No honour among politicians 

Ken Lambert writes: Re. “‘No sniping, no undermining’ Abbott snipes, undermines” (yesterday). Perhaps we should define political loyalty and dispose of all this mawkish nonsense about betrayals and who ratted on whom.

An honourable position (if honour means anything) for any politician is to give support to a leader based on their performance rather than their personality. Support or loyalty? Support is not necessarily personal loyalty; it is not unconditional; it is not come what may.

For a good example lets look at the Abbott and Bronwyn Bishop story. Bishop did something indefensible; she abused the taxpayer’s funds in a way that showed manifest contempt for her employers.

Abbott defended her for three weeks and then she had to go with terminal results for Abbott on top of his probationary status since near death in February. It was longstanding personal loyalty that supposedly motivated Abbott.

The honourable position was for Abbott to tell Bishop on day one that the facts of the case were indisputable, and her actions were indefensible. Despite their long history as warriors on the same side, he had a duty to protect the taxpayer and his government and she either resigned forthwith or he would have to sack her.

Morrison. Unless he gave Abbott a blood covenant to support him come what may; Morrison was entitled to sit tight when the forces gathered to roll Abbott. Abbott had been put on a probation. Improve your performance or the party room will withdraw support. He manifestly failed to perform for six months (Bishop being a prime example), and the members withdrew their support.

Party loyalty is personified for some but it can’t be for the majority of elected members. Their duty is to put in place a leader who enjoys their majority support. That means the leader performs as a politician and gains approval of and gives confidence to the voters.

Honour in party politics should be about each member honestly supporting a leader who they believe will do the best for their party and hopefully the country.

Richard Middleton writes: Today Tony (Half Time) Abbott claimed he “still had something to contribute to public life” … Go surf into the sunset with some fragment of grace, Tony. Australia is much better off, thanks.

Gentlemen, check your engines

Jeff Ash writes: Re. “Does the VW scandal reveal the auto industry’s biggest dirty secret?” (yesterday). Porsche does produce diesel cars — and has done since the Cayenne was given a diesel motor in 2009. The Panamera (2011) and Macan (2014) also have diesel variants.

Rookie mistake, Crikey.

A pox on Glencore

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Glencore’s date with Bermuda’s Triangle?” (yesterday). I know people who worked for Glencore, so I am biased. They may be a trading company, but they are not a mining company’s steel toed bootlace. I have seen at a distance their management of themetal assets they acquired from X-Strata and their attitude to the communities they work in. Stripping away corporate knowledge, shedding in one case every member of the geo team who wasn’t a brand-new grad. Constant changes in planning. Removing QA oversights. Chaos brought about by greed. They have a lot of interests in Australia, and job losses could be huge as a result of their chicanery. A first-lass pox on the company I say and good luck to those who still work for them.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey