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:

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.

Peter Fray

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