In what must be the first time in a number of days, Tony Abbott was openly critcical of the Prime Minister in an interview last week. Mr Abbott thought that Malcolm Turnbull’s public admonishing of Barnaby Joyce was a poor way to handle things, telling us:
‘I am just not going to get into any details about personalities or specifics, but certainly as a general rule one party doesn’t give another party public advice.
‘That’s the general rule that I observed.’
Of course, by party Mr Abbott was, of course, only refering to the Coalition partners because – as we’re all aware – he sees no problem in giving Labor, The Greens or any other political party the benefit of the full suppository of his wisdom.
While he insisted that it was best that, instead of calling a press conference or blurting out a criticism in an interview, it was better to pick up the phone or have a face-to-face meeting to express one’s concerns, apparently, this does not apply to ex-PMs giving current PMs advice on not giving public advice.
Yes, nobody thought to ask Tones, if criticisms should be kept private, why did he not follow his own advice and call Malcolm directly?
Tony, of couse, may have had a number of reasons.
- Malcolm never listens to advice from anyone so it would be pointless.
- Malcolm won’t take phone calls from Tony.
- Tony knows that hypocrisy is so common that it’s rare that anyone is criticised for it, so this was another great chance to bag Malcolm, thereby reminding people that there was a much better PM recently.
While all three reasons are valid reason three is probably the most likely to have been uppermost in Mr Abbott’s mind. After all, he did go on to remind us: “There was a perfectly good code of conduct in place. I thought the code of conduct as it stands it was a good code of conduct.”
In other words, there was nothing wrong with bonking a member of your own staff. The code was just fine, and it was only the fact that Barnaby stuck to his religous beliefs about sex being only for procreation that meant that his (non)partner became pregnant and papers were reporting on it that there was a problem, because, hey, the papers never reported on anything like that when he was PM …
And, I have to agree with Mr Abbott. There’s nothing wrong with sex between consenting adults. It’s only when they’re of the same sex and want to marry that it demeans the sancticty of marriage and therefore creates a problem. If only Natalie Joyce had been a little more understanding of the nature of marriage and the importance of children having both a mother AND a father, then she wouldn’t have booted Barnaby and she’d still be considered his partner and Ms Campion could have been given any job by Mr Joyce and there’d have been no breach of the pefectly good guidelines for ministerial conduct that existed when we had a PM who knew that some things are better said in private.
You know, things like I’m really disappointed that you couldn’t keep it in your pants, but let’s stay together for the good of everyone and pretend that nothing’s wrong and that you haven’t behaved appallingly. (I am referring to the Coalition parties here, and not any other individual parties!)
To which, Barnaby could have replied that he has a right to his own happiness, and that Malcolm doesn’t understand him, but yes, he does agree, it would be better to pretend that they’re still together and that there’s no problem. After all, this isn’t about ourselves we have others to think about. We need to stay together for the good of the Company Tax Cuts. We need to consider Rupert and Gina, how would they cope if we argue in front of them? We don’t want to force them to take sides.
And Malcolm couldn nod sagely.
Yes, it’s a shame that Tony didn’t think to bring the two together and give them the benefit of all his weeks of experience in being our country’s leader.