Saturday, 7 February 2015
“it’s a classic example of what goes wrong when, in a fit of absent-mindedness, people elect Labor governments.”
[Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott during 2 February 2015 National Press Club question period on the reason voters reject his political party]
Abbott over-reached when telling his audience that removing a Prime Minister is the preserve of the public come election time.
Party room colleagues who take pride in their right to cast a vote for or against a leader won’t have liked hearing such an arrogant observation from Abbott, who they already believe takes them for granted.
The right of party MPs to choose their leader is what makes a Prime Minister a first among equals. John Howard always respected this. It is how MPs can ensure a leader listens.
While Abbott used his speech to (again) promise to consult and listen more, the obvious disdain Abbott showed for his colleagues right to remove him suggests that he won’t.
[Peter Van Onselen writing in The Australian, 2 February 2015]
The Prime Minister spent much of last week calling around his backbench trying to quell the anger of those frustrated by his leadership.
But MPs are still angry that Mr Abbott changed his personal mobile number late last year, leaving backbenchers unable to contact him directly with their concerns.
“We wanted to talk to him directly and none of us had his number. It’s just not a genuine consultative style.”
[Herald Sun, 3 February 2015]
Dr Jensen is from the WA electorate of Tangney. He was involved in calling the first of the Liberal spills in 2009 with Wilson Tuckey that ultimately saw Mr Abbott installed as the party’s leader.
Speaking on 7.30 tonight, Dr Jensen said he informed Mr Abbott on January 23 — three days before the disastrous Australia Day knighting of Prince Phillip — that he no longer supported the Prime Minister. [Federal Liberal MP Dennis Jensen, Herald Sun, 3 February 2015]