Monday, December 7, 2015

Credlin's Complaints Just Aren't Credible


I had the most enjoyable lunch at my brother and sister in law's home on Saturday. Feisty discussion and debate over great food and laughter. My nephew was (suitably!) intrigued by my consulting in what I call "workplace justice". Lots of closed questions like:"So, Aunty Lee, do you believe there should be quotas for women in leadership positions?" Much to his frustration we came around to thinking that answers to many questions aren't black and white, yes or no.

And so it is with Peta Credlin as Tony Abbott's Chief of Staff.

By all reports, she was volatile, moody, controlling and disrespectful of her PM, including being so in front of others whose respect he had the right to enjoy.

Were there people in the media who resented her power? Undoubtedly.

Was a double standard applied to her assertiveness and strength? Probably.

But at the end of the day she reportedly showed low emotional intelligence for the person (forget woman) who stood at the shoulder of the man who had the authority to send us to war. And that bothers me.

And if she was that difficult that others resorted to avoidance routines and back room conversations, the PM was out of touch and flying blind.

I can't accept those who harassed Julia Gillard about her wardrobe or who insist on speculating about just how many brooches Julie Bishop may own.

But the concern and frustration expressed by those who thought the co-dependency between the former PM and his chief of staff was unhealthy and unhelpful, were justified. Simplifying such concerns by labelling them misogynistic, petty jealousy and replete with dastardly double standard, oversimplifies the issues. Fair enough for my teenage nephew. Not for our government.

Of course I realise you may not agree.

Do you think Peta Credlin overstepped or was she being the gatekeeper the former PM needed her to be?