In my article in The Drum on Kevin Rudd’s political execution, I wrote:
… we must now ask ourselves whether politics as usual allows any leader to wrestle with the great moral challenges of our time.
Because those challenges are not going away, even as the timescale of the Twitterverse and the 24 hour news machine rolls relentlessly on to another moment of the present.
One of the article’s themes was that the professionalisation of politics – its disconnect from most people’s lives, and the relentless drum beat of the always on media cycle make it nigh on impossible for any political leader truly to address the diabolical problems we all face.
In seeking to explain Kevin Rudd’s political demise with reference to factors that go beyond the quotidian, I was not alone. Jeff Sparrow wrote an excellent piece about the personalisation of politics (originally inspired by David Marr’s Quarterly Essay), and why the focus on leaders’ personalities arises as a symptom of an absent politics. Now [via tigtog] there’s another angle on the same question – Guy Rundle’s excellent post on the reasons for the sudden collapse in legitimacy many politicians have experienced, and the associated collapse in mainstream politics:
The coup against Kevin Rudd was seen by all commentators to be a remarkable occurrence, as for example would a dancing building. It is only when you realise that there’s an earthquake moving underneath it, that it starts to make sense.
If you haven’t read Sparrow or Rundle, and you want to step back and consider the destruction of Kevin Rudd and the ascension of Julia Gillard in a much broader context, you really should take the time to do so. Both pieces are far superior to anything you’ll read in newsprint.