Talk:Tony Abbott

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Not an Australian?[edit]

Just wondering if anyone is game to tackle the recently resurfaced issue of Abbott's citizenship where some researchers are claiming he never renounced his British citizenship prior to standing for office in 1994. This would make his election to the highest office null and void. One thing is for certain, British Government have not furnished his renouncement document, suggesting it does not exist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.168.33.101 (talk) 11:29, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Where did this issue surface? Sourcing is critical. And no, I won't play that game. I don't want to look like those Birther idiots in the USA. HiLo48 (talk) 11:42, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
It's alive and well on Facebook. I've explained to some people that there is no evidence Abbott is in breach of his constitutional requirements, and invited them to focus on stuff he actually has done wrong (of which there is no shortage), but they're quite happy to ignore that and judge him guilty till proven innocent. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 12:04, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Facebook, lol. IP conspiracy theorists, lol. --Yeti Hunter (talk) 08:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
It made The Guardian, 9 September. That story trivialises the issue, but some of the commenters insist that it be taken seriously. If Abbott has not renounced his British Citizenship, which he had through his British-born father and his own birth in Britain, he has never been qualified to be a member of the Australian federal parliament: Constitution section 44(i). (Or at least not since 1999, when the High Court in Sue v Hill defined "foreign power" to include Britain.) In addition, at every election he must have signed a declaration on the nomination paper that he is not disqualified by Constitution section 44. If that declaration was false, he will have committed a serious criminal offence, which itself would disqualify him: Constitution section 44(ii). Wikiain (talk) 23:50, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
Your first two sentences are true. The rest is speculation. We don't do that here. Please take it elsewhere. HiLo48 (talk) 00:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
(e/c) That's all true, but where is the evidence he has failed to meet any of these requirements? Answer: There is none. Abbott has denied there's any problem, and that ought to be the end of it. Regardless of how much he may be disliked and people may wish him got rid of, he should not be exposed to this sort of misguided and wrong-headed witchhunt, and WP should not be a party to it either. If these critics were on the receiving end of a "you're guilty until you can prove yourself innocent" charge, they'd be howling "injustice" long and loud to every court in the land. If a serious question or doubt about Abbott's eligibility ever gets raised in a serious forum (like the Parliament of Australia, for example), then we should report it. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:12, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
My basic point was factual, hence appropriate for WP: to confirm that the story has indeed "resurfaced", in that it has been reported in The Guardian. Effectively the same story had appeared in Channel 9 News, 2 September. A Change.org petition for Abbott to publish his renunciation document has reached 12,000 signatures. So I think this is something for WP to pay attention to.
I have then identified the issues that are involved in the speculations that have surfaced. I am trying to assist in that direction, especially because some of the speculators are confused about the issues. What I am saying about the law is not drawn from anyone else but has been carefully checked. The speculations, so far as they are accurately aimed, are as to whether Abbott has breached the law in these ways. To note this is not to be a party to the speculations.
Since my previous contribution, I have seen the 9 News story, which quotes a response from Abbott's office:
Ninemsn contacted the Prime Minister's Office and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet seeking confirmation that Mr Abbott has renounced his British Citizenship and were informed: "The Prime Minister is an Australian citizen and does not hold citizenship of any other country."
The Guardian's story, although drawing on and linking to the 9 News story, muddies the waters by stating superficially: "The prime minister’s office has dismissed Magrathea’s claims outright." But the response to 9 News is perfectly clear. Anyone who wants to pursue this should also look at the documents on Magrathea’s website, linked to in the 9 News story.
However, I don't think that this is down on the same level as the Obama 'birther' stuff. The 'birther' allegation was made with no evidence. The Abbott situation is pretty well the reverse. It begins with evidence that he was not eligible for election: that is, at birth he had British nationality. He has then been asked whether he has renounced it, which given his office is a reasonable question. He has answered the question and I agree, Jack, that he is entitled to be believed.
As to questions in Parliament, I suspect that the major parties have a "glass houses" understanding on the dual citizenship issue. As Eric Abetz seems to have found, it can sometimes be difficult to work out one's situation. But PUP and the Independent senators aren't playing by the conventions. Wikiain (talk) 01:38, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not do beatups and does not start conspiracy theories. Please stop using this talk page as a WP:SOAPBOX. Johnuniq (talk) 01:45, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
Johnuniq, while I think that your comment applies to the original contributor here, I deny that it is applicable to me - there's nothing for me to "stop". The point that I am addressing, and which I think was a part of what the original contributor referred to when saying "resurfaced", is whether there is a soapbox out there in public discussion that has become so prominent that WP should mention it. For comparison, the "birther" controversy is ignored in Barack Obama but has its own article. I hope to have assisted discussion of whether the Abbott speculation ought to be mentioned in WP. I think I have stated plainly a view that, for the time being, it should be ignored. However, as Jack says, if it were to become prominent in some public forum such as the Commonwealth Parliament, the question should be reconsidered.
I'll add now that the original contributor (please sign your posts!) provides a good example of poor speculation when asserting: "One thing is for certain, British Government have not furnished his renouncement document, suggesting it does not exist." That is not only illogical but also factually incorrect, as can be seen in the letter that the British sent to Magrathea. On the other hand, the letter to Magrathea from Abbott's office confirms the existence of a renunciation document - it simply denies access to the document, within the ordinary statutory exception of personal information. Wikiain (talk) 02:39, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
You are giving air to political bullshit. Please don't. HiLo48 (talk) 03:58, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Didn't we discuss this already back in 2011? [1] --Surturz (talk) 04:25, 17 September 2014 (UTC)


Did Abbott ever claim UK citizenship? His mother was an Australian, and if he returned to Aus. on her passport as a minor (most likely) then he is automatically an Aus. citizen. UK citizenship would not be granted unless it was actively sought.220.244.76.234 (talk) 07:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Tony Abbott's parents did not register him as an Australian infant born overseas or apply for Australian citizenship on his behalf when he was born. Twenty one years after immigrating to Australia, Abbott applied for his Australian citizenship in a document dated 19 June 1981. The application was marked urgent because he had been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and was scheduled to leave for Queens College on 10 July 1981. It was approved on 1 July 1981.
This case is a little different from the Obama Birther conspiracy theory. Abbott was a 24 year old British citizen and staunch monarchist who had lived in Australia for 21 years and who did not initially want to be an Australian citizen. He only became an Australian citizen for monetary gain. An application for a confirmation of Abbott's renunciation of British citizenship under FOI was made to the British government by Tony Magrathea which turned up nothing and another application (not by Magrathea) on 18 September 2014 was made to the Department of the [Australian] Prime Minister and Cabinet. The reply was that all locations where "documents potentially relevant to the applicant's request would be held" were searched and that "no relevant documents were found." When asked, Abbott's secretary simply stated that he had renounced his British citizenship, however, she did not say when and therein lies the problem. If he renounced it before 1994 then there is no problem, but that then begs the question of why he refuses to confirm it. If he renounced it after 1994 then under Section 46 of the Constitution he must pay a fine of $200 per sitting day of Parliament up to the date that he did renounce his British citizenship which would be around $14,000 per year. Considering Abbott's behaviour over the $60,000 "gift", the fine would be enough incentive for him to keep quiet. Only if Abbott had never renounced his citizenship would he have to stand down. Being a Constitutional issue this is held as very serious in Australia. In 1996, Jackie Kelly was forced to stand down after being found to have been elected holding both Australian and New Zealand citizenship and Senator (he who must not be named) Eric Abetz was caught out having dual Australian/German citizenship in 2010. Both these politicians have this mentioned in their Wikipedia articles and as questions surrounding Abbott's citizenship have been mentioned in the mainstream media for at least eight months now I feel that at least a mention of a few sentences should be made in this article. Wayne (talk) 03:46, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I very much doubt that the June 1981 application was an application to become an Australian citizen, from a person who was not already one. It was an application from a person who was an Australian citizen from birth (because at least one of his parents was an Australian citizen) for documents that demonstrate that fact. Normally, a birth certificate showing birth in Australia is all one ever needs for such a demonstration. But as he was born outside Australia, without such a document there was no documentary evidence he was an Australian citizen. That is the sum total of the purpose of that application.
An Australian resident who had never been an Australian citizen is certainly entitled to apply for citizenship, but the process takes rather longer than 3 weeks, no matter how many "Urgent" stickers there may be. So let's put to rest straight away this furphy that he only became an Australian citizen later in life.
He's in exactly the same situation as Nicole Kidman, who was born in Hawaii to Australian parents. From the moment of her birth, she has always been an Australian citizen because of her parents, and she has always been an American citizen because of her place of birth. She has never renounced her US citizenship as far as I know, but if she ever wanted to stand for parliament in Australia, she would have to.
The only issue - repeat, the only issue - in Abbott's case is whether he ever renounced his UK citizenship, and if so, did he do so before or after he was elected to parliament? Now, we have a system in this country called "you're innocent till proven guilty". That means that he's entitled to be believed when he says there is no impediment to his being elected to Parliament. In any case, that dictum comes into play only after one has been formally charged with an offence, and no amount of column space will ever amount to such a charge. Sure, there's a degree of public curiosity in seeing all manner of documents about aspects of the lives of public figures. But that curiosity has to remain unsatisfied if the figures choose not to reveal such documents, as is their right. Note, I didn't say "public interest".
In Kelly's case, she was expelled from Parliament due to her ineligibility to have been elected. That was also true of Heather Hill and Robert Wood. In Abetz's case, someone actually went to the High Court about it, before withdrawing their suit. Those are eminently notable matters, and that's why we report them here. There has been nothing beyond rumour in Abbott's case. Rumours are the lifeblood of newspapers, so the fact that they've been given some oxygen in those august publications does not, of itself, merit inclusion of them in Abbott's WP article. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 00:02, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
I think you're exactly right, Jack, about what is the only issue. Although there is documentation of Abbott's mother's nationality: Tony Magrathea reproduces the 1981 application for registration of his birth, which states that his mother was born in Sydney. And the reply to Magrathea from Peta Credlin, who can be taken to be speaking for Abbott, is more explicit than Wayne mentions. She says: "The document to which you have sought access is a personal document of Mr Abbott". She is saying that a renunciation document exists and, on that, Abbott through her is entitled to be believed. The DPMC response in September 2014 states only that there is no such document in the Department or, if there is, after searching high and low they can't find it. That goes nowhere, since there is no reason for a personal document to be in the Department. If it was ever in the Department, it would have been a good idea for Abbott to have taken it home. All that remains obscure is the date. I agree with Magrathea that this obscurity is important, but I don't think it is up to WP to report it unless and until it obtains a higher public profile, such as a challenge in Parliament. However, I don't see that as likely, at least from the Opposition, since nationality law is often obscure (especially that of the UK, but also Germany as Abetz discovered) and any such challenger can easily find that they are chucking their brick from inside a glass house. Wikiain (talk) 01:59, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Australian citizenship documents are not "personal documents" but are held as public records. For some reason Abbotts were reclassified as confidential when this subject first came up. Another point is that Abbott did not automatically become an Australian citizen just because his mother was Australian. His parents never registered him as an Australian infant born overseas so he only had British citizenship. Abbott had to apply for Australian citizenship or lose the scholarship. It seems it wont go away and has now made it to a current affairs program. Wayne (talk) 09:58, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Australian Government and Department of the Primeminister where unable to find any record of the offical renouncing of his british citizenship, which must be supplied so he can a member of parliment. Looks like they didnt do their paper work! So since its not there its right to ask to see it.

This is not the case. Only Abbott and the UK would have any records, unless either volunteered to make them public. Renunciation documents are not required to be elected, though if a case is made through the courts that foreign allegiance was once held and has not been renounced, then Abbott (or anyone so challenged) would doubtless produce it.
This line of argument reminds me of the "Birthers" in the USA, and is equally without merit. --Pete (talk) 12:48, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. HiLo48 (talk) 20:38, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Let's leave this where it is, unless new evidence emerges. Wikiain (talk) 22:23, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
As far as I can see both sides of this debate are speculative and opinionated, and I think comparing other people to "Birthers" is an invalid argument. In any case, Abbott's eligibility to sit in Parliament is only one issue. If he became an Australian citizen in 1981 this should be noted.--Jack Upland (talk) 07:13, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

how to stop changes to my additions[edit]

I am adding new information to the Abbott wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Abbott the information details the fact he has not renounced his British citizenship which by law he must do. The references are his own department freedom of information, a member of parliament, Australian and international news agencies.

The additions I am making are under the heading Internet controversy. This is anything but a conspiracy theory because of the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet confirming he has not renounced his British citizenship

Internet controversy[edit]

In 2014 the internet lit up when several people began looking at Mr Abbott's eligibility to enter parliament. He was born in England to a British father which gave him automatic British citizenship. He got Australian citizenship in 1981 which unfortunately can no longer be confirmed because his file at the National Archives of Australia became a secret document in February 2014. In October 2014 his Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet responded to FOI2014/159[1] by stating that his renunciation of British citizenship papers did not exist. As a federal MP Mr Abbott must comply with S44[2] of the constitution which precludes dual nationals. Many attempts to confirm the lack of renunciation paperwork have been ignored except for one phone call of 13 February 2015[3] where his staff confirmed the FOI was correct. Ms Terri Butler the MP for Griffith in Queensland has written to Mr Abbott to clear up the problem, but no reply has been received 5 weeks after she first asked.[4]

A petition was formulated with 26,000 signatures detailed in this [5] and presented to the leader of the opposition Mr Bill Shorten, the deputy leader of the opposition Tanya Plibersek and the Greens member of the house Mr Adam Bandt asking them to ask Mr Abbott about his dual nationality. The story of his dual nationality has been run on Channel 9 [6] Sky News [7], several times in Independent Australia [8] [9] the English version of the Russian newspaper Pravda [10] and the British newspaper The Daily Mail[11]


One user ignorantarmies has deleted my additions 3 or 4 times. This is extremely annoying especially when I am using such verifiable and important citations. I am providing information from Mr Abbotts own Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, from The Prime Ministers Office,channel 9 tv in Australia, Daily Mail in the UK< Pravda, A member of parliament Ms Terri Butler. What more do you need in a factual citation? Will you please ensure what I have added is some who locked and unchangeable?

What more can I do than provide facts backed up by such reputable sources?

Arcobelina (talk) 04:23, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

I'm afraid that if you're putting forward the Daily Mail, a Derryn Hinch editorial, and the English-language Pravda as top-notch "reputable sources" you're not going to have much luck here (I would note english.pravda's current headlines include such gems as "Can erectile dysfunction affect your standard of living?" and "Ukraine's Poroshenko excludes himself from category of real men"). No one's disputing that these claims exist, it's just that they're so ridiculous that we've deliberately chosen not to even mention them. FYI, calling other users "petty" and "annoying" and calling them liars isn't going to get you very far. At least you've stopped editwarring. IgnorantArmies (talk) 04:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

User:Ignorantarmies I have put forward Mr Abbotts own department, the Prime Minister and Cabinet FOI as proof he has not renounced his British citizenship [12] you cant get much better than his own department saying he has not renounced his British citizenship. This was confirmed in a phone call [13] and the actual audio of that call, all got legally,[14] Having an edit war created by people who don't bother reading what is actually being published is disgraceful and would point to party political ties trying to close off any discussion. Will admin restore my psot and stop future changes? Arcobelina (talk) 04:56, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Arcobelina, just a correction. The Dept of PM & C has never said, as you claim, that "his renunciation of British citizenship papers did not exist". They said that "no relevant documents could be found". That is a fundamentally different thing. Now, it may transpire that the reason no relevant documents can be found is that they don't exist. But that still remains to be proven. If any Opposition people seriously believed PM&C have admitted Abbott has never renounced his UK citizenship, they'd have been on top of it long ago.
IgnorantArmies, you certainly don't speak for me when you say the claims are "so ridiculous that we've deliberately chosen not to even mention them". There is no basis on which we can decide either that they're ridiculous or that they have substance. We remain neutral, dispassionate, and non-partisan. In the meantime, until it's resolved one way or another, the matter definitely deserves a mention in the article. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:47, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I apologise if I implied that I was speaking for all editors in the above discussion (which I watched but did not participate), but that was my attempt to sum up the situation to Arcobelina. I (and I think most editors) consider the claims made by both the Barack Obama and Tony Abbott birthers to fit in the category of "ridiculous", and the impression I got from the previous discussion was that mentioning them in the article would be fueling the fire, and thus best avoided. I think an appropriate time to mention the birthers would be if/when some of the mainstream Australian sources pick it up – I can't find anything about it in any of the major dailies, but correct me if I'm wrong. For the moment, there seems to only be a Daily Mail article and a Guardian opinion piece as semi-decent RS, so I think WP:UNDUE comes into strong consideration. IgnorantArmies (talk) 07:41, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. It should be ridiculous to think that the leader of a country such as the USA or Australia would ever allow rumours of their constitutional ineligibility to hold office to stand one more minute than necessary. They could easily put such rumours to rest by producing the relevant documents. Obama did finally release his birth certificate proving he was born in Hawaii, but only after many, many months of allowing the rumours of a Kenyan birth to run rampant. The longer he delayed, the more people wondered what he may have had to hide. PM&C say they cannot find any Abbott UK renunciation document in their records. That must mean Abbott has never given it to them and retains it personally. I can't believe he's lost or destroyed it. Why, then, doesn't Abbott release it, and earlier rather than later? The time will inexorably come when he will no longer be able to stonewall people who have a genuine interest in this matter. Maybe he's hoping it'll all just die away after he's inevitably relieved of his premiership, but while ever he remains a member of parliament, the issue is not closed. Even if he were to resign from parliament, and it later transpired he'd never renounced his UK citizenship till after he was elected, he'd still be in serious difficulty. This is by no means a trivial matter, and every day Abbott remains silent about it, it becomes more pressing. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 08:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Recent edit warring[edit]

I have reported the ongoing edit war to ANI: [2] --Surturz (talk) 05:57, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

I think you should've had a closer look at the material I was removing before recommending I be blocked, Surturz. WP:BLPREMOVE (and WP:NOTBUREAUCRACY for that matter) override 3RR, and waiting a few hours for another editor to come remove Arcobelina's ramblings would've been silly – this is a very high traffic article. IgnorantArmies (talk) 07:50, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't recommending you specifically be blocked - I recommended all participants be blocked. You are 100% correct that 3RR doesn't apply if there are BLP violations, but this article is under 1RR and you should have reported the other editor when they violated that, rather than engaging in the edit war. --Surturz (talk) 00:19, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 April 2015[edit]

Please change "Prior to entering parliament, he studied for a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, and then a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics and economics as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen's College, Oxford. He was later conferred with a Master of Arts." to "Prior to entering parliament, he studied for a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney, and then a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics and economics as a Rhodes Scholar at The Queen's College, Oxford, which was later converted to an Oxford MA." This will make it clearer that he does not possess a Master's degree in the usual sense of the term. 79.97.226.247 (talk) 19:35, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi there. Can you please provide a reliable source that says his BA was converted into a MA? Thanks, Stickee (talk) 22:57, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
He possesses an MA (Oxon). As outlined here, an MA (Oxon) is a conversion of the undergraduate BA that is done for historical reasons, master's degrees in the usual sense go by other names in Oxford, such as MPhil or MLitt. "Oxbridge students studying a postgraduate degree earn qualifications such as an MSc in science, or an MPhil in humanities, but the MA is simply a title and not an academic qualification." 79.97.226.247 (talk) 23:32, 13 April 2015 (UTC)