Sep 2, 2013

Labor launch: feeling the wounds in the upper room

Crikey's writer-at-large, in undies made of ice bags, is at Labor's low-rent campaign launch. Labor has lost the will to win, and our correspondents are close to losing their will to live.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


“I must go to Brisbane! Brisbane will broaden my mind!” — Steele Rudd, On Our Selection

“Circus Quirkus”, the roadcase said, standing beneath a truck at the gaping mouth of the Brisbane Convention Centre yesterday morning. Comic sans writing, Leunig-esque graphics and standing outside, amidst the palms and just-opening cafes of Southbank, I gave thanks to the gods of local colour. Labor campaign launch later this morning in this glass and steel behemoth, a Beattie-era addition extravaganza about as striking and original as a knock-off Alessi kettle, and it looked at first sight as if was going to be as safe, boring and devoid of real character as just about everything Labor has done this trip, a campaign devoid of a single memorable image, real Labor moment, or striking comeback.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

18 thoughts on “Labor launch: feeling the wounds in the upper room

  1. paddy

    Sounds bloody awful.
    Not looking forward to the next three years.
    Just hope that Tony stuffs it up badly enough to be a oncer.

  2. Mark Duffett

    “…vote Clive Palmer…not realise that their vote has flowed through to the Libs…”

    It kills me that votes for Palmer actually go to the Greens before the Libs, at least in Queensland (abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/guide/gtv/qld/#gtv_qld_ag) and Tasmania. I wonder how many pro-mining voters will thus end up helping elect Green senators.

  3. Kim Ritchie

    I love your writing Guy, and this was no exception. Your article leaves me feeling despondent and sad, but I have an inkling I am going to be feeling this way for about 9 years. 🙁

  4. Frank

    As much as I’d have loved to see Rudd go nuts out as per your penultimate paragraph, Guy, the result would have been the media instantly branding him as Keating 2.0.

    We’ve seen the future, and it’s milquetoast.

  5. parrick

    When you’re facing the feet it’s better to stand and fight than run as though you can win. Good on’ya Guy. Better to ‘go down screaming that way, to go downstairs into the roiling, boiling mess of the circus.’ Perhaps with the assistance of another screwdriver or six.

  6. zut alors

    “… members of the current government, who looked like the defendants in those mass show trials the Chinese used to like to have.”

    Ten out of ten, Guy, that’s the precise impression they gave. Also agree with your comments about the potential of the original shabby South Brisbane site but I dare never mention this publicly to proud Brisbanians – only under the protection of this pseudonym.

  7. Karen

    “Labor saved Australian from the financial crisis that trashed the world, and we put money in schools and health, and there’s going to be more. If you let these bastards in they will strip the skin off you and leave you in the dust.”

    Well said. I like the literary, essay style of yours, Guy. Both sad and funny.

    And, yes, Kevin would have had nothing to lose by making a brutal but fair statement such as yours above at his campaign launch. At least he would be able say, “I told you so”. But I suspect he’s probably too depressed for words…

  8. Andybob

    It’s great that you make your own shirts Guy. I only wish I had similar skills. We’re going to need them.

  9. mattsui

    Nailed ’em GR.
    They must have known the circus was coming and they bhid from it.
    A punters’ PM like Hawkie would have been down there in a flash, getting amongst the voters.
    Modern Labor is opportunity lost to itself.

  10. Warren Joffe

    “He had a few good lines, did Albo — “there is no issue too big that Tony Abbott cannot show how small he is”; “Turnbull’s fraudband policy”

    I can’t believe I enjoy reading a sharp wordsmith who thinks the “fraudband” line is a good one. That’s the kind of weak pun which makes a local poll planning his campaign wonder why he let those Young Labor/Young Liberal enthusiasts into the brainstorming session. True, it might have been a reasonable line to put in a short TV or radio add BUT – which party should have got in first? After all the full Conroy isn’t needed to give anyone who can use if usefully the v. high speed uploads and downloads and that means that the government is wasting several tens of billion compared with Turnbull version. [Just check: can you point to anyone, or any category of user, who might be deprived of broadband speed to the detriment of the country or the loss of some brilliant innovative enterprise?]

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details