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Anti-Tony Abbott T-shirt #2014-0019

Maroon cotton unisex t shirt featuring the slogan ‘Tony Abbott is Not My Prime Minister’.


Anthony John ‘Tony’ Abbott (b. 4 November 1957) became Australia’s 28th Prime Minister on 18 September 2013. A member of the Liberal Party of Australia since the 1980s, Abbott was strongly identified as a conservative with traditional views on many social issues. Abbott was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, and after considering a number of careers including the priesthood (reflective of his strong Catholic faith), eventually became a journalist and political adviser, before being elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 as Member for Warringah in Sydney’s north. He was appointed to the ministry in 1998 by John Howard as Minister for Employment Services, in which capacity he spearheaded the creation of the Job Network, a scheme to find jobs for the unemployed, and administered the Work for the Dole initiative. In 2001 he entered Cabinet as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Leader of the House, and in 2003 became Minister for Health. Recognised as one of the most conservative members of the government, he was also known for his combative and aggressive parliamentary style. Upon the government’s defeat in 2007, Abbott became Shadow Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. He resigned this position in protest at Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to support an Emissions Trading Scheme in late November 2009. Abbott challenged Turnbull for the party leadership on 1 December and won by a single vote. In August 2010, the Coalition and Labor each won 72 seats in the House of Representatives; the Gillard Labor government continued in office after securing the support of key crossbench members. Abbott stepped up attacks on the government, labelling it illegitimate, and got considerable media attention and political traction after the implementation of the Clean Energy Bills of 2011, which produced the so called ‘carbon tax’. Abbott’s hard line stance on asylum seekers, characterised by the phrase ‘stop the boats’, also became a key issue at two successive elections. On 7 September 2013, Abbott was elected Prime Minister after the Coalition won 90 seats in the House of Representatives.

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Statement of values

This t-shirt is a representative example of material produced in protest against the election of the Liberal/National Coalition government on 7 September 2013 led by Tony Abbott. The Labor governments led by Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd had attempted to use what they believed was the divisive nature of Abbott’s politics and personality to electoral advantage. This t-shirt has additional historical significance as an example of the enduring use of clothing, especially t-shirts, to spread political messages.

The vocal opposition to Abbott’s election from his detractors can be said to represent the view that democracy does not always reflect the will of the people, or at least the will of all the people. A key element of a democratic society is not just free elections, but the right to peacefully express dissent at the result of the election.

  • Anti-Tony Abbott T-shirtAnti-Tony Abbott T-shirt —


Width 825mm
Height 745mm
Medium Cotton; polyester; ink
Creator’s name Clementine Ford