An Open Letter to Frances Abbott

OpenLettertoFrancesAbbottDear Frances,

First off, I want to say that I feel really sorry for you this week since the news broke about your $60,000 scholarship to study at Whitehouse Institute of Design. As your passion was to study design, you should be commended for following this passion, and for applying yourself to your studies and graduating with Distinctions. Well done. No one is suggesting that you didn’t deserve to graduate with high grades, and no one is suggesting that it was unfair for you to be accepted into the course in the first place. But what people are upset about, including me, just so we’re clear, is the speculation that you got this opportunity to study without paying for it through your dad’s job and his connections. If this is true, we’re upset with your father. And I should imagine that you would be really be upset with him as well because of the perception that he put you in this position where you now probably feel that you’ve been unfairly criticised.

I am not naïve enough to think that this sort of ‘favour’ amongst rich people doesn’t happen all the time. Jobs get opened up and opportunities appear all the time for the children of the privileged and the powerful. Your dad has actually been giving lots of his mates jobs since he won the job of Prime Minister too. People like former IPA front man Tim Wilson, who is completely unqualified to be responsible for human rights, is now an Australian Human Rights Commissioner. Former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, who is completely unqualified to oversee the building of submarines, is now on the board of the Australian Submarine Corporation.

But what I would like you to understand, and I’m certain that you have the emotional maturity to understand, is that your father has made decisions recently which make your scholarship to the Whitehouse Institute of Design incredibly hypocritical. You see, your father has decided that Australian teenagers and young adults should pay more for their higher education degrees and vocational training AND should pay interest on the HELP loans they get which are the only way most can access this education. With interest of 6%. So where you paid only a fraction of the cost of your expensive private design college, students whose parents don’t have access to favours of the kind you’ve been given are facing a situation where they will finish their degrees with a huge and growing debt, a situation which may lead many of them to abandon their dreams of further education all together. And that is a tragedy for the individuals involved, and for Australia.

I note you are now working at the Whitehouse Institute of Design as a teacher’s aide, and it’s great that you’ve managed to get a job at the end of your study. Congratulations. However, for students who struggle to find their first career roles after finishing their study, and who find themselves in the very common transition period between study and the experience they need to climb the career ladder, your father has made sure these students can’t get a Newstart payment for six months. Six months is a long time to have no money. I don’t expect you to know what this feels like, as you don’t come from a background where you’ve ever had to worry about having money for food. But what I would like you to do is to be able to show empathy for the people who will find themselves in this position due to decisions your father has made. You might even be assisting the Whitehouse Institute for Design to teach these very students who are saddling themselves with huge education expenses, and have absolutely no guarantee of a job on graduation. These students grew up in a society that promised them a safety net as they pursue their life aspirations. But your father has torn up this safety net and slapped every one of them in the face with his three word slogan ‘earn or learn’. Just like you have done, these students are learning. And then they’ll be doing their best with the earning part. I see no reasonable reason to force these students into poverty while they go through this struggle. Without privileged favours from rich parents and mates of rich parents, life can be pretty tough out there. But poor students are basically being told that it’s their fault they have no job and they should have been more careful about which family they were born into.

Of course your father will defend you, and I’m sure you and the rest of your family think it’s terribly unfair that you’ve had your own personal story dragged through this mud in the media over the last few days. Again, I really do feel sorry for you. But, again, this is really your father’s fault and he’s the one we should all, including you, be upset with. He chose to organise for you and your sister Bridget to accompany him all over the country for as many media appearances as possible during the election campaign. I often wondered why you and your sister were always there, but never spoke on camera and I guess that’s because you didn’t really want to get involved with politics. But just being there made you involved and your father benefited from this involvement. You got lots of free tax-payer-funded travel and tickets to fun events out of this arrangement too, so it’s not like you didn’t all have a nice time promoting your father’s career. So now that your father is saying he doesn’t think it’s fair to involve his family in politics, he needs to take responsibility for involving you in the first place. Life is like that sometimes. I believe that you can’t have things both ways – all the spoils of privilege and power with none of the repercussions.

At the end of the day, this hasn’t really been about you, but it has affected you. You’ve been caught in your father’s web of perceived hypocrisy and you’re a victim of your father’s terrible decisions just as the rest of Australia is. When your father leads a government who asks that everyone does the heavy lifting, you must understand that it’s really important that the members of that government do the heavy lifting too. And when this quite clearly hasn’t happened in the case of your education expense, it’s only fair that we all get a chance to know whether our Prime Minister is willing to do what he’s asking all of us to do too.

Yours sincerely

Victoria Rollison

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61 Comments on “An Open Letter to Frances Abbott”

  1. staffordhall says:

    Plenty of hypocrites in this government. Just look at what George Christensen member for Dawson had to say about the budget. I cant believe any govt could be so out of touch and so happy to lie about it. Woeful woeful government. States arent any better! We have a crooked lot in power in Victoria, canr wait to see the back of them in november.

    • Jason says:

      You are a typical Labor supporter who has a sense of absolute entitlement and no consideration for others. The Labor party went on an insane spending spree with tax payers money when they held the reigns of federal government. A typical Labor supporter will claim to represent the majority of hard working Australians when expressing their opinions. I have been married for nearly 30 years and have 4 adult children. We survived on a single average wage and I can absolutely say without a doubt that we were only able to advance our financial status under a coalition government. Labor produces amazing deficits when they are in power and then conservatives have to fix the problem. It’s an ongoing cycle. Leftists like Victoria Rollison are bullies who feign a belief in social equality and free speech. Leftists do not accept alternative opinions that are not in line with their own beliefs. Leftists revert to “screaming down” others who may wish to express a different opinion so they cannot actually express their opinion. Leftists are hateful and spiteful characters who have a sense of absolute entitlement. Victoria Rollison claims to have a variety of interests. I find that very hard to believe as she is far too busy tapping away on her computer keyboard spreading hateful and denigrating drivel. I heard Victoria Rollison on 3AW the other day (Tom Elliot segment). What an overbearing bully she is.

      • Jason, you sound like a typical liberal supporter, labor bad, liberal good.

        The same can be said of a liberal government, save money and keep it in the bank and do nothing for the country, no infrastructure building or cut back on what is being built, nbn a classic example, middle class handouts, even abbott has said he wants to give tax breaks before the next election just to buy votes.

        Labor builds for the future, liberal do nothing except rip of the poor and give to the rich.

      • staffordhall says:

        Jason, just another out of touch Lieberal. Only Labor advances the country. Hows the AAA credit rating looking Jason. LOL!

  2. Iain Hall says:

    You really are hooked on the politics of envy aren’t you Victoria?

    • staffordhall says:

      Oh look, another fiberal out of touch! Envy, no, just hypocrisy.

      • Iain Hall says:

        Staffy, Maaate
        Even Victoria admits that Francis Abbott is a student who gets ‘high distinctions” in her studies and the design school insists that her selection for the scholarship was based upon academic merit so what is the real beef here if its not just old fashioned envy?

        I have two school aged children and if and when they want to go to do tertiary study then I know, just as you should, that they will be able to do any course for which they academically qualify. The most important thing for any prospective student is that they can study in the course of their choice and that they will not be expected to pay for their tuition until they are earning a reasonable wage. Its an utterly fair system that allows even the most “underprivileged” child to get the very best education/start in life.

      • staffordhall says:

        Iain MAAATEEE… no doubt about the fact that this was a maaateee doing a favour, no other way of looking at it. They know each other, he gives money to the fiberals, just another shonkey shonk shonk from a very shonky govt. Never mind, double diss soon and the adults will be in charge. See you Iain maaateeee!

      • Scholarships are generally given to people with financial hardship, students who cannot afford to pay the tuition, but also can show they have high distinction in there studies, Frances has a rich daddy who should be pay her tuition.

      • Jason says:

        Gee, Look at staffordhall. Yet another Labor supporter who has to have the last word in such a spiteful manner. You are the one who is “out of touch” with reality. You obviously condone Labor’s insane and wasteful spending of tax payers money during their last term. Well I guess we will see yet another post from you to express your typical leftist character of “screaming down” others with different opinions. Labor are not adults little boy staffy. They are kids in the lolly jar. Now run off down to Centrelink to lodge your form…..

    • francescaagosti says:

      This open letter has zero to do with envy. It is has everything to do with equity, fairness, appropriateness, transparency, and fighting corruption. Scholarships should and must be awarded to deserving students who do not have the financial means to pay for already expensive tuition, tuition which is only going to become much more expensive under the tenure of this irresponsible government. Every democracy, including ours, has the responsibility to make education available and affordable to all citizens equally. Awarding a scholarship to a woman whose father earns over half a million taxpayers dollars annually, not to mention hundreds of thousands more in parliamentary benefits and privileges that you and I can only dream about, the decision to award a lucrative scholarship to his daughter was corrupt in the extreme. And that is what Victoria roll-on is trying to point out here. Politics of envy? What a crock.

      • Iain Hall says:

        francescaagosti

        Scholarships should be and, generally are, available to ANYONE who can meet the admission qualification regardless of the economic circumstances. you are clearly partaking in a bit of inverse snobbery here by suggesting that only those below a certain economic threshold should ever be eligible for any sort of scholarship which is a nonsense.

      • FrancesSupporter says:

        Francescaagosti and Victoria,

        You are wrong. Plain and simple. There are many types of Scholarships. Some consider individuals financial position but many more DO NOT. The criteria when assessing a scholarship bequeath is a very long and arduous process undertaken with many individuals contributing to the process. To imply that Frances Abbott has obtained this scholarship on the basis of “who she is” is not only an insult to her but also an insult to the institute that has awarded this scholarship and especially the panel of people that assessed her application. She has received this Scholarship through merit by showing exceptional ability and dedication not because she is Tony Abbott’s daughter. She deserved it.

        However, I might also add that the Whitehouse Institute of Design is a private college and how they distribute scholarship monies is absolutely none of anyone’s business. This money is their money and they can give it to whomever they like! It is NOT Government money. This is not a Government funded Scholarship.

        Education is not free in this country. We have the Labour Government to thank for that. My parents did NOT pay for my University Education. I did.

        To suggest that only those ‘below’ a certain financial threshold should be eligible for scholarships is disgraceful.

        Victoria,

        Why don’t you write an “open letter” to all the freeloading Young Australians that are happy sitting on the dole instead of getting a job and making their way in this world. I bet their handouts totally surpass Frances’s $60,000 scholarship!

        Now the difference with this is – that is MY money. My taxes fund these freeloaders.

    • Bronwyn Wright says:

      Well said Iain. Such piffle, Victoria!

      • francescaagosti says:

        My my my, FrancesSupporter, you are so sure of your own ‘rightness’, aren’t you?

        Yes, deserving students who cannot otherwise afford tertiary education should ABSOLUTELY be the recipients of scholarships. That is the whole purpose of a scholarship process. It is designed to assist promising students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. It is designed to provide support to those less fortunate, not to those already wealthy and enjoying a privilege position in society. I would have thought this would be obvious to even the less enlightened in society.

        In response to your other comments, I will leave it to the students at Whitehouse to best respond to your ill-informed views.

        Here is an article published in the Guardian on 22 May 2014, specifically on the topic of scholarships at Whitehouse.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/22/former-classmates-angry-scholarship-abbotts-daughter

        Here is a relevant excerpt from the article:

        “Current and former students at the Whitehouse Institute of Design have reacted angrily to the revelation that prime minister Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances received an undisclosed scholarship of $60,000 to cover her tuition fees.

        Four students – two of whom were classmates of Abbott’s – all said they did not know that the scholarship existed and raised questions over its fairness. Frances was only the second student to receive the award in its 25 year history.

        On Wednesday, Guardian Australia revealed that Frances had received a chairman’s scholarship from the institution, with Les Taylor, chairman of the board of governors, later saying he had recommended her personally for the award. Taylor said he had no say in the selection process.

        One former Whitehouse student who was in the same class as Frances for three years told Guardian Australia: ‘It just seems like a free ride and not a scholarship.’

        The graduate, who did not want to be named, continued: ‘When it comes down to it everyone got in off their portfolio. Nobody else was offered a scholarship in any way, shape or form.”

        Another former classmate said ‘There was absolutely no discussion of the scholarship between me or any of the other students while at Whitehouse.

        ‘I don’t think it’s fair. What I think would have been fair is that if that scholarship was available for everybody to apply for it.’ ”

        So it appears that no other students were offered scholarships to study at Whitehouse, only the daughter of the PM after being nominated by the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the college. All other full fee paying students were accepted at the college based on merit, the talent demonstrated in their portfolios.

        Also relevant is the fact that Frances Abbott was only the second person in the 25 year history of the program to be offered a scholarship at this college. Clearly Frances’ fellow students were not happy at the what amounts to transparent favouritism, awarding a free pass to a student who was not accepted because of her talent, but because of who her father was.

        Nepotism? Favouritism? Croneyism? Favours for friends? Corruption? You bet.

        And I reject outright your characterisation that all young people receiving Newstart are “freeloaders”. These comments are ignorant and offensive, and do not warrant a response.

      • The people that use degorative terms as ‘freeloaders’ and ‘dole bludgers’ must do so out of sheer hatreds or dislike for their jobs or miserable lives. Surely, if they enjoyed their state of being they would pity those that don’t have a job and rely on an income so they can survive.
        It is their lack of empathy that truly shows them up.
        I would not be surprised they have the same mentality towards boat people, do doubt described as ‘illegals’. and being ‘rich’.

  3. Catalyst says:

    A dose of reality from you while the Main Stream Media – ignores the perception of unfairness- Frances must have been embarrassed about it too, or why didn’t she tell her fellow students that she was on a scholarship?
    Did she think telling the guy with two casual jobs
    -‘Hey I got a free ride’
    might make him like her less? I’m guessing if she had any shred of decency than yes she might have thought that.
    It does explain why Liberals think its so easy to get jobs- theirs have always been easy, laid out for them, built on connections, and favours .

    • francescaagosti says:

      I could not agree with your comments more, gerard oysterman and Catalyst. The secrecy surrounding every detail of this scholarship is very revealing. I have no doubt that now this ‘favours for friends’ debacle has come to light Frances is very embarrassed about the whole episode and reluctant to face her fellow students, and rightly she should be, if she has a fully functioning conscience, something her father is clearly missing.

  4. Brilliant as ever, Victoria.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Abbott say he wanted to keep his family away from the hustle and bustle of politics the other day, but yet during the election his daughter’s were constantly by his side trying to portray him, he understands women, joke of the year that was, abbott is so out of touch with the electorate, he is only a PM in name only now, will not be able to do anything.

  6. Excellent article, Hall talks about envy, he should talk, that is what he only ever talks about.

  7. Classmate angry over her getting the scholarship, obviously daddy didnt have enough money to pay for her education, maybe he should have taken out another mortgage.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/22/former-classmates-angry-scholarship-abbotts-daughter

  8. AsGrayAsGray says:

    All Abbott had to do to make this go away, was immediately decline the scholarship. Announce to the nation that he was handing the scholarship back to the school, so that another student of lower means was able to take it up. Fixed.
    Even better, before this became public, he could have (should have?) done exactly that, and created for himself an opportunity to *demonstrate* his willingness to share some of this ‘heavy lifting’. The Murdoch press could have lauded the moment as ‘proof’ of Abbott’s sharing and caring nature… and we would all immediately recall that we love our dear leader…

    • staffordhall says:

      Of course he could have AsGray. Actually, he should have, in fact he should never have accepted it in the first place. But we all know what liberals like most, its money, the fact that someone far more deserving could have the scholarship would not come into his thinking.

      • AsGrayAsGray says:

        Yep, right. But… these liberals and all their mates are somewhat sociopathic. They seem to get some pleasure out of the act of denying wealth or, indeed, anything good, to anyone else. So, on that point of this not being something Abbott would think about, I will respectfully disagree with you, in the nicest way possible – I believe that he would have thought about what a great saving he has made, and subsequently also thought about how great it was that it was him getting it, and not some other slob…
        Cheers!

      • staffordhall says:

        AsGray, LOL! Yeah… your right! Francescaagoti, I dont know you can blame the “child” for her fathers sins. We can do that instead.

    • AndyM says:

      The scholarship wasn’t Tony’s to decline. It was his dauther’s. Or are you suggesting that he had the right to ride roughshod over her preferences?

      Given this was a private scholarship, and not coming from public money, WTF business is it of anyone who it goes to? It doesn’t have to meet whatever standards anyone chooses to put forward except the standards the person giving the money chooses.

      • AndyM says:

        AsGrey: counter the argument. If he’d instructed his daughter not to take it, he’d be parodied for being a knuckle dragging mysoginist.

      • Bob says:

        Not his to decline, but surely not hers or his to hide either. Should have declared it, “awarded on merit at arms length” would have avoided all this …

  9. francescaagosti says:

    I do not feel “sorry” for Frances Abbott. She is not a child, as the tone of this letter might suggest. She is a 22 year old woman and knew exactly what she was getting herself into. She is not an innocent victim here “caught in her father’s web”. She had a choice, as we all have choices, and she decided to go with the questionable choice of accepting a lucrative scholarship when she could have and should have paid her way, as those not born with a silver spoon in their mouths must pay their way, and now pay dearly thanks to Tony Abbott, for the privilege of an education. The tone of this letter is precisely what is wrong with the current corrupt “favours for political donations” system. The subliminal message contained within the tone of this letter is that society in general regards those born with privilege and therefore power as somehow in need of being treated with kid gloves, of being revered, help up on a pedestal, and in the process this attitude supports the current inequitable, corrupt structure that would see working class students indebted possibly for decades after graduating, while the children of the “born to rule” class are permitted to study for free. While I agree with the thrust of this open letter I cannot agree with the tone. Frances Abbott is an adult. She had a choice. She could have declined this scholarship even if her father lacked the intelligence and integrity to do so. It’s time we called a spade a spade in this country and acknowledged that being 22 is no excuse for wilful ignorance, poor judgment and complete hypocrisy, even if this is what you have learned by those who raised you.

  10. francescaagosti says:

    Spellchecker auto correct … very annoying.

  11. AsGrayAsGray says:

    Thanks for this post, Victoria – it has prompted me to get off my lazy — and do some of my own heavy lifting. I have done a little piece on how this $60,000 scholarship proves that Abbott is crazy. My handle is a direct link to my web-log should you wish to take a look.
    Cheers!

  12. Reblogged this on thepoliticalvagina and commented:
    Victoria Rollinson is telling it like it is and many would agree with her (I know I do).

  13. Cali.B says:

    The Whitehouse Institute awarded the scholarship, not Tony. If you have such big issues with the Government why don’t you do something constructive about it? What is writing a passive aggressive open letter is going actually change? Seems a bit self serving to me.

    • francescaagosti says:

      Cali.B, there is a distinct level of ignorance demonstrated by some of the people commenting here.

      Frances Abbott was awarded a $60,000 ‘Chairman’s Scholarship’ to pay for her degree at the Whitehouse Institute of Design. The chairman who recommended her? Les Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Governors of Whitehouse who has donated over $20,000 to the Liberal party.

      This means Frances Abbott paid just $7,500 for a $68,000 degree.

      In return The Whitehouse Institute has for the first time in its history received Government funding from the Abbott government, that’s taxpayer dollars, yours and mine, taxpayers whose children may never be able to afford expensive private tuition.

      This so-called ‘scholarship’ was indirectly paid for by Australian taxpayers, by funding paid to Whitehouse by the current government, funding that was provided in return for $20,000 in donations to the Liberal Party, by Les Taylor himself.

      In addition, Tony Abbott’s budget means that university fees will rise by up to 100%, ensuring that young people graduate with crippling levels of debt.

      The Whitehouse Institute should ensure all scholarships are awarded fairly. This scholarship was not awarded fairly, not by a longshot. And other students at Whitehouse agree, as published in this article.

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/22/former-classmates-angry-scholarship-abbotts-daughter

      • AndyM says:

        Any evidence that there was a quid pro quo that the scholarship was “payback” for government funding guidelines changing, or is this just unsubstantiated smear?

        Or that private individuals should not donate to the political party of their choice to whatever sum that they want? Extend that to its logical conclusion and union backing of the labor party should be just as repugnant to you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Francesaggosti,

    I will put this capitals so you get the message NOT ALL SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AWARDED TO THE FINANCIALLY DISADVANTAGED.

    This whole paragraph “Yes, deserving students who cannot otherwise afford tertiary education should ABSOLUTELY be the recipients of scholarships. That is the whole purpose of a scholarship process. It is designed to assist promising students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. It is designed to provide support to those less fortunate, not to those already wealthy and enjoying a privilege position in society. I would have thought this would be obvious to even the less enlightened in society.” IS WRONG. INCORRECT. And to believe this why there are scholarships is WRONG.

    And yes I am sure of my “rightness” because I managed a $1,000,000 scholarship program for International PhD students on behalf of a State Government and NO their economic status or financial background was NOT considered. It was wholly and solely on merit and the subject / aims of their PhD.

    And to just quote from a “newspaper”, the Guardian at that, is very poor………because of course they would have their facts right. I note none of the disgruntled students wanted to be named. Sigh.

    Is it really just a case of sour grapes and jealousy? And when did Australians become such sooky whinging la, la’s? Australia is not a socialist country.

    • francescaagosti says:

      To “Anonymous”:

      I notice that while Victoria and I are happy to disclose our real names in this forum you hide behind the moniker “Anonymous”. This says it all.

      Where is your courage to stand by your statements? Do you lack the backbone to reveal your true identity?

      Your patronising tone is best saved for the feeble minded who would be swayed by your myopic rhetoric.

      Your comments are a classic example of ‘born to rule’ neo-conservatives demonstrating zero empathy for others, completely lacking any original ideas of their own, completely out of touch with what is going on in Australian society, and spouting propaganda like mindless drones.

      Awarding a scholarship on a merit and needs basis is perfectly legitimate. MY VIEW is that ALL scholarships should be awarded to talented students on a ‘needs basis’, students who otherwise would not be able to afford a tertiary education, rather than the privileged children of multi-millionaires who are routinely handed favours on a silver platter due to a corrupt social system that supports inequity and therefore disadvantage, as demonstrated quite clearly by the well-written article I provided earlier. That is my view and I stand by it 100%.

      I note that you believe students from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds don’t deserve any special consideration, yet are quite comfortable labelling the young unemployed as “freeloaders” who sponge off the system. Well you cannot have it both ways, ‘Anonymous’, whatever your real name is.

      How are young people expected to find jobs if they are denied the same educational opportunities as the sons and daughters of your privileged ‘born to rule’ friends? I ask this question in context of the recent proposals in the budget that seek to de-regulate university fees ensuring that those dissuaded from being able to undertaken university degrees are indeed those from less privileged backgrounds, students will think twice about taking on what will amount to decades of post-graduation debt, who do not have affluent parents who can write-off such debts with the stroke of a pen.

      If indeed you managed a $1M scholarship program for the Government then I pity the poor students who were affected by your decisions. You have proven by your biased, myopic comments here that you were unfit to hold this position.

      Waving your ‘credentials’ in my face has done nothing to help your cause. It merely illustrates that often the most ill-deserving, out of touch, incompetent individuals rise to positions of power where they yield that power irresponsibility, Tony Abbott being Exhibit “A” in this category.

      One final but important point.

      You use the word ‘socialist’ as if this were a filthy concept. Well I beg to differ.

      No individual lives in isolation. We are all part of society, and what affects one of us affects all of us. By definition we are all socialists. The difference between you and I is that the society that you would seek to create for Australia is one of extreme wealth and privilege for some and abject poverty and disadvantage for others, a society that no intelligent individual of conscience would or will accept.

      Those born into poverty and social disadvantage have the same rights to an affordable education as the privileged daughter of a Prime Minister. This is a right that must be afforded to all citizens equally in every democracy, and the last time I checked Australia was still a democracy, despite the best efforts of this unconscionable government and individuals like you.

      • John says:

        That is a bloody good spray!

      • francescaagosti says:

        Thank you, John. Ignorant comments deserve a rebuttal.

      • Iain Hall says:

        francescaagosti

        To “Anonymous”:

        I notice that while Victoria and I are happy to disclose our real names in this forum you hide behind the moniker “Anonymous”. This says it all.

        Where is your courage to stand by your statements? Do you lack the backbone to reveal your true identity?

        There is a great deal of irony in you chiding “Anonymous” for a lack of transparency about their identity when you yourself are using a pseudonym. and an avatar clearly sourced from google images.

        Your patronising tone is best saved for the feeble minded who would be swayed by your myopic rhetoric.

        Says she in an even more patronising tone 🙄

        Your comments are a classic example of ‘born to rule’ neo-conservatives demonstrating zero empathy for others, completely lacking any original ideas of their own, completely out of touch with what is going on in Australian society, and spouting propaganda like mindless drones.

        Your comments are an even more classical example of the angry and frustrated socialist who is utterly driven by envy that anyone can possibly do better in life than you ever will.

        Awarding a scholarship on a merit and needs basis is perfectly legitimate. MY VIEW is that ALL scholarships should be awarded to talented students on a ‘needs basis’, students who otherwise would not be able to afford a tertiary education, rather than the privileged children of multi-millionaires who are routinely handed favours on a silver platter due to a corrupt social system that supports inequity and therefore disadvantage, as demonstrated quite clearly by the well-written article I provided earlier. That is my view and I stand by it 100%.

        The simple fact is that those who create scholarships are are free to make the eligibility criteria in any shape or form entirely at their discretion. Your socialist wet dreams about how you think things should be are utterly irrelevant.

        I note that you believe students from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds don’t deserve any special consideration, yet are quite comfortable labelling the young unemployed as “freeloaders” who sponge off the system. Well you cannot have it both ways, ‘Anonymous’, whatever your real name is.

        How can you possibly be certain that each of the comments were made by the same “anonymous”?

        How are young people expected to find jobs if they are denied the same educational opportunities as the sons and daughters of your privileged ‘born to rule’ friends? I ask this question in context of the recent proposals in the budget that seek to de-regulate university fees ensuring that those dissuaded from being able to undertaken university degrees are indeed those from less privileged backgrounds, students will think twice about taking on what will amount to decades of post-graduation debt, who do not have affluent parents who can write-off such debts with the stroke of a pen.

        Are you living in the same Australia as the rest of us?

        If indeed you managed a $1M scholarship program for the Government then I pity the poor students who were affected by your decisions. You have proven by your biased, myopic comments here that you were unfit to hold this position.

        Oh I love the smell of burning (with envy) socialists in the in the evening!

        Waving your ‘credentials’ in my face has done nothing to help your cause. It merely illustrates that often the most ill-deserving, out of touch, incompetent individuals rise to positions of power where they yield that power irresponsibility, Tony Abbott being Exhibit “A” in this category.

        We have just had six years of your mob in the lodge and you have the hide to suggest that conservatives are incompetent?

        One final but important point.

        You use the word ‘socialist’ as if this were a filthy concept. Well I beg to differ.

        No individual lives in isolation. We are all part of society, and what affects one of us affects all of us. By definition we are all socialists. The difference between you and I is that the society that you would seek to create for Australia is one of extreme wealth and privilege for some and abject poverty and disadvantage for others, a society that no intelligent individual of conscience would or will accept.

        The difference between you socialists and the real world is that you want everyone to be the same by impoverishing the rich. In any event there is no real economic advantage in making the ordinary people poorer in a society that is predicated upon mass consumption. Look around you and learn about the way that the real world works rather than seeing it through the prisim of the failed Marxist ideology that has obviously inspired you.

        Those born into poverty and social disadvantage have the same rights to an affordable education as the privileged daughter of a Prime Minister. This is a right that must be afforded to all citizens equally in every democracy, and the last time I checked Australia was still a democracy, despite the best efforts of this unconscionable government and individuals like you.

        And in this country the “poor” can and do go to university if they meet the academic criteria, so really you are getting het up about nothing here, heck if a graduate never in their life time reaches the income threshold their education debt does not have to be repaid at all. So don’t keep whining that the “underprivileged” can’t study anything that they desire as long as they have the academic pre-requisites.

      • francescaagosti says:

        Blah blah blah.

        For the record, I am not using a pseudonym. My name is as stated.

        You criticise me for using what you call an ‘avatar’ sourced from google images? Wrong again.

        And can you explain the image you are using, Iain Hall? Clearly this is not your photograph.
        Three words. Pot … kettle … black. Your use of projection is rather naive and ineffectual. Better luck next time.

        I assume that the brave and transparent ‘Anonymous’ can provide her own response to my comments in due course.

        Have not bothered to read the rest of this drivel. Not worthy of a response.

        Apart from this.

        The long and exceptional list of achievements of the Gillard Government, one of greatest governments in the history of this nation, and no amount of misinformation disseminated by ill-informed individuals such as yourself, or the irresponsible government you support can or will ever erase these achievements.

        • NBN (the real one) – total cost $37.4b (Government contribution: $30.4b);

        • BER 7,920 schools: 10,475 projects. (completed at less than 3% dissatisfaction rate);

        • Gonski education funding reform;

        • NDIS – DisabilityCare;

        • MRRT & aligned PRRT;

        • Won seat at the UN;

        • Signed Kyoto;

        • Signatory to Bali Process & Regional Framework;

        • Eradicated WorkChoices;

        • Established Fair Work Australia;

        • Established Carbon Pricing/ETS (7% reduction in emissions since July last year);

        • Established National Network of Reserves and Parks;

        • Created world’s largest Marine Park Network;

        • Introduced Reef Rescue Program;

        • National Apology;

        • Sorry to the Stolen Generation;

        • Increased Superannuation from 9 to 12%;

        • Changed 85 laws to remove discrimination against same sex couples;

        • Introduced National Plan to reduce violence against women and children;

        • Improvements to Sex Discrimination Act;

        • Introduced plain packaging of cigarettes;

        • Legislated Equal pay (social & community workers up to 45% pay increases);

        • Legislated Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme;

        • Achieved 1:1 ratio of computers for year 9-12 students;

        • Established $10b Clean Energy Bank;

        • Legislated Murray/Darling Basin plan (the first in a hundred years of trying);

        • Increased Education funding by 50%;

        • Established direct electoral enrollment;

        • Created 190,000 more University places;

        • Established My School;

        • Established National Curriculum;

        • Established NAPLAN;

        • Increased Health funding by 50%;

        • Legislated Aged care package;

        • Legislated Mental health package;

        • Legislated Dental Care package;

        • Created 90 Headspace sites;

        • Created Medicare Locals Program;

        • Created Aussie Jobs package;

        • Created Kick-Start Initiative (apprentices);

        • Funded New Car Plan (industry support);

        • Created Infrastructure Australia;

        • Established Nation Building Program (350 major projects);

        • Doubled Federal Roads budget ($36b) (7,000kms of roads);

        • Rebuilding 1/3 of interstate rail freight network;

        • Committed more to urban passenger rail than any government since Federation;

        • Developed National Ports Strategy;

        • Developed National Land Freight Strategy;

        • Created the nations first ever Aviation White Paper;

        • Revitalized Australian Shipping;

        • Reduced transport regulators from 23 to 3 (saving $30b over 20years);

        • Introduced NICS – infrastructure schedule;

        • Australia moved from 20th in 2007 to 2nd on OECD infrastructure ranking;

        • International Infrastructure Minister of the Year (2012) awarded to Mr Anthony Albanese;

        • International Treasurer of the Year (2011) awarded to Mr Wayne Swan;

        • Introduced anti-dumping and countervailing system reforms;

        • Legislated Household Assistance Package;

        • Introduced School Kids Bonus;

        • Increased Childcare rebate (to 50%);

        • Allocated $6b to Social Housing (20,000 homes);

        • Provided $5b to Support for Homelessness;

        • Established National Rental Affordability Scheme ($4.5b);

        • Introduced Closing the Gap;

        • Supports Act of Recognition for constitutional change;

        • Provided the highest pension increase in 100 years;

        • Created 900,000 new jobs;

        • Established National Jobs Board;

        • Allocated $9b for skills and training over 5 years;

        • Established Enterprise Connect (small business);

        • Appointed Australia’s first Small Business Commissioner;

        • Introduced immediate write-off of assets costing less than $6,500 for Small Business;

        • Introduced $5,000 immediate write-off for Small Business vehicles over $6,500;

        • Introduced a national levy to assist Queensland with reconstruction;

        • Standardized national definition of flood for Insurance purposes;

        • Created Tourism 2020;

        • Completed Australia’s first feasibility study on high speed rail;

        • Established ESCAS (traceability and accountability in live animal exports);

        • Established Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse;

        • Established National Crime Prevention Fund;

        • Lowered personal income taxes (average family now pays $3,500 less pa than 2007);

        • Raised the tax-free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200;

        • Raised Australia to the richest per capita nation on earth;

        • First time ever Australia has three triple A credit ratings from all three credit agencies;

        • Low inflation;

        • Lowest interest rates in 60 years (average mortgagee paying $5,000 less p.a. than 2007);

        • Low unemployment;

        • Lowest debt to GDP in OECD;

        • Australian dollar is now fifth most traded in the world and IMF Reserve Currency;

        • One of the world’s best performing economies during and since the GFC;

        • Australia now highest ranked for low Sovereign Risk;

        • AAA+ Credit Rating;

        • Overseen the largest fiscal tightening in nations history (4.4%);

        • 21 years of continuous economic growth (trend running at around 3% pa);

        • 11 years of continuous wages growth exceeding CPI;

        • Increasing Productivity;

        • Increasing Consumer Confidence;

        • Record foreign investment;

        • Historic levels of Chinese/Australian bilateral relations;

        • First female Prime Minister;

        • First female Governor General;

        • First female Attorney General;

        • Introduced Small business $1m loss carryback for tax rebate from previous year;

        • Legislated Australian Consumer law.

      • Iain Hall says:

        francescaagosti

        Blah blah blah.

        For the record, I am not using a pseudonym. My name is as stated.

        So your real name that appears on your identifying documents is “francescaagosti” does it? no first middle or surname just a single neologism with no capital letter? Pull the other one! The way that you present here is an pseudonymous commentator hiding her identity.

        You criticise me for using what you call an ‘avatar’ sourced from google images? Wrong again.

        I doubt that its a picture of your self

        And can you explain the image you are using, Iain Hall? Clearly this is not your photograph.
        Three words. Pot … kettle … black. Your use of projection is rather naive and ineffectual. Better luck next time.

        The avatar is a self portrait and its quite a good likeness if I say so myself. As for the suggestion of “projection” my critique of your comment does not hold water.

        Have not bothered to read the rest of this drivel. Not worthy of a response.

        😆 the coward’s response made to cover your lack of rhetorical ability.

        Apart from this.

        The long and exceptional list of achievements of the Gillard Government, one of greatest governments in the history of this nation, and no amount of misinformation disseminated by ill-informed individuals such as yourself, or the irresponsible government you support can or will ever erase these achievements.

        Oh my dear! No wonder you are so delusional if you believe this litany of failure. I’ll pick out the biggest delusions for you to ponder:

        • NBN (the real one) – total cost $37.4b (Government contribution: $30.4b);

        Something is not an “achievement” until it has been built and runs as promised the NBN is no where near completion nor viable operation, it is hopelessly late well and truly over budget and riven with problems.

        • BER 7,920 schools: 10,475 projects. (completed at less than 3% dissatisfaction rate);

        Sigh you mistake having flash buildings (built using borrowed money) with improving education for our children. I’m still waiting for the lap top for my High school age daughter as promised by Gillard.

        • Gonski education funding reform;

        Well this may be good for teaching unions but will it really make a difference for children’s education? Maybe at best

        • NDIS – DisabilityCare;

        Once again you claim virtue in something that is unproven a and really more a plan to fund the “care” industry and its unions than to help the disabled.

        • MRRT & aligned PRRT;

        Now you are trying to tell us a Joke eh? The MRRT would have to go down in history as the most badlt designed tax in the history of this country. Who but Labor could legislate a tax that costs more to administer than it collects in revenue? YHet you claim it as a virtue?

        • Won seat at the UN;

        The UN is worse than useless and a temporary seat on the security council is of no consequence

        • Signed Kyoto;

        A totally useless gesture

        • Signatory to Bali Process & Regional Framework;

        A totally useless gesture

        • Eradicated WorkChoices;

        • Established Fair Work Australia;

        Only a rabid socialist would think that the replacement is really better, because while I think that Workchoices was a bad mistake from the coalition FWA swings too far the other way.

        • Established Carbon Pricing/ETS (7% reduction in emissions since July last year);

        Really you are trying to claim the Carbon tax as a virtue?????????????

        • Established National Network of Reserves and Parks;

        • Created world’s largest Marine Park Network;

        • Introduced Reef Rescue Program;

        🙄 Locking up more of the country is not that much of a virtue

        • National Apology;

        • Sorry to the Stolen Generation;

        Empty theatre at best

        • Increased Superannuation from 9 to 12%;

        Superannuation is vastly overrated and predicated on a false notion of eternal growth in the speculative share market

        • Changed 85 laws to remove discrimination against same sex couples;

        Something that was passed with Bipartisan support so not an exclusive Labor achievement

        • Introduced National Plan to reduce violence against women and children;

        yet another “plan” that you claim as an achievement, even though it has not done anything in the real world.

        • Improvements to Sex Discrimination Act;

        Really?

        • Introduced plain packaging of cigarettes;

        Well I’ll concede the virtue in this

        • Legislated Equal pay (social & community workers up to 45% pay increases);

        What are the chances that said workers are now working for fewer hours as their employers can’t afford them?

        • Legislated Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme;

        More expense to the taxpayer

        • Achieved 1:1 ratio of computers for year 9-12 students;

        Rubbish

        • Established $10b Clean Energy Bank;

        This instrument was a bribe to buy the support from the Greens and its a slush fund that is a rorter’s wet dream.

        • Legislated Murray/Darling Basin plan (the first in a hundred years of trying);

        Od dubious virtue at best

        • Increased Education funding by 50%;

        All on the nations credit card and only a virtue if the academic outcomes were to improve in line with the expenditure and sadly for your argument they have not done so.

        • Created 190,000 more University places;

        While having access to tertiary education can be a virtue there comes a point where expanding this level of education becomes little more than an extension of childhood for the middle classes and creating more work for teachers.

        • Established My School;

        Gee anyone can create a website

        • Established National Curriculum;

        Not so sure that its the best thing to happen to education.

        • Established NAPLAN;

        While it has some virtue it also has a rather nasty effect on teaching.

        • Increased Health funding by 50%;

        Promised funding, on the credit card is hardly a virtue

        • Legislated Aged care package;

        Promised funding, on the credit card is hardly a virtue

        • Legislated Mental health package;

        Promised funding, on the credit card is hardly a virtue

        • Legislated Dental Care package;

        Promised funding, on the credit card is hardly a virtue

        • Created 90 Headspace sites;

        small tick for that

        • Created Medicare Locals Program;

        😆 that is a prime example of Labor over promising and under delivering!

        • Created Aussie Jobs package;

        which is rubbish

        • Created Kick-Start Initiative (apprentices);

        🙄

        • Funded New Car Plan (industry support);

        😆 how many manufactures do we have in Australia now?

        • Created Infrastructure Australia;

        Yawn!

        • Established Nation Building Program (350 major projects);

        On the national credit card!

        • Doubled Federal Roads budget ($36b) (7,000kms of roads);

        On the national credit card!

        • Rebuilding 1/3 of interstate rail freight network;

        On the national credit card!

        • Committed more to urban passenger rail than any government since Federation;

        On the national credit card!

        • Developed National Ports Strategy;

        On the national credit card!

        • Developed National Land Freight Strategy;

        On the national credit card!

        • Created the nations first ever Aviation White Paper;

        More unfulfilled promises

        • Revitalized Australian Shipping;

        In your dreams

        • Reduced transport regulators from 23 to 3 (saving $30b over 20years);

        Small tick

        • Australia moved from 20th in 2007 to 2nd on OECD infrastructure ranking;

        Which means Nothing to us here

        • International Infrastructure Minister of the Year (2012) awarded to Mr Anthony Albanese;

        Meaningless rubbish

        • International Treasurer of the Year (2011) awarded to Mr Wayne Swan;

        That is an utter Joke!

        • Introduced anti-dumping and countervailing system reforms;

        That don’t work

        • Legislated Household Assistance Package;

        On the national credit card!

        • Introduced School Kids Bonus;

        On the national credit card! and predicated on non-existent revenue from the MRRT

        • Increased Childcare rebate (to 50%);

        On the national credit card!

        • Allocated $6b to Social Housing (20,000 homes);

        On the national credit card!

        • Provided $5b to Support for Homelessness;

        Then whay are there still people who are homeless?

        • Established National Rental Affordability Scheme ($4.5b);

        On the national credit card!

        • Introduced Closing the Gap;

        smoke and mirrors

        • Supports Act of Recognition for constitutional change;

        🙄 apartheid Labor style

        • Provided the highest pension increase in 100 years;

        On the national credit card!

        • Created 900,000 new jobs;

        Rubbish

        • Established National Jobs Board;

        another useless Quango

        • Allocated $9b for skills and training over 5 years;

        On the national credit card!

        • Established Enterprise Connect (small business);

        • Appointed Australia’s first Small Business Commissioner;

        another useless Quango

        • Created Tourism 2020;

        another useless Quango

        • Completed Australia’s first feasibility study on high speed rail;

        Just a sop to the silly Greens Hiogh speed rail will never be feasible in this country

        • Established ESCAS (traceability and accountability in live animal exports);

        And don’t forget the damage done with the export ban to Indonesian

        • Established Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse;

        Of limited value at best

        • Established National Crime Prevention Fund;

        Of limited value at best

        • Lowered personal income taxes (average family now pays $3,500 less pa than 2007);

        Of limited value at best

        • Raised the tax-free threshold from $6,000 to $18,200;

        Small tick for something long overdue

        • Raised Australia to the richest per capita nation on earth;

        Don’t think this is correct

        • First time ever Australia has three triple A credit ratings from all three credit agencies;

        Meaningless

        • Low inflation;

        More by luck than good intentions

        • Lowest interest rates in 60 years (average mortgagee paying $5,000 less p.a. than 2007);

        meaningless given the cost was a very high dollar

        • Low unemployment;

        this is a deceptive claim given only one hour of work a week makes someone employed

        • Lowest debt to GDP in OECD;

        no thanks to spendthrift Labor

        • Australian dollar is now fifth most traded in the world and IMF Reserve Currency;

        You do understand the problem that a high dollar presents to our industry don’t you?

        • One of the world’s best performing economies during and since the GFC;

        which was because this country had no debt until Labor got into power

        • Australia now highest ranked for low Sovereign Risk;

        in spite of Labor rather than being something they created

        • First female Prime Minister;

        given that PM was Gillard that is no virtue

        • First female Governor General;

        So what?

        • First female Attorney General;

        Roxon was not that good in the job

      • francescaagosti says:

        Yes, Paul (@pauhwello), Iain Hall has nothing, zero, nada, to back up his fanciful assertions.

        Conducting these types of low-level “debates” is boring in the extreme.

        And the inquiries of a personal nature will not be tolerated. This is crossing a line.

        I hope you hear this and understand it, Iain Hall. Please check yourself.

        The end.

      • I see that iain hall gave his usual reply, dissecting a persons points and gives nothing in return except his usual replies, nothing of substance and where this so called coalition government is going. A one term government by the looks. A government that cannot even hide the lies they are telling the electorate.

        Back to the point of this article, abbott should have told his daughter to decline the scholarship because of who he was, pure and simple.

      • francescaagosti says:

        Agreed.

        The modus operandi of LNP supporters is to obfuscate, divert attention from the facts by attacking their opponents and denouncing what are in fact outstanding achievements as irrelevant. The facts are now a matter of public record.

        The Abbott gov has shown it’s hand, declared its intentions, which are in essence to completely destroy quality of life for ordinary Australians while continuing to look after the highly privileged 1%.

        And the awarding of this scholarship is another case in point of political donations being made in return for favours on both side. Quid pro quo. You scratch mine and I’ll scratch yours and you’ll scratch mine.

        Les Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Governors at Whitehouse made donations to the Liberal Party while Abbott is in Opposition. Taylor is a personal friend of Tony Abbott, even gifting him clothing at one stage, which Abbott declared on the members’ interest register. A $60,000 scholarship is offered to Frances Abbott, which she accepts (not declared on the members’ interest register). Later when Abbott is elected to government a rather large grant is provided to The Whitehouse Institute, the first time ever such a grant has been awarded to this private college.

        Les Taylor says he had no influence over the decision even though he freely admits he recommended her for the award.

        http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-says-he-was-not-lobbied-on-government-grants-by-head-of-institute-that-gave-daughter-a-scholarship-20140523-38t42.html

        Information provided by documents leaked from Whitehouse itself indicate that the college specifically courted Frances Abbott and awarded the scholarship after only one interview (not standard practice).

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/22/frances-abbott-courted-scholarship-new-matilda

        No other students were offered a scholarship to study at Whitehouse. The college did not publicise details to other students about the scholarship. In fact students were told by college administration that scholarships did not exist at Whitehouse. One student states her family was forced to take out loans to finance her studies. These students are justifiably upset at what amounts to favouritism and discrimination.

        Frances Abbott is only the second individual in 25 years to be awarded a scholarship at Whitehouse.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/22/former-classmates-angry-scholarship-abbotts-daughter

        When you examine the facts they are rather damning, and it doesn’t take Einstein to figure out what has happened here.

        The fact that LNP supporters quickly spring to the defence of actions that are irresponsible in the least and corrupt at worst demonstrates an inability to examine and digest the facts and come to logical conclusions. It’s a waste of time trying to debate sensibly when there is a resistance to the facts, the truth, or as close as we can get to the truth considering that all the players involved in this fiasco are lying to some degree.

      • Iain hall, which bank does the government have this national credit card with, how much interest is paid on this credit card.

      • guddy says:

        Iain her name is Francesca Agosti………. capish, its not that difficult. By the way how is your share of the heavy lifting going?

  15. Nathan says:

    Victoria, your letter lacks complete sincerety. I am sure France’s doesn’t really care if you feel sorry for her or not. If you have an issue with government policy, take it up with your local mp and not the PM’s daughter. How inappropriate. This letter reflects more on your character than those you speak of…

  16. staffordhall says:

    Iaian as usual cant reply competently, lots of slogans there, wonder why? The facts are this is the worst govt ever in this country. To people who are long lost conservatives the reasons are obvious. Enjoy the recession Iain.
    Think I might go and have a cup of tea. T party jokes make me thirsty.

  17. […] a biased Speaker, back-bench revolts, the c-bomb in Parliament, the shutting down of an industry, scholarship nepotism,  senior leaders not knowing details about the budget, wink gaffes, that it’s not as easy as it […]

  18. […] a biased Speaker, back-bench revolts, the c-bomb in Parliament, the shutting down of an industry, scholarship nepotism,  senior leaders not knowing details about the budget, wink gaffes, that it’s not as easy as it […]

  19. hi!,I love your writing very much! proportion we keep in touch extra approximately your article on AOL?
    I need a specialist in this area to unravel my problem.
    May be that’s you! Having a look forward to look you.

  20. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect
    with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  21. […] of the 200 posts on my blog, the biggest reaction came from my Open Letter to Frances Abbott, which was read by over 400,000 Australians. This post didn’t take me long to write – it just […]


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