Why would a sexist racist like Boris Johnson want to appoint a “homophobic misogynist” – as Tony Abbott has been described – to a role advising his Tory government?
The connection should be obvious. Birds of a feather flock together, and all that.
And it’s an attempt to reassert some authority after the disastrous loss of any credibility that Johnson’s administration suffered over the summer…
Tony Abbott's membership of the Board of Trade has just been confirmed !
So, let that disabuse you of any notion that Johnson gives a flying flamingo for any dissent, disagreement or advice.#JustSaying
— Clare Hepworth OBE (@Hepworthclare) September 4, 2020
… Johnson’s saying we’ll put up with Abbott whether we want to or not.
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been appointed as an unpaid trade adviser to the UK government.
Boris Johnson rejected claims Mr Abbott was not suitable for the role, despite criticism over past comments on women, LGBT people and climate change.
The UK prime minister said he did “not agree with those sentiments”.
It seems more likely that the UK prime minister agrees all too much with those sentiments – as held by Abbott – but not with those of the UK public that they are unacceptable.
According to the Huffington Post, though…
Asked about the allegations on Friday, Johnson said: “I don’t, obviously don’t agree with those sentiments at all.
“But then I don’t agree with everyone who serves the government in an unpaid capacity on hundreds of boards across the country. And I can’t be expected to do so.
“What I would say about Tony Abbott is this is a guy who was elected by the people of the great liberal democratic nation of Australia.
Okay, let’s find out what an Aussie has to say about him. Here‘s Van Badham in The Guardian:
I can only imagine someone in the appointment process believed the whole endeavour is destined to fail and only a fool would take the job. In that case, Britain, fair enough: Abbott romps it home on both fronts.
Abbott is a man whose nuanced contribution to international relations as prime minister was not limited to threatening to “shirtfront” Vladimir Putin with an Aussie Rules football tackle over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight 17. He also dropped a casual comparison to the Holocaust in a speech on the national jobs report. He reintroduced knights and dames to the Australian honours system, and the Australian he honoured first was … Prince Philip? He even got the name of Canada wrong (“Canadia”); he was in Canada at the time. Trade adviser?!
Maybe his British backers missed the time Abbott ate a raw onion like an apple in front of the national news media, and for no particular reason. The Australian town of Ballarat commemorates it regularly, crowning a local statue of the former PM with a garland of onions.
The Australian reaction to Abbott’s adviser appointment cannot be repeated, but it begins with a “W” and ends with “TF”. “Whichever Australian traded Tony Abbott to Britain,” remarked local cartoonist Jon Kudelka, “is the person Britain actually needs to help them with trade.” To appoint Abbott instead does not speak to qualification, or good governance – let alone anything like a desirable outcome. It speaks to “jobs for the boys” ideological loyalty that overrides history, fact and reason.
“Jobs for the boys” seems exactly right:
Abbott is one of them.
It’s as simple as that. https://t.co/OCe6baGFCZ
— Mel (@melaniekmelvin) September 4, 2020
Well, the UK has major trade hurdles to overcome in the months left before January 2021.
If Abbott really is as bad as he seems, those months should be entertaining, at least.
The months immediately following may be considerably less so.
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