbott on ABC TV’s Kitchen Cabinet; September 2013[33]

As a former Catholic seminarian, Abbott’s religiosity has come to national attention and journalists have often sought his views on the role of religion in politics.

According to John Warhurst from the Australian National University, academics have at times placed an “exaggerated concentration on the religious affiliation and personal religious background of just one of [the Howard government’s] senior ministers, Tony Abbott.”

Journalist Michelle Grattan wrote in 2010 that while Abbott has always “worn his Catholicism on his sleeve”, he is “clearly frustrated by the obsession with [it] and what might hang off that”.

Abbott says that a politician should not rely on religion to justify a political point of view:

We are all influenced by a value system that we hold, but in the end, every decision that a politician makes is, or at least should, in our society be based on the normal sorts of considerations. It’s got to be publicly justifiable; not only justifiable in accordance with a private view; a private belief.

— Tony Abbott on ABC TV’s Four Corners’, March 2010

Various political positions supported by Abbott have been criticised by church representatives, including aspects of Coalition industrial relations policy, asylum seeker and Aboriginal affairs policy. After criticisms of Liberal Party policy by clergy, Abbott has said, “The priesthood gives someone the power to consecrate bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. It doesn’t give someone the power to convert poor logic into good logic.”

Comment: I still reckon Tony Abbott is just another religious nut. But.. Looks like (for now) he is in control of my country..

See: API


2015-01-26 Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott under fire from Cabinet colleagues over decision to grant knighthood to Prince Philip

By political editor Chris Uhlmann, Updated 27 Jan 2015, 10:35am

Some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s most senior colleagues are bewildered, angered and dismayed by his decision to award an Australian knighthood to Prince Philip.

Prince Philip and former Defence Force chief Angus Houston were named Australia’s newest knights today, under an honours system reinstated by Mr Abbott last year.

Cabinet ministers have told the ABC the Prime Minister did not consult any of the leadership group before announcing the move.

Mr Abbott agreed it was a “captain’s call”, saying he consulted only with Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Order of Australia chairman Sir Angus.


The internet/public reacted as you would expect… (Here are some of the meme’s that I saw on the subject)

0 Add Comment

2014-12-27 Tony Abbott

Dear Tony Abbott/Malcolm Turnbull and gang, (Note: minor edit)

It’s been a year since I last wrote to you. I was very angry back then, but you’ll be pleased to hear that this letter is not being written in anger, but has much more of a triumphant tone than my previous correspondence.

The reason for this turn in my mood has everything to do with the reversal in your political fortunes over the previous 12 months.

You are incredibly unpopular

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, you are incredibly unpopular. Looking back at my grievances with you in the past, I can see that much of my frustration about your behaviour was born from the fact that you were so obviously getting away with being a complete wanker while still managing to be elected Prime Minister of Australia.

No matter how much I tried to tell people just how dangerous a prospect you were as a PM, and no matter how violently opposed I was to everything you stood for, the Australian voting public went ahead anyway and chose to eat shit because they didn’t like spinach, and I must admit I may have gone a little mad with the injustice of it all. But I feel better now because you’ve been exposed. And you’re done now Tony. You’re finished.

Character and Behaviour

Unfortunately the realisation that your character and your behaviour has finally caught up to you, hasn’t made up for the terror that you have inflicted on the Australian public during your first year as Prime Minister, and obviously won’t save us from the two years of terror we have to come. No matter what happens to your job Tony, your government is still ruined.

I assume you’re fairly concerned about the permanency of your position as Prime Minister in the short term, considering just how unpopular you are, not just with the voting public but also with your own colleagues.

Peta Credlin: Scapegoat or Doctor Evil?

You know as well as I do that the distraction of blaming Peta Credlin for all your faults can only last so long before those who used to support you start to question how it is that you either:

a) let Credlin make all your decisions for you and put words into your mouth considering you are meant to be the Prime Minister of Australia and capable of being the Prime Minister without a puppet-master controlling your every move,

or you

b) don’t let Credlin make all your decisions and instead make all the decisions yourself in which case the problem is with you and not Credlin and therefore you’re not capable of being the Prime Minister and should clearly be moved out of this job.

Lets play "Spotto the non corrupt liberal"

I’m predicting a couple more Newspolls and you’ll be facing one or both of these questions. But either way, the problem with your government Tony is that you’re all as bad as each other. I’ve given up playing the ‘which Liberal MP is the worst in the government’ game because every time I settle on a winner, another contender reminds us why they are indeed the worst, and in fact you’re all competing to be the worst every day as if you’re running a sweep for which there must be a sizeable prize as you’re all trying your very hardest to piss off the electorate to the point of total electoral demise.

It would be much more fun to watch this scene unfold if it wasn’t reeking such havoc on the fabric of my community in the meantime. But thankfully, the damage you are doing in the short term is just cementing in the minds of Australians an absolute determination never to let you or anyone like you anywhere near the job of Prime Minister ever again. So we can take the short term pain for the long term relief of you being a forgettable blip in an otherwise successful generation.

Gaffes vs Ideology

There’s one thing I want to make clear Tony. I’m not upset because members of your government are prone to ‘gaffes’, because I don’t think anything you or your other badly performing team members say are actually ‘gaffes’. A ‘gaffe’ is defined as ‘an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder’.

A gaffe would therefore be something you said that you didn’t really mean, which you could easily apologise for and could be written off as a mistake and something that would never happen again.

But no. It’s not just that the outrageous things you and your fellow Liberals have said are deeply offensive, and have helped Australia to get to know the true colours of you and your government, and to discover just how much we don’t want you running our country.

There are no accidental slip ups when Peta Credlin is feeding words into your ear, which you carefully recite, slowly, mechanically, repeatedly, eerily, nastily, and sometimes with a perverse, psychopathic, lip-linking grin. You say exactly what you mean, and more importantly, you follow through on exactly what you say.

So it’s not the sales pitch, the slogans, the sound bites, the ‘coal is good for humanity’, the ‘best thing I did for women was to repeal the Carbon Tax’, the ‘I’ll shirt-front President Putin, you bet I am, you bet you are’ memorable moments of your harrowing first year as Prime Minister.

Liberal Ideological Cultural War

No, it’s everything you and your team say, constantly, every day, backing up your actions; your nasty ideological agenda, your culture war, your assault on social services, your refusal to take responsibility and instead blame Labor response to everything, your policies, your interest only in the super-rich, your hatred of the disadvantaged, your attacks on health and education, your inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, your vandalism of the environment, your racism, your sexism, your mismanagement of the economy, your attack on unions and the jobs they support, your campaign to use fear to control us, your beating up of what you call ‘leaners’, your self-entitlement, the most unfair budget Australia has ever seen, it’s everything you have ever done.

So forget about looking at your message Tony. Forget about the words. Your problem isn’t that the ‘left’ has figured you out and has found the best way to exploit your weaknesses to our advantage. The problem isn’t the budget sales pitch, something you can solve by hiring one of your ABC supporters as your new media manager. No Tony, the problem is you.

The turd cannot be polished

The turd cannot be polished. We don’t like you and you keep digging the hole bigger. Scott Morrison as Social Services Minister? You’ve got to be fucking kidding Tony. If you think that’s going to fix things, you’re dumber than I thought. And that’s why it’s over for you. Your government will be voted out in 2016, with or without you as their leader. It’s over Tony. Australia doesn’t want you as our Prime Minister. Australia doesn’t want a Liberal government full of conservative fundamentalists. And there’s nothing you can do now to stop us correcting our mistake.

Yours sincerely, as always Victoria Rollison The AIMN Online Newspaper

0 Add Comment

2014-12-23 Tony Abbott

One day, during his morning walk, Tony Abbott drops dead. He arrives at the Pearly Gates, to be told by St Peter: “We seldom see a Liberal, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”

No problem, says Abbott. “Just let me in, I’m a good Christian.”

But St Peter tells him it’s not that simple. Under God’s new HEAVEN CHOICES policy, Abbott must spend one day in hell and one day in heaven before choosing where he’ll live for eternity. And with that, St Peter rings the bell, an elevator arrives, and down Abbott goes, non-stop, to hell.

However, when the doors open Abbott finds himself on a lush golf course. The sun is shining, the day is perfect, and standing in front of a beautiful clubhouse is Bob Menzies, John Howard, Billy McMahon, Billy Hughes, Gina Rheinhart, Frank and Kerry Packer, Bob Askin, Bob Santamaria, and many more. They all run to hug him and talk about the old times they had getting rich. They play a round of golf, have a lot of laughs, dine in the club on lobster and champagne, and are having such a good time that, before Abbott realises, it’s time to go.

Back in heaven, St Peter takes him inside where, for 24 hours, Abbott hangs out with a bunch of ordinary, good-natured people who enjoy each other’s company, eat simply, talk about things other than money and treat each other decently. Not a broken promise or short-arse joke among them, but what Abbott notices most is that he doesn’t see anybody he knows. The day over, Abbott tells St Peter: “Heaven has been delightful but I really think I belong in hell with my friends.”

So back into the elevator and down he goes, only this time when the doors open he’s surrounded by endless scorched earth covered with smog and filth, while all his friends are chained together in rags and are filling black drums with toxic waste. The Devil appears.

“I don’t understand,” stammers Abbott. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a clubhouse and I ate lobster and drank champagne with all my friends. We lazed around and had a great time. Now there’s just a wasteland and everybody is miserable!”

The Devil puts an arm around him, smiling, and says silkily: “Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us!”

0 Add Comment

2014-11-14 Tony Abbott

Is Tony Abbott a fraud? by Tony_Magrathea

I have sent the following to the Australian Federal Police report a Commonwealth crime web page, to the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives for their advice and action.

Anthony John Abbott was born in London on 4/11/57 to a British father.

He used his British citizenship to come to Australia on an assisted passage and again to enter Oxford as a British citizen.

He applied for Australian citizenship in 1981.

He entered parliament in 1994.

British Home Office

The British Home Office have been conducting an FOI request looking for a copy of Mr Abbotts form RN, that is the form used to renounce British citizenship. Being granted Australian citizenship does not automatically get rid of the British citizenship he used on at least two occasions for official British business. (assisted passage to leave the country and matriculation to Oxford University).

The Home Office have been looking unsuccessfully for about 6 weeks, their official legal time frame is I believe 20 days. They have not yet found a form RN for him.

Department of the Prime Minister

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Australia has been looking for his form RN for a similar amount of time.

I believe the search has stopped without finding the form and the FOI application given to Mr Abbotts chief of staff Peta Credlin to delay the process further.

Has Tony Abbott entered Parliament illegally?

Without a form RN Mr Abbott entered parliament in 1994 illegally.

The Australian constitution section 44 says “ 44. Any person who -

  • (i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: “

Dual nationality is considered an acknowledgement of allegiance and entitled to the privileges of citizenship of a foreign power disqualifies people from standing for parliament.

Mr Abbott stood for parliament knowing he still had dual nationality, Australian gained in 1981 and British from birth. The Australian Electoral Commission advised me Mr Abbott was considered appropriate to run for parliament because he was on the electoral roll and they do not check nationalities of candidates.

Will you please investigate and see if a crime has been committed?

Will you please investigate and dismiss Mr Abbott from parliament and recover all monies paid to him as salaries, superannuation, travel allowance, meal allowances, staff allowances, electorate office expenses, ministerial office expenses?

The Attorney Generals office need to be contacted to see if any ministerial decisions made by Mr Abbott are legal and if not they must be overturned as soon as possible.

There is no FOI proof that Mr Abbott has renounced his British citizenship. It seems he has stood for parliament on 8 occasions as a dual national, well aware that doing so is in contravention of the constitution. This goes beyond forgetfulness into the realms of possibly intent to defraud the Commonwealth.

The response from the Home Office. And the Peta Credlin letter, and here.

Channel 9 News is also covering the story and have started to ask questions, but still no one can find out the WHEN that the British citizenship was renounced.

My local newspaper the Sunshine Coast Daily is also covering the story here.
Zoom in on Image

Many concerned Australian citizens still wonder

A petition is up and running to ask Mr Abbott to show his renunciation papers here. Please sign the petition, the more people we get to sign, the bigger chance we have of getting the Prime Minister to show he is legitimate or not.

Editors Note: The writer has been called a “Birther” for pursuing this. Tony (the writer) says “Birther is rather a stupid thing to call someone who actually does have access to the facts and does know who was born when and where.”

But facts and blue ties have always been a problem for me, I mention facts to someone wearing a blue tie and the people seem to choke as the tie gets tighter.

The one truism to come out of our current government is that if you see blue ties, prepare for lies.

Some more blogs discussing the lack of a date are: Channel 9, the Sunshine Coast Daily and all of the associated APN papers, Independent Australia, oecmuse a very very good read, North Coast Voices.

Another good read.

@rrobbymiller has started a petition to have the Ombudsman examine the facts and to determine if there is anything untoward or illegal. its here.

The ABC show The Drum is calling for old laws to be ignored when it comes to Tony Abbott and his citizenship.This is extremely dangerous and something that should not be considered or condoned. According to them I am holding back parliament with my call for the law to be followed.

And the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, both Fairfax papers have also called this a birther rant. Strangely the Canberra Times hasn’t run with the story. And in that story a labour politician Tim Watts calls for the birthers to stop.

Mr Watts used to work for King Wood & Mallesons one of the top dozen or so law firms in the world. I would have thought a lawyer from a company like that would know how to check facts, look for the truth and ask questions. He is protecting the Prime Minster for some reason and I can only blindly stab as to why he might be doing that.

Zoom in on Image When I was looking in the National Archives of Australia at Mr Abbotts citizenship file it disappeared. It went secret and I don't really know why. I did get a screen capture of the file cover and that's about it.

And the screen capture of the assisted passage.

The fun thing about the assisted passage is that Mrs Abbott had to renounce her Australian citizenship to get the ten pound pom boat trip. And Tony Abbott claims citizenship by descent from a woman who renounced her citizenship,that may be legal I don't know. But it sure doesn't sound good. OR. She kept quiet and came across as Mrs Abbott on Mr Abbotts passport, as an Australian getting assisted passage she would be considered an illegal boat person and that would be deliciously ironic considering the almost racist policies Tony Abbott has brought in and condones.

Credlin's interference in the process

The letters below are from Peta Credlin. The first one details her intention to refuse any FOI application. The second is the actual FOI refusal. Very strange that the Prime Ministers Chief of Staff would become a clerk class 5 or 6 for just my FOI applications. The copies are poor because my scanner isn't working. The originals are not kept at my home, they are in a safe place. Copies are on multiple sites online.

For those who doubt that it might be fraud to enter parliament by signing the paperwork when not eligible, check this out.

Thanks to Jan Olson from Twitter who got this other FOI request, which seems to indicate the documents are missing or dont exist.

I have passed this blog on to Pravda which ran a story on our beloved PM.

Their President is coming to Australia and our budgie smuggler has promised to shirt front him. For me a shirt front is where you grab a collar in each hand and pull quickly to head butt.

I contacted the Australian Public Service Commission to ask if Mr Abbott's Chief of Staff, who I believe is employed as a Public Servant, has complied with all regulations in refusing to advise the Australian Federal Police of the possible fraud in Mr Abbott signing statutory declarations for the AEC on 8 occasions.

=== The Police do not want to know === I tried to contact the AFP yesterday,the @afpmedia team on twitter gave me the phone number of Queensland state police. Not quite the right police department let alone police force. The Queenslanders put me through to Canberra for the AFP and after about 8 different transfers I gave up. I tried ringing their direct line but got the same run around. So I sent off the 5th or 6th online report to the AFP.

I also sent off the third online report to the Governor General asking he investigate. The AFP have a problem because the Prime Minister sleeps in their dormitory instead of the official residence and the Governor General recently got a knighthood.

The NSW Police have informed me on twitter that it is a crime not to report an indictable offence. I wrote to Hon Bronwyn Bishop several months ago telling her of the possible crime of fraud and asking her to do all she could with regards to the crime. I have written again today, 21/10/14 reminding her of my letter and the NSW law. She did a 5 year course in law at University of Sydney and got her professional qualification from the Solicitors Admission Board after marriage so has no excuse for not knowing the law. Here's the letter.

The Attorney Generals Department have advised that they can not investigate alleged crimes by ministers of the government.

Personally I think that is just a lie and obviously party political. I contacted the AFP and they have advised now that the Department of Justice is the only one who can prosecute politicians.

Justice is part of the Attorney Generals Department so back to them. A letter to the Secretary And Deputy Secretary of the AG department and to the minister for Justice Mr Keenan.

The letter to David Frederic and Chris Moraitis was to complain about the public service run around and the blatantly political decision to not process my original letters and in the hope they would monitor what was happening with the letter to Mr Keenan.

Zoom in on Image
Zoom in on Image
Zoom in on Image
Zoom in on Image

No one wants to know

This blog is a sequential record of how things happen, or when I remember to write about how things happen. That’s why early on I say the Home Office cant find the forms and then I say I received a refusal to answer.

I also found out form speaking with a British Civil Servant that Mr William Hague, then head of the Foreign Office jumped over to the Home Office to block my request. Very observant of him or asked to by political buddies in Australia? I will never know for sure. I do know Mr Hague is no longer in the Foreign Office.

The first FOI to me from Peta Credlin was a flat refusal to answer. The second one for Jan Olson was a “ we cant find it “ the second one they followed the FOI rules and looked in all the proper places and the paperwork isn’t there.

I have complained to the Australian Public Service Commission about Peta Credlin. If she is a public servant she was wrong to block the FOI request and wrong to become FOI officer for the day. If she is political she is covering up a crime and probably committed a crime in doing the job of a public servant in blocking the FOI request, and I have asked the APSC to check on that. The second FOI for Jan was done after my complaint about Credlin so everything had to be done legally as far as the FOI laws are concerned.

A Farcebooker Adriaan de Leeuw advised I contact the British courts to get a writ of mandamus. I have and thank you for the advice Adriaan. I sent this to the clerk of the courts this morning :-

I have been advised to apply for a writ of mandamus ordering the Permanent secretary of the British Home Office to present it to a Judge, on the basis that a person born in Great Britain will not show his Form RN, proof of his renunciation of British citizenship and he may be holding a position he is not entitled to under a law of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s Government, the constitution of Australia Act 1900.

Please note that as the original constitution act was an act of British Parliament a court in Britain has the right to demand his Form RN, also note that if there is no form RN to be found then he is by definition still a British Citizen! For Citizenship to be extinguished there is the absolute need and requirement for that act to have been a free and provable! If the Home office cannot produce the document, a ruling on his Citizenship should be made in relation to current precedents.

So how do I go about this? Is writing to the clerk of the courts sufficient and if so, could you please forward this email. If not, what is the procedure? My blog on the matter covers all documentation we can find”

I have re-emailed Mr Heerey, the commissioner of the Australian Electoral Commission asking him to investigate the possible crime of fraud. He has just returned from leave so I emailed his QC chambers and asked them to forward to him.

Zoom in on Image
Unfortunately the AFP and myself are at odds, I assumed they would be as interested as I am in the crime of fraud perpetrated by the Prime Minister. Sadly no. The latest from them is this:-

They seem to have not bothered asking Mr Abbott to look at his renunciation papers.They have seen election, constitution and citizenship and said, 'Allo 'Allo, he's been an Australian all along. I have asked them to reconsider and if they think I am vexatious please charge me so I can subpoena the documents as evidence in a court case.
Jan Olson who got the FOI report stating there is no renunciation paperwork in the PMs office was arrested in Parliament House for daring to ask the PM if he had indeed renounced his British citizenship. Jan was carted off and had wrists severely slapped. The story is here.

I have been phoning politicians offices here and in the UK to try and get someone to take notice. I have come to the conclusion the only way to get in touch with an MP is to hand write a letter and post it in an envelope, Bic and Lick. Emails,twitters,facebook posts are all secreted and segregated by staffers and probably censored and binned too. Not much gets through to them except the Bic and Lick letters.

To those sending pennies, thank you, very much appreciated and very humbling.

I am missing something very basic about how to report crimes,that can be the only reason our Federal Police and Attorney Generals Department refuse to even look at the British citizenship side of things. AG doesnt bother responding,I am still waiting on letters to the actual heads of the department to be replied to. As for the police?

They have said on several occassions there is no problem, Mr Abbott is an Australian citizen. HELLO! The whole problem is that he is still British or was when he entered parliament. There are no British citizenship renunciation papers, the FOI from Jan Olson show that.

Tangent time. I have lodged a crime stoppers report with the Tasmanian police. One of their senators has a well known run in with the constitution, the High Court and the dates of his renunciation. The only thing that didn’t happen in 2010 were charges pressed for fraud.

I guess fatigue had set in with John Hawkins. John if you read this can you email me or message me on twitter or facebook to see if you considered fraud please. The Abetz wiki says very clearly he renounced his German nationality on 9/3/2010 and that was confirmed to the Hobart Mercury.

I asked his office to confirm the dates are correct, no reply. Might have to try a Bic an Lick for him and ask again? Unsurprisingly the Mercury story is not online, or I couldn’t find it. I did write to them, but they too ignore me. If the Taswegian police do look at fraud then that might be the way to go with Ol’Blue Ties.

I queried earlier if Ms Credlin was a public servant or not and could she act as a FOI clerk if she wasn't a public servant. I got this reply this morning, from Robert McMahon. Wonder if that's Billy's boy? Anyway, the response says she is not a public servant but has been given special permission to do FOIs.

I have asked the police in Queensland if Senator Brandis' reluctance to pass details of the fraud crime on to the authorities is itself a crime under our law. Google tells me it might be under the Criminal Code 132 it might be, or indeed under 133.

I should point out at this time I am not a lawyer and the only legal training was a law 101 unit at the University of New England. Most laws are written in plain English and I use plain English comprehension when reading them. If a law relies on my being an ordinary or reasonable person,I like to think I qualify for that too.

Zoom in on Image

NSW Minister for Police

The NSW Minister for Police a Mr Ayres, was asked via twitter if Mr Baird, the NSW Premier, had relayed to him details of the Abbott fraud given to Mr Baird by myself.

Zoom in on Image
And just in this morning, the AFP have advised they will not be taking any new evidence in the Abbott fraud case. The case is closed permanently.

The new evidence was the FOI from Jan - the one where Assistant Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet confirms the renunciation papers DO NOT EXIST. Imagine an American cop show or movie where the coppers refused to accept further evidence, they would last minutes. Imagine the back packer murders case, someone went missing and the file was closed, not further evidence was allowed. Guess who runs the AFP - politically, George Brandis.

Robert McMahon Assistant Secretary of the Parliament and Government Branch of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet declared "I have decided to refuse the request under section 24A(1)(b)(ii) of the FOI Act" and that says quite simply and succinctly does not exist

How did we get here?

We are now in a frightening stage of Australia heading towards political danger, our police force is now beholden to the government. Did Brandis stop the AFP accepting new evidence/ Was Commissioner Colvin made aware of the evidence, the email was addressed to him and if he did see it did he stop accepting further evidence as payback for being promised the new homeland security gig? I am now afraid as an Australian and as someone writing this blog. If you can, please copy the blog and keep in as many places as possible.

When I write to MPs I now ask if they will be allowed to read the email or letter or do staff censor and segregate letters. Got this from Senator Milne the Greens leader and senator in Tasmania. Senator Milne is not blocked by her staff from reading e-mails from constituents. You must understand that the very large number of e-mails she receives each day [upwards of 400 items per day] makes it impossible for her to attend to each item individually. Hence, like most prominent MPs, and all Party Leaders, she relies on someone like myself to deal with them on her behalf. Please be assured however that she is always interested to hear of the matters raised by constituents and is kept very well briefed on their views.

Senator Milne is aware of the allegations regarding the Prime Minister’s citizenship and subsequent eligibility to sit in the Australian Parliament. She is currently seeking advice regarding the situation with a view to determining what, if any, action it may be appropriate to initiate in response to it.

Pleasing to know she does get interested in what is sent to her and is looking at this problem.

AEC dont want to know

Paul Pirani, the chief legal officer at the Australian Electoral Commission has replied to me stating that the AEC does not recognise fraud under the crimes act. That a candidate can do and say anything to the AEC and it doesn’t matter. Very surprising considering the Commissioner is Hon Peter Heerey QC. Yes a Queens council, barrister, law officer of the highest standing. But fraud doesn’t matter. If I committed fraud I would be in court straight away,but because someone has said they are a candidate for parliament, the place where laws are written, they can lie and scheme and commit fraud to get into the place. Here’s the reply -

Dear Mr Magrathea, I refer to your email of 4 November 2014 addressed to the Chairman of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), the Hon Peter Heerey AM QC, in which you have raised a concern about the qualifications of the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, to stand as a candidate for a federal election. I have been asked to reply to your email on behalf of Mr Heerey. The issue raised in your email relates to the disqualification of candidates under section 44 of the Constitution. Section 44(i) of the Constitution provides, in part, that: “Any person who: * (i) is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.” The AEC administers the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) in relation to the conduct of federal elections. The AEC does not administer the Constitution as is made clear by the Administrative Arrangements Order made by the Governor-General. The administration of the Constitution is the responsibility of the Attorney-General’s Department. Accordingly, the AEC is not in a position to disqualify any candidates due to the operation of section 44 of the Constitution. The AEC is subject to the requirements of the Electoral Act. Section 172 of the Electoral Act sets out the only grounds upon which the AEC is able to reject a nomination of a candidate. Those grounds do not include any possible disqualification of a candidate under the Constitution. I note that the candidate nomination form that is required to be lodged with the AEC prior to the close of nominations for a Member of the House of Representatives includes a declaration that must be completed and includes the following: “I, the candidate named above, state that: · I am an Australian citizen Yes [ ] No [ ] · I am at least 18 years of age Yes [ ] No [ ] · I am an elector or qualified to be an elector Yes [ ] No [ ] · I am not, by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution, Yes [ ] No [ ] incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a Member of the House of Representatives and I declare that: · I am qualified under the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth to be elected as a Member of the House of Representatives; · I am not, and do not intend to be, a candidate in any other election to be held on the same day as the election to which the above nomination relates; · I consent to act as a Member of the House of Representatives for the above Division if elected.” A similar declaration is contained in the nomination form for Senate candidates. The making of a false declaration is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code Act 1995. However, there is no legal requirement that a candidate is to provide the AEC with evidence of their citizenship status to support their nomination. There is also a further offence contained in the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act 1975 which imposes a $200 per day penalty for a Member of Parliament who sits in the Parliament while they are disqualified. The issue of any disqualification of a candidate due to the operation of section 44 of the Constitution is a matter that can only be determined by the Court of Disputed Returns after the conduct of any election. The AEC has produced a publication entitled Constitutional Disqualification and Intending Candidates which can be accessed at: I specifically draw your attention to paragraph 39 of this publication which states that: “In 1997, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs considered the role of the AEC in advising intending candidates on s. 44 of the Constitution, and concluded that: The Committee agrees that the AEC should have no role in giving legal advice to candidates. The Committee recognises that the AEC’s role in running elections must be protected from any criticism that it has given wrong advice. The Committee appreciates that AEC officials have no role in going behind a candidate’s declaration that he or she is eligible to stand.” Further, the AEC notes that the mere fact that a person was born overseas does not mean that they hold dual citizenship or will be in breach of section 44 of the Constitution. This is made clear by the comments of the High Court in Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30. As the matters raised in your letter involve allegations of criminal conduct, the onus of proof would rest on the prosecution to prove the offence beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Abbott would not be required to prove that he was so eligible or that he was required to take some action to renounce United Kingdom citizenship. Accordingly, the argument raised in your email is inherently flawed. The inability of the UK government to locate a form RN does not provide any evidence that could be used as the basis to mount criminal action. Accordingly, the AEC is unable to take action in this matter as requested in your email. I trust that the above information clearly explains the position of the AEC on this matter. Yours sincerely Paul Pirani Chief Legal Officer

I did ask he review his decision because the Prime Ministers own Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have confirmed he is still a dual national and hasn’t renounced his British citizenship. How far does this cover up and corruption go?

“Further, the AEC notes that the mere fact that a person was born overseas does not mean that they hold dual citizenship or will be in breach of section 44 of the Constitution. This is made clear by the comments of the High Court in Sue v Hill [1999] HCA 30. As the matters raised in your letter involve allegations of criminal conduct, the onus of proof would rest on the prosecution to prove the offence beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Abbott would not be required to prove that he was so eligible or that he was required to take some action to renounce United Kingdom citizenship. Accordingly, the argument raised in your email is inherently flawed. The inability of the UK government to locate a form RN does not provide any evidence that could be used as the basis to mount criminal action.” Accordingly, the AEC is unable to take action in this matter as requested in your email. Yours sincerely Paul Pirani Chief Legal Officer

My response:-

Proof he has British citizenship is in the letter from Oxford University in that he matriculated there as a British citizen. Add that to the fact the FOI from the PM&C states that the renunciation papers do not exist and he is still a British citizen.

You have proof he was born in England and that at the age of 23 or so when he entered Oxford that he was still a British citizen, the facts seem pretty conclusive

Ongoing saga.

Another reply

Mr Magrathea, Your assertions as to what was said in the FOI response does not match with what I have seen in the public domain. The letter to you from Ms Credlin apparently stated that the document “was not an official document of a Minister” and as such it was not subject to the application of the FOI Act. If this is the case then of course the Department would not have a copy in their possession and would therefore refuse a request under section 24A of the FOI Act. To mount any criminal action you will need to provide positive evidence that Mr Abbott is and was a UK citizen at the time he signed each candidate declaration. Nothing in the material that you have provided contains any prima facie evidence to support your allegations. Yours sincerely Paul Pirani | Chief Legal Officer

My response yet again

The FOI that was in the email to you on 4/11/2014. the one you responded to - The Credlin FOI was purely a political decoy by his pet Chief of Staff. The real FOI and the proof that the renunciation documents do not exist come from Robert McMahan.

I complained to the department of PM&C about Ms Credlin becoming an FOI clerk whenever I contacted them, during the investigation into if she could act, Jan Olson lodged an FOI request, the link to it is here and was in the email of 4/11/14.

The Credlin foi response may yet get her in court and are meaningless drivel to act as a poltical decoy. It seems to have worked with you. The real FOI signed by Mr McMahon is the only FOI worth anything at all. and the one that proves the renunciation papers dont exist.I have been at this long enough to know never believe anything Credlin says.


Public domain

Mr Abbott was born in England to a British father which under their law is automatic British citizenship.

Oxford university have written explaining he matriculated there as a British citizen.

He got Australian citizenship in 1981 to get the dollars for Rhodes. His public service staff at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet completed an FOI request declaring that the renunciation paperwork for his British citizenship do not exist.

Born British,still British at Oxford in 1981 and in 2014 his Assistant Secretary of Parliament and Government branch of PM&C states unequivocally that the renunciation paperwork does not exist.

Perhaps you can run it past the Commissioner of the AEC who is an actual barrister and see what he thinks?

My original blog was a subject of a denial of service attack, no one could access it to read it so I moved the blog here. And in the moving it seems the letter from Oxford confirming his British Citizenship when he matriculated there seems to have gone missing.

Zoom in on Image

I have lodged a Crime Stoppers report with the ACT police, the report says this:- Mr Abbott was born in the UK to a British father.Under British law this gives him automatic British citizenship.

In 1981 he matriculated to Oxford university as a British citizen. In 1981 he applied for and got Australian citizenship to comply with the Rhodes Trust and to get the dollars from the scholarship.

In 1994 and on 7 subsequent occasions he signed a false declaration for the Australian electoral commission stating he complied with the laws of the land with regard to dual nationality. In 2014 his Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet confirmed he has not renounced his British citizenship through an FOI request.

FOI request is at

letter from Oxford is attached

He is a dual national on every occasion he stood for parliament, he signed false declarations for the AEC on each occasion. Elections in March 1994, March 1996,October 1998, November 2001,October 2004, November 2007, August 2010, September 2013.

What did Jan Olsen say in Parliament?

Ross Jones from Independent Australia Media has come up with another beauty about the Abbott saga. What exactly did Jan Olson say in parliament house?

Why were they so quick to evict her? Was it really because of her FOI?

The one that proves the renunciation papers do not exist. I think I mentioned earlier that I lodged a complaint with the Australian Public Service Commissioner asking if Peta Credlin was a public servant or political appointment, and if she was political could she become FOI clerk for a day when she knocked back my request.

While that was in the process of being adjudicated Jan Olson lodged her FOI, totally unknown to each other, the request was a pure coincidence and at the very exactly right time to get a real public servant to do the job properly. Again goodonya Jan and sorry about your eviction. You join a pretty select list of people who have been thrown out of parliament.

Pravda, that famous Russian newspaper has published a story about Tony Abbott. It’s here.

The silence has been deafening.Every labour MP clammed up yesterday,normally chatty they just stopped.Seems its party policy to keep Abbott in government, defintiely better for their (labour) polls to have an idiot in charge, but he is also a criminal. Parliament House in Canberra lists all MPs and shows if they have a twitter account or not. I twittered every labour MP asking why they are keeping a criminal in the job of Prime Minister.

Letters to the editor for the Herald Sun and The Age, both Melbourne papers, advising labour voters to ask why their party wants to protect Abbott. I doubt they will publish, but you never know.

Illegal boat people. Or not. I wrote to the Department of Immigration and concentration camps asking if Mrs Abbott came to Australia on the Oronsay as an Australian citizen or a British citizen. The answer was they couldn’t say a thing because of privacy concerns. Fair enough, so I asked them to provide information about the laws back then, I have been unable to find anything relating to if an Australian citizen could come back to Australia on an assisted passage migration scheme. Just more interest for the whole gamut of Abbottisms. They will get back to me.

3 December 2014, about 10am. Rang Senator Ian Macdonalds office and was told they know Mr Abbott has dual nationality but didn’t think it was illegal. Isn’t that interesting.

They know he is a dual national and does nothing about it.

Matthew from Senator Macdonalds Office rang me and accused me of lying. I have been working on this for 14 months, why on earth would I lie just to get a bite from a second rate senators staffer somewhere in Queensland? Matthew, I am not a liar.


0 Add Comment

2014-06-29 Tony Abbott

Have you ever experienced a more heartless politician? Some may argue (rightly so) that Morrison is more heartless. Some may also argue that the whole LNP Ideology is heartless. I have no answer for why the LNP are intent on creating a heartless society. But intent they are.

It doesn’t seem to matter to the LNP however many people march in the streets against this unnecessary budget. The LNP continues in it’s unwanted ideology against all opposition.

It matters not that leading economists have cast doubts over ‘budget emergency’ claims.


“SAUL ESLAKE: The truth in my view is that the budget deficit in prospect for 2014/15, prior to this week, was 2 per cent of GDP with public debt in the range of 14 per cent of GDP. That’s worse than it should have been; that’s worse than the previous government had let on, but it hardly amounted to a crisis or an emergency.”

“SAUL ESLAKE: The real problem that the Government inherited was the sharp increase in the budget deficits and in spending in 2017/18, the year after the forward estimates of the last Labor budget and, correctly in my view, most of the thrust of the measures in the budget are directed at the period 2017/18 and beyond. That’s where the problem was.”

Who is Saul Eslake? He is Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief economist.


All that matters is that many thousands of Australians are going to be hurt with this outrageously unnecessary, unwanted, and totally heartless budget.

The blame cannot be simply levelled towards Tony Abbott either. The whole LNP support this ideological stance.

A Royal Commission into Political Parties needs to be held in this country. Terms of reference should simply be “Corruption”.

Everybody knows that the Left and the Right of politics would be undone by a Royal Commission into political corruption.

Perhaps political parties would need to be held accountable for their actions and their members would need to be fined for each day of sitting unlawfully. (as per the Australian Constitution)


“44. Any person who - (v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.”

and the penalty?


“46. Until the Parliament otherwise provides, any person declared by this Constitution to be incapable of sitting as a senator or as a member of the House of Representatives shall, for every day on which he so sits, be liable to pay the sum of one hundred pounds to any person who sues for it in any court of competent jurisdiction.”

So every citizen of Australia should sue each member of parliament that is also a member of a political party..

Lets see how that works out for them..


0 Add Comment

2014-02-17 Tony Abbott

Legend Confronts Tony Abbott - SHAME TONY SHAME

Published on 5 Mar 2013

What a legend…. Bringing up real points.. NOT losing his cool…. did NOT swear once.. and got back to point EVERYTIME !!


Local Copy:

0 Add Comment

2013-12-05 Tony Abbott


Posted on Tuesday, 16 March 2004

ADELAIDE UNIVERSITY DEMOCRATIC CLUB IN HONOUR OF JAMES MCAULEY Tuesday, 16 March 2004 Professor James McAuley, the founding editor of Quadrant magazine, was one of Australia’s greatest poets, most notable public intellectuals and most prominent converts to Catholicism.

In the late 1960s, he helped begin the Peace with Freedom movement which was a response to the relativism, nihilism and defeatism of Vietnam War era Australian campuses. The main product of Peace with Freedom was a series of university Democratic Clubs comprising students prepared to defend and justify the West’s high culture of reason suffused with faith.

McAuley’s life focussed on Sydney (where he was born and grew up), Hobart (where he was professor of English) and PNG (which he visited many times in the 1940s and 50s as a lecturer in the School of Pacific Administration). As co-author of the celebrated Ern Malley hoax, he punctured the modernist pretensions of one of Adelaide’s most notable identities.

More than a quarter century after his death, his legacy remains contentious, with Cassandra Pybus’ revisionist psycho-biography winning the Adelaide Festival prize just a few years ago. Adelaide University contains its quota of academics for whom the Berlin Wall never really fell so is a fitting place to honour his memory, defend his legacy and try to revive the Democratic Clubs he helped to found.

The Democratic Clubs had few members and little money (despite the logistical support of the National Civic Council). What they had, in abundance, was strong ideas about the rights and wrongs of campus intellectual and organisational life and a determination to campaign for the things they believed in. In

1978, the activities of the Sydney University Democratic Club included: arranging a student lecture by British morals campaigner Mary Whitehouse (and copping the putrescent missiles meant for her when she didn’t turn up, on police advice); organising the occupation and counter-occupation of the Students Representative Council office after the outgoing marxist-oriented SRC tried to obstruct the incoming more conservative SRC; writing and distributing a weekly campus newsletter; and campaigning for voluntary membership of student political organisations.

The Democratic Clubs were part of a grand coalition of activist groups which eventually destroyed the far-left Australian Union of Students and which were the political nursery of future MPs such as Peter Costello, Eric Abetz, Michael Danby and Michael Yabsley.

Above all, Democratic Club activists had a sense of mission. It was our duty to identify the errors of the age and to do what we could to change them. As someone who moved from anarchist/libertine, to reluctant participant in the war effort, to religious searcher and finally trenchant advocate of traditional values, McAuley was a fitting Democratic Club patron – although conservative student activists could hardly match his refinement of feeling, the subtlety of his intellectual endeavour or the depth and intensity of his youthful participation in the counter-culture.

Once fully embraced, religious faith became the bedrock and inspiration of McAuley’s life. He lived a kind of lay vocation: to give glory to God through his poetry and to defend the religiously inspired traditions of western culture.

Faith and culture provided armour against the torment to which great artists seem prone. One of his best known poems, written at a time of one political disaster after another, was ostensibly addressed to BA Santamaria and the other soldiers of the Industrial Groups but also to the doubt verging on despair he felt about a Church he had joined just as it was losing its way: …

Soon you must return to tasks That sicken and appal: The calumnies will never cease, Look only to the sign of peace, The Cross upon the wall…

In a famous letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, prompted by Dr Evatt’s 1954 attack on an allegedly disloyal Catholic minority inside the ALP, McAuley defended both the religious inspiration and the political campaign of the Santamaria “Movement”: “If Catholics, seeking to join forces with others of good will in the work of the Industrial Groups, try to avoid obtruding themselves as an organised Catholic bloc…they are accused of a secret conspiracy to capture the Labour movement for dark ends…

If they are willing, not only to fight Communism but to remove the corruption and maladministration which has given the Communists their chance…they are journalistically labelled ‘fanatical’ and placed on the extreme ‘right-wing’…

On the other hand, if they do not fight Communism, do not seek to remedy corruption, betray no interest in Papal social teachings and lend themselves to the breaking up of the anti-Communist alliance, they are rewarded with the label ‘devout Catholic’ and are politically ‘moderate’.”

This charge of corrupting politics with religion is still being made 50 years on. The Leader of the Opposition, as he subsequently became, declared (during the 2002 human cloning debate) that it’s “a bit rich for the Catholic Church to be lecturing the parliament on morality…

People are living in fear of what is happening to young, innocent children at the hands of the Catholic Church”, Mark Latham said, “yet the hierarchy adopts a pious sanctimonious status where they want to lecture others about family and moral issues”.

On another occasion, the Member for Werriwa attacked Lyons Forum MPs as “a group of fundamentalists with a Bible in the top drawer and a Hustler magazine and a box of tissues in their bottom drawer”.

What Latham has missed, in his eagerness to prove guilt by association against his opponents, is the part Christianity has played in establishing the civil discourse he now says is necessary.

It’s not surprising that civil institutions seeking to guarantee freedom under the law should first have been established in Christian cultures. As with most religions, “love God” is the first Christian commandment but co-equal is the commandment to “love your neighbour as you love yourself”.

“Treat others as you would have them treat you” is the basic rule of any Christian society. From this, the principles of representative democracy, equality before the law, freedom of speech and respect for minorities naturally flow.

Athenian democracy predated Christianity but Greek philosophy permeates the Epistles of the New Testament which describe the first attempts to live according to Christian principles. Despite the debt that political institutions owe to the West’s Christian heritage, there is the constant claim that Christians in politics are confused about the separation of church and state.

There’s also a tendency among Christians in the community to think that Christians in politics have to sell out their principles in order to survive. Christian politicians are often warding off simultaneous accusations that they are zealots or fakes.

The public caricature of a Christian politician is hypocrite or wuss, in denial about the ruthlessness and expediency necessary to wield power or too sanctimonious to be effective. On the other hand, as the (usually misplaced) respect shown to greens and independents suggests, there’s a public hunger for leaders who don’t measure success solely by the size of GDP.

A Christian politician faces the double test of not only being an effective politician but also being a credible Christian. A Christian life means constantly striving – and constantly failing – to be more like Jesus. It means giving others the benefit of the doubt; seeing the good in opponents; hiding one’s own light under a bushel; forgiving people not once but seven times seventy; and being ambitious for the higher things rather than the higher office.

This is not easy for anyone but is especially hard to reconcile with the hyper-partisan culture of Australian politics. Still, these are not religious values but the very best human values and those with a vocation for politics would scarcely be better Christians for shunning the challenge.

Christians in public life can’t complain when others take particular delight in their moral failings. Australians have finely honed humbug detectors. Even so, does any one really think that the world would be better without the Church seeking to draw out the “better angels of our nature”?

Over the centuries, Christian rulers and Christian warriors have frequently fallen short of Christian ideals but faith in a higher power and respect for enduring values remains the best inoculation against pride, arrogance, brutality and contempt for others.

Christian faith has manifestly not produced perfect human beings nor solved all the problems of the world but for 2000 years it has helped to tame the beast in the heart of man. Religious faith is not necessary for a life of compassion, forbearance, forgiveness, mercy and love but the comparative lack of humanist missionaries in the most impoverished corners of the third world or rationalist hospitals in the worst war zones suggests that it certainly does help.

So, what makes a “Christian politician”: Is it writing “Christian” on the census form; going to church on Sunday; or asking the local bishop how to vote on legislation? If God really exists and religious faith really means something, there should be no such thing as “Sunday Christians”.

Christian politicians cannot check their faith into the parliamentary cloakroom and be otherwise indistinguishable from everyone else. Still, modern society is not a community of believers and the parliament is not the place to make rules for one.

Hilaire Belloc once said that becoming a Catholic provided the answers to a thousand questions and got them all right. This attitude might explain why the champion debater and master of Christian apologetics was such a failure in the house of commons because something justifiable by revelation alone shouldn’t be part of the political debate.

Rendering to God the things that are God’s has never prevented Christians from giving to Ceasar the things that are rightfully his. A Christian politician should be notable, not for expertise in divine law which is accessible only to believers but for commitment to the natural law which should be accessible to all people of goodwill.

Cardinal Newman once said that if Catholicism and truth appear to be at odds, it’s not really Catholicism, it’s not really true, or there’s no real conflict. He was making the point that religious faith does not require people to reject human reason. The truths revealed by faith complement the truths revealed by reason. They don’t contradict them.

There is much that Christians have to accept on faith but nothing to stop them accepting with equal assurance the truths of science and human wisdom. The doctrine of the virgin birth, for instance, requires Catholics to believe that Jesus was conceived without sin – not to doubt the ordinary rules of biology.

Christians are not required to believe in religious magic just that there are reasons which reason cannot know. Although it was clearly transcendental truth to which the Gospel writer was referring when Jesus said “know the truth and the truth will set you free”, there’s no sense in the Gospels of compelling people to believe or forcing people to be free.

Jesus drove the traders from the temple because they were profaning a sacred place, not because they’d argued over theology. The only instance of anything resembling coercion in the Gospels is when one of the party arresting Jesus has his ear sliced off – and the perpetrator was the impulsive Peter not Jesus.

Between Constantine and the counter-reformation, Catholicism was frequently compulsory but, these days, the Vatican supports the right to religious freedom as ferociously as it affirms the truths of the faith.

A “Doctrinal Note on the Participation of Catholics in Political Life”, which the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued in late 2002, states that the “autonomy of the political or civil sphere from that of religion and the Church – but not from that of morality – is a value which has been attained and recognised by the Catholic Church and belongs to the inheritance of contemporary civilisation”.

Although the document notes that Catholics cannot lead parallel private and public lives, one governed by the rules of the Church and the other ruled by the spirit of the age, it also states that the Pope has warned many times against the confusion of the religious and political spheres. “Extremely sensitive situations arise when a specifically religious norm…becomes the law of a state”, the documents says. “In practice, the identification of religious law with civil law can stifle religious freedom even going so far as to restrict or deny inalienable human rights”.

Catholic politicians, in other words, should live in accordance with faith, hope and charity but try to ensure that the civic order reflects prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice – the universal virtues first elaborated by Aristotle. The problem with laws allowing doctors to kill the terminally ill is not that they offend Church teaching but that they are contrary to human wisdom.

There is a fundamental difference between relieving pain (which is simple humanity) and ending life (which is contrary to the pre-Christian Hippocratic injunction to do no harm). Withdrawing treatment from people who would otherwise be dead is fundamentally different from killing people who would otherwise be alive.

Christian revelation was not necessary to form the view that the Northern Territory euthanasia law converted human beings into disposable commodities to be put down when old, useless or in pain. It seems that a strong majority of MPs, of whom many were not Catholic and some not Christian, wondered whether the point of these laws was not so much to ease the pain of the dying (for whom anaesthesia is available) but to ease the pain of their relatives who can’t be anaesthetised against the mystery and terror of death.

The problem with laws allowing experimentation with embryos is not that they are contrary to Church teaching but that they don’t show the ordinary respect due to human life. An embryo may not literally be a human being but it certainly has the potential to become one and therefore deserves a better fate than to expire in a beaker or be experimented upon like a laboratory animal.

The fact that most test-tube embryos will eventually be allowed to “succumb”, persuaded, it seems, a parliamentary majority that they might as well be put to some good use. Confronted with two unpalatable and unavoidable options, it’s morally permissible to choose the lesser evil but not to choose the lesser evil when no choice is necessary.

Christian faith is not an essential pre-condition for serious worry about where this type of tilitarianism might lead.

The problem with the contemporary Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience. Aborting a first trimester foetus is not morally identical to deliberately killing a living human being but it’s not just removing a wart or a cyst either.

Even those who think that abortion is a woman’s right should be troubled by the fact that 100,000 Australian women choose to destroy their unborn babies every year. What does it say about the state of our relationships and our values that so many women (and their husbands, lovers and families) feel incapable of coping with a pregnancy or a child?

To a pregnant 14 year old struggling to grasp what’s happening, a senior student with a whole life mapped out or a mother already failing to cope under difficult circumstances, abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations.

What seems to be considered far less often is avoiding situations where difficult choices might arise. Our society has rightly terrified primary school children about the horrors of smoking but seems to take it for granted that adolescents will have sex despite the grim social consequences of teenage single parenthood.

If half the effort were put into discouraging teenage promiscuity as into preventing teenage speeding, there might be fewer abortions, fewer traumatised young women and fewer dysfunctional families. Why isn’t the fact that 100,000 women choose to end their pregnancies regarded as a national tragedy approaching the scale (say) of Aboriginal life expectancy being 20 years less than that of the general community?

No one wants to recreate the backyard abortion clinic (or to stigmatise the millions of Australians who have had abortions or encouraged others to do so) but is it really so hard to create a culture where people understand that actions have consequences and take responsibilities seriously?

As a local MP, I am regularly challenged over the Government’s policy on the detention of boat people. “How can you live with yourself as a Catholic”, the argument runs, “when your government treats women and children with such cruelty?”

When it comes to lobbying local politicians, there seems to be far more interest in the treatment of boat people, which is not morally black and white, than in the question of abortion which is. Oddly enough, no local Christian has ever asked me how, as a Catholic, I can preside over a Medicare system which funds 75,000 abortions a year. I fear there is no satisfactory answer to this question.

Christians are not required to right every wrong. Christian politicians are not required to promote policies for which there is no constituency. As it happens, the Government gives nearly $1 million a year to “pro-life” family planning groups (but $13 million to “pro-choice” groups) and provides a quarter of a million dollars to the Federation of Pregnancy Support Services.

Still, as a gesture of support for traditional values, this lacks even the drama of King Baudoin of Belgium’s abdication for a day rather than sign an abortion bill into law.

In numerous important ways, the Howard Government has not been a creature of the zeitgeist. The Government has facilitated the parliamentary overthrow of the Northern Territory’s assisted suicide law, banned human cloning, stopped the ACT heroin trial, backed the Catholic bishops’ challenge to lesbian IVF, singled out stay-at-home mums for extra financial assistance, generously helped religious schools and, most recently, sought to allow Catholic schools to offer scholarships to male teachers.

Even so, as a measure of the moral health of our society, 100,000 terminated babies is a statistic which offers no comfort at all. These days, there are two broad types of “Christian in politics”.

There’s the Christian MP who seeks to reinforce ethical values and the Christian MP who’s keen to promote the “social Gospel”. The latter tends to be far less concerned about criminal behaviour, for instance, than the poor social conditions which allegedly cause it.

This type of Christian is more interested in what governments can do for people than in what people might do for each other. In essence, the social Gospel seems to mean that Christians’ charitable obligations should largely be taken over by government.

In the hands of some Christian activists, Jesus’ admonition to the rich young ruler to sell all he had and give the money to the poor has become a political imperative for governments. Paradoxically, Christians of this sort are less likely to be labelled religious bigots than those who stress the Ten Commandments, even though they are attempting to apply in public life the theological virtue of charity rather than the natural virtue of justice.

Individuals giving away their fortunes inspire others to lead more selfless lives. Governments increasing social security benefits can easily discourage people from thrift and responsibility. Heroic virtue in an individual can be monumental folly in a government. Perhaps this is what Napoleon meant when he said he’d rather be governed by a wise Muslim than a foolish Christian.

It’s easy to confuse the Christian calling of individuals with the public duty of governments. Love is a fine guide for individuals but folly for governments. It’s a niggardly individual who only gives others their due but an unfair government which does otherwise.

Still, confused thinking about how to help the vulnerable is better than none at all. The sense that things aren’t right and that every person has a duty to make a difference is at the heart of the Christian calling and helps to explain the relative strength and solidarity of countries like ours.

For Christian politicians, McAuley offers a final consoling insight: …It is not said we shall succeed, Save as his Cross prevails: The good we choose and mean to do Prospers if he wills it to, And if not, then it fails. Nor is failure our disgrace: By ways we cannot know He keeps the merit in his hand, And suddenly as no-one planned, Behold the kingdom grow!


Personal Note: Sickening Dribble - What a pain to read and edit.

0 Add Comment

2013-06-18 Tony Abbott

I am very worried about the outcome of the next federal election.

I do not want to see the NLP in control of the upper and lower houses of Parliament..

I fear the LNP “slash and burn”.. I fear the social implications.

Every time the LNP does it’s “slash and burn” it is always the lowest rung in society that suffers the most.

Those who barely cope within the current framework are forced to survive in an even tougher environment. Many are unable to do so. Prisons become filled with the disheveled who were already struggling with how little help is really available for those in need.

I am disappointed with how the general public have allowed themselves to become corrupted by the right wing rhetoric and lifestyle both major political parties offer.

The safety nets are mostly gone. The governments create more financial stress by privatizing. The governments lay off thousands of workers which reduces available services to the public even further.

While Hospitals/Schools/Police/Fire are “centralized” to make them more “efficient”.. *cough

(a lead up to those “services” being eventually privatized too.. I would guess..)

The public deserve the government they get I guess..

0 Add Comment


Bookmark this on Delicious

SEO-AU Links Best INFP Websites - Click here to Vote for this site!