Was Bob Ellis right?

By May 3, 2019Australian Politics

It is difficult to understand how Tony Abbott’s mind works unless you have a higher degree in psychology. It was the late Bob Ellis who suggested that Abbott, as an ex-boxer is suffering from ‘dementia pugilistica’1, which is now known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head and is associated with the development of dementia. Potential signs of CTE are problems with thinking and memory, personality changes and behavioural changes including aggression and depression. It can only be definitively diagnosed after death2. Arguing against such a diagnosis for Tony Abbott is that he has not had any personality changes, nor any increased problems with his thinking or his memory; he has always been like this. The statements he makes, on a regular basis, are simply out of touch with reality, devoid of any memory of what has gone before, or completely lacking any logical basis.

Tony Abbott and independent candidate for Warringah, Zali Steggall appeared in an hour-long debate hosted by Sky News and the Manly Daily, both of which are owned by Murdoch’s News Corp. In this debate, Steggall said Australia should do everything possible to drive the uptake of electric vehicles, while noting that Norway has already surpassed 50% of new car sales being electric. Abbott, in his neoliberal mind-set, replied by saying governments should not involve themselves in the uptake of electric vehicles. Steggall replied to this by saying that Australia “risked being left behind in the transition to electric vehicles”, at the same time noting Toyota’s plans for the electrification of its fleet of vehicles. In perhaps the most bizarre moment in recent years, Abbott replied “we could create our own cars”3, seemingly unaware that when Prime Minister, he presided over the demise of the car industry in Australia. As @Aumanufacturing said: “It was Abbott and Hockey’s (then treasurer) pig headedness, and obvious disdain for the car industry that precipitated what was a great loss to Australian manufacturing”4. To restart the car industry would require government subsidy, something that Abbott stopped, thereby killing the industry.

Steggall stated that she would support an independent expert body to recommend policy to “take the politics out of climate change policy”. She added that “I will be led by experts”, and when Abbott accused her of shirking her responsibility as a politician she retorted: “Do you not trust the Reserve Bank?”3. In another example of Abbott’s lack of familiarity with reality, he stated “we sub-contract too much out to experts already”5. Let me ask you a question: Would you like to rely on Tony Abbott to determine what was the best way forward with your colon cancer, or the brakes on your car, or the design of your house, or the construction of your local road tunnel, or indeed dealing with climate change, or would you prefer experts who are highly trained to understand and deal with these? Personally, I’d much prefer experts to guide me, rather than halfwits like Tony Abbott who have an unwarranted highly inflated opinion of themselves. In the end the experts will pass judgement, as it will be expert pathologists who will dissect the Abbott brain after he kicks the bucket to see if Bob Ellis was right.


  1. https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/tony-abbott-a-question-of-incompetence,7760
  2. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/related_conditions/chronic-traumatic-encephalopathy-(cte)
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/may/02/abbott-v-steggall-former-pm-suggests-australia-make-its-own-cars-despite-closing-down-industry
  4. https://www.aumanufacturing.com.au/tony-abbotts-bizarre-views-on-the-car-industry
  5. https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/too-many-experts-tony-abbott-advocates-the-power-of-a-backbencher-in-debate-with-zali-steggall-20190502-p51jk5.html


  • Warren says:

    Perhaps Tone could donate his brain to medical science before his death. He wouldn’t really miss it, and we, the public, wouldn’t notice any great change.

  • Russell Pink says:

    There’s a hideous disease that only some moderate thinking, philosophically inclined liberal Libs have managed to avoid contracting since 1985. The fatal condition is Howardonia, which is caused by slight mutation of that nasty virus Thatcheria, now on the verge of being eradicated in Britain. Unfortunately Tawdry Abbott had prior to having intimate political relations with Howard, had already suffered long from Pell-Santamaria syndrome, in itself a crippling brain inflammation. By an awful stroke of bad luck our hapless ex-PM also had a bout of Credlinitis more recently, a vicious illness that has killed many press secretaries in Canberra. My prognosis is that his acute Howardonia along with the forementioned syndrome, must soon finish him off. The late signs are there to see: complete breakdown of logical thinking, very bland, dull speech, a profusion of ugly lines all over the face, and an opportunistic infection called Independentia. He only has himself to blame for his promiscuous behaviour and lack of political hygiene since at least 1996.

    • admin says:

      You put it so well. I have heard that the tumescent Credlinitis put paid to Abbott’s marriage too.

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