Former PM and defeated Member for Warringah Tony Abbott has been out of the local spotlight for a bit, but that’s because he’s been on his UK tour rallying the Conservative cause to push the UK to a no-deal Brexit for… reasons?
To be fair, he’s long been a fan of Brexit and is feted in Britain as one of our most significant right-wing leaders, and his speech at the Policy Exchange thinktank was vintage Tones.
His speech, as per the Sydney Morning Herald, advised the gathered conservatives not to “worry too much about the finer points of ideology and economics” and to “make a bonfire of regulations” in post-Brexit Britain, because plans and laws are the last things anyone’s going to need in forging a new national identity and economy, presumably.
It also had the slightly ominous “Still the next few weeks will be full of political fury as Remainers plot to sabotage Brexit or to turn it into a self-vindicating disaster,” which neatly indicates the likely strategy when Brexit causes all the huge problems they already know are coming – that it’s actually the fault of Remainers not sufficiently believing in the Magic of Brexit.
However, it was when he was fielding questions from his adoring fans that he truely shone, including answering one question about whether Abbott had read Johnson’s book 72 Virgins (about the supposed reward awaiting faithful Muslims in the afterlife).
“No but I’d be happy to meet them though,” Abbott replied.
And when the questioner reportedly answered “If you know where you do meet 72 virgins, I don’t think you’d be so keen on that,”, he retorted “You obviously have more intelligence over these things than I do.”
So yeah, still got it.
And of course it’s very on-brand to make a joke in bad taste that involves women. Who could forget his classic wink about the woman talking about how she’d taken a job at a sex line to make ends meet?
And earlier this year Julie Bishop – the only woman in Abbott’s first cabinet – ridiculed him for appointing himself Minister for Women, not least because of that time he talked up a female Liberal candidate because she had “sex appeal”, and how people should vote for him as “the guy with the not bad-looking daughterss” and so on.
Anyway: the UK are turning to the wisdom of Tony Abbott to gird themselves for Brexit. It’s just good to see him out and about and meeting new people in retirement.