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Politicians Are Making Harry Potter References And Twitter Is Pretty Worked Up About It

"Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself."

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On Wednesday, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull gave an interview to the ABC in which he didn't say Tony Abbott's name.

Like...he refused to say it.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

Here's the transcript:

Host Matt Wordsworth: Finally I want to ask you about Tony Abbott. He spoke at a Liberal branch meeting. Audio has been leaked to Fairfax. Mr Abbott described your budget as "second best" and "a party that has to do what’s second best because the Senate made us do it is a party which needs some help". Is Tony Abbott being helpful?

Turnbull: Well I’m not going to comment on the gentleman you described, you referred to but let me just [say] this about the budget. The budget was a great success. It is a great Liberal budget...

People jumped on the fact that Turnbull hadn't mentioned Abbott by name – instead opting to call the former prime minister "the gentleman you described".

Before long...the comparison to Harry Potter's arch nemesis Voldemort, also known as He Who Must Not Be Named, was out there.

I wonder when Tony Abbott will be known within LNP circles as, "You Know Who", "He Who Must Not Be Named" or "The Dark Lord"? #auspol

Can we just get on and call him "he who must not be named" #abbott #voldamort

We all know Abbott came from Slytherin, but Trumble's inability to mention "he who must not be named" proves that Malcolm is no Gryffindor.

Albus Dumbledore's wise words were pulled to the fore, too.

"'Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itse…

And the comparison was not lost on Labor. Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek came right out and said it: Tony Abbott "is the Lord Voldemort of the Liberal Party".

.@tanya_plibersek: Tony Abbott is the Lord Voldemort of the Liberal party, encouraging disorder and division. MORE:…

"It's not just Tony Abbott [that is a problem for the PM]," she told Sky News.

"I saw the prime minister couldn't bring himself to say Tony Abbott's name today, so the Lord Voldemort of the Liberal Party is not the only problem the prime minister has."

Some corners of the internet were here for the reference, while others took a less pro-Harry stance.


I agree, Plibersek should have referenced Pynchon instead.

Didn't Voldemort successfully unite disparate conservative interests around a single unifying extremist philosophy,…

and JUST like voldemort, abbott's full name (anthony john abbott) is an acronym — in this case for "banjo that hot bonny"

i've never read a harry potter book and I have no fucking idea what plibersek is talking about

Guys. The reason Plibersek used the Voldemort analogy is because Mal wouldn't refer to Tones by name.

"and zombie cuts are the horcruxes of the Abbott legacy"

Tanya Plibersek is the Lavender Brown of the Labor Party

My unpopular opinion: The Plibersek Harry Potter reference was actually very good.

What would Tones' horcruxes be, @tanya_plibersek?

@SkyNewsAust @tanya_plibersek Goddam muggle

But either way, you now probably won't be able to get this image out of your head today.

Scott Barbour / Getty Images / Warner Bros / BuzzFeed

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

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