Can Alan Jones stoop any lower?

After reading this in this morning I can only ponder if Alan Jones can has finally reached the bottom of the barrel. Here is the bulk of the story:

Veteran broadcaster and 2GB host Alan Jones has claimed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father died of “shame” because of the political “lies” his daughter told.

He told a group of 100 Young Liberals that John Gillard’s death was the fault of his proud child.

He went on to suggest Ms Gillard’s tears of grief, for a man she publicly said she “will miss for the rest of my life”, were what sparked a sudden leap in political polling for her.

Mr Gillard, a former psychiatric nurse, died in Adelaide on September 8, age 83.

The remarks occurred during Mr Jones’ 50-minute speech at the annual $100-per-head Sydney University Liberal Club President’s Dinner, on the top floor of Sydney’s Waterfront restaurant in The Rocks last Saturday.

After referring to Ms Gillard’s track record with telling the truth to voters over issues including the carbon tax, Mr Jones said her father’s death was caused by the Prime Minister herself.

“The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame,” Mr Jones told a group of party members and MPs, including Alex Hawke, Ray Williams and Sussan Ley.

“To think that he had a daughter who told lies every time she stood for parliament.

“Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar.”

Some members of the audience gasped with surprise.

The radio star went on to say Ms Gillard had enjoyed a recent spike in polls sparked by her tears. He also said she was being given an easy ride by the “brainwashed” Liberal Party who had backed down because she was a woman.

Organisers of the dinner were not aware a journalist from The Sunday Telegraph, who had purchased a ticket, was present.

While paying tribute to her father in parliament on September 19, Ms Gillard spoke of the rough and tumble of politics and how that affected the family.

She said her father “felt more deeply than me, in many ways, some of the personal attacks that we face in the business of politics, but I was always able to reassure him that he had raised a daughter with sufficient strength not to let that get her down”.

Mr Jones made several mentions about why Liberal leader Tony Abbott should be Australia’s next PM.

“His overweening weakness is his humility. You will never ever hear this bloke argue his ability, his virtue, or indeed his competence,” he said.

“He is a man of incomparable integrity and conviction.”

The broadcaster said it was vital every member of Mr Abbott’s party united behind their leader in the lead-up to the election. Mr Jones said some members of the Labor caucus were scared of the Liberal leader and others thought he was sexist.

Yesterday Mr Jones did not respond to approaches from The Sunday Telegraph.

The event was staged by Sydney University Liberal Club president and aspiring MP Alex Dore. Mr Jones has endorsed his political endeavours.

Yesterday, Mr Dore said Mr Jones had not made the comments about Ms Gillard’s father. Later, informed there was a recording of the speech, his position changed.

“It was a very long speech and I did not hear it. I have always found Alan to be respectful,” Mr Dore said.

He said there was “no need” to “pick apart Alan’s speech. All you are doing is reducing it to a very small thing which distracts from the issues facing Australia”.

I’m momentarily lost for words, so it’s over to you while I pick myself up from the floor.

Oh, and here’s a photo of Alan Jones with his finger up a dog’s arse.

Julia: what does it take?

This morning while reading an article by Minister Gary Gray, I noted this concluding paragraph:

..they have allowed us to deliver on our priorities in areas like education, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and important measures like paid parental leave, aged care reform, mental health reform and the biggest aged pension increases in our history.

These words echoed a previous speech by Bill Shorten who added, “and action on climate change – would ensure national benefits long into the future.”

The thing which came to mind was: What does it take for the government and indeed Prime Minister Gillard to obtain due recognition for policies, for a vision for the future?

This most important element, and that which is so clearly lacking in Opposition policies and promises.

It would seem that this particular Opposition can rarely even inspire themselves to be (as John Howard would have put it), “aspirational”.

However, dwelling on the failings of the Opposition will not in itself win the election for Labor.

It is certainly gratifying in the past week or so, that the mainstream media has at long last given Tony Abbott and his policies (or lack thereof) some semblance of scrutiny. But is this just an aberration, a sudden quirk of the media’s and that all will soon return to situation: normal, with the media doing little but adding their Noddies to interviews with Their Tones. Will the media once again return to headliners which include little more than photo ops of Tony attending the opening of an envelope?

However, back to my original question of what must Prime Minister Gillard and her government do to obtain recognition for work done?

One thing is clear and that is that the mainstream media cannot be relied upon for impartial commentary. As has often been noted, even positive stories for the government come accompanied with provisos and negative inclusions, with the aim clearly being to negate anything which might possibly provide a positive impression.

It is my opinion that far more should be done to utilise one of the government’s prime assets and this is Julia Gillard herself.

It seems to me that Labor has shied away from promoting Julia Gillard, First Female Prime Minister, and ever since the nit-picking media drew attention to Ms Gillard’s derrière, ear lobes and empty fruit bowl. It also started with Tony Abbott’s whinge that Julia as Prime Minister would be an unfair fight as “the she” would use her gender against..well, who knows what against, but it is assumed that Abbott meant against himself. Of course the opposite well and truly happened. Therefore is it now time for Labor to Get Over It!! and start to promote Julia Gillard, the woman and the person?

The other thing which came to mind is that Labor needs to promote itself as The Team. This Kevin Rudd did very successfully in the lead up to the ’04 election. By looking at Team Gillard, focus will then be forced back onto Team Abbott. Currently Team Abbott is most definitely a one man show. This clearly has been Liberal Party tactics, firstly an attempt to overcome Tony’s less than savoury background on a number of important issues (lots of photos and minimise the talk), and also because for the most part his team are John Howard’s B Team who showed little aptitude while in government.  One could add, and even less while in opposition.

Certainly Labor needs to concentrate on the positive and as Bill Shorten put it:

Labor’s vision was defined by its core principles of prosperity and equal opportunity for all Australians.

Bill Shorten states “was defined”, but that is what differentiates Labor from Liberal: equality of opportunity. This is what must be emphasised in the lead up to the next election.

Game on!

Or should I say ‘games on’ as this weekend we see two of the biggest events on our sporting calendar – the AFL and NRL Grand Finals. Both will be a showcase for interstate rivalry; Hawthorn from Melbourne playing Sydney in the AFL, and Sydney’s Bulldogs playing the Melbourne Storm in the NRL.

In the AFL, Hawthorn are firm favourites.

Last week against Adelaide they were loose, lethargic and sloppy. Only the efforts of a few stand-out players got them over the line against the team of tooth fairies from the city of churches. Perhaps the early tag of premiership favourites has made them complacent.

Their coach is a known wall puncher (like Tony Abbott) and I reckon he’ll be doing some punching on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Swans were methodical in the way they dismantled Collingwood. They might take it up to the Hawks.

I don’t know much about the NRL (except that Canberra missed out). I’m sure some of our readers can fill in the gaps for us.

BTW, here’s a nice ‘premiership’ photo. :mrgreen:

Voting: let’s keep it compulsory

Compulsory voting is not an issue I’ve ever given much thought to, always taking for granted that it was sacrosanct, however given that Nick Minchin has put his grubby little hands all over it I can only assume that he is doing so because voluntary voting would be in the best interests of the Coalition. His latest foray into the issue comes after an Adelaide man who lost a Supreme Court challenge against Australia’s compulsory voting system announced plans to take his legal fight to the High Court. Anders Holmdahl has argued that voting at federal and state elections is a right, not a duty. Minchin attended the Adelaide hearing to lend support to the legal challenge, adding:

“I’ve always said that compulsory voting is an infringement of the democratic rights of Australians, so I’m delighted this case was brought to court,” he said.

“I’m sorry that the matter has been dismissed at this level, but I hope it will be taken to the High Court.

“I think the Commonwealth Electoral Act’s requirement on Australians to vote, whether they want to or not, is wrong and I think it should be tested in the High Court.”

Yes, folks, you read that correctly; one of the founding fathers of the draconian WorkChoices and the vocal advocate of a harsher WorkChoices Mach II is concerned about an infringement on the democratic rights of Australians.

He has been calling for voluntary voting for many years now and way back in 2005 he speculated that an election victory to Howard (in 2007) may well have seen his desired amendments to the Electoral Act, though back then his call for voluntary voting was not based on any infringement of the democratic rights of Australians, but that:

. . . voluntary voting’s a very important barometer of the health of a political system, which compulsion can disguise. That’s one of my main complaints about compulsory voting.

That sounds about as unconvincing as his concern for the democratic rights of Australians.

Howard himself had fiddled with the Act prior to the 2007 election when he removed the seven day period after the issue of the election writs during which voters could enrol or update their enrolment. This was a sneaky move. With the opinion polls showing strong support for Labor from 18-21 year olds, Howard wanted to exclude as many of that cohort group from voting and removal of the seven day enrolment period was a dastardly means at his disposal.

I have my suspicions that Minchin’s motives are no different to Howard’s, particularly when we consider some of the crucial attributes of compulsory voting:

  • Higher sample of public opinion with higher voter turnout
  • Legitimacy of government is more accepted by a high voter turnout
  • Equalises participation and removes bias from less-privileged citizens
  • Increases citizen interest in politics and government
  • Forces the silent majority to think about elections which safeguards from extremism

And more importantly, this:

Compulsory voting reduces power of lobbying groups. A benefit of compulsory voting is that it makes it more difficult for special interest groups to vote themselves into power. Under a non-compulsory voting system, if fewer people vote then it is easier for smaller sectional interests and lobby groups to control the outcome of the political process. The outcome of the election reflects less the will of the people (Who do I want to lead the country?) but instead reflects who was logistically more organized and more able to convince people to take time out of their day to cast a vote.

That has the smell of Minchin all over it.

Some of you may recall my recent post Who runs the Liberal Party? where I speculated that Nick Minchin still pull many strings. Though retired from politics, his ideologies are reflected in the direction the party is heading. Here is a snippet of that earlier post for those who might have missed it:

But unless the legacy dies we could be well again be the victim of more of the hard-line extremist’s ideologies. I’m referring to WorkChoices, of which Minchin was one of the architects. Despite its unpopularity he has maintained that the reforms did not go far enough and further deregulation is required. In a parting shot as he retired from politics he:

. . . appealed to his party not to drift into populism as an over-reaction to being burnt on its WorkChoices laws.

Was anybody in the party listening? Yes.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has given qualified support . . . for a Coalition government to roll back Labor’s IR reforms.

Minchin might yet see his dream again realised with the scrapping of unfair dismissal laws and the return to individual contracts for employers. Can he trust Abbott? Yep.

Can we trust him?

It would be far more easier to avoid drifting into populism and pandering to lobby groups with the removal of compulsory voting (referring to the dot points above).

That extreme Liberal Party think tank, Menzies House offers some very radical opinions that leave the reader convinced that the removal of compulsory voting would damage the Labor Party.

Under voluntary voting leaders must empower the electorate, which means they must promote freedom. They must sell freedom. They must defend and protect freedom.

Voluntary voting will reverse our slide towards totalitarianism.

Australians don’t like compulsory voting. Not really. Australians like to see evidence of high voter participation and they think high voter turnouts indicate this. The government has deceived the Australian people for far too long.

Until the Australian government stops lying, Australia will continue to deceive the world into thinking that freedom is bad for democracy.

Could it be that compulsory voting favours a particular type of voter? Could their deception be politically motivated? Julia Gillard supports compulsory voting.

In my opinion everything revolves around that one question: “Could it be that compulsory voting favours a particular type of voter?” Yes, it does:

. . . compulsory voting supposedly favours political representation of the educationally and economically disadvantaged and marginalised – predominantly Labor supporters.

There we have it in a nutshell. Forget Minchin’s concern on the infringement of the democratic rights of Australians. Forget his argument too that voluntary voting’s a very important barometer of the health of a political system. Replace it with voluntary voting’s a very important barometer of the health of a political party: the Liberal Party.

Quite simply, Minchin wants whatever will eliminate a few Labor voters thus enhancing the opportunity to fulfill the expectations of big money, big business and big media.

While researching this post I came across many pages that have put forward the pros and cons of compulsory voting, however each argument overlooked one crucial point: if some members of the far right are so vehemently opposed to it, than it must be to their political advantage to remove it.

For that reason alone, let’s keep it compulsory.

Give it up, Tony

In a post I wrote just over a month ago titled Tony Abbott and the Great Debate I provided a brief summary of the economic impact of the ‘carbon tax’ on Australia. Despite most of the country being frightened half to death from Tony Abbott’s negative campaign, the outcomes went the opposite direction. To recap, I wrote:

He [Tony Abbott] has visited every business in the country and predicted with fear and smear how the carbon tax would destroy their respective industries and how he was likely to be the last person to walk through their doors. Butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers; there’d be none left after the carbon tax annihilated them. Even whole towns were predicted to be wiped off the map.

Whyalla, I am pleased to see has survived as have his favourite butchers, bakers and candle-stick makers. The damage repeatedly predicted by Tony Abbott has failed to deliver its destruction. In fact, it has been quite the reverse. Consider the following:

The data flow covering the time period since the carbon tax started on 1 July 2012 are coming through thick and fast.

The numbers, quite unambiguously, point to the economy doing very on just about all fronts.  Share prices and house prices are both rising, business confidence and consumer sentiment is rising; jobs are being created and the unemployment rate ticked lower.

Indicator      Change since end June 2012
Market Indicators


Official cash rate

No change

Australian dollar (vs USD)


10 year govt bond yield

+0.30 percentage points



    Change in market cap of ASX

+$53 billion

Economic Indicators


RP Data house prices


      Change in Housing Wealth

+$28 billion

Westpac Index of Consumer Sentiment


TD-MI Monthly Inflation


ANZ job ads




Unemployment rate

-0.1% to 5.2%

NAB Business Confidence

+7 points

NAB Business Conditions

-2 points

Mr Abbott would be wise to consider some facts if he intends to continue with his fear and smear. Without them he is open to attack from every economist in the country as well as a Government ready to pounce with a few armed facts and figures themselves.

He may promise to repeal the legislation but in doing so he knows he’d be telling a big fat lie. And in a public debate the Prime Minister could put him to the task on exactly how it could be done. She won’t let him off the hook like our compliant and incompetent media.

I’d suggest that his argument on the ‘destructive’ carbon tax has no credibility left in it.

My suggestion above that the argument has no credibility was almost given the tick of approval by Tony Abbott himself a few days later when he admitted that the impact of the carbon tax may not be catastrophic. I quickly posted a short piece titled Tony Abbott’s “scare campaign was a fraud” and did so with a large dose of smugness. I wrote:

Tony Abbott isn’t getting the message: he needs to shut his mouth to prevent putting a foot in it. He has been given plenty of opportunities this week to learn this simple lesson.

In his latest epic fail he today he admitted to the Tasmanian State Council that:

. . . . the initial impact of the carbon tax may not be absolutely catastrophic.

What happened to the wrecking ball? What happened to Whyalla? What about those 1,001 visits to every butcher, baker and candle-stick maker with dire warnings that their business was doomed?

In a flash Wayne Swan jumped on the comment from Abbott that the impact of the carbon tax has not been catastrophic, declaring his “scare campaign was a fraud”.

Well, dear readers, the carbon tax that has not been catastrophic and which the economic indicators (above) reveal positive outcomes, a month later we now have Tony quietly saying this:

As soon as an election is called, the Coalition will take immediate and concrete steps to repeal the Carbon Tax.

Repealing the Carbon Tax will ease cost of living pressures on families, help small business and restore confidence to the economy.

The man is hell-bent on being a political opportunist. Tony, look at the data. Look at the economy. Even your Shadow Treasurer is starting to look intelligent in comparison to you:

Inside the Coalition, he [Joe Hockey] is waging war. He slapped down Barnaby Joyce for “freelancing” on foreign investment and is fighting to constrain promises being made by Abbott that don’t seem to add up.

These include the scrapping of the carbon and mining taxes while promising (without details) to keep a fair chunk of the goodies they pay for, such as tax cuts, higher pensions and superannuation changes that could cost several billion dollars.

Tony Abbott may have given up his scare campaign but in no way has he given up his ambition ‘scrap the tax’. Might I say . . . Give it up, Tony. We’re all doing just fine. You will be the wrecking ball of the economy – not the tax that you predicted would be.

An apolitical observation

I generally don’t believe anything that comes out of the mouths of members of the Coalition so I haven’t given much credence to whatever they say. But this latest babble of bullshit has stirred me:

The federal opposition has accused Labor of ordering public servants to create political material to attack the Coalition.

Amid business calls for public servants to be allowed to do their jobs, opposition treasury secretary Joe Hockey has lodged an official complaint alleging “potential political interference” in the public service by Treasurer Wayne Swan’s office.

Tony Abbott said it was not the number of advisers that was the problem, but the way in which they were used by the government.

The Opposition Leader said the Coalition would review the entire bureaucracy but “I think it’s the misuse to which political staffers have been put, with dirt units and so on, rather than the fact that there are political staffers as such”.

As a former Federal Public Servant may I protest that this is a load of absolute and utter rubbish? It’s clearly just another fabricated  “look over there” moment to deflect media and public attention away from a very damaged Tony Abbott.

But if they want to pick on the Public Service with bizarre claims then I take the liberty to throw back a few observations of my own.

I worked as a Public Servant under the Howard, Rudd and Gillard Governments. As a Public Servant I was apolitical, working for the government of the day while casting aside my own political preferences and I performed diligently and loyally to all three. Of those three governments it could be considered that the behaviour of several Howard Ministers only was questionable. I am not at liberty to expand on this.

However, I am at liberty to provide my observations, whether they be correct or not. Neither might they agree with the observations of other Public Servants. But here they are:

  • I didn’t consider that John Howard or Joe Hockey were honest politicians
  • Tony Abbott was very unpopular with a former department due to his alleged nastiness
  • Kevin Rudd drove people fairly hard
  • The Liberals when in government appeared to politicise the Public Service
  • There were rumours that members of the Howard Government attempted to obtain information off public servants for political advantage
  • The Rudd Government acted far more professionally than the Howard Government
  • Julia Gillard was very popular and respected by her departments
  • Many of Howard’s policies in the employment area did not appear to be working
  • The Labor Governments were more concerned with helping society’s needy
  • The Labor Governments had more of a focus on education and job training than Howard’s
  • I did not consider Joe Hockey a competent Minister
  • Labor made more cuts to the Public Service than Howard
  • There appeared to be a greater emphasis from the Howard Government on misleading the electorate
  • The Howard Government did not appear genuinely concerned with the plight of minority groups, in particular Indigenous Australians

What have you good people observed from the boundary line?

Photo courtesy of

Cory’s man bites dog – dogs bite back moment

Welcome to Civic Education Class

Welcome to Civic Education Class.
Courtesy – Wes Mountain of This is Australia. Today.

My roundup for Global Voices of reactions to Cory Bernardi’s extraordinary man bites dog/dogs bite back moment may be of interest:

It was bound to be a bad time for Australian Senator Cory Bernardi after he suggested in a parliamentary debate on legalizing same sex marriage that it could lead to marriage between humans and animals.

…It is a story that’s likely to dog his political career for some time to come.

Australia: Same Sex Marriage Debate Unleashes Beast

On the issue of same sex marriage itself, we might have lost the vote but we certainly won the argument.

The Perfect Storm

Blogger Jason offered a profound comment on The Political Sword that succinctly sums up the brewing political storm:

If Abbott won’t provide any policies to scrutinize, then we scrutinize what we can: his character.

And what a storm it is! Some ill winds are whirling around Abbott’s character, blowing away a political facade and exposing a man bereft of leadership qualities and human decency.

Will it be the perfect storm that sinks him?

I think so.

His ferocity as a politician is as legendary as his negativity. His parliamentary performances befit the man who was once labelled ‘John Howard’s attack dog‘. He still carries that label and ferocity:

Politicians don’t come any more ferocious and brutal than Abbott. He reverted to the wild the moment he got his paws on the Liberal leadership.

His style is pure attack dog, as feral as you’d get.

That’s fine as an attack dog politician, but Tony Abbott’s credibility is now haunted by a personality that is fundamentally just as feral. Inside and outside Parliament he is an outright bully and people are startled to discover that his bullying, aggressive ways were inherent long before he became a public figure. People who might have tolerated his mannerisms as a politician, do not tolerate the same mannerisms in a member of society. Being a political troll might make you a good Leader of the Opposition but it doesn’t cut with anything else. Especially that of Prime Minister.

People are opening their eyes. The man is nasty to the core.

Over the last couple of weeks the newspapers have been awash with stories about Tony Abbott’s similarly aggressive behaviour at university, in particular his wall punching display of manhood near the head of Barbara Ramjan, the person he lost out to for the coveted presidency of the Student Representative Council. Abbott denies/can’t remember the event but regrets his constant belittling of Ramjan, and anyway, it’s just the ‘Labor dirt unit’ in action, so he says.

The real problem for Tony Abbott is not (his shallow claim that it’s) the Labor dirt unit in action, but his history of aggressive behaviour which is now under the spotlight. The man must be praying for a distraction. Cory Bernardi provided one yesterday and someone else will provide one tomorrow or next week.

But when they all blow away nothing will have changed with Tony Abbott. His inherent nastiness will be at the eye of the storm.

The perfect storm.

The dark clouds of doubt are gathering over him. I don’t think we’ve heard the last about the man who likes to throw punches.

I would have liked to have done something else

In my working life I only had three jobs that lasted more than five years; a cabinet-maker, a finance manager, and a public servant. Most of them sucked, although the last two I mentioned were very enjoyable.

However, each one was a job and not a career. I would have liked to have done something else. Something I had a real passion for and one that I could have spent my whole working life devoted to.

If I could start all over again there are a few that would fall into that category and I would pursue a career in them relentlessly.

Given the chance, I’d be an astronomer. I studied it for a year at university but the first six months were the most boring of my life. We were drilled with small structures of the universe; things like photons, bosons and muons. They are not exciting, only a fraction more exciting than the equations a half a metre long that we had to damage our brains on. I was more interested in the large structures of the universe; planets, galaxies and anything that might dwell in them.

I threw in the towel.

Second choice would be a paleontologist. Yep, digging up old bones tracing the evolution of we humans or the odd dinosaur. I’m very interested in ‘things’ we know little about and would loved to be involved in new discoveries.

For that reason I could easily take a career in Egyptology or archaeology. Not much work in Australia for the former and little of interest in the latter unless it’s Aboriginal archaeology. I knew a girl who studied archaeology and ended up in a career researching Australian verandah designs in the 19th century. I guess when there’s nothing else around you take anything.

Which is what I’ve done all my life.

Would you do anything different given the miracle of another chance?

Cory Bernardi and the beast

LIBERAL Senator Cory Bernardi has suggested legalising same sex marriage would lead to demands for bestiality to also be sanctioned.

“It is another chip in the fabric of our social mores,” he said. ”The time has come to ask, when will it end? If we are prepared to redefine marriage … what is the next step?”

The above quote from Cory Bernardi leaves one shaking one’s head in dismay at the thoughts processes of some people.

Under normal circumstances, such statements can be ignored as the rantings of homophobic, bogan types. However, this ranting does indeed emanate from someone whom one should assume has at least a modest amount of intelligence.

Ironically, Joe Hockey subsequently called for, “a sensitive and measured parliamentary debate on same-sex marriage”.  Sorry Joe, your fellow Liberal Cory Bernardi has already spoken.

Apart from the fact that Bernardi’s statement is nothing more than homophobic blathering, there are excellent reasons why bestiality has zero to do with marriage equality.

And yes, I am attempting to treat this matter with due gravitas all the while battling my instinct to reply to Bernardi in a Shakespearean way: Thou clay-brained guts, thou knotty-pated fool, thou whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch!

However, will Bernardi’s argument against gay marriage be taken up by certain right-wing shock jock types? Ans: it’s possible. Therefore, as per below:


Grounds on which marriages are void

(1) A marriage to which this Division applies that takes place after the commencement of section 13 of the Marriage Amendment Act 1985 is void where:

(iii) that party is mentally incapable of understanding the nature and effect of the marriage ceremony; or

(e) either of the parties is not of marriageable age;

Bernardi also suggests that gay marriage would have the consequence of leading to polygamy.

Why should it, as we have s(1)(a) of the Marriage Act which states that a marriage is void if “either of the parties is, at the time of the marriage, lawfully married to some other person”.

And so there we have it, that in order for Bernardi’s fantasy nightmare of bestiality and polygamy to come to pass it is the Marriage Act (Cth) 1961 which would have to be amended, and in such a way as to allow underage marriage, marriage without consent and bigamy.

In spite of the opinion of Cory Bernardi, marriage between consenting adults, irrespective of gender does not alter the basic integrity of the fundamental that two people who agree to unite, and who are prepared to take on the responsibilities and privileges of that agreement, should be permitted to do so.









Breaking News: Cory Bernardi quits. This would be one of the rare times that I would have to agree with Tony Abbott.

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has resigned as Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s personal parliamentary secretary following a widespread furore over the South Australian’s comments that legislating for gay marriage could lead to demands to legalise bestiality and polygamy.

In announcing Senator Bernardi’s resignation, Mr Abbott said his contribution to the same-sex marriage debate was unwelcome.

“They are views that I don’t share. They are views that many people will find repugnant,” Mr Abbott said.