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Credlin: It’s not me, it’s them

There’s a point in just about any desirable human characteristic when it can tip over into pathology, and self-confidence is no exception.

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin (otherwise known as the Horsewoman of the Apocalypse) has spoken publicly for the first time since the powerful couple were ousted by their party a few days ago.

The ousting was, Ms Credlin insisted at a Women’s Weekly woman of the future event, caused by the “tripe and bile” of a media fed anonymous commentary by despicable persons who leaked.

The double ousting can be seen, I suppose, as evidence that the voice of Murdoch’s Newscorpse, otherwise known as the LNP Weekly, was drowned out by other voices to a degree sufficient enough to persuade the Liberal party to dump its leader. These other voices are, no doubt, the “tripe and bile” to which Ms Credlin refers.

Let us take a moment to reflect on the Murdoch rags and their global standard of journalism, shall we? Just for perspective.

As examples of individuals promoted beyond their merit (defined as not up to dealing with her) Ms Credlin cites Cabinet Minsters and journalists, who should not, she states, be in their jobs at all if they are intimidated by a Chief of Staff.

Ms Credlin also stated that she had got the opposition into government:

If I was a guy I wouldn’t be bossy, I would be strong. If I was a guy I wouldn’t be a micro-manager, I would be across the detail,” she said.

“If I wasn’t strong, determined, controlling – and got them into Government from Opposition, I might add – I would be weak and not up to it and would have to go and be replaced.

As in all the best spin, there’s elements of truth in Credlin’s assessment of herself, and only the most naive would deny she is as subject to sexist character analysis as are the rest of our gender. Be that as it may, like her former boss Credlin’s strongest message is that she is beyond criticism, indeed she cannot and will not take criticism. In other words, I’m totally OK, you most certainly are not.

Being unable to take criticism isn’t a marker of self-confidence and strength. It’s a marker of delusion and weakness. It’s an indicator that self-confidence has reached its tipping point, and has begun its descent into pathology.

How fortunate we are to have escaped Ms Credlin’s anointing as the most powerful woman in Australia.

But did they ask her if she’s a feminist? That’s what I want to know.

This article was first published on No Place For Sheep.

 

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26 comments

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  1. longwhitekid

    Abbott and Credlin have now both blamed the media for bringing them down. Actually it was social media that played a big part in it; but as ignorant as ever they wrote it off as ‘electronic graffiti.’ and he included Morgan polls in that. Those words were his own. They had approximately 70% of the nation’s media on lock via Murdoch and they still completely stuffed it up. Delusion aside, they came in blaming everyone else for problems,and departed with the door hitting them in the arse, STILL blaming everyone else for the problems. If that isn’t pathetic, I don’t know what is. Goodbye and good riddance to these two pieces of human garbage.

  2. amarkone

    Well put Jennifer and well commented on ‘longwhitekid’. Abbott and Credlin were the victims of ‘live by the sword, die by the sword’ and isn’t it fantastic watching the ‘backwash’, especially when Abbott calls Scotty baby a liar, shit, as a kid we would go ‘neer neer ne neer neer…..takes one to know one’.

  3. Pingback: Credlin: It’s not me it’s them – » The Australian Independent Media Network | lmrh5

  4. jim

    Yea the Project pffft it’s made out to be a comedy show , however Steve Price is definately no comedian besides being an absolute pig he is very serious when it comes to Labor bashing and does this with no funny points at all. needless to say I do not watch it when he is on. I have tried to find the clip of the pig Price with the Bitch sign but it may have been removed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaMS4j6xFJo

  5. Bilal

    Credlin and Abbott crying over the nasty media is a joke and a half. If they could not survive with the pliant Murdoch propaganda sheets protecting them and vilifying their opponents, they were not fit to be anywhere near power. Gross incompetence is what brought them down – Australians will not wear bigotry as a political weapon.

  6. Terry2

    I wonder if Ms Credlin has taken time to reflect on the fact that on her watch the Prime Minister that she ‘micro – managed’ was thrown out less than two years into his term of office.

    Perhaps Rupert Murdoch summed up the situation in January of this year with his tweet :

    “Abbott again. Tough to write, but if he won’t replace top aide Peta Credlin she must do her patriotic duty and resign.”

    We all knew that this house of cards would collapse but Tony wouldn’t listen, even to Rupert.

  7. paul walter

    Bilal’s comment is the one. Murdoch put them there to scotch attempts to make him cough up the $billions in tax he owed. Once they had served their purpose they were no longer of importance to him. Abbott, Credlin and co knew what they were about and all this other is just whitewashing, diversionary fluff…the PM’s office was apparently legendary for controlled leakage against opponents, what’s more.

  8. kerri

    Well said!
    I have often noted in these personality types what I have always described as
    “The need to climb higher by stepping on the shoulders of others”.
    The philosophy that is something like this.
    “For me to prove I am the best I need to prove you are all the worst!”
    “Your failure equals my success!”

  9. Anniebee

    Great article Jennifer. btw .. Horses are clever. Know who they don’t like and why ! … Probably recognised a bad boy whisperer. 😉

  10. Douglas Evans

    Absolutely agree with this piece. Credlin played the strong woman torn down by male misogynists card but not everyone who found her impossible to deal with was a man without the balls to call her out publicly. Ask Julie Bishop.

  11. G Moss

    No surprise that like her “boss”, Tony Abbott, Ms Credlin is incapable of taking any responsibility on herself – it’s always someone else’s fault. Second no surprise is that Ms Credlin will not stand for election. As she exerted undue influence as an unelected person in the background, why would she subject herself to a process that would lead to accountability in a much more public setting?

  12. eli nes

    I have spent 53 years with a woman whose political and educational skills were more than a match for any of the men at levels above and she, at a very young age reached the ceiling. From there only ‘mentored women’ advanced.
    Invariably her skills were used both by politicians and her direct secretary/deputy ‘bosses’ to advise or do their ‘dirty’ work.
    Eventually it appeared to women who were ‘mentored’ that she was sitting in her comfort zone and not moving upwards.
    She came home furious and, by witness accounts, gave the deputy secretary such a verbal thrashing that her contract wasn’t renewed because her job had been ‘downgraded’.
    This was in work choice days and redundancy was not offered to her(it was to the male public servants as a ‘golden handshake’ indeed at their farewell the deputy was effusive in her speech).
    That was 8 years ago and I still smart at the two women who had to go to court to get what the boys were given. She, on the other hand, is still perfectly comfortable in the knowledge of how good she is and many of then men who served under her contact for advice or help. They and I are the feminists but she sees the situation from different eyes.
    Sadly she married a prick unable to organise the little triumphs of my 40 odd years in education of urban and community Aborigines, much less the local, national and international successes of my darling.

  13. Florence nee Fedup

    I suspect that picture above is more about FM Bishop throwing her weight around that about Chief of Staff. Wonder where Abbott stood in that exchange?

  14. iggy648

    If she was a guy and poked her finger aggressively at people as we keep seeing, she would have been labelled a bully and forced to apologise, or resign.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    If another person put the face into mind, might be making same motions with my fingers, maybe even catching the eyes. Joking of course, but my response would be angry.

    Morrison now on 7.30 Leigh once asking hard qts. Arrogance oozing from the man.

  16. lawrencewinder

    It would seem that Rabid-the-Hun and “bloody Idiot” Credlin have believed their own narcissistic imaginings of power and authority forgetting, like the rest of their IPA inspired rabble, that governance is about the people and ruling is not!

  17. kerri

    Kaye Lee Sharman has stood up to the top dogs in the LNP a few times! Remember the SPC debacle?

  18. Kaye Lee

    Yes. My favourite was when she said Question Time was just a stage for the men to be theatrical or something along those lines.

  19. madeleinekingston

    In response to Jennifer Wilson’s article Credlin: It’s not me, it’s them”

    26 September 2015

    Thanks very much Jennifer Wilson for your article “Credlin It’s not me it’s them” which you begin by referring to the point at which any desirable human characteristic may tip over into pathology,” in this instance referring to self-confidence.

    There are many ways of analysing Peta Credlin’s characteristics. I believe that the term self-confidence does not to justice to the level of arrogance that she portrays, unless of course it is simply a reflection of inverted inferiority and insecurity.

    You have referred to the double ousting of the Credlin-Abbott duo “as evidence that the voice of Murdoch’s Newscorpse [the LNP Weekly] was “drowned out by other voices to a degree sufficient enough to persuade the Liberal party to dump its leader. I am part of the readership delighted to see this pair gone, even at the expense of being considered “the tripe and bile” to which Ms Credlin referred in her performance at the Women’s Weekly Women of the Future award event

    Katherine Murphy’s article on the same topic published in The Guardian on 23 September, attracted 635 comments, mine appearing on various pages rather belatedly on 26 September.

    The article appeared to be another eulogistic piece, demonstrating the “sisterhood” spirit seen by many posters as defensive of the allegedly maligned Peta Credlin playing the victim role and blaming sexism instead of her controlling style.

    That is, unless Katherine Murphy, portrayed by many posters as right-leaning and pro-Credlin and Abbott, was writing with tongue in cheek. To be fair she does equivocate and ends with warning that we may need to move past:
    “… the fixation with the power myth, because by translating human frailty into urban mythology and oversized soap opera, we do ourselves the following disservice.
    We see nothing, learn nothing, change nothing”

    Much of the remainder of the article is focused on what could be interpreted as near-adulation, a sentiment impossible for me share in relation to Peta Credlin, the former dysfunctional PM Tony Abbott and other players seen to have exercised a puppeteer’s role in the form of Credlin’s husband Brian Loughnane, Federal Director of the Liberal Party,. One poster, MsCreant provided a link to the story behind this power-couple.

    http://www.thepowerinde.com.au/power-couples/brian-loughnane-and-peter-credlin/20111223890

    Other recent articles that I reviewed included one by MSM writer Madonna King [ 23 September 2015 SMH] entitled “That thinking feeling: Tony Abbott’s Ex-Chief-of-Staff Peta Credlin on the definition of

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/that-thinking-feeling/tony-abbotts-ex-chiefofstaff-peta-credlin-on-the-definition-of-20150923-gjt5nr.html?

    This carried the tempter by-line in contents pages of Credlin’s Salad Days with PM which described some aspects of the relationship between Credlin and Abbott when dining in public places [like scooping of an uneaten steak onto the plate of Abbott by the salad-nibbling Credlin]

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/that-thinking-feeling/tony-abbotts-ex-chiefofstaff-peta-credlin-on-the-definition-of-20150923-gjt5nr.html?

    Madonna King indulges in undiluted heroine worship. Many responders would not have a bar of it.

    The final two posters on 24 and 25 September respectively, namely @Gil and @ Bette Streep observed that Credlin appeared to be a de facto PM, and that Credlin and Abbott were the worst two PMs in history. That commentary left out mention of Credlin’s powerful husband Brian Loughnane and his perceived influence in a trio governance model as opposed to a duo.

    Annabel Crabb’s ABC input may be likened to a well-whipped soufflé; light-hearted and according to one poster cited below more about her own reactions than the main subject. I found the article humorous but lacking in substance.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-23/crabb-a-lesson-on-what-it-means-to-be-a-woman-in-high-office/6798602
    One poster against the Crabb article made the following observations, which ring a chord, although I qualify this by noting that opinion pieces are about opinion, not intended as simple news reports, and that there is no requirement for the former to be unbiased, though it is always preferable to correlate opinion with fact.

    This article failed to deal with the serious implications of the recent changes and the sacking of both Credlin and Abbott by their own party.

    Jay: 25 September 2015 8:48.09AM
    “Damn it must be convenient every time a woman gets shown the door to play the sexism card. It always obfuscates the debate and the weak-minded such as this writer jump on board. This piece is general weak in that it focuses on the writer instead of the subject. When will journos learn they are there to report the news – they are not themselves the news.”
    The poster suggests it would be a welcome change to get to the heart of an issue instead of skirting around cosmetics

    By contrast, Barrie Cassidy’s treatment [ABC The Drum 25 September] was deservedly more critical, less forgiving and more reflective of a substantial body of readership opinion across several articles, and more substantial

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-25/cassidy-sexism-isnt-responsible-for-peta-credlins-own-failures/6803272

    Mark Kenny’s SMH news article “Not governing, fighting: Peta Credlin’s role in Tony Abbott’s collapse [24 September, SMH] took a suitably harsh look at Credlin and her interaction not only with a dysfunctional PM but with others within the LNP at all levels, asking the question whether it had been in the best interests of the nation to retain this bully as Chief of Staff to the PM.

    Kenny said on 24 September 2015:

    “In any event, the only fact that should have counted in the end was whether Credlin remaining in her job was in the interests of the government – whether her contribution was achieving that basic goal of making things better.
    Every objective assessment of this question said no. Yet still she remained at her post.

    Much of this would not necessarily be an ongoing issue of concern were it not for the fact that despite perceptions of a ‘liver transplant’ for the current government [as opposed to a sugar fix], the bullies have not all disappeared; only two of them have, the Old Guard are still in prominent positions.

    This may be about Credlin and her control over a dysfunctional PM as well as the entire Cabinet and backbencher contingent, but it is far more than simply that. It is about a corrosive organizational culture at political level. That has not changed.
    This is exactly why I feel these matters need to be kept under the glare of scrutiny lest we forget what lessons may be learnt.

    After all much of the Old Guard remains in position, and others with a perceived bullying streak that could tip the balance into pathology remain in positions of power or have been injected as “new blood.”

    In closing thanks for a good article Jennifer.

  20. Matters Not

    Thanks for a great ‘article’ as well madeleinekingston.

    Superb.

  21. Annie B

    A very good and well researched article, Jennifer Wilson.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Peta C is delighted to be out of the entire scene. As Abbott’s ‘chief of staff’ and with his penchant for blaming the whole world for his puerile outbursts and inane ( read insane ) ideas, he always had someone else to blame – yet he never did – openly blame Peta for anything. …. I think she had his measure, because to survive she had to have.

    And he would not dared to have shown his hand ( even if many times he’d have liked to ) … against his ‘female’ chief of staff. It was a cynical move on his part to appoint her to that position – so’s he could win either way he jumped. She was an ace up his sleeve – always.

    Don’t get me wrong …. I have little to no time for Peta Credlin. She jumped on the job for what it would ultimately pay her – which I would imagine, be big bucks. Wonder, if she too, gets a forever pension ?? But there are many men and women who jump at opportunities to put more money in their pockets. That is not a bad thing at all. It happens. And – for so many reasons, understandably. If they deserve a leg up because they have earned it with tireless work and innovation, then good on them.

    No-one could tell me that Peta C was not sucked into the machinations that is Parliament, during her tenure. She’d have been subject to lobbying, at various stages… and would have trodden egg-shells, to remain earning her $$’s. Must have on many occasions, been between a rock and a hard place.

    The smh reported that Abbott deferred to her, and listened to her. …. Well, that is how it appeared. We will never know the entire truth – unless she writes a tell-all book.

    Can’t wait for THAT to be published – if it ever is.

  22. madeleinekingston

    It was a great article and every bit worth the effort I put in to respond. Thanks @Matters Not for your kind words.

    I have made a further equally long response to a related article that is very pertinent. This was published by Jennifer Wilson for the Australian Independent Media [AIM] as far back as 30 January 2015, but as it is particularly pertinent following the recent spill and sacking of both Credlin and Abbott, I hope that the moderator will consider my late contribution and publish it in due course.

    I must say that Jennifer Wilson has raised some important issues that deserve airing.

    Thanks

    The Credlin thing

  23. madeleinekingston

    Thanks for your interesting post @Annie B in response to Jennifer Wilson’s excellent article for The Australian Independent Media

    Credlin: It’s not me it’s them

    You have raised some important issues and insights

    On the issue of your perceptions of Peta Credlin perceived ‘delight at being out of the scene” you have a good point. However, I have to wonder whether she is after all feeling a bit lost without a proxy ‘child’ to fuss over.
    Without meaning to be unduly unkind, I suspect Credlin has her own levels of dysfunction. It is a widely held viewpoint, which I support, that Peta Credlin has co-dependency issues, which may or may not extend beyond the professional relationship with a difference that she appeared to enjoy with Tony Abbott, former Two-Thirds-Of-A-Term Prime Minister [title borrowed from Andrew Street’s Snark in the Sydney Morning Herald to which I made some responses.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/view-from-the-street-adieu-twothirdsofaterm-tony-20150915-gjn8h9.html

    also published in the Canberra Times

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/that-thinking-feeling/twist-of-the-knife-reveals-real-julie-bishop-20150915

    Now if collective suspicious have some grounding and can be at least intuitively ‘verified’ on that basis, then, I strongly suspect that Credlin will not only have mixed feelings but the usual separation anxiety that is normally experienced when any relationship, but especially one of perceived co-dependence is publicly terminated.

    Having said that, I do believe that Abbott found it extremely convenient to have a scapegoat on hand to blame for his own incompetence, and I certainly do not discount your insights on that score.

    I have made a further response to a much earlier but related article by Jennifer Wilson on behalf of AIM. This awaits moderation. In my lengthy response I have teased out some of the views that have been expressed by various journalists, building on the material that AIM has already published.

    The Credlin thing

    If this is published after the moderator has taken due care, it will expand on my viewpoint to some extent.

    However, I made that post before I read your further insights against Jennifer Wilson’s Credlin: It’s not me; it’s them.

    Credlin: It’s not me it’s them

    So for completeness, I take into account the very generous allowance you have made on behalf of Credlin’s ‘delicate” position in presumably “treading on eggshells.” Of course. Part of the job, with a salary to match.

    On the issue of being subjected to high-pressure lobbying and “rock-and-hard-place” perceptions, I suspect she loved it all the same and will miss the heady power that the position afforded her almost as much as the rewards, dysfunctional or otherwise; that go with situations of co-dependence.

    Matches in relationships are rarely accidental. The gravitational match between partners in dysfunctional relationships, personal or professional, are normally magnetic for the parties involved because one party is perceivably dysfunctional without “the other half of the eggshell” to match up with.

    On that score alone, this is a forward step for the parties in this case, though we seem to have omitted mention of the powerful husband of Peta Credlin, Brian Loughnane, President of the Federal Liberal Party.

    In this case one has to consider the impacts on the trio as well as the duo, and the consequences for the Party as a whole.

    As to a “Tell-it-All-Account”, egotists love to see themselves in print. With further dollars to look forward to, it is well on the cards that Credlin will write a book, offer herself for a personalised television show and do whatever it takes to stay in the limelight.

    Although, in principle I support empathy goals, in this particular case, I must confess I am struggling.

    Cheers

  24. paul walter

    There is an irritating little buzz like distant Cicadas about as to the likelihood of Credlin running in the 2019 election, but so far no bite.

    Instead, Credlin is in England coaching them over Brexit.

    Hahahahahahahah….

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