July 31st, 2014
Dear Peta Credlin,
Yes, I understand the dilemma. Telling Tony not to say anything unless he hears it in the headpiece has lead to rather embarrassing silences like the one with that Channel 7 reporter a few years back. On the other hand, letting him speak when he feels that he isn’t going to say anything controversial is risky and can lead to comments like the one about Australia being “unsettled” before the British came here. I presume the “suppository of wisdom” comment was just his inability to hear what you were saying clearly.
After giving the matter some thought, I don’t think that it’s really a good idea to go down the path of declaring war on Russia. True, they may not notice – particularly if we don’t actually send troops there – and any occasion where we can play the patriotism card and accuse people of playing for the other team works well for us, but I think this may be a mistake for two reasons. First, Russia may actually retaliate in some way, and second, we’d have to actually send the troops somewhere. Even if we call it “Operation Take Back Russia for The Czars” and black out all media coverage, some of the troops are bound to spill the beans and tell someone that they spent the entire campaign in Mauritius.
I have a rather radical plan, and I know this goes against everything you’ve been trying to do up till now.
Why not let the front bench speak to the media?
Just go on a brief overseas holiday and tell them that they’re free to say what they like. A couple of weeks of Joe, George, Christopher, Eric, Barnaby and company shooting off their mouths and anything’s Tony’s said until now will seem calm and reasoned. People may even start to feel sorry for him.
Whatever, you and he can return to Australia and when he says that’s not what we are go to do/actually believe everyone will breath a big sigh and say, “Thank God, Tony’s back and we have a pair of calm hands at the wheel.”
I know it seems like a radical plan, but it worked for the Labor Party in Victoria for a number of years. Every time they did something controversial, they’d find some way to introduce a topic that Jeff couldn’t resist commenting on, and people would quickly forget whatever it was that was upsetting them. They’d have probably won again in 2010, but a bout of laryngitis stopped Jeff speaking at a critical time.
Whether you follow my advice or not is up to you, and you have my full support in the coming years, whether in your current role or as is becoming more likely, adviser to Malcolm. Just remember, you’re leading an independent government and I only offer advice in order to be helpful. Make your own judgement, and don’t let the fact that I crushed the last two Prime Ministers make you feel as though it’s necessary to take my suggestion.
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