Tony Abbott, Santamaria’s Ghost.

In an article by Phillip Coorey (Canberra Times, December 5) Sydney Morning Herald chief political correspondent, Malcolm Turnbull is reported have said during the launch of a book by Hal Colebatch titledThe Modest Member: The Life & Times of Bert Kelly:

”We should not delude ourselves with political humbug into imagining the opponents of freedom – economic, social, political – are only to be found on what we like to call the left,” he said. ”Nor should we imagine that there are no advocates of big government to be found on what is called the right.”

Coory also wrote that ‘Mr Turnbull did not name names but invoked Mr Santamaria, a central influence on Mr Abbott during his formative political years and somebody whom he still mentions.’

Tony Abbot was a pupil of B.A.Santamaria for 22 years, and once described Santamaria as ‘The greatest living Australian.”

Santamaria was a extreme Catholic radical who said that all private and public policy must be according to strict Catholic doctrine. Basically Santamaria wanted Australia to be governed as a Catholic theocracy.

In an interview on Radio National (March14, 2001) Fr Bruce Duncan  said of Santamaria.

“I don’t think he went out of his way to mislead and misinterpret events, I think he was just so convinced of his ideas that he automatically kept reinterpreting things to mean the exact opposite of what they had originally intended to mean.”

The same might be said of Santamaria’s pupil, Tony Abbott.

Looking back at B.A.Santamaria is a way of understanding Tony Abbott and why I think that a vote for Tony Abbott is a vote for Santamaria’s ghost.

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2 thoughts on “Tony Abbott, Santamaria’s Ghost.

  1. Really?

    In David Marr’s Quarterly Essay on Abbott, Santamaria worked with teachers at Riverview to identify promising young leaders to attend a seminar/indoctrination/whatever. Abbott wasn’t invited but tagged along with someone who was. Later he became President of the Sydney Uni SRC: still didn’t get an invite from Santamaria to his student leadership things. When Abbott ran for Liberal preselection in 1994, he asked Santamaria for a reference: Sanatamaria refused.

    Just because Abbott couldn’t take the hint doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. If you want Santamaria’s essence in electoral politics, go and read Paul Keating’s maiden speech. Abbott talks about Santamaria because it gives him the appearance of depth and conviction which he simply doesn’t have.

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