Topic: election Oz 2007
Back on 8th January 2006 we published a story called:
Why did student activist now minister Tony Abbott punch Peter Woof?
(to find the full story go to the top right corner and click on the date)
It raised questions of a matter in the late 1970's where activist and qualified engineer Peter Woof took a civil suit for assault against the 'punching machine' (based on oft published images of young Tony) which only got to first base at the Glebe Magistrates Court. According to Woof he was intimidated out of it by the high priced lawyers who might claim costs against him. That is he withdrew under duress.
Now a covert source within Big Media writes to say:
"There is a hell of a lot more on this sort of thing that Kerry-Ann Walsh tried to get up in the Sun-Herald back in 2004.
Fairfax's legal department got very nervous, but the story stacked up. Abbot got wind of it, and played off on Fairfax politics with a spectacular spoiler. The Friday before the yarn was due to appear, he went to Michelle Grattan with a preview of the material on his wild days in Michael Duffy's book.
Michelle outpunches KAW, Fairfax thinks. They used her yarn in the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age. Kerry-Ann only got a meaningless few pars in Sydney."
Not so surprisingly the source prefers to stay anonymous. SAM's editor recalls the PM Howard having his own moments of exasparation being quoted early on that the Fairfax journos 'are out of control'. Quite a curious comment in a democracy with a free press that is supposed to keep all and sundry honest (including themselves) without fear or favour.
If the above quote is true, seems the PM's loyalist Abbott has used some quite orthodox tools of 'control' namely rivalry and competition within Fairfax itself, Grattan over Walsh. Certainly these are favoured dark arts in Big Politics the world over. An aging Grattan would be grateful one imagines to ward off spritely competition.
However this all leaves open the original question of character: Why did Tony Abbott punch Peter Woof? And are there any other Peter Woofs out there, so to speak?