Mathieson hits out at first lady

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Despite maintaining her part-time role as director of a Sydney childcare centre, Margie Abbott is not doing enough charity work, according to Tim Mathieson.

The partner of ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who didn’t work while he held his supporting role, has attacked Tony Abbott’s wife. Speaking to Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Mr Mathieson said of Margie Abbott, “I’m disappointed that she is not doing any charity work.

“What is she doing? Because I did 60 charity events. She has not contributed to any of them.”

The Prime Minister’s office chose to hit back with a list of perks afforded to Mr Mathieson while in his role supporting Julia Gillard, but a spokeswoman for Mrs Abbott detailed the charity and community events she had attended and supported in the past few months. “Those familiar with Margie Abbott know her quiet and understated approach is part of her genuine desire to draw attention to the charities and organisations she is involved with rather than herself,” said the spokeswoman. Two of the organisations Mrs Abbott works closely with are the Girl Guides and the Royal Blind Society.

The Prime Minister’s office responded that, in the seven months since the election, Mrs Abbott had increased her work and listed several events she has attended in her own right. “These events are in addition to those she attends with the Prime Minister,” the spokeswoman said.

Read more at SMH.com.au

Opinion: Get back in your box, Tim

Tim Mathieson, it appears, is suffering from jealousy. He’s struggling to remain relevant now Julia has left politics and its perks behind and he has decided to hit out at the person who now holds his much beloved role.

As ‘first bloke’ Tim Mathieson may well have undertaken 60 charity events but given that he did very little else, 60 events doesn’t amount to very much over Julia’s three years in office. As the Prime Minister’s office has pointed out, he did enjoy his fair share of sporting hospitality over the same period, but as these invitations are commonly extended to all Prime Ministers and their partners, this is irrelevant – a little like Tim himself.

As first lady, Margie Abbott has the right to choose to work part-time. Therese Rein, as wife of Kevin Rudd, ran her own business. She also has the right to choose which charities and organisations she supports and to what level she can do so. She does not need to pick up where Tim Mathieson left off, as he has suggested.

There is an expectation on all partners of prime minsters to undertake charity work, as has been the case since the time of Edward Barton. And just as Mr Mathieson, the first male partner of a prime minister chose not to work, Mrs Abbott has the right to choose to continue to work and find the right balance for her and her family.

All too often women are criticised for trying to do it all and usually, this comes from men who have no idea what is entailed in running a family, a home and a job. Throw in the constant media interest in your every move and the task becomes all the more difficult.

So Mrs Abbott, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t let a disgruntled little man get to you.

Are these comments from Tim just sour grapes or do you agree with him? Should the Prime Minister’s partner be able to organise his/her life independently of the Prime Minister?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

218 Comments

Total Comments: 218
  1. 0
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    Whats this (FIRST LADY) crap,, Australia does not have a first lady.. or are we going more and more american..

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      Spot on , lennyjac. Another Americanism, which is just as bad as the local Costco here In Northlakes, north of Brissie, selling ‘Costco Gasolene”. What a bloody cheek. We have been calling it pretrol since Noah bought his first ute. You would have thought they could have put ‘Costco Petrol’ on the bowser, then again , they wouldn’t would they, after all this is Australia, something the bastards who took this business here seem to forget.!! I mentioned this to the girl mwho was helping out on the bowsers and at least she agreed totally with me.

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      Short Back and Sides and a Bit off the Front Anyone ??

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      Spot on. It’s like trying to stem a tide, all these creeping Americanisms … but at least it’s good to know it annoys other people too.

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    I am curious why the Heraldsun interviewed Tim in the first place . Was he asked to comment on Mrs Abbott and her charity work ? I am disappointed that she is not doing any charity work is hardly what I would term an attack but an observation . An observation that has no merit as I find the first lady or first bloke stuff to be rubbish anyway .

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      HERE HERE..

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      Don’t attack Abbott or even Gillard. Australia is a mess because we had the worst PM ever (Kevin Rudd) wasting Billions of Dollars by opening the door to the people smugglers. We will paying for his stupidity for a long time to come. Keep families out of gutter politics.

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      Ok : thank God we got rid of KRudd for the reasons you mention.
      Unfortunately, he still seems to pop up now and again. Please, KR, go away.

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    PM Abbott wife Mrs Abbott should be doing her chariety work like the other PM did when they were in office………dont give me this crap 1st lady either

  4. 0
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    Excellent article. This freeloader obviously misses the limelight and all the lurks and perks he received. He was an embarrassment to our country – remember the clothes he wore whilst reviewing troops with Gillard? A total bogan.

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      Hey Bookworm, I think tony Abbott is an embarrassment and his wife does not do what other ex-PM wivies did when they were in office …………… yes a typical Liberal voter……………… just not like me a Labor

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      I always dress up like General McArthur when I Review the Troops !!!!

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    Tim Who? Who does he think he is? Most of us have forgotten who he is. Is he working now? Or perhaps doing charity work each day? What’s the betting?

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      Judy of the hills, Mrs Abbott needs to do chariety work to make up for the money thats being spent on the lodge????????????

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      Judy of the hills, Mrs Abbott needs to do chariety work to make up for the money thats being spent on the lodge????????????

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      Judy in the hills : Tim’s gone back to crimping.

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      tia-maria check and you will find the refurbishment work being done on the Lodge was organised when Julie Gillard was PM and the contractors took possession of the site 16 days after our current government was elected.
      I have no problems with essential work being done the Lodge or any other government building with significant heritage and in this instance it is to prevent further deterioration of the building .

  6. 0
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    We all know the George Orwell’s Animal Farm story, but aren’t we raking through old coals. This award was in 2011 – its now 2014!!

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    The author, Debbie McTaggart writes “All too often women are criticised for trying to do it all”. This pretty well explains how the author thinks and this more of the same rubbish where women are afforded bigger problems in life than men is as amusing as it is false. A new illness to bleat about appears on TV every fortnight whilst bloke get one run a year even though things like prostrate cancer kill as many of them as breast cancer does women. I’d like to see McTaggart and her kind stop writing biased sexist articles. These should be things of the past but are sadly not.

    Whilst this article is little more than trash one does need to realise that Abbott lied during the campaign, is lying about the budget now and that his defence of his wife, whilst perfectly understandable, is more than likely more of the same. It would be so nice to get a prime minister who really cares about the country and does not just say that he does so that he can get a class warfare style budget through. I dare say I wait in vain though.

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      Chill out, Mick! How is this a biased, sexist article? Ms McTaggart was not writing about health issues. Stick to the subject!! FYO, it’s prostate, not prostrate.

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      The point I was trying to make (badly) is that the author is showing the same bias as the TV news and current affairs programs: ‘poor us’. Abbott’s wife is apparently being victimised whilst the reality is that she is in the public eye and needs to get the same scrutiny as everyone else. Whilst I really care little about the hangers on the criticism is a fair thing.

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    While I believe that Tim Matheson is way out of line and should pull his head in there is a sneaking suspicion that the Herald-Sun (Murdoch owned) set this up.
    There was a double page article in Sunday’s Herald-Sun pointing the finger at Labor Party travel expenses. Since all pollies have their snouts in the trough when it comes to travel, including retired ones, cynical old me smells a rat on the timing of it. Is this to take the heat of Tony?
    I also agree about this first lady nonsense. If we have a first lady surely that is the Queen.

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    Firstly, an honest response to an interviewer’s question is hardly ‘an attack’.
    However, surely the whole purpose of the PM’s partner being involved in charity work is that they bring media attention to the cause through their high profile. Doing it in a “quiet and understated manner” is rather counter-productive. Mrs Abbott didn’t mind taking the media spotlight along with her daughters to elect her husband but has now become camera shy. Speaking of daughters and perks, with one Abbott daughter being given career opportunities beyond her experience over the heads of more senior colleagues at the UN, and the other being given a ‘scholarship’ kept secret from other possible applicants, perhaps Mrs Abbott has reason to keep a low profile.

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      So daughters of a PM can’t possible have any skills or talent? Are you for real? And what polly doesn’t have his/her family with them at election time. How pathetic. All I can say to that garbage is repeat what the PM’s office spokeswoman said:

      “I have nothing further to add except to say, if you have been assured that everything was transparent, above board and merits based and the appointment was made during the term of a Labor government, exactly what is your story?”

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      I think it is disgusting gutter politics to attack family members. Any girl winning a scholarship on her own merits deserves praise and not slimy comment by gutter licking journalists.

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      To SuzeB, the appointment may have been made during the term of a previous government but both the appointment and the scholarship originated from members of the Liberal old boys club. These young women no doubt have many skills and talents other than posing in tight-fitting clothing behind their father, in which case it is very sad to see them relying on inside contacts rather than those skills and talents. It is very relevant at a time when their father is slamming educational doors in the face of less well-connected young people. I am also sure approval of the original UN appointment didn’t include her being catapulted over the heads of colleagues with greater skills and talent.

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      Why don’t you try to proof your slanderous remarks!

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      SuzeB everyone is entitle to an opinion…………….please dont forget that

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      Ok: you must be a naive soul. Even Abbott’s daughter’s classmates cried foul. The scholarship was clearly not given on merit but was a mate’s club gift for special treatment for the donor’s business. I really fail to see how gullible some folk are and that they chooses to believe other than the facts. Sad really. I do fully understand the old saying about ‘you get the government you deserve’. It never much changes. Only the faces.

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      Mick, so you have spoken to her class mates? When and where? If you have evidence, then submit it, if you are just gutter licking and slandering a young bright person, then please shut up. Only low life attacks families and it seems Labor and the Greens have become sewer diving champions!

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      Dear Ok, you obviously haven’t been following this story in the media. Instead of trying to intimidate commentators, please spend a little time on research. The comments of classmates are now a matter of public record (they said she was very nice but only had average talent and certainly didn’t warrant a special scholarship which no one else had even heard of). The article (in the Murdoch press I believe) even included some of her artwork which indeed was nothing special. The background of the fellow who offered the UN job has also been canvassed in mainstream media. So perhaps you should address your accusations of gutter-licking slander to Rupert Murdoch who you probably think is a closet commie.

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      It is what I mean. Gutter licking media and the sewer diving teams of Labor find they have to find headlines attaching children. Nothing is said about the 300 people killed because of Kevin Rudds people smuggling support policies? Brave new world!

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      OK: I read it online but cannot remember which rag told the story. Sorry. I’ll leave you to google the article. So sorry you actually believe that the young lady did this on talent. Sounds like your vote is quickly bought.

      As you clearly do not bother to do your own research Ok I’ll give you a quote it took me less than a minute to find from one of the (many) articles:

      “She’s very talented at what she does, there’s no denying that but there were other more deserving classmates that were more talented than Fran that also obviously didn’t come from the privileged background that Fran came from,” said one.”

      Just google and read all you like. It’s pretty clear that jealousy is not the issue. Rather we are talking about nepotism and potential payment for services to be later delivered. See it for what it was: a secretive deal done between ‘business’ mates, each with something to gain. It is sickening…and wrong!! I wonder what the ICAC is doing??

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      Mick, just because some gutter licking journalist comes up with a story, does not mean it is true. Families have a right to privacy and respect and only lowlife is attacking families. Not even Bill Shorten is supporting such sewer diving politics.

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      Your comment above: “Why don’t you try to proof your slanderous remarks!” and “Any girl winning a scholarship on her own merits deserves praise”

      I am beginning to think that you must be a moron Ok. Your comment and my response was directed at YOUR COMMENT. The research I have suggested you do is also in regard to YOUR COMMENT. What can I say. It is sad.

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      Mick, not even your Labor party brain washers would approve of your foul mouthed attack on innocent young people. You should be ashamed!

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    It is a sign of the times when a jumped up hairdresser, a male handbag, freeloader can make such uttering and became “news”.???!
    Someone should look back at Gillard’s uni years and make a qualified judgement, and see where this dingbat fits in?

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      I sort of agree. This article was a blond article which perhaps should have been left as a head shake from society rather than a media beat up and/or witch hunt.

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      What a vile, disgraceful, sexist and elitist attack. How dare you denigrate someone for being a hairdresser. It is an honest occupation and no doubt you have benefited from their skill many times during your life. No other partner of a Prime Minister has been described as a ‘free loader’. Was Janette Howard a free loader? If you want to call him a “male handbag” you are inferring that we shouldn’t have female PMs or that they should not appear with a partner. Not many PM partners have the luxury of being able to continue their careers and support their PM while in Canberra. I’m sure Mr Mathieson would have preferred to quietly continue his career rather than endure the media glare and some of the unfair drivel it has produced. Instead he put the needs of his partner over his own: something we would all appreciate from our own partners. The second sentence just underlines how incoherent Kali-G’s argument is. Aren’t university graduates permitted to select non-graduates as partners? Is this a new edict in Abbott World?

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