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Charlie Lewis

Tony Abbott’s fun new friends, Julian Hill’s fun gift, Julie Bishop’s fun revisionism

It’s Abbott time We do wonder how former prime minister and routinely silenced citizen Tony Abbott decides who he’s going to reward with his insights. Okay, so it’s not shocking that Crikey has had a hard time getting hold of him in the past, but he’s also the first Australian prime minister in the 30-year history of the ABC’s documentaries to not show up and defend his legacy, opting out of Nemesis recap of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison years.

However, it seems he’s made himself available for the podcast Club Grubbery, hosted by two stars of Australia’s anti-vax movement John Larter and Graham Hood, to be “candid and upfront about the past few years”.

Abbott is relatively diplomatic, at least in contrast to the premise of the questioning. Asked about why drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were “censored and banned and, and, and cast off into oblivion” in a way that “really should get any rational human being wondering what’s really driving this”, Abbot replies, “Well, look, Graeme, I, I certainly, uh, am, uh, generally deeply sceptical about anything that smacks of conspiracy.” Which, at the very least, implies he did absolutely no googling of the people asking him for an interview (or, while we’re on the subject, his chief business adviser).

At Hood’s request, Abbott brings the interview to a close with a quick prayer.

Light on the Hill We would be delighted to know what Bruce MP Julian Hill does for his constituents that inspires such… distinctive gifts. Early last year, he declared a pair of suits he received from a constituent that “it became impossible to return without causing offence”. Yesterday he updated the register to include a statue of himself sitting on a “75cm throne”. The value is, he assesses, priceless:

Bishop takes the night Women’s lifestyle/training website Future Women has received lashings of public money over the years, trailing questions about what material achievements it can objectively claim. So we’re sure Julie Bishop, the Teflon-coated former foreign affairs minister and newly appointed United Nations special envoy to Myanmar, felt right at home.

Telling their podcast about how her role as foreign affairs minister and sole female cabinet member meant the cabinet boasted one more woman than Tony Abbott had wanted to appoint. She didn’t go public with it, but wished, apparently, that the media had expressed more outrage on her behalf.

We can see why she might have expected the media to meet her more than halfway on the disconnect between her views and actions, given the desperation to credit her for views that she hadn’t actually expressed, such on marriage equality or the treatment of women in the Liberal Party.

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