Frances Abbott is fair game, she is an adult and was an adult at the time she accepted her mysterious scholarship. An adult that is more than enjoying the benefits of being a member of the privileged class. This is a class of people that with a nod and a wink (although, not the kind of wink her father is now known for) can get things done.
This mysterious scholarship appearing like a biblical burning bush, is bestowed upon this adult daughter (at the time she was old enough to drink, drive and die for her country) yet Tony Abbott says, nothing to see here, move along, leave my family out of it.
Sure, people would be more likely to leave Tony’s family out of it, but for one small factor, during the last election campaign he dragged them to every possible media photo op that he could in the lead up to the election. If he had sheltered them, then sure, he would have a case to say don’t attack my family in the media. But he didn’t shelter them. And Frances put herself in front of the media, as a human shield, more than once, to protect her father against his perceived sexism. Tony’s appearance on Big Brother with the “not bad looking daughters” comment just reinforced how much he was playing the media with them.
Now some elements of the media are addressing an issue (that is not about a child, but a daughter who is legally an adult) over something and he wants the media to leave well alone. Not going to happen. Those in the Right happily jumped on the “Died of Shame” comment in regards to Gillard’s father, but now in power, questioning potential wrong doing is a terrible thing, showing the level of hypocrisy that surrounds the privileged class.
At the age Frances was getting her 60k gift, I was already out of home and on that great scholarship Newstart. Now before the opportunity of obtaining Newstart Tony Abbott et.al will ensure people starve for 6 months. Even in her situation, I would have consulted with my parents on all the details about a $60 grand scholarship.
As an aside, thanks to Newstart, I did get my act together, didn’t starve to death and now pay an bucket load of taxes, something I am very pleased to do.
So we are meant to believe that Frances Abbott never talked to Mum and Dad and said, ‘hey, just got offered a 60k scholarship to a school from a well-known Liberal Party donor, that you should just ignore’. Sure, we are meant to believe they were doing it tough on a Leader of the Oppositions Salary of over 300k at the time, with all the expenses that he could think of paid for, say competing in various triathlons around the country. Yes, we are meant to believe he was a battler like the rest of us you know. Frances also we are meant to believe was I am sure like many of the other students in the school, she was struggling to make ends meet.
But a nod a wink get those with the right connections the right grants, the right doors opened and the Right are happy with the status quo.
Legally Tony Abbott did nothing wrong, but the law and ethics often blur, and the further embedded in the privileged class the further these lines blur. Frances Abbott is fair game because she and her father obviously must feel this is normal acceptable behaviour whilst slashing the dole, raising education costs and thinking that mysterious scholarships are o.k. Frances would have talked to her father about it before signing the dotted line; perhaps he gave her a wink and said everything is o.k.
Sadly for the rest of us, that is not how life works. All of us are more than able to say this is wrong and stand up against it.
Frances, or her father likewise could have said no thanks.