A second former student at Sydney University confirmed on Friday the infamous campus bullying by then losing candidate Tony Abbott on election winner Barbara Ramjan.
The witness was outside the Student Representative Council (SRC) office photocopying when he heard Mr Abbott's group creating havoc as they went down the stairs, threw the student against the wall and kicked the doors of the SRC.
"I saw Abbott throw a punch at Barbara Ramjan but didn't see it land . . . When next I saw her, she was in an extremely shocked condition, leaning against the wall . . . I thought he had actually struck her, but I can see that was simply my assumption," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the man who preferred to remain anonymous but added he is willing to come up with a statutory declaration of what he witnesses 35 years ago.
"If Ms Ramjan says the punches were aimed next to her head, I can't actually in fact contradict that . . . Simply I saw Abbott swinging punches, and certainly indulging in serious argy-bargy. I saw him swing a punch: I saw her in great distress," the man added.
His account corroborates Ms Ramjan's recollection of the events that followed her beating Mr Abbott in the student election in 1977, published by Quarterly Essay 47 in an article by journalist David Marr.
Right after the article came out, David Patch, a Sydney lawyer who served as campaign manager of Ms Ramjan and also defeated Mr Abbott in the 1975 election, confirmed Ms Ramjan's account although he did not personally witnessed the wall punching incident, but the newly elected SRC president immediately shared her bad encounter with Mr Abbott, now the Coalition leader and aspiring to become Australia's next prime minister.
For his campus bullying, New South Wales MP Deb O'Neill described Mr Abbott as a misogynist which he apparently continues to date in his attitude towards Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other female authorities.
"There's plenty of evidence of the same kind of physical and verbal intimidation that is still very much a part of the rhetoric and the practical action of this man who thinks he's good enough to be prime minister of this country," Big Pond News quoted the MP who asked Mr Abbott to make a statement to the Parliament about the incident.
Other similar behaviour exhibited by the Opposition leader includes constant reference to Ms Gillard as "she" instead of her official title and throwing papers across the desk in the lower house.
However, the Liberals said their leader does not have to explain the incident since he had denied it. They dismissed Mr Marr as being biased against the Coalition.
The article, besides sparking debate about the fitness of Mr Abbott to become prime minister, led the Opposition to also bring out the skeletons of other political figures such as Treasurer Wayne Swan who allegedly trashed his electorate office when he lost his Lilley seat in 1996. Opposition frontbencher Stuart Robert even suggested that the treasurer also address Parliament over the incident.
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