tip off

And the winner is … Smith, Shorten or Crean

So who is the winner from this morning’s unedifying events?

Kevin Rudd hasn’t merely lost, he has failed to establish himself as the looming replacement for Julia Gillard. The result isn’t a humiliation for the former prime minister, but it’s getting close. The remorseless assault on his reputation launched by the Gillard camp has damaged him greatly, and possibly terminally. He now goes to the backbench knowing his base for any further bids for the leadership is small and his opponents are prepared to do pretty much anything to stop him.

And Gillard? There’s an old Cold War propaganda story about Pravda covering a two-man race between a Soviet and an American athlete; when the American wins, Pravda reports that the Soviet athlete came second and the American second last. That’s Gillard: she has clobbered Rudd, but she’s only come second last. Today’s polls confirm how much she is distrusted and disliked by the electorate, in a way no amount of invocation of tough decisions or complaints of destabilisation (or laments about misogynist journalists) will repair.

But her problems run much deeper than polling. Her regular misjudgments have led her into this mess; indeed, they’re the reason there was even a contest.

And for all the talk that Gillard has had her reputation enhanced by the events of the last week, try telling voters that. All they’ll see is a leader adept at internal politicking, accomplished in the sort of dark arts that got her the top job in the first place (and which, it shouldn’t be forgotten, got Rudd the top job as well). But the real dark arts needed by Gillard are the sort that involve a satanic ritual that could somehow transfer Rudd’s popularity into her.

The only winner in Labor is one of Stephen Smith, Bill Shorten or, just maybe, Simon (“safe pair of hands”) Crean, who will emerge to replace Gillard later in the year, probably in a contest with a damaged Rudd, after Gillard’s political car-wreck of a prime ministership is brought to an end by party powerbrokers.

Today’s vote gives that person time to position themselves for life-post-Gillard, in a way that, had this contest not been brought on so early in the year, would likely have prevented them from doing so against Rudd. It gives the factional bosses time to arrange a succession. The anyone-but-Rudd camp has benefited greatly from events moving more rapidly than anyone expected.

In the interim, there’ll be much talk of how Gillard and her advisers plan to launch a recovery — specifically by focusing on economic management. That, you’ll recall, was Plan A, before the leadership issue blew up. Now it’s Plan B, with no evidence that the skill and smarts to implement it have yet arrived when they were so manifestly missing hitherto. And not when voters regard Gillard with such cold disdain, and when they’ve had their hopes raised by the leadership contest of an escape from the two least-popular leaders of recent memory, Gillard and Abbott.

Whether the Gillard camp seriously believes this stuff about Rudd being the source of all of the government’s problem isn’t clear. But they’ve acted as if it’s true, pulverising Rudd with what, in the olden days before last Wednesday, were known as cabinet leaks but which are now a sort of water cannon aimed at Rudd and his supporters. If they’ve succeeded in terminally damaging Rudd, at least Gillard’s wrecking crew can console themselves in opposition with the thought that they brought Rudd down with them, along with what’s left of the party.

It’s pro forma to insist that Tony Abbott has significantly benefited. But there isn’t a whole lot more to be gained for the opposition leader: he’s already in a strong position and he already has Gillard’s measure, despite being even less liked than her. This perpetuates the status quo, which is fine for him but doesn’t really change much. Indeed, despite his strong position, some independents still talk about wanting to deal with Malcolm Turnbull to help form a Coalition government.

The spectacle that Labor has made of itself lately can only encourage the sense that anyone who can bring an end to the Gillard-Abbott era would be welcome.

So today marks, to yet again steal a much-stolen phrase, the end of the beginning. For those sick of leadership speculation, the coming months will doubtless continue the slow burn of frustration. But blame Labor: today is a pit stop on the journey to the end Gillard’s prime ministership, as if the party decided to pause on its way and try to end the chances of Rudd as well, the one MP in the party who on current form can prevent a wipeout come the next election.

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  • 1
    David Hand
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Julia’s chances of surviving to the next election depend on running a half decent administration for the rest of her term. Her claim of “getting things done” is true when it comes to Bob Brown’s policy platform but is not so compelling when it comes to what the electorate expects.

    This time next year shae can only hope that the $23 per tonne carbon tax is not wreaking havoc in Australian manufacturing otherwise more questions will be asked.

    It’s her missteps that made her vulnerable to a challenge and it could easily happen again.

  • 2
    Andrew Clark
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Bernard

    Now we have had the great storm in the tea cup. How about some consideration about who were the winners and loosers in the media beat up. To much to ask ?

    If that to much how about a list of how media can regain its terminal loss of faith between now and next election.

    Andrew

  • 3
    Brad Sprigg
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Personally I think the only winner is Albo. He timed his announcement of support for Rudd at the perfect time to get maximum play in the press, and came out of it looking like he had class an conviction. He also did it in such a way to appear above the venom being thrown by each side, and in such a way that he has not damaged his position too much with the current leader, but stood far enough away that if things go to hell, he can be seen as opposing the other guy during the last spill. Could he possibly position as a future leader?

  • 4
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    @Brad Sprigg: Could [Albanese] possibly position as a future leader?

    How does he now sit with the pre-selection standover men of the Labor machine?

  • 5
    Lord Barry Bonkton
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Bernard , what about the other winner ? Habib , won the court case against the Sydney Shock Jocks to the tune of $176 ,000 + claiming he was on a pension when he wasn’t .

  • 6
    nerk
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I think you’ve got it exactly backwards David. Gillard’s problem is that she’s *only* been good at getting things done. A chronic failure of spin. The biggest stuff-ups have all been when she’s been trying to play the empty populism game like Abbott (eg Malaysia).

    There’s a saying - never wrestle with a pig - you both get filthy and the pig loves it.

  • 7
    Filth Dimension
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Does Tony Abbott have anything to offer? His speech is embarrassing in its desperation and shallowness.

  • 8
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The only winner in Labor is one of Stephen Smith, Bill Shorten or, just maybe, Simon (“safe pair of hands”) Crean,

    Leave Crean off the list. They should create the position of Anesthetist-General for him, so good is his ability to put an entire room to sleep.

  • 9
    Michael de Angelos
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Could someone in the Coalition please tell Tony Abbott that the party chooses the PM and not the people.

  • 10
    Lloyd McDonald
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Considering how badly everyone was predicting the party was suffering from this, the latest Newspoll gives some hope that now the Kevin07 threat has been neutered Gillard may indeed get some clear air to sell her achievements which have been considerable.

    The fact that Abbott has been going backwards so precipitously makes me think the narrative may well change.

    Julia has been really impressive this week, I wouldn’t be writing her off so savagely bernard. You are starting to channel Michelle Grattan I think of all the media commentators she’s been quite appalling the last 2 weeks.

  • 11
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Bernard!

    Isn’t there enough going on for you to be actually reporting facts?

    You know - the old stuff - who said what, did what, to whom, when … sort of stuff. These astrology columns you’re running - seances with the Grande Bernardo - sound so much like a pinkish version of Suzanne Bleak it’s beyond a joke.

    Get you head out of your belly button lint, get up from the long lunch and go and do some work.

    We’ll all start sending you foil hats soon. Perhaps a beret.

  • 12
    David Hand
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Michael,
    Though the party room chooses the PM and not the people, the people choose the party room.

  • 13
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    ^ Could someone in the Coalition please tell Tony Abbott that the party chooses the PM and not the people.

    However, parties generally chose one who they reckon can be re-elected.

  • 14
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I find it difficult to see how Abbott is in such a strong position and gillard so weak when they are basically level pegging in the preferred PM stakes and the biggest stick Abbott has been hitting Gillard with (the fear of the Carbon Tax) is soon to be shown as nothing more than a stick of celery when the tax actually takes effect. Add in the MRRT and it’s benefits, a budget surplus in May and some increased spending plans for education and health and the 53-47 will narrow significantly.

    And this is all before people start looking at the coalitions disasterous economic hodge podge they call policies. Now the “Rudd V Gillard when will she be rolled” story has disappeared the media might actually look at policy.

    I would alos venture that if the ALP were to get back to 48-52 or 49-51 the Media spotlight might turn on Abbott.

  • 15
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Socratease - “However, parties generally chose one who they reckon can be re-elected” And that’s what they have done here, they correctly assumed Rudd’s “popularity” is soft and will disappear and they are better off with someone who can run the govt and get’s things legislated than someone who is “popular”.

  • 16
    Mark from Melbourne
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    BK still manages to make Gillard the loser at every turn. Must really have it in for her.

    Albanese’s “classy conviction” was almost totally negated when he finished by saying he was voting for Rudd because it was the only way to beat Abbott. Doesnt strike me as a whole lot different to everyone else’s motives.

    Spent a bit of time on the weekend dreaming of how good it could be to have another party formed of the best and brightest from all sides of politics. Maybe lead by Turnbull, Julia G on Education, a few of the independents, Plibersek, Shorten, Wong, Rokson, Conroy, Smith and a few good sorts from Libs/Nationals. I just dont get a system that ensures you get a bunch of hacks seriously unqualified for serious jobs whilst good talent gets to waste away on the opposition bench…

  • 17
    Michael
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    THIS IS ALL ABBOTT’S FAULT!!!

    If he wasn’t around we wouldn’t need elections & Labor could now send KRudd to a gulag in Antarctica for re-education.

    Democracy in the hands of ALP just sucks, don’t you think??

  • 18
    Greg Chapman
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    What a load of crap! This media event was disgusting. Two potential PMs slogging it out publicly as if they’re part of an American presidential campaign. Where’s their loyalty? Gimme a break! Why should they care what Australian ‘voters’ think when all the crap was handfed to the ‘punters’ by arrogant and pompous globalised, embedded mainstream media - and very dubious polls and pollsters? What annoys me most about this stupidity is that these two Labor luminaries were led by the nose to show how insecure and politically inept they really are. I’m a voter - maybe not for Labor now but certainly NOT the Coalition - ever. And it’s voters like me who are disenchanted - not by Gillard the Original but by the boys who try to groom her. I liked her the way she was before. Straight-forward, single, not caring about having kids or not - and openly atheist. I am very uncomfortable about Rudd’s media meetings outside churches - holding his wife’s hand tightly and kids trailing. This I mistrust greatly. Do he and Tone pray and confess together? There are a lot of lefties like me. We could even swing the votes towards progressive Independents and Greens. All I ask of the PM is to quit the crap and get on with being an ethical leader. Please!

  • 19
    skink
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    did anyone see anything of Stephen Smith over the last week? He seemed to be conspicuously absent from all the mudslinging, no doubt ensuring that none of it stuck to him.

    thank-you for christening this the Gillard-Abbott Era, because the sooner it is over, the better.

    I’m starting to believe this was all stage-managed to get Rudd to over-reach himself too soon and get him out of the way early enough for a gentle takeover by Smith. It will become a matter of brinksmanship now with both parties changing leader as close as possible to the election in the hope of getting the bounce.

    Smith v Turnbull at the next election.

  • 20
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I hope Labor doesn’t change leaders until Gillard - the great achiever - gets the Gonski changes implemented. This is important and will be very difficult cos it involves all the states as well as the lower house indies. Rudd clearly couldn’t do it and I doubt whether the other possible Labor leaders could either.

  • 21
    cannedheat
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    There’s getting things done and there’s getting re-elected so you can continue to do so. The point of a leader is to communicate to the electorate and ensure others get things done. Gillard has been an abject failure at the second part. Lets not forget that Gillard was the architect of the abandonment of the carbon pricing scheme. I suspect the truth is that Gillard caused the problems Rudd was blamed for. She now has the top job and has publicly trashed labor in a way only the factional dolts and gray cardiganed timeservers could love.

    Rudd may well be the ‘prissy percious pr*ck’ of Alan Ramsay fame but so are most leaders - it goes with the territory.

  • 22
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Canned Heat - “There’s getting things done and there’s getting re-elected so you can continue to do so.” Getting things done gets you re elected where focusing on getting re elected doesn’t get things done.

  • 23
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    @Jimmy: And that’s what they have done here, they correctly assumed Rudd’s “popularity” is soft and will disappear and they are better off with someone who can run the govt and get’s things legislated than someone who is “popular”.

    As I see it, the majority of Labor caucus members simply followed the dictates of their factional bosses, as they always do. While ever he sits in the house I don’t believe that Rudd’s electoral popularity will disappear. My feeling is that Gillard will continue to be widely unpopular and seen as a ticket to unemployment for many on the backbench.

  • 24
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just about conceded the next election to Abbott. I think the only argument for ditching Gillard is to save the furniture. However, I’m not yet convinced that Labor led by Gillard would lose so many seats.

    If Abbott is as bad as he seems he will make such a mess of government that Labor would be a good chance of winning re election in 2016. I don’t think it would be wise to send a potential 2016 Labor leader to near certain defeat in 2013.

  • 25
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Melbournian Mark…

    …and a few good sorts from Libs/Nationals.” Ah yes, that’d be um…. err…

    But you’re right about this corgi blood lust that’s whipping through the Gallery at the moment …. it seems the whole Gallery - even Bernie here … has been gifted with second sight … the wander about seeing portents and omens and disembowelling market research. Badly.

    Hopefully if anyone is the loser out of this (other than the flapping remnants of the Labor Parliamentary Left) it will be the sages of the Gallery - the peddlers of gossip and anonymous self-serving leaks.

    But in the meantime we have the future as foregone conclusion…. the ink on the vote barely dry and they’re yapping about for a successor.

    Give me a decent blue heeler anyday. Know how to put in a day’s work your blue.

  • 26
    flyinglow
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Crean?
    I don’t know what you’re taking BK but you should stop. Now.

  • 27
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Socratease - Rudd’s popularity might not diminish while he is the back bench but it would have disappeared if he was returned as PM. And even if they caucus did just follow orders (which doesn’t gel with the majority of analysis over the weekend) the reason for the decision doesn’t change just those who made it.

    Gavin Moodie, don’t give up just yet, the closer to the election the more the focus becomes on policy and once Abbott can’t beat the carbon tax fear drum his terrible economic policies will be shown up. I still query if he will still be Liberal Leader by the ewlection let alone the next PM.

  • 28
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Socratease - Rudd’s popul.a rity might not diminish while he is the back bench but it would have disappeared if he was returned as PM. And even if they caucus did just follow orders (which doesn’t gel with the majority of ana.l y.sis over the weekend) the reason for the decision doesn’t change just those who made it.

    Gavin Moodie, don’t give up just yet, the closer to the election the more the focus becomes on pol.icy and once Abbott can’t beat the carbon tax fear drum his terrible economic pol.icies will be shown up. I still query if he will still be L.iberal Leader by the election let alone the next PM.

  • 29
    DF
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Tony Abbott should be careful what he wishes for. If we did have Presidential-style elections for the PM, he wouldn’t get a look-in, judging by the polls.

  • 30
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanx for the encouragement Jimmy.

    I think van Onslen is right in saying that the Liberals are most unlikely to ditch Abbott before the next election. Abbott got them so close to winning in 2010 that the Libs are committed to giving him another go in 2013.

  • 31
    DF
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Socratease: What motivation do you ascribe to the so-called “factional bosses” or “faceless men” to suggest they would want to lose an election? If people don’t want to win elections, why on earth would they get involved in politics? Your argument doesn’t make sense.

  • 32
    hernando garcia
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    what do you know, move to suspend standing orders at or about 3:00 pm everyday, moved from the opposition. regular as clockwork. now we’ll have them waffle on for 1/2 - 3/4 of an hour. followed by a division of the house in which the motion will be defeated by 1. unbelievable.

  • 33
    81dvl
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Bernard (if I may);
    When Julia Gillard displaced Kevin Rudd it was an action taken by a majority vote of the Labour MP’s. It was not an armed hold-up, it was democracy, canvassed and precipitated by ALP members concerned that KR had lost the plot. A majority of votes cast in the spill ELECTED Julia Gillard.

    Rudd’s 07 narrow-margin election was only achieved by swinging voters, impressed with his articulate support of real action on climate change. They (we) belived him - He betrayed them. He then hand picked his own Caucus (not democratic) and slowly distilled his Monarchy to a “gang of four” (not democratic). His talent for populism gave him the job in the first place - he could (did) win an election. Thereafter he was corrupted as a needed-to-be-loved star; easily bruised and given to tantrums.

    World leaders were at best bemused by him. For an intelligent and capable man, he could be such a dork sometimes. Who can forget that most nauseating footage of him saluting (of all people) George W. Having voted for ‘Kevin’, his opening line at his acceptance speech sent alarm bells ringing in more heads than mine.

    Today’s outcome is democratic; passed by a significant majority. Democracy is a collective of opinions; opinions which must necessarily differ. Opinions that, as your readers recently said, have been pounded away at by a relentless media, unwilling to let clear and fair assessment get in the way of the situation they have both caused and exacderbated and pressured by the populism they created.

    Once more - this would not have happenned without the media pressure, because it couldn’t happen without media. The question has to be asked; did media cause it? Were the media themselves being played? Some, certainly by appearances, were very willing regardless. We’re here to sell papers!

    In this light it would be very wrong indeed for any journalist to say “I told you there was going to be a spill.” They perpetuated, enabled and conceivably caused this event, and let’s face it, this is not new.

    Bernard your articles are - as they should be - opinion, but your invective, your consistent choosing of (sometimes creative) negative adjectives in your relentless character assasination of Julia Gillard is, even with generous pragmatism, beyond free and fair reporting. It is culpable.

    I gather you are a share-holder? Do you know and support all that your board(s) of Directors do or is that not your problem? Maybe you think that anyone who still maintains any humanism in their thinking should just grow up and see how the world really works?

    Did that hurt?
    Was it fair?
    It was my opinion.

  • 34
    Alfonse
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    @Mr Ormond, If Bernard stuck to merely reporting the facts, then it would be a very brief article… ie………”Government populated by crap politicians. Opposition populated by crapper (sic) ones. Voters sick of both” The horoscope approach is at least more entertaining.

  • 35
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Gavin - I think it all depends on how much of a spotlight get’s put on the economic polices of the opposition. It is clear to all and sundry that cutting billions in carbon tax revenue and income tax revenue from the tax cuts he will keep, while increasing govt expenditure by billions on “direct action” and penion and FTB spending doesn’t add up. Neither does keeping Small business tax concessions super guarantee increases and infrastructure spending while cutting the MRRT. Increasing company tax to pay for paid parental leave for the rich is just stupid. Bringing back the 30% rebate for health insurance for high income earners will just put more and more pressure on the budget and the list goes on.

    The libs are happy to keep Abbott while he keeps them in front but the majority of them are actuall .y opposed to their own policies. The only thing that would stop a leadership change should the polling gap narrow is that Hockey is a complete dud and Turnbull will reverse so many policy positions that they won’t have a platform.

    If Abbott does get in I think most libs will pray the senate blocks their legislation.

  • 36
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    @DF: My feeling is that the faction thugs hate Rudd so much that, short term, they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces. My guess is that as time goes by and her figures don’t improve they’ll quickly accept that Gillard really is electoral poison, and begin to groom her successor.

  • 37
    Peter Ormonde
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    This tango both sides of politics have been doing with the US Presidential style is deeply wrong-headed… if anything the last few days have underlined that message. A populist president is incompatible with the Australian political system as it stands and operates.

    Rudd’s appeal to the masses - to those “who elected him” - rise up, take to the phones and the T-shirts is an empty farce.

    Rudd was elected by Caucus. He leads a team. The team won the election. Not some Messianic Tin-Tin cut-out with all the personality of a wind-up toy.

    Sure Kevin 07 was young - not John Howard - and seemed rather harmless and efficient - the sort of change you have when you don’t want to change - but here, in this country, the team runs the show….Cabinet and caucus - and now including negotiations with the independents etc…a complex process, usually by consensus and agreement, certainly with consultation.

    Australian politics does not operate as a one-man-band like the US Presidency with its personally appointed administration. The US constitutionally operates with what is essentially an elected monarch who can make war and do all sorts of day to day things, while Congress and the Senate operate very much as houses of review with complex rules and procedures nobbling the President’s authority.

    To have a delusional PM - who sees his “power and authority” arising from the people - who goes beyond parliament to “his people” in some populist tub thumping - to frighten marginal members and the flakey left is a serious challenge to the system of parliamentary politics and the constitution.

    If ever there was a good argument for why a reconstituted republican Australia should NEVER EVER have an elected President, this is a living example of it.

    It is also a damn good reason why Labor at least should stop falling for this Brand Julia sludge. No more personalised election slogans … empty rubbish that they are.

    Labor must start selling it’s strongest asset - its deep competence and talent - a cohesive and coherent team. Today’s frightened hissy fit notwithstanding. No one will be taking any notice of these paper lefties anyway. They’ve handed serious critical policy development to the Greens.

  • 38
    Queensberry Rules
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    (But the real dark arts needed by Gillard are the sort that involve a satanic ritual that could somehow transfer Rudd’s popularity into her.)

    This is best iarticle.

  • 39
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The best joke of the week was Laurie Oakes and eastern states morons in the media trying to turn the Stag hotel into a strip clug.

    The Stag might have seen a stripper or two 120 years ago, it might have been bit run down when I drank there 40 years but there were not strippers.

    It is now a first class restaurant from where the festival fringe is staged because it is on the edge of the parklands.

    It is called the Stag because it had some deer horns on the wall for years.

    Honestly, what nonsense.

    And finally some in the media admitted that Rudd was not doing anything much at all about the leadership.

    The character assassination was a complete disgrace and only Peter Brent remembered that the referendum Roxon claimed Rudd just made up was actually party policy at the 2007 election.

    And if Rudd’s support is so soft how come it has remained so much higher than Gillard since 2006 when the spiv’s replaced Beazley again.

    As for Crean, he didn’t actually say anything and Swan only claimed Rudd doesn’t have Australian values and no-one bothers to look at the real cause.

    Rudd said we should vote for Palestine in the UNESCO vote, something the zionists went into over drive over, and he was correct. We cannot as a country simply pretend that our allies in two wars do not exist so we can appease one small group of people.

    He then went over seas and demanded that Israel stop torturing Palestinian children. Again the zionists went into over drive.

    They have been on Rudd’s back since 2008 as the Wikileaks cables clearly show.

    I hope they all choke on their own bile.

    Gillard is and always was dreadful and her only new policy was the dirty Malaysia deal.

    Come on all those who think she is a marvel answer this:

    Rudd got through pension and refugee reforms with the assistance of a few liberal senators. Gillard is getting Rudd’s agenda through after signed agreements with self-interested parties and has a dream senate.

    Isn’t it surely easier to deal with friends than make deals with enemies?

    So effectively her so-called colleagues, all 71 of them, are voting for racist bigotry.

    And the memories are so short in our appalling media that they forget she was screwing Craig Emerson when he was still married.

  • 40
    Filth Dimension
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    is Lyndal Curtis a Coalition sock puppet at the ABC?

  • 41
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Paul Howes and the other faceless men made their choice yet again and the public were told to go jump.

    Roll on the election…

  • 42
    tinman_au
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I think the Labor factions did the best thing for the party today…..the Green Party that is…

  • 43
    Filth Dimension
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Last time I looked Paul Howes had a face.

  • 44
    Apollo
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    There is an important message for JG in this spill that requires attention. Rudd governed for all the people (regardless whether he was effective or not) and he made that cle,ar in his election victory speech in 2007, Gillard is seen as a union puppet and her IR policy has gone one step to,o far to the left.

    Roger Corbett on lateline a few weeks ago made the point that whereas the Howard government moved the post two steps to,o far to the right the Gillard government has moved it 1 step too far to the left. Employ,ers should have the option to let go of employ,e,e when things does not work out.
    This is important for business. About fifte,en years ago my fri,end had a shop and he knew one of his worker was ste,aling money, it was difficult for him to fire her because of the law requirement so he just waited till she left. Five years ago when I was managing a small supermarket I found out the shocking truth, business owners whether restaurants or shops all experi,ence theft by the,ir employ,e,es, they warned me to watch out. And to cut the story short, most workers try to get into the door and work hard in the first few weeks then slack off and cause stagnant and empty stock shelves. Worst is when you have to face with the lazy, ly-ing manipulative ones which not only testing your kindness towards them but turn out to be very destructive for your workplace. Unfortunately there is a dark side to human which proves Marx’s ideal never works.

    More than ten years ago I was working for Australi.a Post, the employment agency recommended us to join the union. The conditions was good and I appreci,ate what the union had done for us so I signed up as a member. But everyday in the lunch room the union le,ader was always politicking and complaining, I couldn’t see what he had to complain about, it turned me off from the union eversince. The Unions and the Labor party need to recognise that we live in different times now, whilst Australi,ans do appreci,ate the conditions the unions have fought for workers they do not like it when the union go to,o far and have too much influence on the government.

    There needs to be a balance between the rights for workers and the right for the employ,ers. The di,alogue should be share obligation towards each other and togetherness, what will work best for both sides, not a division aga,inst each other and “what’s in it for me?” If the Labor discourse is all about the workers then don’t blame compani,es for looking after the share holders’ interest only and don’t care about the workers. Employ,ers vary from mean to generous, take Kendra bus owner who rewarded out about 15M I think to his loyal employe,es as appreci,ation. Somebody has to take the initi,ative to change the discourse. The union over influence on policy is doing the workers and the country a dis-service, they are risking the chance for this government to return to power and be in the wilderness for a long time to come, the LNP will take credit for whatever good this government has done move IR back to far right aga,inst the workers’ interest.

    The voter demographic has changed, many Labor leaning workers now have investments in shares and properti,es, there is also an increasing number of home based business and e-traders. The union movement has become irrelevant to them and they swing their votes e,asily. What is important for the government is to reli,ef the cost of living so there will be no need for increase wage pressure. Our rent is so high and business have to pass on the cost to customers. Our wages are also higher than other counti,es and compound with this is the lopsided over valued Australi,an dollar which makes labour cost in the US about 30% che,aper than in Australi,a. If our wages keep rising to.o much as it need to keep up with the cost of living we will be uncompetitive and business will move overseas.

    Study found that many voters pick le,aders on look, so if it re,ally comes to it Stephen Smith could be Labor’s best choice for the electorate assuming he will step up to the plate and stop procrastinating.

  • 45
    GeeWizz
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Now we have had the great storm in the tea cup. How about some consideration about who were the winners and loosers in the media beat up. To much to ask ?

    If that to much how about a list of how media can regain its terminal loss of faith between now and next election. “

    Waaaa… it’s all the wedia’s fault!

    Did the Media call for the leadership spill? NO. It was Dillard.

    Did the Media claim Kevin Rudd was a psychopath determined to destroy the Labor Party? No that was Labor MP’s that said that.

    This entire sh1tfight has been the work of none other than yours truly, Julia Gillard and the Labor Party. Stop blaming the media for everything

  • 46
    DF
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Bernard - before you rush to pick up Rudd’s baton to continue beating Gillard about the head, you might like to consider the fact she will at least henceforth have a Foreign Minister she can trust, which might help her avoid some of the policy pitfalls into which she has stumbled (East Timor, Malaysia solution etc).

    Your comment that “her regular misjudgments have led her into this mess; indeed, they’re the reason there was even a contest” is barely credible. The reason there was a contest was because Rudd has been undermining her since the get-go, leaking against her during an election campaign, and telling the media (according to those journalists who have chosen to be candid with their readers) that his strategy was to launch a challenge to her in the first quarter of 2012. Katharine Murphy in The Age got it right - read this for some sensible and thoughtful comment: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/dogfight-we-had-to-have-20120226-1twdm.html?rand=1330259723613

    Given your willingness to look into the crystal ball, I’ve looked into mine and this is what I see.
    Rudd now knows what the numbers are when he goes head to head with Gillard, and he can now reflect on why this might be so. He has said he will not instigate any further challenges against Gillard, but there was no reference to never seeking the leadership again. Over the weekend he argued against a third, compromise candidate and today he went one further and said he would support Gillard against any other contender. He still wants to return to the mountain top.

    So here’s his script as I see it. He still believes, like Bernard, that Gillard cannot recover, will surely lead the party to defeat, and lose the leadership either before the election at the hands of Caucus, or after the election by her own hand. Rudd also believes, and wants to ensure, that he is the only alternative. He is now waiting in the wings for the day she goes. Given his faith in her demise is so profound and justified, it will now be in his interest to work as hard as he can to make sure she does not lose by too much, so that the 2016 election is not unwinnable due to the losses sustained in 2013. Being seen to support his party and Gillard, and using his apparent popular appeal to that end would also show good faith as a genuine party man and perhaps help to repair some of the damage he has caused since his sacking as PM.

    There are at least a couple of risks - Gillard might actually recover and look like she might win the election, particularly if Abbott is not replaced, and Rudd’s toxicity in the Labor Party may be so irreversible that the party decides to look for a cleanskin.

  • 47
    Jimmy
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Geewizz - Still sticking to the “she’ll be gone by Christmas” I mena “she’ll be gone by Easter” prediction?

    The little credibil ity you had is evapourating very quickly!!

    By the way you still haven’t explained to me why Abbott’s cut the carbon tax revenue, keep all the sweetners & spend big on handouts to big polluters is a good policy?

  • 48
    robinw
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    You know Bernard, I don’t know where you gained the psychic powers of telepathy (reading the collective mind of Australia) and prediction but I reckon you are so far off that it is risible. The only thing that you have proven is that once one straw man in the Rudd ascendancy has been destroyed, you have to create another in the possible challenges to Gillard by a triumvirate no less. When, pray tell, will you escalate this problem to legions of challengers, maybe even hordes? Bollocks!

  • 49
    DF
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Filth Dimension - Dunno who Lyndall Curtis supports but she is a lousy analyst. Compared with Mark Simkin, however, she is cerebrally stellar.

  • 50
    Meski
    Posted Monday, 27 February 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Its over. PLEASE stop discussing the next leader, that’s not going to happen till after an election - would anyone sane want the ALP leadership before that?

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