December 15

Overseas media notice


It is unusual for the world’s media to be interested in a new Leader of the Australian Opposition.  Tony Abbott seems to be different. One of the points they draw out is his position on our constitutional monarchy, as he describes it, our crowned republic.

According to Maclean’s, Canada’s national weekly current affairs magazine, (“Harper’s model from down under: Abbott likes to be photographed in Speedos and called PM Kevin Rudd a ‘toxic bore’”, by  Paul Wells 11/12) Tony Abbott is a” young, strapping 52… a trained bush fireman and former boxer who attended Catholic seminary school (as a result, he’s sometimes called the “Mad Monk”). In the ’90s, he served as director of Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy when his country’s constitutional debate over getting rid of the British crown was heating up.” 

The London Sunday Times also noticed. ( “Australia's 'Mad Monk' deals blow to eco-campaign -Tony Abbott's pugnacious character appeals to voters” Paul Ham 6/11)

  “Abbott’s pugnacious character and bruiser image appeal to Australians,” he wrote.  “ Every summer weekend he dons his swimming trunks, or ‘budgie smugglers’ in the Australian vernacular, to perform life saving duties. He is also a trained bush fireman. Born in 1957, the son of a second world war fighter pilot, he was brought up to lead and win. “Tony was the star,” said one of his three sisters.”

“Abbott attended a top Sydney Catholic school and as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford won two blues for boxing. In 1984, aged 26, he decided to become a priest but, discouraged by the liberalism sweeping the church, abandoned the idea.

 “Tony Abbott was a crusader without a crusade. He would have made a fine warrior, or an explorer, or a Knight Templar, wrote Michael Duffy, his biographer. “

“The knight errant found his damsel in 1993 in the form of the Queen when he became director of the Australians for Constitutional Monarchy group. John Howard, later to become prime minister, urged him to enter politics. Abbott fought for conservative family values and won the Sydney seat of Warringah.”

“Now Australians are reassessing the man they thought they knew as a right-wing Catholic opposed to abortion and no-fault divorce. He has already watered down his more extreme positions and his strongest weapon is his ability to talk to Australians in a language they know.”  


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