Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has taken a bold swipe at
the prime minister, accusing Julia Gillard of attempting to
start a "gender war".
Since Ms Gillard rebuked Mr Abbott in parliament about sexism
and misogyny, he has repeatedly talked up his affinity with
women and his understanding of the fairer sex.
Today, he suggested that the federal government had divided
"Australian against Australian" with its "class war"-invoking
mining tax and industrial relations policies that put workers
in conflict with employers.
He also claimed Ms Gillard had tried to pit women against
"One thing I will never do should I have the honour of
leading this country is deliberately set out to divide
Australian against Australian," he told a function in Perth.
"I think I can say with absolute confidence that you will
never find from me any attempt to invoke a gender war against
my political opponents.
"Never will I attempt to say that as a man that I have been
the victim of powerful forces beyond my control and how dare
any prime minister of Australia play the victim card?"
Mr Abbott said the single factor that made the current
government "utterly unworthy" of leading the country was its
"attempt to set Australian against another for a
"You will never find from me invocation of a false class
war," he said.
"I will never try to set workers against managers because I
understand in a way I fear the current incumbents do not,
that it is only by working together that we're going to
generate prosperity that all Australians have a right to