There’s a job for Abbott but one he doesn’t want yet he’s been doing it since he was a student
What short memories the rump chooses to have. Abbott’s prime ministership was hurtling out of control after the 2014 budget. The February 2015 spill was a desperate attempt to give him a second chance, a stay of execution, an opportunity to reset.
Effectively the backbench gave him about six months to clean up his office and management (specifically to fire his chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin, and draw more on the skills and experience of the likes of Arthur Sinodinos) and hopefully move Joe Hockey from Treasury, to be replaced by Turnbull, making it difficult for him to mount a challenge. Despite all sorts of assurances, Abbott ignored the warning and by September, in contempt of the voter, he was gone.
An essential element of a Turnbull reset is the release of his “attack dogs” on Shorten, and there is no better person to lead this than the master of the negative, Abbott himself. Give him such a role – have him direct his bile constructively.