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Susan Mitchell on Tony Abbott: Too Dangerous to Lead


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Ever since Tony Abbott assumed the leadership of the Liberal Party, bipartisanship has all but disappeared. He has created a national political atmosphere that is aggressive, inflammatory, and combative. Why? Because it suits his temperament.

Throughout his life he has been drawn to a series of masculine and Catholic heroes and mentors. As a result, he is a relic of another time. Women are particularly distrustful of his macho image and his combative approach. Underpinning the values of this man’s man is his narrow worldview.

More importantly for the nation, his approach to policy seems to contradict this fixed, rock-solid image. On many issues in particular, climate change he constantly slips and slides. This tendency suggests an underlying political opportunism: he is less interested in formulating national policy than in playing divisive politics. He is a leader for himself and for the promulgation of his deeply conservative religious values, and not for the broad interests of the women and men of Australia.

Lunchbox/Soapbox is a simple idea: an old-fashioned Speakers’ Corner in the middle of the city, in the middle of the day.

At the Wheeler Centre we’re keen to showcase our writers as thinkers and as artists, as people with passions and peccadilloes. So we’ve come up with Lunchbox/Soapbox: a weekly space for them to sound off on a topic of their choice. Think of it as a 20-minute piece of polemic to give lunching CBD folk something to chew on.


Susan Mitchell

Dr Susan Mitchell is well known for her ground-breaking, best-selling book Tall Poppies. Susan has published fourteen books, most recently, Tony Abbott: a man’s man, published in October 2011. Her books narrate and analyse the lives of women in politics, business, sport, literature and other major... Read more


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