In news that will likely shock you all to your very cores, Tony Abbott appears unwilling or unready to plainly accept the fact that his former religious confidante George Pell was found guilty on multiple counts of child sex abuse. Allow yourselves a moment to gather your jaws from the floor before we continue.
Abbott appeared on his media home away from home 2GB this afternoon and spoke with Ben Fordham, who grilled the former Prime Minister on his feelings about Pell, who was found guilty via unanimous jury verdict in early December, but whose conviction was only made public yesterday.
Despite having some two-and-a-bit months to gather his thoughts on the matter, Abbott reacted like someone whispered it in his ear mere seconds prior, fighting every urge in his body to not outright say “he’s innocent.”
Of the verdict itself, Abbott asserted “Yes, he has been convicted. He has been found guilty. And as the Prime Minister said yesterday, nobody is above the law… but let’s wait and see what the law ultimately produces.“
For those keeping score at home, the law has so far ultimately produced a guilty verdict, delivered by unanimous jury decision.
Abbott noted that he had spoken to Pell after the verdict was handed in, and noted that his “position privately is the same as the position his lawyer has expressed,” which is bananas if you consider a scenario where Pell stifles a laugh and whispers “nah, I did it actually” in Tony’s ear while they huff down wafer-thin tea.
The most utterly bizarre assertion from Abbott, though, came in a comment in which he appeared to write off the extremely serious sexual abuse and assault of children as the kind of stock-standard whoopsie you make when you’re young, wild, and mucking about.
I would be the last person to say that anyone has always acted perfectly. I know if I look back on my own life… I’ve made many mistakes, we all do. It’s certainly possible at a time like this to make very harsh judgments about people, I accept that.
Who among us hasn’t accidentally mucked around and committed heinous acts of abuse on children that we were tried for in a court of law and subsequently found guilty? Who among us hasn’t casually done that?
It’s Toney time, folks. No doubt about it whatsoever.
Time.Image: Getty Images / Stefan Postles