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Abbott: I won't use gender and class to divide nation

Date

Chris Johnson

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott  says he would not use gender and class to divide nation.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he would not use gender and class to divide nation. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has accused Prime Minister Julia Gillard of trying to divide Australia with gender and class wars.

Speaking at a business function in Perth on Thursday, Mr Abbott promised that if he were to be elected prime minister he would not pit one Australian against another.

He said Ms Gillard had played the victim card with her recent parliamentary speech against misogyny that went viral around the world.

But it was her policies and leadership, not her gender, he said, that attracted the opposition's criticisms.

''I think I can say with absolute confidence that you will never find from me any attempt to invoke the gender war against my political opponents,'' Mr Abbott said.

''Never, ever will I attempt to say that as a man I have been the victim of powerful forces beyond my control and how dare [any] prime minister of Australia play the victim card.

''If there is one thing which marks the current government as utterly unworthy of leading this country, it is the attempt to set one Australian against another for party political advantage.''

The Opposition Leader said Ms Gillard was also engaged in class warfare by trying to set workers against their bosses.

''Now, one thing I will never do, should I have the honour of leading this country, is deliberately set out to divide Australian against Australian,'' he said. ''You will never find from me invocation of a false class war.

''I will never try to set workers against managers because I understand, in a way I fear the current incumbents do not, that it is only by working together that we are going to generate the prosperity that all Australians have a right to expect.''

Last month, Ms Gillard delivered a fiery attack in Parliament against Mr Abbott, describing him as sexist and a misogynist.

To make her point, the Prime Minister used examples of the Opposition Leader standing and talking at political rallies next to people holding signs describing her as a witch.

Ms Gillard's speech was noted across the globe, many political leaders and commentators applauding her.

In Australia, the speech received a mixed reception. But since then Mr Abbott has gone to great lengths to dispel the perception that he has a problem with women.

He has appeared several times publicly with his wife and daughters in a bid to expose his gentler side.

8 comments

  • Tony Abbott is sexist and that's apparent to all and sundry. If he wanted to dispel that perception, perhaps he would stick to arguing policy related matters and not make disparaging comments about Julie using language that is sexist and derogatory. The reason Julia got a lot of support from her speech is that many others have thought the same thing about Tony for some time. Her criticms were not unfounded.

    Commenter
    Felix
    Location
    ACT
    Date and time
    November 23, 2012, 9:42AM
    • Abbott sounds positively Orwellian in this ... War is Peace, Black is White that sort of thing ... it's a bit scary actually ...

      Commenter
      juileep
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      November 23, 2012, 10:17AM
      • But Tony, you already have! What a flake!

        Commenter
        Max Gross
        Location
        Sapphire Coast
        Date and time
        November 23, 2012, 10:44AM
        • We know Abbott is sexist no better how much he denial.
          We are sick of you and deputy daily soap opera. how about some good policies
          Beside slogans. Enough enough.

          Commenter
          Long Huang
          Date and time
          November 23, 2012, 11:57AM
          • Abbotts and his party causes so much disturbance in poliitic from day one that
            Female Gillard became a P.M .He pledge that he will do every power to revoke
            And turning the country upside down to become PM.
            Why? Is there any intelligent Australians out there to stop this lunatic. For the love of
            Such lovely country .
            There must someone in his party better than him.

            Commenter
            Wendyv
            Date and time
            November 23, 2012, 12:24PM
            • Tony, for Christ Sake, why so much hatred you create toward Bernie abbastor
              Victim,refuges,abortion pill ,sexiest remarks , Whylla and work choice ? Etc
              A Prime Minister material?
              ,

              Commenter
              Old mary
              Date and time
              November 23, 2012, 12:37PM
              • Tony Abbott says 'I wont use gender and class to divide nation' yet that is exactly what he is trying to do by inflaming the asylum seeker issue, and not so long ago the carbon tax. He is also prepared to back-flip on policy when political opportunity presents itself. One cant help feel a rising 'I will not be lectured by this man' on issues of integrity.

                Commenter
                Leslie
                Location
                Western sydney
                Date and time
                November 23, 2012, 12:57PM
                • Tony's had about a month to get over his drubbing by Julia in parliament, a spectacle which was viewed globally, and to come up with something profound to say in response. But instead he comes up with this:

                  [i]“Never, ever, will I attempt to say that as a man I have been the victim of powerful forces beyond my control and how dare any prime minister of Australia play the victim card.”[/i]

                  To translate:
                  Despite being privileged enough to be a financially comfortable, Christian, married, professionally successful, sporty, white middle-aged male who went to a major university, etc. i.e. the most politically powerful group in the land, I will [i]never[/i] play the victim card.

                  To state the bleeding obvious, he still doesn't get it.

                  Maybe he was thinking of powerful, Star Wars-type forces...

                  Commenter
                  Barry Rouge-Neque
                  Date and time
                  November 25, 2012, 3:25AM
                  Comments are now closed
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