Bill Shorten thought it was a hoax.
Some of Abbott’s Cabinet colleagues did too.
Editorials of newspapers across the country have slammed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s decision to hand Prince Philip a Knighthood, labelling the move “ludicrous” and “flabbergasting”.
Rupert Murdoch tweeted that it was “a joke and embarrassment”.
The broadsheet’s editors said knighting Phil was a “decision lacking leadership”, “high-handed” and “tone-deaf”, saying that another captain’s pick like this “might be mutiny”.
“It’s a decision that reeks of an outsider cocking a snook rather than a prime minister seeking to unite a nation,” the editors said.
The Courier Mail:
“On the day we should be celebrating Australia’s national identity … we were instead dragged by our elected leader into a cultural cringe so remarkable that it is almost beyond comprehension.”
The can and slam party did not end there. The newspaper also said the knighthood for Prince Philip was “fair dinkum ridiculous” and “out of touch”.
“Mr Abbott must decide whether he wants to be a monarchist, first and foremost, or the Prime Minister of Australia,” it finished.
Some-one tweeted, maybe it’s time to pick a new captain. Abbott dismissed social media criticism as “electronic graffiti”, but now Murdoch is at it again:
“Abbott again. Tough to write, but if he won’t replace top aide Peta Credlin she must do her patriotic duty and resign. Forget fairness. This change only way to recover team work and achieve so much possible for Australia. Leading involves cruel choices. Credlin a good person. Just appealing to her proven patriotism.”
It’s hard to believe Credlin would have supported such nonsense, but Murdoch may be blaming her for his at times lone wolf style.
The only support I’ve heard for the knighthood decision has been from Kevin Andrews and that royalist fella David Flint. Jim Middleton suggested that Abbott’s stupidity could cost the LNP in the Queensland election. I would have dismissed that as nonsense, but the ABC Vote Compass found that 19% of Queensland voters said they would be very affected by federal matters and a further 29% said somewhat. At the very least it has further tarnished the brand.
The irony is that Abbott had just spent a week phoning backbenchers to show them he is listening.
In truth Abbott may now be on a last chance to keep his job.