Abbott’s last captain’s call

By Leith van Onselen

Fresh from the revolt by a 30-strong group of Coalition MPs against the Government’s handling of cuts to community service groups that service vulnerable people, Tony Abbott is now facing criticisms from within over his dumping of chief whip, Phillip Ruddock, for failing to notify him of backbench leadership concerns. From The AFR:

MPs furious at the decision to sack the party icon have also contended that Mr Ruddock himself struggled to gain an audience with the Prime Minister.

“Abbott’s claim about being blindsided beggars belief,” said one MP. “It was crap”…

The move against Mr Ruddock was seen as poorly-targeted retribution for the leadership spill and has only further unsettled feelings inside the Liberal Party…

One MP said that during the Howard government years, the Chief Whip attended full ministry meetings but this was stopped under Mr Abbott. This denied Mr Ruddock one avenue to keep Mr Abbott informed and, like other MPs, he was frequently denied access to Mr Abbott by the Prime Minister’s office.

Other MPs defending Mr Ruddock said it was well-known that his other duties as Whip – such as choosing committee appointments and who went on parliamentary trips –was also “micromanaged” by Mr Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin.

Senior Coalition figures – Deputy leader Julie Bishop and Social services minister Scott Morrison – have also distanced themselves from the Prime Minister’s decision to remove Ruddock, as has leader aspirant Malcolm Turnbull, who claimed on Q&A last night that the decision was entirely a “captain’s call”:

“It was Tony’s call … he is the one who has to explain it but I just want to say I think Philip Ruddock is a great Liberal, a great parliamentarian and it was a very sad day for all of us when we learnt his services as chief whip had been terminated by the Prime Minister”…

“[Tony] is the captain – he can make a captain’s call”.

With support seemingly crumbling left, right and centre, it’s now only a matter of time before Tony gets shown the door.

[email protected]

Comments

  1. He is really playing the National Security card hard. The problem is it is so transparent and even the general public can see what he is up to.

  2. I made a rare venture to the ABC QA last night. Only to see MT and Greg Sheridan (really knowledge dude).

    MT was clear in his support for Ruddock and disappointed that the ‘Captains Call’ resulted in Ruddock’s dismissal.

    Battlelines are drawn. And someone’s watching the numbers very closely.

    • Indeed, you could see anger on MT’s face when asked about ditching Ruddock on a Friday Afternoon…
      Seems like everyone(own party, media, polls…) is sick of him, Hockey and especially Peta Credlin. She seems to be like the most hated person around town these days!

      • “Indeed, you could see anger on MT’s face when asked about ditching Ruddock on a Friday Afternoon…”

        Perhaps MT needs a dose of Mig’s mysterious green liquid in a bottle (on his avatar). I think it is called Mig’s nectar of happiness….

  3. Im told one of the functions of the whip was to rally support for the prime minster within the party.Obviously crapbot dosnt think Ruddock did enough to support him, by making the backbenchers toe the line. I think the whip also decides if any vote is a private or public one.

    Crapbot seems to think ruddock should have stopped this challenge in its tracks. Thats why he replaced him with two supporters. I guess you call that circling the wagons.

    Question: Does the whip also determine if a spill motion is allowed to go ahead. Can the whip stop a spill motion from occurring ?

    • And the new whips he’s appointed are rusted on Abbott supporters who will have no idea what’s going on with disaffected backbenchers.

      Basically he’s rewarded his cheerleaders. Idiot.

    • While I personally dislike Philip Ruddock, he is someone who devoted his entire life to the Liberal Party, and should be treated better than this. The next in line to succeed him as ‘whip’ was skipped over as well. Abbott made a lot of enemy with his ‘Captain’s call’

  4. While we are on the subject of crazy people did everyone catch the brilliant john oliver episode last about the cancer stick industry. He illustrated how the industry used a FTA with Hong Kong and Australia, under the guise of trademark infringement to take our govt to court over the plain packaging laws.

    We could look forward to a hell of lot more of this if our wonderful leaders sign the new FTA currently being negotiated to selling out our rights as a country.

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/jeffwecan-john-oliver-on-this-week-tonight-slams-tobacco-companies/story-e6frfmyi-1227222254056

      • You’re a smoker aren’t you Mig. Not only that, you’ve convinced yourself that smoking is not harming your health, and there are far worse things like sugar in processed food. If only the do gooder lefties could see the truth eh?

      • Do you ever stop pumping out the denialist drivel?

        Don’t tell me. The weed is totally harmless and should be legalised right?

      • The weed isn’t harmless, but should be totally legalised along with other drugs such as meth and heroin. The only drug that should potentially remain criminalised in this nation is cocaine, because of the high barrier to entry in using it.

        Crimilising meth and heroin already leads to more social ills than would decrimilaising and taking the market out of the hands of criminals.

      • “The only drug that should potentially remain criminalised in this nation is cocaine, because of the high barrier to entry in using it. ”

        Just curious, but what’s the high barrier to entry in using it? Do you mean the lack of coca plants in Australia means that it has to be imported?

        I would have guessed that most heroin is also imported despite that fact that we clearly have the capacity to grow poppy plants here.

        Or maybe I’m barking up the wrong plant with my guesses here.

      • “More harmless than alcohol. By orders of magnitude…”

        By orders of very big magnitude. Alcohol is ahead of cigarettes too in terms of the societal impact.

      • “The only drug that should potentially remain criminalised in this nation is cocaine, because of the high barrier to entry in using it. ”
        Just curious, but what’s the high barrier to entry in using it? Do you mean the lack of coca plants in Australia means that it has to be imported?
        I would have guessed that most heroin is also imported despite that fact that we clearly have the capacity to grow poppy plants here.”

        Coke is much more expensive to get your hands on here in oz, because of the isolation and the fact it isn’t grown and manufactured locally and probably couldn’t be. This means it is anywhere from $200 – $400 a gram. This means use is farily limited to the broker/banking set who might partake every few months to celebrate. Gernally anyone who get’s hooked on coke to the point they do it weekly or daily, they will end up converting to crystal meth anyway becauss it’s chepaer and the high is stronger.

      • “More harmless than alcohol. By orders of magnitude…”

        Particularly if you vaporise rather than smoke, or cook with it, or drink it via the mighty Green Dragon. Or so my mate tells me.

      • Coke is much more expensive to get your hands on here in oz, because of the isolation and the fact it isn’t grown and manufactured locally and probably couldn’t be.

        I doubt they grow much in the UK, either, but cocaine is cheap as dirt over there.


      • the fact it isn’t grown and manufactured locally and probably couldn’t be.

        Why not? Serious question, always vaguely wondered. Coca plants like hot, damp and humid. Really nowhere in Oz like that? Lack of altitude a problem?

        Manufacture is pretty straightforward once you have the leaves…

  5. Abbott is now playing the nationalism and terror position card, trying to wedge the King Slayer on data retention laws.
    If Labor kowtows to Abbott on data retention laws, Abbott wins wins.
    What a scoundrel Abbott is.

    • [email protected]

      Dreyfus is playing the issue well I think.

      • When Dreyfus finally replaced Roxon, I thought what had Labor been doing wasting their time on an affirmative action pick. Just go on merit, don’t play gender games.

      • what had Labor been doing wasting their time on an affirmative action pick

        That’s almost as classy as the comment about Annastacia Palaszczuk the other night.

        Single are you 3d?

      • “Dreyfus is playing the issue well I think.”

        Yeah, I agree despite the fact that I am vehemently opposed to the idea.

        He knows that retention is likely to be unpopular once people figure out it’s going to cost them money but Labor desperately wants to support it so that they don’t appear weak on national security.

        It’s a good move to push the Liberals to make changes (e.g. protections for journalists, legislated definition of metadata) because they either have to compromise (hardly their strong suit) or attack Labor for not supporting the legislation (which will look pretty pathetic given that Labor wants to support it).

  6. Abbott is an idiot and a nasty pece of work.

    He could have waited a month called Ruddock in, had a chat, made some excuses, told him it was time to make way for the next generation and that he wanted to personally host Ruddock to a retirement (from Whip) dinner among a small group of senior cabinet ministers.

    Ruddock could read the writing on the wall and go with grace and dignity.

    Instead we get Abbott’s late Friday execution of the Father of the House.

    Have a look at the post election electoral pendulum and at what a mere 5% swing does to the back benchers!

    They might even all move to the cross benches rather than remain under Abbott – they’d have more chance of holding their seats. They could form the Moderate Party of Australia and invite Turnbull to lead them and call for preselections in all the Minister’s safe Liberal seats!

    • [email protected]

      He could have … if he could be sure he had a month.

      • “A gangster rubbing out a gangster. Live by the sword, die by the sword. And it’s a two edged blade”

        Well said – I disliked Ruddock intensely as a person when he was a Minister & agree that NO sympathy is necessary. The chimp was still stupid to axe like he did.

  7. I would be known in my group of friends as a Liberal voter.

    Still I cannot help but think Australia needs someone like MT to lead the country.

    I look at the left and I see Shorten and to be honest despite my political alligences I do not like what I see, that is a machine man with one goal and that is to be elected PM for his own self gratification.

    The other side I Abbott, a machine man who managed to get elected for his own self gratification.

    Turnbull is the opposite now conventional ‘machine man’ politician and perhaps he is the only one who can pull the country out of the current rut that it sits in.

    If we keep electing people without lives outside of Canberra or the trade unions our country is going to the dogs.

    • I don’t know why you think Turnbull is any different. Personally I would make it a condition of him taking the leadership role if he revealed the extent of his involvement in the largest corporate collapse in Australia’s history (HIH) and the subsequent secret settlement of the lawsuit against him paid for by Goldman Sach.

      Look at the last 15 years of politics, they’re all as corrupt as sin.

      The Obeid nonsense. The Australian Water Holdings slush funds. The North Sydney Forum and associated laundering of donations. Chinese property donations being laundered through to Rudd’s campaign. The East-West secret handshake. Australian Wheat Board’s dealings in Iraq. Dodgy union dealings. The Japanese sub secret handshake. The subsidies for the coal industry with Comrade Campbell. The subsidies for the iron ore industry courtesy of Comrade Barnett.

      Honestly, if you still think that politicians are the ones running this country you’ve got bloody rocks in your head. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy nutter (because I don’t believe in conspiracies), but it seems like everyone in any position of remote power seems to be compromised in one way or another.

      • “I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy nutter (because I don’t believe in conspiracies), but it seems like everyone in any position of remote power seems to be compromised in one way or another”

        Some so called “conspiracy theories” should be listened to because they’re very true — mainstream Media want to paint a different picture & never put forward the other side only what benefits their masters. Agree there’s a creature behind the curtain pulling strings.

      • I am a firm believer that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, so I tend to be skeptical of any large-scale claims based on limited fact.

        But it seems clear as day to me that self-interest and graft is the norm among decision makers in this country. And that’s no conspiracy.

      • I don’t know why you think Turnbull is any different.

        Please nominate an alternative from any party, any chamber.

        Its very easy to criticise every politician. Its not so easy to say I’d pick this one over all the others.

  8. Tone is just the un-blinkered essence of the LNP… the emperor without no clothes and unashamedly damn proud of it.

    Skippy… at least hes honest about it, can’t say much for the others.

  9. ErmingtonPlumbing

    It is fascinating to me how Abbott’s blind ambition and determination to succeed has allowed him to rise to the higest office in the land.

    Such a sad and embarrising indictment of our political system that someone, so clearly not competent enough for the office got the job.

    I thought Gillard rose above her station also ( not because she’s a woman, its just that I don’t trust Gingers)

    We need another Keating or Hawk, people forget how good hawk did consensus.

  10. [email protected]

    So, let me just get this right ………. Abbott sacked Ruddock for not telling him that his backbench were revolting.

    • The inner-cabinet all know that backbenchers are revolting! Abbott might have known what was happening if 1. he could read, it was all over the papers etc and 2. was actually able to see Abbott. Apparently, Ruddock hardly ever saw Abbott and all appointments etc were vetted by his office. That’s what happens when you surround yourself with sycophants.

  11. It’s not Abbott’s fault. He does what Peta tells him to do. Period… Ruddock’s probably still nursing the swollen testicles which are the standard punishment for approaching the PM without permission. Firing him was just an afterthought.

    • That any of those LNP whimps took the threats (apparent) and finger pointing from Credlin shows just how weak they are.

      Our MP’s are now so sidelined from government that they represent mere accessories or in case of unpopular ideology, electoral cannon fodder.

      The only way is up now, with lots of pain all round.