The Credlin thing.

29 Jan

Credlin & Abbott Two


I don’t get all this Murdoch-inspired hoo haa about Peta Credlin, the Prime Minister’s embattled Chief of Staff.

Ms Credlin has been in the spotlight ever since her boss was Opposition Leader.

Remember how her IVF journey was so thoroughly manipulated as to become “evidence” for Abbott’s “compassion” for women?  Ms Credlin gave generous media interviews about this most personal of experiences, and never once mentioned her partner in the journey, her husband, Brian Loughnane. Instead, it was entirely about how her boss was helping her by keeping her eggs in his fridge. I can’t think of any other situation that compares, in which a Chief of Staff so publicly reveals her or his private life for the sole purpose of  helping her or his boss win an election.

It was Abbott’s apparent unpopularity with women voters that provoked the Credlin IVF pieces. It was intended to portray him as a softie with the ladies, as was hauling out his three daughters who giggled on cue about their lovely churchy dad.

I may have a limited imagination, but I find it hard to visualise a male chief of staff being so forthcoming as was Credlin  about his personal life, in order to make his boss more popular with the voters.

It therefore makes a kind of bizarre sense that when things go as badly wrong as they have for Abbott, ridding himself of Credlin is seen as the first move that might lead to some kind of improvement. It won’t, of course, because the man is beyond all help, but they have to try something as they aren’t ready to replace him. Yet. May they continue not to be. He is the ALP’s best asset.

As far as Ms Credlin is concerned, the situation sucks. She obviously isn’t responsible for the numerous outstandingly appalling decisions the Abbott government has attempted to inflict on an electorate that trusted them to behave in entirely different ways. It is, of course, impossible to know what her input has been into these decisions, nevertheless, Abbott has taken them, and being above Ms Credlin in the chain of command, is entirely responsible for them. With great power cometh great responsibility.

There was a period in which Ms Credlin and Mr Abbott were photographed so frequently together on occasions when one would have expected Mrs Abbott to be at her husband’s side rather than his Chief of Staff, that prurient speculation as to the nature of their relationship was rife. It has today been suggested that Mr Abbott is “psychologically dependent” on Ms Credlin. (That link may be paywalled, but it may not. I did my best). Psychological dependency on another person can be a problem, especially for a political leader. It can cloud his or her judgement, and lead him or her to become deafened to other points of view.

We cannot, of course, escape the gender issue in this latest government drama. Is Ms Credlin easier to scapegoat because she’s a woman? It was her gender that was exploited in Abbott’s election campaign, and nobody much complained about it then, least of all Ms Credlin. Female gender was exploited to gain Abbott votes. Female gender will be exploited again if it is considered to be a factor in losing Abbott votes.

When a man is an idiot, blaming the woman behind and beside him is a common default position. There is in our culture a pervasive belief that women are responsible for controlling men in almost every situation one can think of, and this belief could well be at work in the Credlin situation. Of course, we women aren’t and can’t be responsible for what men do, and the sooner we all divest ourselves of that mythology the better.

I have suddenly remembered footage of Wendi Deng hurling herself in front of her then husband Rupert Murdoch at the News of the World hacking hearings, when somebody attempted to assault him with a cream pie. Sometimes we ladies are our own worst enemies.






25 Responses to “The Credlin thing.”

  1. Michael Taylor January 29, 2015 at 8:35 pm #



  2. doug quixote January 29, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

    Apologies to those who may have already read this exchange over at Table Talk:

    Peter Caradonna:

    So now we know why Bishop flew all the way to the Death Star to speak to her true leader the Lord of the Sith Murdoch. To cry about Peta and try and get her sacked.

    Doug Quixote:

    Yes, Peter that makes sense. I can just picture her looking Rupert fixedly in the eye and saying:

    “Tony Abbott is being led astray from the path of right-ness that caused you to support him so strongly. His chief adviser is a self-opinionated Amazon of a woman who has clearly advised him badly.

    A few well-chosen words from you, Mr Murdoch [tugs forelock] could make all the difference.”

    Even the Dread Dark Lord might find her hard to resist.



    Dark Lord and Death Stare on all fours in front of a raging fire while he fumbles
    around in search of her lost pearl.

    Paul H

    If there were such a category as a Minus-X-Rating, that would be a trailer.

    Doug Quixote:

    Dread Dark Lord: Eureka! I have it!

    Death Stare: Rupert, that isn’t actually my pearl earring . . . ah fuck it . . .

    DDL: Mmmmphh. Life in the old dog yet . . .

    DS: faster, faster!

    DDL: [puffing] I am 80 you know . . .

    DS: There it is! My earring!

    Richelieu II

    Priceless DQ- Dread Dark Lord and Death Stare humping and looking for
    lost pearl earrings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. paul walter January 30, 2015 at 12:31 am #

    I agree with most of it, it is a sober piece.

    But this time, on reflexion, I don’t think Credlin has been scapegoated for being a woman..anyone would have done because it is an emergency they have inflicted on themselves and she is the one closest to the action outside of Murdoch, Abbott and a few others.

    I think she ‘s a bit like Rebekkah Brooks and Andy Coulson,
    obvious scapegoats through being culprits in something obnoxious, but just below the final rung and finally bunnied in a last ditch effort to shield the emperor, since the offences were of a magnitude to demand some sort of “blood sacrifice” to appease a public with its blood up.

    Finally, people like Credlin and Bishop (or Brooks) are not naifs. They are as ruthless as their male colleagues and have as many skeletons in their closets as the men.

    What I am waiting to see is, if things get worse, Abbott sacks her or stands up to Murdoch, this nation’s REAL problem.

    THEN we will see such a hue and cry as has not been seen previously and rightly so and I will call “cowärds” long and loud with the rest, because this is a pathetic government we have been saddled with by that old oligarch, for so many reasons more serious even than this piece of Pythonesque fruitcakery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poirot January 30, 2015 at 8:40 am #

      Spot on, Jennifer….and exactly the point I’ve been trying to get across on twitter, etc.

      When people say “Who concentrated on former CoS’s”, I cite her using her fertility challenges in a blatant political plug for her boss.

      While I think Murdoch’s call for her head alone is rank – I’m under no illusions that her control of the PMO in tandem with Abbott is responsible for the never ending series of debacles in govt and the putrid policy direction of this govt.

      She’s responsible for facilitating the IPA’s agenda, and as such is as deeply in the doo doo as the rest of them.

      Ironically, Abbott’s knightmare moment may have been the one time she wasn’t in control of the agenda, but by the same token, I find it hard to believe she wasn’t aware of his move – and if so she failed in her to judgment to stop him from making an arse of himself.

      In conclusion, I hope they both remain where they are until the next election : )

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) January 30, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

        FWIW, the view of a former department head:


        • paul walter January 30, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

          Just watching an Abbott presser.

          It occurs to me that the the definitional world as to Abbotts ministry is reactivity, comes across again as the punch drunk pug blindly hitting out after copping some hard hits.


        • Jennifer Wilson January 30, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

          Oh, I wondered what all that organ grinder monkey thing was about. Thanks Forrest.


      • Jennifer Wilson January 30, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

        I heartily endorse your last comment Poirot


  4. Michaela Tschudi January 30, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    Spot on. Writing about all that would give me a headache. 😊


    • paul walter January 30, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Rubbish, Michaela.

      Your posts elsewhere DO demonstrate that you understand issues like this and that your brain DOES have the horse-power to work through these things.


      • Jennifer Wilson January 30, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

        I think Michaela’s referring to my horrible headache I struggled through yesterday with. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • paul walter January 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

          My mansplanation is that the female teachers at primary school failed to educate me correctly on syntax and grammar, so I could be “silenced” later in life.

          Is this prolixiously verbose enough?


      • Michaela Tschudi January 30, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

        Paul, I’m not quite sure how to take your comment. Suffice to say Jennifer is right: I was referring to her headache. 😊


        • paul walter January 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

          Your comment confirms my notions, as to you. It was just a quirk in the phrasing, I read the the thing the wrong way, probably beause my eyesight is getting poorer as I get older.

          It surprises me not that Jennifer Wilson is suffering a few effects from the last month and the last year. It is a harder road than I would have wished for myself and I am awe of what she accomplishes in adversity.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Michaela Tschudi January 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

            Thanks Paul. Jennifer is remarkable in many ways eg her capacity to keep writing in the most difficult of circumstances.


          • Jennifer Wilson January 30, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

            If I didn’t write I’d cease to exist.

            Liked by 1 person

            • paul walter January 30, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

              Just discovered Michaela’s page…I think you have found a kindred spirit.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Michaela Tschudi January 31, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

              “I write therefore I live”, a nice variation on Descartes’ cogito ergo sum. To be able to write is very powerful. It’s a gift.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. Toni Blackmore January 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

    Tortured analogy warning!
    The tweeting doge may well be mistaken about where the buck should stop, but at the very least, the PM’s Chief of Staff has oiled the wheels on some pretty objectionable stuff. Lay down with dogs…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. doug quixote January 31, 2015 at 11:49 pm #

    As Queensland evicts Newman and his sleazy mob from government, Abbott and his cronies should be shaking in their boots.

    Another one term government falls.

    Can Bambi Baird hold on in NSW?? Perhaps.

    But the federal Looters and Nutters Party is dead as soon as an election is held.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 1, 2015 at 8:14 am #

      They’ll be spinning like tops and getting nowhere with it. They don’t have the brains to pull themselves out of this.


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