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Crikey Says

Nov 20, 2012

Crikey says: Kev and Mal show a no-hope bet

Hardly environmental zealots, the World Bank, yet its climate change forecasts are alarming. Government spending is rising with military tensions in Gaza. And how did a bunch of Aussie journos land there? More context on the AWU saga. And what the locals thought of Barack Obama in Myanmar.

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The Q&A audience whooped it up with Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull last night. You see, politics is broken and they’re just the men to fix it. One audience member had a bright idea: why don’t you guys form your own party? Rapturous applause.

They’re certainly from the same mould: keenly ambitious, super-smart, engaged in bigger ideas, less interested in political squabbling than some of their colleagues, electorally popular when the current leaders of their parties aren’t.

But there’s another key similarity supporters gloss over: their colleagues can’t stand them.

For all their faults, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott maintain the clear majority of support within caucus. Neither Rudd nor Turnbull were able to do the same. Their leadership ambitious are indefinitely on ice as a result.

It’s all very well for the exiled leaders to talk about a gentler, smarter, outcomes-focussed realpolitik. What a shame they’re both so hopeless at convincing the rest of their colleagues.

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