It’s been an eventful year in politics, no one would deny that. But the Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton has described it as “traumatic” for politicians like Eric Abetz, who was booted from cabinet after the leadership spill that left Abetz and other conservatives on the outer. “You’ve been through a traumatic time, as has the nation, politically,” Shelton opened the ACL’s Political Spot podcast, before launching into an interview that was not so much a sponge bath, but a pampering session at a day spa. Abetz went on to have a go at the Canberra press gallery and the media generally, saying ”media bias is very corrosive for the political framework within our country. One would hope that reporters actually report instead of commentate and insert those subtle and sometimes none-too-subtle descriptors to try and denigrate — or indeed uplift those that they support and denigrate those that they oppose.”
He repeated his comment to the Oz’s Sharri Markson that it was a shame that the media didn’t report more on the “godless left”, and railed against the “ingrained, endemic bias that the Australian people have to deal with”. Shelton went on to say that Abetz had called out the bias without “in any way playing the victim” and called his stance against marriage equality “courageous”.
Abetz didn’t sound at all bitter about losing his gig as leader of the Senate, even finding a silver lining:
“The fact that no role was found for me by [Malcolm Turnbull] is a matter for him to justify and not for me to be concerned about, and I seek to continue to be of service in my new role and now with the freedom of the backbench I have the freedom to speak out on these issues.”
Abetz also said that when it came to marriage equality, his views were formed by not only thinking about the current generation, but people eight generations into the future. And yes, it is too much to hope that Shelton asked if he also applied that logic to his views on policies to fight climate change.