Surprise, surprise – Lindsay Foyle reports threats from Tony Abbott too

Foyle writes in New Matilda how this late-1970s attempt at intimidation was witnessed by a bunch of other journalists working for The Bulletin at the time, and Greg “I knew Abbott very well and he was never, ever violent” Sheridan was the one who stepped in and persuaded the pugnacious radical student activist Tony Abbott that a punch-up was not the way to settle differences of opinion about women’s right to control pregnancy.

Yeah, the idea that Abbott could have punched the wall beside a woman’s head to intimidate her as his political rival just seems soooo unlikely, amirite?

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, history, parties and factions, social justice

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11 replies

  1. It’s not just that Abbot and Romney have terrible policies- it that they just seem like bullies. I don’t understand how they’re viable political candidates (she says for the 8th time).

  2. I think it’s very unfair that Tony Abbott, who has never ever and especially not in the last month brought up events from many years ago to attack political rivals is being subject to this smear! campaign suggesting he did anything other than have tea and iced vovos with his opponents during his time in student politics. It’s certainly cruel for anyone to imply he has had a problem with women in the past. Tony has only ever had problems with women in the present!

  3. I don’t get why so many people are acting like this is new news. I am sure I have heard this story before. Am I imagining things?

    • @angharad, Foyle has written about this before, but Abbott was only a Minister back then, so most people weren’t so interested.

      A bit under two decades further along — after [that pub we called] the Scunge had been demolished and replaced with a building society — Abbott was appointed federal Minister for Employment and Small Business in the Howard government. I decided it would be a bit of fun to write about the incident in the pub. The 735-word article was published in The Australian on 11 January 2001 under the heading of “Watch out for the punchline”. Some of the details here were included in that story.

  4. No, it’s not new news to most of us. Some people may not have gotten the message, so we’ll keep delivering it, even if it is more frustrating than spending centuries on the bottom of the sea.

  5. @tigtog, I was actually thinking of the Barbara Ramjan incident. I am sure I have heard this mentioned before, and was all kind of ‘oh yeah that’ when David Marr started talking about it. Maybe it was in Susan Mitchell’s book about Tony Abbott. I read that not so long ago.

  6. I can’t get over Abbott claiming the wall punches would be ‘uncharacteristic’ of him. They match my impression of him just about exactly (particularly ‘during student politics’). How did I manage to form this impression of him? Must be all those other lying wimmins or something. Nah, Tony, your body language when you’re interviewed or on the floor of the House conveys ‘aggressive bully overhyped on his own masculinity’ nicely. You’re the exact kind of bloke years of experience have taught me to stay well away from.

  7. Apparently an activist called Peter Woof also fell foul of the Monk’s fist back in the 70s. According to a commenter on the Foyle article he took it to court but didn’t have enough money to pursue it.

  8. Mr Anger Management Issues isn’t fit for any public office, let alone that of Prime Minister.
    Slightly OT, who did that briliant NOPE poster?

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