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The day Abbott bared his soul

The leader of the TOBACCO FUNDED Opposition LIBERAL Party in Australia shows what politicians (worldwide) are seemingly willing to do to achieve their end. Is this In-nu-endo or Fact ?

The day Abbott bared his soul Misha Schubert

August 28, 2011

TONY ABBOTT begged crossbench MPs to make him prime minister, telling them: ”The only thing I wouldn’t do is sell my arse, but I’d have to give serious thought to it.”

In interviews to mark the anniversary of their decision to back Julia Gillard to run the country, independent MPs have revealed startling new details of their reservations about the Opposition Leader, including that joking plea.

And Bob Katter – one of the crossbenchers who backed Mr Abbott – is now deeply disenchanted, accusing the Liberal leader of welching on a deal to put up laws mandating ethanol in petrol.

Advertisement: Story continues below Mr Katter says the Coalition’s failure to put up the laws before the Greens took control of the Senate fills him ”with a deep sense of disquiet” over whether Mr Abbott can be relied on.

”If you weren’t going to keep your agreement, you must bear the consequences of having a question mark over you and your undertakings,” he said.

Tony Windsor recalls feeling alarm and pity when Mr Abbott revealed the depth of his personal desire to become prime minister.

”I remember him saying: ‘Tony, I would do anything for this job. The only thing I wouldn’t do is sell my arse, but I’d have to give serious thought to it’,” he said.

His fellow crossbench MP Rob Oakeshott also recalls Mr Abbott begging for the job but would not comment publicly about this gag.

Mr Abbott’s spokesman yesterday rejected the recollection. ”Tony did not make that comment,” he said.

On Mr Windsor’s view that Mr Abbott wanted the job too much, he said: ”Tony Windsor was saying the exact opposite in October last year.”

He refused to be drawn on Mr Katter’s allegations, saying Mr Abbott ”is not going to run a commentary on the independents”.

Mr Oakeshott said his decision to back Labor was made on the style, personality and character of the two leaders because there was scant ideological difference between the two major parties.

”I think it is revealing his call for an early election. He is on paper committing to a full three-year term and a more consensual style of polity,” he said.

”What happened? I thought when he put something in writing, it mattered. Even those written agreements are questionable.”

Of the six crossbench MPs, Mr Katter was the only one to cast doubt that he made the right call last year – but he would not transfer support to Ms Gillard.

”I have found Julia to be a very pleasant person and privately a very sensible person, so I don’t like saying that as a Prime Minister she has just failed,” he said.

In the original decision, four of the six – Adam Bandt, Andrew Wilkie, Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor – backed Ms Gillard. Mr Katter and Tony Crook backed Mr Abbott.

Mr Wilkie has voiced disquiet over Ms Gillard’s expressions of confidence in the Labor MP Craig Thomson, who is fighting claims that he misused his credit card while a union leader to pay for prostitutes.

Mr Wilkie aid he ”could not ignore the fact that there is a large number of serious allegations and a prima facie case is amassing”, but he wants Ms Gillard to remain prime minister.

”The support of the four key crossbenchers is as solid as ever,” Mr Wilkie said.

”I have been a little surprised by that, particularly Tony [Windsor] and Rob [Oakeshott]. I think they were more open-minded early in the piece but as time has gone on, I think their support for the government has strengthened, partly because they have been treated quite badly by the Opposition.”

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