Nicola Roxon’s speech last night has left Labor figures fuming, and not just because of her relentless focus on attacking Kevin Rudd.

Roxon’s desire to exhume the Rudd-Gillard conflict for the purposes of belting Rudd -- she mentioned him no fewer than 36 times during the course of a speech intended to honour Labor legend John Button -- doesn’t just bode poorly for Labor’s capacity to stop talking about itself. It gives carte blanche to Rudd spear carriers to discuss what happened behind closed doors during the Gillard era, even if Gillard never called a female premier “Bambi”.