I’ve never been a fan of Niki Savva’s columns. Her writing style is horribly stilted, difficult to read and always seems out of place in The Australian. Why anyone would buy her new book is beyond me for this reason alone. Of course, the scandalous, baseless and vengeful slop she’s written about Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin is an even bigger reason.
I was going to give Savva and her unhinged waste a wide berth. However, I drew the line when I saw her claim that ‘Kevin Rudd at his worst never behaved as badly as Tony Abbott’:
The opposition leader, Tony Abbott, should do the decent thing and disappear into the sunset. Before he goes, before whatever remains of his reputation is obliterated, he should issue a heartfelt apology to Coalition staff and colleagues who were mistreated or let down during his all-too-brief tenure as prime minister, as well as for his actions since.
His decision to publicly comment on leaked classified information that went to the essence of Australia’s strategic defence to undermine his successor was worse than anything Kevin Rudd ever did. Whatever his flaws, whatever Julia Gillard’s shortcomings, Rudd did not compromise Australia’s national security to undermine her.
(NB: this is the only mention she gives in her article about why Abbott purportedly behaved worse than Rudd).
In the outer-planetary orbit occupied by Nikki’s mind, it was wrong for Abbott to be ‘flabbergasted’ about the government deferring the purchase of our new submarine fleet by 10 years (until the 2030s). This is despite the fact that the material in question had already been leaked and that Turnbull himself said that Abbott was entitled to express such views (even though Turnbull disagreed with those views).
That aside, I challenge Savva to find enough Liberals prepared to say the following things about Abbott – which were said about Rudd by his former colleagues (which also include threats to national safety by the way):
Peter Garrett has become the latest politician to pick at the scab of politics past, labelling Kevin Rudd a “megalomaniac” and saying the former Prime Minister put the safety of Australia in jeopardy in a lengthy interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night program.
Another of his criticisms is that Mr Rudd jeopardised the safety of Australia.
“It’s a big call, but I stand by it,” Garrett said. He added Mr Rudd treated people with “an enormous amount of contempt” and made “the business of the country almost ungovernable”.
When pushed on what danger he feared Mr Rudd posed, Garrett said the former PM was “unpredictable” and he didn’t know what he “could or would do”.
Former attorney-general Nicola Roxon has delivered a scathing character assessment of Kevin Rudd, describing him as a “bastard” and calling on him to quit Parliament.
“I did, however, see how terribly he treated some brilliant staff and public servants.
“Good people were burnt through like wildfire – losing senior people like chiefs of staff and deputies or contemptuously ignoring their advice left the government weaker.“
“Removing Kevin was an act of political bastardry, for sure, but this act of political bastardry was made possible only because Kevin had been such a bastard himself to too many people already.
Treasurer Wayne Swan has labelled Kevin Rudd a man of “great weaknesses” and says that Labor needs to put an end to the Labor leadership question.
“For too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop,” Mr Swan said.
“He sought to tear down the 2010 campaign, deliberately risking an Abbott prime ministership, and now he undermines the government at every turn,” he said.
This morning, Mr Swan said that Mr Rudd’s behaviour became “increasingly erratic” when he was prime minister.
It was Mr Swan, for example, who triggered a carpet bombing of Mr Rudd’s reputation by senior ministers before the 2012 leadership challenge to Julia Gillard when he said the then-foreign minister ”does not hold any Labor values”.
Mr Swan cites examples of what he calls Mr Rudd’s ”unstable personality”, including the latter breaking a pen in a fit of anger in a hotel room, spraying ink everywhere and causing thousands of dollars of damage to the decor.
”Kevin’s treatment of people was extraordinarily vindictive and juvenile, and it was frequently on display,” Mr Swan writes.
… he burnt through staff like a child flicking matches from a box.”
But Dr Emerson, who quit the ministry and parliament when Mr Rudd returned as prime minister in June, says the former leader has committed “treachery” against every Labor leader he has worked with and should leave.
He has squarely blamed Mr Rudd for the damaging leaks against former prime minister Julia Gillard, which emerged during the 2010 campaign.
It is the first time a senior Labor figure has directly pointed the finger at Mr Rudd over the leaks.
“Kevin Rudd destabilised by making claims about Julia Gillard’s attitude towards the aged pension, towards paid parental leave,” Dr Emerson told 7.30.
Kevin Rudd’s continuing presence in the parliamentary Labor Party will see him do what he has always done, and that is willingly, wilfully, recklessly, destabilise Labor leaders.
Brief diversion – it’s interesting to see a cavalcade of former Labor ministers all hypocritically hammering Rudd for the essentially same crime that they deviously committed against him in 2010.
Moving on, unlike Savva, I have linked my material to actual sources. I’d suggest that she give it a go, but it’s far too late for her now.
I don’t know what Abbott and Credlin did to upset the grizzled Nikki (surely it was more than simply not leaking enough material to her). Whatever it was, it clearly caused her to launch into the outer cosmos and her future at The Australian has to be dicey. Regardless, she needn’t worry – I’m sure the ABC is keeping a padded chair (and room) warm for her as I write this.