Somehow I managed to sit through a full hour of Tony Abbott on Q&A tonight. The picture we got of this would-be PM was amazing. I really didn't expect him to wear his bigotry so clearly on his sleeve.
He made it clear that he considers welfare a scourge. He wants to get people off it as quickly as possible, without any particular regard for why they are on it, and absolutely no recognition that welfare may be productive and enabling people to contribute to the community in myriad ways. As if this wasn't enough, during this conversation he discussed the NT Intervention as a trial to broaden the concept to the whole community. In my opinion, the Intervention should be scrapped altogether, not extended, but that wasn't what disturbed me the most. It was the way he presented his approach - "Let's experiment on these black fellas until we know how to roll it out to white folks" (yes, OK, it's a paraphrase.). Indigenous people didn't rate a mention other than as guinea pigs for the rest of Australia. Unbelievable.
He refused to genuinely engage the concerns of a Liberal voting, Vietnam vet with a gay son. He pulled out the old "Some of my best friends are gay" defence. He apparently recognises that gay people can have relationships, but that Tony himself gets to decide who's allowed to have a "marriage relationship".
He equally refused to engage a disabled woman, running with a pretty similar line. Some of his best friends are disabled. They are also battlers. He's certainly not going to do anything about it.
Boat people also don't rate any agency. When asked about the people in the boats, he spoke about people smugglers. Those fleeing horrific conditions were not addressed at all. Apparently they don't even deserve to be some of his best friends.
And to top it all off, he claimed that he has never made a political decision based on his religious beliefs. There was an avalanche of tweets screaming "What about RU486?". Not to mention his definition of marriage, which is entirely shaped by his religious beliefs. If he won't even admit to the way his religion informs his politics, there is absolutely no way we can believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.
Over and over and over I say, please don't let this man run our country.