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Abbott & Turnbull – It’s on like Donkey Kong!

I can imagine Abbott reading the latest dismal polling figures for Turnbull and dancing around reminiscent of his 2013 election victory screaming “The Leadership will change! The Leadership will change!” After today’s revelation; is it now on like Donkey Kong?

Reports emerged this morning that Tony Abbott tells UK Tories he believes he can be PM again. The article describes Abbott is aiming to channel a Rudd like comeback, with Senior Liberals stating he ‘has a good chance, as he is popular amongst the Liberal Membership.’

An interesting revelation though is if Abbott is successful, it appears Julie Bishop will be gone, with Abbott describing Bishop in ‘unflattering terms‘ to his colleagues abroad. The sniping already seems to have begun. In traditional form, Abbott may as well start with sniping about a woman, before he warms up to sniping openly about Turnbull. He does need to get back into practice.

If Abbott pulls this off, who will be his Deputy? Andrews? Perhaps. His loyalty to Abbott would make him a favourable candidate.

Will Barnaby be pushed to move over to make room for Christensen as leader of the Nats? In all fairness, it has been Christensen twisting Turnbull’s arm to get him to bow down to the conservatives and nationalists on key policy.

Will Peta Credlin return as Abbott’s adviser?

People may laugh at the thought of an Abbott return and laugh harder at an Abbott/Credlin return. However, Credlin is a highly intelligent woman and an exceptional strategist. As Howard channelled Hanson’s policies to appease the Nationalists in the 90’s; don’t take it for granted Abbott would fail.

If Abbott follows Howard’s lead and channels the same type of Hanson rhetoric and policies, in the unique Abbottesque-style conservatives and nationalists love; it will be an entire new ball game for Labor, as Abbott will be in his element.

Abbott has the capacity to take over this space and make Hanson sound like an unnecessary annoying blip. Sunrise will be paying to keep her OFF the show.

The other day I was watching Andrew Bolt’s thoughts on the Presidential debate and another video popped up after that. I watched it with interest. The topic: “Could Malcolm Turnbull be turning into a conservative?” In the video, Bolt noted that Turnbull may be reinventing himself as a ‘more media friendly Tony Abbott.’

The video goes on to discuss changes in Turnbull such as his stance on Daesh and his decision to take less Muslim refugees. Attacking Labor with some ‘rare passion’ on border security and an attack on Kevin Rudd, were duly noted by Bolt.

Bolt then goes on to point out how Turnbull has bowed to the pressure from conservatives on superannuation and same sex marriage.

Bolt even asks the viewer to ‘watch this transformation.’ I’ve pointed a similar thing out before. So it isn’t just because I’m a laborist cynical about the right; the same observations are coming from the most prominent conservative in the Australian media.

The reason for Turnbull’s transformation to conservatism? As Bolt rightly points out: “It is the conservatives who can kill his Prime Ministership.”

Are there already whispers around the halls of Canberra? Is this transformation Turnbull readying himself for a full on challenge? Have the monkey’s been released from their pod and are they ready to cause real havoc?

After a very strong theme from Bolt that Turnbull is a dud; could it be that Bolt is actually stirring Turnbull here? Pointing out to him via this medium that there is a challenge coming and to save his leadership he needs to walk the righteous path to conservatism and beg for mercy at the feet of the likes of Christensen? It is like Bolt is pointing and laughing at Turnbull and letting him know, that he knows his game is up (hahah I see you, you can’t fool me!)

Only those on the inside will know for sure and no doubt they will feed us snippets; but if this is finally starting, it is going to be glorious to watch.

For those who enjoy studies of organisational behaviour and leadership like myself, watching Turnbull’s increasingly obvious grapple with getting his surface acting under control as he continues to pretend to be an authentic leader, will be absolutely delicious once the pressure is really on!

In my last article, I suggested that Turnbull may be Australia’s first ever shape-shifting politician. With a challenge looming and now picked up by the media, it will be interesting to watch how rapid Turnbull’s shape shifting to fully fledged nationalist conservative will be. Is it time to start counting the number of flags at media stops yet? Perhaps.

Yep, it seems it is going to be on like Donkey Kong. Will Turnbull get barrelled? Or will he save the Princess and take the crown?

Originally published on Polyfeministix



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  1. Jaquix

    Well its a level playing field now between Abbott & Turnbull – both neck and neck at the depths of dissatisfaction and unpopularity, and taking their lumbering old party into a losing position. Surely an indictment on the whole party if these 2 duds are considered the only ones considered for the leadership. Fascinating to hear that Abbott spoke in “unflattering terms” of Julie Bishop. Her popularity in recent polls eclipsed his, I think. Compare all this with the opposition – which has so many talented and competent members, many of whom could take the leadership role, should it become vacant.

  2. Wayne Turner

    Or the 3rd alternative – We end up with PM Scott Morrison lol Oh the horror.

  3. Clean livin

    Under this unfortunate circumstance, one would hope that Turnbull alludes to visiting the GG with the intent of resigning as PM, but instead calls an election, prior to resignation.

    Then we would see how population TA was!

  4. Keitha Granville

    whatever happens, we the people are the ones to suffer

  5. Wayne Turner

    Sadly the suffering has been self inflicted by those that voted this crap mob back in.

  6. susan

    When has Turnbull ever shown that he was anything other than an ultra conservative? During the Republic referendum hoo ha, he publicly stated that governments should not be responsible for welfare because families have that duty. The real Malcolm was just winding up his colleagues when he made “leftist” statements and now they have come back to bite him big time.

  7. david1

    @Clean livin you are on to it. There is no way the country can go through any more of this destabalising nonsense as two idiots jostle for power to satisfy their own personal cravings. It is sickening to watch as Turnbull lies daily to bow and scrape to the right ultra conservative back bench and various Ministers. He has few friends or supporters and is delaying the inevitable day when the tap on the shoulder is more like a sledge hammer blow as Abbott makes his move.
    Calling an election is the only way out with a semblance of personal honour, plus the satisfaction of seeing Abbott also eliminated. How the days of Julia seem more glorious than ever (sigh).

  8. townsvilleblog

    Keitha Granville hits the nail on the head. Yes we will be the ones who continue to suffer. We work our lives for starvation wages and if we live til 70 we get a pension, while the 1% own 50% of the global economy, it is not right, we have had enough punishment for being poor, why can’t they just leave us alone!

  9. townsvilleblog

    I really miss Julia, apart from a few very visible mistakes she was the best PM since Whitlam.

  10. cornlegend

    Hey Trish,
    as I commented elsewhere
    “In the local Media today it seems Tony still holds hope
    “Tony Abbott has told right-wing allies in Britain that he believes he has a reasonable chance of becoming prime minister again, Fairfax Media has learned.
    A senior Liberal source close to Mr Abbott said the former prime minister maintained a “good chance” of returning to the job because he is popular with the party membership compared to Malcolm Turnbull.

    Mr Turnbull is widely perceived within the party to have failed to live up to expectations, scraped through the election with just a one-seat majority and continues to perform poorly in the polls.

    The source said the outcome of the upcoming NSW State Council of the Liberal Party on October 22 was an important opportunity for Mr Abbott to showcase to the Parliamentary Party his strength with the wider membership. There, his Federal Electorate Conference (FEC) will propose a motion for democratic reform of the party. It is likely to be opposed by the left wing of the party, but has a greater chance of succeeding than ever before.
    The change would enable the party membership, which is predominantly right-wing, to have a greater say in pre-selecting candidates.”

    It might be all to no avail though as a LNPer who I’m friends with reckons Scomo has the numbers already, and it would all be about timing, especially if it appears that a damaging Abbott/Turnbull bunfight were to happen.
    The October 22 Conference should be a bit more enlightening.

    I’m too busy playing the President Trump PC game to take too much interest 😀

  11. Terry2

    I hear that Malcolm Turnbull has been telling his confidantes that he is confident he will be able to win back the Liberal Party leadership from opposition in 2019 after Tony Abbott topples him in 2017.

    You heard it here first but keep it to yourself……..Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush. 🙂

  12. david1

    townsvilleblog..ditto me re Julia

  13. kerri

    It’s been a while since I last played Donkey Kong, but I seem to recall there was at least the option of a happy ending?

  14. flohri1754

    @townsvilleblog AND @david1 ….. yeppers, re Julia ……

  15. Peta

    I don’t have a problem with Tones getting back into pole position.
    We need a leader prepared to wear budgie smugglers in public.

  16. Annie B

    Intriguing … and sobering. …… and yes, once again the people will suffer, one way or another. But then they always do under any form of LNP leadership. And the choices other than A and T – are horrendous to contemplate.

    We shall see ! … personally think Turnbull will call an early election, somehow. Figure he’d rather hand the reins over to Bill Shorten than give in to the Rabbutt. .. 😉


    Your first paragraph Trish, did have me laughing – only because it immediately reminded me of something else in my own back garden.

    My chookies do victory dances, shriek, cackle and scream ” I’ve just laid an egg” … “I’ve just laid a lovely egg” …. or “I’m gunna lay an egg” …. “Gunna lay an egg”.

    Could there be quite a resemblance between my back-yard chickens and the current LNP. ? Chickens are not renowned for their brain power – although they do display smidgins of intelligence at times – which is more than I could possibly say about the LNP.

    Oh gawd – I must go immediately outside and apologise profusely to my chooks for suggesting such a comparison !! 🙂 … 🙂

  17. paulwalter

    After Turnbull’s effort on banks today, Abbott can kneecap him till the cows come home. That on top of the disgraceful campaign of lies and fantasy involving the SA blackout, where SA Premier Jay Weatherill pointed out that Turnbull had not even bothered to check with the Regulator before blaming renewables, rather than badly anchored pylons. This is now costing some places big time, eg Arrium.for that black out, with Weatherill cut off by the ABC at the crucial moment.

  18. helvityni

    I miss Julia.

  19. nexusxyz

    What a shower the LNP are. Tony Robot is more in tune with how really screwed the economy actually is so he should make a comeback. Also he is such a favourite with other leaders. Turnip offers the slight promise that he will do the right thing but never does and he provides false veneer of respectability that blue rinse little old ladies like.

  20. bobrafto

    With Abbott’s self promotion tour of Europe, who is picking up the bill for all his expenses?

    If he wants to be away from his job, Surely he should have his pay docked.

  21. bobrafto

    Will Peta Credlin return as Abbott’s adviser?

    Did she advise him to knight Prince Phillip?

  22. Jexpat

    An Abbott return would be a ratings and advertisement bonanza for the every corporate media outlet in Australia- and an unwarranted boost in support for the pathetic sorts who’ve infested the ABC.

    Which makes it an even more interesting possibility.

  23. Deanna Jones

    Indeed you should, Annie B.

    If his days are numbered he should just pull rank and bring the refugees here, legalise marriage equality etc…go out with a bang.

  24. cornlegend

    helvityniOctober 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    “I miss Julia.”
    4 years ago today, Julia Gillard stood in our Parliament and delivered a fierce and sobering speech to the Liberal Opposition and their Leader, Tony Abbott – now known famously as the “Misogyny Speech”.

    In office, Julia Gillard fought to keep our schools and hospitals affordable, to take strong action on climate change and to ensure a better future for those most vulnerable in our country. But, it was her fiery, honest speech against the sexism repeatedly leveled against her that will be remembered for years to come.

    {and Labor now have a tote bag and poster to memorialise the event}

  25. trishcorry

    wow True Corny. I will have to get a tote bag and a poster for myself!

  26. Kaye Lee

  27. Trish Corry

    “Did she advise him to knight Prince Phillip?”

    Not sure, but I would lean towards a definite No. I think that was just a personal boyhood dream of Abbott’s coming to life and no one would have stopped him.

  28. Annie B

    Deanna Jones ….

    I actually did apologise to them !!! …. LOL. – Nuffin wrong wif me !!


    Seriously though – your suggestion is good – MT should pull rank ( show of leadership and strength ) … and do something proper, good and positive about refugees – and equality of marriage.

    He might then not NEED to go out anywhere with a ‘bang’. …. Might then hang on until the next election – and keep that monstering misogynistic would-be-if-he-could-be, vitriolic, 3 word slogan deliverer, show-off of his body in mini-cut swim wear – Abbott … well out of contention.

    ‘Everything’ help us if that idiot TA, makes a sneaky play for the leadership. He doesn’t know anything much else than ‘sneaky’ in politics, and probably mostly everywhere else in his life. UGH !!

    NOT something we need, and certainly NOT what we should want ..

  29. david1

    Received this tweet today from Mark Dreyfus

    Mark Dreyfus
    Brandis has shown himself to be unfit as AG, has misled Parliament and the Australian people. Resign or be sacked.

    Solicitor-general not consulted on citizenship, marriage equality laws
    Attorney General George Brandis has allegedly misrepresented the solicitor-general’s advice …


  30. Annie B

    Kaye – cannot unfortunately open “The Australian” link you provided – although on occasions I can ???

    However, managed to read the Courier Mails’ version of same, in which they mentioned “a bizarre claim” ( by TA ) along with a lot of other queries about the validity of Rabbutts’ latest claims to fame, [ using the Queen to hide behind this time !! ]

    Abbott will say absolutely anything to further his ambitions, but is cunning enough to couch these allegations in nebulous terms. Her Maj allegedly gave ‘indications’ as to her wishes for a knighthood for her husband. ? … Bah bloody humbug and no dice mate.

    Another load of codswallop, aimed at pushing himself up the ladder of whatever he aspires / perspires to be. … the new, greater than anyone, re-instated PM of Australia …. I think / hope – not.

  31. cornlegend

    trishcorryOctober 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm
    I’ll see if I can get you an autographed one, she’ll be in Sydney 17th/18th Nov

  32. Trish Corry

    Oh Corny. You are awesome. Thank you. I went to Sydney for the first time last week. It absolutely blew me away!

  33. crypt0

    Regardless of who gets to lead this particular shower, you get a true blue died in the ass conservative …
    turnbull, abbott or morrison … they’re all the bloody same.
    Three years to go and it will seem like an eternity.

  34. Trish Corry

    It has been three months and it seems like an eternity!

  35. bobrafto


    According to your dismissal, my scenario is thus, Abbott drugged out on power, suddenly had a revelation of knighting a Prince and he kept this plan to himself and behind the scenes he had some folks bring out a table with a picture of the Queen on it as a backdrop as though she was going to overlook the knighting of her husband and all hush hush till the media arrived and it was going to be a surprise for Peta.

    Trish, there is a strong possibility that Credlin was drugged out on power as well.

  36. Kaye Lee

    There is no question that Credlin was also ‘drugged out on power’ but I agree with Trish – she was too savvy a campaigner to have agreed to knighting the Prince. I think that was Tone’s tribute.

    “the knighting of Prince Philip did not go to cabinet and was the result of a “captain’s call”, with the Prime Minister consulting only the head of the National Australia Day Council, retired ADF chief Angus Houston, and Buckingham Palace.”

  37. Matters Not

    However, Credlin is a highly intelligent woman and an exceptional strategist.

    Credlin is an exceptional strategist . Really? The mind boggles. The evidence suggests the exact opposite.

    How could this exceptional strategist allow her ‘boss’ to be so hated in such a short period of time, particularly when it’s generally recognised that she was in complete control – the one and only ‘driver of the bus’.

    But I have no control over how anyone ‘constructs reality’.

    If Abbott returns I hope he brings his exceptional strategist with him. But while the ALP will clap the LNP will revolt. Again. And again.

    Won’t happen. More’s the pity.

  38. bobrafto

    No one knows for sure, however, she is a smart cookie to get to the position of running the country with Abbott as her proxy, although Abbott did get to manage some captain’s calls.

    I’ve known some very clever people say and do some really dumb shit (the knighting farce was monumental) and Credlin could fit in this category. And should we hold this against her?

    Only if she is in the position of political power.

  39. Trish Corry

    The strategy to over throw Labor during the Rudd / Gillard years from a strategic point of view, was very effective. Credlin is no Henry Higgins and Abbott is no Eliza Doolittle. It must have been frustrating to have very executable strategy, only to be blown by Abbott’s inability to say and do the right things to continue to maintain popularity.

    Granted, I do believe one downfall was the lack of ability to warm the public to such a harsh budget, however, I think so much effort had gone into winning the election, they simply did not factor that into the timeliness of such a project.

    Rudd/Gillard were not a failed Government if you analyse the history. Abbott and Credlin created the idea of a failed Government and that is what people voted on. They did not vote because they were conservatives. They voted to get rid of the ‘idea of the bad thing’ That is what was needed to win. Presenting alternative policy at the time (esp conservative policy) would not have been as effective.

    I don’t place any blame on Credlin for Abbott’s demise (in a strategic sense) Abbott needs to take ownership of the decisions he made and the manner in which he behaved (Onion anyone?) His behaviour and mannerisms at times were bizarre. I don’t believe she was front and centre all the time because she has an ego problem, I believe it was a necessity of the job to manage Abbott and do what she thought was best to protect the party.

    Without Credlin, Abbott would not have been elected in the first place. Left to his own devices the entire period of opposition would have been incredibly different.

    Although I disagree with Credlin’s politics, I do have respect for her as she is highly intelligent and very capable at what she does. Her work ethic and tenacity must be phenomenal to manage someone like Abbott, let alone get him to the Prime Ministership.

    Turnbull is weak and he is fake. A simple target. If Abbott is going to challenge at some point it will be very well timed, quick and effective.

    Look at it from Abbott’s perspective. Regardless of what you think of him. He put in the hard yards to take the leadership challenge and never allowed Gillard time to breathe. That is not easy work. Then to win only to be back stabbed by someone who obviously just thinks they are entitled to the job without working for it. Not only that but he has turned out to be an utter failure, for their party and for Australia. From where they sit, it must make them so frustrated and angry.

    It is one thing to lose swinging voters, but Turnbull is losing their actual base. That is a significant problem for their party. Abbott has every right to try to claim back what he worked for and to be given the opportunity for the people to decide, as far as I’m concerned. To do that. He will need Credlin.

  40. lawrencewinder

    Nahhh you’re all wrong. The next leadership spill will follow present liarbril logic. Life will imitate art in replicating Jim Hacker’s stumbling accession to the throne of PM in “Yes Minister.”
    Kelly O’Dwyer will be leader, George Christensen, deputy and Pyne the Whyne, Attorney General. Foreign Affairs will be gifted to Timmy The-Twat Wilson and Michaelia Cash, Disabilities.

  41. paulwalter

    The Misogyny Speech..Yes, looking back, now we realise an attempt to bell a Trump level political cat against the back drop of a blanket ban on truth by Abbott’s strongest supporter, tax dodging Murdoch. This far into the game, huge chunks of the electorate still haven’t woken up, any more than the Tea Party types in the USA have woken up to who their real enemies are.

    Abbott’s sociopathy got him into government by being as destructive as he could to anyone who got in his way, including our beautiful country, but I don’t know about Credlin being a “genius”, she surely botched the nannie’s job with the enfant terrible once he had got what he wanted.

  42. Jaquix

    Paulwalter – love your term “blanket ban on truth” provided by Murdoch. Perfect.

  43. Kaye Lee

    Credlin might have been a good campaign manager but she was an atrocious chief of staff. Her disrespect for Abbott’s colleagues was a major contributing factor in his demise. She wanted control but when she got it she didn’t know how to use it. She is an attack dog, not a builder. It comes back to the same old discussion – winning isn’t the end game, it’s what you do when you get there and at that, she failed abysmally.

  44. Zue

    The most important difference between Abbott and Turnbull is that Turnbull stopped the hate speech. It is clear that the policy direction of the Liberal National Coalition is unaffected by who leads. We should not be surprised. We don’t have a presidential system – voters in Australia should vote on policy, not for a particular manifestation of charm or bluster.

    I was dismayed that Australians returned such a destructive government, but I’d rather have Turnbull as leader than one of the haters (despite Turnbull’s lies, manipulation of issues and poor policy, all of which, I suspect, are just part of the current Coalition package).

  45. Trish Corry

    Kaye, I always find it amusing.

    Any other PM, all male thus far – they fail it is their fault. Nothing to do with the COS

    Gillard failed and it was her fault. Definitely her fault. So much her fault. Totally her fault. Nothing to do with her COS.

    Abbott fails and it is the female chief of staff’s fault. Not him because he acted like an idiot. It was her fault. HER Fault. “She is an attack dog not a builder” Places blame on her, rather than Abbott’s inabilities.

    Would a women with a substantial amount of power in an organisation (particularly one dominated by men) come with problems and derogatory comments about said woman in power? Yes, Yes it would.

    Would men really wanting to remove her, simply because she is a woman and make any nasty attempt to do that? Yes, Yes they would.

    Would a woman be forced to act in a certain way in such an organisation, purely because of this culture? Yes, she would.

    Regardless of what advice she gave or anything else; ultimately Abbott is responsible for his own decisions. (I won’t own that sentence. Jane Caro said similar to me on Twitter a while back).

    “She failed miserably”
    You would have to be either Abbott or Credlin or completely on the inside to understand exactly what Abbott choose to act on and what he chose to ignore, with regards to her advice, to understand why the strategy failed after he came into office. Commentators are none of these.

    I’ve made my judgements on Credlin on more than just Abbott’s behaviour.

  46. Kaye Lee

    I make my judgements on Credlin entirely on her behaviour. A chief of staff should be a liason between the other party members and her boss. She was not – she was a barrier. A chief of staff should not have such a controlling role in dictating policy and on deciding who other ministers could employ. By all means give advice but she went way beyond that. There are also problems when the chief of staff is married to the federal party director – they took over and there was no-one to hold them in check or to complain to. Credlin was the one wandering around with dirt files pushing character assassinations. Abbott has never been anything but a puppet – ideas are fed to him. I don’t criticise Credlin just because she is a woman any more than I would defend her just because she is a woman.

  47. bobrafto

    I didn’t intend to start a bunfight.

    I was just seeking an answer for a burning question.

    After Abbott’s announcement of knighting Prince Phillip, I really doubted Abbott’s sanity and the hook should have came out to remove him. For me, for the little amount of trust I had was completely sapped as this was no simple gaffe it was a brain snap and people who have these episodes according to Dr Bob are not fit to lead and to be in political power.

    The question is regardless of gender ‘Was it a collective brain snap?”

    This is another mystery to my collection.

  48. bobrafto

    As an aside I have this other mystery.

    Late 70’s married for a few months, could say newly weds who slept naked as you do in the Queensland summer.

    One morning when I awoke I noticed an ink stamp on my partners butt, about 2 inches square with the words ‘Made in Queensland’ and then I noticed I had one on my butt as well.

    It had me worried enough to call the cops that someone could just break in and stamp our naked butts, however the cops thought it to be hilarious and passed in on to the Courier Mail where the story made page 3 and for the next few weeks I would bring a smile to people’s faces.

    To this day, I don’t know who or why and it looks like I’m going to take this mystery to my grave.

  49. Trish Corry

    I have no interest in debating the point with you Kaye. You just dismissed everything I said, made no effort at all to consider the gender based points I made, did not take into consideration my points that Abbott needs to take some responsibility. It is more important for it all to be her fault.

  50. Trish Corry

    Oh Bob that is a classic

  51. Kaye Lee

    Sigh. Did it ever occur to you that I may just have a different opinion? I do not think the criticism of Credlin was gender based and I don’t think she performed her role well. It’s ok if you think differently. I am not being dismissive. I could equally say that you ignored the points I raised. Surely we can have a discussion and bring up different views? Isn’t that the point of this site? Abbott doesn’t have to take responsibility for Credlin any more than she has to for him. I am talking about her job, not his.

  52. Terry2

    Credlin has been able to move on and craft a new and lucrative career path for herself : Abbott not so much.

  53. Trish Corry

    Well not particularly Kaye. When someone makes points that are valid, normally the other person responds to those points. That is normally how it works.

    Fine you have a difference of opinion that criticism of Credlin was not gender based. I disagree, so I will address these points and not ignore them.

    I fail to think of one other chief of staff who has been debased to a sexual representation of a dominatrix as her entire worth. No other chief of staff has been criticised for being a chief of staff. No other chief of staff has been blamed for the downfall of an entire Govt. She was, because she was a woman. The media has not sexualised any other chief of staff. If Credlin was a man, she would not have been labelled an ‘attack dog’ she would have been labelled as commanding, decisive and praised as a top adviser.

    To argue that there was no sexism involved at all Kaye, by dismissing the sexism itself and labelling it as criticism to her role and viewing her role in a bubble, out of context of a party rampant in sexism and a media rampant in sexism, only adds to the sexism of women in leadership.

    That is my opinion. Dismiss it if you may. I’m off to work.

  54. Kaye Lee

    People post whatever they see fit Trish. There are no rules about what and how we post provided we do so civilly. Your demands that I address what you say are unreasonable.

    Perhaps some did make sexist comments though I can’t think of anything like what Gillard endured. Perhaps for some people they considered Credlin’s gender an issue. . I most certainly do not so to suggest that my criticism of her is gender-based is completely wrong. I am not talking about what other people think. I am expressing my opinion of how she handled her job. She showed poor policy judgement, was out of touch with the mood of the party, and was, in my opinion, bossy rather than strong.

    Plus she dissed her boss immediately after he was rolled, saying he was never up to the job. That is true but for her to say it is very disloyal, very poor form.

  55. Michael Taylor

    Tony Abbott said that Peta wouldn’t have had the criticism if her name was ‘Peter’. Not so with me. I simply disliked her. If she was ‘Peter’ then I still wouldn’t have liked her/him. Gender has no bearing in my case.

  56. paulwalter

    It ought to be about more than just disliking her, it goes to an atypical situation involving a politicised, deliberately cultivated for publicity purposes, tabloidisation of the the Office of PM and a quite deliberately developed Amercanising play on West Wing. The presentation was of unorthodoxy emphasised by the presence of the Femme Fatale Chief of Staff as a further (and corrosive to process) differentiation between Abbott and other leaders…not accidental.

    These have been knowing individuals, not victims. We see from allegations of a certain type of behaviours as chief of staff, along with her husband Loughnane, then Credlin’s afterlife as a tabloid columnist that she is no political innocent and she has been bagged quite legitimately on the politics- including the Politics of Big Hair/Pouty, which is a very conservative meme, on her behaviours and her exploitation of her presentation as an innocent, as a political ploy.

  57. Kaye Lee

    In October 2012, while in Opposition, Abbott said of Gillard: “The Prime Minister should be prepared to accept fair criticism. And just because the Prime Minister has sometimes been the victim of unfair criticism doesn’t mean that she can dismiss any criticism as sexism, that she can dismiss any criticism on gender grounds.”

    A relevant comment from a similar debate on Hoopla…

    “It was Peta Credlin who placed herself into the political fray by announcing to the world at large that Tony was such a good bloke and so in tune with his feminist side that he even allowed her to use his office fridge for her fertility drugs. She has also been known to call out while sitting in the house. I can not recall other Chiefs of Staff doing interviews with magazines etc.”

  58. paulwalter

    Kaye Lee, It is indeed the politics, a very selfish, destructive to community type of politics that typifies the Abbott era, into the Turnbull era.

    I think of it as Dynasty/ Dallas politics to do with subjectivity, self presentation and reactive power and control rather than a politics of reform such as might be practiced by Labor or Greens politicians, for whom issues precede self interest.

    I believe a good parallel exists in the comparison between broadsheet journalists (say a Lenore Taylor) and reactionary tabloidists like Miranda Devine who try to obscure serious issues on behalf of vested interests.

  59. Matters Not

    As Andrew Elder and others have pointed out, Credlin’s role model was Kevin Rudd and his behaviour when he was Chief of Staff to Wayne Goss. He ruled over every Ministerial appointment right down to very low levels. In so doing, he raised the ire of every Minister in the government, but he wasn’t phased in the least.

    When Goss appointed him as Director-General of the Office of Cabinet, Rudd then created a position in every Department called Cabinet, Legislation and Liaison Officer (CLLO) which was classified just one level below the SES category. In theory, the CLLOS were to report to the Cabinet Office and not the Departmental head. Effectively, a spy in every Department. He was a control freak. Credlin liked the model.

    Under Goss, an inner Cabinet of four ran the government. Rudd was one of the four.

  60. Kaye Lee

    “She sits at the head of the government’s ”star chamber”, which has already knocked back some applicants put forward by cabinet ministers.

    Sitting on the star chamber panel are federal Liberal Party director Brian Loughnane – Ms Credlin’s husband – along with John Howard’s former chief of staff, Tony Nutt, and ministers Michael Ronaldson and Kevin Andrews.

    Appointments already made suggest a strong emphasis on previous experience in the Howard years of government and a direct working connection to Mr Abbott or Ms Credlin.

    ”It’s fair to say they are putting the Howard band back together but there are three key categories: Credlin loyalists, Abbott loyalists and Howard loyalists,” said a Liberal source.”


  61. paulwalter

    Sorry..off line.

    Terry2, the reason is Abbott is a crank.

    Also welcomed Matters Not’s comment on the Bureaucratic Disease, something well parodied in “Utopia”, where you think of an org like the ABC where there are ten control freaks standing over any one actual worker.

  62. Jack Straw

    I would just like to know what a smug supercilious Bolt has ever done for his fellow man? Nothing; comes to mind. Didn’t Abbott say once he’d sell his arse for power? And it seems Malcolm Dorian Grey Turnball would sell his soul for the longevity of power; also. One thing I do know about these 2 is that they are most ego ridden maniacs and massive flawed individuals this country has had to endure for a long time.And both of then will wreck the joint in the pursuit of power. Though Bolt is right about Turnball. Watch his body language. His hand and arm gestures never match what is coming out of his mouth.

  63. Trish Corry

    Wow so between both Kaye and Michael and others here; it is only women from the left who experience sexism. All I have read thus far are disconnected excuses of why it is not sexism, rather than actually taking any consideration any points detailed whatsoever that she was actually a victim of sexism herself.

    Conservative women, by nature are not feminists (there are studies on it); however, it does not exclude them from experiencing sexism themselves. That is like saying a Bully can never be bullied by someone else. Absolutely false.

    Except for Matters Not who pointed out Rudd did the same thing and was not criticised. Rudd would have been acclaimed as “A fine strategist” Credlin – A bully who pushes people around to get her own way. A woman who should not be in that position! Rudd even got a promotion and more control!

    It took a long time for people to make that accusation of Rudd across many, many examples of behaviour. Credlin is labelled that immediately, because women are not supposed to be forceful or dominant or even intelligent.

    Regardless of whether you liked her or not is not relevant to understanding the sexism involved. Whether or not Gillard was a victim of sexism is not relevant to understanding the sexism involved. All that shows is that left leaning people are empathetic to sexism of women on the left, but consider it fair game for women of the right, instead of being empathetic to all women.

    If anyone is an expert on sexism and how to deliver it – I’d say it would be Tony Abbott. He was correct when he said that if her name was Peter, she would not have had the same criticisms.

    Confusing the issues with other legitimate things she may do – like sit on a panel, with other male panel members, has absolutely no bearing on the fact that the public and the media and those in office were sexist towards her. Case in point – is anyone criticising anyone else who is a member of this panel, if they are not female? The fact that she is able to adopt ruthless measures and cut people from positions is criticised, but the men are not is another case in point.

    Credlin was accused of being ‘too masculine’ ‘too domineering’ ‘too aggressive’ All terms that are championed for men. But if women adopt these behaviours, they are labelled and shunned. That is sexism.

    As per Kayes point: I will remember in future that if someone makes points in a discussion it is a ridiculous imposition to expect the other person one is conversing with to consider those points and respond in kind or even refute them based on any type of normal run of the mill debating logic.

    Good luck with your debates on something new like MMT if that is the case.

  64. Trish Corry

    Jack – I certainly agree with the Dorian Gray part. I wrote this in my last blog post:

    He is an empty canvas willing to be painted by anyone who will feed his ego. I often visualise that we will see Turnbull one day as the last chapters of Dorian Gray and his real hidden ugliness coming to life.

  65. Kaye Lee

    You don’t handle differing opinions well Trish and you have once again totally misconstrued what was said.

    “As per Kayes point: I will remember in future that if someone makes points in a discussion it is a ridiculous imposition to expect the other person one is conversing with to consider those points and respond in kind or even refute them based on any type of normal run of the mill debating logic.”

    Fer Pete’s sake, get off yer bloody high horse.

    You make generalisations about “society”, some of which may be valid, but you refuse to allow me my appraisal of the job that the PERSON did. Do you seriously think MY opinion is because she was a woman?

  66. cornlegend

    I always reckoned Labor needed a Credlin
    She kept the troops in order and consider it strategy or not she addressed the morning meetings of Libs on sitting days at their “strategy meetings” to issue orders and the assigning of the dorothy dixers for that days Question Time and dressed down Ministers who where getting to full of it , even cut Maggie off from Invitations.
    ” Ms Credlin kept an “iron grip’’ on the prime minister’s diary, including deciding which invitations for Mrs Abbott were passed on.”
    She set his daily Hi-Vis visits and who he had contact with.
    From Savva’s book ” Ms Credlin “insisted that staff at Kirribilli could not order food for Margie or shop for meals (even family ones), despite the Abbotts residing at the official residence’’.

    One unnamed former adviser is quoted as saying: “Margie was kept in the dark.’’

    Another, who is also unnamed, says: “Peta did not want Margie to have access to staff, despite staff wanting to go to events with her.’’

    When Mrs Abbott was event­ually told about invitations, the book says, it was at such short ­notice that she could not arrange to join the prime minister at official functions.

    Staff members were also blocked from helping Mrs Abbott with speech notes.

    Ms Credlin is quoted by Savva in the book as telling staff: “If you get any requests for briefings for Margie’s ladies’ lunches, it’s not going to happen.’’
    It was Ms Credlin — not Mrs Abbott — who was immersed in choosing the decor for the refurbishments at The Lodge in Canberra.

    The decision to renovate The Lodge was taken by the Gillard government, with the cost expected to be about $3.1 million. The budget blew out to $11.6m.

    The “glamazon” as the Media nicknamed her sure kept her scurvy mob in line and for the large part, kept Abbott limited in his moron comments if she was in hearing distance
    I wonder if Turnbull would have been better off if he had a Credlin
    Like her or loathe her [I’m the latter} control freak or strategist, she did her job and did it bloody well

  67. Kaye Lee

    Depends what you think her job was I suppose. If it was to piss people off, she sure succeeded. If it was to help her boss do a good job – he didn’t last 2 years. Perhaps he would never have got there without her though I think the Labor Party had more to do with that than Credlin.

  68. Michael Taylor

    Where did I say it was only women from the left who experienced sexism? I mentioned nothing about sexism in my dislike of Credlin. I actually think Abbott was hypocritical in suggesting that Credlin was the target of sexist attacks given the horrible time he gave Julia.

  69. Kaye Lee

    I think it is sexist if someone in power is to be immune from criticism purely because she is a woman.

  70. Ray

    Whoa ! Catfight !

  71. Kaye Lee

    Not helpful Ray

  72. Ray

    Tony Abbott would enjoy the joke though.

  73. Kaye Lee

    Nothing wrong with a little bit of body contact according to Tony who thinks throwing the first punch makes you best and fairest.

    Unfortunately he thinks women don’t have the aptitude or skills to aspire to anything much more than running the house and breeding and that feminism ranks right up there in plots to take over his world.

  74. Ray

    Don’t knock Tones; our next Prime Minister ! He’s Oarsome !

  75. diannaart

    Apologies Trish, arrived late as usual and am taking a slight detour before commenting.

    bobrafto October 6, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Bob, did you keep the newspaper? That is amazing and made me laugh for the first time today. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Not one of your mates fessed up?

    Back to topic –

    WTF can’t problems with Peta & Tony be a combination of subconscious bias with regard to Peta’s gender and the fact that she really is an awful excuse for a human being. I believe Tony well may have wished to be Peta’s little tampon (thank you, Prince Charles), however, given Tones total belief in HIMself and only HIMself, I do not think he was pulled around by the, er, string.

    Tony & Peta simply suited each other in some very horrible ways and very likely a match made in the same place they make neo-libs, homophobes and other far-right misanthropes.

  76. Annie B

    Kaye said at 8:12 am :

    “There are also problems when the chief of staff is married to the federal party director – they took over and there was no-one to hold them in check or to complain to.” … An astute observation. … No-one to hold them back ?? Abbott – minus one on the score card. ( of many minuses ). He should have brought to bear, some discipline – but it a) suited him not to do so, or b) he was not capable of doing so.


    Thing is – bottom line – Abbott was the PM – and should always have had the last word on any matter – but he hid behind skirts ( a skirt ) .. .. he preferred ( or so it has been alleged ) her to speak into his little ear piece, when he was addressing the nation. The classic ‘ooops’ with that will go down in history ” the suppository of wisdom” which he misheard – ( depository of wisdom ?? ). I have no idea how many PM’s / Presidents .. are fed their lines in public pronouncements, but figure that most of them can read the very large font used for public speaking notes. !!! …. so why don’t they ( didn’t he ).

    Abbott was spoon fed – and piss weak. … And knowing the obvious – his misogynistic tendencies, it probably suited him to be able to fall back on the ‘weakness of the female’ when all went bust ??? … ( just a thought ).

    It was Abbott who delegated the power to Peta Credlin, for whatever political – or even personal, reason. … Quite simply – he chose wrongly, and then did not have the guts or integrity to bring her into line. A sexist remark ? You betcha.

    “Abbott particularly refused to take the advice regarding his chief of staff, including from his friends, people who had been through the wars with him, who believed his relationship with Credlin was destroying his prime ministership.” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/niki-savva/tony-abbotts-obsession-with-peta-credlin-behind-his-downfall/news-story/d918ec34ef11b0c86476a697e42b3132 … and this is a Murdoch rag ??? … ( they must have been having an off day, displaying mutterings against right wing conservative politics !! ). … It is an extract from Nikki Savvas’ book – “The Road To Ruin” … and whether she in fact DID interview the likes of Connie Fierravanti-Wells – or not, can only be speculation. … But it gives much food for thought. The link is an interesting read, if anyone can stop for a moment and consider it !! …

    Each politician is for themselves, and their perceived and ultimate power. There is no honor amongst thieves, and frankly most of them are just that – thieves.

    Gender – seriously – does not come into it.

    All persons who throw themselves into the arena of politics, do so with similar agendas, and should take the bad with the good, as they become public property.

  77. Annie B

    Jack Straw ( 2.46 pm )

    “And it seems Malcolm Dorian Grey Turnball would sell his soul for the longevity of power; also.

    Don’t they all ?

    Every last bloody one of them, enter the arena with one thing ( sorry – two things ) in mind …. degrees of power – and super great if they get to the very top – – – and the bloody great big beautiful life-time pension at the end of it.

  78. Matters Not

    Matters Not who pointed out Rudd did the same thing and was not criticised.

    Rudd did the same thing and was not criticised . You would have to be joking. That statement is so: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Rudd behaved atrociously. (As did Credlin who followed his example). And was lambasted within the public service and by the Queensland Labor Ministers never mentioned his name without an accompanying string of expletives. Indeed, Rudd’s behaviour was one of the main reasons that Goss lost the election.

    If you want a more ‘nuanced’ view talk to Robert Evan ‘Rob’ Schwarten who, as you would know, tends to call a spade a f@cking shovel.

    Trish, Credlin was never ‘strategic’. Always ‘tactical’. Strategists don’t descend to devising daily tactics. It was the ‘daily tactics’ and other aspects of ‘micro management’ that characterised her reign. FFS she didn’t even see Abbott’s impending demise.

  79. Bacchus

    I was waiting for that MN, and you didn’t disappoint! 😉

  80. diannaart

    Annie B

    Would really love to share some debatin’ time with you – always enjoy reading what you have to say…. but bleeding nose + ME, works against my wellness quotient.

    In response to this:

    Gender – seriously – does not come into it.

    Most respectfully, gender can never be ruled out in assessment and discussion of any woman who attains public office or attention. Yes, Peta is big and scary and looks tough…. so does Adam Goodes, he is given hyper-judgement compared to a white football player. So too, Credlin. Would a man have had as much influence over Abbott? – hard to say about a man who reveres people such as George Pell, Bob Santamaria, however, I doubt anyone would make the assumption of Abbott being in a sexual liaison with a bloke. Therefore, gender does come into it, as race does in other areas of public discourse.

    Hoping I make some kind of sense. Must go eat and fall into bed in that order.

  81. Annie B

    Hi diannaart … so sorry to hear you have an ongoing condition to deal with – not at all pleasant if my memory of what ME is, serves me. … Trust you have more good days than horror days …

    Gender ! …. It defines which sexual organs belong to which person, to put it bluntly – and that’s about all it should be. However it has crept into modern speak, to define and too often vilify. …

    In the event of any ‘person’ doing a superb, good, mediocre or bad job – it should not be a factor. I know a woman who is highly respected for her incredible knowledge of IT .. and her male colleagues applaud and laud her for her efforts. They are quite awestruck I think. She is judged only by the superb job she does. … Perhaps because her colleagues are all geeks themselves, they don’t give a fig about gender bias or have misogynistic inclinations ?

    I take your point about Adam Goodes. And yes, the hyper-judgement about him IS there because of the colour of his skin – – – and we all know it should not be…. however, at the same time – those who take notice of the MSM and the beat ups about it all, will at the same time acknowledge what a damned good player he was. Highly respected. So it cuts both ways, he knows it – we all know it.

    ……… continued –

  82. Annie B

    ….. continued – –

    Credlin ? … she was a product of the PM’s making, in the role of COS. … I believe his choice of her as COS, was nastily cunning / cynical – to the enth degree. … Far easier for the likes of Abbott to use the current popular speak – of insinuating blame on a woman, because she is a woman, when all went wrong. And the comment he made “Peta wouldn’t have had the criticism if her name was ‘Peter’.” … was a double edged comment if ever I heard one. … It ‘seemed’ he was standing up for her, but in fact it was again drawing attention to the fact that she was / had been criticised – because she was a woman in that role. He just as easily could have kept his nasty little mouth shut. ….. … As a woman however, she cannot be exonerated on her decision ( for power ) to be content and well paid in the position of COS. …. If anyperson takes on a role such as that – they must expect the bad with the good, however it is dished out.

    On that basis, it makes no difference whatsoever, the gender.

    Sure, Credlin may have had good education and be clever, even brilliant at certain jobs, but he was the one who allowed her to dictate – he was the one who depended on her for every move – he was the one who did not stand up for his own wife, against Credlins’ wishes when she overwrote much to do with Margie ( according to Nikki Savvas’ book – from memory now, as I cannot access the article again on the Australian ). … Credlin – toughing it out to an extreme degree, was not the right choice – and whose fault was THAT ? … That had nothing whatsoever to do with her gender per se, except for the person who chose a ‘her’ instead of a ‘him’ – for what appears very very obvious reasons.

    A job is a job – and if well done, it does not matter the gender. … the only gripe I have about a man vs woman in any job, is the inequality of pay. A woman earns 83c to every $1 a man earns. Unfair, and discriminatory …. and harks back to almost the dark ages in thinking, by the still dominant sex in careers, positions, jobs. … It is sexist … and the word sexism relates almost solely to women who are discriminated against, and lambasted by the opposite sex. The word needs to be re-organised in dictionaries, imho – as there is plenty of sexism ( prejudice ) against men these days. …. I have made totally ‘sexist’ remarks myself here – against a man, who I see as a brute, a show-off, a terrible speaker, a narcissist and a man who pushes his own inadequate – even fractured, ego to greater heights – all going towards creating his own downfall.

    So – I can only partly agree with you diannaart … “gender can never be ruled out in assessment … etc. ” It can be ruled out – but so frequently is not. .. Would have been better if I’d said ” gender – should not come into it ” Perhaps one great day, we will see it as not being an issue at all, for women – or for men. Hope all this answers your query. 🙂

  83. cornlegend

    “Strategists don’t descend to devising daily tactics.”
    Since when? A strategy can be as long or short as need be ,
    1. A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
    2. The art and science of planning and marshalling resources for their most efficient and effective use.

    “The company defined a new strategy where it would reduce the price of its products that had been in market for more than 90 days to reduce their inventory.”

    “The intelligent young woman’s strategy was simple and concise; she would devise a plan to make money and then implement that plan over the course of the next month.”
    “Mark’s strategy of luring his opponent’s pawns to his side of the board allowed him to win the chess match for his school”
    Or my one
    “the strategy of the core group is to denigrate Trish Corry at every opportunity”
    “The alternate strategy is to ignore”

    still a bit of gum waffling never hurt,
    just sayin”

  84. Kaye Lee

    “the strategy of the core group is to denigrate Trish Corry at every opportunity”

    I am getting very sick and tired of that unfounded accusation.

  85. diannaart

    Annie B

    (Just a quickie – still feeling like crap)

    I agree with ALL your points. I think where we differ is on our interpretation of the word ‘gender’. Maybe?

    I fought valiantly for years to NOT use the G-word when referencing men or women – I actually used to say ‘sex’. But, you know, people don’t really like to use the S-word and I caved & use ‘gender’ instead, some battles just aren’t worth fighting.

    (However, as a society we do really need to talk more objectively about sex – that is another story for another day). 😛

    In an ideal world it should not matter what sex, gender, orientation a person is – and, as you have pointed out, there are glimpses of little glow-globes of hope – such light needs to be everywhere, we still have a ways to go. OK, until that sunshiny day, if a person is female, black, ‘current hated hated religion’, calathumpian – those qualifiers remain the basis for most people’s evaluation.

    We can never be sure – a great deal of prejudice is unconscious.


  86. Annie B

    Re : Credlin – – –

    “Only two women have held this job in government: Nicole Feely led John Howard’s office briefly (1996-97) and Amanda Lampe ran Julia Gillard’s realm for a similarly short stint (2010-11).” …

    Other than that, we have Peta Credlin – who seems to have inspired so much comment here.

    Admittedly, this might be a bit late in being posted on this article, and is one helluva long read, but here it is anyway :

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/whos-the-boss/story-e6frg8h6-1226182439093 …. I will not be able to revisit this article, unless I pay a subscription fee. Could c and p at least two dozen statements from this long – and very interesting article, ( providing I keep it open on a tab ), but to do so would show bias – one way or another. … So I stand neutral about it – absolutely. … The article goes back and forth – for and against Peta Credlin; who is a fascinating character, right enough.

    It was written by Kate Legge, in November 2011, and gives an intriguing history background to Credlin. Interesting to say the least, and according to this article, Turnbull himself initially appointed her as his own COS, but ” her Senate prowess crumbled late one night during a crucial vote on Labor’s fiscal stimulus package when Coalition senators were left floundering.” …. Turnbull instantly demoted her to deputy. … That means nothing now, as so many different political moves have been made in the interim. …

    I do recommend a read of it – if anyone has the time. …. might also shed a bit of light on the mystery of Abbotts’ absolute reliance on her, during his tenure.

    Some here may have already accessed this article – if so, ignore the foregoing.

  87. Annie B

    diannaart ….

    I sure hope tomorrow sees you feeling better …. and over this current attack.

    Totally respect your reply … and your last sentence resonates ” We can never be sure – a great deal of prejudice is unconscious”

    So right … it is often ingrained in early years – taught to view some ( people ) as strange or different, which is hardly the fault of the child-grown-to-adult, but behoves the adult to recognise it, and do something about altering mind-sets. …. The unconscious and formative years indoctrination, do play a hefty role.

    Small story. … I recall my first ever encounter with a trans-gender person. ( today it would not phase me – but it did then ). It was at the Caulfield Racetrack some decades back … went to the ladies, and while washing my hands, saw a very large ‘lady’ – hands as big as meat plates, heavily made up with deep voice, dressed in womens’ clothing which was slightly awry, and very obviously, male. The first thought I had was to get the hell out of there asap.

    Was this a sick-minded man dressed in drag, in order to do some woman some harm ? …. [ well, it could have been. ] … But on seeing him/her later several times with ‘ordinary’ looking friends ( as I saw it then ), I realised my gut reaction had been a knee jerk one. … If he had entered the male toilets, he’d have probably suffered horrendous abuse, if not physical harm. …. The only place he felt safe to relieve himself, was the women’s toilet. To this day I feel bad about that. … I pre-judged, through sheer ignorance … as so many still do today.

    So – gender, sex, orientation, sexual preference, should not be bandied about as something to denigrate, or used to promote bias and vilification of any description. … But it is – by the more ignorant in our community, and by those wishing to push agendas – ( religion / and some politics in particular ).

    I think our posts just scrape in – to be relevant to the original article. 😉

  88. Annie B

    Matters Not — – ( your post October 6, 2016 at 11:16 pm )

    ” Strategists don’t descend to devising daily tactics.”

    Strategists are human !! …. many humans devise daily tactics. …. particularly those who are very disciplined in their endeavours. …. Rather think that strategists would fit that category ….

    Ergo – Strategists would indeed devise daily tactics – it would be a very important part of their ritual to get the job done. …. However, somewhere along the line Peta C got her disciplines mixed up, possibly because of her quest for power – ‘because’ she was COS to the PM. …. She overdid herself, to her detriment – and to a small degree, to his detriment.

    However the job of Prime Minister was Abbotts, and he was / is 100% responsible for his actions, non-actions, uttered banalities, and decisions. … but he, being what he is, would never completely take responsibility for any damned thing.

    Let’s hope his desires to reinstate himself, go down the well known creek.

  89. Matters Not

    Annie B, concepts such as ‘tactics’ and ‘strategies’ in this ‘debate’ have never been defined in terms of ‘necessary and sufficient’ conditions. Thus, they are subject to ‘interpretations’ which vary over time. Indeed, the meanings given can intermingle – cross fertilise, and even be conflated.

    Thus it might be useful to use some ‘common sense’ definitions. Generally speaking, ‘strategy’ is all about ‘the big picture’ – the long-term considerations – the vision – the mission – what we are all about – the rationale for the why – the ends – and the like.

    Using the usual ‘Strategic Planning’ conceptual framework, ‘tactics’ sit below ‘strategy’. Tactics are all about the ‘means’ to be employed in the present. Tactics are ‘short term’. What will work today. Or eve n tomorrow. But might be abandoned tomorrow because it isn’t working. Means but not ends. Lie railway platforms -there to get in from but not to remain on if the desirable train doesn’t arrive.

    In any political office, both strategic and tactical activities are both necessary and desirable. Indeed both are essential. To use a crude example, ‘tacticians’ are about how best to chase and catch the car while ‘strategists’ are all about what to do when the the car is caught.

    Put simply, Credlin was crucial in the successful chase of the car (mainly because the political vehicle was running on empty at the time and the tyres were flat as well) but she didn’t know what to do after the successful catch. She didn’t know the the ‘big picture’. Hence she allowed Hockey to devise and deliver an ideological budget that was the beginning of the end for Abbott.

    Credlin was a ‘tactician’ but certainly not a ‘strategist’. Not suggesting for a moment that my analysis isn’t contestable but critics might outline their definitions and the meanings given to same before resorting to simplistic dictionary definitions, devoid of context. Just sayin ..

  90. Annie B

    M-N … many interesting points in your comments above.

    However, often the ‘strategist’ also has to be the ‘tactician’ – as you said the terms can often intermingle, and so indeed can the actions attributed to both. Observed that many times in business, over my working years.
    Good teams of strategists and tacticians are desirable – but any one person can be both.

    Rather, they are equallyimportant, as one really cannot do without the other, strictly speaking.

    As you mentioned – Credlin was all tactics, with no strategy … and in a role like that she was ‘half missing’. ,,, Considering her attitude towards others who she perceived to be ‘beneath her’ ( the power thing ) … she would hardly have called upon anyone else to help with the strategy – the end game – which was hers and hers alone to achieve ( in her opinion ) – and in the end nothing worked at all, resulting in failure.

    I mostly agree with your analysis – it is not contestable. There is one minor exception – that of her ‘allowing’ Hockey to devise the budget. She should have not been permitted to either allow or disallow anything to do with the then Treasurer. If anyone had any other say in that matter – it would have been Abbott … however there begins the round-and-round-the-Mulberry-bush, and the mystery ?. … It could have been Abbott, using Credlins input – that might have had impact on budget considerations, which begs the question as to why a PM could be so under the thumb of a woman who was clearly not up to that specific job. Might have been personal, might have been because he was mortally afraid of the woman. She did have after all, a reputation that preceded her.

    ( Rather think he was afraid of women in general – which speaks to his misogyny, but that’s a further story ! ).

  91. diannaart

    Absolutely agree TA’s misogyny means his reactions to women varies according to triggers on a very superficial level – someone like Credlin would both frighten and stimulate him.

    Very interesting article. I wonder if Credlin choose to aim for power in the background, initially, but found she liked the spotlight.

    As for whether she is a tactician or a strategist – I offer my apologies in advance, I just don’t care. Am I too far from the original topic? Apologies for that as well.

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