‘A treasurer under siege, a foreign minister in a sulk and a defence minister about to be forced to walk the plank.

Add a stuttering economy, a string of poor opinion polls and a seven-month-old budget stalled in an upper house some have likened to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – and it’s not surprising that Tony Abbott, Australia’s Prime Minister, is not in the holiday mood.

As federal politicians convened Friday for the last time before their summer break, Mr Abbott’s backbenchers – and even, reportedly, some of his own ministers – were in mutinous mood. If 2014 has been mostly dire for his conservative government, the past two weeks have been nothing short of appalling.

It’s hard to know where to start. The string of broken election promises? An “austerity budget” that hurt the poor and spared the rich? Mr Abbott’s stubborn blindness on climate change? The political folly of trying to water down racial hatred laws?

The Australian public is not impressed…’

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