A change of leader, but not of rhetoric

SO IT didn't take Tony Abbott long to break his silence on the leadership spill that saw him lose the top spot, much of it characterised by the same convoluted explanations and about-turns that marked his time in office.

A week after his defeat he followed a morning surf with a vehement denial that his former buddy Scott Morrison had warned him of the rumbles within the party room, saying the new Treasurer had "badly misled the people".

But on Wednesday, in a friendly radio chat with Ray Hadley, Mr Abbott swapped disdain for praise, complimenting Mr Morrison on the "strong and effective" work he had done in protecting our borders. Classic Abbott.

You have to feel for Mr Abbott, who still believes, who knows why, that he could have led the Government to victory in the next election despite his bad showing in the polls.

It must be the biggest blow for a man who appeared so arrogant in his dealings with opposing views and he certainly won't be taking comfort from the support of Bill Shorten and Julia Gillard.

It is clear that there is no love lost between Mr Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull but he seems to have more time for Julie Bishop, his right hand so to speak and now Mr Turnbull's - even though it was Ms Bishop who broke the news of the spill and was likely a key part of the machinations even it was only at the very end.

The same Julie Bishop, mind you, who this week had to defend taking her boyfriend, the chiselled David Panton, onto the floor of the United Nations to listen to Pope Francis's address.

There was David, eyes closed, either asleep or entranced by the Pontiff's words, as the Foreign Minister looked on - sparking Labor to question why, even if protocols were followed, he was sitting in seats usually reserved for MPs or officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It seems a whole lot of hoo-ha for nothing right? Who cares? Ms Bishop works hard, is away a lot and surely we can't begrudge her the company of a loved one?

Except there is the slight little detail of Ms Bishop's criticism of her predecessor Bob Carr for taking his wife on a number of official trips, saying rules were rules and it was clearly against ministerial guidelines.



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