A not insignificant percentage of the news media’s coverage of the Tony Abbott prime ministership was dedicated to the very close working relationship he had with his chief of staff Peta Credlin, which many suggested caused the internal frictions which lead to his ousting by Malcolm Turnbull.
A lot of the insinuations were somewhat sexist and misguided – blame Credlin all you like, but ultimately it was Abbott’s responsibility as prime minister to be more collegial and open to feedback from his parliamentary colleagues. That’s on him.
But man. Some of the stories coming out of The Australian’s political commentator Niki Savva’s book The Road to Ruin are a bit weird. Today’s yarn? Abbott once gave Credlin a cheeky whack on the bum, not realising that a minister was watching.
Savva suggests in her book that part of the distrust for Credlin’s influence came from the seedy insinuations that she and Abbott were having an affair. The surreptitious spanking probably doesn’t do much to counter that narrative. Nor does the book’s allegation, relayed by news.com.au, that Credlin once, at a function, fed Abbott food from her fork before “putting her head on his shoulder to complain about being tired”.
You know, the kind of thing you do with your normal mates, normally, all the time.
Basically, it was all a little bit weird and offputting behaviour for the two married people at the nexus of power in Australia, and certainly didn’t do much to sow confidence in Abbott’s colleagues, who were already running thin on patience after many, many consecutive months of poor polling.
Keep an eye out for more drip-fed anecdotes from Savva’s book over the coming days, as people come across more bizzaro stuff from Australia’s most tumultuous government.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Photo: Adelaide Now