As former Prime Minister Tony Abbott begins his slow adjustment to life out of the political sphere, concerns are held over the reliability of his memory following recent comments he made about a so-called “new nastiness in Australian politics”. Abbott made the comments earlier this month in response to offensive posters depicting his face were installed around his former electorate of Warringah.

While Abbott’s right to defend himself after the crude posters emerged was fair enough, astute observers felt the comments were more than a little hypocritical coming from a man who once happily stood in front of posters referring to then–Prime Minister Julia Gillard as another man’s “bitch” alongside a placard demanding that the people of Australia “Ditch the Witch”. Not to mention the same Tony Abbott that pleaded ignorance after borrowing a line from a terribly offensive comment previously made on radio about the death of Gillard’s father.

Exactly how Abbott was able to differentiate his questionable behaviour from the past with the offensive posters bearing his image remains unclear, as does his believe that nastiness is a “new” thing in Australian politics. Maybe, just like every politician ever, his comments and actions have been taken out of context?

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