If you think Kevin Rudd is a fool… Then he might be behind an attempt by federal Labor this week to get Julia Gillard to hand over the job of Prime Minister to him. But if you believe he is a clever and conniving politician who wants to be able to win an election he contests as party leader, then forget about the likelihood of any immediate change. Let the Gillard and Wayne Swan team stew in the embarrassment of their own budget deficit announcement in May before striking. The best chance of a Rudd-led victory would come from having only a short gap between his ascendancy and a polling day after July 1.
A fearless forecast. My colleague Bob Gosford is in my “Rudd is a fool” camp. He posted this fearless forecast on his Northern Myth blog on Friday afternoon:
“I’ll call it now. The tap on the shoulder has finally come for Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She will be out of the job by Wednesday next and second-time-around Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will face one day of parliamentary sittings as leader before the long spring break. Roll on September 14 2013.”
I agree with the sentiment of that last sentence and will dip my lid to Bob if he proves to have called happenings in Canberra from his base in Darwin. But in the meantime he can share my Leadership Beat-Up title with that regular contender Peter van Onselen for this Weekend Australian effort:
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A market unmoved. The Crikey Election Indicator’s weekly guide to the state of play:
Frightening the horses. I am following what passes for debate about changes to media laws in a state of some confusion. I just can’t grasp why any change is necessary at all. I am unaware that anything is really different now than it was five, 10 or even 20 years ago, and we seem to have muddled along without democracy being threatened.
And I am a believer in “the thin edge of the wedge”. Governments over time have a habit of expanding the powers of organisations they create. Just look at the expansion in recent years of security and other law-and-order agencies. Forget about the author if you want, but this argument sure does give me pause for thought:
Beats kissing babies. This one was 11 and male!
A quote for the day from The New York Times.
“In this country, the expectation is that every generation does better than the previous generation. This is no longer the case. This generation might have less.”
News and views noted along the way.
- Who really invented the smiley face?
- The ALP’s genuine western Sydney branch members are being undermined by power games — an interesting one I missed earlier in the month.
- The genesis of a lie, aggregated — A satirical website posted a fake story about Paul Krugman declaring bankruptcy. Everyone had a good laugh when Breitbart News took it seriously, but more interesting is how it ended up on Boston.com with a byline from “The Prudent Investor”.
- China appoints a woman to one of highest positions — “China has completed its once-in-a-decade overhaul of its senior leaders by returning a woman to the top of its government.”
- Pakistan’s Ashraf government makes history — “Pakistan’s government has become the first elected administration in the country’s history to complete a five-year term of office.”
- Our future will be brighter than you think — but more disruptive — “In this decade we will see new billion dollar businesses and trillion dollar industries emerge. At the same time, we will see current industry leaders—and entire industries—wiped out by technology advances.”
- Could tapping undersea methane lead to a new gas boom?
- Steubenville and challenging r-pe culture in sports — “I don’t believe that r-pe culture is an endemic part of men’s sports. I do believe that r-pe culture is an endemic part of teenage boys being treated like gods by adults for their ability to play games. I also believe that r-pe culture in locker rooms can be destroyed with the active intervention of coaches who take violence against women seriously.”
- Giving up social media for Lent will cleanse your soul, Russians told — “Russian Orthodox church advises people to avoid Instagram and Twitter when annual period of self-denial begins …”
- Is your medicine vegan? Probably not — “… the byproducts of dead animals, it seems, are lurking in everything from diet supplements and medicine to sporting goods and electronics.”
- A profession with an egalitarian core — “… there is an overriding moral issue. Imagine that it is your professional duty to report a cost-benefit analysis of liberalizing immigration policy. You wouldn’t dream of producing a study that counted ‘men only’ or ‘whites only,’ at least not without specific, clearly stated reasons for dividing the data. So why report cost-benefit results only for United States citizens or residents, as is sometimes done in analyses of both international trade and migration? The nation-state is a good practical institution, but it does not provide the final moral delineation of which people count and which do not.”