Poor old Tony, he can’t seem to win a trick. Now Rupert Murdoch is weighing into the debate, suggesting Abbott should sack Peta Credlin or she should do her patriotic duty and resign.
The first thing to do is to see Murdoch’s criticism of Credlin in prospective. He thinks she’s behind the Knighthood awarded to Prince Phil and is miffed that he didn’t get one.
The second is that his intervention has now made it extremely difficult for Tony Abbott to get rid of Credlin. Abbott is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn’t. Sacking her will leave him open to accusations that he is simply a puppet of Rupert Murdoch. Not getting rid of her will continue the mutinous rumblings in the Liberal party ranks and the continued erosion of his standing and authority.
For all her perceived faults, Credlin must be feeling pretty pissed off that she is copping the blame for most of Abbott’s missteps, including the disastrous knighthood fiasco. She is becoming the lightning rod for much of the discontent that should really be focused on Abbott.
Her critics seem to have lost sight of the fact that she is Tony Abbott’s Chief of Staff and is responsible to him. It’s pretty reasonable to assume that she does his bidding. No doubt she provides a pretty powerful line of advice to him but in the long run, Abbott must take responsibility for the conduct of the Prime Minister’s Office.
It is an irony that the self-appointed Minister for the Betterment and Improvement of Women is likely to have to sack one of the highest profile female political appointees in Australia to save his own skin.