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Saturday, September 05, 2020

Misogyny, homophobia and the trade envoy

If there is one appointment that shows how little regard Boris Johnson has for public opinion and common decency then it is making Tony Abbott an official UK trade advisor.

The original proposal to give the former Australian Prime Minister this role had attracted plenty of controversy, including criticism from opposition parties, charities and LGBT and environmental activists.

Abbott, a controversial and often unpopular prime minister of Australia from 2013 until he was ousted by Liberal party colleagues in 2015, once described abortion as “the easy way out” and has suggested men are better adapted than women to exercise authority. He had a reputation for epitomising what many in Australia saw as an overly macho approach to politics.

As the Guardian reports, a prior opponent of equal marriage, Abbott has also suggested climate change is “probably doing good”, and likened policies to combat it to “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods”

Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to back down under intense criticism of appointments, as also shown over crises involving Dominic Cummings and the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick.

The paper believes that Downing Street is likely to have calculated that concerns about Abbott’s views will be balanced by voters who may applaud a refusal to bow to criticism – a sign of a wider cultural war on progressive values that Johnson’s advisers are increasingly keen to fight.

The Prime Minister though continues to act as if he is indestructable, including breaking his own lockdown rules by addressing a crowded room of 50 Tory MPs, an offence that can attract a £100 fine for anybody attending.

Surely it is only a matter of time before this arrogance catches up with him.
Boris' comment that Abbott comes from Australia, a liberal country, either shows his ignorance or his overwhelming desire to misinform people in order to get them on his side and make everything sound wonderful. He should know that Australia's Liberal Party is Conservative by our standards and Abbot is a very right wing Conservative. The only sense in which Australia is better than us is its less strong class system and warmer weather.
Nigel Jones
The fact that Abbott is classed as 'Liberal' can put us true Liberals in a bad light for people identify with the word and can mislead people to thing we are for abortion etc.
De-Pfeffel will not get rid of his 'yes men' or supporters for then he would have to watch his back
When he as also an 80 seat majority he thinks he can get away with anything.He will fall.
Abbott was given the job because he is insufficiently self-aware to recognise that his task is unachievable. His appointment demonstrates that nobody in the UK dining circle from which nominees normally come thought that the role would do them any good.

When it all goes wrong, Johnson needs a person to blame and Abbott doesn't have the wits to recognise his jeopardy.

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