we need to talk about tony abbott (and why he unsettles us)

Here’s the thing about Tony Abbott, the man pitted as our next PM: he’s un-pin-downable. His brazen comments about lying on The 7:30 Report a week or so ago demonstrated this. My opinion in the aftermath was that they indicated he wasn’t up for the job as leader of Australia.

And, then, yesterday, I met the guy.

Abbott and I

He was “in conversation” with the ABC’s brilliant journo Annabel Crabb at Sydney’s Writer’s Festival. He was quite restrained yesterday. No royal gaffs. Although he did mention that he subscribed to the idea of “asking for forgiveness, rather than asking for permission” . Which is a mantra Kerry Packer used to work to. When I worked for Packer, this maverick approach was certainly how things got done – you went ahead and did bold things and dealt with the fallout later. I loved working this way, because it meant you could take risks (you just weren’t allowed to f*ck up). Things got done in fresh, untainted ways… at least some of the time.

But, I ask again, is this maverick approach how the (potential) leader of a nation should operate? Shouldn’t a leader always seek permission from their constituents?

Anyway, I digress slightly. Because the THING I’m stuck on is the broader idea of AUTHENTICITY.

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