You can be paternal- if you’re my Dad
Saturday July 08th 2006, 11:38 am

Tony Abbott has drawn the ire of Papa John through his public assertion that Aboriginal culture requires an application of good old colonial paternalism to bring it right. The only reason Howard is upset about this is because while paternalism is a core tenet of most all his policies, Johnny at least knows better than to spell it out in plain English.

Abbott’s entire way of being is built around authoritarian and paternalistic structures. Abbott wasn’t silly enough to use the word ‘paternalism’ back when he was losing the RU486 debate, but that was clearly his starting point.

Paternalism presumes that a group of people are incapable of managing their affairs and require someone who knows better to set them on the right path for their own good. Such a generalised assessment of an entire class of people is unlikely to be right from the get-go. Someone also has to be appointed- or may appoint themself- to be the father figure.

Authoritarianism and paternalism in small and wisely measured doses are fine- as long as they are directed at your own young children. Neither have any application outside the family home- and especially not in matters of public policy. Those of us with enough on the ball to manage our own affairs are reasonably deeply resentful of any manner of paternalism in government.

When Tony Abbott was elected to public office, he apparently took that to mean he was given the right to treat us all like children.

Wrong, camel breath.


5 Comments so far
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yes he has all the appeal of a trout that’s been out of water for a few days(sunbaking). So, I wonder who actually did vote for him…

Comment by ab 07.09.06 @ 1:42 am

One thing I’m relatively certain of is that no one Howard gubmint minister ever says anything that Papa John doesn’t want them to.

Whenever Johnbo wants to inject deeply right-wing bullshit into the media echo, it goes usually via Abbott & Heffernan, but Danna Vale and Peter Costello have been roped in as mucky mouthpieces from time to time… Remember the ‘Muslim problem‘ we are alleged to have had? Danna Vale had Australia becoming a Muslim nation in 50 years time… 🙄

Comment by weez 07.09.06 @ 9:40 am

Costello seems to have been let out way past his bedtime…
Do you think papa John will send him to bed without his dinner which he will let Alexander, the good son, eat?

Comment by suki 07.10.06 @ 10:57 pm

Abbott’s obvious disrespect of anyone not white, male and Catholic is breathtaking in sheer cheek.

Being a parliamentarian means job #1 is representing all of your constituency, not just the people you happen to like. Tony’s picked the wrong line of work. He probably should have stuck it out in divinity school so he could have been a moral arbiter for his client group, with some measure of legitimacy. As it is, Tony-o just looks like a big red herring in the Australian pond of largely (small-L) liberal fish.

Comment by weez 07.11.06 @ 10:59 am

What a completely arrogant and insular prick he is. Would’ve been a good Catholic priest me thinks. Such a tosser 😕

Comment by Supamum 07.11.06 @ 5:26 pm

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