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Rudd rumblings: no Left turn yet, with Vic MPs still wavering

The latest story to feed this week’s leadership speculation feast and add to the rising sense of momentum behind Kevin Rudd was splashed across The Sydney Morning Herald this morning, as the paper reported that loyal Kim Carr enforcer Senator Gavin Marshall had ratcheted up his support of Rudd, preparing a petition to corral the required 35 signatures needed to force a spill motion when federal parliament resumes next week.

But sources close to the federal Labor caucus have questioned the wisdom behind media reports claiming the “Victorian Left” has unanimously rounded behind Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, pointing instead to a fluid situation in which MPs are still wavering. Jagajaga’s Jenny Macklin and Ballarat’s Catherine King stand in the way of unanimous Left support for the Foreign Minister and the positions of others are not at all clear.

A source close to Families Minister Macklin said she “unequivocally” supported the leader owing to her position inside Cabinet, while King maintains her own regional fiefdom and notionally sits outside the Carr axis anyway owing to her past in the fringes of the Pledge Left (officially reunited with the Socialist Left in 2009).

That leaves Carr, Marshall, retiring numbers man Alan Griffin, Harry Jenkins, Laura Smyth and Maria Vamvakinou all notionally supporting Rudd from the Left south of the Murray. But a senior Victorian source told Crikey each MP had different motivations and should not be forced through a distorted factional lens.

The position among the national Left caucus reflects the diversity that they have as a group. The idea that people are voting on strict factional lines doesn’t reflect reality,” the source said.

There are some historical reasons why the major poles of Left influence in Victoria — comprising Griffin and the humiliated Carr — might support Gillard’s rolling. Griffin’s clique remembers Gillard’s treachery in imposing herself on the Victorian branch and battling with Franz Timmerman, Lindsay Tanner and Gaye Yuille in the 1990s before cutting a preselection deal with the Right, while Carr is still smarting after his recent ejection from Cabinet (even though, in 2010, he organised numbers for Gillard).

In the current context, Rudd is preferred simply because he could elevate the party’s primary vote to over 30%.

The confusion over caucus support was illustrated in The Weekend Australian, which published a graphic with members spread over three columns (Undecided/Gillard/Rudd). In Victoria Darren Cheeseman appeared in both the Gillard column only hours before calling on the Prime Minister to resign. Cheeseman was previously a strong Gillard acolyte but is also loyal backer of Carr’s view of the world.

Of Rudd supporters on the broad Victorian Right, two SDA-aligned MPs, Chisholm’s Anna Burke (consistently ignored in front bench promotion decisions) and Holt’s Anthony Byrne (Rudd’s former flatmate and parliamentary secretary) have unsurprisingly fallen in behind their friend, a move that also reflects both MPs’ estrangement from Labor Unity circles dominated by Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy.

Of the non-Ruddites, Simon Crean has popped up to remind the public of his svelte leadership skills as a “faction of one”, while Mark Dreyfus, Richard Marles, Rob Mitchell, Michael Danby all support Bill Shorten’s official diktat issued last night on Q&A. Brendan O’Connor continues to support Gillard from the soft left, as does Nicola Roxon from a position of cabinet solidarity.

A curio surrounds Martin Ferguson’s pro-Rudd position — a supporter of Gillard in the late 1990s but over the last decade clashing over “personality issues” and suffering the indignity of having some of his energy programs moved to a new “independent” authority at the behest of the Greens.

One erroneous media figment that continues to crop up is the idea that Gillard somehow maintains an alliance with the “Victorian Left”. Gillard was expelled from the SL in 1997 as she prepared to do a deal with the Right to snag preselection in Lalor. Every since, she has maintained an unofficial alliance with Michael O’Connor, and after the 2010 leadership spill emerged as the handmaiden of the NSW Right.

It would be like Greg Williams claiming loyalty to Victoria after moving to the Swans,” a senior Left source noted this morning, recalling the champion centerman’s controversial $120,000 defection from Geelong to Sydney in 1985 to follow coach Tommy Hafey to Harbourside glory.

Also of interest was NSW general secretary Sam Dastyari’s humorous pronouncements to “support the leader” given the NSW Right’s notorious revolving door policy at state level. Dastyari is, in fact, unable to enforce solidarity in a fluid caucus.

Meanwhile, an “anyone but Rudd” alignment continues to gather pace as soundings growing louder for the inoffensive but uninspiring Stephen Smith.

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  • 1
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    TIme to give this story a rest, Rudd has less than 30, Gillard has more than 50 and the “undecided’s” will fall behind Gillard if for no other reason than Windosr & Oakeshott threatening to send them to an early election.

  • 2
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    +1

  • 3
    puddleduck
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    FFS. Gillard ’ a dream to work with’, but unpopular with the people. Rudd the other way around. Can’t remember where I read that, amongst all the tealeaves the media is serving up on this story at the moment.

    Isn’t the simple, obvious answer, that they work together? Isn’t that what was meant to happen with Rudd as leader and Gillard as Deputy? But then something went wrong, it was all off, or it was all “on”, as the sportspeople and fighters amongst us might say.

    I can only think that egos are to blame. And more than 2 of them.

  • 4
    Col in Sydney
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s impossible to understand how anyone can suggest this is a media beat up. And it isn’t really a leadership challenge either.

    Gillard is the most unpopular prime minister in history. Every single criteria on which she relied to knife Rudd now applies to her to the nth degree.

    Labor under Gillard will be wiped out at the next election. She is not going to turn around the simple disgust with which so many Australians now regard her.

    Rudd doesn’t have to challenge. Give the simple reality time to trickle into the consciousness of the trolls the Labor Party puts into Parliament and they will be begging Rudd to take over.

    The only reason anyone in the caucus is baulking at Rudd’s return is the expectation of the very well deserved castration they can expect for their disloyalty to him in the first place.

  • 5
    Whistleblower
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Whatever happens, Gillard is a doomed leader in the eyes of the Australian public , and will lead Labor to annihilation at the next election issue if she is not replaced. As usual, factionalism is more important than political survival, otherwise Rudd would already be back in the PM’s office.

  • 6
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Enough already, it seems to me the media in Canberra are more entertained than anyone else.

  • 7
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Whistleblower - As Howard demonstrated when the election comes around a lot of the BS disappears from the voters mind and they start focusing on policies, the MRRT, NBN and Private Health Rebate are all popular, the Carbon tax will be less scary when it is being lived and the ALP will increase Helath & Education spending as election promises (Gonski for example) and Abbott’s massive hole in his costings will become an issue and he will not be able to match the ALP’s spend.

    Whether this is enough to get the ALP across the line who knows but it will be closer than a lot think.

  • 8
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    So the factions that tossed Rudd out (for knifing them over selection of the ministry) have discovered how wrong they were, how untimely was their intervention and now how powerless they are in managing and manipulating public perception. Those same factions are being driven to the wall by Rudd and he will stand on their necks, even while he’s out of the country, until they collapse in a screaming heap. Rudd will be applauded by half the electorate, his stocks will rise and the future of the ALP government will again be in the hands of the Australian electorate. I’m afraid Our Julia will simply disappear - a waste really but then she could have said ‘no’.

  • 9
    Oscar Jones
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    If the idea that Julia Gillard is so unpopular because she rolled the elected prime minister Rudd, why does anyone think that by doing exactly the same and rolling the elected prime minister Gillard for Rudd or anyone else for that matter, that things will change.

    Alternatively the Labor Party could unite behind the current leader, who despite the false claims, has actually achieved things and perhaps their ratings would improve.

    At least it might get the frigging loathsome Canberra press gallery of our backs.

  • 10
    liliwyt
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    All of this leaves the Australian public questioning the wisdom behind media reports of any kind

  • 11
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Oscar - “If the idea that Julia Gillard is so unpopular because she rolled the elected prime minister Rudd, why does anyone think that by doing exactly the same and rolling the elected prime minister Gillard for Rudd or anyone else for that matter, that things will change”

    Exactly - Rudd’s “popularity” is inflated by hard core liberals wanting him to be more popular than Gillard and people who have forgotten why they didn’t like him last time, if he were to be reinstated the blow torch would simply swing around and things will be the same if not worse.

    Alternatively the Labor Party could unite behind the current leader, who despite the false claims, has actually achieved things and perhaps their ratings would improve.” Howard actually eventually got a lot of begrudging respect because he just kept going, Gillard may be able to do something similar, taking all this crap and actually keep getting things done.

    Also at some point the media will get tired of the Gillard/Rudd saga and start wondering about Abbott’s popularity or lack thereof and ridiculous policy positions and the comeback of Turnball.

    The main thing the ALP need is time, changing leaders only shortens that time.

  • 12
    tido wales
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    even though i’ll never vote labor again, i don’t immediately hate bill shorten as much as i do almost all others from the two major. he might even prompt me to put labor higher on the ballot. even though if i could choose leave leave both ALP/libnat off i would.

  • 13
    tido wales
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Also at some point the media will get tired of the Gillard/Rudd saga “

    heh, you’d like to think so, wouldn’t you.

  • 14
    Son of foro
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    In the current context, Rudd is preferred simply because he could elevate the party’s primary vote to over 30%.

    It already is.

  • 15
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Ah the PG. They worked hard for a year to drag down Rudd with one negative load of old cobblers after the other never backed up with that tiny thing called proof.

    They then missed the leadership spill and have been writing about a leadership spill ever since.

    They remind me of little grey monkeys in trees picking each others fleas and nits and gibbering.

    Even today they have to present Bowen’s little whine about the illegal Malaysia deal as “news” when it is not.

    When Guetteres said just last week that the issue had been politicised he meant those babbling morons as well.

  • 16
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    SoF - Yeah the “get back above 30%” figure has been in a lot of the media in the last couple of days, forgetting that the last poll had it about 34% I think. But why let facts get in the way of this story, it is pure fiction anyway.

  • 17
    fredex
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the numbers are within the Liberal party for and against Tony Abbott.

    After all there is a alternative leader [ or two or more] lurking in the shadows, its not that long that Abbott was barely able to muster a minimum of support in the party, his approval rating with the public is an abyss with more disapproving than approving and getting worse not better and obviously dragging the support for his party down and …he suffers from foot and mouth disease.

    Why not do a little survey?
    Sidle up to a Lib polly who has had a drink or two, or smooch a Turnbull or Hockey supporter [they exist you know, really, they do] and offer a leading suggestion or two.
    Maybe after a Newspoll shows Tony in negative approval territory ..again .
    You could write it up in any of the normal standard methods …“‘backbencher/senior official … denied/did not deny/evaded the question/mumbled platitudes, whatever, just the asking of the question makes the story, the response is largely irrelevant.
    See if you can get a meme going, revisit the topic, maybe on a daily basis, drum up a bit of support, get your mates in the other media to give it a mention, manufacture a cause or two that may be causing a rift in the COALition, how about fracking [miners versus farmers] for a possibility? Hype it up a bit.

    Look I know Crikey doesn’t have theaudience reach of Murdoch or Fairfax or the shock jocks or their TV equivalents such as Uhlmann and Bolt and the talking faces on TV News, but you could give the destabilisiation of the Lib leader a go if you want to.
    Who knows, it may catch on and encourage the Lib pollies to ponder their future a bit.
    After all if Rpert and his minions can succeed with this ploy with the Labor party, maybe you lot can succeed with the other mob.
    Go on, give it a try.

  • 18
    Pedantic, Balwyn
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    To state the obvious there would be no leadership crisis if the Canberra Press gallery had not poured petrol on any miniscule ember that flickered in favour of Rudd doing a Phoenix job, ably supported by the Coalition, and why wouldn’t they?
    Even Rudd’s enormous ego could possibly have deflated if issue hadn’t been hashed and rehashed time after time in the most vitriolic and poisonous manner for Julia Gillard.
    It is patently evident that Rudd is willing to tear down the Party in an act of revenge for his dumping as PM. This is not the act of a saviour, but a man bent on destruction and that fact should be recognised by his supporters.
    The more the Ruddites wreak havoc by calling for the head of the PM the more credibility is gained by the Opposition. It is truly madness for this internal strife to continue.

  • 19
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy and SoF;
    I for one have liitle faith in the polls, particularly the Murdoch funded polls.
    How many times have we seen the polls predict a miserable future for the ALP right up to the last week before an election and then ‘detect’ at the very last moment a swing back to the ALP.
    They then proceed to use the last poll to claim their accuracy and justify their position. Meanwhile we had all observed a complete change on the campaigning activities and attitudes by the various party leaders engendered by their internal polling and focus groups, which obviously had been at odds with the published polls.
    These days we witness Tony Abbott’s radical transformation since Christmas, which we would undoubtably find is caused by his internal polling and focus groups telling him “wrong way,go back ” .
    Sooner or later his internal polling will advise him that we aren’t all fools and will demand he give us a small glimpse at a policy that may pass grade one arithmetic even if the our erstwhile journalists might find it boring.

  • 20
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Mike - You do have to wonder about them, for example the essential poll that found very good support for nearly every major policy but still had the ALP well behind on 2pp, either the majority of people care more about politics than policy or something is up. Or maybe it is only when we get to an election people actually start caring more about policy than politics?

    Pedantic the “fuel on the fire” reference reminded me of Sunrise this moring where they had Bill Shorten pouring more “fuel on the fire” and then cut to what he said which was “there has been no offer (of treasurer from Rudd) and I 100% support the Prime Minister” - look at those flames go!!!

  • 21
    Holden Back
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Can we turn that extractor fan off, it’s awfully noisy in here, and my hair is getting messed up?

  • 22
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Pretty well all the above piece is speculation and attributed to unnamed sources.
    As we have all witnessed over the past eighteen months, the preoccupation of the press in their efforts to affect a dismantling of PM Gillard’s ALP government, it is intriguing to see the outing of their ‘sources’
    For the past eighteen months these ‘unnamed sources’ have been the authority with which the Political Correspondents have used for their speculation and determined undermining of a legitimately democratically elected government.
    Today we see that two of their ‘sources’ are Darren Cheeseman and Gavin Marshall. IF this is to be believed most of us would be hard pressed to recognise these names and would give them little authority to determine the leadership of the nation outside their singular caucus votes.
    The Honourable Member of the House of Representative Darren Cheeseman is a first term member for Corangamite, who has hardly been heard of before he was outed in this matter. His representation in the House is very dependent on the leakage of first and second preference votes from the Liberal and National Party. He considers that participating in a doorknock appeal for the Victorian Blind Institute a matter of importance in his CV. He has had difficulty in showing leadership in the debate on Same Sex Marriage equality by vacillating from one position to the other. He currently opposes the advancement of this policy.
    Most of us would be hard pressed to know who Senator Gavin Marshall is, let alone his position on any topic. As one who assiduously listens to broadcast of Parliament I have difficulty in recalling one speech or utterance of this ‘source’
    Not recognising that in any collective of a political party does not have malcontents and alternative view is immature. To use these people as the genesis of the Media’s demands to remove a legitimately elected leader is a corruption of the press’ responsibilities and does a disservice to this nation.
    Whilst the government endeavours to attend to the economic, social and scientific challenges that confront us the Fourth Estate of the Democratic process ignores its responsibilities to inform us of the issue and sets about on a ogre of ‘leadership controversy’.
    We are very poorly served these days by our scribes, media moguls, ABC and political correspondents.

  • 23
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Mike - Cheeseman is actually in his second term but other than that you are spot on, plus Rudd’s number are less than 30 (possibly even less than 20) but yet this is a major story?!

  • 24
    Liz45
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t agree with some of Julia Gillards actions, particularly those relating to asylum seekers etc, but I think those who are supporting Rudd should just sign off and start looking for other jobs - they’re doing lots of damage.

    IF Rudd is behind all this, then he really is a sociopath without any thought to all those who’ll suffer under Abbott? All people who are doing it tough already! He should go to the back bench and resign at the next election. Any sympathy I once had for him has gone! He’s so busy looking after his own HUGE ego, that he’s forgotten the trust put in him in ‘07! He’s letting all those people down by this behaviour! It’s what I’d expect from 2 or 3 yr olds!

    Re the polls - I don’t trust the Murdoch press to even get the date correct. If they said the sun was shining, I’d have to go outside and see for myself. Everyone who works for those rags are a disgrace to the profession of journalism.

    As Geoffrey Robertson asked yesterday, why hasn’t any of the senior people in the UK been charged with anything? Anything at all in relation to all the (alleged) illegal happenings? Very smelly indeed! Not surprising, but smelly!

  • 25
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy;
    Sorry about that reference to ‘one term’ but two terms, I feel reinforces my observation of his ineffectiveness and inadequacy and therefore his lack of credibility as a journalist’s source.

  • 26
    Plane
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Is every Crikey journalist going to do an article on the Rudd/Gillard leadership?

  • 27
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Liz45, Rudd is not the one doing anything at all. Don’t believe the bullshit written by the PG.

    The Kevin Rudd they describe has little resemblance to the actual person you know.

    Don’t join the conga line of suckholes and losers like Bernie Ripoll who are the problem.

  • 28
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Plane ….

    Is every Crikey journalist going to do an article on the Rudd/Gillard leadership?”

    Gee I hope so … if enough of them have a crack at it, like monkeys, keyboards and the bard, one day they’ll get it right and come up with Hamlet.

    I particularly enjoy those wildly speculative predictions pieces of Bernie Keane’s - apparently without any source whatsoever… other than Essential Polling to let him know what we’re all thinking down here ….

    What a hoot!

    Let’s everyone splash in at the shallow end of the pond. No diving.

  • 29
    taylormade
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Two terms Mike, as Jimmy has corrected, and if it was’nt for him winning against the odds against a pretty strong candidate in a previous safe liberal seat, then labour would have lost its majority after just one term.

  • 30
    Liz45
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    @MARILYN - OK, perhaps you’re closer to all of this than most. What’s your take? Some journalists insist that they’re not ‘cooking it up’ that it’s real etc.

    I’m fully aware of the media treatment of Rudd for the last 18 months at least that he was PM. I wish someone in the ALP would just take the Murdoch rags on. Any claims they make to ‘printing the news’ is beyond laughable. Did you see Joe Hillenbrante? on Q&A two weeks ago? He’s really gross. His comments about paid parental leave were incredible. He should’ve been asked to leave!

    As to the ‘swearing’ video. I got the giggles. That’s how I feel every time I hear comments about asylum seekers, ‘illegals’ leadership ‘spills’, ‘people smugglers’ etc. The air around my place gets pretty blue! sheer frustration!

  • 31
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Taylormade,
    Have corrected that error above, but I still feel his obvious backgrounding of journalist’s shows a lack of political acumen and assumes a sense of unwarranted self importance.

  • 32
    taylormade
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    @Mike, “assumes a sense of unwarranted self importance.”.

    You may be right, but as mentioned in a previous post he is under a lot of pressure, Geelong Addy going hard over Alcoa review, Shell refinery etc, yet won his seat by only a handful of votes.

    Late last year, was having a coffee out at Bannockburn shopping centre, when a staffer was approaching people in the shop saying that Cheeseman was out there and was available if any one wanted a chat. Have seen footage of the anger from Murray Darling farmers and the RSL clubs, and this was just slightly below that. Staffer copped a hammering.

    And this was before the Alcoa news, so no wonder he is nervous.

  • 33
    GocomSys
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    What Peter said (21/02/2012 6:08 pm). At least he maintains his sense of humour. I find it increasingly difficult. No respite from mediocrity anywhere it seems!

  • 34
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Taylormade;
    It must be a dreadful career path being a local member these days. The days of the Yarra Bank tea chest spruicker are well and truly gone and so is their linguistic dexterity and civility.
    ‘Road Rage’ is endemic throughout the community and manifests itself in many aspects of our inter personal dealings.
    I resided in the Ballarat area many years ago and found the Geelong Adveriser along with the Ballarat Courier tiresome papers.

  • 35
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I think they are all bored in Canberra and need something to waffle about.

    But considering what a disaster Gillard has been in reality who could blame Rudd for being fucking snakey.

    And if they want swearing they should come and see me strip the paint off the walls with my language.

    Rudd grew up in the same sort of country town I did where swearing contests on the way to school were a way to ease the boredom of the long walk.

  • 36
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Just a wild suggestion but what if Krudd is not lobbying to be reinstated and it is entirely a meeja construct?
    For that to be true he would have to (in the last 20 months) call a press conference, state clearly that he has no such interest, fully supports the PM and point to the many legislative successes, many of his own initiative.
    The government could then get down to some serious, visionary and aspirational policy.
    Then the reptiles of the press could do something useful, such as investigate corporate crime, indfustrial pollution and police corruption.
    Oh look, porcus aviatrix.

  • 37
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    AR;
    No, they would find something like Ms Gillard’s fashions or something else to concoct as a controversy.
    Remember, it is on record from one of his own editors, that it is Rupert’s dictum to remove her.
    We also have to remember that it is easier for a scribe to sit at his keyboard and manufacture a story than to research and understand policy documents and proposals.

  • 38
    Simon Mansfield
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Billy Boy will be Treasurer and deputy leader of the ALP by March 5.

    Jules will be spending a lot of Saturdays at Bulldog matches this winter.

    and Crean will be lucky to get Aged Care or Veteran Affairs.

    Rudd will either snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in August 2013 or lose by a handful of seats to Abbott - and Billy Boy will then lead Labor back to victory in 2016 or the first election (2017) after a double dissolution if Abbott wants to play hard ball in 2014 with a DD election.

    Other than the Malaysia solution has Gillard actually had an original policy idea since 2010 when she helped destroy the first progressive government in 12 years?

    Billy Boy has clearly figured out that he needs to put some serious distance between himself and the Gillard train wreck that he was the master controller of.

    The Art of War is much easier than than the Art of Politics. In the former you simply have to knock off as many of the other team as you can - whereas in the latter you have to figure out how to get the other team to vote for you…

  • 39
    Whistleblower
    Posted Tuesday, 21 February 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    @Simon Mansfield
    For some of us who are not as wellconnected as you, are you predicting that Gillard will be gone inside two weeks?

    If so I will put the Veuve Cliquot on ice now, and the empty bottle can sit beside the bottle I cracked when John Howard bit the dust.

    Oh how I loathe lying prime ministers, and I sincerely hope you are correct! I cannot even be accused of gender bias on this basis.

    And, has thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’ He chortled in his joy.”(apologies to Lewis Carroll)

  • 40
    Will
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I’ve pretty much decided that these stories are like the gossip my aunty and her hair dresser used to chatter about; lots of noise — Signifying nothing apart, that is that journalism in Australia is in a black hole. All I seem to have heard for months now is Speculative talk created by people who should be looking for news about Ponting, Rudd, Brown, the India criketer …

    If editors keep accepting this drivel and stop publishing news; no wonder print journalism is going down hill!

  • 41
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Rudd was getting 50% in the TPP in Newspoll when Labor decided to roll him.

    Dillard currently has polling of 45% TPP and a Primary vote of 30% which has never been so low in the history of newspoll polling.

    Gillard is unelectable… the Labor Party know this and they are simply proscratanating on the obvious.. she has to go.

  • 42
    CML
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    @ SIMON MANSFIELD - You just might be right about all this. Have had a nagging feeling for a few days now that the supporters of Gillard “doth protest too much” about their undying loyalty. It all seems false to me. Maybe they are more worried about the Rudd numbers than the leeches of the press have been able to fathom? And Simon Crean didn’t help matters - didn’t seem to occur to Crean that if Gillard sacked Rudd, the latter would be more likely to resign from the parliament than go to the back bench, and in so doing, bring down the government. Talk about playing into the rAbbott’s hands!!
    Then I watched Q&A on Monday night and could not believe the comments coming out of Shorten’s mouth about Rudd. What a bloody hypocrite! I recalled reading somewhere that Rudd had offered the Treasury to Shorten, and so it all began to make sense.
    So - for all these reasons, I think you might be on the money!!

  • 43
    Filth Dimension
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I read it somewhere so it must be true. lol.

  • 44
    Hugh (Charlie) McColl
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Simon Mansfield, Crean isn’t eligible for a veterans pension so he’ll have to settle for aged care on his parliamentary super.

  • 45
    Glenn Brandham
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Wow, the number of people sucked into this non story is breathtaking. Are any of you members of the ALP? Members of a trade union? If not, then you are pissing in the wind and will simply wear your own pizzle on the day. If you think that working people will simply follow abbott down the road to work choices 2.0, you are kidding yourselves. You assume that working people have no memory. Shame on you.

  • 46
    Sam L
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    @Mike Flanagan
    Being largely unknown to the public doesn’t necessarily signify unimportance. Feeney and Farrell have done bugger all in parliament but have power within the party.

    I do agree though that all the speculation by the media is a gross waste of our time. It reminds me of how spectacularly wrong they were about the Costello leadership challenge that wasn’t.

  • 47
    Schnappi
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Over 4 months we have the leadership challenge,by media unknown sources,now that the unknown sources are out of the woodwork,although wishful thinking,perhaps now we will only have known sources from the media.
    Notice on tv a caucas member saying he would get a tattoo if it helped people know that he told the media nothing,was not approached by any media ,but was reported by the media as having done so,shucks always knew the media lies and makes up news to their view.

    @WHISTLEBLOWER name a future leader of any persuasion that will not have lied,and will buy you the bottle of champs to go with your others.

  • 48
    Mike Flanagan
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Sam L
    That is a fair enough comment but I do think the press should have more substantive ‘sources’ than either of these people or their oft repeated ‘un-named sources’ to impose on us their desire for a controversy that could affect the leadership of the nation.

  • 49
    Son of foro
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Why are the media happy to be so reliant on ‘faceless men’?

  • 50
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 22 February 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Mike - Completely, as I said with Crean he ruled it out on Monday (I think) on Jon Faine’s program, yet Laurie Oakes & The Oz both have him running based on “un-named sources” and neither thought to bother asking Crean himself before they ran the story and he had to issue a statement reiterating his position that he isn’t running. How hard is it to pick up the phone?

    On a lighter note Faine also had a quite humourous fake ad for coverage on the leadership spill “because covering policy is all too hard and this stuff writes itself” on this morning, I think he will replay it followed by some in depth discussion later in the program.

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