Thursday, 6 August 2009

Libs left Rudderless, Rudd is all around etc

Guy Rundle writes:

So senior Libs are looking to replace Malcolm Turnbull with Andrew Robb, another exclusive in The Australian reads.

Clearly Rupert has put up a rocket up his organisation worldwide, in the wake of the latest $2 billion loss. Break stories or I’ll break your hands.

Hence, in the cut-throat UK market, the News of the World’s desperate use of mass illegal phone taps to scarf up gossip and scandal. Here, it resulted in raising the risks (slightly, but perceptibly) for serving police officers, in the drive to get a scoop on the Melbourne Somali raids.

Now, as two Tele photographers face charges for breaching military security, senior Libs are talking about another spill. Which most likely means that an Oz journo begged on bended knee a friendly Lib or two to muse about the possibility off the record.

Well replacing Turnbull now, fast, decisively, is a bright move, and Robb has many qualities that would recommend him as a caretaker leader to take the party to a loss. But he has one big strike against him.

He looks like Kevin Rudd.

OK, not exactly like Kevin Rudd, but take a look. It’s the same style — silver hair with a part, roundish face, designer specs. Worse, he looks like an old Kevin Rudd — tired, dehydrated, while Rudd bounces around full of p-ss and beans.

Imagine them facing each other across the despatch box. Robb would look like a photo of Rudd that had been aged by a computer, to show what a 12-year-old boy missing for 30 years would now look like. He looks like a grainy photocopy, a second-hand copy (“you said mint condition!”), he looks like Rudd will when he’s defeated, a decade or so down the track.

They even have virtually the same name. OK, this is all coincidence, but there it is. It would just be weird.

This Ruddiness is becoming a major problem. Wayne Swan already has the same sort of look, (“Do you want the name brand, Rudd, or would you prefer the cheaper generic, Swan?”) and the Ruddlets are spreading out. There’s Melbourne University’s Glyn Davis, which must make working in the office really weird — like Rudd had sent a hologram to watch over you — and Tony Jones, which makes Lateline appear to be an episode of double-vision, Rudd interviewing himself, something not due to happen until 2011.

So, no, not Robb. Sorry mate, we already have several of you. If Jolly Joe Hockey won’t suck the poisoned chalice, then it’s time for some radical thinking. Give it to someone whose career is over, and willing to take one for the team, like the night of that uni rugby camp, when the girls had gone and the tequila took over. Nick Minchin is the obvious go. Or go the other direction and get Alex Hawke, to make it interesting.

Winners cut their losses, let their profits run, losers do the reverse. Guess which move keeping Turnbull is? Better move fast, team dark blue, or you’ll be rudded and dudded, fobbed off and Robbed.

Peter Fray

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