Tony Abbott is an unusual politician. Let me give an example. #ausvotes
Some years ago I was invited to join a delegation to cabinet ministers about the unfair impact on judicial pensions of a particular Howard government proposal.
Tony Abbott saw us alone, without the usual cast of advisers who take notes to use against media exposure and whose presence is essentially to ensure that nothing a minister says is of any consequence. Instead he spoke openly and honestly.
About the same time a friend told me he had seen Tony on a 389 bus in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. He wondered why he wasn’t using a ministerial car.
Politicians normally only go on public transport or use bicycles for a photo opportunity. I recall the current British Prime Minister David Cameron when he was in opposition being filmed cycling to the House of Commons. One mischievous media cameraman was nasty enough to film the official car following him.
Tony has been consistent in not using his community involvements for political advantage. Until he became Leader and the media then followed his every move, few people knew that for many years he was both a fireman and a lifesaver.
And to those who are strangers to the surf, the swimming costume he wears is what lifesavers normally wear.