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Federal

Feb 27, 2012

And the winner is ... Smith, Shorten or Crean

Kevin Rudd hasn’t merely lost a vote on Labor's leadership, he has failed to establish himself as the looming replacement for Julia Gillard.

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So who is the winner from this morning’s unedifying events?

Kevin Rudd hasn’t merely lost, he has failed to establish himself as the looming replacement for Julia Gillard. The result isn’t a humiliation for the former prime minister, but it’s getting close. The remorseless assault on his reputation launched by the Gillard camp has damaged him greatly, and possibly terminally. He now goes to the backbench knowing his base for any further bids for the leadership is small and his opponents are prepared to do pretty much anything to stop him.

And Gillard? There’s an old Cold War propaganda story about Pravda covering a two-man race between a Soviet and an American athlete; when the American wins, Pravda reports that the Soviet athlete came second and the American second last. That’s Gillard: she has clobbered Rudd, but she’s only come second last. Today’s polls confirm how much she is distrusted and disliked by the electorate, in a way no amount of invocation of tough decisions or complaints of destabilisation (or laments about misogynist journalists) will repair.

But her problems run much deeper than polling. Her regular misjudgments have led her into this mess; indeed, they’re the reason there was even a contest.

And for all the talk that Gillard has had her reputation enhanced by the events of the last week, try telling voters that. All they’ll see is a leader adept at internal politicking, accomplished in the sort of dark arts that got her the top job in the first place (and which, it shouldn’t be forgotten, got Rudd the top job as well). But the real dark arts needed by Gillard are the sort that involve a satanic ritual that could somehow transfer Rudd’s popularity into her.

The only winner in Labor is one of Stephen Smith, Bill Shorten or, just maybe, Simon (“safe pair of hands”) Crean, who will emerge to replace Gillard later in the year, probably in a contest with a damaged Rudd, after Gillard’s political car-wreck of a prime ministership is brought to an end by party powerbrokers.

Today’s vote gives that person time to position themselves for life-post-Gillard, in a way that, had this contest not been brought on so early in the year, would likely have prevented them from doing so against Rudd. It gives the factional bosses time to arrange a succession. The anyone-but-Rudd camp has benefited greatly from events moving more rapidly than anyone expected.

In the interim, there’ll be much talk of how Gillard and her advisers plan to launch a recovery — specifically by focusing on economic management. That, you’ll recall, was Plan A, before the leadership issue blew up. Now it’s Plan B, with no evidence that the skill and smarts to implement it have yet arrived when they were so manifestly missing hitherto. And not when voters regard Gillard with such cold disdain, and when they’ve had their hopes raised by the leadership contest of an escape from the two least-popular leaders of recent memory, Gillard and Abbott.

Whether the Gillard camp seriously believes this stuff about Rudd being the source of all of the government’s problem isn’t clear. But they’ve acted as if it’s true, pulverising Rudd with what, in the olden days before last Wednesday, were known as cabinet leaks but which are now a sort of water cannon aimed at Rudd and his supporters. If they’ve succeeded in terminally damaging Rudd, at least Gillard’s wrecking crew can console themselves in opposition with the thought that they brought Rudd down with them, along with what’s left of the party.

It’s pro forma to insist that Tony Abbott has significantly benefited. But there isn’t a whole lot more to be gained for the opposition leader: he’s already in a strong position and he already has Gillard’s measure, despite being even less liked than her. This perpetuates the status quo, which is fine for him but doesn’t really change much. Indeed, despite his strong position, some independents still talk about wanting to deal with Malcolm Turnbull to help form a Coalition government.

The spectacle that Labor has made of itself lately can only encourage the sense that anyone who can bring an end to the Gillard-Abbott era would be welcome.

So today marks, to yet again steal a much-stolen phrase, the end of the beginning. For those sick of leadership speculation, the coming months will doubtless continue the slow burn of frustration. But blame Labor: today is a pit stop on the journey to the end Gillard’s prime ministership, as if the party decided to pause on its way and try to end the chances of Rudd as well, the one MP in the party who on current form can prevent a wipeout come the next election.

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233 comments

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233 thoughts on “And the winner is … Smith, Shorten or Crean

  1. guytaur

    @Warren Joffe.

    Delete the word Remember from sentence two. My bad edit.

  2. guytaur

    Beazley ran on GST Rollback. Remember Inam talking about the unofficial election. That one ends when thenofficial one is called by the Prime Minister.
    In official campaigns the trend is to make less and less promises. Governments run on cords. Opposition finds a non promise promise to,make. Abbott has brought this to an art form of three word slogans.

  3. Warren Joffe

    @ Guytaur

    You may be right in your memory of the two campaigns but I certainly don’t remember Beazley’s being as bereft of promises as I h ave foreshadowed Abbott’s being (nor was Beazley in the position I have assumed, for the sake of argument, that Abbott will be in i.e. so far ahead in the polls with three or four months to go, that he may not need to promise anything (I assume you are referring to the 2001 election when there was already a big swing back to the Coalition weeks before the Tampa). So a bit of chapter and verse and quotes from Beazley would be very helpful as I would like to know if you are right.

    As for Rudd’s campaign I don’t remember lots of costed promises except the $4.7 bn for the NBN which became $43 bn! Help my memory please.

  4. Liz45

    @WARREN JOFFE – Yes, there’s no dispute that he’ll do that, but what many here including myself have been pointing out, that a compliant media will allow him to get away with it. The Murdoch press in NSW did with the Election last March.

    They didn’t pop their jugular when O’Farrell went back on his word about the Solar Power rate for selling back to the grid. Then, when O’Farrell changed his mind (did a back flip) still no outrage. When they proposed cutting payments to parents of foster children, hardly a word of condemnation. THEN, they did another back flip on this, and in fact, far from cutting it by $200 per week or fortnight, they announced an increase.

    The first week of first term saw kids in NSW with disabilities with no transport to school. This went on for at least two weeks. No outrage by the media – outrage by parents, yes, but not by the msm. They just ‘calmly’ reported these things.

    Imagine if a Labor Govt had done these things. The shock jocks would be screaming. There’d be rallies with ugly names on posters. The Opposition then would be ‘very understandable’ of people who were almost ready to ‘take the law into their own hands’?

    The now Govt, in Opposition stated clearly, that they’d exchange unflued gas heaters in all NSW schools for safety/health reasons. They stated yesterday that this will not happen. New schools, yes, but even if unflued heaters need replacing in the future, they’ll be replaced by unflued heaters.

    These are just a few examples of how msm, particularly the Murdoch rag in NSW responds to the Conservatives and Labor. It’s disgusting. It’s blatant, and it’s incessant! The ALP isn’t without blame either. I get very angry by the quality of journalism in Australia. It’s a joke!

  5. guytaur

    @WarrenJoffee

    Keep telling youself that. Kim Beazley used that strategy. Kevin Rudd did not and look what he did.

  6. Warren Joffe

    @Guytaur

    That the Coalition (meaning basically Abbott and his inner circle presumably) don’t have sense is not evidenced by their not making funded promises at this stage. Instead of opening themselves up to criticism for getting their sums wrong – and, even if they haven’t got them wrong, making themselves the target and talking point – they have left it open to go to the next election with a radically novel “no promises – only honest statements of what we will work towards subject to finding the money without borrowing (unless for infrasctructure which pays for itself eventually)”.

    If, and I think many Labor leading commentators and MPs too are unduly pessimistic, Gillard can’t recover another 5 or 6 percentage points for herself and for the party’s primary vote over the next six to eight months, Abbott will have a unique opportunity to say that her government has left such a deficit of trust that he is going to take the radical step of making no definite promises of particular action within the next three years. He would of course say that he won’t take away anything, including the promised handouts from the carbon tax, without full and proper compensation which should leave him a bit of fudge room when he argues that people due to receive, say, $1000 a year for three years can be bought out by giving them $2000 immediately.

    Apart from the political opportunity he is likely to have to use such tactics the likelihood that he will do it is a reasonable inference from the impossible budgetary position that what are now taken to be his promises would put him in.

  7. guytaur

    @Meski

    The Coalition do not have sense. If they did they would have funded promises. So no sense there. Not even Arthur Sinsodsis seems to be able tomcorrect this.

  8. Liz45

    @GEE WIZZY – There’s a dispute re SIEV X as to what waters it sunk in. It was the largest maritime disaster since WW2, and yet Howard behaved like the insensitive bastard that he was/is? He wouldn’t allow survivors to attend the funeral. If they left Australia they wouldn’t be allowed back in. There was at least one woman who suffered a miscarriage in those waters. There is a strong view that the boat was in Australian waters, and anyway, regardless of where it was, we have a responsibility to save lives at sea. Like the TAMPA did when REQUESTED by Australian authorities to go to their aid. David Marr wrote a book about this tragedy, and also interviewed survivors who insisted that they saw/heard at least one boat and plane in the vicinity of the area – who just went away.

    Read “A Certain Maritime Incident” and/or “Dark Victory” by David Marr.

    Funny how it’s only OK for people like you to go back in history, when you want to attack. When you don’t want to acknowledge horrific acts by Howard or other Tory Govts in Australia, you use history to gloss over it. You probably don’t even remember the exact number of deaths, and you obviously don’t care. Howard refused to allow people to install a permanent memorial to the deaths of those people. He also stated that there was no way of recording the names of those who died. Funny how Kate (Julian Burnside’s wife whose surname escapes me – sorry Kate) made a mural that depicted every person who died, by NAME!

    As for SIEV 36. You point to any time where I’ve condoned violence by anyone! There was a lot of evidence that came out of that horrific situation. It’s typical of you to ignore the facts. To my knowledge, nobody has asserted that they deliberately set fire to that boat. Let’s wait for the court case!

    @MESKI – With news coming out of the resumed Inquiry, it amazes me (still) that nobody with the surname ‘Murdoch has been charged? Who signed the cheques, or gave the go ahead for people in high positions to pay out so much money to the police and as the next stage of the Inquiry will probably reveal – to politicians? Like Geoffrey Robinson QC, I’m just stunned.

    Anyone who even attempts to assert to the high quality of any Murdoch media outlets (take FOX News? etc) are just as dirty as he is, and has always been!

    I now predict that Abbott continues with his agenda. It will not surprise me if the Coalition repeats its practice of ’10 Election. Like Howard did with WorkChoices and other policies/legislation. Fob off for months; tell journalists to wait for the Legislation, and then when the Legislation comes out, tell people to read that! (as opposed to him answering journalists’ questions?) I also predict, that msm will let him get away with it! Shameful!

  9. Meski

    @Dog: The only way he has her measure is that being in opposition he can have completely populist policies that will never be implemented. His conga-line of supporters say he doesn’t have to cost them til an election, which is convenient for him, because they can’t be costed. The reality is that the budgeting of his policies are the very thing that he castigates the Labor party for having: poor economic management.

    @Liz: Not sure that Murdoch will be helping this time around, Murdoch has some serious problems of his own in the UK, and the FBI are likely to be launching charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. If the Coalition have any sense they won’t touch Murdoch ‘help’ with a bargepole.

  10. Dogs breakfast

    “But there isn’t a whole lot more to be gained for the opposition leader: he’s already in a strong position and he already has Gillard’s measure, despite being even less liked than her.”

    This quote really flummoxed me.

    In what way does Abbott already have Gillard’s measure? In parliament? You would have to be on some serious whacky tabacky to think that.

    In popularity? Give it up. He is just as (un)popular as Gillard, but that must surely be a count against him given that his party has maintained favoured party status the whole time. Surely if Abbott’s party is way ahead in the polls but he isn’t, that would count against him.

    In policy? Laughable.

    In politics? Well, wonder of wonders, BK has got one area of political life where Tony has her measure.

    But this has to be counted against the fact that for all her errors, not much has gone her way and she has been given no credit for the substantial reforms that BK seems not to love. History will show BK wrong in his assessments there.

    So BK’s sweeping statement about TA’s relative position is based on what exactly?

    @Karen – I know what you are saying, but I’m not so sure any more. Gillard is really hated by quite a few people. The question then is did the press create that, or was the press reflecting popular opinion. It’s chicken and egg, with no real answer, but I can’t be sure that the Press were leading that merry dance.

    I have found a real visceral response to Gillard from some people who wouldn’t know Parliament from a sand castle. She evokes strange emotions, particularly from middle age males of a certain education and political interest level.

    It’s real, and while it is easy to say that it is the press that caused it, a lot of these people, most people in fact, don’t read the papers much and don’t realy care about politics! ?

  11. Karen

    @ RB – well, you have a point about one having to be careful about language and how it is used. Its true that unless one is careful, one can cause offence and not contribute to the debate ( I have, on occasion, lost my cool and have been guilty of that myself).

    Its true we do engage in robust debate here because we are, its probably safe to say, intensely interested or passionate about politics and current affairs. I don’t think that this is likely to change and it can make for interesting, entertaining and humorous reading too. However, there is that fine line that one always has to be conscious of, as you have pointed out.

    So, anyway, please accept my olive branch and welcome to the site. I look forward to reading your contributions.

    Cheers, K

  12. Peter Ormonde

    Aaaw jings Richard,

    I’m sorry if you feel my telling Bernard to draw on a wider range of sources than his navel when putting together his astrological projections, to get up from his chatting with his Press Gallery colleagues and actually go and ask politicians some questions was harsh or abusive.

    We engage in a robust debate here and prophets and pundits reading omens are given short shrift. We expect a reasoned argument – not idle speculation and conjecture. We have Suzanne Bleak for that.

    I just reckon that if journalists are going to inflict their unsupported personal opinions on their readers, to sketch out scenarios for the next challenge against Gillard before anyone has said a word to him or before the ink is dry on the ballot results, then they should provide something like a basis for their assertions.

    But there is only one basis for their assertions – opinion polls, or to be more accurate, market research in Bernard’s case. Who has “the best chance” of beating Abbott…. as set out by Essential Market Research 18 months before the ballot. That and the atmosphere of secrecy, conspiracy and gossip that periodically rages through the Press Gallery like the plague.

    Now Abbott may well not be there in 6 months -a week in Canberra, as you’ve just, seen can last a lifetime. New candidates, new options, new issues, new circuimstances will apply and to be extrapolating from this dodgy data to an unkowable future is simply guessing. Or worse.

    A lot of us have been around far too long – have been watching this stuff far too long – to let Bernard slide along on lazy speculation. We expect him to work. It would be nice if others in the press gallery felt the same way. But our expectations on Bernard and Crikey “with its extra source” are somewhat higher than they are for Murdoch’s minions.

    I do not call people idiots, morons, dolts or other pet terms of abuse. But neither do I beat around the bush when asking someone to write their stories with two hands on the keyboard.

    Writing isn’t work. Finding out – that’s the work.

  13. Ralph Becker

    @Karen,

    What a shame. I wasn’t referring to you (or your comments for that matter), why on earth you think that is beyond me. Anyway, my apologies if you felt I was attacking you personally.

    Indeed my first comment was on what immediately stuck out reading through the posts: The at times vulgar, personal, utterly useless and indeed myopic diatribes to be seen. The uncanny parallels between this forum, the press and the ‘political debate’ in this our country.

    How not to comment on it?

    I referred to comments, not the commentators. Such comments as calling a co-commentator an “idiot”, as you can see above. Such pearls of wisdom as “Get you head out of your belly button lint, get up from the long lunch and go and do some work”, or “Sort yourself out Marilyn – get some help with the anger management” or “Until then, f… off”.

    You tell me: Do you like that kind of debate? Who does? It seems quite a few.

    I don’t. That’s why I wrote what I did. Simple.

    All the best.

  14. GeeWizz

    [“This way, there’ll be no repeat of the awful Siev X tragedy and vulnerable people sent back to sea in rust buckets”]

    Hey Lizzy,

    Siev X was over 10 years ago in Indonesias search and rescue zone… why don’t you mention Siev 221 which smashed on the shore of Christmas Island because of the Labor/Greens pull policy?

    Or what about Siev 36 when the illegals blew up the boat murdering 5 and seriously burning another 12?

    Why don’t you mention them Liz?

  15. Liz45

    AND – If I hear or see one more word about the Labor Party and its factions, as though the Coalition is distant from all that low class nonsense – I’ll SCREAM! Perhaps I’m older than most on this site, although I doubt it. The Libs have factions, left, right, wet dry, exreme right, like the Opus Dei catholics in NSW upper house. It’s just ridiculous.

    There’s no faceless “men”. All those involved have their faces out there for all to see. This is the technological age. We know who they are, and now we know how they all voted. To call them “faceless” is to treat people like me with disdain. It’s insulting!

    The other mob are as bad if not worse. We’ve all read about who hates who and how they barely rise to being civil. This is as much part of the No-alition culture as it is of the ALP! Can we please stop the bs and start recognising that people like me who oppose SB and others, are not stupid!

    I think Julia Gillard has done a great job, probably better than a lot of men could – or have done in the past. 269 pieces of Legislation in about 20 months. I think that is amazing. Her skills and ability to communicate, negotiate with all parties(except the noalition) has been amazing. I think the media’s role is disgusting, and all the sexist focus on ‘tits and bums’ demeans those who engage in it. Enough already.

    As a senior citizen I’m exited about the NBN and the positive future for not only my grand kids, but myself as well. It’s great. Bring on a good school funding policy; start winding back the awful reality about dental health in the country, plus a myriad of other positives, and I’ll support Julia Gillard and her govt. More so because of all the bs on this post. I’m disappointed with Bernard’s tone too. Barry Cassidy doesn’t appear to me to be a liar. He has an opposite position re Rudd’s behaviour and abilities!

  16. Liz45

    @KAREN – Yes, of course it’s the press. It’s the same press that allows Abbott to get away with not even giving a hint about what he’s going to chop; how he’s going to pay for his outlandish policies (like his parental leave policy?)

    He’s had people pooh pooh his so called climate change policy – he’s not made to even tell us exactly how many trees he’s going to plant, where and who’s going to do it? Nobody makes him answer the fact, that saplings don’t help at all until they’re 5 yrs old? How is that going to make an impact?

    There’s heaps of other totally nonsensical promises made. He’ll keep his mouth shut right up until Election Day, and nobody will call him to account – just like O’Farrell. Every public appearance will just say how bad the Labor Govt is, has been, will be etc, plus some pretty nasty/clever ads on TV etc – and that will be it!

    Those pro No-alition supporters here will be more than happy with his ‘campaign’? In fact, they’ll help him along. Murdoch will spew forth his usual gutter rubbish; name calling; insulting remarks about JG’s ear lobes, bottom, clothes, lack of kids, marriage ad nauseum, and those so called journalists who believe they’re professionals will just carry on as now! Most depressing indeed!

  17. Karen

    @ Dogs Breakfast – +1 – its the press – Rudd was ramped up (great opinion polls) before he got trashed by the media (bad opinion polls) before 2010, but now he’s a wronged messiah (higher opinion polls). I tell you, BK and the press gallery talk about Julia’s backflip on carbon and petty alleged missteps almost every single day (eg. like dropping Kim Carr from the ministry and ‘airbrushing’ Rudd from history), which, of course, we are all persuaded to think doesn’t make her a fit PM. I’m just waiting for it – JG farted in the corridors of parliament house and caused everyone to run for cover (with a big op ed piece about that – ah, dear, she’s not fit to be PM again (even worse opinion polls)….

    @Liz45 – +2

  18. Liz45

    An added thought! To the Coalition supporters. You all forget that Abbott only got his leadership through one vote – HIS! He was the only one out of all his colleagues who thought he was just a tinsy winsy bit better than Turnbull. That was over 14 months ago. If he’s so great, and the Coalition is sooooooooo much better, why is his personal rating similar, the same, less than, Julia Gillard? Ahem! What does it say?

    IF he had the guts to talk about policies, or answer any of the questions re HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? their preference would probably take a very big nose dive. Like O’Farrell in NSW, who operated along the same lines – do nothing, say nothing except a half dozen sentences/slogans/drones etc? Even his Press Conference yesterday? A great example to start acting like an alternative PM? The same few well used lines that mean nothing and tell us less. The Media is letting him get away with it, while JG almost has to stipulate what her next meal is going to be – and she must look good, smell good while she does it! Amazing!

    I tried to warn people in NSW prior to the election last March. O’farrell will whip workers around the head, go back on promises blah blah blah? Guess what? No surprises, except the time factor – he’d been in less than 2months before he said, that public servants, including nurses, teachers, and police (he gave in to them) would NOT receive a pay increase over 2.5% per year. Not bad. Not a word of this BEFORE the election> Surprise surprise!

    Same will happen with Abbott. OK for middle/upper middle income people, too bad about schools, kids, hospitals and those people with disabilities etc. Pell will govern via the Lodge! too bad about women’s issues too!

  19. Liz45

    Those who are against Julia Gillard but hate the attempt to off shore the Govt’s responsibilities should be over the moon. This way, the Opposition is NEVER going to agree to the offer by the Gillard Govt re Nauru and/or Malaysia. This way, there’ll be no repeat of the awful Siev X tragedy and vulnerable people sent back to sea in rust buckets – no more dead babies or pregnant women or kids or men or ???? I feel so appalled by both policies – no, sickened would be a better word, I’m quite relaxed about the status quo.

    A recent decision in the European Court of Human Rights, stated that

    “Italy must pay compensation of $18,700 to 24 Somalian and Eritrean asylum seekers who were on three boats carrying 200 people pushed back to Libya in 2009. Amnesty International called the judgement historic. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it was “a turning point”.
    The opposition’s immigration spokesman, Scot Morrison stood by the policy yesterday. ”

    Excellent news.

    I’ve seen enough, read enough to believe that at best Rudd was a great campaigner but not too good on his people skills or how to make decisions and get things done.

    @MARILYN – I have too much respect for you to argue the toss, but, whatever decisions Rudd made at the UN (and I certainly agree with the ones you mentioned – Palestinian kids etc) then he wouldn’t do it off his own bat – it would’ve been a govt decision? Wouldn’t it?

    I enjoyed the Press Conference today about Telstra/NBN etc. Good stuff, bring it on!

  20. Dogs breakfast

    Costello says Rudd will brood and fester! Well he ought to know, I suppose. boom boom!

    I have been inclined to think that the media have a much different (higher) set of standards for Gillard than for Abbott, and every other politician that walked the corridors.

    But it goes deeper than that. It is reasonable to suggest that the general public also hold these latent misogynist points of view, based on the polling.

    As badly as you might like to paint the Rudd downfall, knives in the back, scheming vicious woman thing, it is pretty obvious that in the skullduggery department Gillard is a mere amateur.

    And yet she seems to get on as well with the public as Lucrezia Borgia.

    Meanwhile, Rudd, the political equivalent of the corporate psychopath, walks the land as the humble messiah, lapping up the veneration of the crowds who seem to adore him.

    Did we enter bizarro world and nobody told me? When did Australians become gullible morons? Is it just that Gillard has reminded every dim-witted male of that woman what done them over all those years ago, and perhaps women think she is too much like a bloke and are cold towards her.

    No doubt she could present herself much better, principally by firing anyone within cooee who has the title of PR, Spin, Media Adviser or anything like that. God forbid, if she were genuine she would clean Abbott’s clock.

    And for all those who think this is a done deal for Abbott, hold your fire. It beggars belief that anyone who is over 25 years of age would imagine that there aren’t any more twists and turns between now and the next election.

  21. Meski

    Who is this Dillard you speak of? Never heard of them. If you use a persons real name I might answer.

  22. GeeWizz

    [“If you ever want to actually discuss the policy (any of the ones I have raised) feel free, until then f… off!!”]

    Well Dillard said that she didn’t want the down trodden janitor subsidising her healthcare, I was just wondering where she gets the money to pay for her health insurance.

    Simple question really… in need of a simple answer. Thanks

  23. Jimmy

    Geewizz – “These are very simple questions, why not answer them. If Dillard is so worried about the down trodden worker having their taxes used to subsidise health insurance, she’d do the honourable thing and work for free.” You are a complete idiot!!!!!!!

    If you ever want to actually discuss the policy (any of the ones I have raised) feel free, until then f… off!!

  24. Jimmy

    Geewizz – “High income earners are generally between 25-35, just the sort of young fit healthy individuals the private insurers need” Really, do you have any stats for this? People just out of uni are “high income earners” and your income tails off after 35? Maybe high disposable income, but not high income!

    And if they don’t tkae out the insurance they pay the surcharge.

    Of and haven’t you seen the health funding agreement Gillard negotiated where the fed put in 50% of the health budget!

    I think it is time you either got informed or went elsewhere!

  25. GeeWizz

    [“Geewizz – Well done, successfully avoided any intelligent discussion on the actual policy, missed the over riding point of what Gillard was saying (that the poor shouldn’t subsidise the rich) and focused on the irrelevant!!”]

    Where does Dillard get her income from and who pays her health insurance??

    These are very simple questions, why not answer them. If Dillard is so worried about the down trodden worker having their taxes used to subsidise health insurance, she’d do the honourable thing and work for free. But of course she won’t…. because she’s full of BS

  26. Jimmy

    Geewizz – Well done, successfully avoided any intelligent discussion on the actual policy, missed the over riding point of what Gillard was saying (that the poor shouldn’t subsidise the rich) and focused on the irrelevant!!

    Would you care to step up where SB has timidly left the field and answer any of my 5 questions?

  27. GeeWizz

    [“Then as more people dont have cover for certain illnesses / procedures, there is more pressure on the public system.”]

    High income earners are generally between 25-35, just the sort of young fit healthy individuals the private insurers need.

    BTW it’s a net saving for the Federal Government but a cost for the States. The Feds pay the private health insurance 30% rebate, but the states pay for public hospitals. So States costs will increase now because of Dillard just so she can post a 1 in 20 Year budget surplus.

  28. GeeWizz

    [“Windsor and Oakshot, Gillard etc t doesnt care, they get Federal MP health cover”]

    Yes I had to laugh at Dillards comments that the cleaners shouldn’t have to subsidise her health insurance.

    Yet the Prime Ministers health insurance would be paid 100% by yours truly… the long battling and attacked Australian taxpayer. God this woman is a piece of work..

  29. Karen

    @RB – go back to your first lines on one of your first, if not first, post as a new subscriber – you immediately came out and said this:

    “Interesting. Having just signed up to Crikey, trolling through the comments, crikey indeed. Yet there is hope: Reading the odd Marilyn comment makes up for many of the myopic diatribes. (Funny lot, those voicing their opinion on her voicing her opinion).”

    So, I can sum up your lengthy complaint to me as this: Pot. Kettle. Black.

    You don’t think your opener was personal and insulting? I have to admit when I read that and, yes go on admit it, you were making a veiled attack against me and others, I came out and gave it back.

    I can tell you what my opening lines were when I joined the site – it was on the Poll Bludger site where I praised the insightful comments of the posters and their comments were enough to tip me over the line in subscribing to Crikey. Unlike you, I did not single out or spray a single poster or group I disagreed with.

    And as for SB – SB’s position is an entrenched one – if you were on this site for any length of time, you would realise this. There have been many posters who have engaged her and attempted to debate various issues to no avail (Jimmy being one, on the economy). In fact, one of the things that makes people so frustrated is that SB is so personal and repeatedly says abusive things like: ly ing Gillard, incompetent Swan and extreme Greens.

    And what I have said in my post above is not untrue – she has actually said all of those things. So much for tearing her down.

    In the interests of fairness and justice I will praise SB for her apparent commitment to volunteer work – she is to be commended for that selflessness.

  30. LJG..............

    I’m with Peter Ormonde – I’m surprised Bernie you haven’t thrown in any style tips in there for Julia as well – maybe she should profile Reuben the Cavoodle more? What has she done to you in the press that you have it in for her so much except not give her daily tip offs which it’s been obvious Mr Krudd has been doing.

  31. Schnappi

    Costello would not have had any surplusses ,even in a huge mining boom,without the sale of Telstra and 6 Levies (Taxes).
    Also have the record of the highest taxing government in history,now abbott is after that lousy record.

  32. Ralph Becker

    @ Karen, why ‘shaky start’?

    A spade is a spade, and if Labor had been a better political party (policy, character and integrity go together, not just the amount of legislation put through, and some of it is very good, but that’s policy, a much healthier debate), they would not be leading a minority government and equally and independently, Ruddgate wouldn’t have happened. Broken promises are broken promises and I for one am not at all happy with Slippery Pete or the Pokie Reform back-flip. Labor’s ‘house was not in order’ and it showed. (Let me add, that in my view the Coalition’s house is currently more akin to a redneck shack in some swamp) And no-one in any party is above using the press, so please, let’s not cry foul. Their internal machinations (aka Arbib) fell apart in plain view. Now they’ve fixed it. Whether we like the fix or not is irrelevant until the next election.

    As for the whole press conspiracy theory: Yes, too few have too much influence. Yet I do not believe that we as a society are that devolved that we can’t discern between spin, press and reality. Lets not forget: We get to choose what we read and we get to influence others in what the read. If nothing else, we can try. Yet it won’t work if we p*ss people off. That’s what, irony intended, p*sses me off about some of the contributions on this forum.

    Labor would do well to openly acknowledge recent developments in a factual manner. JG should openly state why she will rid her cabinet of some of those who supported KR: There is nothing wrong the gov’t needing to be workable and that loyalty is deemed a fundamental requirement. Yet to say these members will be replaced on ‘merit’ – please. It only perpetuates the sense of a lack of integrity. Labor has a unique opportunity to clean house, regroup and be recognised (!) to stand for something, but I am not holding my breath.

    I too, am fascinated by the press et al building up and tearing down people. I am more fascinated by why people read rubbish – and believe it. I am even more fascinated by how that same approach is represented in varying degrees in forums such as this one.

    Fact of the matter is: We can not abdicate responsibility for the press being the way it is, nor government and opposition. Indeed it’s easy to do the same, slag one another – but I for one believe doing that removes a large chunk of credibility from one’s argument. As I said, this forum is rife with myopic diatribes that are in no way different from what the politicians, press, interest groups (pokies reform anyone…) et al spew forth. Having said that, I will consider anyone’s pov. Yet I have no time for antagonistic, personally tainted critique. Literally; it’s a waste of time. Especially when it’s done from behind the veil of the internet.

    Case in point: I appreciate what you write and do not concur with SB, nor do I want to see Mr. Speedo as PM, (shudder), yet with all due respect, tell me, your comments on SB, how do they differ from the press tearing someone down?

    What do you really want to achieve: P*ss SB off, or change her mind?

  33. Peter Ormonde

    SBH and Meski,

    Excellent bit of reality checking. Worthy of Mythbusters.

    Be interested in reading the original Age piece. I’ll try and track it down rather than trigger the flapping black wings of Mother Moderation by asking for a link.

  34. Karen

    @ SBH and Meski – +1 and +1 – sadly, Johnny ain’t from planet earth.

  35. susan winstanley

    Bernard, you should stick to analysing policy. You are always worth reading on complex policy matters (except when you get stuck in your juvenile libertarian groove).

    Leave the personality politics alone, really. You clearly do not get Julia Gillard. Don’t worry, lots of blokes don’t, yet. Channelling Michelle Grattan and Peter Hartcher of Fairfax and the macho exploding heads at News Ltd makes you look as flaky as them.

    And throw that crystal ball away. That makes you look silly too. You cannot predict the election result 18 months away on the basis of today’s polling any better than I can, or Suzanne Blake for that matter.

    Stick with your strengths on policy analysis, dear Bernard. Whenever you feel the need to dump on Gillard personally, just take a sickie and go down the pub. We can manage for a day or two.

  36. Meski

    @John: Are you sure you’re from planet earth? You ignore the points SBH makes, and then introduce some points that utterly fail to convince that the No-alition had any idea of what they were doing when last in power. Example: lowering tax is a sign of a populist government, people may like it a lot, but it certainly doesn’t indicate an economically responsible government and causes 3 (or more) of the points from SBH list

    * 94% of the mining boom tax windfall frittered away in just 2.5 years
    * Interest rates consistently above the OECD average
    * Highest inflation in 16 years

    I could continue. Do you really want me to, though?

  37. Karen

    @Ralph Becker – Glad that you, after a shaky start, ended up agreeing with me Ralph. Yes, I’m fascinated how the press build up and tear people down all the time. Just imagine if the press started focussing on JG’s massive policy achievements over the last 12 months (including all 269 pieces of legislation to boot) – wow, she would be cast as a doer, a political genius in this hell of a parliament she has to pick her way through. And the punters will all be running off thinking she was f’n God.

    @ Jimmy – you must realise by now that SB is never going to tackle you on Abbott policy because (a) you would defeat her on this because Abbott’s policies as you have articulately pointed out are either stupid or completely lack financial buttressing (unless he goes down the massive public spending cutting program route, which I suspect this crazy extremist will do given half the chance) (b) she has admitted she’s attracted to leaders and votes on that basis – she said she voted Howard out because he had been in too long – which is fair enough (he was like the last guy at the party you can’t wait to leave because its 4am, you’re drunk and you want to go to bed), but I agree with you shouldn’t be the only basis of voting , (c) she’s sensitive to the ol’ hip pocket and doesn’t want to have to put up with any imposts that she can’t pass on (like the GST), as a self-employed consultant or small business operator that she says she is. She is unhappy with the carbon signal, for example, but like Bruce Hawker said, people out in voter land have to realise that the punters are going to be fully compensated and the impost, in fact, will be slapped on the big emitters who can’t all pass it on anyway; (d) she’s ideologically worried about how slapping taxes on big business will affect business confidence generally and consumer confidence – she needn’t, because big business can more than comfortably afford the $23/tonne C02 emission price and big mining can more than afford the MMRT – in fact governments around the world are taxing miners – there is a tax bonanza going out there in the wider mining world – we are, thankfully, no different.

    And as for consumer confidence, she needn’t worry because this Govt has been obsessed about keeping people in jobs and the unemployment rates down, which it has been doing a fantastic job under the stimulus spending program, not to mention going in hard, going in fast at the time it was needed.

    If Abbott gets in, there will be massive spending cuts and the GST may well be increased (if he can manage it) to fund his wealthy pork barrelling spending programs. But this will not affect SB so much because she is in business, can pass on GST, and use her business vehicle to write off as much tax as she can.

    So, in anticipation of an Abbott victory, perhaps, we should all set up our own E-businesses (bit like Wizz/Troofie) and do the same. Can you really bear the thought of Abbott transferring punter tax money to the big end of town? And with the money that is saved in tax, put it toward your favourite causes and charities, which you can claim a tax deduction for. Bargain.

  38. Johnfromplanetearth

    SBH: So Costello steered us clear of the Asian financial crisis of 1997, then notched up a string of budget surpluses, interest rates were at 10.50% in March 1996 and were 6.70% by August 1997 and we had 5 years of personal tax cuts!
    Yep, Costello must’ve have been one bad treasurer, I don’t think Swan could land a punch on him could he?
    Don’t get me started on 1990 with interest rates at 17%!… i’m still searching for my balls! I hope Mr Keating is enjoying retirement in Potts Point!

  39. SBH

    Costello has hit the nail on the head, shame he didn’t do more of that when in power but here’s some of what he did do.

    PETER COSTELLO’S COALITION ECONOMIC RECORDS

    Economic Records of Costello and the Coalition:

    * The biggest trade deficit ever recorded
    * The longest run of successive monthly trade deficits ever recorded
    * Biggest foreign debt in Australia’s history (number 4 in the world in dollar terms)
    * Highest levels of household and business debt ever recorded
    * The lowest value of the AU$ (2001)
    * 94% of the mining boom tax windfall frittered away in just 2.5 years
    * Interest rates consistently above the OECD average
    * Highest inflation in 16 years
    * In mortgage rates, the highest interest component-to-average income level ever recorded
    * Housing affordability the lowest ever
    * Personal bankruptcies the highest in two decades
    * Government investment in Tertiary Education in reverse

    lifted from the age

  40. guytaur

    @SB

    Comment coming Caught in moderation

  41. Jimmy

    SB – “As people scale back their health insurance cover (like increasing the excess on home and contents to save money), the health funds will be squeezed, premiums will go up.” And where is the evidence this will happen? Given the increase in the medicare surcharge high income earners who drop out will effectively pay the premium or more in tax and not get the benefits.

    And the other 4 policy points?

  42. guytaur

    Lol @ SB.

    They have families. They care. To say they do not is spin to make out these are automotons with no feeling. Plainly absurd. B

  43. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    As people scale back their health insurance cover (like increasing the excess on home and contents to save money), the health funds will be squeezed, premiums will go up.

    Then as more people dont have cover for certain illnesses / procedures, there is more pressure on the public system.

    Windsor and Oakshot, Gillard etc t doesnt care, they get Federal MP health cover

  44. guytaur

    @SB

    Yes. Which is why the question arises. Who will replace worst rating leader of a political party. Members of the Coalition will want to increase their lead and thus winnable seats not decrease them. Tony Abbott will not be leader at next election unless his poll numbers change.

  45. Suzanne Blake

    @ Guytaur

    anyone can win the next election, agree with that, just some are more knobbled that other

  46. Jimmy

    SB – And you return to your soothsaying and wildly inaccurate predictions (when was the last time you got one right) and avoid the important issues of policy.

    By the way if you ever get around to answering any of my questions you could add in

    Abbott plans to repeal the 30% health insurance rebate means test- given the predicted massive increase in the cost of this policy as premiums rise how will this impact the health budget in general?

  47. guytaur

    @SB

    .Costello and you must have missed comments on Polls.

    I refer you to most recent high profile comment. One Senator Arbib. He worked for Keating as a volunteer.
    All through that election polls and people said Keating was going to lose.
    Yet he won one poll. The election day poll.
    18 months is a long time.

  48. guytaur

    @SB

    We all know Peter Costello’s record on challenges. He did not have the ticker of a Keating, Howard, Rudd or Gillard.

  49. guytaur

    We know conservatives benefit whenvoting restrictions are introduced. The history of this in the USA and the GOP is clear. We saw the protests from civil liberties groups when PM John Howard chand laws on registering on the electoral roll. Its a reiance on complacency.
    For this reason I think Conservatism as has been known up to date is in trouble. People are more active, involved and informed in politics than ever before. The numbers of complacent voters are getting less and less.

  50. Suzanne Blake

    Costello has hit the nail on the head.

    Look at the last paragraph

    “Kevin Rudd will “brood and fester” after his convincing defeat in yesterday’s caucus leadership vote, says former Liberal deputy leader Peter Costello.

    Mr Costello, who harboured his own unfulfilled leadership ambitions during the tenure of former prime minister John Howard from 1996 to 2007, said Mr Rudd would never give up his leadership ambitions.

    “While he has breath he will be angling for the leadership,” he said in a Fairfax opinion piece today.

    “Even if he wanted to be, he cannot be loyal to another leader. He will brood and he will fester.”

    Mr Rudd might end up being the Labor Party’s last desperate option, Mr Costello said.

    “If things get so bad that no other credible candidate is left standing, then Labor will turn to him in its utter humiliating desperation,” he said.

    “Rudd cannot win a ballot for the Labor leadership — but he can be drafted.”

    Mr Costello said Gillard “had her leadership vindicated” by the caucus ballot which would allow her to claim “a mandate from her party at least”.

    “But Gillard is a prisoner of the polls,” he said.

    “Her weakness is that she is a long way behind, and as the election gets closer, her caucus, focusing on its mortality, will get more desperate.”

    news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8426707/rudd-will-brood-and-fester-says-costello

  51. Jimmy

    SB – “Abbott does not need to release costed policies until we have an election.” But he has released policies (although not costed) and as you plan to vote for him I would like to think you had the vaguest idea of how those policies hang together and how they will impact the economy.

    He plans to repeal the carbon tax, keep the compensation & initiate a massive spending policy called direct action – discuss.

    He plans to repeal the MRRT keep the super increases, company tax cuts & small business tax offsets – how will this impact the budget?

    He plans to increase company taxes to pay for paid parental leave for the rich – how will this effect economic growth in the non mining sector?

    He plans to institute what is referred to as “expansionary austerity” given this theory’s massive failure elsewhere in the world (the UK & Europe most notably) how will this impact the Australian economy?

  52. guytaur

    Truly one thing I do hope is that the advent of the internet is going to make the “safe seat” a dim distant memory.
    As a long term trend I think this may be the reason for the increase in Hung Parliaments around the world.
    Who knows in future a safe seat may be a Wentworth and that is about it.
    Good for accountability. Good for stopping the lax career member who does not do much.
    The only wall against this change are house prices and associated mortgagr costs.
    A welcome change I would think no matter what your political stripe.

  53. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Abbott does not need to release costed policies until we have an election.

    Same for John Robertson in NSW and any other opposition leader.

    Being happening that way for decades and decades. You know that

  54. Jimmy

    Guytaur – Generally I find if you surround yourself with intelligent people and are willing to have your views tested by factual based arguments everyone can come away better off, not necessarily agreeing but better off.

    This is where SB falls down, she doesn’t actually stand for anything she just opposes and is therefore constantly angry at the govt because she put no thought into what she voted for she just focused on voting out.

  55. Jimmy

    Where it Counts SB is being factually correct! If you were to do this that would be a massive step forward but alas you will keep peddling drivel on your quest to bring the political intelligence of the nation down to your level.

    Again I would challenge you to prove me wrong, let’s discuss how Abbott’s policies effect the economy and society as a whole? Generally this is your cue to leave.

  56. Mike Flanagan

    The above post should read “The Conversation”. My apologies

  57. guytaur

    @Jimmy

    Living in a safe Liberal seat means you hear more of the right ing mythology than a marginal seat resident.
    Therefore any time you dispute that right wing mythology you are more likely to do o from facts. Just as a right wing person living in a left wing safe seat would.

    Of course in the internet age this is all poppycock. Social media is where it is at. More political dialogue is happening on Facebook than in pubs.

  58. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Thats fine, you run around your safe seat, I will concentrate on where it counts.

  59. Jimmy

    SB – HOw does Geography change facts, you have proven to be factually incorrect on many many occasions on this site, pretty much any time we talk policy or economics you show your complete lack of knowledge. Your understanding of how interest rates work is just one such highlight.
    I might get different opinions in a different seat (probably more agreeing with me as I live in a safe liberal seat) but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will hear more informed opinions.

  60. guytaur

    @Suzzanne Blake

    You calling Barnaby Joyce and Janet Albrechtsen faceless men part of an ABC conspiracy?
    They got a lot of airtime.

  61. Mike Flanagan

    I agree Guytaur.
    There is a limit to the dross we have to put with and the current presentations does a disservice to the quality of the nations political discourse.
    I find “The Conversatio” gives me a daily measured opinion from both sides of the debate and they actually identifiy the source and so allow me,, the recipient, the option of assessing their personal predetermined positions.

  62. Suzanne Blake

    @ Guytaur

    another typo Guytaur?

    KKK I am nobody puppet, nobodys girl. She was Premier for a year or a bit longer and was install by the factions. As ex Labor Premiers Rees and Iemma said the faceless men were pulling the strings

  63. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Suggest you travel up from your safe seat in Victoria to some marginal seats in Victoria, NSW or Queensland, and to quote the famous movie line… “stand a post”

  64. Frank Campbell

    “the two least-popular leaders of recent memory, Gillard and Abbott.”
    Abbott is a mere Opposition leader. His polling is average- Opposition leaders struggle most of the time.
    (Abbott is) “even less liked than her”. Just not accurate.

    It’s remarkable that an intrinisically unattractive politician like Abbott (failed catholic priest, echoes of Santamaria, the all-too-recent Howard past, boorishness…) curbed his coarse blokey gaffiness and presents relatively well (at least when dressed). He’s a far better speaker than Gillard too, which is admittedly saying little more than Abbott isn’t a verbal paraplegic. “We are us”.

    Such short memories…It took a long time for Crikey and the tossariat generally to realise that the derision they heaped on Abbott would come back and bite them. Remember all that crap about the Libs splitting, apotheosis of the Greens, inevitable triumph in Higgins/Bradfield, Turnbull following the true path of climate religion? There was abject failure to realise that the inner-city climate consensus was just that- a low postcode conceit, resting on a bed of inflated property, garnished with sanctimony. The rest of the country (and the world) was edging to the exit. The Libs came within an ace of being coopted into Rudd’s Millenarian vision of the Greatest Moral Challenge. If Abbott hadn’t beaten Turnbull, the Libs would have been in trapped in Rudd’s corral.
    And it’s still about The Policy. It’s still about the climate cult- even though devotion continues to inexorably decline. Gillard barked harshly yesterday about the “clean green energy fewcha” …”we wiwl price caahbun”…But we hear little now from the Savonarolas of climate Armageddon- the Hamiltons and Flannerys. The climate-ignorant tossariat has gone quiet too: there’s not a peep from the Crabbs, Simons, Rundles et al who all issued a slab or two of “me-too” waffle on the subject they know least. Even Melbourne’s suburban Moses, Robert Manne, pontificates not about climate catastrophe. Well, not much.
    Rudd last week offered a face-saving way out- an ETS- which would remove the need for a massive new bureaucracy to implement and police a carbon tax – and eliminate the absurd cash carousel: handing out billions to “polluters” and “families”. The “price of carbon” would instantly sink to insignificant levels. Business as usual, with a figleaf.
    No chance. Gillard is a headkicker, a factional thug. She is also rigid and remarkably stupid. She belted the media hounds yesterday with the big carbon stick. All Abbott has to do is to keep attention on the carbon tax and avoid his motley crew of Howard survivors from having embarrassing accidents. Gillard will do the rest. As she has done since her Faustian pact with the Greens.
    No one is being honest about the decomposition of climate millenarianism. The facile early predictions have proved not only false, but ridiculous. Yet the stentorian, Manichean, bullying chorus continues. Heretics are hunted relentlessly.
    Rudd had the right idea: rescue progressive politics from its self-destructive obsession at a stroke by implementing an anodyne ETS. A placebo. Government, liberated from the suffocating burden of the carbon tax, could get on with real policy and the real environment.
    Handing power to Abbott for a decade is the likely alternative. Cattle in the national parks. The snarl of chainsaws in the forests.
    Rise of the Right- Rednecks’ delight.

  65. Ralph Becker

    Interesting. Having just signed up to Crikey, trolling through the comments, crikey indeed. Yet there is hope: Reading the odd Marilyn comment makes up for many of the myopic diatribes. (Funny lot, those voicing their opinion on her voicing her opinion).

    Yes, Gillard is being trashed for many reasons (not the least of her own making), Abbot is not taken seriously, but prevails in the polls, again for many reasons (a lot of them scary) and yes, Rudd was set upon so savagely for many reasons (again, many of his own making). Not much new there, except this time we were invited to the party. You have to love this new-found transparency.

    Of course, media plays/ed a huge role. What do you expect? They have a willing market. If anything, the media and our politicians are so pervasive because we, society as a whole, really don’t give a f*ck about actually figuring ‘it’ out for ourselves. It’s all just too hard – let’s just convene around a headline, take our preconceived ‘opinion’ and bash whatever comes into range. On balance, we indeed have the government/opposition that reflects us. Democracy at its best. Funny thing is, we – the electorate – are more sophisticated and diverse in buying cars, or picking jelly beans for that matter, than we are at electing a government.

  66. zut alors

    Further to Mike Flanagan’s theme: on Saturday ABC24 was showing footage of Anthony Albanese’s earlier press conference. We’d had almost four minutes of a powerful speech when suddenly there was a jarring interruption from a desk-bound presenter who said “We’re now crossing to Kevin Rudd who is commenting on Anthony Albanese’s speech”. They stayed with Rudd for, perhaps, two minutes then we were back with the desk-bouind presenter.

    Good, I thought, now we’ll get to hear the remainder of Albo’s speech. Not on your nellie. Instead the presenter crossed to ABC political reporter, Greg Jennett… for his opinion on Albo’s speech… and also his opinion of Kevin Rudd’s opinion. Did we ever return to Albo’s speech, the speech heralded as the greatest of the man’s career? Of course not. Because the ABC journalists, like other Oz media, are too consumed by their own role in the news – whereas their role is actually to report events.

    The bottom line is that we heard four minutes of Albo’s speech but way WAY more time was devoted to commentary on the speech – which viewers never managed to hear in full. A perfect example of talking-head commentary having dominance over actual news content.

  67. guytaur

    @Jimmy

    + 1

  68. guytaur

    I thought the Media Watch episode last night was intriguing. Given we know what journalists could do as revealed by the Leveson inquiry in the UK. The questuin is still how much is “backgrounding” and how much is having dinner chats with the political players getting involved in the politics of the day. A good practical question to be addressed by a media inquiry.

  69. Jimmy

    SB – “am just an angry voter in a marginal electorate and like others have made it my mission in life to make sure everyone in my electorate and surrounding electorates is eyes wide open to what is happening” If that was truly your mission in life you would have a much better relationship with facts and a much better knowledge of policy and it’s impact on the economy and society.
    If even one person believes your rubbish on econoics the country is worse off!!!

  70. guytaur

    @Suzzanne Blake

    Politics change. Possible replacements for Arbib are being bandied about. Mundine and Kenneally prominently amongst them. As one commentator has mentioned if Kenneally decided to sacrifice it and take the senate seat, being ex Premier of Australias largest state she could be given Foreign Affairs straight away.

  71. Mike Flanagan

    Thanks Shepherdmarylan a most informative piece.
    It has been obvious to many of us that the backgrounding of journalist has been genesis of the efforts to destabilise Ms Gillard. It has and should be, tolerated ‘backgrounding’. Journalist and commentators should in some instances be able to use ‘unnamed sources’.
    But what we have today is constant flow of this material being presented daily as the lead story on page one for political affect in all media sources.
    Todays examples of our broadsheet press is an example. We have lead, page one stories that are not news but opinion pieces by peoeple have are fast degrading the profession to the point that themselves have little credibility.
    It had been the practice of Newspapers to endevour to bring us the news and present sourced facts in our daily papers as page one lead stories, with the occasional reflection or opinion piece of senior commentators. Normally those senior commentators had some respect and credibility because they supported their opinion pieces with academics and other people, outside their own craft that were believable. Today they support their personal opinions and personal biases with a supporting comment from another journalist that they are comfortable with.
    This manifests itself as a degradation of the press’s value in the political discourse of the nation.

  72. Suzanne Blake

    @ Steve777

    Sorry to disappoint, I work for myself. I have never been to any politcal meeting / event / rally and have never been employed directly, indirectly or volunteer by any political party.

    I am just an angry voter in a marginal electorate and like others have made it my mission in life to make sure everyone in my electorate and surrounding electorates is eyes wide open to what is happening. You may say get a life. I am enjoying have the exchange and even the exchange here!!

    Politics is not the unspoken topic anymore. People are angry and want action.

  73. Steve777

    Zut – it’s entirely possible. I was also going to suggest that Ms Blake apply for a job with the Liberal Party or a conservative / right wing think tank, but again I think she already has one.

  74. zut alors

    @ Steve777,

    Isn’t Wizz already working at one of the abovementioned?

  75. Steve777

    @GEEWIZZ – you should go for a job on Sydney’s 2GB, 2UE or perhaps the Daily Telegraph.

  76. Karen

    @shepherdmarilyn – interesting reply from Tingle. Its not Tingle who have been briefed by Rudd, its been Hartcher – has he answered Media Watch – I bet not.

    I know you’re angry at Gillard’s Malaysia solution – I was too – in fact, I support the complete dismantling of mandatory detention. However, we now, thanks to Abbott, have a situation where people are being processed on shore, a system that worked perfectly well before Keating changed it. Yes, we all know that for political reasons she decided not to, because she would have been excoriated even more by the press, had she done so. Instead, she’s now wearing our anger on the left. That said, I don’t see Gillard showing any real appetite to go back to the mandatory detention policies of the past, especially if political circumstances allow.

    In the meantime, Gillard has won a comprehensive win in caucus, unlike Abbott who won his party room by 1. The media has not touched that story, because the media prefer Abbott ahead of Turnbull who has always been considered a suspect pinko.

    In fact, the media’s behaviour towards the ALP has been an utter disgrace. Rudd’s electoral approval fell into free-fall before 2010, after the media trashed him over the super profit mining tax and his deferring the CPRS. The media treated Rudd in the same way, back then, as they are now treating Gillard. Then, when Gillard got in and decided to resuscitate the climate change agenda by pricing carbon, they attacked her and used and manipulated Rudd who was more than happy to brief his preferred journalists because of his hurt and fury over his dumping.

    The press have pushed, and pushed, and pushed this leadership issue in the interests of unseating Gillard. Rudd, who was still angry and believing his own hype, had a brain snap overseas and decided to resign, again forcing Gillard’s hand into a ballot, this time. I wish Therese was with him overseas at the time; I really do wonder whether, if she were there to counsel him, he would have done this. Now he has nothing. Foreign Affairs is one of the most coveted portfolios you could ever have. If Rudd felt emasculated in his role in Foreign Affairs, imagine how he would feel now, once the dust settles.

    As much as I hated the way Rudd behaved, I think in the end, Rudd was a victim of the press and his own personal failings, what a waste because, like any complex human being as he clearly is, he had real talent in the role he best served, Foreign Affairs.

  77. zut alors

    I agree with AR’s comments @ 7.48am regarding Q&A.

    Last week half an our was spent on a possible leadership challenge – last night it was the entire programme sifting through the entrails after the event. Perhaps rename the show ‘K&J’ as that appears to be the principle theme. Yawn.

  78. Michael

    @SHEPHERD

    Ms Laura Tingle’s gonna be very pissed with you kid!
    Still it does show what utterly shallow, narcissistic , delusional freaks ALL journalists are.
    What a dreadful occupation, little wonder they are held in such low esteem by the public.
    It takes a special type of depressive, lifeless, zombie to follow journalism as a career.
    .

  79. Suzanne Blake

    @ adamjdavey

    “millions love Gillard” what millions in India or China? Her approval rating is 26% that is rusted on Labor support levels or just above.

  80. Suzanne Blake

    @ shepherdmarilyn

    Thanks for posting the Holmes / Tingle email exchange.

    Tell me is Laura Tingle the 101 Journalism Tutor for Jonathan Holmes? or is Holmes enrolled in a pre Uni bridge course?

  81. Suzanne Blake

    @ fractious

    Please get a grip, a lot of people are trashing Gillard, including

    25% of her ALP Ministers
    30% of her ALP Caucus
    EVERY poll you read, look at ninemsn poll now, almost 180,000 people, 81% against ALP.
    Seven Poll 96% don’t support Gillard.

    Yes you may say the last two are not scientific, but even with a margin of error its all over.

    Even on Left Wing Q&A with a stacked ALP Panel (2 ALP MPs/Senators, 1 Green Senator, 1 LNP Senator, 1 ex Labor Prime Minister spin doctor and a Journalist.) On there last night NOT ONE question was pro Gillard and hardly anything pro Labor.

    COMPLETELY BIASED the ABC are.

  82. AR

    Were an illustration needed of the general ignorance of the Westminster system compare the deranged talk of ‘people’s PM’, even/especially on Q&A on Monday night. The Twit strap was the worst I’ve seen in a long time, the usual shoutjock claptrap (and beautifully exemplified by the woman in the audience mid show, who was so obviously reading stuff scribbled down while listening to Rat Hately & Devoid Odious that Jones asked “Are you a Coaltion voter?”).
    The ALP used to have a system roughly equivalent to (US) primaries in the branch structure, when the FEC and national conference actually listened to, and took note of, the grassroots. However that was crushed & ground to dust by the Sussex St machine in the Hawkeating years.

  83. shepherdmarilyn

    Yes Geewizz it was the media and if the shills do not understand that Arbib was the architect of the entire thing this last week then surely they are stupid as can be.

    The guilty fell on his sword after creating complete havoc.

  84. Socratease

    @Schnappi … now who is plotting to beat abbott and turnbull.

    Turnbull is a spent force. I’m hard-pressed to think of anybody in the Libs who could launch a credible challenge to Abbott. More’s the pity.

  85. Schnappi

    Just love liberal small minded plotters,4 liberal leaders in 4 years,now who is plotting to beat abbott and turnbull.

  86. GeeWizz

    [“The baying of the media in full flight is a frightening affair – but fear and gossip sells papers. It is a shame that Bernard is looking for a bit part.”]

    When the Prime Minister said Kevin Rudd sabotaged the 2010 election…. was that the media?

    When Simon Crean said Rudd was a psychopath scheming 24/7 for the Prime Ministership… was that the media?

    When Wayne Swan dumped on Rudd and called him a traitor to the Labor Party… was that the media?

    When Senator Conroy said Rudd was an unworkable failure who paralysed the government, was that the media?

    It’s not the medias fault Labor are having an internal civil war

  87. Tom Jones

    The baying of the media in full flight is a frightening affair – but fear and gossip sells papers. It is a shame that Bernard is looking for a bit part.

  88. GeeWizz

    [“Yeah Bernard, it’s not like you contributed at all is it?

    Haven’t you got any real journalism to do?”]

    So you are another who blames all Julia Dillards woes on the media?

    Christ did you not see the sh1tfight of the last week by the Labor Party? Head in the sand much? Labor are writing the story, the media is just reporting it

  89. hernando garcia

    so the medias first alp leadership challenge has fallen flat. but the fact they managed to stir up a ballot has left them sufficiently boueyed to regroup and launch another one later in the year. they’ve already picked a list of potential candidates they’ll be floating to put up against jul.ia gillard. will they get up next time and topple a prime minister? only time will tell.

  90. adamjdavey

    Bernard Keane seriously needs to stop telling us that Julia Gillard is disliked by voters and not trusted. He says this in both the first and second article of Monday’s daily email and lately has been saying it in almost every article he writes. I personally love Julia and I can honestly say I know plenty of others who do too. In fact there are millions of us across the country! Do you know how infuriating it is to constantly read this nonsense fiction about her being hated? Of course hardcore conservatives will hate her. But on the ABC’s Insiders last weekend an aggregated analysis of the polls actually showed that Gillard was the preferred prime minister. Such pro-Gillard analysis is completely abesent from the mainstrain Murdoch-dominated media. I expect better from Crikey.

  91. shepherdmarilyn

    From: Laura Tingle
    Sent: Monday, 27 February 2012 10:00 AM
    To: Jonathan Holmes
    Jonathan, I’m sorry I haven’t got back to you before now. I’ve been busy.
    Frankly, it has taken me a couple of days to get over my astonishment that I would be asked, by
    Media Watch of all people, to reveal my off the record conversations with anybody.
    Further, your questions are such a jumble of what I believe to be a completely wrong set of premises
    about events in Canberra and questions that are answerable and unanswerable, that I have found it
    hard to work out how exactly I can try to shed some light on these issues.
    I’m doing so lest my silence be regarded as somehow confirming the dark conspiracy you suggest.
    I will not even go to the imputation in question about ‘truthful’ answers.
    What can I tell you?
    I can tell you that neither Kevin Rudd nor his supporters have briefed me in the last six months that he
    intended to mount a challenge for the leadership.
    I can tell you that in the last month, possibly earlier, I can’t remember, the idea of a two stage
    challenge has been wargamed amongst politicians of all persuasions, all parties, all factions. Not
    even necessarily about Rudd. Just because once something happens in politics, people tend to go
    back and look for repeats.
    Are politicians rude about each other? Of course they are. Do I report it when it is important for my
    readers to know about it? Yes. I point you to pieces I write in 2009 and 2010 which reported the
    internal problems in the Rudd government and similar ones I’ve written about the Gillard government.
    However, as I said earlier, I believe the whole premise of your questions is wrong.
    That’s because the only way Rudd was ever going to get back into the leadership was if Labor
    became so desperate it drafted him. This would have required the ‘faceless men’ to have to admit
    they were wrong, which was always a big stumbling block.
    Rudd was always being told to sit back and shut up if he wanted to come back and, in general, he did.
    Whatever happened in the 2010 election campaign, I find it hard to think of any example of a bad turn
    of events for the government since the campaign that can be sheeted home to Rudd. That is, unless
    you count the fact that he lived and breathed and was therefore a reminder of the fact Labor had a
    choice.
    What has happened in the past couple of months has been a result of Julia Gillard’s missteps – which
    caused some of her supporters to peel off but not necessarily move to the Rudd camp – and then the
    Gillard supporters doing whatever they could to provoke Rudd into acting in a way which would allow
    the prime minister to either sack him or otherwise bring this issue to a head earlier rather than later.
    Don’t get me wrong. Kevin Rudd is not angelic or without flaw or fault. But the idea that he has had a
    secret strategy that he was waiting to implement, akin to a raid on the armoury, overlooks the basic
    fact that he has not had the numbers to do over Gillard in a leadership contest.
    Should journalists ‘out’ people who have spoken to them on the presumption that journalists actually
    adhere to their code of ethics? Of course not.
    Having said that, our first obligation is to our readers. The balancing act of political journalism in
    particular is telling people things they need to know without revealing our sources. This is the very
    reason we spend so much of our lives under attack from people who think we make it up.
    This only increases the responsibility on journalists – particularly in these days of a crazy news cycle –
    to be responsible in reporting things like media speculation.
    The fact that some people in the gallery have made an imminent leadership challenge an almost
    weekly event has brought criticism and ridicule on our heads.
    Laura Tingle
    From: Jonathan Holmes [mailto:Holmes.Jonathan@abc.net.au]
    Sent: Thursday, 23 February 2012 4:10 PM
    To: Laura Tingle
    Subject: Media Watch questions
    Hi Laura
    I know it’s a busy time, but we’d really appreciate it if you could find time to answer the
    following questions. Most require only one word answers.
    Media Watch is exploring some of the issues arising out of the current ALP leadership ballot
    and events preceding it.
    We are sending this email to several senior political reporters and commentators. Any
    answers you may send will be treated as on the record and may be posted on our website or
    used in the program.
    At his press conference in Washington this morning Australian time Kevin Rudd said: “Ours
    is a democracy, in the open spaces, not behind closed doors, not governed by faceless men.”
    At his resignation speech a few hours earlier, he said: “The truth is that the Australian people
    regard this whole affair as little better than a soap opera, and they are right. And under
    current circumstances, I won’t be part of it. It is also, I believe, a distraction from the real
    business of government…”
    And later: “But I can promise you this, there is no way – no way – that I will ever be party to
    a stealth attack on a sitting prime minister elected by the people.”
    We have the following questions:
    1. Have you at any time in the past 6 months been personally briefed on an off-the-record
    or background basis by Kevin Rudd, or by MPs claiming to represent Mr Rudd’s interest,
    about his intention to challenge Julia Gillard for the leadership of the Parliamentary
    Labor party, and the tactics he intends to employ? Have Mr Rudd or his supporters
    disparaged Ms Gillard’s performance as PM to you?
    2. If the truthful answer to question 1 were “yes”, do you agree that in normal
    circumstances you would be obliged either not to answer it or to answer “no”?
    3. If the truthful answer to question 1 were “yes”, hypothetically, would Mr Rudd’s explicit
    declaration that he has not been a part of “this whole affair” absolve you of the
    obligation to honour whatever agreement you came to about the confidentiality of those
    briefings?
    4. In 2007, the ABC’s Michael Brissenden, and others, “outed” Peter Costello and revealed
    details of an off the record conversation they had had with him years earlier, because he
    had specifically and publicly denied the content of that conversation. Would you in
    similar circumstances have taken that course of action?
    5. How do you respond to Michael Gawenda when he says in his piece on the ABC’s Drum
    website today http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3847892.html that “On the evidence so
    far, there are reporters and commentators – as well as editors and broadcasting bigwigs –
    who have allowed things to be said and reported that they know not to be true”?
    6. In her press conference this morning the Prime Minister absolved reporters of any
    obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any conversation in which she disparaged
    Kevin Rudd while he was Prime Minister. Hypothetically, if you had been a party to
    such a background conversation, would you now feel free to report it?
    7.
    Do you think that political reporting in Australia – and especially in Canberra – is over-
    reliant on unattributable sources and off-the-record briefings? If so, is that over-reliance
    avoidable? In present circumstances, do you believe it has been possible for you to report
    what is really going on to your readers/listeners/viewers?
    Because of our production deadlines we would very much appreciate responses before 5pm
    on Friday. If you do not intend to respond to any of the questions we’d appreciate a quick
    email to that effect.
    Regards

  92. fractious

    Oh look, a Bernard Keane article trashing Gillard.

    Colour me bored.

    For those sick of leadership speculation…

    Yeah Bernard, it’s not like you contributed at all is it?

    Haven’t you got any real journalism to do?

  93. SBH

    except the ability to get over two hundred pieces of legislation through with a minority government chilli?

  94. the learnered chilli eater

    @ Schnappi – I tend to agree, the electorate was regretably swept up in Kevin07 euphoria. The ALP were thumped at the last election, everybody knows that. The ruling party was chosen by a bunch of independents, that is a fact.

    The Coalition will win the next election in a landslide bar the party spontaneously combusting.

    Atleast Rudd had a tiny bit of charisma, Gillard has nothing.

  95. Warren Joffe

    Sorry about the delay in finishing the above which, as someone kindly noticed, had been begun much earlier and accidentally sent in unfinished form.

    If I were, with equal straightorward naivety or plain speaking, recommend to the Coalition political planners would be to get a few simple statements repeated often enough in a vivid form to become the essence of pub talk or wisdom over the BBQ. Such as “It’s all very well Julian claiming she’s got things done, but look what those things are!” “Julia’s great triumphs in getting acts passed are all legal dogs bred by the Greens with payoffs to the Indpendents on the side”. “Julian fancies herself as action woman. I suppose the most expensive broadband in the world when it finally reaches you required a bit of push”. “Julia’s got the Greens’ carbon tax through. Great, it is the most expensive in the world and she’s using the money she gets from pricing us out of world markets to try and bribe enough voters to let her keep her job”.

    “Julia’s squandered the money that could have been used to finance the Gonski recommendations on building overpriced and unnecessary school halls”. “Julia now claims credit for the Rudd government’s spending the Howard-Costello surplus and more on overpriced school halls when the danger of receession had already passed”. Etc.

    In my opinion those jibes at Julian would be basically correct but it would be interesting to see if Julia beginning to play things straight as I have suggested above could restore some respect for her as a hardworking level headed quite sensible person who had left the aura of untrustworthiness behind.

  96. Schnappi

    Find it strange the country has unintelligent uninformed people who do not know that last election ,labor got more votes than libs and small nats party combined,that is appalling.

  97. RICHARD

    The Labor Party Sussex Street ‘faceless men’ no longer exist having been displaced in recent years by EMILY’s List the almost secretive ‘feminist’s’ formally registered wing of the Labor Party. Note that their agenda is always to vote as a block based on feminist ideology. The Nation that substantially supports Rudd are not the Labor Caucus and did not get to vote and of course could not persuade the embedded EMILY’s List sisterhood and their ‘heroic’ male white knights to give any support to the National choice of Prime Minister.

    In fact no faceless men exist being replaced by blatant faced feminists and their as obvious ‘white knights” – were was behind the coup displacing Prime Minister Rudd– pure and simple – it is now the epitome of the endless feminist gender war against men for female domination and war on the traditional family unit.

    The Parliament, The Electorates and The Constituents are all only Trojan Horses and Trojan Foals for EMILY’s List as insurgents to hide in and deliver their female sole gender ideology via Government and it Delivery Services. To reduce heterosexual families to ‘women and children’ – they claim it empowers women. Well for one thing it also puts dad denied children especially boys in their teens straight onto the street as UK David Cameron realized as a significant factor in the UK street riots.

    Use the list below and do a head count of the EMILY’s List members in the Caucus spill who vote Gillard and it be proven numerically the highly visible women of EMILY’s List in fact runs the Labor Caucus with the help of their white knights and no longer is it any Sussex Street Peers. Not even predominately males either.

    Attorney General Robert McClelland who abused me when I raised feminism with him via email still got the chop by EMILY’s List to make way for EMILY’s List Nichola Roxon. Often called ‘femme nazis’ they are as bullying and callous with any including regular women who are not their own self interest and self serving cronies and attending white knights. Andrew Wilkie thought he got a win with a Hobart hospital. No, EMILY’s List had the win, with it being a ‘women and children’s’ hospital. He was only a white knight who sold out his male hospital constituents for his own temporary alliance with EMILY’s List forever governing by proxy out of Government. Faceless Men is only another typical feminist ‘male blame’ decoy while the ‘sisterhood’ governs underhanded as silently as possible by proxy.

    May we please have back our democracy and family cohesion over feminism and ‘women and children’ and suicide fathers denied their natural parenting? Broken men as fathers forced to watch their father denied children leave mum and become street kids and junkies? With fathers still being blamed by the misandary feminists for the children’s behavior. We already have a gender divided nation prime for other divisions by a Government more of a Blockade between a top nation and its domestic harmony. Bloody well WAKE UP what a divisive lot you are and others for condoning it in self interest preserving alliances with ruling feminism most definitely not in the best interests of constituents and the nation and especially FAMILIES.

    While this self serving charade of feminist control has run astray with what Australia could be doing better; in the meantime a wealthy industrialist has planned and could build an entire town. With a mine beneath, an airstrip to accommodate Jumbo Jets and fly in and fly out a completely foreign workforce. And rail millions of tons of coal and ore to our Eastern Seaboard to his own country. While Emily’s List and feminism fights its ‘slaughter house’ gender war against men within our Government, Labor and the Opposition inanely also bleating ‘faceless men’ and boat people Australia could be invaded by others from other countries or too it maybe even better run by them. Leastwise better respecting fatherhood and it benefits to children and families.

    All the time blokes and fathers are being herded down the chutes of family destruction like cattle down an abattoir race by more and more feminist sole gender ideology instead of according to laws of The Legislature and their family case facts..

    Make no mistake this Caucus spill is not as superficial as some think. EMILY’s List and Gillard planned the coup and toppled Rudd to get an EMILY’s List woman Prime Minister in with her attending White Knights. Powerful inner men like Rudd and McClelland and now a few other Labor males sticking out their heads are no match for the voting block of misandary EMILY”s List governing them and us by proxy out of their Caucus and OUR government. And finally and importantly by the feminist infiltrated heterosexual service deliveries – so that ‘women win’. Note their slogan and how the ‘sisterhood’ achieves it – mostly by underhand means.

    Wake up the whole lot of you and rid us of this self imposed insurgent voting block with hidden agendas you have allowed to govern by proxy. You allowed it to occur so you get rid of them as your elected duty to your constituents especially your constituents who believe in the traditional family unit and the rights of fathers and their children.

    Below is the current list of EMILY’s List government ministers & senators:

    EMILY’s List Australia – Current Members of Federal Parliament

    Kate Lundy ACT Senator
    Gai Brodtmann ACT Current Member for Canberra
    Sharon Grierson NSW Current Member for Newcastle
    Julie Owens NSW Current Member for Parramatta
    Tanya Plibersek NSW Current Member for Sydney
    Janelle Saffin NSW Current Member for Page
    Jill Hall NSW Current Member for Shortland
    Sharon Bird NSW Current Member for Cunningham
    Justine Elliot NSW Current Member for Richmond
    Trish Crossin NT Senator
    Jan Mc Lucas QLD Senator
    Claire Moore QLD Senator
    Kirsten Livermore QLD Current Member for Capricorn
    Anne McEwen SA Senator
    Penny Wong SA Senator
    Carol Brown TAS Senator
    Julie Collins TAS Current Member for Franklin
    Lisa Singh TAS Senator
    Julia Gillard VIC Current Member for Lalor
    Catherine King VIC Current Member for Ballarat
    Jenny Macklin VIC Current Member for Jagajaga
    Laura Smyth VIC Current Member for LaTrobe
    Louise Pratt WA Senator
    Melissa Parke WA Current Member for Fremantle

  98. Warren Joffe

    Call me naive but why can’t Julia have a heart to heart talk to the Australian people (perhaps a regular weekly spot like FDR) in which she tells the plain truth, simply, in ways that most people (with many cranky and rancorous exceptions of course) will accept as probably true because it is common sense?

    To counter all the damage that the last week and quotes from it can do it might be something like

    “Most of us, when we are just being decent human beings, strongly dislike the sort of personal attacks which politicians make on each other, especially like those of the last week against fellow members of the Labor Party.

    “I can hear people saying now and in future ‘what were they doing if all the things they said about Kevin Rudd as leader were true and they chose him continued to serve under him?’

    “Well that isn’t quite as simple common sense as it is simple to say. Kevin Rudd has many remarkable qualities and talents which he has used to serve this country. He had great ability at presenting ideas and policies to the Australian public and that is a most important ability which deserves to be allowed to flourish. Did some find him difficult to get on with? Did some worry about his workaholic ways and sense of priorities in running his office? The answer to that is really ‘So what’ unless the leader has gone mad because no leader is perfect – as my listeners know very well – and who is to say that the team cannot manage collectively while working hard at compensating for the deficiencies we all have? And, let me say without apology, showing loyalty in word and deed and putting a good face on things while there is still reason to hope that we can work with what we’ve got?

    “We did try and make things work with Kevin Rudd as our leader and mostly we did. When we didn’t and it wasn’t just bad luck we would have been stupid not to recognise that the supporting team weren’t perfect either. The idea that we should have been bagging Kevin publicly doesn’t stand a moment’s thought. Truths should be acted on but they don’t always need to be told, especially when truth and opinion are mixed. What I regret is the harsh things that have been said about colleagues most recently. If you looked for explanation, let’s not talk of excuses, I think you might agree that passions can get fired up when you think people have been talking behind your back or just because the result of something like a leadership ballot can be so important.

    “So I say to everyone of goodwill, let’s get beyond cheap shots. Let’s not exaggerate human failings so that we are totally cynical and unbelieving when most of us, most of the time, are trying to do our jobs and this isn’t always simple.”

    Nitpicking apart, what might that do for Julia’s general acceptance as PM over the next 18 months?

  99. DF

    Geewizz – are you talking about the Greens or the Country Party?

  100. Pronto

    Keane’s anti-Gillard invective is distorting his writing. John Mendoza’s testimony provides some balance.

  101. DF

    Golly, Gosh and Gee whizz, some of the posters on this blog are boring and repetitious. How they must nag when they feel a really personal injustice has been visited upon them.

  102. Peter Ormonde

    Yes … if only the Opposition had a trustworthy leader who knew how to negotiate with people he doesn’t agree with, could tolerate the notion of compromise … ah yes … if only …. there, but for Tony ….An expensive bloke to have up front isn’t he? Cost your lot government – virtually single-handed.

  103. GeeWizz

    [“Well a leader whose support is by 40 votes,actually canned one vote tony,who wants an election,guess the daily bleat of we wuz robbed and we need an election will be a futher bore from one vote tony.”]

    Schnappi… and the Coalition won more seats and more primary votes.

    It’s a dark day in democracy when a party with such a poor primary vote showing at the election and a party which won less seats gets to take power through backroom deals and promises.

  104. the learnered chilli eater

    this was the leadership battle of ‘who could care less’….. be it Gillard or Rudd, both will get thumped at the next election. There is more chance of the new Sydney AFL team winning the 2012 premiership than Gillard winning the next election. Gillard, Rudd, Arbib et al have completely trashed the ALP brand within Australia.

  105. Peter Ormonde

    David,

    The “faceless men” a label coined by Alan Reid in 1968 referred to the ALP National Executive who were not elected by the voters but by the ALP machinery. Reid caught a snap of Calwell and Whitlam standing outside a closed door at the ALP’s conference waiting for a decision… not sure if white smoke was involved. It helped demolish Labor’s vote in a ballot they should have won. This was Frank Packer’s intention.

    Much as I find these appalling mechanical critters from NSW objectionable, they are not faceless in that sense. They are elected MPs, Ministers and Cabinet ministers. Not faceless. But they have other issues.

    They are creatures of the machinery – often without policy or debating skills (beyond abuse) with no local contacts or support in the electorates they are parachuted into. So they invariably follow opinion polls slavishly, pour over the curious “data” from focus groups and talk about “Brand Labor” like it’s a line from Colgate or Nestles. They follow polls. They do not lead.

    Hardly anyone knew the names of Reid’s faceless men, let alone that these unknowns could exercise enormous power within the ALP.

    Now if you really want to see some faceless men, have a look at the Press Gallery or their editors.

    Or have a squizz at the National Party’s parliamentary line-up … they occupy the quietest seats in Parliament. Except for Barnaby who has far too much face for human decency.

  106. Schnappi

    Well a leader whose support is by 40 votes,actually canned one vote tony,who wants an election,guess the daily bleat of we wuz robbed and we need an election will be a futher bore from one vote tony.

  107. eric

    Julia just needs to be herself and explain things better to the unwashed mob that believe all the BS that the pathetic carping media esp News Ltd print as news!

    Maybe now she will realise with the sook Rudd done like a dinner she can DO things.

    The longer she hangs in there will be a big advantage for her and the Govt as the public are already tiring of phoney Tony and his non policies.

  108. David Hand

    Arbib and Feeny earn the title “faceless men” because they’re the ones who on 23 June 2010 phoned their acolytes that their factions that they had placed in parliament and told them that if they wanted to get pre-selected again they must knife Kevin. Everybody knows this. We even had Roxon on Insiders on Sunday saying she knew nothing of the coup until the night it was executed. we had MPs going home from parliament that night sounding off about the media’s ridiculous notion that a spill was on.

    This is a stnch that sits around this government and Arbib admitted as much at his resignation press conference.

    I don’t care what the comrades call it.

    Australia thinks it was a coup.

  109. Tom Jones

    Bernard – I expected better from you. The press has been salivating over a leadership tussle for weeks. It does help to sell papers and the Murdoch and Fairfax press certainly need to do that. The media is not separate to what has occurred but has helped it along.

    It certainly keeps others from thinking about potential changes to media laws and other matters. It is of interest that K Rudd has been cosying up to media which have been helpfully running poll after poll to let their readers know how popular he is and how unpopular the PM is; who just happens to think that there needs to be better rules around the way media works in the country. Coincidence?

    There never has been a leader without flaws. However being a popular unionist didn’t stop Bob Hawke and it won’t stop Bill Shorten either – once his family is a little older so there are a few years yet and in the meantime he along with Stephen Smith and Simon Crean will work for re-election of a Gillard government. I don’t think that the blows inflicted are terminal, as although I was a trenchant critic of Gillard I have a greater respect for her after the last week and I will not be the only one.

  110. GeeWizz

    [“You really are an appalling piece of work. Ignorant, prejudiced and filled with hateful envy and fear. No wonder you are anonymous mate. Your parents would be ashamed of you. As are we all.”]

    I’m for keeping Australia typhoid free.. Labor is for infectious diseases and open borders.

  111. Peter Ormonde

    Troofie/Wizz etc

    You really are an appalling piece of work. Ignorant, prejudiced and filled with hateful envy and fear. No wonder you are anonymous mate. Your parents would be ashamed of you. As are we all.

  112. GeeWizz

    BTW Typhoid breakout on Christmas Island… thanks to the illegals.

    With the Greens insta-Visa’s these blokes would be walking in inner city Sydney by now. Perhaps we can setup a Leper colony at SherperdMarilyns house

  113. Peter Ormonde

    Warren,

    Not naive at all … far from it fact.

    The Government has had enermous trouble getting any good lift from the media at all. Every announcement or policy reform is seen as a pretext for crossing to the Opposition for the usual policy free slag-off – as if they were somehow relevant – an alternative government.

    Now that Rudd has been sidelined and his ability to drip acid on Cabinet and Government has been reduced or possibly demolished, perhaps there’s a chance she can pull it off.

    And talking direct would do it … no middle man – no breathless journo wannabe looking for some gossipy fatuous angle.

    Only trouble I have is that it tends to consolidate this absurd notion of a Presidential PM. That’s what brought Rudd undone… believing his own Kevin 07 bulldust…so he appeared in the mirror as a messiah.

    Direct chats with a few ministers on board would be interesting. Julia doesn’t have to carry the lot.

  114. GeeWizz

    [“The Malaysian Refugee policy was designed to appease the rabid Rightthat didn’t want any coloured and/or “religious” people arriving over here and the, hopefully, majority centralists who recognised that the refugees were looking for somewhere that they could live equitably, holding to their values, but other folk were in the queue ahead of them. “]

    The lefties are obsessed with race… I’ve come to the conclusion most of them are rac1st.

    Perhaps if these people stopped burning down our detention centres, jumping the queue and stealing spots from real refugee’s people wouldn’t dislike them so much?

    BTW have you lefties ever seen a real refugee camp? Are they filled with designer clothed, guicci sunglass wearing “refugees”? Can’t remember seeing too many of them from the pictures. Gee, it sure must be nice in the tent camps because the illegals are burning down Christmas Island holiday camp after 6 months…. that is of course… unless… shock horror… these blowins have never seen a refugee camp let alone live in one.

    But of course, stuff real refugees… they don’t pull on the heart strings of the lefties because they are out of sight out of mind. Lets just make sure the illegals coming on boats get their free ipods, don’t want another riot on our hands…

  115. Warren Joffe

    Call me naive but why can’t Julia have a heart to heart talk to the Australian people (perhaps a regular weekly spot like FDR) in which she tells the plain truth, simply, in ways that most people (with many cranky and rancorous exceptions of course) will accept as probably true because it is common sense?

    To counter all the damage that the last week and quotes from it can do it might be something like

    “Most of us, when we are just being decent human beings, strongly dislike the sort of personal attacks which politicians make on each other, especially like those of the last week against fellow members of the Labor Party.

  116. Steve777

    @GEEWIZZ – I don’t want any refugees to die at sea nor do I want them to undertake such a risky voyage. But the real problem is that parts of the world are so bad that people are prepared to hand over their life savings to people they know to be criminals for a chance to escape to what must seem like paradise. Our ‘problem’ is we’re an attractive destination – not a bad problem to have. The ‘boaties’ are NOT ‘illegals’, although members of the Coalition and their media allies insist on calling them that. We have obligations under the International Convention on Refugees that we freely took on 60 years ago – we should honour them.

    I don’t know what the solution is. Turning back unseaworthy boats will lead to more drownings. Temporary Protection Visas didn’t work – look at the stats for 1999-2000. Malaysia might work, but it is dubious ethically to say the least, although better than turning back the boats. I don’t see how Nauru would be any different from Christmas Island. And unless we make mandatory detention a real hellhole, it won’t be worse than what people are fleeing.

    GEEWIZZ – I don’t question your concern about drownings. But look at some of the comments on any tabloid article about boat refugees, e.g. the disgraceful article in the Daily Telecrap on February 17. And what is said on talkback radio. Not much concern about drownings there, but a lot of vitriol and hatred. Any responsible political party should be speaking out against this and calming things down, not stirring it up as the Coalition is doing.

    OK – I don’t know what the solution is, but I think it would involve some sort of regional framework. Malcolm Fraser achieved this with bipartisan support from Labor. I’m sure it’s not beyond the capabilities of a grown up country, given a bit of common sense and good will, not all that plentiful among our representatives lately.

  117. Pedantic, Balwyn

    @Geewhiz & Steve

    The Malaysian Refugee policy was designed to appease the rabid Rightthat didn’t want any coloured and/or “religious” people arriving over here and the, hopefully, majority centralists who recognised that the refugees were looking for somewhere that they could live equitably, holding to their values, but other folk were in the queue ahead of them.

    It was never designed for those folk who believe that Australia should be a refuge for all-comers, nor in my very humble opinion should it be.

    We should offer santuary to as many displaced or disposed people that we can sustain, not without some impact – after all we live in huge homes with every concievable extra, but as many as we can support in a way that helps them grow through education and a supportive environment. In fact a lot more than we take at the moment.

    The Gillard Government is currently moving the greatest ever number of refugees out of detention into the community, note without access to Social Security, except for crisis payments.

    Whilst the best policy is to substantially increase the numbers of qualified refugees, so that the numbers in the camps are rapidly reduced, the current policy across both the resettlement of those who arrive by “boat” and increased numbers from Malaysia, although by default, are a step in the right direction.

  118. Suzanne Blake

    @ shepherdmarilyn

    Just Shorten to go and a few others

  119. GeeWizz

    Have to laugh watching the news tonight with all the Labor hacks saying Labor is going to be “Moving Forward”.

    Seems like Deja Vu again, we’ve been teleported back to 2010!

  120. shepherdmarilyn

    But it looks like the actual underminer has quit.

  121. shepherdmarilyn

    Bullshit Liz, Rudd couldn’t get them passed her. And the hostile senate.

    how can in intelligent woman like you Liz stick up for the coward that shoots at refugees and wants to sell them off like commodities in spite of it being illegal.

    REad what Maxine McKew had to say about the deal and what was in Shitstorm

  122. Filth Dimension

    Ah the clairvoyant has arrived. hi Snoozie!

  123. botswana bob

    I reckon @Suzanne Blake is correct. Simon sez, who until Gillard came along was the worst El Supremo the ALP has produced in the PG [Post Gough] era will get the nod. He is a has been–or more likely a never was–now at the twilight of a pedestrian career and as a Victorian might salvage a few seats in Vic.
    After that its time for another union thug like Backstab Bill Shorten. Both Smith & Combet seem to me far too decent to ever be selected to lead the union/faction thug run ALP. [Then again I might have fallen for their spin doctored public persona, as I initially did for the ALPs Lady Macbeth]
    Will the ALP be in opposition for an extended period? After 3 years of the Mad Monk–assuming he lasts full term–quite possibly not. As Doctor Who put it, Time will tell.

  124. Peter Ormonde

    Aww stop it Sooz…

    Crean preferable to a union heavy like Shorten? Go off and have a look what Simon Crean (Son of Frank) has done for a living Suzanne. He’s even more “unacceptable” (at least in your eyes) than the cute Stephen Smith, whom you have apparently dumped since his shocking work history was revealed. Jezebel!

    Fickle, the affections of the mob aren’t they folks?

    With Arbib now gone, I look forward to Gillard undertaking a substantial reshuffle of her Cabinet and Ministry. Not vengeful … based on talent and advocacy skills. We need a game changer – no more personality politics – a team.
    Last chance.

    And it would be really extra beaut if she managed to get all the pollsters, ad-men, image stylistas, Brand Labor/Brand Julia dog food analysts and associated focus group “experts” sent off to work for Abbott or some other useful social purpose. Offer them as a job lot. Or perhaps set them to working on the roads around here. Gotta be something they can do.

  125. GeeWizz

    [“Labor need to pick someone who will lead them in Opposition for an extended period”]

    Whoever it is I hope the Libs cut off their pension fund just like Barry O’Farrel did to Kristina Keneally so we aren’t paying Labor mates limo rides to private functions

  126. Suzanne Blake

    It will be Crean, he is expendable when they get wiped at the next election.

    Voters won’t vote for a Union heavy weight in Shorten.

    Smith is a chance, but its a hospital pass and he may not like that.

    Labor need to pick someone who will lead them in Opposition for an extended period

  127. GeeWizz

    [“And she shouldn’t try to please everybody – that’s a recipe to please no one. Leave dog-whistling over refugees to the Coalition. Better still, call it for what it is. And explain and defend the Carbon Tax/ETS. Talk about traditional Labor values – a fair go, workers / employees rights, jobs, education. “]

    Steve,

    How many boaties do you want to see die under a Labor Government?

    Don’t dodge the question either mate.

    Give us some benchmarks to compare the Pacific Solution to the Open Door Solution of the Labor Party…. suicides up, drownings up, riots up, costs up $1 Billion Dollars, kids behind razor wire up, women behind razor wire up, bashings up, fires up, twice as many detention centres, it goes on and on.

    The leftwing experiment is a failure… fuzzy-do-gooder-feelings don’t pass for effective policy.

    If you want to see more drownings, more riots and more suicides the least you could do is be honest about it and take responsibility for your actions.

  128. Socratease

    @DF: otherwise you would know that factions are a part of life.

    Factions are part and parcel of politics. I realise that all committees engage in politics — that’s why I avoid committees.

  129. guytaur

    @Liz45

    The first commentator I saw was Chris Uhlman on Coalition nerves. His point was basically why would you not be with your leader having such dire approval ratings after Labor had such a bad week.

  130. Socratease

    @DF: otherwise you would know that factions are a part of life.

    Factions are part and parcel of politics. I realise that all committees engage in politics — that’s why I avoid committees. 🙂

  131. Apollo

    I do think the ballot result confirms the difficulty to work with Rudd.

    It don’t think the MPs were on a smear campaign against him. It is normal for people to keep their dirty laundry secret and present a united front until events change. Many married couples do that until when things are unbearable or after they have divorced that the shocking truth comes out.

  132. 81dvl

    LIZ 45
    +2

  133. Frank Campbell

    “the two least-popular leaders of recent memory, Gillard and Abbott.”

    Abbott is a mere Opposition leader. His polling is average- Opposition leaders struggle most of the time.

    (Abbott is) “even less liked than her”. Just not accurate.

    The remarkable thing is that an intrinisically unattractive politician like Abbott (failed catholic priest, echoes of Santamaria, the all-too-recent Howard past, boorishness…) curbed his coarse blokey gaffiness and presents relatively well (at least when dressed). He’s a far better speaker than Gillard too, which is admittedly saying little more than Abbott isn’t a verbal paraplegic.

    Such short memories…It took a long time for Crikey and the tossariat generally to realise that the derision they heaped on Abbott would come back and bite them. Remember all that crap about the Libs splitting, apotheosis of the Greens, inevitable triumph in Higgins/Bradfield, Turnbull following the true path of climate religion? There was abject failure to realise that the inner-city climate consensus was just that-a low postcode conceit, resting on inflated property and garnished with sanctimony. The rest of the country (and the world) was edging to the exit. The Libs came within an ace of being coopted into Rudd’s Millenarian vision of the Greatest Moral Challenge. If Abbott hadn’t beaten Turnbull, the Libs would have been in trapped in Rudd’s corral.

    And it’s still about The Policy. It’s still about the climate cult- even though devotion continues to inexorably decline. Gillard barked harshly today about the “clean green energy fewcha” …”we wiwl price caahbun”…But we hear little now from the Savonarolas of climate Armageddon- the Hamiltons and Flannerys. The climate-ignorant tossariat has gone quiet too: there’s not a peep from the Crabbs, Simons, Rundles et al who all issued a slab or two of “me-too” waffle on the subject they know least. Even Melbourne’s suburban Moses, Robert Mann, pontificates not about climate catastrophe. Well, not much.

    Rudd last week offered a face-saving way out- an ETS- which would remove the need for a massive new bureaucracy to implement and police a carbon tax – and eliminate the absurd cash carousel: handing out billions to “polluters” and “families”. The “price of carbon” would instantly sink to insignificant levels. Business as usual, with a figleaf.

    No chance. Gillard is a headkicker, a factional thug. She is also rigid and remarkably stupid. She belted the media hounds today with the big carbon stick. All Abbott has to do is to keep attention on the carbon tax and keep his motley crew of Howard survivors from embarrassing accidents. Gillard will do the rest. As she has done since her Faustian pact with the Greens.

    No one is being honest about the decomposition of climate millenarianism. The facile early predictions have proved not only false, but ridiculous. Yet the stentorian, Manichean, bullying chorus continues. Heretics are still hunted down relentlessly.
    Rudd had the right idea: rescue progressive politics from its self-destructive obsession at a stroke by implementing an anodyne ETS. A placebo. Government, liberated from the suffocating burden of the carbon tax, could get on with real policy and the real environment.

    Handing power to Abbott for a decade is the likely alternative. Cattle in the national parks. The snarl of chainsaws in the forests.

    Rise of the Right- Rednecks’ delight.

  134. Filth Dimension

    +2

  135. guytaur

    LIZ 45

    +1

  136. GeeWizz

    [“She is her own best handycap…she may be a hard worker, but it takes more than just hard work to be a successful PM. “]

    Not having a voice that sounds between nails down a chalkboard and a cat being strangled would help.

    Not to mention the lack of feeling and passion, i’ve seen better speeches with more feeling given on playschool

  137. Liz45

    @MARILYN – I don’t think who Julia is or was “screwing” has much to do with anything. Rudd didn’t get his policies or THEIR policies through re the CPRS or taxing mining profits. In fact, he ran off, scared stiff. My big argument with Rudd is his ego – which I don’t think would fit in Parlt House.

    If we start judging people on their sex life and partners, the mind boggles!

    Barry Cassidy has stated that Rudd did go around de-stabilizing the Govt. And there’s been too many people with reports on his abusive language and his derisive insults to anyone who irritated him on any given day. He reminds me of my ex husband. A total narcissistic person who’s also a sociopath. Rudd is so busy talking me me me, that you’d think he was going for President – not Prime Minister. Too much like the Yanks! No thanks!

    Someone said today, that the Opposition may start to get nervous re Abbott, IF JG gets a positive ‘boost’ in the polls. With the length of time that the ALP has been ‘on the nose’ Abbott’s personal stocks should be higher. They’re not, and if the people like the policies of Labor and Abbott is still being leader of the ‘No-alition’ then, things may change. If I were them, I’d be very circumspect about their behaviour. I think the Australian electorate has shown over time, that they don’t like constant negativity and petty ads etc.

    On a more positive note – I noticed the article in the weekend SMH and Sun Herald, about the European Human Rights (court?) stating, that ‘turning boats around’ is against Laws that Italy had agreed to. Not surprised, that in spite of this ruling, coupled with the Court awarding damages to the people concerned, Scott Morrison insists, that the Coalition’s policy of ‘turning the boats around’ is still their policy!

    I’d be aiming more bile at this monster than anyone else. I suppose we could always elect them and then start complaining when people die at sea – including naval personnel roped into their disgusting policies – like what happened under Howard! Many of those people resigned in a state of angst over what he forced them to do! I’d be more concerned about this scenario myself!

    @DAVID HAND – People like you always forget to mention one vital point about the present situation. WE VOTED FOR THIS GOVT! Us, you and me and heaps of others. This is OUR Parliament. Just because you don’t like them is not good enough reason to have another election. It’s just really stupid of you to carry on like this! The Parlt also includes the Senate. There’s no point in carrying on because Julia Gillard confers with them and they reach a joint compromise/decision. That is just immature and dumb.

    Two million people voted for The Greens. do you think their votes should be annulled? Are we less Australians, and so our votes should be ripped up? I find it really strange when people carry on about JG conferring with others in both Houses. Abbott had an opportunity to act like a grown up and compromise, but he just shot his mouth off (re Andrew Wilke being offered ??how many Billions for Tassie) and showed how incapable he WOULD BE if he became PM. He would not have lasted. He was incapable. He’s just not leadership material – and he showed that very clearly in the 17 days after the ’07 Election. The Independents stated the same, in fact, they were stunned by his immaturity and lack of negotiating skills. Like a little boy who wants the whole box of Leggo, and anyone who disagrees with him, he just sulks and pouts! Like he does when someone in the media asks him a dicky question! He just seethes and stares, or walks out shuffling his papers! Amazing!

    Even today in his press conference. He just trotted out the same few sentences, and then left! No real desire to converse with us via the media. Scared they’ll start asking for some ‘meat’ on his assertions? Probably! He just can’t do it! And it shows!

  138. Filth Dimension

    No matter what shade of pale blue tie BL.Abbott wears he still looks positively thuggish.

  139. Steve777

    Hopefully Kevin will gracefully accept the result and retire to the backbench, representing the people of Griffith and working for Australia in the Parliament and in Labor caucus. Whether that will happen is another matter – I think that he will keep looking out for his chance.

    As for Julia, she should now stand up, be herself, say what she thinks and get the hell on with running the country. Apply the skills she shows in parliament to communicating with the voters. She couldn’t do worse than her current spin doctors.

    And she shouldn’t try to please everybody – that’s a recipe to please no one. Leave dog-whistling over refugees to the Coalition. Better still, call it for what it is. And explain and defend the Carbon Tax/ETS. Talk about traditional Labor values – a fair go, workers / employees rights, jobs, education.

    If all of this leads to a bad fall, so be it – at least it would be an honourable loss.

  140. SBH

    81dvl – what you said!

  141. SBH

    Geewiz @”Looks like Paul Howes and the other faceless men made their choice yet again and the public were told to go jump.”

    so you’d like a system where even though we elect people for three year terms, if, measured by a one ten thousandth sample of the voters, they become unpopular, the constitution should be suspended and there should be some other mechanism to unseat them?

    Or perhaps a group of gambling organisations, who make their money by promising suckers that they might get rich even though the maths don’t work that way, should be the arbiter.

    Do you ever think through the implications of your ramblings?

  142. Apollo

    correction- S.S. (Steve Smith)

  143. tinman_au

    “This lection the Prime Minister will have no such handicap.”

    She is her own best handycap…she may be a hard worker, but it takes more than just hard work to be a successful PM.

    Most of the policy/reform she has gotten through were actually kicked off by KR, most of the ones she came up with herself have fallen flat, or worse (like the whole refuge balls-up).

    Labor have some very competent people, it’s just the factional fighting that holds them back and makes the party as a whole dysfunctional. And don’t get me started on the Libs, they’re just a pack of clowns currently…

  144. Apollo

    Peter Ormonde

    I think your sis is def onto sumfink there. But you should act like a journalist and protect your source.

    Ma ybe JG will fulfil Suzi’s dre am and resign for S.M.

  145. GeeWizz

    Stephen Smith is working his way up the Centrebet odd’s and is now second to Gillard as the leader of the Labor Party at the next federal election.

    He has firmed in to $4.00 and I expect as the election draws closer will go higher.

  146. cannedheat

    @Jimmy 2.25: “Getting things done gets you re elected where focusing on getting re elected doesn’t get things done.”

    I see – slogans at 10 paces. Answer is ‘it depends…’

    You would be correct if we were talking about a balanced situation where record and promises matter. This is not the case now and has not been the case in Oz for some time with anyone but the most engaged voters (eg crikey readers) Wonders aloud “are we really as stupid as the rest of the world thinks?”…

    Obviously Gillards ability to get things done has not helped her or Labor in the quest to get reelected re primary vote. Unless Dr No is hit by a particularly solid metor we are pertty likely to have him (with attendant JWH presidential style) as PM in 2013.

    The BEST outcome from this will be another hung parliament but with more Greens and Independents.

    Do you think its possible for Gillard to turn this around in 18months given her record?

  147. Peter Ormonde

    Michael,

    Yes I agree with Marilyn’s sentiments as well – but her f*cking language would make a bloody wharfie blush…

    She’s obviously very passionate about this issue – as she should be – and knowledgeable too – and goes in swinging when circumstances permit.

    But sometimes a bit of gentle persuasion wouldn’t go astray. Not everyone is off-side. A lot of folks are just ignorant and deceived.

    But Ms S seems to have two speeds OFF and %$$#**&& CHAINSAW!

  148. Michael de Angelos

    Oh Peter Ormonde-I enjoy Marilyn Shepherd;s unique take on things and usually agree with her sentiments wholly. I am actually pleased to know JG is human and capable of a fling.

    We have much to thank KRudd for and his first year in office was a big success.

    I think we have all been had and the media demanded a spill and got their way.

    However-can you imagine if KRudd had won ?. He would be then crucified by the media for doing to Gillard exactly what was done to him.

    No-one should write off anyone-6 days being a long time in politics and all that. I believe Abbott’s particular brand of vitriol while bringing short term gains will wear thin the closer to an election.
    Look at the example of Howard’s first win. It was a wipeout for Labor which was reversed within 3 years with labor winning the popular vote but not seats.

  149. guytaur

    Jimmy

    One or two in the hour when Mr Jones manages to get those worthies to be quiet.
    Twitter comments will be fun. I expect John Safran will contribute some toilet humour.

  150. Jimmy

    Geewizz – Wow she must be terrible – how are those answers coming along?

  151. Meski

    @GeeWizz: Correlation is not causation.

  152. Jimmy

    Guytaur – Do you think anyone will get a sane word in with Joyce & Albrechtsen there?

  153. GeeWizz

    Stock market tumbles on Julia Gillard win

    www .theaustralian.com.au/business/markets/australian-stockmarket-falls-as-julia-gillard-trounces-kevin-rudd/story-e6frg916-1226283049611

    [“THE sharemarket fell sharply at today’s close after Julia Gillard trounced Kevin Rudd in the federal Labor leadership ballot.

    Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 42.1 points, or 0.98 per cent, at 4264.7, while the broader All Ordinaries index was at 4352.4, down 36.6 points (0.83 per cent).

    On the ASX 24, the March share price index futures contract was down 26 points at 4263, with 29,875 contracts traded.”]

  154. guytaur

    Good Qanda tonight. Lachlan Harris will probably get grilled on Kevin 07 to 10.

  155. guytaur

    Its amazing. The ABC is interviewing a faceless man Senator David Feeney about resignation of faceless man Senator Arbib.
    Seems not faceless to the ABC. Maybe in future the Canberra Press Gallery will take up the good retiring Senators suggestion and laugh in the face of those using the term Faceless men.

  156. guytaur

    @Geewizz

    You must be an Abbott staffer. He seems to call for an early election every day. This because those whining for an early election know the truth. Labor led by PM Gillardbwill win the election.
    Toxic Tony knows full well with those leaks during the 2010 election the Coalition should have won in a landslide.
    It was the Coakition dissarray that sent somenvoters back to Labor and others tomseriously vote Green and Independent for the fistmtime. This along with PM Gillard having one political arm tied behind her back. She was left with very few policies to sell or see the Rudd ghost, and the vision thing. Given that I think Julia Gillard is an excellent campaigner. Caucus knows this and was reflected in votes.
    This lection the Prime Minister will have no such handicap.

  157. Barbara Boyle

    ERK, after today’s climax to the most unedifying ten days o rso I can recall, I shall just need to steel myself to re shuffle the canditates for bottom on the voting slip.
    Oh and a big thankyou to Craig Emerson, Bill Shorten, Simon Crean,Wayne Swan, Mark Arbib ( and the other facelesses) and the disappointing PM herself, for achieving a miracle and making the Opposition look…well if not good,at least better.

  158. Jimmy

    Geewizz – I thought you had disappeared seeing as you once again refuse to answer my questions!

    But since when does a Senator retiring equal “disarray”, how did Sidinonis get into the senate late last year?

  159. John

    Sophie Mirabella obviously thinks highly of Julia Gillard. She thinks she is pre-Mensa.

  160. DF

    Socratease: As I recall it, Nick Minchin’s valedictory speech called for the Liberals to introduce a system of factions like Labor, as a way to manage disagreements within the party. I take it you have never sat on a management board or a scout troop board or a church committee or worked in a staff room or as a member of a team – otherwise you would know that factions are a part of life.

  161. GeeWizz

    [“Curiouser and curiouser. Any guesses as to which machine man will replace him?”]

    What is Paul Howes doing these days?

  162. U Tzadik

    *She’ll kill me for blowing her cover.*

    No chance. You now have a crystal dome over, I know these things.

  163. GeeWizz

    Arbib has quit… Labor is disarray… new election please

  164. DF

    David Hand: Arbib has been on the Parlt House website as a Senator since he was elected – hardly faceless. BTW, to what ‘corruption’ are you referring? I like the way you use your cliches though – you won’t hold your breath but Gillard needs clean air. Beautiful.

  165. Jimmy

    Socratease – “Dunno about that. Compared to terminally self-destructive Labor, the Libs are hardly newsworthy” If the media were doing their job they would be, their economic policies are an absolute disgrace, full of contradictions and without a hope in hades of adding up.

  166. Socratease

    So Arbib has resigned from the senate.

    Curiouser and curiouser. Any guesses as to which machine man will replace him?

  167. Socratease

    @DF: If I were Abbott I’d be worried now. The media will be casting about for a new source of colour and movement …

    Dunno about that. Compared to terminally self-destructive Labor, the Libs are hardly newsworthy. Labor is the media gift that keeps on giving.

    Nonetheless, Abbot’s lousy polling figures ought to seriously worry the Lib machine men and ought to get equal media spotlight.

  168. David Hand

    So Arbib has resigned from the senate. Actions speak louder than words. In spite of all the spin from Julia’s praetorian guard, every accusation that Rudd was responsible for the unpopularity of the government, any suggestion that Rudd nearly cost the ALP government in 2010, here is one of the faceless power brokers falling on his sword in abject acknowledgement of the corruption that cost Rudd the leadership and the weight of it on Julia’s legitimacy.

    If it is an attempt to give Julia clear air, it is bold but will be futile. What she needs is a period of stable competency. I’m not holding my breath.

  169. Socratease

    @FD: Last time I looked Paul Howes had a face.

    Yep, and the less I see of it, the better I like it.

  170. shepherdmarilyn

    If Gillard had destroyed the opposition leader as she and Roxon did with Ruddock over the Dante Tan affair that would be admirable.

    But to destroy the reputation of a decent person with lies is despicable.

  171. CML

    Bernard, I agree with your comments, but not the headline. It seems just about everyone in the caucus and the media is desperately searching around for a Gillard replacement that isn’t Rudd. Won’t work! I’ll stick my neck out and predict that in 12 months time, the turkeys (caucus) will be begging Rudd to take over the leadership and save them from themselves. It’s still all about winning – Gillard has just been given a little time to improve the numbers. Fat chance!!
    I certainly would never vote for any of the three “replacements” that you have put forward (nor Gillard for that matter), and I doubt that many other Labor voters will have changed their minds by then either.
    Also disagree that around 30% of caucus is insufficient for Rudd to stay in contention. If that lot think they have “killed off” Rudd, I believe they are deluded. Time will tell.

  172. shepherdmarilyn

    And I am not tag teamed with Bowen because I don’t vote for the frigging ALP.

  173. Peter Ormonde

    Marilyn Shepherd,

    I’ve been waiting for Suzanne Bleak – Crikey’s resident gossip columnist – to get down into this sort of gutter.

    To be honest mate I’ve been reading your ill-tempered, abusive and foul-mouthed posts on here for months, and I have often found muyself wondering whether you are actually trying to assist refugees or are simpliy presenting a caricature of the morally indignant lefty-wing ranter.

    I will assume you believe are doing something to help refugees but your style of discussion, of debate, of abuse, undermines any efforts you make on their behalf.

    That you should now find yourself tag-teamed with Chris Bowen – championing the cause of some “people’s democracy” beggars belief.

    Sort yourself out Marilyn – get some help with the anger management (call it moral superiority/indignation if you like) and come back when you discuss these things – anything – in a reasonable fashion.

  174. Santa Lucius

    BK, will you let me say something? or maybe.. ‘howl’..something?

  175. Jimmy

    Old Leftie – Very well said!!!

  176. Old Leftie

    Now that all the speculation is over, it should be a chance for Gillard to get clear air and explain Labor’s plan for the future (needs a new speechwriter). It’s also time for the media (particularly the Murdoch press) to start questioning Abbott & Co about their policies (or lack of them). For a man who wakes up every morning wanting an election, he still can’t tell the people what are his policies. Equally, the media don’t seem to care – must be the most pathetic media in history.

    If Gillard can’t get the message across by Christmas, my money is on Smith (he’s dull enough to blunt any Abbott attack) with Albo as his deputy. Labor desperately needs an attack dog (usually a Treasurer) and Albo is the best pitbull they’ve got.

    Of course, when the sky doesn’t fall in on 1 July when the carbon tax comes in, most people wil wonder what all the fuss was about. Remember, we consumers don’t pay the tax, the polluters do. So, unlike the GST, the carbon tax won’t be listed on our bills. However, Gillard & Co need to kill the argument that they’re responsible for gas & electricity price rises – they’re not. The State Governments are, they own and set the power & gas prices and half of them are Liberals.

  177. Santa Lucius

    To Alfonse and Peter Ormonde: .. well may you say god save the queen, but nothing will save the gg or the jg.

  178. Jimmy

    Geewizz – “Abbotts scheme is incentive based. Greens scheme(oops sorry I mean Labors) is penalty based. One is good for the economy, one is bad for the economy. Labor has never seen a tax increase they didn’t like” Oh that is gold, you are saying there is no “incentive” cutting emmissions to avoid a tax but there is “incentive” in getting a big handout from the govt to do something and if that doesn’t work you can just go back and get another handout or keep emitting as per normal?

    And it is good for the economy for the govt to be taking tax payers money to give to big business? And it is good for the economy for the govt to slash revenue and increase expenditure by billions? It is good for the economy to use the most inefficient method?

    And if Abbott’s policy is sooo good for the economy why do all the economists think it’s rubbish and back the ALP’s policy?

  179. Peter Ormonde

    Apollo …

    “Study found that many voters pick le,aders on look, so if it re,ally comes to it Stephen Smith could be Labor’s best choice for the electorate assuming he will step up to the plate and stop procrastinating.”

    I know Suzanne Bleak was drawn to Stephen Smith’s boyish charms but Gillard’s not gone by a long curling wand, if this contribution from my sister’s latest email to me is anything to go by:

    “Julia needs to cut a fringe, by the way. I think her popularity has declined since she went for that sleek, long bob. If she had more hair around her face she’d be more “cuddly”, more electable. Everyone liked her when she had a fringe. She needs to find another hairdresser. Kevin’s perhaps.”

    I hope you’re listening all you Labor spin wallahs and image stylistes and taking copious notes. My sister has never been wrong about such things. She even supervised Dannii Minogue’s comeback albeit at a discreet anonymous distance.

    She’ll kill me for blowing her cover.

  180. DF

    If I were Abbott I’d be worried now. The media will be casting about for a new source of colour and movement now that Kevin has been put back in his teacup.

  181. Jimmy

    Geewizz “Did the Media call for the leadership spill? NO. It was Dillard” Did the media beat up a story about Rudd challenging based on Rudd’s leaks for months despite the fact Rudd never even came close to haing the number, record margin today by the way, I mean even you had Gillard gone numerous times based on the media reporting and low and behold she is still here and will be for sometime after today.

  182. GeeWizz

    [“By the way you still haven’t explained to me why Abbott’s cut the carbon tax revenue, keep all the sweetners & spend big on handouts to big polluters is a good policy?”]

    Abbotts scheme is incentive based.

    Greens scheme(oops sorry I mean Labors) is penalty based.

    One is good for the economy, one is bad for the economy. Labor has never seen a tax increase they didn’t like

  183. Meski

    Its over. PLEASE stop discussing the next leader, that’s not going to happen till after an election – would anyone sane want the ALP leadership before that?

  184. DF

    Filth Dimension – Dunno who Lyndall Curtis supports but she is a lousy analyst. Compared with Mark Simkin, however, she is cerebrally stellar.

  185. robinw

    You know Bernard, I don’t know where you gained the psychic powers of telepathy (reading the collective mind of Australia) and prediction but I reckon you are so far off that it is risible. The only thing that you have proven is that once one straw man in the Rudd ascendancy has been destroyed, you have to create another in the possible challenges to Gillard by a triumvirate no less. When, pray tell, will you escalate this problem to legions of challengers, maybe even hordes? Bollocks!

  186. Jimmy

    Geewizz – Still sticking to the “she’ll be gone by Christmas” I mena “she’ll be gone by Easter” prediction?

    The little credibil ity you had is evapourating very quickly!!

    By the way you still haven’t explained to me why Abbott’s cut the carbon tax revenue, keep all the sweetners & spend big on handouts to big polluters is a good policy?

  187. DF

    Bernard – before you rush to pick up Rudd’s baton to continue beating Gillard about the head, you might like to consider the fact she will at least henceforth have a Foreign Minister she can trust, which might help her avoid some of the policy pitfalls into which she has stumbled (East Timor, Malaysia solution etc).

    Your comment that “her regular misjudgments have led her into this mess; indeed, they’re the reason there was even a contest” is barely credible. The reason there was a contest was because Rudd has been undermining her since the get-go, leaking against her during an election campaign, and telling the media (according to those journalists who have chosen to be candid with their readers) that his strategy was to launch a challenge to her in the first quarter of 2012. Katharine Murphy in The Age got it right – read this for some sensible and thoughtful comment: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/dogfight-we-had-to-have-20120226-1twdm.html?rand=1330259723613

    Given your willingness to look into the crystal ball, I’ve looked into mine and this is what I see.
    Rudd now knows what the numbers are when he goes head to head with Gillard, and he can now reflect on why this might be so. He has said he will not instigate any further challenges against Gillard, but there was no reference to never seeking the leadership again. Over the weekend he argued against a third, compromise candidate and today he went one further and said he would support Gillard against any other contender. He still wants to return to the mountain top.

    So here’s his script as I see it. He still believes, like Bernard, that Gillard cannot recover, will surely lead the party to defeat, and lose the leadership either before the election at the hands of Caucus, or after the election by her own hand. Rudd also believes, and wants to ensure, that he is the only alternative. He is now waiting in the wings for the day she goes. Given his faith in her demise is so profound and justified, it will now be in his interest to work as hard as he can to make sure she does not lose by too much, so that the 2016 election is not unwinnable due to the losses sustained in 2013. Being seen to support his party and Gillard, and using his apparent popular appeal to that end would also show good faith as a genuine party man and perhaps help to repair some of the damage he has caused since his sacking as PM.

    There are at least a couple of risks – Gillard might actually recover and look like she might win the election, particularly if Abbott is not replaced, and Rudd’s toxicity in the Labor Party may be so irreversible that the party decides to look for a cleanskin.

  188. GeeWizz

    [“Now we have had the great storm in the tea cup. How about some consideration about who were the winners and loosers in the media beat up. To much to ask ?

    If that to much how about a list of how media can regain its terminal loss of faith between now and next election. “]

    Waaaa… it’s all the wedia’s fault!

    Did the Media call for the leadership spill? NO. It was Dillard.

    Did the Media claim Kevin Rudd was a psychopath determined to destroy the Labor Party? No that was Labor MP’s that said that.

    This entire sh1tfight has been the work of none other than yours truly, Julia Gillard and the Labor Party. Stop blaming the media for everything

  189. Apollo

    There is an important message for JG in this spill that requires attention. Rudd governed for all the people (regardless whether he was effective or not) and he made that cle,ar in his election victory speech in 2007, Gillard is seen as a union puppet and her IR policy has gone one step to,o far to the left.

    Roger Corbett on lateline a few weeks ago made the point that whereas the Howard government moved the post two steps to,o far to the right the Gillard government has moved it 1 step too far to the left. Employ,ers should have the option to let go of employ,e,e when things does not work out.
    This is important for business. About fifte,en years ago my fri,end had a shop and he knew one of his worker was ste,aling money, it was difficult for him to fire her because of the law requirement so he just waited till she left. Five years ago when I was managing a small supermarket I found out the shocking truth, business owners whether restaurants or shops all experi,ence theft by the,ir employ,e,es, they warned me to watch out. And to cut the story short, most workers try to get into the door and work hard in the first few weeks then slack off and cause stagnant and empty stock shelves. Worst is when you have to face with the lazy, ly-ing manipulative ones which not only testing your kindness towards them but turn out to be very destructive for your workplace. Unfortunately there is a dark side to human which proves Marx’s ideal never works.

    More than ten years ago I was working for Australi.a Post, the employment agency recommended us to join the union. The conditions was good and I appreci,ate what the union had done for us so I signed up as a member. But everyday in the lunch room the union le,ader was always politicking and complaining, I couldn’t see what he had to complain about, it turned me off from the union eversince. The Unions and the Labor party need to recognise that we live in different times now, whilst Australi,ans do appreci,ate the conditions the unions have fought for workers they do not like it when the union go to,o far and have too much influence on the government.

    There needs to be a balance between the rights for workers and the right for the employ,ers. The di,alogue should be share obligation towards each other and togetherness, what will work best for both sides, not a division aga,inst each other and “what’s in it for me?” If the Labor discourse is all about the workers then don’t blame compani,es for looking after the share holders’ interest only and don’t care about the workers. Employ,ers vary from mean to generous, take Kendra bus owner who rewarded out about 15M I think to his loyal employe,es as appreci,ation. Somebody has to take the initi,ative to change the discourse. The union over influence on policy is doing the workers and the country a dis-service, they are risking the chance for this government to return to power and be in the wilderness for a long time to come, the LNP will take credit for whatever good this government has done move IR back to far right aga,inst the workers’ interest.

    The voter demographic has changed, many Labor leaning workers now have investments in shares and properti,es, there is also an increasing number of home based business and e-traders. The union movement has become irrelevant to them and they swing their votes e,asily. What is important for the government is to reli,ef the cost of living so there will be no need for increase wage pressure. Our rent is so high and business have to pass on the cost to customers. Our wages are also higher than other counti,es and compound with this is the lopsided over valued Australi,an dollar which makes labour cost in the US about 30% che,aper than in Australi,a. If our wages keep rising to.o much as it need to keep up with the cost of living we will be uncompetitive and business will move overseas.

    Study found that many voters pick le,aders on look, so if it re,ally comes to it Stephen Smith could be Labor’s best choice for the electorate assuming he will step up to the plate and stop procrastinating.

  190. Filth Dimension

    Last time I looked Paul Howes had a face.

  191. tinman_au

    I think the Labor factions did the best thing for the party today…..the Green Party that is…

  192. GeeWizz

    Looks like Paul Howes and the other faceless men made their choice yet again and the public were told to go jump.

    Roll on the election…

  193. Filth Dimension

    is Lyndal Curtis a Coalition sock puppet at the ABC?

  194. shepherdmarilyn

    The best joke of the week was Laurie Oakes and eastern states morons in the media trying to turn the Stag hotel into a strip clug.

    The Stag might have seen a stripper or two 120 years ago, it might have been bit run down when I drank there 40 years but there were not strippers.

    It is now a first class restaurant from where the festival fringe is staged because it is on the edge of the parklands.

    It is called the Stag because it had some deer horns on the wall for years.

    Honestly, what nonsense.

    And finally some in the media admitted that Rudd was not doing anything much at all about the leadership.

    The character assassination was a complete disgrace and only Peter Brent remembered that the referendum Roxon claimed Rudd just made up was actually party policy at the 2007 election.

    And if Rudd’s support is so soft how come it has remained so much higher than Gillard since 2006 when the spiv’s replaced Beazley again.

    As for Crean, he didn’t actually say anything and Swan only claimed Rudd doesn’t have Australian values and no-one bothers to look at the real cause.

    Rudd said we should vote for Palestine in the UNESCO vote, something the zionists went into over drive over, and he was correct. We cannot as a country simply pretend that our allies in two wars do not exist so we can appease one small group of people.

    He then went over seas and demanded that Israel stop torturing Palestinian children. Again the zionists went into over drive.

    They have been on Rudd’s back since 2008 as the Wikileaks cables clearly show.

    I hope they all choke on their own bile.

    Gillard is and always was dreadful and her only new policy was the dirty Malaysia deal.

    Come on all those who think she is a marvel answer this:

    Rudd got through pension and refugee reforms with the assistance of a few liberal senators. Gillard is getting Rudd’s agenda through after signed agreements with self-interested parties and has a dream senate.

    Isn’t it surely easier to deal with friends than make deals with enemies?

    So effectively her so-called colleagues, all 71 of them, are voting for racist bigotry.

    And the memories are so short in our appalling media that they forget she was screwing Craig Emerson when he was still married.

  195. Queensberry Rules

    (But the real dark arts needed by Gillard are the sort that involve a satanic ritual that could somehow transfer Rudd’s popularity into her.)

    This is best iarticle.

  196. Peter Ormonde

    This tango both sides of politics have been doing with the US Presidential style is deeply wrong-headed… if anything the last few days have underlined that message. A populist president is incompatible with the Australian political system as it stands and operates.

    Rudd’s appeal to the masses – to those “who elected him” – rise up, take to the phones and the T-shirts is an empty farce.

    Rudd was elected by Caucus. He leads a team. The team won the election. Not some Messianic Tin-Tin cut-out with all the personality of a wind-up toy.

    Sure Kevin 07 was young – not John Howard – and seemed rather harmless and efficient – the sort of change you have when you don’t want to change – but here, in this country, the team runs the show….Cabinet and caucus – and now including negotiations with the independents etc…a complex process, usually by consensus and agreement, certainly with consultation.

    Australian politics does not operate as a one-man-band like the US Presidency with its personally appointed administration. The US constitutionally operates with what is essentially an elected monarch who can make war and do all sorts of day to day things, while Congress and the Senate operate very much as houses of review with complex rules and procedures nobbling the President’s authority.

    To have a delusional PM – who sees his “power and authority” arising from the people – who goes beyond parliament to “his people” in some populist tub thumping – to frighten marginal members and the flakey left is a serious challenge to the system of parliamentary politics and the constitution.

    If ever there was a good argument for why a reconstituted republican Australia should NEVER EVER have an elected President, this is a living example of it.

    It is also a damn good reason why Labor at least should stop falling for this Brand Julia sludge. No more personalised election slogans … empty rubbish that they are.

    Labor must start selling it’s strongest asset – its deep competence and talent – a cohesive and coherent team. Today’s frightened hissy fit notwithstanding. No one will be taking any notice of these paper lefties anyway. They’ve handed serious critical policy development to the Greens.

  197. Socratease

    @DF: My feeling is that the faction thugs hate Rudd so much that, short term, they are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces. My guess is that as time goes by and her figures don’t improve they’ll quickly accept that Gillard really is electoral poison, and begin to groom her successor.

  198. Jimmy

    Gavin – I think it all depends on how much of a spotlight get’s put on the economic polices of the opposition. It is clear to all and sundry that cutting billions in carbon tax revenue and income tax revenue from the tax cuts he will keep, while increasing govt expenditure by billions on “direct action” and penion and FTB spending doesn’t add up. Neither does keeping Small business tax concessions super guarantee increases and infrastructure spending while cutting the MRRT. Increasing company tax to pay for paid parental leave for the rich is just stupid. Bringing back the 30% rebate for health insurance for high income earners will just put more and more pressure on the budget and the list goes on.

    The libs are happy to keep Abbott while he keeps them in front but the majority of them are actuall .y opposed to their own policies. The only thing that would stop a leadership change should the polling gap narrow is that Hockey is a complete dud and Turnbull will reverse so many policy positions that they won’t have a platform.

    If Abbott does get in I think most libs will pray the senate blocks their legislation.

  199. Alfonse

    @Mr Ormond, If Bernard stuck to merely reporting the facts, then it would be a very brief article… ie………”Government populated by crap politicians. Opposition populated by crapper (sic) ones. Voters sick of both” The horoscope approach is at least more entertaining.

  200. 81dvl

    Bernard (if I may);
    When Julia Gillard displaced Kevin Rudd it was an action taken by a majority vote of the Labour MP’s. It was not an armed hold-up, it was democracy, canvassed and precipitated by ALP members concerned that KR had lost the plot. A majority of votes cast in the spill ELECTED Julia Gillard.

    Rudd’s 07 narrow-margin election was only achieved by swinging voters, impressed with his articulate support of real action on climate change. They (we) belived him – He betrayed them. He then hand picked his own Caucus (not democratic) and slowly distilled his Monarchy to a “gang of four” (not democratic). His talent for populism gave him the job in the first place – he could (did) win an election. Thereafter he was corrupted as a needed-to-be-loved star; easily bruised and given to tantrums.

    World leaders were at best bemused by him. For an intelligent and capable man, he could be such a dork sometimes. Who can forget that most nauseating footage of him saluting (of all people) George W. Having voted for ‘Kevin’, his opening line at his acceptance speech sent alarm bells ringing in more heads than mine.

    Today’s outcome is democratic; passed by a significant majority. Democracy is a collective of opinions; opinions which must necessarily differ. Opinions that, as your readers recently said, have been pounded away at by a relentless media, unwilling to let clear and fair assessment get in the way of the situation they have both caused and exacderbated and pressured by the populism they created.

    Once more – this would not have happenned without the media pressure, because it couldn’t happen without media. The question has to be asked; did media cause it? Were the media themselves being played? Some, certainly by appearances, were very willing regardless. We’re here to sell papers!

    In this light it would be very wrong indeed for any journalist to say “I told you there was going to be a spill.” They perpetuated, enabled and conceivably caused this event, and let’s face it, this is not new.

    Bernard your articles are – as they should be – opinion, but your invective, your consistent choosing of (sometimes creative) negative adjectives in your relentless character assasination of Julia Gillard is, even with generous pragmatism, beyond free and fair reporting. It is culpable.

    I gather you are a share-holder? Do you know and support all that your board(s) of Directors do or is that not your problem? Maybe you think that anyone who still maintains any humanism in their thinking should just grow up and see how the world really works?

    Did that hurt?
    Was it fair?
    It was my opinion.

  201. hernando garcia

    what do you know, move to suspend standing orders at or about 3:00 pm everyday, moved from the opposition. regular as clockwork. now we’ll have them waffle on for 1/2 – 3/4 of an hour. followed by a division of the house in which the motion will be defeated by 1. unbelievable.

  202. DF

    Socratease: What motivation do you ascribe to the so-called “factional bosses” or “faceless men” to suggest they would want to lose an election? If people don’t want to win elections, why on earth would they get involved in politics? Your argument doesn’t make sense.

  203. Gavin Moodie

    Thanx for the encouragement Jimmy.

    I think van Onslen is right in saying that the Liberals are most unlikely to ditch Abbott before the next election. Abbott got them so close to winning in 2010 that the Libs are committed to giving him another go in 2013.

  204. DF

    Tony Abbott should be careful what he wishes for. If we did have Presidential-style elections for the PM, he wouldn’t get a look-in, judging by the polls.

  205. Jimmy

    Socratease – Rudd’s popul.a rity might not diminish while he is the back bench but it would have disappeared if he was returned as PM. And even if they caucus did just follow orders (which doesn’t gel with the majority of ana.l y.sis over the weekend) the reason for the decision doesn’t change just those who made it.

    Gavin Moodie, don’t give up just yet, the closer to the election the more the focus becomes on pol.icy and once Abbott can’t beat the carbon tax fear drum his terrible economic pol.icies will be shown up. I still query if he will still be L.iberal Leader by the election let alone the next PM.

  206. Jimmy

    Socratease – Rudd’s popularity might not diminish while he is the back bench but it would have disappeared if he was returned as PM. And even if they caucus did just follow orders (which doesn’t gel with the majority of analysis over the weekend) the reason for the decision doesn’t change just those who made it.

    Gavin Moodie, don’t give up just yet, the closer to the election the more the focus becomes on policy and once Abbott can’t beat the carbon tax fear drum his terrible economic policies will be shown up. I still query if he will still be Liberal Leader by the ewlection let alone the next PM.

  207. flyinglow

    Crean?
    I don’t know what you’re taking BK but you should stop. Now.

  208. Peter Ormonde

    Melbournian Mark…

    “…and a few good sorts from Libs/Nationals.” Ah yes, that’d be um…. err…

    But you’re right about this corgi blood lust that’s whipping through the Gallery at the moment …. it seems the whole Gallery – even Bernie here … has been gifted with second sight … the wander about seeing portents and omens and disembowelling market research. Badly.

    Hopefully if anyone is the loser out of this (other than the flapping remnants of the Labor Parliamentary Left) it will be the sages of the Gallery – the peddlers of gossip and anonymous self-serving leaks.

    But in the meantime we have the future as foregone conclusion…. the ink on the vote barely dry and they’re yapping about for a successor.

    Give me a decent blue heeler anyday. Know how to put in a day’s work your blue.

  209. Gavin Moodie

    I’ve just about conceded the next election to Abbott. I think the only argument for ditching Gillard is to save the furniture. However, I’m not yet convinced that Labor led by Gillard would lose so many seats.

    If Abbott is as bad as he seems he will make such a mess of government that Labor would be a good chance of winning re election in 2016. I don’t think it would be wise to send a potential 2016 Labor leader to near certain defeat in 2013.

  210. Socratease

    @Jimmy: And that’s what they have done here, they correctly assumed Rudd’s “popularity” is soft and will disappear and they are better off with someone who can run the govt and get’s things legislated than someone who is “popular”.

    As I see it, the majority of Labor caucus members simply followed the dictates of their factional bosses, as they always do. While ever he sits in the house I don’t believe that Rudd’s electoral popularity will disappear. My feeling is that Gillard will continue to be widely unpopular and seen as a ticket to unemployment for many on the backbench.

  211. Jimmy

    Canned Heat – “There’s getting things done and there’s getting re-elected so you can continue to do so.” Getting things done gets you re elected where focusing on getting re elected doesn’t get things done.

  212. cannedheat

    There’s getting things done and there’s getting re-elected so you can continue to do so. The point of a leader is to communicate to the electorate and ensure others get things done. Gillard has been an abject failure at the second part. Lets not forget that Gillard was the architect of the abandonment of the carbon pricing scheme. I suspect the truth is that Gillard caused the problems Rudd was blamed for. She now has the top job and has publicly trashed labor in a way only the factional dolts and gray cardiganed timeservers could love.

    Rudd may well be the ‘prissy percious pr*ck’ of Alan Ramsay fame but so are most leaders – it goes with the territory.

  213. Gavin Moodie

    I hope Labor doesn’t change leaders until Gillard – the great achiever – gets the Gonski changes implemented. This is important and will be very difficult cos it involves all the states as well as the lower house indies. Rudd clearly couldn’t do it and I doubt whether the other possible Labor leaders could either.

  214. skink

    did anyone see anything of Stephen Smith over the last week? He seemed to be conspicuously absent from all the mudslinging, no doubt ensuring that none of it stuck to him.

    thank-you for christening this the Gillard-Abbott Era, because the sooner it is over, the better.

    I’m starting to believe this was all stage-managed to get Rudd to over-reach himself too soon and get him out of the way early enough for a gentle takeover by Smith. It will become a matter of brinksmanship now with both parties changing leader as close as possible to the election in the hope of getting the bounce.

    Smith v Turnbull at the next election.

  215. Greg Chapman

    What a load of crap! This media event was disgusting. Two potential PMs slogging it out publicly as if they’re part of an American presidential campaign. Where’s their loyalty? Gimme a break! Why should they care what Australian ‘voters’ think when all the crap was handfed to the ‘punters’ by arrogant and pompous globalised, embedded mainstream media – and very dubious polls and pollsters? What annoys me most about this stupidity is that these two Labor luminaries were led by the nose to show how insecure and politically inept they really are. I’m a voter – maybe not for Labor now but certainly NOT the Coalition – ever. And it’s voters like me who are disenchanted – not by Gillard the Original but by the boys who try to groom her. I liked her the way she was before. Straight-forward, single, not caring about having kids or not – and openly atheist. I am very uncomfortable about Rudd’s media meetings outside churches – holding his wife’s hand tightly and kids trailing. This I mistrust greatly. Do he and Tone pray and confess together? There are a lot of lefties like me. We could even swing the votes towards progressive Independents and Greens. All I ask of the PM is to quit the crap and get on with being an ethical leader. Please!

  216. Michael

    THIS IS ALL ABBOTT’S FAULT!!!

    If he wasn’t around we wouldn’t need elections & Labor could now send KRudd to a gulag in Antarctica for re-education.

    Democracy in the hands of ALP just sucks, don’t you think??

  217. Mark from Melbourne

    BK still manages to make Gillard the loser at every turn. Must really have it in for her.

    Albanese’s “classy conviction” was almost totally negated when he finished by saying he was voting for Rudd because it was the only way to beat Abbott. Doesnt strike me as a whole lot different to everyone else’s motives.

    Spent a bit of time on the weekend dreaming of how good it could be to have another party formed of the best and brightest from all sides of politics. Maybe lead by Turnbull, Julia G on Education, a few of the independents, Plibersek, Shorten, Wong, Rokson, Conroy, Smith and a few good sorts from Libs/Nationals. I just dont get a system that ensures you get a bunch of hacks seriously unqualified for serious jobs whilst good talent gets to waste away on the opposition bench…

  218. Jimmy

    Socratease – “However, parties generally chose one who they reckon can be re-elected” And that’s what they have done here, they correctly assumed Rudd’s “popularity” is soft and will disappear and they are better off with someone who can run the govt and get’s things legislated than someone who is “popular”.

  219. Jimmy

    I find it difficult to see how Abbott is in such a strong position and gillard so weak when they are basically level pegging in the preferred PM stakes and the biggest stick Abbott has been hitting Gillard with (the fear of the Carbon Tax) is soon to be shown as nothing more than a stick of celery when the tax actually takes effect. Add in the MRRT and it’s benefits, a budget surplus in May and some increased spending plans for education and health and the 53-47 will narrow significantly.

    And this is all before people start looking at the coalitions disasterous economic hodge podge they call policies. Now the “Rudd V Gillard when will she be rolled” story has disappeared the media might actually look at policy.

    I would alos venture that if the ALP were to get back to 48-52 or 49-51 the Media spotlight might turn on Abbott.

  220. Socratease

    ^ Could someone in the Coalition please tell Tony Abbott that the party chooses the PM and not the people.

    However, parties generally chose one who they reckon can be re-elected.

  221. David Hand

    Michael,
    Though the party room chooses the PM and not the people, the people choose the party room.

  222. Peter Ormonde

    Bernard!

    Isn’t there enough going on for you to be actually reporting facts?

    You know – the old stuff – who said what, did what, to whom, when … sort of stuff. These astrology columns you’re running – seances with the Grande Bernardo – sound so much like a pinkish version of Suzanne Bleak it’s beyond a joke.

    Get you head out of your belly button lint, get up from the long lunch and go and do some work.

    We’ll all start sending you foil hats soon. Perhaps a beret.

  223. Lloyd McDonald

    Considering how badly everyone was predicting the party was suffering from this, the latest Newspoll gives some hope that now the Kevin07 threat has been neutered Gillard may indeed get some clear air to sell her achievements which have been considerable.

    The fact that Abbott has been going backwards so precipitously makes me think the narrative may well change.

    Julia has been really impressive this week, I wouldn’t be writing her off so savagely bernard. You are starting to channel Michelle Grattan I think of all the media commentators she’s been quite appalling the last 2 weeks.

  224. Michael de Angelos

    Could someone in the Coalition please tell Tony Abbott that the party chooses the PM and not the people.

  225. Socratease

    The only winner in Labor is one of Stephen Smith, Bill Shorten or, just maybe, Simon (“safe pair of hands”) Crean,

    Leave Crean off the list. They should create the position of Anesthetist-General for him, so good is his ability to put an entire room to sleep.

  226. Filth Dimension

    Does Tony Abbott have anything to offer? His speech is embarrassing in its desperation and shallowness.

  227. nerk

    I think you’ve got it exactly backwards David. Gillard’s problem is that she’s *only* been good at getting things done. A chronic failure of spin. The biggest stuff-ups have all been when she’s been trying to play the empty populism game like Abbott (eg Malaysia).

    There’s a saying – never wrestle with a pig – you both get filthy and the pig loves it.

  228. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Bernard , what about the other winner ? Habib , won the court case against the Sydney Shock Jocks to the tune of $176 ,000 + claiming he was on a pension when he wasn’t .

  229. Socratease

    @Brad Sprigg: Could [Albanese] possibly position as a future leader?

    How does he now sit with the pre-selection standover men of the Labor machine?

  230. Brad Sprigg

    Personally I think the only winner is Albo. He timed his announcement of support for Rudd at the perfect time to get maximum play in the press, and came out of it looking like he had class an conviction. He also did it in such a way to appear above the venom being thrown by each side, and in such a way that he has not damaged his position too much with the current leader, but stood far enough away that if things go to hell, he can be seen as opposing the other guy during the last spill. Could he possibly position as a future leader?

  231. Andrew Clark

    Bernard

    Now we have had the great storm in the tea cup. How about some consideration about who were the winners and loosers in the media beat up. To much to ask ?

    If that to much how about a list of how media can regain its terminal loss of faith between now and next election.

    Andrew

  232. David Hand

    Julia’s chances of surviving to the next election depend on running a half decent administration for the rest of her term. Her claim of “getting things done” is true when it comes to Bob Brown’s policy platform but is not so compelling when it comes to what the electorate expects.

    This time next year shae can only hope that the $23 per tonne carbon tax is not wreaking havoc in Australian manufacturing otherwise more questions will be asked.

    It’s her missteps that made her vulnerable to a challenge and it could easily happen again.

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