Ab­bott backs pro­test­ers show of anger to PM

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

OP­PO­SI­TION Leader Tony Ab­bott has backed the right of pro­test­ers to ex­press their anger at Ju­lia Gil­lard, as the Prime Min­is­ter ac­cused him of be­ing un­fit to be a leader.

Mr Ab­bott ad­dressed an anti-car­bon tax rally out­side par­lia­ment house on Wed­nes­day and stood in front of a banner that read ‘‘ Ju­LIAR, Bob Brown’s Bitch’’.

While he ex­pressed re­gret about some of the plac­ards, he re­fused to crit­i­cise the pro­test­ers and stepped up his per­sonal at­tacks against the La­bor leader in par­lia­ment.

‘‘ We’ve seen quite a few dif­fer­ent faces ... the real Ju­lia, the fake Ju­lia, the teary Ju­lia ... the only thing we have never seen is truth­ful Ju­lia,’’ Mr Ab­bott told par­lia­ment.

Not all the crit­i­cism of Mr Ab­bott has come from La­bor, with one Lib­eral back - bencher say­ing it had been poor judg­ment by the Lib­eral leader to at­tend the rally.

‘‘ I was very dis­ap­pointed that Mr Ab­bott at­tended ... you can’t sup­port that kind of rhetoric and ban­ners,’’ the MP said, adding that some mem­bers of the party were ‘‘ quite happy to as­so­ciate them­selves with that ex­trem­ism’’.

La­bor strate­gists be­lieve the op­po­si­tion leader’s tac­tics might play into the gov­ern­ment’s hands, as his per­sonal rat­ing con­tin­ues to slide in the opin­ion polls. This week saw the gov­ern­ment’s stocks rise in the Newspoll, while Ms Gil­lard’s stand­ing as pre­ferred prime min­is­ter bounced back. Build­ing on her theme that Mr Ab­bott is flirt­ing with cli­mate scep­tics and fringe groups, Ms Gil­lard said he lacked sound judg­ment.

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