What Tony Abbott and Michael Clarke have in common!

I had a bit of an argument with my parents about Tony Abbott the other day.

I argued at the time: Tony Abbott isn’t, in my personal opinion, an impressive statesman. After so long as a politician, he should have a better grip of diplomacy, personal image and the way he carries himself. I.e. Indonesian phone hacking scandal.

Parents argued that Tony Abbott needs time to ‘grow’ into the role. To adjust to being Prime Minister, surrounded by security and being the welcoming committee for our country. Adjusting to the pressure and nerves etc.

I concede , dear readers; it would be quite an adjustment. Not just for Tony, but more so for his family as well. They all have become ‘diplomats’ of sorts.

Speaking of diplomatic relations and leadership, allow me to parallel this to the recent Ashes series:


Like the English Cricket team, Tony Abbott is sitting at 5 – 0 against Australia.

Between his election in September through to his first session in Parliament in November, he and his Government (‘team’) were sledged from left, right and centre for doing nothing, by the media and the Opposition. As far as brownie points go, Tony started in the red, despite being elected by a majority of our voting population (around 30% of our total population).

Let’s face it, they weren’t a Government elected for who they were, but for who they weren’t.
Think about it.

Imagine getting your dream job, and having your work mates hate on you for two months before you start, and not being slightly nervous on your first day. Not to mention you have to see them all, most days of the year. And you can’t ‘switch off’ when you go home, because leading and being a leader is. 24 hour job. It never leaves your mind.

In a similar way, Michael Clarke had to step in front of his predecessor’s shadow, and create his own sphere of influence, lead a team and asserting himself. Tony Abbott is one of the last of Howard’s Liberals, a significant Australian political ‘legacy’; Ricky Ponting was the last remnant of a ‘Dream Team’ era in Aussie Cricket — McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist, Waugh, Hayden and Langer etc.


Both men would have had to deal with, and move away from previous controversies — sledging, behaviour of ‘teammates’, phone tapping, racism — in order to refresh and renew the vision of the group. Abbott even has to move away from the ALP’s controversies from their leadership spills; he will be the first Prime Minister in roughy 6 years to complete a full term (hopefully) (probably). Expectations are high, let’s face it.

Politics or Cricket, a ‘changing of the guard’ brings about change; its challenges help leaders determine an overarching goal for the ‘team’ according to their values as a leader and as a part of a ‘whole’: success.

Clarke took awhile to get into a good place as Captain and a player, to lead his team to on-pitch and off pitch victory. Both require support and unity.

Both Clarke and Abbott are undertaking approaches to leadership of a group according to their values, one innings can be sixes and fours, another might be a maiden over, a diamond or golden duck. You win some, you lose some. But when you do start winning little victories, they can add up. Both teams would want to be remembered for who they were, not who they are in comparison to their predecessors, yknow? Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust and all that. (Haw haw).

Politics, like Cricket, requires a degree of patience; both have their own tests, and they are usually marathons, not sprints (metaphorically speaking). Ironic or fitting that Tony actually can run a Marathon?!

A Parting Thought!

Not all leaders are the same, but all want success — different method, same name.

A Politics in Kicks original, right there.

As for my personal opinion, I sit corrected. By myself. (Blogger’s problems, right?!)

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing!

Don’t forget to tweet me your thoughts about the Ashes, Pup and Tony…..or Auspol in General: @thetangibleblog

– A x

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