Over night it was revealed that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (Hebrew: שָּׂטָן‎‎ Satan, meaning “enemy” or “adversary”), was apparently visited by the Dickensian ghosts of the postal plebiscite: Justice, Karma and Fair-Dunkin Australian Spirit.

According to Mr. Abbott he was approached and allegedly head-butted following a luncheon in Hobart that he attended with anti SSM campaigners and colleague Eric Abetz. Speaking on 3AW, Abbott remarked:

“I was walking from the Mercury office across that docks area, that beautiful docks area in Hobart, towards my hotel,”

“A fellow sung out at me ‘Hey Tony!’ I turned around, there was a chap wearing a Vote Yes badge. He says ‘I want to shake your hand’. I went over to shake his hand and then he head-butted me.”

“Now he wasn’t very good at it I’ve gotta say, but he did make contact. The only damage was a very, very slightly swollen lip.”

At the time of writing there have been unconfirmed reports that a police report has been made, though no CCTV footage has been released nor have any witnesses come forward. It is also important to note that the only evidence that the alleged attacker was even a supporter of SSM is Abbott himself asserting the man was wearing a “Vote YES” badge. A convenient visual cue to specify exactly what aspect of his divisive and outdated political history motivated the fracas.

Mr. Abbott labelled the event as politically motivated violence. “
You want to understand the position that others might have been in but you know, the days when we were cruel to people on the basis of their sexuality, I think, have long goneAbbott said. “This is just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting.”

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 4.33.50 PMIf there was a record scratch audio effect cued in this article, it would be here. Please note the visual source to the right.

In the last few days alone we’ve seen a 14-year-old receive graphic death threats from a school friend’s father for supporting SSM, Kevin Rudd’s young godson assaulted to the point of drawing blood as well as an endless parade of hate speech scattered across our sidewalks, skies and social feeds.

Of course, this is not to say at all that the way in which someone votes on same sex marriage defines their character entirely. Nor is it to assert that even a yes voter like myself hasn’t read about incidents on both sides that have raised eyebrows. However, this incident is not one.

Before pitchforks are raised, I in no way intend to promote a message that head-butting random strangers is an ok thing to do because they disagree with you. Such a claim would suggest that this event could be viewed without the context of Mr Abbott’s track record with homophobia, both prior to and following this event… which it absolutely cannot.     

Much like a viral infection, Mr Abbott’s presence in the media is as unwanted as it is stubbornly consistent. Most recently, his activities have been solely centred on acting as a figurehead of the ‘Vote NO’ campaign.

This in itself, although causing personal distaste – is not where Abbott’s worse crimes lie.

Not only has his support repeatedly legitimised the hatred and bigotry held by the portion of no voter holding reverence for inequality, but through claiming that prejudice towards the LGBTQ+ community no longer exists he risks to pushing a wide spread invalidation of the very real mental health consequences associated the very real examples of homophobia.

This is irresponsible, incorrect and incredibly dangerous.

Mr Abbott has used this “ugly debate” – one that he was instrumental in insisting occurred– as a platform to recycle his own ‘anti political correctness’ agenda and label the struggle for same sex marriage as “irrelevant” due to his deep spread inability to empathise with or validate any examples of discrimination he himself hasn’t experienced.

If homophobia is indeed a thing of the past, then Abbott himself has singlehandedly put forward a breath-taking effort to revive it. Some comments made throughout the duration of this postal vote alone include:

Of course you can read Abbott’s editorial for The Sydney Morning Herald, published earlier this month, for a more collated account of his opinion. The piece is littered with proven falsehoods, none more misleading than the claim that de facto couples have the same rights as married couples, though do be warned; concentrated exposure to this man’s toxic stupidity could prove ideologically and mentally fatal. Approach with caution.

For someone who continues to vehemently and viciously assault the basic human rights of a significant number of Australians, it is this writer’s opinion that a head-butt resulting in a “very, very slightly swollen lip” is something that Mr Abbott can surely take in his stride.

Especially when we remember that this is a man whose concept of foreign diplomacy involved threatening to shirtfront the Russian President.

Have your own say and vote in our poll below.

This author is in no way sponsored by the ‘yes’ campaign, and would merely like to point out he is not a complete dickhead and has therefore voted ‘yes’.