Tony Abbott: Ideological Lightning Rod
Gerard Charles Wilson
This book began as one project, but as the author researched and wrote about Abbott’s time as a student, from school through to the seminary, he realised there was enough significant material, including the prelude of the 1960s, for a book devoted entirely to the student period. That book will be published as Tony Abbott and the Times of Revolution. This second book will concentrate on Abbott’s time as opposition leader and prime minister.
The content of this second book is yet to be established. In bothe books, however, the author traces the development of Tony Abbott’s political life, showing his fidelity to a defined political philosophy that cohered within him from a very early age. The accepted opinion tirelessly peddled by a prejudiced media is that Abbott’s Catholic faith – meaning Catholic dogma – governs his political action.
Although Abbott’s faith is crucial to him as a complete person, he does not adhere to a strict dogmatic form of Catholicism. Catholics who know their faith would place Abbott on the ‘liberal’ non-dogmatic end of the Catholic scale.
Abbott’s political action is rather defined by a closely considered conservatism. This is conservatism as a political philosophy. It is influenced by political philosophers Michael Oakeshott, Roger Scruton, and Edmund Burke – especially Edmund Burke. It is clearly the classical Natural Law content in Burke’s speeches and writings that appeals to Abbott’s mind.
The author shows how Abbott’s Burkean (natural law) conservatism, framed by a Christian ethos, especially the law of charity, guides him in all his political decisions from the wild ideological combat of his student days through to his term as prime minister. It is a guidance that his critics in the media almost to a man and a woman get wrong – even some who claim to be conservative.
Tentative publication date: 2019
(cover is a mock-up)