Media Circus: Invisible Divorce Abbott-Watch Edition

Abbott on carbon trading: ‘non-delivery of an invisible substance to no one’

Abbott’s divorce proposal ‘ludicrous’

Abbott really is living in a Bizarro-World. Much as I’m not a fan of Kevin Rudd, and much as I’m furious at the about-face backflip the media has performed in actually reporting Labor policy now that it’s Rudd’s policies rather than Gillard’s, it does appear that his return to the Prime Ministership could mean the end of any possible Abbottslide in the upcoming election, and that Abbott might at the very least have to negotiate a hung parliament (popcorn sales will be mega) and even possibly may be still in Opposition once the votes are counted.

Sadly I don’t think the rampant hypocrisy of Abbott’s own dodgy travel expenses of thousands charged to the taxpayer when promoting his book and volunteering for charity compared to the opprobrium he heaped on Peter Slipper for far less is going to cut through to mainstream headlines though. The journo-elite just doesn’t seem to want to know – preferring to report on Abbott criticising Rudd for apparently not managing to prevent Margo Kingston asking other people questions Abbott doesn’t want anyone to ask.

Categories: media, parties and factions

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18 replies

  1. I am somewhat perplexed that that divorce article from 2009 is getting such a run. Did Abbott come out and say it again?

  2. No people are recycling the article as a way of drumming up support amongst those who are anti-Abbott.

    • TimT, has Abbott ever repudiated this position he took in 2009?
      It’s an absolutely stupid idea in Abbott’s string of many many stupid ideas. Can you point me to any one of his recent ideas that is any less stupid than that one?

  3. I need to remember that not everyone resiles from Abbott the way that I do (and most of my friends, FB friends and Twitter feed).

  4. Ha! I saw ‘Jul 14th’ on that article and assumed it came out yesterday….I guess I am tired…

  5. I don’t mind the idea. Abbott raised the idea of fault based marriage contracts as an *alternative* in law to no-fault based marriage contracts, so contrary to the line taken by the story (which is after all more a story based around the reaction of a Labor politician to the idea and less a look at the idea itself) it seems unlikely that it will detract from marriage as it exists in Australian law at the moment.

    • Strikes me that penalising one partner or the other or else there’s no divorce is a really really stupid idea. Back in the day before no-fault divorce was a reality, people used to hire private investigators to get proof of infidelity, and sometimes a couple who’d just mutually decided that living apart would be a vast improvement would *stage* an infidelity to meet the requirements of the law. Naturally all this clandestine intrigue and public shaming was absolutely wonderful for everyone involved, especially for any children watching their parents go through all this.
      It’s already perfectly possible to sign a prenuptial contract whereby infidelity or drug addiction or whatever from either partner triggers financial and custodial penalty clauses (subject to a court’s confirmation) for any separation and subsequent divorce settlement. In what possible way is Abbott’s idea any sort of improvement on the combination of no-fault divorce as the legal default for ending a marriage and prenuptial contracts as an optional extra for specifying special contractual obligations with respect to marriage?

  6. I think my favourite moment was when a journalist asked Mr Abbott whether trading carbon credits was anything like financial futures trading, and Mr Abbott replied that it was “a market in the non-delivery of an invisible substance to no one”.
    So, that’d be a “yes”, then, would it Tones?
    The man’s a fool. The only things he’s missing are the hat with bells and the bladder-onna-stick. He opens his mouth and inserts both feet up to the knee, then swallows, threads through, and repeats the process.
    Would Kevin Rudd please hurry up and call an election, PDQ, before the Liberal party realises Tony’s slipped his leash again and replaces him (it doesn’t matter who they replace him with – all they’d have to do is campaign on a platform of “I’m not Tony Abbott” and they’d be in with a decent chance)?

  7. tigtog: It’s better because Tony Says So. Obviously.
    To be honest, if he wants conditions like that in his marriage, he’s welcome to them (well, subject to his wife agreeing to them, sans coercion, as well). But if he wants to impose these conditions on other people… that’s where I start asking awkward questions like “why?”.
    (But then “why?” is a question I’d love to be able to get a straight response for from Tony Abbott. It was one of two I came up with in response to his party’s full-page ad – page 2 of the Saturday West – proclaiming their platform for the next election. The other question, which applied to the vast majority of the items in said platform, was “how?”. High on slogans, extremely low on detail).

  8. “Abbott raised the idea of fault based marriage contracts as an *alternative* in law to no-fault based marriage contracts”
    Firstly, I reckon maybe straight people should give other people access to the one form of marriage law available before they start giving extras to themselves, and secondly, I consider fault based marriage contracts to be pretty negative in and of themselves. There’s a reason we moved away from them before and I really don’t want to see people trapped in marriages just because they say came from a conservative religious background and thus faced additional pressures to choose covenant marriage in the first place.

  9. I think the thing that might be holding Rudd back from calling an election now is that there’s some kind of major international leadership forum (can’t remember off the top of my head precisely which one) in the first week of September that seems like exactly the sort of thing he would love to be doing. And he can’t do that if he’s not prime minister than.

  10. Has anyone else read Uncommon Law, by A. P Herbert? He has a few fictional cases in there relating to at fault divorce, including hiring a woman to leave her shoes outside the unhappy husband’s hotel room door, a divorced couple living in sin after a faked infidelity for tax reasons, and a couple who faked his infidelity, had her infidelity discovered, and were told that divorce was not granted to two unhappy people, but one faithful spouse to end a bad match and start over.

  11. Is it G20?

  12. @YetAnotherMatt- those examples are all pretty much drawn from real life. It was an open secret in the 1960s and 70s (before no fault divorce) that people arranged to be ‘caught in the act’, often with people they had no actual sexual relationship with (as women who ‘broke up’ marriages would have faced social stigma so you wouldn’t ask someone who was in your social circle), and with both parties colluding in the action. Most judges were happy to collude in this too (by not asking too many questions), as they equally thought the law outdated. But, in the UK at least, the case where one person’s infidelity ruled out the other’s infidelity (so disallowing divorce) was one valid interpretation of the law- not all judges agreed with this interpretation, but this did happen, although I’m not aware of any cases that happened as late as the 60s and 70s (but I don’t study the 60s and 70s, so there may well be).
    I’m intrigued as to how Abbott envisioned his law working in a dual system. We did have a similar thing in the UK til recently, where you could get no fault divorce after a 5 year separation, but could fast track the divorce if you could prove a fault. This was intended to help people in abusive marriages etc move out of their relationships quickly, rather than to encourage people to find fault. Now that the time to divorce has been reduced, I’m not sure this is practically necessary anymore, although perhaps some people would still want to ‘find fault’ in abusive relationships to shore up child custody and property claims etc. However, this is a choice people make when divorcing.
    Is Abbott suggesting you have to commit to one form of divorce when marrying and then stick with it? And, what about people who convert from one religion (or lose their religion) and so no longer want to be tied to such promises?

  13. Old fashioned divorces were difficult and dangerous for associated parties too. My grandfather was employed as a “law clerk” (read “investigator”) in the 30s and was found dead in a creek with a bullet through his head. Probably not suicide, (he was drowned before he was shot) and possibly work related. Calls to mind the good old days and backyard abortions. Let’s bring them back. Oh, wait. Tony has a plan for that too?

  14. all they’d have to do is campaign on a platform of “I’m not Tony Abbott” and they’d be in with a decent chance

    I’d really like to see Malcolm Turnbull standing around with a sign that said that.
    On asking Tone Troll Abbott “Why” – I’d love to as well, but he’d have to have had nuclear-strength truth serum first, because otherwise it’d just be the usual blather and lies.

  15. My late mother went through an old-style divorce in the 1950s – it consumed most of that decade, and probably also cost a shitload more than a no-fault divorce does. I think the grounds were mental cruelty (she’d left my dad because he was an alcoholic, although not a violent one).
    No-fault divorce is one of the many things we can thank Whitlam for, and that’s probably part of the reason Our Tony has such a problem with it.

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