4 Apr 2013

How Well Do You Know Tony Abbott?

By Alan Austin

Tony Abbott's agenda is much more comprehensive than merely stopping the boats. Join NM quizmaster Alan Austin and run the ruler over our soon-to-be Liberal PM

How much do you really know about Tony Abbott? Take our quiz and find out! Answers at the end — no peeking!

1. Tony Abbott has identified three priorities for an Abbott government, should he win office.

Specifically they are:

(a) Addressing Indigenous disadvantage, increasing pensions and processing asylum seekers humanely onshore
(b) Repealing the carbon tax, instructing the navy to turn around refugee boats and starting a commission of audit
(c) Getting the budget into surplus, repealing the carbon tax, and strengthening offshore asylum seeker processing
(d) Cutting government spending, increasing productivity and implementing paid parental leave
(e) Inviting Fairfax and Murdoch to draft future media legislation, asking James Packer to revise gambling laws, and appointing Gina, Twiggy and Clive to the mining tax review panel

2. Tony Abbott outlined his Indigenous philosophy in March.

“Only Aboriginal people can determine what Aboriginal culture is and how it might evolve,” he said. “but it’s a responsibility of an Australian government to give them every reasonable opportunity to do so.”

Abbott specified that Aboriginal kids should be taught their culture in their own language:

(a) As a compulsory part of the school curriculum
(b) For the equivalent of one day a week
(c) As an option after school hours only
(d) As an elective subject through to year 10

3. One impressive achievement of the Gillard Government over the last 18 months is the extraordinary rise in labour productivity.

According to Datastream International, Australia’s productivity has boomed — rising for six consecutive quarters to an all-time high of 164.82 points.

Which of these observations appears on Tony Abbott’s website (no cheating!):

(a) In just five years, Labor has overseen a marked fall in Australia’s productivity performance.
(b) Australia’s worsening infrastructure inadequacies … have been a fundamental element in Australia’s recent productivity decline.
(c) Since then [2007], real household wealth has declined, productivity has stagnated …
(d) All of the above

4. For the 2011 Pollie Pedal bike ride from Gold Coast to Sydney, Tony Abbott claimed from the taxpayer as expenses for “official business” on top of his salary:

(a) No reimbursement. It was a tour to raise funds for Indigenous programs and for personal self-promotion
(b) $3.45 each day for eight days
(c) $34.50 each day for eight days
(d) $345.00 each day for eight days

5. Which of these views has Tony Abbott articulated?

(a) Climate change is absolute crap
(b) Climate change is an important issue but it is not the only big environmental problem we face
(c) Let me make it crystal clear. The Government and the Opposition are both committed to a five per cent reduction in emissions by 2020
(d) If you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax ..? It would be burdensome. All taxes are burdensome. But it would certainly change the price of carbon, raise the price of carbon, without increasing in any way the overall tax burden
(e) No one should be fooled by Labor’s carbon tax which is socialism masquerading as environmentalism
(f)  All of the above

6. In June 2011, Tony Abbott said:

“Julia Gillard's carbon tax will seriously undermine the profitability of the BlueScope plant, threaten its long-term viability ...”

In the eight months since the carbon tax was introduced has the value of Bluescope Steel shares:

(a) Dropped 20 per cent from $1.80 to $1.44
(b) Stayed the same at $1.80
(c) Increased 20 per cent to $2.16
(d) Increased 178 per cent to $5.01

7. Which former Australian Prime Minister made this observation:

“Tony Abbott is capable of changing his mind on important elements of policy. The climate change policy was one of them. If he has changed it once he can presumably change it again. Indeed, he did tell us that he doesn’t always say what he means … I would like to see somebody with a deep conviction as to where Australia will go and who will have some constants in terms of important policy.”

(a) Gough Whitlam
(b) Malcolm Fraser
(c) Bob Hawke
(d) Paul Keating
(e) John Howard

8. In his address to an economics conference in November Tony Abbott said the mining tax must go because it “denies our economy the comparative advantage of access to abundant fossil fuel”.

The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics has just released the current data on fossil fuel exports for 2012-13.

This shows that export volumes of thermal coal and liquid natural gas this year — the first full year with the carbon tax — will:

(a) Both drop about 5 per cent on last year as a result of the tax
(b) Stay at the same level as last year
(c) Rise 5.3 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively
(d) Rise 18 per cent and 26 per cent respectively

9. In his current e-book Tony Abbott quotes Ben Chifley’s famous “light on the hill” speech.

“The purpose of public life is to work for the betterment of mankind, not just here but wherever we can lend a helping hand.”

In pursuit of this, Tony Abbott has pledged to:

(a) Increase Australia’s humanitarian refugee intake
(b) Adopt a presumption of refugee status for boat arrivals without papers
(c) Increase Australia’s overseas aid
(d) Raise pensions and benefits in Australia
(e) All of the above
(f)  None of the above

10. Tony Abbott was famously challenged by ABC Radio’s Jon Faine on his misuse of the term "illegal" to describe arriving boats.

It is not against any Australian or international law to seek asylum.

In his current e-book, Abbott uses the expression "illegal" with regard to boats, arrivals or entry vessels:

(a) Twice
(b) Four times
(c) Eight times
(d) 16 times
(e) When dog whistling to racists the more frequently the better

11. During a federal election campaign Tony Abbott met Catholic Cardinal George Pell at the presbytery in Sydney.

Part A. Two weeks later, when asked by Tony Jones on ABC television if he had met with the Cardinal, Abbott replied without hesitation:

(a) Yes. We met two weeks ago at the presbytery in Sydney
(b) Not that I can recall

Part B. If you answered (b) to Part A, why did Abbott lie?

(a) To avoid questions on the topics discussed
(b) Pell had instructed Abbott to keep the meeting a secret
(c) Abbott is a compulsive liar
(d) Don’t know

12. Tony Abbott said this last May: “With a growing economy, it is possible to have lower taxes, better services and a stronger budget bottom line — as Australians discovered during the Howard era. That now seems like a lost golden age of prosperity.”

On how many of these 20 measurable criteria was the Howard Government performing better when it lost office in November 2007 than the Gillard Government is performing now (during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression)?

1. Income per person
2. Wage levels
3. Income disparity
4. Inflation
5. Interest rates
6. Household savings
7. Personal tax rate
8. Company tax rate
9. Labour productivity
10. Pension levels
11. Superannuation
12. Economic freedom
13. International credit ratings
14. Value of the Aussie dollar
15. Industrial production growth
16. Foreign exchange reserves
17. Balance of trade
18. Current account as a  percentage of GDP
19. Government 10 year bond rate
20. Overall quality of life

(a) all 20
(b) 10 out of the 20
(c) five
(d) two
(e) none


1. (b) Refer speeches.
2. (c) After normal school hours.
3. (d) All.
4. (d) The trip was nine days. For eight Abbott claimed $345 per day for "official business". On the rest day he claimed $115.
5. (f) All.
6. (d) Increased 178 per cent. This allows for the November 6 for 1 consolidation.
7. (b) Malcolm Fraser.
8. (d) Rise 18 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
9. (f) None of the above.
10. (d) 16 times.
11. (b) Satirised here.
12. (e) None.

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This user is a New Matilda supporter. hannahs dad
Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 12:00

".. our soon-to-be Liberal PM"
Will you [as in 'you' specifically and the pundits in general] please stop this assumption that a COALition win is inevitable?
Yeah its scary I know and probable, but it is not certain [a week being a long time in what passes for politics in Oz and several moons until the election is due is even longer] and to presume so its to reinforce the self fulfilling prophecy.

Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 18:40

Nice one, Alan. Can you package it together to spread the facts of his contradictory, empty, mendacious hyposcrisy wide?

What about The Drum for a start to give the Liberal trolls patrolling the ABC conniptions over their cups of tea?

Alan Austin
Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 18:44

Interesting comments. Thank you.

Regarding question one, Metta Bhavana, five possible answers are offered. Each consists of three priorities, in the correct order.

Which one of the five options is correct - (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e)?

One set of three tasks is correct as confirmed by several direct quotes which I will post here later.

Bonus point: which of the five options do you wish were Mr Abbott's real priorities?


Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 20:15

Chuffed again. 11/12....slipped up on No. 2....silly me. Should have known better.

Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 23:44

I'd just like to know how he gets away with all his lies and inaccuracies? 

Is it because...a) TA is just stupid? 2) TA wilfully deceives people 3) media interests are in his corner (ie no free media) 4) ALP isn't up for a fight or 5) All of the above?

or 6) after Nth Korea blows everyone up, no one will care about TA anyway...???

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 14:07

I just love NewMatilda.com it is just so balanced and fair on it topics and choice of unbias journalism.

Browsing this website I always know what type of views and comments I'll read.

Just can not wait for an Abbott Government it's really going to make this website even more exciting and irrelevant. I'm sure readers like @fightmumma and many more like him will be at their peak when it comes to writing just plain garbage. 

As for the author of this article Alan Austin, I think France particularly at this present time in its political history is worthy of such a citizen.



Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 14:54

Ah ozzydazz, such a sad attempt at sarcasm. If I were you I would stick to The Australian comments section; your wit would be much better appreciated there. And no nasty facts to get in the way of a good Tory whinge.

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 15:20

I belong to that shrinking section of the Australian population that believes Human Rights are more important than the Economy, and the Environment more important than Productivity.

The arrogance and audicity of the Mr.Rabbits of Australian politics is incredible. They keep harping on about Labor's broken Carbon Tax promise, almost as if the decade of the conservative Howard era with its littany of "core and non core" promises, its "there will never be a GST...." etc. etc. never happened. And John Howard never had to contend with a hung parliament when breaking his promises.

Whilst we are losing the spin and propaganda war, Ozzydazz and like minded people will deny us one of the few things left to us, a good laugh!

Mazel tov Alan Austin

PS: Am ashamed to say I got only 9 out of 12


Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 15:30

PS again:

Nice picture. The pose and the weapon are different, but there are similarities to that picture of David Hicks that was featured ad nauseum when they had David locked up in Guantanamo Bay.

Should we ring the Terrorist Hotline (lost my fridge magnet long ago so don't know the number) and report the Mad Monk?

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 15:34

@butlerad  It is not cool to use disability as an insult. 

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 16:52

Who said, "There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead."?

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 17:09

I was once taken to task for calling Jenny Macklin a 'media-slut', my mea culpa justification response was to point out that I considered Tony Abbott also to be a 'media-slut', which didn't get me off the hook entirely as 'slut' is a derogatory term usually applied to females and as such is sexist no matter who is thus labelled.

Whilst one can't be too careful and should avoid using words in such a way as to offend or hurt anyone if at all possible, I think people like Tony Abbott are fair game, in that they think nothing of offending and hurting the whole nation, if it is to their perceived political advantage. 

When I called TA 'the Mad Monk' (not very original I grant you) above, I had no intention of offending Mad people or Monks for that matter. If I have hurt anyone's feelings (TA doesn't have any that I percieve) I'm Sorry ( a la Kevin Rudd or the Easybeats)

This user is a New Matilda supporter. RossC
Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 17:13

I didn't do too bad at this quizz - only one wrong answer. Not because I know Tony well, but because I know his type.

How did I go so well? I simply selected the option that was the absolute opposite of what I thought any reasonable person would do/say, or the option that contradicted, most directly,  information that has been presented by Tony, either on a website, or contained in the various speeches he has made.

Using this method, I got them all right except question 2. I chose option d there, because I simply couldnt conceive how even Tony could be so mean and out-of-touch as to expect indigenous students to attend class after school hours (its hard enough to get a full contingent to attend school hours as it is for all sorts of reasons -surely you'd work on fixing that?!? Actually, I still can't believe this - are you totally sure answer c is right?).

Malcolm Frazer was a gift choice, because he has become something of an out-spoken leftie in his later years, so no prizes there.

Anyway, pretty depressing stuff. A man with with a completely inwardly-directed moral compass. 

Like a pit-bull terrier that is confused when punished for eating babies, it seems that Tony simply cannot comprehend the negative public feedback and/or public outrage that often follows the articulation of his loonier, or more backward-looking (to us) ideas.

I think that this is why he is keeping such a low media profile at present. He knows he will stuff-up somehow when pressed on an issue, but cant predict exacty on what topic - he thinks his views on all topics are equally 'reasonable'- until he gets the adverse public reaction.   His minders know it too - the challenge to them is: can they keep Tony silent all the way to the election?  (I think not - viz Tony's inability to stay silent on Tim Flannery, for example).

That is the hope I am still grasping to.

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 17:16

so ozzydazzzzzz - where do you stand on politicians publicising FACTS and being accurate then?  You don't seem to care about this?  How do you foresee Abbott doing something like negotiations/discussions during wartime and internationally - as in communicating with China/USA/Koreas??  He couldn't even negotiate his way to PM.

homerJ - she isn't really "leading" this government with so many factors not within direct internal party control, is she?  Isn't this part of the political environment at the time?  And doesn't it show that more Australians want the environment cared for and so voted with that in mind?  This is more indicating the problem of poor opposition, poor variety in policy choices, lack of diversity in the values/creativity behind policies...with Abbott in control we will see new slums , more homelessness, more inequality and environmental degradation in this nation than ever before...

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 17:19

Ross C - hey - is he doing a Bradbury (that speed-skating dude??) trick!!!?

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 18:13

Oh, as much as this moron Rabbott makes me want to kill him, I passed the test with 12/12, so either sadly I know the moron well OR thankfully I'm awake up to him and the LNP which means I must continue to defame them and him at every turn.

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 18:15

Homerjunior Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 16:52

Who said, "There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead but I will be introducing a carbon pricing scheme"? (Our current fixed price ETS).

Whole sentence Homer, please! 

Has Murdoch also made up your mind how to vote?

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 18:30


Who said:

If you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax ..? It would be burdensome. All taxes are burdensome. But it would certainly change the price of carbon, raise the price of carbon, without increasing in any way the overall tax burden.

Abbott said it in 2009, but by 2010 was saying the exact same model will be a wrecking ball through the economy etc. Him in a nutshell and you know it.

By the way, Abbott perpetrated his 'rock solid, iron clad' guarantee' lie on the Medicare Safety Net before the 2004 election. After the election, he claimed that 'circumstances have changed' as the excuse. He now does not accept that excuse for Gillard, despite a hung parliament and the need to negotiate with minors and independents (and him saying he would do anything except sell his arse for power).

This makes Tony Abbott a:

A. hypocrite

B. hypocrite

C. hypocrite

D, all of the above


Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 18:38

How well do I  know  abbott? He does great  forest gump impressions.

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 19:04

Causa, Julia's policy was a people's forum on the issue. Not a bad idea if done well, but she can't do anything properly.

She ruled out anything this term.

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 19:05

This is much more fun than getting angry everytime TA opens his mouth in my living room:

I'll just plagiarize myself:

"To wrap up his Closing the Gap Statement reply, Tony Abbott said that should he become the next Australian PM, he would spend a whole week on an Aboriginal Community each year of his leadership. I have been unable to work out if this was a promise or a threat."

Almost three years ago TA visited Alice Springs. This is what I wrote at the time:

“As reported by Dan Moss in the Centralian Advocate, Mr. Abbott paid a visitation upon an Alice Springs ‘town camp’ with an entourage of politicians and journalists (17 people in all). I have been told that this visit was unannounced and uninvited. They descended on and filmed an unfortunate amputee sitting in ‘third world conditions’ (I saw it on the ABC TV News). TA gave him a spiel and asked him: “I’m here to help- what can I do?”

The fellow said he’d like some firewood! He didn’t mention a ‘Closing of the Gap’ or a decent house, or a ‘real job’, none of that, just firewood!  Dan Moss wrote: “Did Abbott go fetch firewood? No. He and the stage hands moved on to the next poor bugger to run the same spiel”

…….When our 9 year old grand-daughter overheard us talking about this she chimed in “He’ll have to get his own firewood..... by hopping”…."

And no! I'm not having a go at amputees.


Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 19:23

This is all prejudice against poor Tony. I can't believe it!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Tokujiro
Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 19:45

This is the best overview of Tony A and his slippery principles I have seen in the past year! The reason it is not out there in mass media land is that a clear agenda exists NOT to press him hard. I notice he's largely avoiding Leigh SALES and Tony JONES, too. Could you ensure that this is passed on to both of them - and maybe as a subject for Kerry O'BRIEN's 4-Corners? Or should one be seeking the "shock-jock" opinion-makers to challenge with these facts?

Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 20:27

Alan do you calim that this is journalism (masquerading as garbage) or do would you admit that it is just garbage (masquerading as journalism)?

It has so many holes, inconsistencies and bias that it truly is pathetic and to point them all out would take far too long (and, judging by most of the comments above, would be far too inconvenient) for the rusted-on labour tragics that have wasted the time to read your 'article'.

One example though - what does the profitability of the BlueScope plant have to do with the value of Bluescope Steel shares?  Bluescope Steel has many plants and the plant Tony Abbott was referring to closed down its number 6 blast furnace - cutting the plant's production by half - within 4 months of the introduction of the carbon tax.  Perhaps the share rise had more to do with its plants in Asia, the pacific and America. Presumably Bluescope's profitablility (and share price) went up on the back of the more profitable overseas plants (which I think is what Tony Abbot might have been suggesting!(?)).  I don't think it is commonplace in business to shut down the profitable parts of your business.  Hell, that's a fact Alan - you can disregard that!

I'd also like to see the figures that support your claims that industrial production levels have increased!  What a joke!

Don't let facts or the work of a journalist get in the way of your "Journalism" though Alan. Just keep pumping out lies and misinformation and call it "journalism".  Rank hypocrisy! The rusted on love it though Alan, so keep up the good work!

Do us all a favour and spend more time in France will you?

cherry picking
Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 21:52


cherry picking
Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 22:10

Another interesting graph




Albie Manton
Posted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 23:13

Never, ever forget how slimy this man was in his connections to the Hanson - Ettridge gaolings. Need to know how corrupt his hand was? Google the transcripts of  Patsy Woolfe and her cock-eyed judgment. This man becomes Prime Minister and Silvio Burlesque-Crony looks like a choir boy in comparison. God save the Governor General, because nothing will save the Australian Nation. Love her or hate her - Pauline for PM !

Alan Austin
Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 08:04

More interesting comments. Thank you.

@ Metta Bhavana, the answer to Q#1, is indeed (b).  Mr Abbott emphasies these three priorities a few times in his current e-book, including this:

"After beginning the carbon tax repeal process and giving the navy new instructions for responding to illegal boats, establishing a commission of audit will be an incoming Coalition government’s most urgent task."

And this:

"On day one, a new government would order the carbon tax repealed and accept Nauru’s standing offer to reopen the detention centre. Within a week, the Navy would have new orders to turn around illegal boats. Within a month, the commission of audit would be making government more efficient."

@ozzydazz, re “balanced and fair”: Is there anything here that is not actually true?

@RossC , re Q#2, the answer is indeed (c).

Direct quote from Tony Abbott: "That’s why it makes sense to support Noel Pearson’s efforts to ensure that, in addition to an excellent education in English, Aurukun children also receive after-normal-school-hours education in the high cultures of the Wik peoples."

More shortly …


Alan Austin
Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 08:07

Bonjour again,

@Labna: It’s a subsection of journalism usually referred to as fact-checking.

I am not in Australia, so cannot cover Canberra politics. But from abroad we can see perhaps more clearly than Australians the continual systematic disinformation you are fed daily.

Re: “what does the profitability of the BlueScope plant have to do with the value of Bluescope Steel shares?”

The share value is just one of many indicators that Mr Abbott’s prediction was fanciful. There are plenty of others.

Bluescope decided to close furnace no 6 more than a year before the carbon tax came in. The company specifically said at the time, “Our decision is a direct response to the economic factors affecting our business and is not related to the Federal Government’s proposed carbon tax.”

Re: “I'd also like to see the figures that support your claims that industrial production levels have increased!  What a joke!”

Here they are, Labna: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/industrial-production

Happy to provide data for any other claims.

Cheers, AA

Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 13:09

@Alan Austin

How about the same Q and A for Gillard ?  ....or is this type of Q and A not appropiate for your cutting edge political views!

I guess a Gillard Q and A just may be too embarrassing for your liking, at least you would have if your honest, a lot of material to work with.

Rather than read your corrupt views based on selective journalism, just interview Crean, Ferguson and others within the Labor Party to garner some facts.

By the way, nice choice of editoral image for Abbott.  I found one for your next article on Gillard (click here to view) or with a bit of work a more truthful version of the 2013 Julia and how her collegues know her (click here to view)

Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 17:50

I have to admit that I didn't do as well as I expected on this quiz. I got the cycling one wrong as I didn't think even Abbott would stoop so low as to charge expenses for doing it. So Labna, I now know this ghastly apology for a man is even worse than I thought. If you don't like it, never mind, this creep will let you down too, believe me.

Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 - 18:40


Why don't YOU do a quiz regarding  Julia Gillard or anyone else you are interested in?

As long as it is TRUE (i.e. verifiably factual) I'm sure we will be happy to publish it here.

Since you obviously live on  a diet of Ltd. News and other such stuff, you will find it hard.

You might actually find the whole process  of making this quiz quite educational!

Do try it!

Posted Sunday, April 7, 2013 - 15:32

How well do you know Tony Abbott?

Well read his own words.....


This was sent to me and at first I thought it was a satire. Its deeply disturbing and revealing. All over the place as a speech and steeped in sychophancy towards people of questionable character. 

Certainly not the person to lead a smart, modern, progressive Australia.

Posted Monday, April 8, 2013 - 13:35

@ cherry picking

Well named!

try this for some actual info.


This user is a New Matilda supporter. Venise Alstergren
Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 16:25

All I want to do is to get rid of the bastard.

Posted Friday, April 12, 2013 - 18:02

The reason Abbott is not a laughing stock is because the mainstream media, led by Rupert Murdoch want this ratbag as PM because "In their guts they know he's nuts" and that  he  will be at the mercy of the big end of town, and that includes Pell.

Posted Saturday, April 13, 2013 - 17:39

Love this article - but it is a bit hard to read set out as it is...There's no harm in putting the right answers beside the question in a news item - it is not an exam but an expose.  Just mentioned that for future reference.