Not only content with a rolled gold dud as deputy (at least she isn’t a leadership threat), losers are winners, Kim Beazley told the National Press Club yesterday.

Despite much speculation, the Labor leader announced he would not reshuffle his frontbench before the next election. Beazley said that while governments need to freshen themselves up from time to time, opposition is different.

“You actually have to keep people in place for a considerable period of time.

“Oppositions have to establish credibility and there is only one way… and that’s longevity.”

Credibility certainly isn’t something that you associate with the opposition frontbench.

Presumably Beazley hopes that with time we’ll forget it is a team desperately cobbled together by Mark Latham as his leadership disintegrated.

And it doesn’t do much for credibility to offer as an alternative government – as possibly key players in a future government – people who won’t even be in parliament if Labor can form a government after the next election. Yet that’s exactly what Beazley is doing, keeping preselection victims Gavan O’Connor and Bob Sercombe on his frontbench.

Of course, it might be that he knows there’s something in the claims about Victorian dodgy bruvver George Seitz and Bill Shorten’s preselection.

Peter Fray

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