Lucas Grainger-Brown reviews 'Credlin & Co.' by Aaron Patrick and 'The Road to Ruin' by Niki Savva

Lucas Grainger-Brown reviews 'Credlin & Co.' by Aaron Patrick and 'The Road to Ruin' by Niki Savva

Credlin & Co: How the Abbott government destroyed itself

by Aaron Patrick

Black Inc., $29.99 pb, 312 pp, 9781863958097

Book Cover 2 Small

The Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin destroyed their own government

by Niki Savva

Scribe, $32.99 pb, 326 pp, 9781925321401

In August 2014, then Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave a short speech disagreeing with the contention put forward in Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation (2014), Paul Kelly's history of the Rudd/ Gillard years. Australia's political system was not broken. Abbott's newly elected government would prove 'that the last six years – the six years between 2007 and 2013 – is not the new normal; that it was in fact just a passing phase'. But, as Marx observed, history repeats itself.

Aaron Patrick's Credlin & Co., released eighteen months later, tries to explain one of Abbott's least intentional broken promises. Patrick focuses his critique on the personal failings of Abbott and Peta Credlin, his chief of staff. Similarly, Niki Savva's The Road to Ruin, launched the following month, emphasises the seductively simple linkage between Abbott, Credlin, and self-inflicted destruction. These two veteran journalists meticulously unearth the dramatic tales of a train wreck tragedy.

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