Kevin Rudd was given no warning, but even he lasted longer than Abbott. Julia Gillard had plenty of warnings, but even she lasted longer than Abbott.
Abbott ignored all the warnings, from beginning to end — the public ones, the private ones, from his friends, his colleagues, the media.
His colleagues were not being disloyal. They did not feel they had betrayed him; they believed he had betrayed them. Their motives were honourable. They didn’t want him to fail; they wanted the government to succeed, and they wanted the Coalition re-elected.
Abbott and Credlin had played it harder and rougher than anybody else to get where they wanted to be. But they proved incapable of managing their own office, much less the government. Then, when it was over, when it was crystal-clear to everyone that they had failed, when everyone else could see why they had failed, she played the gender card while he played the victim.
In The Road to Ruin, prominent political commentator, author, and columnist for The Australian Niki Savva reveals the ruinous behaviour of former prime minister Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Based on her unrivalled access to their colleagues, and devastating first-person accounts of what went on behind the scenes, Savva paints an unforgettable picture of a unique duo who wielded power ruthlessly but not well.
‘[W]ell researched and well written, with a sharp eye — albeit with an occasional, serrated edge. Savva has written a book in which it is easy to be immersed. The narrative unfolds in a convincing flow, sourced directly from the words of many of the players: the bruised and battered; the disillusioned and disaffected; and ultimately in the triumphant voices of the Coalition plotters … [A] compelling book that has established an indelible and influential benchmark for explaining the turbulent rise and tumultuous fall of the Abbott government.’
Stephen Loosley, Weekend Australian
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‘It is a terrific book, but that's not the point here. The point is that Savva does not rely on anonymous sources for her examination of the relationship between Abbott and Peta Credlin. Her sources are named. They speak for themselves. We know who they are and where they worked and we know the terms and circumstances of their relationships with Abbott or Credlin.’
Michael Gawenda, The Age
‘Savva's inside knowledge and contacts within the Liberal Party (especially the party's moderate centre) means the planning leading up to the spill is a fascinating real-life political thriller … a cracking political read.’
Christopher Sanders, Adelaide Review
‘The book is a revelation if you thought it was just politicians running the country. After about 140 pages the focus shifts from Credlin — who comes across as a micromanaging narcissist — to Abbott and his many debacles (awarding a knighthood to Prince Philip being the most idiotic).’