Tony Abbott is the new liberal leader. A very bad day for women. A great day for Joe Hockey’s family.

What an extraordinary day in Canberra. I’ve been unexpectedly gripped by this whole liberal leadership and ETS thing for days. Much of this is due to Twitter I think. The immediacy of the medium and the great wit of the journalists I follow made this morning’s leadership ballot more exciting than the Melbourne Cup.

It certainly seemed to bring the nation together, watching it on ABC1 and tweeting about it madly.

I’m sure you’ll have a lot to say about it…the ETS, the liberal leadership, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey…..what a bloody mess.

I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the liberal party have just elected a leader who is anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-IVF, anti stem cell research and who wants to ban no-fault divorce.

What a great day for women! PS: libs – are you on crack?

But the biggest winner (I think the only winner) today has been Joe Hockey’s family. As Tracey Spicer wrote in The Punch this morning:

“If Joe Hockey wins the leadership of the federal Liberal Party, the biggest loser will not be Malcolm Turnbull. It will be five-week-old Ignatius Theodore Babbage-Hockey.

Sure – he has more names than most newborns – but that hardly compensates for the time he, two-year-old Adelaide and four-year-old Xavier will lose with their father. Or perhaps that should be the other way around.

For someone like Joe Hockey, it’s a conundrum. He’s known as a ‘family man’, flying home from a joint parties meeting on the ETS to be there for the birth of Ignatius.

“Finally I told Malcolm, ‘The wrath of my colleagues is nothing compared to the wrath of my wife if I miss the birth. See ya!’” he said in the Australian Women’s Weekly.

……if Joe Hockey wants to be leader, he has to be prepared to sacrifice his family life, as the SMH’s political editor Peter Hartcher wrote on the weekend. He has three children under the age of five and his wife, Melissa Babbage, is committed to a demanding job of her own: head of foreign exchange trading at Deutsche Bank.

“It’s not an ideal moment to move to an all-consuming, travel-heavy, sleep-destroying job with towering expectations and minimal resources,” Hartcher wrote.

As an aside, can you imagine the outcry if a female politician with a five-week-old baby considered running for such a demanding job?

Well, with Tony Abbott installed as leader of the opposition (my fingers are struggling with typing that HOW CAN IT BE TRUE???) at least Joe Hockey will have the chance to be around while his kids are so little.

Meanwhile, just to re-cap, the new liberal leader would like to ban contraception, abortion, IVF, stem-cell research and no-fault divorce. He has also been quoted as saying “climate change is crap”.


What do you think about the whole mess? Tony? Malcolm? Joe? ETS? Argh???!!!