Aussie leadership woes are beaten by the Brits

SWANNELL: We've had our share of interesting leadership decisions in recent weeks. Our national newspapers have been loaded with 'wise after the event' commentaries on the rights and wrongs of it all.

We've had the doubtful privilege of listening to people like Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott's former chief of staff.

Ms Cretlin's TV claim last week of her own faultlessness in the face of other people's failings was a classic piece of self-deception.

The Weekend Australian's opinion columnist Janet Albrechtsen describes Credlin's 'gender whinge' as self-defensive nonsense.

She was marked down, Albrechtsen writes, for "failing to do what is expected of a good chief of staff". A good chief of staff "manages and nurtures healthy relationships for the Prime Minister".

Meanwhile the former Prime Minister assures us (Paul Kelly: Weekend Australian Sept 26-27) that "two years of the Abbott government have set up a strong platform for a Turnbull 2016 victory". Kelly also suggests "Tony Abbott, bruised by his loss of office, has embarked on the task of legacy creation".

Why not! It will amuse us as we wait for the inevitable autobiography to appear.

Despite the recent local razzmatazz, we've been beaten hands down by the Brits when it comes to leadership mysteries.

The Brits have achieved whole new levels of unpredictability in the election of the new Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Trying to work out who was eligible to vote for or against him was a big enough mystery in itself, irrespective of the result.

Their Labour Party has changed its election rules in recent years. You would have to read the UK's Daily Mirror backwards, forwards and upside down to master the particular eligibility criteria.

The outcome viewed from our side of the world, must surely go down as a triumph of Pommyness, if there is such a word, over rationality.

Eyebrows will have been raised round the better dinner tables countrywide. It became clear that this way-out Leftie, five time winner of their Parliamentary Beard of the Year Award, had scored a runaway victory on the first count.

He's 67 and the unlikely Member of Parliament for the London Borough of Islington North since 1983. He has a massive record of supporting causes with any tinge of pacifism and being a very independent voice in the House of Commons.

David Cameron, a UK Prime Minister not known for his love of people with Leftie leanings, is reported as saying that Corbyn's win would make the Labour Party a threat "to our national security, our economic security and to the security of your family".

I can imagine this would have come as no surprise to many people in the middle of the political spectrum.

They would have welcomed the appointment of an Opposition Leader with distinctively different views from their PM.

But.....there will be plenty of our British mates who will be watching Corbyn's every move with suspicion.

The wonderful weekly world edition of the UK Daily Telegraph, my favourite newspaper, has put it all into perspective by publishing a picture of the new Opposition Leader failing to sing the National Anthem during the Battle of Britain remembrance ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

What's more, the newly elected scoundrel stood out by wearing a jacket that didn't match his trousers and a tie round the collar of an unbuttoned shirt.

He insisted that he "stood in respectful silence" but offered no reason for the sloppiness of his neckwear.

It was, the newspaper reported, the low point in a shambolic day for Mr Corbyn in which he forgot his lines during the first major speech following his appointment.

He also had a fight over his pacifism, refusing to rule out wearing a white poppy on Remembrance Sunday.

It will all get sorted out.......


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