There’s been a happy range of threats and warnings about the future of
the ALP and Kim Beazley over the weekend – and some fresh filth for you today.

“Either
the NSW right will pronounce life extinct during this calendar year and
transfer its support to Kevin Rudd, or the majority of the Australian
electorate will do it at next year’s election,’ Shaun Carney wrote in The Age.
“The slightest hint that the disease of disunity could spread from Victoria to Canberra would cripple Labor’s chances at
the next election,” Michelle Grattan commented.
And Glenn Milne was handed a steaming bucket to tip over Julia Gillard in the
News Ltd Sundays.

But what
of the future? There are denials of a deadline over Beazley’s incumbency in The
Australian
today while The SMH reports
that Labor’s NSW general secretary, Mark Arbib, has declared: “We’re
backing the leader.”

Up north, Crikey understands that Bill Ludwig is adding to his
entertaining contribution to the leadership debate last week by making noises against Craig Emerson.
Given the task Labor faces to win seats in Queensland, this is even
more stupid and bloody minded than the Victorian manoeuvres.

At the same time we also understand that Beazley knows he has to do
something to improve the quality of his shadow ministry. “I am happy to listen to any good
constructive suggestions
on how we broaden out our frontbench,” he said on Friday. There is only one more sitting week between now and the May Budget, the
week of March 27.

The Government is sure to have plenty of fun in Question Time in those
few days, but the break would appear to be a propitious time to try to settle
down disputes – and even get a new team in place – but at the moment who can tell
what might happen next.

Peter Fray

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