To some, the ALP member, former staffer and campaigner is emblematic of everything that is wrong with the Labor government. His call for Julia Gillard to go “bravely prescribes more of the same suicidal thinking that has got Labor into its present mess. Ditch the leader, pass the spade, keep digging the same hole,” wrote James Burke.
It’s just the “same old, same old thinking. We don’t need more of the same — interminable, doom-prophesying verbiage from sources imprisoned by past experience,” wrote reader Gerri Allan. “This is a hung parliament, and no longer the traditional, historical, big-majority party rule fought out between the two majors. These could be times for exciting and innovative change, for appreciating brinkmanship, for getting into the political game with a sense of altruism as well as pragmatism … not about hankering back to high percentages of primary votes, seat counts and two-party-preferreds.”
Not to mention Walladge’s assertion that to install a female MP in the top job would just be another Gillard version 2.0. “I mean … words are STILL failing me,” wrote Kate Olivieri.
“Gillard has delivered good government and policy but crap politics,” despaired Richard Barlow. “Inflation, interest rates, debt, unemployment all low. Growth reasonable. Budget in balance. Major reforms in workplace laws, health, education, aged care, disability. World-leading policies in carbon reduction and broadband communications. Tax reform including income tax cuts. Over 250 laws passed in a hung parliament. Then the politics, knifing Kevin, Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, and a seeming inability to cut through.
“It drives me nuts.”
We’re sure it drives Gillard nuts, too. But there’s the rub: the crap politics. You can’t ignore it, and it’s not all the media’s fault.
It’s part of the reason why Bernard Keane has placed Julia Gillard at No. 2 on The Power Index’s Canberra list, and put Wayne Swan top of the tree. This morning’s events will make it even more difficult to capitalise on her great enduring strength — her “persistent ability to secure outcomes”.