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'Leave Frances Abbott alone'

Posted by: Tom Elliott | 23 May, 2014 - 3:45 PM
Bridget and Frances Abbott at the David Jones Autumn/Winter show.

Frances Abbott, in some people’s minds, has controversially received a scholarship to study at the Whitehouse Institute of Design.

People are looking at this and saying ‘there must be something wrong here’, ‘was she qualified enough to get this scholarship?’, ‘Isn’t the institute's founder mates with the Prime Minister?’.

Now I’ve got to say, I really think all this focus on the Prime Minister’s daughters is unfair.

I really believe in politics, especially in Australian politics, you don’t elect a family, you elect an individual.

Have a go at Tony Abbott all you like, and let’s be honest, there’s plenty of reasons to have a good go at the Prime Minister whether it’s the budget or other things about him, but I think having a go at his family isn’t right.

LISTEN: Journalist Victoria Rollison has a robust debate with Tom Elliott

I remember with Kevin Rudd’s wife, Therese, people had a go at her because she was so rich.

I always found that a bit like the tall poppy syndrome.

Why would you have a go at a woman just because she’s made a lot of money and created a very successful business?

Now yes, the Prime Minister did bring his daughters out on the electoral stump before the election.

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They were with him on many opportunities. But they are people with their own lives, their own minds, they are not the people we elected.

I don’t think anybody really voted for Tony Abbott because of his daughters, and if you did, then frankly, you need your head read.

I just think this focus, this questioning of a scholarship to Frances Abbott, I think it’s unfair.

She is a young lady, she’s got her own life to lead, she did not run in the last election, it’s her father, I think she needs to be left alone.

I feel uncomfortable when the families of politicians are brought into the limelight.

Yes, Tony Abbott did use his daughters during the election campaign. I was uncomfortable with that and I’m uncomfortable now, with the attention they’re getting.

CLICK HERE to read Victoria Rollison's open letter to Frances Abbott

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