Former Australian Prime Minister and ‘No’ Vote to same-sex marriage campaigner, Tony Abbott has been criticised for his false attempts to politicise and smear the ‘Yes’ campaign after a headbutt attack in Hobart last week.
Of the incident Abbott explained on Sydney radio station 2GB:
“A fellow sang out at me, ‘Hey Tony!’ I turned around there was a chap wearing a vote yes badge, he says, ‘I want to shake your hand.’ I went over to shake his hand and then he headbutted me.”
Later in the interview, Tony concluded:
“It was just a reminder of how ugly this debate is getting. The ugliness is not coming from the defenders of marriage as it has always been understood, the ugliness, the intolerance and in this instance the hint of violence is coming from those who tell us that in the name of decency, fair-mindedness and freedom that we’ve got to allow same-sex marriage.”
Charged with assault, 38-year-old man Astro ‘Funknukl’ Labe later told media that the headbutt:
“Was nothing to do with the ‘Yes’ campaign, I’m not a campaigner, I’m a lone anarchist that felt the need to headbutt Tony Abbott because I didn’t think it was an opportunity I’d get again.”
The ‘Yes’ vote badge described as, “coincidental that someone had stuck a sticker” to Labe’s jacket.
Abbott’s office confirmed to media that same-sex marriage was not mentioned during the violent exchange in Hobart.