Sunday, 15 February 2015
The Australian 12 February 2015:
On Sunday, May 25, last year Queensland backbencher Wyatt Roy was part of a group of about 30 marginal seat-holders invited to dine privately with the Prime Minister in the cabinet anteroom. Abbott’s practice at these dinners is to go around the room, asking each member to say their piece.
Roy, trying to be helpful, stood at the table to tell the Prime Minister that broken promises were the fundamental cause of the government’s problems. It might be a good idea, Roy suggested, to apologise to people a la Peter Beattie and move on.
Abbott was furious. He rounded on Roy, yelled at him, then directed his remarks to all of them that there were no effing broken promises and no one should concede there had been. The incident stuck in the mind of MPs, first because of Roy’s bravery in broaching it, then because of the Prime Minister’s use of the F-bomb.
Many months later Abbott was forced to concede the bleeding obvious, but only after accusations of lying about lying trashed his credibility. If he had taken the advice of his youngest MP last May, he would have spared himself considerable pain.