Captain’s pick


Bill Shorten thought it was a hoax.

Some of Abbott’s Cabinet colleagues did too.

From the SMH:

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 Oz:

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.

27 thoughts on “Captain’s pick”

  1. Sorry but there is no way in the wide world that this would be a “captain’s call”.

    Abbott might be bad – but neither he nor his puppetteroff-sider are that foolish.

    As I have suggested elsewhere, (a) He was given an offer he couldn’t refuse, such as a filthy-rich, staunch Liberals’ supporter offering – or threatening to cut off – millions of dollars to keep (or keeping) the Foreign Ownership Party afloat in return for indulging is a Royal Family fan club whim, or, (b) He was lured into an ambush for a leadership spill by his fellow Liberals. “Hey, I’ve got a terrific vote-winning idea, Tony”. Chorus “Yeah, Tony, let’s do it, let’s do it, l-e-t’-s d-o I-t!!!”.

    Look on the bright side:
    (1). This issue has flushed all the highly influential scoundrels out of cover; they couldn’t resist saying something in the media.
    (2) It has revitalized the discussions over our national identity, a republic or other non-monarchy, our national flag and emblems.
    (3). It has shone a spotlight the abyss between the moribund elite who have misruled Australia for generations and the rest of the Australian citizenry – and perhaps it has kicked off a real search for dynamic, talented people to form a new elite.

    Besides, it has been a brief and amusing distraction from far more troubling issues.

  2. Abbott was a Rhodes Scholar. That implies intelligence. Bob Hawke is also a Rhodes Scholar. Helluva difference between the two men, even after setting their political ideals aside.

    I’m staggered Abbott could pull this one out of his butt. How could anyone not see what a blunderingly stupid move this was? It is as dumb as wanting to name our dollar a “Royal”. (Yes that actually happened)

    Well he has done it now. His credibility is surely beyond repair. What can he now do and be taken seriously? He has artlessly demolished his government (our government actually) and blithely wonders what he has done wrong. Does the Party have the ‘nads for a spill?

    I am a tad curious about Credlin’s fingerprints on this. Murdoch is calling for her head but I suspect he has other reasons. So why did Credlin not stomp on this, or is it not her brief? Has she an agenda and let it happen? Very Machiavellian.

  3. In the Fin Review today, Abbott says he only consulted two people – Angus Huston, who chairs an Australian honours committee, and Peter Cosgrove, the GG.

  4. This has an Abbott brain snap feel to it.All his own work I reckon. Rupert putting his tow bob’s worth in and picking on the Chief of staff is his way of politely suggesting that if Abbott doesn’t offer a sacrificial scapegoat he should go himself. None of Murdoch’s business of course but it shows the way the wind is blowing.

  5. No John D you re not alone. It fits with CIA interventions and the like.

    You “…don’t need to know…so don’t you worry about that..”

    I’m still flabbergasted about the knighthood. Really I don’t care if Phillip gets a gong, although he only had to ask his wife. And given his attitude, I doubt he actually give a shit about a knighthood from Oz. My real concern is that our PM is so out of touch that he could do this. His contrition was nothing – he will consult more “… on issues like this…” I don’t think he has a clue.
    Cormann has said Abbott has learnt his lesson “… he’s learnt his lesson, he’s indicated that he will consult more widely in the future,” (my emphasis). It does not reflect what Abbott said.

    Well all this is great fodder for the press. As if here in Qld we have not had enough politics recently. I’m picking LNP to hold on, and Newman to just scrape home in Ashgrove. In my electorate, Cook, I am impressed with the incumbent, David Kempton. I’ve heard all of the candidates speak and next to Kempton the best (albeit rambling) speaker was from the Palmer mob. She nailed so many issues in her brief time and did it well enough to see she had some passion and direction. I doubt she could topple Kempton unless she conjures up some deals with other parties.

  6. I think that it is safe to say that a fifth grader would do a better job of running this country than Tony Abbott has done.

  7. Andrew Bolt thinks it was perhaps a fatal blunder. Bolt says it was the first time he couldn’t work out why Abbott did it. have to say I agree with him!

    Today Abbott was telling us what a good captain he was. Has anyone ever heard a captain of anything doing that?

  8. Well he seems to be captaining his own demise, and he looks like he is OK at that task. I’m not much of an historian but I’m sure that there have been many “captains” absolutely convinced of their own unconfined worth.

    He seems so out of touch, even with the public perception. And he has enough advisers who should be holding him down until he understands. And shouldn’t there be a massive white elephant just about sitting on his head?
    If you told me that he was having a sort of passive psychotic episode I would have to consider that as a possibility. Has he cracked? So out of touch? ‘Can’t rule it out.

    And tomorrow we Queenslanders vote. At least the TV should be interesting for a while as the outcome becomes apparent.

  9. I’ll stick to my opinion that Abbott – and Credlin too – had little or no choice in the matter; that whatever concerns they might have had were overruled. It would not have surprised me if Murdoch himself had ordered this knighthood – possibly with the intention right from the start of double-crossing his boy in a manner that would leave the great magnate and former Australian smelling of roses. ((How’s that for conspiracy? And not a single mention of Elvis or of flying saucers)).

  10. I think what Abbott did for Prince Phil was tremendous!!! It was probably enough to convert a close LNP win in Qld to a loss.
    It may also have contributed to the 6% swing against the Liberal opposition in the SA by-election.

  11. The news is that Abbott has dumped his paid parental leave scheme in favour of support of child care.

    The question is whether this leaves us without a paid parental leave scheme or whether the Labor scheme remains. I understand the proposed company tax levy to fund it remains.

    On leadership, I suspect he’s safe for a while because none of the alternatives are counting the numbers. It’s more the back bench that is stirring.

  12. Well that had to be 200 people in absolute agony, with Abbott proving that he is immune to new information when declaring that if (when) Labour gets back into the government benches there will be a new carbon tax.

    Abbott did not get the memo the the people want climate action and the means to fund it.

    Frankly it was a speech of failure. Abbott is a gunnado, he’s gunnado this and gunnado that. If it involves tearing down, he can do that. If it involves building,…no chance, the LNP has not got a clue on how to do that.

  13. BilB @ 13: That was cruel – and apt and very funny. 🙂
    and @ 15: True. Like kiddies playing with a grown-up’s tool box – they can use a hammer to break things but are incapable of using it to drive nails constructively.

  14. Good way of putting it, GB, the hammer metaphor. They also only know how to hammer people into the form they want, ie hard working, minimal cost, big spending, silent, and expecting nothing.

  15. Bilb

    As opposed to lazy, high cost, low spending, very vocal and expect everything that their opposites want ?

  16. As opposed to lazy, high cost, low spending, very vocal …

    The Liberal Party in a nutshell. Well done jumpy!

  17. Let’s see if I’ve got this in the correct sequence:
    1. Either one of the two major parties commits a series of avoidable blunders that really hurt a lot of people unnecessarily.
    2. Pollsters discover that the offending party is on the nose with voters.
    3. MPs of the offending party strive to avoid reversing stupid and destructive policies and absolutely refuse to apologize for causing so much distress.
    4. Search for the single scape-goat begins – and is completed in under 4 milliseconds.
    5. Blame The Leader begins. The Leader is found to have caused the Great Fire of London, the Fall of Constantinople, Decimal Currency, the Krakatoa Eruption and Daylight Saving – none of these findings are imparted to the Faex Populi for fear that an adult will stop the game – so the gossiping and , backstabbing are done behind closed doors whilst the denials and the solemn pledges of loyalty are given in public …. and the public either don’t believe the malarkey or don’t care.
    6. Heads are counted.
    7. Surprise! Surprise! There’s a leadership spill.
    8. New Leader emerges – with solemn promises of a different approach and lollies all round …. and the public either don’t believe a word of it or don’t give two hoots.
    9. Brand new policies are just as stupid and harmful as the old ones – or maybe worse …. and so the cycle is renewed.
    10. The winners? News media. The losers? Us – again.

  18. You are exactly right GB. Item 10 says it all. The press cause so much foment the balance is lost. We keep expecting the press to report fairly and diligently but forget that their main function is to reap the benefit of keeping us enthralled with dissatisfaction. You just know that the next government will be stoned to death under the same rationale.
    And of course the Press is defended by the free speech argument.

  19. GB: Murdoch gets his power from convincing people that he decides who is going to win. To some extent the reality is that murdoch can see when a change is starting and backs what he sees as inevitable change. This strengthens the perception of his power and his ability to get governments to do things that benefit him.
    Hence the tweet about Peta and the move of the Murdoch press against Abbott.

  20. JD it is more than power; the need to create marketable copy is his commercial lifeblood. Happily for Murdoch he can generate “newsworthy” stuff at will, and damn the consequences. You give a fine example of how Murdoch manipulates. But I hold the first drug is money and the second narcotic is power.

  21. True enough John, they are very tightly bound. But it is at the expense of the society. Now if Liberal is about economics and fiscal things, Labor is more about social equity and fairness. Right? And Greens about the planet.
    I happen to have become convinced that the Press is largely responsible for the political instability we have seen in recent years. The instability, if you will allow that notion, is anti-social, impacting negatively on Australians – liberal or labor. It does so both economically and socially so why in the name of Himself/Herself do we put up with it?
    Even this forum, well populated with intelligent and informed subscribers seems content to just titter about Abbott. The bigger issue is that we are being bent over forwards by the Press and being shafted right royally as we throw stones at our politicians.
    I really am becoming a pissed off grumpy old man!

  22. Geoff Henderson: I like your view on the media. Please correct me if I am mistaken but – is one way to reduce their power over us and over what is left of our democracy then to refuse to be dissatisfied?

  23. Graham B my apologies for being slow to respond.

    No, I don’t think refusing to be dissatisfied is an option. What the options are is a debate another time I think. Frankly I don’t know what it would take to get an ideal society and an appropriate political structure in place.

    I’m watching the media swarm around Abbott like a pack of hyenas. Fuckers. Excuse the French, but our politics are being driven “not by the will of the people”. Whoever follows will get a brief honeymoon followed by a campaign to generate marketable news – doubtless intended to stimulate our dissatisfaction response.

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