Christian Kerr writes:

It’s easy to dismiss Michael Costello’s
caning
of Julia Gillard in the Australian today as an HMV – a “His Master’s Voice” effort – that he’s just doing his old boss’s bidding.
Unfortunately for Gillard, it’s a lot harder to dismiss Costello’s criticisms:

Julia Gillard is in danger of becoming the new Mark Latham. Her
strategy is to get her name in lights by an unceasing attack on her own party…

Gillard has learned this simple lesson from Latham. The media is
bored by policy. It can barely stifle a yawn at serious analysis and substance.
The media lives on conflict and the political media loves nothing better than
internal party wars…

There are, of
course, key differences between Latham and Gillard. For one thing, Gillard does
not demonstrate the same uncontrollable aggression and abuse…

Second, Latham
was genuinely interested in policy… Gillard, on the other hand, has little
memorable to say on substance. Her prescriptions whether on policy, or the
future of the party, or on political tactics, are lightweight and banal.

But she is not
about policy. She is about look at me, look at me, look at me. Her aim is the
celebrity that brings public approval.

Costello continues:

Her Fabian
Society speech this week was empty of specifics. Its alternative approach was
so broad-brush as to be meaningless. But that was not the point. The point was
to keep her in the public eye and once again she succeeded by attacking the
party.

The third
difference between her and Latham is that Latham at least had the decency to
resign as shadow minister before he launched his campaign. Gillard has not. She
suffers no penalty for her behaviour. Few of her colleagues have been game to
publicly criticise her.

And then things get interesting:

Does any of this
matter? Beazley says the Labor Party should not focus on itself but on what the
people want. True. But Gillard thinks she is on a winner with her strategy and
so far she is right…

Hold it right there. Isn’t that a tacit
admission that Beazley’s position is so weak he can’t risk confronting Gillard?

A new Morgan Poll out today won’t help the Labor leader. Senior Liberal sources are already talking
about next year’s election – in August or around then. According to
Morgan, 69 per cent of the electorate currently think they’re home and dry.

Peter Fray

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