Regrets? Paul Howes has a few. Don’t look now, but self-described faceless man Paul Howes is having some regrets about his starring role in the disposal of ex-PM Kevin Rudd. The labour movement’s enfant terrible, you will remember, took part in that extraordinary Lateline interview to explain the coup just hours after it had taken place.

Fast forward nearly two years and the stocky unionist has expressed regret through his weekly column in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph. He wrote that leadership challenges were often “messy” and “bad” but that it was hard to know what the electorate wanted.

“I’ve said before that the decision to dump Rudd was not well executed. That’s not trying to deflect blame away from me, as I accept I didn’t cover myself in glory during that episode,” he mea culpa’ed.

Howes also stuck behind embattled PM Julia Gillard, declaring he won’t be involved in another challenge and would “keep well out of it”: “I learnt that lesson, the really hard way. No good comes from being associated with toppling leaders.”

It might be a bit late for that now, Comrade.

Bill Shorten on tour in Israel. Speaking of those still struggling to wash themselves clean from that night, rising Labor star Bill Shorten has made a trip to Israel to meet with PM Benjamin Netanyahu. Shorten, who has been linked with a possible tilt at the top job, discussed assistance in the development of Israel’s liquefied natural gas reserves, according to a report in The Australian.

Shorten also met Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, and the head of its central bank, to discuss superannuation.

MasterChef serving not so hot. Channel Ten has been caught in the crossfire of an intense ratings war this year, as Nine and Seven go toe-to-toe in their battle for ratings glory. Ten’s first shot at taking it up to the big boys was last night, as popular cooking show MasterChef made its debut for the year.

Alas, only 1.37 million tuned in for George Calombaris and co. as they were beaten into fourth place for the night (behind Nine hit The Block). CEO James Warburton will be hoping for an improvement as the show gets set to dominate Ten’s schedule.

Last week, the 18-to-49 network was way back in third place with 17.5% audience share. Nine won with 32% ahead of Seven with 28.7%.

Peter Fray

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