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256 responses to “Laurie Oakes claims Kevin Rudd proposed a Kirribilli style deal to Julia Gillard on 23 June”

  1. Sabrina

    This whole thing get murkier (spelling?) by the minute. But the ALP has themselves to blame. By refusing to discuss what happened that night (ie John Faulkner, Julia Gillard) – makes the press dig deeper for a story. I have a lot doubts about the ALP recovering from this. The coalition could look like a safer pair of hands – particularly in Queensland.

  2. Paul Burns

    Give Rudd an overeas diplomatic posting – NOW!

  3. adrian

    Yes this could be quite a spectacular own goal if they’re not careful. Giving Rudd an overseas posting isn’t going to change things very much because the damage has already been done.

    It also assumes that Rudd leaked the information to Oakes which isn’t necessarily the case.

  4. Paul Burns

    Na, not necessarily. Could be any number of Rudd supporters in the Caucus who knew about it. Could also be some right wing apparatchnik who thought it was a good idea at the time.
    Initially, I didn’t think Rudd’s knifing would have much impact. Now I wonder. It could very well turn out to be Labor’s Achilles Heel, certainly in Qld. and perhaps elsewhere. Though I hope not. The prospect of an Abbott Government, regardless of how shop-soiled Labor might get by this by the time election day comes roynd, is, frankly, appalling.

  5. hannah's dad

    ‘How does Labor counter this theme?”

    3 step programme.
    1.
    Ignore.
    As in don’t play their silly game.
    As`Julia is obviously trying to do.
    She headed O’Brien off at the pass when he tried the same line a couple of weeks ago, she just said then, as she has said again, that its not something she will talk about.
    Deny oxygen.

    2.
    If they,`the opposition media and COALition] persist, go on the attack.
    Not hard, it’s what Julia did on the day after the spill when she gave smiling sarky references to the 3 leaders the Libs have gone thru, so far, since the election.
    Plenty of room for ‘faceless rightist powerbrokers’ there.
    3.
    They still want to play their silly game?
    Ask them why they wish to concentrate, focus, on trivial personality politics when there are several major issues that demand greater attention.
    Irresponsible to ignore the real issues, with the emphasis on ‘real’.
    Name one or two such and launch into policy discussion thereof.

    To summarise:
    don’t play their silly game.

  6. adrian

    But it may be the only chance we get to have a Labor Party worth voting for, Paul.

  7. paul walter

    Another lull in the news cycle, another beat up. The likes of Oakes know their stuff.
    What can Labor do?
    Stay calm, point out the contradictions in the position of the adversary; find out why the opposition remains a policy free zone.
    And hope that Rudd’s better nature continues to hold up and that he doesn’t try to bring the rest down out of resentment at what happened to him.

  8. troyski

    Adrian is right about the assumption this comes from Rudd. Oakes clearly said Rudd told select others outside his office that a deal was done. Labor loves a feud more than it loves governing. Perhaps we’ve too easily believed support for the change was overwhelming. Rudd’s leadership was always mortally wounded once there was a challenge. That is not the same as caucus actually wanting a challenge to occur.

    Oakes said today the deal soul be Rudd would go if told by the party elders that he was the impediment to winning. That sounds to me like an attempt to wrest decision for a change of leadership from the hands of the select few backbenchers and party hardheads behind this attempted coup.

    If there was no real mood for change and if some are really that unhappy with Gillard’s moves to the right, then this could be just the start of the trouble.

  9. Mark

    @7 –

    Another lull in the news cycle, another beat up. The likes of Oakes know their stuff.

    I think it may be true, but I was interested to see one journo on Twitter raise the question of whether this sort of question is really in the public interest – given that we may never really know what occurred with any certainty.

    @6 – No doubt they’ll do all of that, but I think the bigger issue is the one I raised in the end of the post – that, however handled, the leadership change opens up a line of attack from the opposition which could potentially undermine one of Labor’s key strengths. It’s another part of the contest over the incumbency effect Peter Brent was talking about the other day. Effectively, the Libs are trying to suggest that all was rosy and the ship of state on course under the Howard government, and to tie together a number of attacks on Labor’s performance with one theme.

    It might work.

    I’m not as confident as some that the ALP will win this election. The Libs have been allowed to fly under the radar for far too long, and that’s the ALP’s fault – both before and after Rudd.

  10. Mark

    @8 –

    Rudd’s leadership was always mortally wounded once there was a challenge. That is not the same as caucus actually wanting a challenge to occur.

    Yes, that’s what I was saying at the time, and there’s a lot of evidence to support it. That is, the mood for change as you put it, wasn’t universal in caucus, and certainly not in Cabinet.

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/25/how-the-coup-against-kevin-rudd-unfolded/

    If there was no real mood for change and if some are really that unhappy with Gillard’s moves to the right, then this could be just the start of the trouble.

    Agreed. I doubt all caucus members are happy with the current direction of policy and rhetoric, and to be frank, the East Timor Solution was very unnecessarily messy politics. I’m sure that it won’t have been lost on some that it had all the hallmarks of the sort of thing KRudd was criticised for – tacking to the polls, announcing something before it was ready, watching it unravel. That’s leaving aside the politics, which I’m sure by no means all MPs are happy with.

    I think Chris Trevor’s comments are probably putting forward a view that’s shared by more than just him – that the rush to pile on Rudd is both undignified and counter-productive.

    Add the media obsession with the mechanics of politics and with keeping a leadership instability narrative running, and potentially it’s a very bad mix for Labor.

  11. AmishThrasher

    I wonder – and this is pure speculation – how much Laurie Oakes suddenly hearing about the meeting and what happened has to do with this:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/14/the-alp-refines-its-outer-sydney-message-little-australia/

    It seems, at the least, to be awfully coincidental timing.

    Especially given that in recent days we’ve seen this:

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/rudd-meets-un-chief-20100715-10c82.html

    …and this:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/trashing-kevin-rudd-could-cost-the-alp-seats-chris-trevor/story-e6frgczf-1225891389137

    …and this:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/rudd-wont-do-a-runner-20100715-10bwr.html

    If so, I think it may be worthwhile precaution to hold back on the Ruddbashinga little. Especially until it can be confirmed whether or not he’s been keeping a diary.

  12. troyski

    Mark, would this deal have even been put to Gillard to consider if Faulkner thought the change need be made? Perhaps there is more to Tanner and Faulkner moving on after all.
    Julia looked like the proverbial bunny in the headlights when Oakes asked his question too. If she knows Kevin would never leak like that, she might just start worrying who she can trust. If Labor continue to look like amateur hour, the Opposition will walk in. Goodbye NBN, goodbye health reform, hello tough love Tony-style.

  13. Mark

    @12 – I strongly suspect that there is more to Faulkner and Tanner moving on than meets the eye. Tanner measured his words carefully, but in his last Lateline experience, made it pretty clear that he wasn’t for the leadership change. He was explicit about the fact that he didn’t know about it.

  14. John D

    I thought that Laurie Oakes looked stupid and past it after Julie had answered the question. Laurie full bent on trivial pursuit, Julia concentrating on the things that are important and confirming that she, at least, was maintaining confidentiality.

    Fortunately the quality of the questions picked up after Laurie had had his turn. I loved the part in the interview where Julie pointed out that Tony was moving her way and why Nauru wasn’t a quick fix. (Under caretaker government and signing up to the refugee agreement takes quite some time.)

    The interesting thing will be tosee how each media outlet distorts what was said.

  15. Thomas Paine

    Of course the media should dig deeper on this. Replacing the Prime Minister of the country, the one that in people’s minds they were voting for, is no small thing.

    Treating the leadership of the country as a personal toy should not be allowed and as such it should be investigated until the public have some reasonable idea what went on.

    This current revelation goes to the heart of Gillard’s character.

    Rudd’s position was more than generous, and it appears he had his mind set on a climate change policy. It is also apparent from that meeting(s) that Gillard wanted a right wing AS policy and climate change position, which Rudd rejected.

    So had Rudd doing the right thing by the party, and the right thing by the country on AS and climate change, the usurper seems to have been disloyal and dishonest and gone right wing in the process.

    There is no way Labor can avoid the fall out from this, and Gillard should have realised if you do dirty things there will be shrapnel from somewhere. Either a disaffected Rudd supporter or a disgusted Gillard supporter. They will have to wait for it to blow itself out, or possible make Rudd Foreign Affairs minister.

    It was stupid and spiteful of Gillard to not include Rudd in the ministry. She loses some Rudd supporter votes, and leaves herself vulnerable for revenge attacks from those upset with her behaviour.

  16. adamite

    ‘The danger, for Labor, is that the Coalition is promoting a narrative of instability … How does Labor counter this theme?’

    Call an election and wait for the opposition leader to open his mouth – game over.

  17. patrickg

    Watching Hockey on Lateline was interesting. “The wild ride of the past two years”. Obviously he’s living in a different Australia. Despite Labor trading in the advantage of the incumbency, Libs line of wild craziness won’t stick methinks because:

    a) It’s hasn’t been that wild, that was the whole thing about Rudd.

    b) They currently have a leader who is essentially wild and maverick.

    Bad combo.

  18. sr

    I suspect that while the ins and outs of what happened in the meeting will thrill the politerati, for most it won’t matter or at worst confirm what they already think of politicians in general. If you believe the polls, the change has been generally well received. I don’t see this sort of revelation making a huge difference either way.

  19. Mindy

    If Julia had left Rudd on the frontbenches she would have been pilloried for not making a clean kill and for not having the guts to make the changes needed. The whole leadership change would have been even more on the nose if Rudd hadn’t been dispatched to the backbench because the Opposition would have had a field day saying that either Labor didn’t have enough talent to fill the gaps or that if Rudd was still on the front bench why make the change at all. As I understand it there were good reasons to make the change within the party. Two of the old guard didn’t like it, well no surprises there really. Julia will bring Kevin back to the front bench after she wins the next election. If she doesn’t both of them will probably be together on the back bench.

  20. adrian

    Two of the old guard didn’t like it, well no surprises there really

    .

    What exactly does ‘old guard’ mean here? Peiople with some integrity?

  21. johnL

    I think the panic may be premature. After all, Keating was elected after he toppled Hawke and this followed months of stories (including the first failed Keating challenge) about the Hawke-Keating deal, which was much more “heinous”.

  22. john

    @20

    It’s a Queensland Labor faction.

  23. Mindy

    Long term Labor party men. I’m sure that there are others in the party with integrity. I’m also sure that Julia was sincere when she said that the Labor government was a good government that had lost its way.

  24. Jacques Chester

    It was stupid and spiteful of Gillard to not include Rudd in the ministry.

    No. It was necessary realpolitik. The princess, according to Machiavelli, must completely crush her enemies or they will nurture spite and seek revenge.

  25. Trenton

    Mark, you have every right not to be that confident about a Labor victory. The Oake’s question comes hard on the heels of the negative mining tax press this morning. Labor will not get their preferred message out there tonight on the 6 oclock news, it will all be about leadership deals.

    People keep harking on about how hopeless Abbott is, but really he has had to do nothing but sit there and watch the Labor Party self destruct. He hasn’t had to do anything, it is all self inflicted. At the moment Labor are a shambles.

  26. fred

    I would assume that there are quite a few in caucus who feel as if they were taken hostage and, now the brave new dawn has not broken, are starting to get pretty pissed off.

    As the saying goes, we all go to crazy together but wake up one by one.

    Probably lots of buyers remorse right now.

  27. Mindy

    Just wait until Tony opens his mouth Trenton, then we may see who is in a shambles. The action hasn’t even started yet.

  28. James

    Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein have both attended the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue every year since about 1991 or 1993, can’t remember which, and it was reported in MSM recently, [Fairfax I think}. Laurie Oakes was very excited about his question. Relevence Laurie, Julia isn’t talking about the past. IMHO he should retire to a quiet spot away from the limelight along with the other two old lions. Maybe he could write a book….. Re Greg Sheridan in the OZ, he’s still writing about “illegal immigrants”.

  29. fred

    THOMAS – I don’t think that Julia (politically speaking) could have put Rudd into the Cabinet. But that basically shows what an unclean and unecessary kill this was. Rudd would still look like he’s got too much to offer, which is not what what Julia wants.

  30. sr

    If only Rudd had had as much love before he was deposed as he appears to now.

  31. Matt C

    Well we now need to know what did Julia know about the challenge and when did she know it?

    I call BS on the story that she read an article in the Age and decided to tear down an elected PM on the basis of it.

  32. Trenton

    Mindy, yes I have been hearing that for a while now but it is starting to sound like the “armless knight defence” from the Monty Python movie.

    I have voted for Labor all my life but I have got to say for the first time in my life I have severe doubts whether I will even preference them this time. They don’t seem competent imo.

  33. fred

    MINDY – No doubt, when Tone goes into full campaign mode, it will be a shambles. But I’m worried that labor has already had its “pop” in the polls and still doesn’t have daylight between it and the opposition, whereas Rudd’s pop wasn’t going to come until the election was called (the incumbency benefit).

    What is very interesting is the drift back to the greens since Julia took over. There is clearly a highly intelligent group of voters out there who want conviction politics. Rudd was trying to win them back with a tough stand on the mining tax, etc etc.

    Julia though has shown no interest in satisfying them, so they have started heading back to the greens. That will be fine for labor if:
    1. Those voters don’t cost it inner city seats or
    2. They get so disgusted that the preference Tone rather than Julia (a consequence of losing the incumbency benefit)

  34. Fran Barlow

    I don’t see how anyone on the left can preference either of the major parties. There’s simply no adequate basis for believing one is the lesser evil.

    Maybe Abbott will attempt to persuade us that he really is going to be a lot worse in an attempt to get us to change our minds, but one suspects that where he goes, Gillard will simply follow. She seems determined to have his voters and to spit at everyone else.

  35. adrian

    Julia was sincere when she said that the Labor government was a good government that had lost its way.

    If she was sincere that makes it worse since she was Deputy PM of this government that had supposedly lost its way.

  36. adrian

    As far as I can see, it has simply been disaster after disaster since Gillard took over. This was supposed to be a chance to focus on one of Labor’s strengths, and now guess what will dominate the media for the next 24 hours – not Labor’s economic record.

    Who knows how it will play in the electorate, but Labor better hope that it was Rudd or one of his supporters leaking the information. If the leak lies elsewhere their problems may only be beginning.

  37. Fran Barlow

    I’m no Gillard or ALP-supporter Adrian, but I don’t see that this matters.

    Once you challenge, there’s no dealmaking. He’d have been ruined anyway if she’d have accepted. Sooner or later he’d have had to resign, and then she would have been spoiled goods as well.

  38. Chris

    Julia though has shown no interest in satisfying them, so they have started heading back to the greens. That will be fine for labor if:
    1. Those voters don’t cost it inner city seats or

    Long term perhaps a Green/Labor coalition is the best way to go anyway. There’s little doubt that the Greens would support Labor in forming government if required. And come election time it allows them to in effect have two sets of policies depending on who they want to appeal to.

    It looks like the left part of the Labor party is pretty much ignored now anyway so there’s little to be lost and in a Green/Labor coalition government the right wing of the Labor party would be forced to make some concessions to the Greens.

  39. Rococo Liberal

    Mark

    You are indulging in too much analysis here. The point is simple. The modern ALP is incapable of governing and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.

    You only have to witness the fact that the PM of this country made a major policy announcement naming a foreign country without first being certain of that country’s co-operation.

    Anyone who could do such a thing is unfit to be PM, and any party that would elect such a person to the top job is unfit to sit on the Treasury benches.

    Can you people actually list anything that Rudd and Gillard have done that has benefited anyone but their union mates ?

  40. adrian

    I agree with you that it doesn’t matter on that level, Fran, but where it may matter is that it adds to the perception of instability and slight chaos which some of the recent policy announcements have alo fed into, and takes attention away from what the ALP want the electorate to focus on, which obviously isn’t the overthrow of Rudd.

  41. Mindy

    Maternity leave.

  42. fred

    CHRIS – totally agree. I think a Green/Labor coalition is the way we’re heading (at the moment). Maybe even after this election.

    P.S. Very sad to hear that Sir Malcolm Mackerras has died.

  43. gregh

    I thought Oakes’ question was possibly the most unintersting thing I’ve heard from an MSM hack for many a day
    re Green/Labor coalition – I spoke to my aged father today – he was a Labor voter, switched to Libs from Hawke/Keating on and said today (after watching the Press CLub) that he will be voting Greens as the liblabs disgust him – AND because he heard Brown talking about bringing the troops back home.

  44. fred

    gregh. I think that at the last election (2007) in Sydney, it was:

    Plibersek – 38,000;
    Lib – 20,000;
    Green – 15,000.

    If the greens get ahead of the libs next time, it could be very interesting.

  45. fred

    Rococo – Tanner has given a list of labor’s accomplishments in the SMH today. You might want to have a read.

  46. Mindy
  47. Kim

    @44 – The Greens might well pick up Tanner’s seat, and have to be in with some chance in Albo and Plibersek’s.

    As I was saying yesterday, there’s a real chance Labor could drop up to 8 seats to the Coalition in Queensland alone, which would leave them perilously close to losing a majority.

    It may not be within the realms of fantasy that The Greens and/or Independents could hold the balance of power in the HoR.

    I don’t see any reason for the complacency some people are showing about Abbott losing it during the campaign. Mark’s point about Labor keeping the focus off the opposition for the last three months is well made. Abbott has been playing a clever game during that time. Anyone who’s seen him on the news every night should realise that he’s presented relatively well, and that’s what most voters who don’t share our knowledge of his wingnut history are seeing. Howard himself proved it’s possible to get away from your past.

    The obvious precedent for Rudd remaining on the front bench is Bill Hayden after Hawke rolled him. Having said that, I think it was right for him to go to the back bench.

    On Tanner, I note that in today’s Fin Review, a long article on Julia Gillard observed that Tanner has refused to walk away from his past description of JG as conservative and careerist. He opposed her preselection in 98, and it’s clear to me they aren’t buddies. But Tanner is a principled person and is being careful to modulate his rhetoric so as not to cause damage to the party.

  48. PeterTB

    Mindy:” Julia will bring Kevin back to the front bench after she wins the next election.

    I actually don’t think that Julia ever intended for KR to sit on her front bench – either before or after the next election. I think she held this out to him to keep him quiet – and to somewhat mollify the Rudd supporters.

    Why?

    Because she is smart enough to know that he is a one-man train smash – and he would only destabilise her government, while mis-managing his portfolio.

  49. Chris

    It may not be within the realms of fantasy that The Greens and/or Independents could hold the balance of power in the HoR.

    I think Labor will get back in pretty comfortably. Abbott is going to shoot himself in the foot at some point during the real election campaign. But if it ends up close and we end up with a Green/Labor coalition government I’ll be pretty happy.

  50. Darryl Rosin

    [email protected]: “Call an election and wait for the opposition leader to open his mouth – game over.”

    For a long time I’ve been worried that the Government is staking it’s entire strategy on exactly this. Maybe it will be that easy, after all, the Queensland ALP has been coasting on this for the last decade. On the other hand, Australian elections are always always close, so close that 53% is a landslide.

    I actually don’t know which will be worse in the first 6 month if Labor loses. PM Abbot or the endless “Rudd would have won” v “the defeat would have been worse with Rudd” arguments.

    d

  51. adrian

    Well Chris, the only person that appears to have shot themselves in the foot in the last 2 weeks has been Gillard – Abbott will probably do at least one stupid thing during the campaign, but like Kim I think this election will be much tighter than many here seem to think.
    Unless, of course Abbott or one of the other clowns implodes completely, which is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

  52. Kim

    @50 –

    I actually don’t know which will be worse in the first 6 month if Labor loses. PM Abbot or the endless “Rudd would have won” v “the defeat would have been worse with Rudd” arguments.

    I dunno if there’ll be much of the latter. Just getting in early! I think I might go back and live in the States, though, if we have Tone PM. 😉

  53. PeterTB

    “I think I might go back and live in the States, though, if we have Tone PM”

    This is Australia Kim – aren’t you going to give him a fair go?

  54. Eric Sykes

    what hannah’s dad says @ 5…all else is [email protected]

  55. Kim

    More seriously, though:

    For a long time I’ve been worried that the Government is staking it’s entire strategy on exactly this. Maybe it will be that easy, after all, the Queensland ALP has been coasting on this for the last decade. On the other hand, Australian elections are always always close, so close that 53% is a landslide.

    Yep.

    But even Anna Bligh and Mike Kaiser realised that they needed a positive message to win the 09 Queensland election. The jobs/standing up to the ratings agency stuff was needed as well as the “Springborg and the LNP are divided troglodytes” line.

    That’s why the backlash against Bligh and Labor has been so big – we all feel dudded because we believed them when they said they wouldn’t privatise, strip public sector jobs etc.

    Apart from homilies about the virtues of hard work and school uniforms, I’ve seen nothing positive from Gillard Labor. If it’s a campaign premised solely on Abbott’s supposed unelectability, then they may be toast. They will need something positive beyond values positioning and micro-initiatives of symbolic value only. I suspect they’ll take KRudd as an object lesson in keeping the narrative about the future modest, and that may be a mistake.

  56. Kim

    @53 – I’m happy to shake him out of a sauce bottle, PeterTB! 😉

  57. Trenton

    You do see a lot of complacency about a Coalition win from some Labor supporters around the place. Just because the Coalition were in power for so long they seem to think it is a given that Labor will do the same. Howard only squeaked over the line in 1998 and if Labor recieves the same vote that he got that time they would almost certainly lose.

  58. Ken Lovell

    Did Gillard and her supporters really think they could depose Rudd; he and his supporters would quietly go into the long night; the media would stop writing about it after a few days; and the general public would affectionately embrace their new PM as if nothing untoward had happened? Anyone who genuinely expected such a smooth outcome is really off with the pixies.

    Of course it will be a major election issue. As it should be. It will be spectacularly solid evidence to support the line that unelected union officials run the parliamentary Labor Party in Canberra in exactly the same way as they run it in NSW. Given that self-evident truth, and the lack of talent and character on the ALP front bench, why would a rational person expect any better standard of governance from a Gillard Government than from whomever is premier of NSW this week?

  59. Nickws

    Ockham’s Razor suggests to me that Gillard/the factional bosses okayed this bombshell being leaked to Oakes.

    Seriously, preemptive damage control is more plausible than Rudd allowing this to be leaked without the permission of the new management—I’m convinced he wants to be foreign minister, as that is the one thing keeping alive his chances of becoming UN general secretary. First he decides against forcing Gillard to a nasty caucus vote, and then he turns around to screw her by blabbing to Oakes? That isn’t the act of a Big Picture man keeping his options open.

    Every other reason is bullshit, and relies on a belief that the Labor scum fight among themselves just for the sake of fighting among themselves (why must you people validate the hysterical analysis of tory trolls?)

    In the digital age “If it were done, when ’tis done, then ‘twer well, It were done quickly” applies to the PR of an assassination as much as it does to the assassination itself.

    Mark Arbib and David Feeney didn’t get to where they are by not understanding exactly what is and isn’t a viable secret. This was going to go public, they just decided to make sure it couldn’t hit the headlines during the actual campaign.

  60. PeterTB

    Further to my suggestion @48, Oakes’ question could be as a result of KR “smelling a rat” re the Gillard promise of a front bench seat, and upping the ante (by leaking to Oakes) to secure some sort of guarantee for himself – in return for which he will shut up until after the election.

  61. Nickws

    So, Kim, I take it you would be moving to America so you can shower Obama would rose petals.

  62. PeterTB

    Eric Sykes says:
    15 July 2010 at 5:56 pm
    what hannah’s dad says @ 5…all else is [email protected]

    Except if KR is actively destabilising……

  63. Kim

    @61 – not exactly, Nickws.

    I’m on record as being a Hillary-ite. 😉

  64. PeterTB

    Nickws @59 Another plausible conspiracy theory. Deliberately leak to Oakes to get it out before the election and to make it look like KR is breaching confidentiality – denying him oxygen.

    I like it.

  65. Kim

    @64 and 59 – Since part of the story is that Rudd and Gillard both talked to supporters in caucus during the break in the meeting, the leak doesn’t have to be from one of the principals. It could be any number of people, and could be a backbencher on either side talking out of school for a whole range of reasons.

    Politics isn’t always as neat or tactical as we are inclined to think.

  66. Kim

    On the other hand, it could be a shot across Rudd’s bows from Gillard and Faulkner reminding him that they’re not saying anything on the record… But, really, who knows? Laurie Oakes and the leaker.

  67. Nickws

    That should be “_with_ rose petals”, natch.

  68. john

    @66

    John Faulkner doesn’t leak.

  69. Kim

    @68 – not implying Faulkner directly, john. But really I think the speculation about where the leak came from is pretty pointless.

  70. fred

    ERIC – You’re right. Labor should ignore this. But they seem to have a predeliction for picking at scabs. e.g. boat people.

  71. Brian

    Ockham’s Razor suggests to me that Gillard/the factional bosses okayed this bombshell being leaked to Oakes.

    Nickws @ 59, you’ve got to be joking. Why would Gillard go to the National Press Club and mention “moving forward” 55 times and then have it all go up in a puff of smoke?

    Rudd has said, like Julia, he’s saying nothing.

    Ask what Laurie Oakes hoped to achieve. He knew two two things. He knew that Gillard wouldn’t answer the question. Second, he knew that this ‘story’ would dominate the news cycle to the exclusion of anything else.

    The man is a mug lair, prepared to indulge in journalistic vandalism which was in no-one’s interest except his and the Coalition’s.

    If he had an unsubstantiated story he could have written about it without hijacking a meeting where the whole press gallery was supposed to hear and interrogate the incumbent PM.

    And what hannah’s dad said.

  72. Brian

    fred @ 70, they can’t ignore boat people. Rudd had the policy in limbo, remember, and Abbott is clearly going to exploit the issue to try to win the election.

  73. Trenton

    They use a Press Club appearance on “economic credibility” to do “preemptive damage control”. Pigs might fly.

  74. Nickws

    SBS World News reported that Rudd is in New York meeting with Ban Ki Moon. I don’t think that was a fairwell call from this nation’s most ambitious diplomat to the sec. gen., do you?

    I like it.

    Really.

    If Gillard/the new management have stagemanaged this leak it’s not because they are in a weak position against the leviathon of KRudd, backbench MHR.

    As for the history that is always with us, I’m pretty certain neither Hayden nor Hawke ever whiteanted the leaders who replace them as Rudd is supposed to have whiteanted Gillard here.

  75. fred

    I’d have thought that, by now, a lot of labor MPs are very pissed off that the faction bosses basically made them an offer they couldn’t refuse (with sweet blandishments that Gillard as PM would be a shoo-in). Any one of them could have been the leaker.

  76. PeterTB

    “Rudd had the policy in limbo, remember”

    Which policy would that be, Brian?

  77. Brian

    BTW, I too think this election could be quite difficult to win. Clearly the Coalition is working on a narrative of labor incompetence and instability. Memories are short, however, and don’t last from one end of the campaign to the other, so it’s not possible to tell how either will perform. I wouldn’t rely on Abbott stuffing up. He’s been travelling quite well with his snake oil and plausible lies.

  78. Kim

    As for the history that is always with us, I’m pretty certain neither Hayden nor Hawke ever whiteanted the leaders who replace them as Rudd is supposed to have whiteanted Gillard here.

    I’m unclear what point you’re trying to make about Rudd, and what significance you think the meeting with Ban Ki Moon has, but Hawkey was very publicly grumpy about Keating at the most unhelpful time – just before the by-election for his seat of Wills for his seat of Wills, which Labor went on to lose. I also remember him showing very little grace on tv on the night of the 1993 election which Keating won.

  79. Kim

    ABC tv news joins the SBS insinuation game about Rudd being behind the leak (“or those close to him”), but with added certainty. Hence we’ve got the favourite narrative the media have up their sleeve, leadership instability, being built on a scaffolding of not very much, just as Mark suggested would happen in the post.

  80. Kim

    @77 – Brian, I was reading Graham Freudenberg’s book on Whitlam recently. He emphasised again and again how every misstep from Labor was beaten up by Fraser as a “scandal” and “crisis” and trumpeted as such by the media, no matter how little there was really behind it (remember that the Loans Affair never resulted in a loan, and was only about Rex Connor lying to Whitlam). I think we’ve seen something very similar this term. And I think it will pay dividends in the campaign. It’s in Abbott’s interest to play it softly, softly, and try to look statespersonlike while pointing to Labor shenanigans. I fear that will have a considerable impact.

  81. CMMC

    I really despair at the way a lot of people here fall hook, line and sinker for the tactics of the Right.

    We have just seen the first national address by PM Gillard become the “leadership scandal”. Anything she actually said is now redundant in the hyperventilating about the Oakes Thesis.

    Guess which “story” will fill the editorial pages of the Saturday broadsheets and Insiders on Sunday.

    And when Rudd is finally contacted for his version, and says “No, that isn’t what happened” do you think we will have closure?

    No, it will still be promoted as a scandal exactly as Utegate was, long after any factual basis existed.

  82. Thomas Paine

    One major mistake Gillard and her group also made is the programmed smearing of Rudd, which you can see Labor hacks doing on various blogs.

    They suddenly treat Rudd as the enemy, the bloke that got them into power, the only who could have gotten them into power. The level of ingratitude is staggering. They deserve to get some mud back. Thinking that you have to crush your enemy means trashing the former PM, all his party supporters and his public supporters. Idiocy writ large.

    But in her malicious approach as with Gillard’s policy bent we are beginning to see just who this person really is. It isn’t a particularly attractive character.

    These things will be election issues. Gillard’s true character, loyalty, honesty, self obsession, and competency to deliver policy and run the county.

    Don’t know how they can avoid this. The media will make this an issue because it is interesting, a glimpse of the murky back room activities.

    It doesn’t help Labor’s cause that the many former supporters of Rudd have joined in the hatred and character assassination and treat any supporter of his as an enemy. They turn people off the party.

    I certainly will not be giving Labor a vote this election. Better they lose, get cleaned out and push the reset button. Get rid of conservatives like Gillard and co.

  83. Kim

    @81 – CMMC, that’s exactly what Mark and I have been saying.

  84. Trenton

    Well to be fair it is only been three weeks since they rolled a first term Prime minister, that hardly makes them look like a vison of stability does it.

    My point is the Media have been over the top in getting stuck into Labor at times, but gee haven’t they been given some material to work with. As Peter Brent suggests, when Rudd was rolled and Gillard repudiated the last two and half years of government then that validated everything the media had been carping on about for the last twelve months..

  85. Nickws

    Brian: you’ve got to be joking. Why would Gillard go to the National Press Club and mention “moving forward” 55 times and then have it all go up in a puff of smoke?

    This ‘loss’ in one news cycle in the phoney campaign is nothing compared to a loss in the campaign proper.

    And why not allow it to break at a national press club address, i.e. the first time Oakes would have had to confront the PM to her face since being given the leak by the relevent factional type?

    You do realise what the other issues the gallery could have cross examined her about today are, don’t you?

    Going with this sexed up story is no worse and possibility better than having to deal with the ongoing horror that is East Timor and mining tax giveaways. And don’t give me any nonsense about this event today being some kind of headland speech—it was just another phoney war meeting with the gallery nabobs, televised for the benefit of hardcore politics junkies.

    I think the factional bosses had been keeping their ears to the ground, and realised they just couldn’t keep track of just who Rudd and Faulkner had told this story to. Maybe they thought they couldn’t trust those two, maybe that wasn’t their fear.

    In these circumstances it only takes one or two questions from ‘friendly’ Lib sources for former Labor campaign directors like Arbib and Feeney to decide to leak now, preemptively.

    It’s all one shit sandwich, this story and the actual issues, better to go through it now than on the actual campaign trail. (I believe the one thing that would disprove my thesis is if Rudd and/or Faulkner quits parliament altogether at the election.)

  86. Nickws

    Oh, and another thing, despite Gillard’s “I’m taking this to my grave” nonsense, it’s quite obvious that she had to have told Shorten and the gang about this botched Rudd offer as soon as she left the office that dark and stormy night.

    There’s no way they acted to start counting heads without knowing about Rudd’s desperation.

    God knows what pro-coup factional creatures ended up being told the whole story.

    Bill Ludwig? All those lovable Victorian Right and subLeft warriors who rallied around their favourite daughter after a lifetime of backstabbing?

  87. AmishThrasher

    Look at Gillard’s face while the question is being asked. She’s clearly not happy. I’d go so far as saying that if it’s someone who supported her who leaked, she clearly wasn’t in on it.

    Oakes was always a Beazley man; who does he back these days?

  88. Nickws

    I’m unclear what point you’re trying to make about Rudd, and what significance you think the meeting with Ban Ki Moon has

    My point being that I find it hard to believe that that meeting is Rudd’s last ever (somewhat) official foreign affairs meeting, carried out at the same time as he has supposedly revenge fucked Gillard via Laurie Oakes.

    That is almost impossible. That’s ‘West Wing’ dramatic timing, not real life timing.

    but Hawkey was very publicly grumpy about Keating at the most unhelpful time – just before the by-election for his seat of Wills for his seat of Wills, which Labor went on to lose.

    Was Hawkie involved in some kind of expose at the time, as per what is being alleged here? I don’t think he was.

    Anyway, the better analogy here is Hayden is 1983. He stayed firm, loyal, only stopping long enough to give us the famously bitter ‘drover’s dog’ line.

    I have a very hard time believing Rudd is indulging in a (near) public disloyalty comparable to what John Gorton did against McMahon. Why he would do that after he forsook a partyroom ballot is beyond me.

    Forcing Gillard to win the leadership without the support of any high profile Leftwinger from outside Victoria save for Lundy and maybe Plibersek would have been a nice enough parting gift, forcing Gillard to win as the candidate of the AWU and SDA and the NSW Right, now that would have been the low risk way of destabilising her without outright destroying his options.

  89. Matt C

    @80 that’s why I love this blog. Khemlani loans affair was a beat up … LOL

  90. Labor Outsider

    There is only one way to counter the theme, and that is to govern competently. This stuff is going to be dredged up regularly over the next few months. It only matters if it feeds into a narrative of instability and incompetence, which in turn will only occur if the new leadership gives the narrative credence by governing incompetently. She has to make the electorate not care about how she became PM because they think she is better than the last one and better than the alternative.

    The next problem Gillard is going to have is climate change. She, or the people around her, have given the impression that although the ETS is still shelved until 2013, that major initiatives will be announced. If they turn out to be underwhelming, the policy/competence rationale for her taking over is going to start to fall apart.

  91. Labor Outsider

    “I have a very hard time believing Rudd is indulging in a (near) public disloyalty comparable to what John Gorton did against McMahon. Why he would do that after he forsook a partyroom ballot is beyond me.”

    Well, Nick, it depends on why he forsook the party ballot. If you believe he did it out of party loyalty, then leaking this makes little sense. However, if you believe that he did it so as not to lose face through the revelation of just how little support he had in the partyroom, then it makes more sense. Also, since then, he has been pushed to the backbench, most likely against his will, and is watching Gillard partly run against his own legacy. If he wasn’t bitter before, I bet he is now.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure how revealing the deal makes Rudd look better or the plotters worse. His offer was that of a person that knows he has lost his authority. PM’s without internal authority and relying on good polling to remain in the job simply have no future.

  92. Labor Outsider

    Anyway, I wouldn’t mind Labor going back into opposition. I still don’t think the party ever took a step back from the short-term political cycle and thought deeply about how it wanted to present itself as a party, how to translate that into good policy, and how to establish political coalitions strong enough to either get that policy through, or at least put tons of pressure on those blocking that policy.

    What Labour is going through in the UK seems more healthy. They lost. They have a caretaker leader that is not herself a leadership candidate. They are taking the time to spend a few months to test the various candidates and think about how they want to behave in opposition and present themselves as an alternative government.

    Mark and others are probably right though that such a thing requires a more open, democratic process of electing the party leader than what is the case in the ALP today.

  93. Charlie

    Re: Oakes’ question
    If there was a break in the Rudd/Gillard conversation on the evening of 23 June, wouldn’t Gillard have updated her ‘team’ on the status of discussions. If she did so, wouldn’t the timeline for Rudd to move on, before October if bad polls continued, that Oakes suggested then be known to others (Shorten, Arbib etc). Could these members of Gillard’s ‘team’ be possible sources for Oakes?

    Re: Gillard’s assertion that it is not appropriate to talk about her discussion with Rudd of that evening.
    Weren’t the discussions that night a matter of national significance that involved the Australian Government and further led to a change in Prime Minister? Wouldn’t that make them kinda relevant to the Australian people?

    Re: Is there a new Government now?
    You now read or hear the suggestion that the Government has somehow changed. That there is a new Government. On one hand some say that the Australian people didn’t vote for Kevin 07 as PM, just his electorate voted him as a member and the caucus voted him as PM.OK. On the other hand, now that the PM has changed some say that the Government has changed. Makes little sense.Really. 112 caucus members on 23 June, 112 caucus members on 24 June. And, those same 112 caucus members seemed incapable of voicing concerns at the caucus meeting of the Tuesday of the same week that Rudd was given the boot.

    Q: Is the only way to get Labor and its power-brokers to change (because they’re baaack!) have them voted out this year? Would they learn the lesson?

  94. Mark

    @92 – Yes, I think it’s a healthy process, LO. I was having a look at a neglected corner of one of my bookshelves the other day, and spied a number of tomes published in the late 1990s and early to mid 2000s about Labor’s options, including ones by Tanner and Swan. (Mark Latham is in a separate section, next to Alex Callinicos’ Against The Third Way). Elsewhere, I’ve also got some of the Labor Essays of the early 80s, and books like David McKnight’s Moving Left. There’s two big differences – the analysis in the earlier books is better (and they include essays from then serving Labor pollies like Gareth Evans and Chris Hurford), and the scribbling back then actually contributed to a genuine debate and made some difference to what Labor did in power.

    Having said that, I wouldn’t wish an Abbott government on anyone. But I have been thinking the last couple of days we might well be getting to grips with it in a few months.

  95. Mark

    @88 –

    I have a very hard time believing Rudd is indulging in a (near) public disloyalty comparable to what John Gorton did against McMahon. Why he would do that after he forsook a partyroom ballot is beyond me.

    I don’t think there’s anything in it for Rudd. I think he’s savvy enough to know that he’ll never make a leadership comeback – Turnbull probably has a better chance at that. His best interests, and the party’s, are served by his serving the government in Cabinet, and I note that Gillard re-affirmed her intention to offer him a senior frontbench role today, which hasn’t been widely reported.

    Hayden is a good precedent on the Labor side, as is Downer for the Tories.

    As to the timing, I have a feeling that Oakes might have known about it for a while and decided to drop his “bomb shell” today for reasons of his own.

    I doubt it has any direct link with whatever is going on in caucus at the moment. I also think some of the Ministers who are briefing the press that they believe having Rudd around the Cabinet table would be some sort of spectre of doom are probably suffering from the guilts.

  96. Barbara

    I would bring back KR to Cabinet asap. He will have to be a team player if in Cabinet. On the backbench – cut snake territory. I think JG needs to also stop the KR bashing from his time as PM. He did a lot of good things. And who wants TA as PM – I don’t.

  97. Mark

    The next problem Gillard is going to have is climate change. She, or the people around her, have given the impression that although the ETS is still shelved until 2013, that major initiatives will be announced. If they turn out to be underwhelming, the policy/competence rationale for her taking over is going to start to fall apart.

    Yep.

    There’s a bit of a dilemma at the moment – I think, from reports that an almost immediate election is being reconsidered, that the “do some governing” option is gaining favour. On the other hand, expectations about an election are running so high, we’ll hear about nothing else from the media.

    I also note, as I thought would be the case, the News Limited honeymoon for JG hasn’t lasted very long.

  98. Mr Denmore

    Honestly, like Labor Outsider, I’m coming to the view that Labor should lose this election. They clearly have no idea what they stand for, they are giving a very good impression of not having any program to speak of, and are succeeding in making themselves the story with almost monotonous regularity.

    Why they thought the quick dispatch of Rudd into a shallow grave would fix their problems is one of life’s great mysteries. Someone must have known that the Labor Party’s great tendency for tearing itself apart in public would only be fuelled by such a coup.

    Instead, they are behaving like the NSW government (Quelle Surprise), where they spend their entire energy trying to manage the news cycle and getting no gratitude from the hacks for the effort. As someone said here yesterday, they have spent this term frightened of their own encumbency and behaving like the Opposition they were for 11 years.

    I can’t help but thinking they might be back in that role very soon.

  99. Fran Barlow

    And, back on topic, here’s a thought. If all of the people in the room are determined to keep stum in public, can’t a journalist simply ask any trolling question he opr she likes without fear of contradiction? Is there any reason at all for thinking Laurie Oakes wasn’t simply making the whole thing up or at best, being overly credulous of someone having a laugh at his expense?

    Why would Gillard even agree to such a deal, knowing the history of these things and bearing in mind that a PM seen as a lame duck never recovers. There was no “if I’m seen as an impediment by polling” to consider, because everyone knew the challenge was on. That deal if it were put, merely proposed to put off the inevitable to a less favourable time in circumstances where Gillard would have got the “no ticker” jibe. Most importantly, Rudd could not have conceded without wearing “another blunder by Rudd and Swan”. Maybe he’d have called an election immediately, doing an end run around the deal.

    So what would have been the point in Gillard accepting? None as far as I can see. She either had to refuse the crown or challenge and win. And if Rudd was making such an offer, she must have known he was sure he’d be going out backwards and hoped to game his way to the election.

  100. Mark

    @98 – it’s weird, Mr Denmore. It’s as if Labor never really felt they had legitimacy in government, and agreed on that with the Libs, as well as on Howardism being the default policy setting ‘in the marginals’ (which I don’t believe for a moment).

  101. Labor Outsider

    Personally, I think Rudd’s best interests are in getting out of parliament. Downer and Hayden were opposition leaders, they were never PMs. It isn’t the same thing. While Rudd could make a contribution as a cabinent minister it might be good for him to take his talents elsewhere. I’m sure his family could also benefit from seeing him a bit more.

  102. Nickws

    If you believe he did it out of party loyalty, then leaking this makes little sense. However, if you believe that he did it so as not to lose face through the revelation of just how little support he had in the partyroom, then it makes more sense.

    Ah yes, all those Kelvin Thompsons of the backbench who were well attuned to the deficiencies of KRudd’s management style, almost to the same extent as staffers.

    Anyway, Labor Outsider, aren’t you from the world of the SDA? You’re telling me the non-Victorian Left wouldn’t have organised a strong minority vote against the forces of darkness? (I happen to think that a slimmish Gillard victory in a caucus ballot would have hurt Swan the most—that almost all Queesland MPs from outside the AWU Right probably would have sided with Rudd and Emerson over the wishes of the poor staffers. Not that it would have stopped Gillard becoming leader, as her solid support in Victoria would’ve been more important.)

    Mark: I doubt it has any direct link with whatever is going on in caucus at the moment.

    Hell, I’ve come to the conclusion Team Gillard Canberra may not have had anything to do with this—rather, this is the work of Team Gillard Rest Of The Country.

    The PM admits she consulted with the factional chiefs straight after Rudd made his pathetic October Surprise offer (that is the main story here, IMO. That Rudd had come to believe he had to admit the media narrative merited a serious defense, that he was on burrowed time.) That almost certainly included making telephone calls.

    Anybody who wants to find Mr X should see if Oakes has recently been in the same city with Bill Ludwig or Paul Howes or Joe DeBruyn. That’s where you’ll find your storyteller with their hand on the pulse of everything that goes on in caucus this mid July early June, 2010.

  103. Fran Barlow

    I still don’t see it Mr Denmore. Sure, those of us interested in public policy are scandalised, but I suspect they will win pretty comfortably, in the end, and the whole thing will be an anti-climax.

    The idea that most people would think Abbott would do a better job than Gillard is hard to credit, and for most people, that is the order of question one has to affirm to throw out a government. They will say “we dodged a bullet” with our sound economic management. They will quote “miracle economy” and surplus and lower company taxes and more super. Those leaning Liberal like that.

    Thy will say that the opposition would have given you 200,000 out of work, and more workchoices and most people will give the government credit. It wasn’t what the government promised to do, but it’s what most would have hoped they’d do, and that will be good enough for enough. Also, a whole bunch of people who missed out last time will now vote and most of them will give their preference to the ALP.

  104. Labor Outsider

    Mark and Mr Denmore

    It can take quite a long time to get used to governing when you haven’t done so for a long time. The party machine, the mentality, the policy process, they are all centered on winning elections, not governing once you are there. First terms are often shoddy for that reason.

    I don’t think Labor is helped by the lack of raison d’etre for being in government. If you look at the things that Rudd campaigned on – education revolution, fairness at work, cost of living, productivity and climate change – they have made scant progress on each of them (education they have made progress but it hardly amounts to a revolution, and they did roll back workchoices). One, cost of living, was really just a mantra to beat the then government over the head with. On climate, they have flushed their credibility down the toilet.

    Rudd also campaigned on the I’m a fiscal conservative theme. It worked at the time, but it hardly gave him a mandate for casting fiscal/tax/welfare policy in a vastly different direction.

  105. Frank Calabrese

    So you bunch of softcoks and Gymnastics who only 6 weeks ago were baying for Rudd’s Scalp have suddenly found God and want him elevated to Sainthood ?

    What a bunch of Hypocrites.

    So LP is now the new home for the Liberal Party ??

    Well go and elect your new Hero Abbott and enjoy being screwed over like you were under Howard.

    Ungrateful Pillocks.

  106. Labor Outsider

    Nick – almost all of the right against Rudd, a large section of the left (it wasn’t just the Victorians as the left has splits all over the place), plus other associated MPs that didn’t think much of Rudd, could easily have kept his vote under 40…

  107. Ken Lovell

    100% correct LO @ 104. It was wonderful to see the back of Howard, but the joy was tempered by the knowledge that his replacements had no real ideas about what to do once they got into power. Even in victory, they seemed to have been demoralised by 11 years of Howardism in a way the Hawke Government never was. But I guess any government whose leading lights include Stephen Smith and Wayne Swan is never going to set records for courageous far-sighted reform.

  108. Mark

    @102 – Nickws, it is true that a large majority of the Queensland MPs who weren’t inclined to support Rudd were those tied to the AWU. Most of Rudd’s support came from the left in the final analysis, and you can see why, given what’s transpired since.

    @104 –

    I don’t think Labor is helped by the lack of raison d’etre for being in government.

    That’s the rub, to be sure, LO, and it’s really showing at the moment.

  109. Mark

    Ps – you’re also right to see Swan’s hand at work in this. Rudd is said to be most bitter about that.

  110. Ken Lovell

    … softcoks and Gymnastics …

    WTF???

    More reason to abandon the ALP as terminal, if this is typical of the hardcore supporters.

  111. Frank Calabrese

    WTF???

    More reason to abandon the ALP as terminal, if this is typical of the hardcore supporters.

    I rest my case.

    You don’t like being exposed as hypocrites.

    Enjoy a Liberal Govt – You deserve it.

    don’t whinge when Abbott’s “Reforms” put you on the dole – but hang on he’ll make it harder for you to get it.

  112. Patricia WA

    Ockham’s Razor suggests to me that Gillard/the factional bosses okayed this bombshell being leaked to Oakes.

    I was going to comment that Gillard seemed not at all phased by Oakes’s question and responded calmly. Now reading the comment by Nickws @ 59 one might wonder. If that was so it suggests they’ll handle the timing of the election and management of the campaign well. From the little I saw this evening Gillard was more than competent at the NPC.

  113. Ken Lovell

    Sorry Frank @ 111 but trying to keep within LP policy, my comment @ 110 was intended to express my inability to understand your meaning, coupled with surprise at your virtual illiteracy. To elaborate, I was implying that if your ‘argument’ was typical of the mainstream Labor supporter of 2010, the Party will never be able to develop a coherent policy platform. Doing so would just piss off the faithful.

    By comprehensively missing my point, you have sadly confirmed it.

  114. Russell

    “any government whose leading lights include Stephen Smith and Wayne Swan is never going to set records for courageous far-sighted reform”

    Agree.

  115. Frank Calabrese

    Sorry Frank @ 111 but trying to keep within LP policy, my comment @ 110 was intended to express my inability to understand your meaning, coupled with surprise at your virtual illiteracy. To elaborate, I was implying that if your ‘argument’ was typical of the mainstream Labor supporter of 2010, the Party will never be able to develop a coherent policy platform. Doing so would just piss off the faithful.

    By comprehensively missing my point, you have sadly confirmed it.

    And you habve proven my point that LP is an anti ALP Pro Green site who are now shiiting bricks cos Abbott may be leader cos you went too far in bashing Rudd who you now hold as a saint desppite only 6 weeks earlier attacking him and calling for his balls on a platter.

    Spare me the faux Tears and wailing for a return of Rudd.

    Hypocrites and Double Standards abound here.

    Now go and do your patriotic duty and re-elect your TRUE Spiritual leader – Tony Abbott.

    He and the outdated Libs are the only reason you lot feel relevant.

  116. Kevin Rennie

    Laurie was telling us that he does not have a source that he can quote. If it is someone who was present at the meeting then he must respect their confidence. If it’s hearsay then he’s fishing (unlikely) or mischief making (knowing that Gillard can’t confirm or deny it).

    He’ll have to do better.

  117. Mark

    @116 – It may well be hearsay, Kevin, since Oakes’ statement makes it clear that his informant believes that both Rudd and Gillard spoke to caucus supporters during a break in the meeting, after which Gillard is said to have rejected the deal. So it could well be someone who claims to have been one of those supporters, or even someone else who claims to have been told something by one of those MPs.

  118. Chris

    and I note that Gillard re-affirmed her intention to offer him a senior frontbench role today, which hasn’t been widely reported.

    It was on either PM or ABC News, but then she doesn’t really get to choose who becomes a minister only the portfolio allocations. Don’t the factions get to choose the who the ministers are? Does Rudd still have enough factional support to get a spot?

  119. Mark

    @118 – Chris, the caucus rules were changed after Labor won the 2007 election, so it’s now the prerogative of the leader to choose ministers. So she has the same power Rudd had to select whomever she wishes, though in practice that would have to be done after consultation (as it was when Rudd exercised it).

  120. hannah's dad

    There seems to be a few doom and gloom merchants around here.
    Ponder these, the poll results since the ‘spill’.
    Pretty much in chronological order, most recent at the bottom.

    Nielsen 55:45
    Galaxy 52:48
    Newspoll 53:47
    ER 54:46
    Morgan 56:44
    Galaxy 52:48
    Nielsen 52:48
    ER 55:45

    OK, not as spectacular as some time ago but all around the ’07 election result.
    On these the ALP would be returned and Laurie Oakes doesn’t amount to a hill o beans.
    Sure no room to be compacent but at least lets not get all pessimistic ….yet.

    Lets talk policy instead hey.

  121. Mark

    @120 – hannah’s dad, I suspect 52-48 is closer to what’s happening than some of the bigger numbers. It’s a reasonable position to be in going into a campaign, but there’s not much room for error there. Let’s not forget that the 2007 result was 53-47. If the Coalition primary begins to move up a tad, things could easily get worrying, and I think the distribution of the vote across the nation means it’s unlikely Labor could get a majority with 51-49 or 50-50. And I’m very concerned about the state of play in Queensland.

    In short, I’m certainly not saying the Coalition will win, but it’s a very finely balanced contest, I think.

  122. Mark

    @120 – hannah’s dad, I suspect 52-48 is closer to what’s happening than some of the bigger numbers. It’s a reasonable position to be in going into a campaign, but there’s not much room for error there. Let’s not forget that the 2007 result was 53-47. If the Coalition primary begins to move up a tad, things could easily get worrying, and I think the distribution of the vote across the nation means it’s unlikely Labor could get a majority with 51-49 or 50-50. And I’m very concerned about the state of play in Queensland.

    In short, I’m certainly not saying the Coalition will win, but it’s a very finely balanced contest, I think.

  123. Mark

    Ps – I’m sure we’ll talk policy when the climate change announcement is made! 🙂 … And I’m hoping to write something about education policy over the next few days.

  124. Mark

    Ps – I’m sure we’ll talk policy when the climate change announcement is made! 🙂 … And I’m hoping to write something about education policy over the next few days.

  125. ossie

    The most unwise thing Gillard could do right now is follow Rudd’s approach to cabinet appointments.

  126. jane

    “I think I might go back and live in the States, though, if we have Tone PM”

    This is Australia Kim – aren’t you going to give him a fair go?

    Lol, Peter TB, have you forgotten we’ve seen more than enough of Smuggles as a do-nothing incompetent Minister of Health in the Rodent government. So I think Kim and the rest of us know what sort of junior Rodent PM he’d make.

    I wouldn’t rely on Abbott stuffing up. He’s been travelling quite well with his snake oil and plausible lies.

    Until the Rodent stops pulling the strings, Brian. Also, do you think Smuggles will be able to resist the sh!t bubbles he is so fond of when he has to campaign. Better still, do the Smuggles Set have anyone capable of formulating a policy that isn’t Swiss cheese (with apologies to that noble fromage)?

    I didn’t watch the Press Club bunfight, but Gillard any have been better off responding to Oakes’ question, by saying “That’s news to me Laurie. Where do you get this stuff?”

    Oakes has to put up or shut up, Labour closes ranks, problem solved.

    I think JG needs to also stop the KR bashing from his time as PM. He did a lot of good things.

    Couldn’t agree more, Barbara. Makes her look like a very ungracious sore winner.

  127. hannah's dad

    Roger your #121 Mark, we have agreement on that.
    But I’m just a little worried that people are getting a bit down and playing into the hands of the pundits and the oppo by focusing too much on the trivia that abounds and looking at the negatives that have congregated around tha ALP and less at those of Abbott’s COALition.
    Lets put the spotlight on policy and emphasize that however poorly we reckon the ALP has done or is doing one major fact emerges, the saving grace for Labor, the other mob are far far worse.
    I reckon if you look back at the last couple of dozen or so posts here that get into the party political most of them, not all of course, are comment or analysis of negatives relating to Labor.
    3 on asylum seekers alone and quite frankly I’m bored with that topic and I reckon the COALition and the media would love the fact that LP is rehashing it frequently.

    Time to go on to the attack and highlight the abyssal nature of the opposition.

    I don’t think its a conspiracy, I just suspect we are getting sucked into the media cycle.
    And that ain’t good.

  128. jane

    I’m of the opinion that we would all have been far better off if the ABC had stuck to their usual programing for Thursday lunchtime. Jeeves and Wooster is better entertainment and a lot funnier.

  129. Jacques de Molay

    I too had thought in the past (under Rudd) that maybe Labor would be better off with a term back in Opposition. I still don’t think Labor would be in power if not for Howard being given enough rope with control of the Senate. Labor got in purely off of the back of WorkChoices.

    But as poor as this Labor government are towards the most vulnerable people in society I couldn’t as a Lefty sit there and genuinely say they should go back into Opposition for a term and sort themselves out. If Labor are this bad towards our most vulnerable imagine how bad an Abbott led government will be?

    The only saving grace might be that the Greens will probably have the balance of power which wouldn’t allow Abbott & his freaks to go right on with it. Still this Labor govt have been very disappointing.

    Aside from the mandatory internet filter (now just being delayed for a year) the attitude of these yuppies towards refugees that arrive via boat and people on welfare is Howard-esque. I never thought this Labor govt would have the nerve to continue Howard’s welfare quarantining of Aboriginals in the NT, then spread it to other parts of the NT and then state they intend to bring it in nationwide next year for everyone who receives an unemployment or single parenting benfit. On top of making it harder for people to even get the dole or disability pension.

    I guess if you’re not a “Working Family” you deserve to be beaten up on. Sickening.

  130. anthony nolan

    Jacques @127: correct. We are entitled to be critical of Labor’s policy failures.

    I’ve my eye on a broader and further horizon, as I suspect do many others, and that is the ecological front. What we are seeing is the absolute irrelevance of democracy still captive to the class antagonisms in which historical crucible modern democracies were formed. That doesn’t mean that those antagonisms don’t exist, as the mining majors have just shown us, or that they are not going to be significant factors in how the ecological crisis plays out.

    My concern about the assassination of Rudd is that, for all of his faults, he had some grasp of the historical moment, as his essays attest. The underlying politics of Gillard replacing Rudd is that a significant fraction of the working class has clearly aligned itself with capital in ongoing hyper-exploitation and pollution of the planet – mining in general and coal in particular are the issues.

    Whatever one thinks about Gillard’s politics she has already done what she was put in there to do which is reduce the mining super profits tax from a proposed 40% to an effective rate of appx 22%. Some comfy post parliament board positions coming up.

    Labor, it seems, has just not got a clue about the severity or scale of the problem. It goes without saying that the Libs have even less. This is not ‘politics as usual’. What has happened to Labor is pre-battle positioning and it is causing huge disarray.

  131. Fran Barlow

    I wish someone would directly ask Laurie Oakes where he got his information. There is still no evidence that the claims are actually true.

    Suppose he’d asked whether it was true that Rudd had offered to trade the PM-ship for a quicky out the back and Gillard had refused to comment. Would we be accepting this, gravitas and all?

    This sounds a tad like Glenn Beck’s just askin’

    Perhaps someone should ask Oakes and when he declined to reveal sources say … “well sources I have suggest you were simply being made use of by Eric Abetz and Godwin Grech. What do you say to that? Doesn’t the public have a right to know?”

  132. Eric Sykes

    ok this blog remains a basket case. we actually have people calling for labor to lose. so clearly the tag line of the blog needs to change..

    “Larvatus Prodeo is an Australian group blog which discusses politics, sociology, culture, life, religion and science from a vaguely kind of just about centre perspective”.

    …..if you seriously believe that the country should be further punished by being forced to church and flying the flag in schools then you have absolutely no reason to call yourself even vaguely left. get a grip

  133. Paul Norton

    Fred #42:

    P.S. Very sad to hear that Sir Malcolm Mackerras has died.

    Malcolm Mackerras will be pleasantly surprised to learn that he has been knighted, but less pleasantly surprised to learn that he’s dead.

    I think you mean Sir Charles Mackerras.

  134. Ken Lovell

    Jacques and anthony nolan have summarised Labor’s failings. They deserve a considered response from Labor supporters; something more substantive than reflexive “Oh but Abbott would be awful” type arguments. Some of us still aspire to a quality of politics that rises above discussions of who would be the least bad government.

    The active (as opposed to hypothetical) influence of officials from unions like the AWU and SDA within the ALP is now so blatant it can’t be ignored or airbrushed away. These people have values and objectives that I could never support in a million years. I would like Labor supporters to face up to these issues squarely and state their position. Do they deny the obvious? Or condone it? Or do they think something ought to be done about it and if so what? Repeating tedious scary stories about Abbott and WorkChoices as a reason to support Labor just doesn’t amount to a coherent political platform I’m afraid.

  135. Brian

    Fran @ 129, I think it hardly matters where Oakes got his information. The chances of it being Gillard, Rudd or Faulkner approach zero, and there were almost certainly others briefed by Gillard and Rudd after the penultimate meeting, which I think Falkner said went on for some time.

    If Gillard checked with Shorten, as I understand she did, who told her the numbers were there, it was always going to change the context of the final meeting, which had been scheduled at the penultimate meeting.

    So after the penultimate meeting the parallel with Kirribilli seems to me false. The matter was never going to be finalised before the final meeting. Dumb to think otherwise.

    The real question is why Oakes sought to raise it at the Press Club, whether this was in the national interest and whether it is how we would wish journalists to behave.

    Oakes’ behaviour is the central question in this issue IMO.

  136. Paul Norton

    And I frank what LO and others have said about the current Federal Labor Government lacking a raison d’etre for being in government. For various reasons which may have their roots in the 1970s, this Labor government seems so focussed on reassuring people about what it isn’t that it has no idea about what it is, and if it did have some idea what it is, it would have no stomach for it.

  137. Brian

    Eric Sykes @ 130, LP is indeed “an Australian group blog which discusses politics, sociology, culture, life, religion and science from a vaguely kind of just about centre perspective”.

    By my count LP bloggers Mark, Kim, Paul Norton and I have commented. Have any of us called for Labor to lose?

    We can’t control what commenters say. Personally I think that people who say either directly or by implication that we would be better with Abbott’s mob on the treasury benches have rocks in their head.

  138. Paul Norton

    As for what I would like to see in the next election, obviously I want to see as big a Greens vote as possible. As for Labor versus the Coalition, I’m reminded of Aesop’s fable about the frogs who unwisely complained when God placed a log in the water to govern them, and were given a carnivorous snake as an alternative.

  139. JohnL

    Mark at 121. I wonder if you could give a Queensland perspective on whether you think there will be any effect from the Courier-Mail audio of the phone call from Tony Abbott to Michael Johnson.

  140. Ootz

    Somewhat comical when politicians harp on about their opposites credibility. Most punters would agree with both sides and lump the lot into snake oil salesperson category. I don’t know whether the dumping of Kev from Qld or the method of his disposal is relevant to significant change in the overall scheme of Australian peoples fate in future. Except perhaps that it was unprecedented in modern times and as such is now bludgeoned to death by the media vultures for our entertainment and their monetary and rating benefits.

    Out here in the sticks it does not really matter if KR, TA or JG occupy the Lodge or whether Jimmy or Wazza stick their snout into the trough. Doctors and hospitals beds will continue to disappear, kids still have to go to the big smoke for an education and decent work; half an hours drive from one of Australia’s biggest international airport there will still be no mobile reception nor decent internet speed, the Murry camps will still be worse than anything I saw in Africa ….

    In my limited exposure to local government I learned, that sometimes thing have to get worse in order to get better. Why would it be any other with Federal politics? So my advice is, put your hardhats on and keep the first aid box handy, it is about to get ugly or uglier.

  141. sam

    I wish someone would directly ask Laurie Oakes where he got his information.

    Someone: “Where did you get your information?”

    Laurie: “Like I’ll journalists, I don’t reveal my sources”.

    End of Discussion.

    (I’d like to know who leaked him the 1980 Budget, but 30 years later, he still hasn’t said.)

    I think it is rather obvious that it was either Rudd or someone in Rudd’s camp. The motive? Spite, bitterness, bile, revenge. What about the damage to Labor’s chances of re-election? So much the better.

    Twenty years later, Hawke and Keating still hate each other’s guts. Does anyone think Rudd has moved on after three weeks?

  142. fred

    Paul – ouch. I stand corrected. Can’t get my head out of politics, I’m afraid.

  143. fred

    SAM – Why do you assume it was Rudd, or someone in his camp who leaked to Oakes. This could also be an attempted to smear Rudd and force him out of politics. Or, it could be a disgruntled MP who thought she/he was railroaded into supporting Julia (as it appears many were). I’m afraid we are back with the usual suspects (everybody in caucus)

  144. Fran Barlow

    Eric Sykes said that having people here calling for the ALP to lose demanded that the tag line of LP about being vaguely left-of-centre should change. (I’ve corrected Eric’s typo which said “vaguely kind of just about centre perspective”.

    Some questions:

    1. Can a blog that discusses politics, sociology, culture, life, religion and science from a left of centre perspective tolerate people calling for the defeat of the ALP on the blog?

    2. Even if the blog moderators as a group called for the defeat of the ALP, would this be incompatible with a vaguely left-of-centre perspective?

    For me, being left-of-centre presupposes a willingness to engage with a very wide range of perspectives and attitudes, including those with which leftists would differ radically. While we would not wish to provide a platform for animus directed at socially marginalised or relatively disempowered groups, or for simple cant, ignorance, disinformation, slander etc. none of that encompasses the view that the ALP is not fit to govern. Attempting to exclude that view would not be consistent with being any kind of left-of-centre. Indeed, if it were one would essentially have to set up a far more wide-ranging and teleological supervisory panel to ensure that ideas that were incipient to defeat of the ALP were also excluded. We would have created something rather like a new Stalinist regime here at LP. That wouldn’t be any kind of left. It would be nearly impossible to discuss anything in public policy with confidence.

    2. It is very clear that, judged by its actual behaviour over the last 25 years or so, that neither at state of Federal level, the ALP is not, in any meaningful sense, a left-of-centre party, whatever occasional lip service it pays to left-of-centre objectives. You are what you do, and what the ALP, as recently as yesterday, in the person of Julia Gillard claimed to be for is pretty much what every government we have ever had in this country since the war has claimed to be for: the mixed economy, an appropriate balance between public and private and for individual choice. There’s nothing vaguely left-of-centre about that. It’s bog standard mainstream Menzies-style conservative managerialism. Being critical of that from the perspective of disempowered people is the sine qua non of a blog that that discusses politics, sociology, culture, life, religion and science from a left of centre perspective. It is logical that those who do will conclude that this government is unfit to govern and that some will believe that the victory of Abbott could not set back the disempowered more in the long run. When the distinction one has is between the good guys doing bad things and the bad guys doing bad things, it’s hard to see how the disempowered have any option for becoming empowered.

    Personally Eric, I am not calling for the defeat of the ALP, but I’m not calling for their victory either. I really don’t see that we have sufficient evidence at this stage to be confident which result would be worse. Others may think the victory of Abbott would indeed be worse, but even if he does win, we will never be sure, because we will lack a scientific control. The ALP are very poor now, and if they are rewarded with victory, we will entrench the coalition-like policy settings they have adopted. That’s a program of drift to the right rather than the left — one which sits ill with a vaguely left-of-centre blog.

    What we need to be about, in my opinion, especially bearing in mind that our ability to directly influence the course of the election is next to nothing anyway, is to foster a discussion that underpins the confidence of those opposed to the right-of-centre consensus, rather than become an obstacle to critique of the ALP’s policies. To fail to do so would be to raise far more serious existential questions about the purpose of this blog than those you raise.

  145. sam

    The real question is why Oakes sought to raise it at the Press Club, whether this was in the national interest

    Why does Oakes have to consider the national interest? He is a journalist who has made a 40 year career out of being the first with big political stories. Politicians have leaked to him for decades.

    The national interest (whatever that means) is not his problem, and the idea that journalists should somehow be bound by such a subjective concept is rather spooky.

  146. Fran Barlow

    Sam suggested:

    Someone: “Where did you get your information?”

    Laurie: “Like I’ll journalists, I don’t reveal my sources”.

    After which someone could say …

    Someone: (parroting Oakes) that’s very convenient. So what do you say to suggestion by one source I have that you were sold a pup, and that you were merely fed this line because you were a credulous moron? Please understand, I don’t think you are a credulous moron, but that’s what someone put to me …

  147. Brian

    sam, when I heard about this yesterday on radio, I struggled with whether my attitude was just a leftie bias.

    But, yes, it is in the national interest that the current PM who is about to go to an election be heard at a function set up by the Press Council for that purpose.

    Oates hijacked that purpose. The word “hijack” was I think used on breakfast on RN this morning to describe what happened.

    As I said before, he knew that he wouldn’t get an answer and that his action would blot out other news coming out of the event. His thing was the only bit reported in the Courier Mail this morning.

    It was a selfish act.

    People are saying they don’t know what Gillard’s Labor stands for. They’ll never know if actions like that of Oakes prevent Labor from being heard.

  148. sam

    Fred 141, because there’s no need for complex explanations when simple ones work just as well or better.

    Could it have been a disgruntled MP? Possibly but unlikely, because this damages his/her chances of re-election. At root, that is all they care about.

    On the other hand, Rudd’s career is either finished or he’s going to have direction from Prime Minister Gillard as a mere minister, which won’t appeal to his size-of-the-known-universe ego (not that he’s Robinson Crusoe in that regard). Do you think his character is such that he would be incapable of leaking against Gillard as an act of vengeance? If so, I refer you to Marr’s Quarterly Essay.

    Or it could have been one of Rudd’s adolescent staff. They’ve gone from being advisers to the Prime Minister to filling out dole diaries for Centrelink, and it’s all because of that red headed trollop (as they see it). They could have done it in the blink of an eye.

  149. Fran Barlow

    Sam offered:

    The national interest (whatever that means) is not his problem, and the idea that journalists should somehow be bound by such a subjective concept is rather spooky.

    Oh I agree with that, but he ought to be bound by the rules of good sense. It simply defies credibility that, were such a deal proffered by Rudd, Gillard would accept it. She’s was never going to have the conversation unless she knew she was going to win the challenge if it was put. Just as importantly, she knew that Rudd must have known that if the challenge was made, he could not emerge from it as a credible PM following it, whatever the result. I doubt Rudd would even have proposed such a deal, but if he did, he could not have imagined that Gillard would simply roll over and accept it.

  150. adrian

    Agree Fran, Eric Syke’s suggestion of self censorship would be rather bizarre if the ALP was a left of centre political party, but since it is obviously not, it’s even more bizarre.

    IMO ‘hardcore’ ALP supporters need to get over the mantra that they’re better than the other mob because that’s not good enough, being a recipe for more and more of the same. It never really was good enough, but even more so now that the problems we face are so much greater.

    Meanwhile back in journoland the consensus seems to be that Rudd did the leaking and that he won’t get a ministry now. None of the hacks that I listened to even considered the possibility that anyone other than Rudd, Gillard and Faulkner knew of this, so it had to be Rudd.

  151. murph the surf.

    Ken Lovell at 132 wrote “Repeating tedious scary stories about Abbott and WorkChoices as a reason to support Labor just doesn’t amount to a coherent political platform I’m afraid.”
    .
    Abbott didn’t support WorkChoices but followed cabinet’s position- he argued against it when there was a Liberal Party debate on the matter.This will be exposed as a weakness in the argument if the ALP tries to remain focused on a scare campaign on this issue.
    .
    The comments from around 95 are showing that many people in Australia are still traumatised by the Howard years.I didn’t live here then so have to confess I don’t completely understand the stress that government provoked in so many people.
    The Rudd ascension changed the game and provided an alternative that had appeal to enough voters to throw out the incumbents.The Howard Lite campaign , the possibilty of appeal to everyone and the move of the ALP to the centre right brought power.
    But it has been power for it’s own sake. Some comments are mentioning that the factions and extra parliamentary players are a threat to our democracy but this is the core feature of our democracy – power is given to the party and not the individual.
    A month or so ago Michael Kroger on Lateline noted that we now have two career politicians who have been so since their late teens in the top positions- the first time he had seen this and he wondered what it would lead to.
    I think we are starting to see the result – policy free politics , debate about individual character not policy differences and backroom political operators being in charge.
    The role model for this ? I give you – NSW!

  152. anthony nolan

    I’ll make myself clear here post-Fran Barlow’s comment: Labor in office is immensely preferable to the Libs because at least there is the possibility of dialogue however muted it might be. The Rodent shut down, by defunding, all sorts of civil particpatory bodies that had been put in place as an interface between the state and civil society. The Rodent II is similarly no friend of democracy and he would be immeasurably worse than even the mining industry’s current puppet as PM.

    It is probably a good idea to remind ourselves that politics doesn’t only happen in parliaments. Political parties set the broad parameters of our interaactions with the state through policy but they can never control our agency as citizens. Get cracking.

  153. Paul Norton

    Perhaps Rudd is being accused of the leak because he’s fluent in Mandarin and therefore would be the logical person to suspect of engaging in Chinese Whispers. 🙂

  154. fred

    SAM – in a court of law, it isn’t much of a submission to say “well, it’s the simplest explanation your honour” (assuming that it really is). You think the labor party caucus isn’t capable of a few byzantine moves?

  155. Sabrina

    time to call an election so voters can focus on policy and not a ‘he said / she said’ story!

  156. sam

    Brian 145, Oakes isn’t called the sphere of influence for nothing.

    The government has and will have ample opportunities to sell its product. The PM can get on Twitter, Facebook, whatever.

  157. Kevin Rennie

    Laurie Oakes once told me an in-confidence story about another PM. It involved John Gorton. Laurie, Please Confirm or Deny.

  158. moz

    hannah’s dad @5: Ask them why they wish to concentrate, focus, on trivial personality politics when there are several major issues that demand greater attention.

    I suspect that the ALP and Gillard in particular would rather not talk about the substantive issues. Anything but, in fact. Climate change? Health? Transport? Tax reform? Please excuse my cynical laughter.

    I just can’t see her running anything close to “the greatest moral challenge of our time” in the lead-up to the election. We’re already seeing a considerable amount of “ooh look, over there” going on. Apologies to those who think it’s serious, but the question of whether it’s less abjectionable to have a concentration camp in Timor than Nauru is not a substantive issue.

  159. Brian

    sam @ 154, Oakes has plenty of opportunities to write about his suppositions other than hijacking a National Press Conference where the new PM was invited to say what the government under her leadership was all about. These events should be about policy. Oakes obviously thinks colour and movement, and himself, are more important.

  160. Fran Barlow

    Adrian said:

    IMO ‘hardcore’ ALP supporters need to get over the mantra that they’re better than the other mob because that’s not good enough, being a recipe for more and more of the same.

    They need to get over it because they just aren’t better than the other mob. They are the other mob in drag. And the drag isn’t even that convincing any more.

    It’s woth recalling that when Tony Blair was first elected, he proposed there be a “third way”, but by 2001, almost nobody could tell the difference between him and Bush and Howard. In concert with Brown they pursued economic policies that were the complement to the approaches followed in the US and thus made them joint authors of the GFC and the post-2001 malaise, along with the spivs behind them. And even now, from death’s dark heart, the context they authored snatches savagely at anyone who wants to author anything like progressive policy. Is the world or even the UK any better than it was in 1997, for the victory of Blair or Clinton (1996) (who ended Glass Steagall)? It is hard to see how, and easy to see how it is quite a deal worse.

    It is easy to focus on personalities and slogans. When I look at Abbott, I am grossly offended. I am disgusted because he, like his avowed mentor before him, stands explicitly for so much that is retrograde in human affairs. The idea of having him faithfully reported upon for the next 3 years or so, repeating Howard truisms seems too ugly to contemplate.

    Considerations of this kind are selfish, and however ill-become those of us who are keen on empowering the working people. We can see that having ALP governments has not empowered working people at all. Rather, it has been a Faustian bargain — a kind of political blackmail, the most significant beneficiaries of which have been the right.

    We should, if we are serious, advocate good policy ion the interests of working people, and let the chips fall where they may. If that results in a Coalition regime, then so be it. Such a regime can inflict no worse than the ALP regime beholden to the same strata of the population would have inflicted. Working people will either respond by becoming organised and resisting, and forcing a progressive realignment of politics, or they will be defeated by the ALP or the Coalition. In either case though, it is not for us to substitute ourselves for them. We ought to see ourselves as their allies and mentors, rather than their rulers.

  161. Brian

    moz, by definition it can’t be a concentration camp in east Timor. Ramos Horta and Gusmau wouldn’t allow it.

    Chris Evans has given an account of why it can’t be Nauru. It’s not in the region, for starters, so can’t be considered as a regional centre. Why don’t you bother to inform yourself about these issues?

  162. Brian

    Fran, from where you sit both parties might look the same. From where I sit there is a world of difference.

  163. Brian

    Gillard has just confirmed that her offer of a front bench job for Rudd still stands. She was never going to back down on that one.

  164. hannah's dad

    moz

    “I suspect that the ALP and Gillard in particular would rather not talk about the substantive issues”

    I don’t really care what the ALP would rather.

    And I care even less about what the opposition and the COALition would prefer [but I’m pretty certain this non-focus on policy suits them down to the ground, after all they have no real policies].

    I, as a voter, want substantive discussion of issues and policies, not fluffy gossip emanating from third rate journos about trivia.

  165. Nickws

    Eric Sykes @ 130

    ok this blog remains a basket case. we actually have people calling for labor to lose.

    Well, saying Labor should be in Opposition is a good old fashioned Left tradition, even if there probably is no organisational basis for it in the era of Paul Kelly End Of History Is Bunk.

    Though I can see how some ambitious party comers might see an opportunity to win pre-selection when federal caucus members start bailing for state politics & the private sector under the Shorten Opposition…

    Sam @ 139

    I think it is rather obvious that it was either Rudd or someone in Rudd’s camp. The motive? Spite, bitterness, bile, revenge. What about the damage to Labor’s chances of re-election? So much the better.

    Amended Ocham’s Razor (political utilitarianism): In terms of logical strategy, I stand by my reading of this being the work of someone acting on behalf of the new management. Though whether it was co-ordinated by the warlords, or was the work of a big beast who doesn’t believe they need to consult with Team Canberra when acting on behalf of the best interests of da pardy, is another matter entirely.

    Ockham’s Razor (political practicalities): I will bet my left nut that Rudd and Faulkner told almost nobody about what was, after all, the playing of a losing hand. AFAIK they didn’t canvass partyroom votes—and if they did I don’t think they were pleading, “stand by your leader, he has a desperate plan to wait until October to see if he should quit!”

    Julia Gillard, OTOH, had 12 hrs and endless motivation to tell as many party insider types as possible about Rudd’s pathetic October Surprise. Hell, I think it’s the missing link in our understanding of why the transition was actually able to happen. Gillard just gave the number counters the fait accompli they were looking for: “Rudd is a defeatist, he admits so. Let’s move.”

    Face it, the greatest number of people who knew about this story are all Gillard loyalists, not embittered ex-PMs called Kevin and party elders called John.

    I’m not definite that either of those two transition losers didn’t tell Oakes, it’s just there must be a dozen anti-Rudd victors who know the details of what happened that night.

    Twenty years later, Hawke and Keating still hate each other’s guts. Does anyone think Rudd has moved on after three weeks?

    Yeah, sure, Hawke being overheard in public in ’94 saying “Downer will be the next PM” is exactly the same as Rudd supposedly briefing Oakes to hurt Gillard.

    That’s some primo evidence that proves how every bitter modern, senior ALP civil war loser goes 100% off the reservation & is happy to bring down the party from government.

  166. adrian

    I, as a voter, want substantive discussion of issues and policies, not fluffy gossip emanating from third rate journos about trivia.

    Seeing as it is both the government and opposition that don’t want to talk about issues or policies that actually mean anything, I don’t know how you can blame a journalist, whatever rate, for asking the question. Did you actually listen to the speech that Gillard gave? If so, point me to any substantive discussion of issues, policies or ideas that we were so rudely diverted from.

    I would dearly love to be proven wrong but this government is stearing clear of anything resembling substantive policy discussion, but the iron test will be the impending climate change announcement.

    There was a long article in the AFR that I only had a chance to glance at while waiting for coffee, but it basically claimed that the coup had been planned for months and was in response to poor private polling. What it didn’t examine was the role of leaks from within the party aimed at undermining Rudd, and fed to sympathetic journos.

    Under the circumstances of the coup, I think that this is far more than just a trivial issue. It would be a worry if it diverted us all from more substantive issues, but at the moment there’s nothing to be diverted from as far as the major parties are concerned.

  167. Eric Sykes

    Just to clarify, I do not mean that labor should not be criticised and called out on important issues. They deserve it. However calling for them to lose is just extremely silly IMHO because (as per Brian) my life and the lives of many would be significantly worse under the Monk. Adrain @ 148 saying I am asking for “self censorship” is just a giant furfie and a misrepresentation of my views.

    If your life would NOT be worse under the Coalition, have a good long think about why that is I reckon. Ta.

    and again…what hannah’s dad says @ 162.

  168. sam

    it’s just there must be a dozen anti-Rudd victors who know the details of what happened that night.

    Why would the Gillard forces do this? It just makes life difficult or her and them.

    And now we have back bencher Rudd big noting himself at the UN. He got his picture taken with Banki Moon (sp?) to a) put in his scrapbook b) shove it up Gillard that he, unlike her, is an international mover and shaker c) because he just can’t help himself around people of power and influence d) he’s auditioning for the job of Foreign Minister.

  169. Nickws

    Kevin Rennie, that is a fantastic story (that Gorton mistakenly thought he was dying at the time of the ’69 election).

    Though the simplest explanation from 2010 is that Gorton was more likely to have been suffering from either untreated depression or PTSD as opposed to having a formal (mis)diagnosis of some kind. Or that the rumour was just a rumour.

    It’s weirdly reminiscent of the rumours about Harold Holt in his final days being on the verge of being divorced.

  170. sam

    at the moment there’s nothing to be diverted from as far as the major parties are concerned.

    True, but we are in the phony war stage just before the election is called. It happens every election cycle.

    What’s more worrying is the real possibility that this state of nothingness will become permanent, with the pre-election bullshit starting the day after the election.

  171. adrian

    Well Erik Sykes, your life, or at least the lives of your children and grandchildren will be far worse in the not too distant future if it continues to be business as usual.

    The reality of global warming, which neither party wants to deal with will make an Abbott look like benign in comparison.

    The problem is that few interested in politics can see beyond the numbing reality of the electoral cycle.

  172. Nickws

    Sam, see my earlier explanation about pre-emptive leaking as damage control, and the fact that, what the hell, it was already a shit media cycle for the PM, why not get things about of the way.

    I’m intrigued by your belief that Kevin Rudd and his staffers(?!) are the only ones with motive here. The entire Labor Right must be considered suspect, even if there was no centralised media strategy at work here (though I wouldn’t blame the Arbibs and Feeneys if they leaked this now so as to stop some tory agitator like Andrew Bolt revealing it a week out from polling day. That makes sense, hence the word ‘utilitarianism’ in my above post.)

  173. Paul Norton

    Sam #166:

    “it’s just there must be a dozen anti-Rudd victors who know the details of what happened that night.”

    Why would the Gillard forces do this? It just makes life difficult or her and them

    There’s an old journalists’ adage – if you have to choose between explaining events in terms of a conspiracy or in terms of a fuck-up, choose the fuck-up, such as the following hypothetical scenario. Someone in Gillard’s camp has more than their usual ration of the sauce, maybe wants to big-note themselves with someone by showing what they know of events at the meeting, and lets something slip. A yarn gets going and eventually finds its way to the press gallery.

  174. adrian

    Don’t know what happened to that second paragraph: will make an Abbott government look benign in comparison.

  175. Eric Sykes

    well adrain, what else is new?

  176. Thomas Paine

    And now we have back bencher Rudd big noting himself at the UN. He got his picture taken with Banki Moon (sp?) to a) put in his scrapbook b) shove it up Gillard that he, unlike her, is an international mover and shaker c) because he just can’t help himself around people of power and influence d) he’s auditioning for the job of Foreign Minister.

    I think this is typical of the Gillard rah rah supporters at the moment.

    But what should be concerning people is that Gillard simply dismissed the basically elected PM because she found out she had the numbers. All other reasons given have turned out to be nonsense and Rudd was in no danger of losing the election.

    And the recent revelations show that Rudd was more than sensible in his assessment of the situation in that he if Faulkner confirmed, stand down before an October election if it looked he would not win. I mean how reasonable a undertaking can you get from a sitting PM?

    Gillard also said that she had nothing to do with the take over, that she was approached. These recent revelations make that a lie.

    Rudd big noting himself? Unlike in the Australian media, and those captured by the MSM meme this past 18 months, Rudd was well accepted and respected on the international stage.

    I think what could come in for analysis is how a first term government and PM, who did an excellent job with the GFC and other things, can be diminished through the media as though a failure? In comparison to many first term governments his performance was quite solid. And his electoral position no worse than other first terms PMs who always went on to win.

    Now because people are enamoured of a new ‘star’ in their eye they don’t want to see or examine what has been going on these past 18 months and this past few weeks.

    Rudd is entitled to go about his business. If Gillard’s position is so weak that it is threatened by her predecessor looking too good then you have to wonder at her competence and character.

  177. adrian

    Excuse me Eric, it’s adrian to you.

    What is new is that at least with Rudd I had a fraction of a slither of inkling of a hope that he understood the issue, and if elected what actually have the courage to do something about it.

    Just consider that a few months ago we were facing a Rudd v Turnbull election and you may realise what a change we have witnessed, particularly in relation to this key issue.

  178. adrian

    Excuse me Eric, it’s adrian to you.

    What is new is that at least with Rudd I had a fraction of a slither of inkling of a hope that he understood the issue, and if elected what actually have the courage to do something about it.

    Just consider that a few months ago we were facing a Rudd v Turnbull election and you may realise what a change we have witnessed, particularly in relation to this key issue.

  179. Eric Sykes

    adrian ;-)….unlike your good self, with the ruddster I had no hope at all other than for more moralistic fundamentalist christian regulations and opportunistic grandstanding, i am from the sunshine state, i have had dealings with the ruddster, all bad. anything is better than that for a labor leader. a leader who is actually..better than the monk or any other ring wing nut job for that matter…..

  180. Eric Sykes

    …oh…and he was elected and he did…jack shite.

  181. Nickws

    Paul Norton: if you have to choose between explaining events in terms of a conspiracy or in terms of a fuck-up, choose the fuck-up, such as the following hypothetical scenario. Someone in Gillard’s camp has more than their usual ration of the sauce, maybe wants to big-note themselves with someone by showing what they know of events at the meeting, and lets something slip. A yarn gets going and eventually finds its way to the press gallery.

    I like my secondary theory about this being the work of a player (or “playa, [email protected]#$er!”) whom, while not being a nobody, isn’t actually at Canberra.

    My evidence? Almost to a man the pro-Gillard factional warlords used to fit this description before 2007.

  182. Mark

    Bernard Keane in today’s Crikey:

    While Canberra is very excited about what Julia Gillard may or may not have said to Kevin Rudd on the night of June 23, the chances that voters have the remotest interest are minimal.

    They weren’t interested in the Kirribilli Agreement, to which the purported events of June 23 have been bizarrely compared (talk about the media cycle speeding up — Hawke and Keating’s agreement was over some years; the alleged Gillard-Rudd agreement lasted mere minutes, and John Faulkner had to do double duty as Sir Peter Abeles and Bill Kelty). They weren’t interested in the Howard-Costello “agreement” that saw Canberra obsessing over the contents of Ian McLachlan’s wallet in 2006.

    That’s not to say such revelations don’t have real-world consequences, beyond political gossip. While some of the detail of Laurie Oakes’ question yesterday had been ventilated by Rudd himself at the Caucus meeting that terminated his command, the bulk must logically have come either from Rudd himself or from sources aligned with Rudd.

    Clearly if it was from Rudd himself, in an apparent harking back to his days as an inveterate leaker under Mark Latham, it makes his return to the frontbench immensely problematic. Ironically, the Rudd Cabinet was, at least once Godwin Grech was removed from Treasury, highly disciplined. The presence of the former leader in the Gillard Cabinet would be destabilising even if he never said a word to a journalist. Every future leak would be blamed on Rudd and seen through the prism of destabilisation of his replacement.

    But it’s much worse if the leak came from sources aligned with Rudd, in effect parading Labor’s divisions over its treatment of the former leader. Those divisions are only natural, but the issue is whether they are put on display to an extent that undermines the Government’s re-election prospects. Voters may not care about leadership deals but they hate parties engaging in navel-gazing. Remember it’s only a few days since backbencher Chris Trevor vented his spleen about how Rudd had been dealt with.

    Gillard is hardly the victim in all this. The Prime Minister, her deputy and other senior Labor figures have been engaged in a subtle campaign of vilification of Rudd ever since they knifed him. The sneering attack on Rudd’s population views in a NSW Labor flyer handed out in the Sydney electorate of Macquarie is an eloquent example of the sort of casual demonisation of the former party leader that is now considered acceptable. If a Rudd partisan has been responsible for the leak, it’s no worse than the steady shafting of the former PM that we’ve been seeing for three weeks.

    On the story itself, there’s a basic reality that it overlooks — as soon as it was revealed that there were moves against Rudd’s leadership, he was finished. Labor could not afford for him to survive and have any hope of winning the election. That’s why the numbers shifted so rapidly to Gillard — why even Rudd supporters agreed to back her. Rudd, desperate to hang onto the Prime Ministership and shocked by the rapid deterioration in his position, might be forgiven for thinking he could have credibly clung to power. If Gillard seriously believed it, her much-praised political judgement — which hasn’t exactly been on display to great effect over the past three weeks — must be questioned. That even in the Rudd camp’s version she barely entertained the notion for more than a brief period says otherwise. In fact she was seizing the Prime Ministership simply by walking into Rudd’s office that night.

    Gillard herself has a watertight defence on the issue, that she agreed the meeting would be confidential and will keep that confidence.

    There’s a view within the press gallery that the public interest in the events in question outweigh that confidentiality. The Herald’s Phil Coorey, whom I regard as an outstanding journalist, has repeatedly argued this line, including to John Faulkner at the latter’s press conference announcing his retirement to the backbench.

    It’s always wise to be wary of journalists arguing about the public interest. The sacerdotal model of journalism still abounds in political coverage, particularly television coverage — the idea that journalists have a special role mediating between politicians and the public. Intrinsic to this model is that journalists are more in touch with the public interest than self-interested politicians. Politicians are indeed self-interested, but then so is the media, which likes to disclose confidential information even when there is no public interest. At least politicians submit to a version of a public interest test every three years, unlike the media. Moreover, journalists have their own restrictions on disclosure, insisting on the right to protect sources that is comparable to the confidentiality of the confessional (the sacerdotal model again).

    If Gillard undertook to keep the meeting confidential, it has to be a compelling case for a Prime Minister to demonstrably break her word. That we’d all love to know is clear. But quite what the public interest that should override such a commitment hasn’t been identified by journalists. There may well be one, but mere assertion that it’s in the public interest that someone should reveal discussions conducted in private with the intention that they remain private need to be backed up more strongly than they have been.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/16/rudd-leak-repayment-in-kind-to-gillard-but-what-about-confidentiality/

  183. fred

    Bernard Keane is totally wrong. Why on earth are political leaders allowed to haggle over the seals of office and then say it is a private matter they don’t wish to discuss – as if we have no interest. Give me a break.

  184. Ken Lovell

    Adrian @ 164 Gillard did make one substantial point: surpluses are awesome and she wants to have them all the time. Thus demonstrating that we have an economics illiterate for a prime minister (or more plausibly, that she intends to pander to populist sentiment at the expense of good policy as her standard modus operandi).

  185. Rebekka

    @Thomas Paine: “And the recent revelations show that Rudd was more than sensible in his assessment of the situation in that he if Faulkner confirmed, stand down before an October election if it looked he would not win. I mean how reasonable a undertaking can you get from a sitting PM?

    Gillard also said that she had nothing to do with the take over, that she was approached. These recent revelations make that a lie.”

    Yeah, except there were no revelations, there was just a journo asking an unsubstantiated question.

    If I ask you whether it’s true that you rode a donkey down the St Kilda Pier last Thursday, that doesn’t mean there was a revelation that you rode a donkey down the St Kilda Pier last week. It doesn’t mean anything needs to be reconsidered in light of your donkey ride, and it doesn’t put paid to any previous statement you may have made about whether or not you would ride a donkey in said location.

  186. Fine

    I’m just back from overseas and therefore a bit out of the loop. But reading here, I’m rather disturbed by the level of vitriol aimed at Gillard. Puppet of the NSW right, economic illiterate, La Guillotine, Lady MacBeth etc. As well as the bizarre idea of voting Liberal to teach the ALP a lesson. Yeah, that’ll work.

    I can understand why some people are upset and shocked by the way Rudd was disposed, but I can’t understand the sheer nastiness of some of the comments.

    Along with this is a certain re-writing of history, as though Rudd was the Perfect Progressive Politician. He’d already swung right on asylum seekers, dropped the ETS and promised that the budget be back in surplus by 2013. And only received reasonable criticism for all this. But not Gillard. No, she’s just a right wing shill without a mind of her own. I think at least some of this is driven by misogyny.

    Sorry, if this is off-topic mods, but I’ve been away for a few weeks and I’m quite taken aback by the tone of some comments.

  187. Fran Barlow

    Quite right Rebekka … this seems to be a point widely missed. Sabra Lane on ABC even tried her version of the “how long has it been since you stopped beating your wife question” by asking Rudd-backer Craig Emerson on ABC this morning:

    So is the relationship between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd likely to be as dysfunctional as that between Paul Keating and Bob Hawke?

    1. There is no “function” in which Bob Hawke and Paul Keating are involved, so there is no “dysfunction” to describe, whatever they feel towards each other. (Had I been Emerson I’d have stopped her at that point and made the conversation about that, and shown that she was a totally vacuous airhead and forced her to rephrase to ask whether I though the relationship would become dysfunctional, at which point I’d have cited Rudd saying what fine people they were and how he’d like to help them get elected. QED.

    and

    2. Who says the relationship between Rudd and Gillard will be dysfunctional? For all we know, they may get on fine, or Rudd may accept a diplomatic posting or perhaps he will go find himself another job.

    Not that you can tell that to ABC journalists.

  188. Kim

    @83 – Fine, some of those issues were canvassed in this thread, which you may have missed:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/11/julia-gillard-feminism-and-gender-politics/

    I’ve done a search for “guillotine” and “Lady Macbeth” and can’t find any evidence anyone has used those epithets on this thread.

    On the other hand, we’ve had Frank Calabrese’s ridiculous comments accusing “LP” of being traitors or something, because whatever ALP line he wants to see parrotted is not being echoed here.

    As Brian said @135:

    We can’t control what commenters say. Personally I think that people who say either directly or by implication that we would be better with Abbott’s mob on the treasury benches have rocks in their head.

    I agree.

    But I don’t think the meta commentary is at all helpful.

    It’s an explicit requirement under our comments policy that all commenters direct their arguments to matters of substance, and don’t make imputations based on what they think others’ motives or political inclinations are.

    I’d like to see everyone take stock of that, which is one reason why we posted the comments policy on the front page this week.

  189. john

    @Fran Barlow

    Oh, yeah. I’m sure Rudd and Gillard will be besties.

  190. Fran Barlow

    And let me add, just for the record, that despite being at the point where I can see no reason in utility to support either of the major parties, I see nothing at all politically unethical in Gillard’s action in ousting Rudd.

    Everybody who joins one of the major parties and makes it far enough in the game to be a candidate for a seat knows the way the game is played. All of them have horse-traded and done deals and know that there are no permanent friends, only ongoing interests. They all fancy their chances of being top banana. People say that Rudd was rolled because they feared he might lose, but it seems to me just as likely that they feared he might win and become impregnable as PM. Anyone who didn’t like that idea for any reason was entitled to try to stop him. And in a democracy, the numbers count.

    It’s not as if Rudd was some bastion of progressive virtue and Gillard the devil incarnate either. It seems absolutely plain to me that they were about as similar in outlook as two people in any political party are likely to be. Apart from Gillard’s lack of professed piety, you’d be hard pressed to find a difference of political principle between her and Rudd. Both of them seemed willing to do whatever it took to advance their interests — it’s just that Rudd messed up, annoying people he couldn’t afford to annoy, at a time he was vulnerable from the outside, in large part through his own misjudgement. He played the game poorly and lost. Gillard was on the spot to take the last pass, she has been juggling it, because it was a bit of a hospital pass, but now she seems headed for the line. If she gets there that’s what the scoreboard will say, to borrow a football analogy.

    We don’t yet know for sure that Gillard won’t drop the ball and allow the other side to run the length of the field and score under the posts. I suspect she won’t, but I guess we’ll see.

  191. Russell

    Ken – Whitlam was “an economics illiterate” – great PM though

    Bernard Keane is totally right.

    Storm in a tea cup.

  192. Don Wigan

    Seconded, Fine. You haven’t missed a lot in your absence.

    Basically it’s a distraction from where Labor needs to get to justify re-election. I think they’ve got a pretty good case, notwithstanding the flaws, but it’s still got to be presented.

    Hannah’s Dad and Brian are pretty much where I am.

    I suppose it might be interesting eventually to find out what occurred (my own view is that it wasn’t so much a power play as panic/dismay at the way things were going when they felt they should be praised), but that can wait.

  193. Fran Barlow

    Oh, yeah. I’m sure Rudd and Gillard will be besties

    Unlikely, if only because people with really large egos — and that tends to be all career politicians — usually find the whole equality with others thing a bit of a challenge. To be best friends, you really have to see the other person as an intellectual equal — someone who can teach you valuable things about life that you can’t learn on your own and who would feel the same way towards you. You also need to be able to trust that they understand your needs the way you do and would never put theirs ahead of yours.

    Having a functional relationship is nothing like that. It’s a kind of marriage of convenience in which you agree that you are better playing on the same team and working towards the same goal.

  194. paul walter

    Fine, I thought you might have been responding to Ken Lovell’s comment re Gillard and surpluses, as “economic illiteracy”.
    I’d say he’s right, but is there a politician who does not do the surpluses/credit ratings neolib crap?
    TINA?
    Gillard got off to a good start, but was too optimistic as to the East Timor solution and was snagged there instead thru a little lack of attention to detail invovling East Timorese accedence to her plan.
    I, for the life of me, can’t understand why the Oakes beatup is getting such attention either. Including in these threads.
    Looking at Captain Budgie, I’d say we have little choice but to return Gillard and hope she has the wit to confound any factional hacks trying to circumscribe a Labor government.
    But the concerns as to her being “captured” by the NSW Right and and Victorian Right, are legitimate and its not entirely helpful to just dismiss all criticism of Gillard just as “sexism”.
    I’d say it again. Nothing I’d love to see more than for us to have own successful Helen Clark standard PM- I always wondered why we had to put up with Howard when the Kiwis had a sophisticated contemporary leader, as they had for nearly a decade.
    Nothing I’d HATE more, than to see her end up like Anna Bligh, a despised ornament kept as window dressing ornament for myopic right-faction directionless and likely venal, government

  195. john

    @Fran

    I’m pretty sure Gillard had their marriage of convenience anulled.

  196. Fine

    Kim, I’m not criticising the mods for allowing the comments. Just needed to get it off my chest, is all. You’re right about the Lady MacBeth, though there are comments about ‘blood under the finger nails’ and multiple references to La Gillardine.

    And I was responding to the claim that Gillard is an economic illiterate on this thread. I never noticed Rudd being criticised for saying basically the same thing.

    But that’s enough from me, or I’ll drag this thread way off topic. Looks like we might be having an election on August 28th.

  197. Patricia WA

    Fine @ 183 upset and shocked is a spot on description for most true believers late June but the cause is what matters and most of my local acquaintances on the left are already on side for the coming election. Many of us out here were very concerned about what was happening to Rudd in the media and there’s a general consensus that he might well have gone under. Even to us, with no access to internal party polling, he looked shaky even though Caucus seemed pretty solid up to the 11th hour. We now learn that was just a pretty good front. Morale is recovering well in the field with optimism about Gillard. She has the necessary toughness and cheerful charisma plus just enough time for a brief honeymoon before they try to do her in too! MSM commentariat I think were very miffed at the surgical precision of it all and their being taken unawares. Deprived of their usual entitlement of columnage on leadership speculation perhaps they’re now taking it in retrospect. Some LP bloggers here may still be needing that fix too! I agree with you though, the tone has been very depressing recently.

  198. Fran Barlow

    I’m pretty sure Gillard had their marriage of convenience annulled.

    Well what has been annulled can be reconstituted. They just need a common project.

  199. fred

    It does seem rather strange that caucus members who abandoned HMAS Rudd the last seem to have been from the left faction which is Julia’s faction. Anyone got an explanation for that.

  200. adrian

    Much as I hate to disagree with the general consensus, I think it is quite important how the person who leads the country and seeks election to the job next month overthrew an elected PM. I also think that the way in which Rudd was probably undermined by by his own party and the role of various non-elected persons is also of significant public interest.

    It’s also a gross mischaracterisation to suggest that there’s been much vitriol levelled at Gillard or anyone here thinks Rudd is a saint.

    As I said above I had a tiny vestage of hope that Rudd could achieve something climate change if re-elected, but Gillard inspires no such hope, however tiny.

    Used to be quite a fan of Gillard until the My School issue, where she showed herself to be the shallowest of politicians not to mention a prize bullshit artist. Everything she has done since simply confirms that view. I hope I’m wrong, but the climate change announcement will probably be more of the same.

  201. Don Wigan

    …the tone has been very depressing recently.

    Hear, hear, Patricia WA. But let’s hope THE Tone is even more depressing after the election.

  202. Katz

    Given that Rudd discovered on the night in question that he had virtually no support in the party, it is unlikely that he then harboured or now harbours expectations of a return to the leadership.

    However, Oakes stipulated in his question to Gillard that both principals consulted with their supporters on that night in regard to Rudd’s acceptance of a voluntary transfer of leadership to Gillard.

    Therefore, several people were privy to the nature and much of the content of that meeting between Gillard and Rudd.

    Perhaps it is in the interests of Gillard to bury Rudd by making what is quaintly termed a “pre-emptive leak”. However, if Rudd was so comprehensively on the nose, why do it? It’s like exhuming a hanged man and then shooting him in the head. It is not impossible that Gillard would have done this. But it is not very intelligent either.

    More likely, Oakes got his leak not from Rudd but from a Rudd loyalist, or more precisely a Gillard hater. This leak serves to weaken Gillard, not for the return of Rudd, but who whoever may come next. If this is the case, then the ALP is not a happy family.

  203. Mark

    @196 – Simple, fred. The left is really a variety of sub-factions.

  204. jane

    I, as a voter, want substantive discussion of issues and policies, not fluffy gossip emanating from third rate journos about trivia.

    So would I hannah’s dad, but while the media seems more intent on padding their CVs for jobs with New Weekly, New Idea and Woman’s Day, it ain’t going to happen!

    Unfortunately, Ken Lovell @181, the steady drumbeat of 11+ years of Rodent brainwashing on this subject seems to have people in its thrall and utterly convinced that maintaining a surplus at all costs=financial genius and deficit and government spending on stuff like health, education and infrastructure=financial moron.

    I still haven’t been able to squeeze a rational explanation from supporters of this idea!
    I have never been able to

  205. Mark

    @194 and 198 – I’d reiterate what Kim said @185. We used to strictly enforce a prohibition on meta-commentary here at LP, and perhaps that was with good reason. The “tone” is also a function of commenters’ propensity to discuss the general tenor of comments, have a go at others, and toss round epithets. I’ve observed that from people on both sides of the question of the merits of the leadership change.

    These interchanges are the products of more than the sum of their parts, and if you’d prefer them to be more productive, and less likely to descend into navel-gazing, then I suggest everyone lead by example. The comments policy, as has been pointed out, is a good standard for measuring how we are attaining the state of intelligent and civil debate I’m sure we’d all like to see prevail here.

  206. Andrew

    Complaining about the media’s fascination with machinations of the leadership spill is, to be blunt, pissing into the wind.

    Look how much airtime we’re still giving to the Hawke/Keating rift.

    The public, and hence media, loves this stuff.

    So how does ‘Labor counter this theme’? Unfortunately it can’t. This will get constant attention during the election campaign.

    Labor will probably still win the next election despite it. They just need to focus attention on Tony Abbott. The question Labor needs the voters to ask is ‘Do I really want Aboot as the next PM’….. the answer is probably no.

  207. Pavlov's Cat

    But let’s hope THE Tone is even more depressing after the election.

    I don’t want him to be depressing (he, and it, will be depressing if he wins, not if he loses). I want him to be depressed.

    Not Depressed, just depressed.

  208. Nickws

    Thinking about this I’ve come to one final Strocchi-like revision of my Ockham’s thesis—this whole thing being a pro-Gillard leak is more likely than this being an anti-Gillard leak, but there are really two other more plausible explanations.

    (a.) It’s just someone telling a good yarn for the sake of telling a good yarn (and in the process demonstrating to Oakes they are a Very Important Person, as they are relaying information they almost certainly received first hand from the bosses), or (b.) it’s someone trying to set the record straight to justify their support for the leadership coup.

    Think of option (b.) as translating into “Rudd basically gave up when he gave Julia that offer, he demonstrated he had no balls and his leadership was a liability that had to be ended pronto for the good of the party and the nation. People must know this. He suicided, he wasn’t some innocent victim.”

    I’m amazed all of the speculation is about the supposed revenge angle(s). That strikes me as being both simplistic, and, dare I say it, quite emotionally retarded. It’s as if everyone’s imagination is a pale imitation of Graham Richardson when it comes to trying to devine what really must be going on behind closed doors in the smoke filled rooms (and I’d argue Richo was himself a pale imitation of the Keatings and the Duckers and the Camerons).

    My criticism applies to everyone in the country save for Laurie Oakes and the top dozen or so executioners of the former PM. They know the score.

  209. Fran Barlow

    Not depressed, but repressed — > by getting dumped if he loses.

  210. adrian

    Personally, I’d like to see him compressed.

  211. Mark

    Repressed! Hang on…

  212. Patricia WA

    Re the leak (note its singularity!) (1) Katz says ‘The ALP is not a happy family.’ And (2)Mark says in response to an earlier question: ‘The left is really a variety of sub-factions.’ which I thought implied something derogatory.

    (1) The ALP like other mainstream political organisations is not a ‘family’ but rather a broad church of people who hold similar political opinions relating to social equity. If the family analogy must be used then let’s ask why it is being judged by perfectionist ideals of ‘family’ which are totally unrealistic. Brothers and sisters often wildly disagree and parents often separate. Even in the best of families there are disagreements and fallings out, but they stay ‘family!’

    (2) Yes there are ‘factions’ to the left and the right of the ALP just as there are in all other political parties and people generally identify with one or another of them, with some shifting occasionally depending on the issues within and outside the party and of course the capacity and sympathies of the leadership.

    This latest crisis in the ALP ‘family’ or organisation was resolved very quickly, with impressively organised consensus by faction leaders, mature and dignified public behaviour by protagonists and remarkable discretion by all those involved in the private discussions which settled the leadership issue.

    Now we have one piece of aggrieved comment or ‘leak’ from an unknown source but supposedly from within ‘the family’ or from one of the ‘factions’ and we have the entire media corps and many of us here working it over and over and reading omens and significance into it as if over the entrails of an Etruscan slaughtered sheep.

    Does this really mean a ruptured family, a divorce? Or a factional schism, a new DLP? We’re certainly all agog on the issue – over 200 comments within 24 hours.

    Let’s focus on important things, hey? Climate change? Hospitals? Education? Finding a civilised way to assist the dispossessed who have long lived here and those wanting to come here from overseas?

    .

  213. Mark

    @205 – Where is the Strocchi? It’s impossible to interpret these events without his sage counsel.

    Nickws, the Fin Review today had a four page long piece by Pamela Williams on what occurred in the lead up to the challenge. Of interest was the fact that Geoff Walsh, a former ALP national secretary, and now PR exec for BHP Billiton, gave Karl Bitar details of polling the mining companies had done which showed Rudd was losing the fight on the tax. That’s an interesting piece of the puzzle. Bitar confirms having met Walsh, but won’t confirm or deny the polling story. Williams notes Rudd had plenty of other enemies.

    The story also says Faulkner, Tanner, Albanese, Wong, Evans and Martin Ferguson were backing Rudd.

    A separate piece suggests the Oakes stuff has been around the shop for a while – common currency among the ALP (non-Gillard) left apparently. It’s suggested that Oakes wasn’t the only journo who’d heard it.

  214. Mark

    (2)Mark says in response to an earlier question: ‘The left is really a variety of sub-factions.’ which I thought implied something derogatory.

    I don’t know why you’d think that, Patricia. It’s simply a fact and the same goes for the ALP right.

    The Tanner/Ferguson Left in Victoria weren’t supporting Gillard, and nor were the Albanese mob in NSW or the Queensland left.

    Similarly, although almost all the right were backing Gillard, Rudd’s own sub-faction in Queensland – the “Old Guard” or Labor Unity weren’t.

  215. Mark

    @209 – I disagree, though, that the issue was resolved cleanly. It’s clear, as I said in the post, that it hasn’t been and the way many Labor MPs and apparatchiks have been piling on Rudd via leaks to the media in the lead up to this is distasteful. Laura Tingle in the Fin today wrote that a lot of Labor people are annoyed that the first 2 and a half years of the government are being trashed and that Rudd is being “treated like shit”. It’s understandable why.

    Btw, on the question of discussing this issue rather than policy, I’d merely point out that as I look at the sidebar, there are a large number of posts on this blog about policy issues. It’s also somewhat of a false distinction to suggest that policy exists outside its political contexts.

  216. Ken Lovell

    Patricia WA @ 209 I’m afraid I don’t believe for a moment that ‘The ALP like other mainstream political organisations is not a ‘family’ but rather a broad church of people who hold similar political opinions relating to social equity.’ It has become the political vehicle for a small and unrepresentative group of people primarily concerned with advancing narrow sectional interests.

    I note that no self-identified Labor supporter has taken serious issue with my comment @ 132, or explained their response to the fact that unaccountable union officials have so much influence over the Parliamentary Party.

  217. PeterTB

    Lighten up Patricia WA @ 209. Let us enjoy the spectacle of professional politicians doing what they do best.

  218. murph the surf.

    “This latest crisis in the ALP ‘family’ or organisation was resolved very quickly, with impressively organised consensus by faction leaders, mature and dignified public behaviour by protagonists and remarkable discretion by all those involved in the private discussions which settled the leadership issue.’
    Honestly Patricia ,the stand up comedy clubs need you as soon as you are free.
    Brilliant!

  219. Rebekka

    is there a reason my comment was eaten by the spaminator? the mention of donk*ys perhaps?

  220. Nickws

    Mark, what do you think of the revelation that it seems Rudd ended up being as much a slave to the media narrative and the polls as any gallery hack? His October Surprise offer (a much better name than Kirribilli Pact, IMO) was not the action of a man who assumed Labor would be returned at the election. It sounds like he was irrationally pessimistic.

    Of interest was the fact that Geoff Walsh, a former ALP national secretary, and now PR exec for BHP Billiton, gave Karl Bitar details of polling the mining companies had done which showed Rudd was losing the fight on the tax. That’s an interesting piece of the puzzle. Bitar confirms having met Walsh, but won’t confirm or deny the polling story. Williams notes Rudd had plenty of other enemies.

    Oh, this is bothersome.

    What was it the Joe Lyons UAP was supposed to have been? A second rate government run on behalf of business?

    Craig Emerson had a very interesting piece in the OO today about how the Libs are floating rolling back competion policy, and not the competion policy laws from Hawke/Keating, but rather part of Whitlam’s Trade Practices Act.

    I think we’re heading into a bad situation where Labor is inherently frightened of the Big End of Town while the Coalition are reverting to pre-Menzian corporate crony politics.

    This is how Paul Kelly’s sensible neoliberal consensus ends.

  221. Spana

    Yes Julia, how the Prime Minister of our country came to power is only your business isn’t it. What arrogance. Gillard has lost touch and is a clear product of the factional figures who think that private deals make PMs, not democracy. Gillard’s attitude shows that she is simply not deserving of power. She appears to think a flick of the hair or a giggle or a hand on the shoulder will keep her in the PMs job. We do not need a giggling PM who thinks her rise to the top is private business. A vote for the ALp is a vote for shadowing figures with a puppet PM. Bring Labor down.

  222. Mark

    @216 – Sorry, Rebekka, can’t find any comments from you in spam of the moderation filter. Please note this though:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/comments-policy/wheres-my-missing-comment/

    @217 – Another way of looking at it, Nickws, is that Rudd was confident that he could turn things around. The Fin Review story noted that the various polls being bandied around were susceptible of more than one interpretation, and it was noted here at the time that the government was getting back on the front foot at the time of the leadership challenge.

    On your second point about the end of Kelly’s neo-liberal consensus, I suspect you’re right.

  223. anthony nolan

    This is how Paul Kelly’s sensible neoliberal consensus ends.

    I think that is correct. After the GFC and a widespread collapse of what had previously legitmated neoliberalism, unfounded faith, there will be significant destabilisation of parliamentary politics. Attempts to revive the politics of last century, class poltics for example, as an organising principle will flounder because class no longer has the central organising role that it once played in people’s lives. The disarray in both of the majors (really, sacking Turnbull for Abbott!) reflects the collapse of neoliberalism as the organising idea.

  224. john

    @211 Mark,

    Just a note, the Old Guard are Labor Forum in Queensland, and Unity is the AWU faction.

  225. Mark

    @221 – cheers, john!

  226. adrian

    And the ‘big end of town’ has shown what it’s capable of when given half the chance.
    We may have the same government, but it’s learned its lesson.

    The BEOT can rest assured that will have even less to fear from the climate change policy than before.

  227. john

    @223

    I thought they actually had learned during the CPRS negotiations that if you give them an inch, they’ll take several miles and everything in your pockets, so they were hard line on the RSPT. Turns out all the Right learnt was never to do anything.

  228. Rebekka

    @Mark, wasn’t suggesting my comment had been deliberately et 🙂 My computer must have eaten it.

    @Spana “She appears to think a flick of the hair or a giggle or a hand on the shoulder will keep her in the PMs job. We do not need a giggling PM who thinks her rise to the top is private business.”

    How exactly does she “appear to think” that? What evidence do you have for that, other than a statement that at least verges on sexist (giggles? flicks hair? would you describe a male politician thusly?)?

    “A vote for the ALp is a vote for shadowing figures with a puppet PM. Bring Labor down.”

    I think you mean shadowy, not shadowing. I for one am sick of hearing four members of parliament (Shorten, Arbib, Feeney and Farrell) as either shadowy or shadowing. They’re public figures, they’re elected representatives. They’re not some sort of smoking men in the background.

  229. PeterTB

    “The BEOT can rest assured that will have even less to fear from the climate change policy than before.”

    Oh FFS, the BEOT has a 10.5* billion tax that it didn’t have before the budget. In what sort of a bizzaro world is that a win for the BEOT?

    * 10.5 billion or whatever number the Treasurer is touting today

  230. Eric Sykes

    adrian @ 223 “even less to fear from the climate change policy than before…” LOL

    which climate change policy was that?? oh yes the one we actually really need.

    but ruddster was afraid of it “the greatest challenge” and did nothing about it and then run away from it..maybe if climate change had been mentioned in the bible we’d at least have got school chaplains handing out the sandbags with the creationist homework?

  231. Ken Lovell

    Eric @ 229 do you believe that ALP policy is determined solely by the leader of the Parliamentary Party? If not, can you remind me what the Party’s policy is with regard to climate change and explain why it has not been implemented? Or if you do believe the Party is effectively a one-person band, can you suggest why anyone should vote for it? Candidly, I don’t feel inclined to entrust the government of the nation to a dictator no matter who it is.

    The comments of the Labor faithful here in recent weeks have unwittingly demonstrated why the Party is no longer fit to govern. It’s a bit of a worry that the other mob are in a similar situation. It’s all a case study in entropy I suppose.

    The answer pretty obviously lies in new parties, with their promise of renewal and innovation and openness to argument. There will be some unpleasantness in the transition period, which will probably be measured in decades. But anyone with a sense of history must feel that the days of the Labor/Liberal system in Australia are drawing to a close. They both fail basic competency tests, which no amount of spin can hide forever.

  232. PeterTB

    They both fail basic competency tests, which no amount of spin can hide forever.

    Both? I thought that 11 years of stability and prosperity for all showed a reasonable measure of competence.

  233. Mindy

    I thought that 11 years of stability and prosperity for all showed the middle to upper class and workchoices for the rest is a reasonable measure of competence.

    There fixed it for you. Policies designed to make it harder for women with children to work and afford childcare don’t equal stability and prosperity in my book. Nor does the rubbish they went on with with Tampa, and Dr Haneef. Ripping funding out of public hospitals and trying to force everyone to go private, nup not seeing prosperity there either. Strangely enough now the National Party and Liberal Party people from these parts are banding together to call on the Labor government to duplicate the Barton Hwy. No mention of the fact that they had eleven bloody years to do it and did sweet FA.

  234. PeterTB

    You’re confusing ideology with competence Mindy – and note that many of the policies which you no doubt found offensive have subsequently been copied by Labor – eg offshore processing and a “wait and see” ETS.

    Actually, it’s just occurred to me that if John Howard had won the 2007 election, we would now have an ETS.

    Think about that

  235. Ken Lovell

    PeterTB do you really believe the party of Brendan Nelson Malcolm Turnbull Tony Abbott is remotely competent to govern a country? Research the qualifications of the shadow treasurer and get back to us.

  236. Rebekka

    PeterTB, you’re confusing prosperity with rich people doin’ ok.

    Think about that.

  237. adrian

    Peter Tb’s confusing a lot of things, but hey that’s the way he likes it.

  238. PeterTB

    233. Rebekka says:
    16 July 2010 at 9:55 pm
    PeterTB, you’re confusing prosperity with rich people doin’ ok.

    Nonsense. This from the ABS (link at end of post):

    “- while it is difficult to assess changes in income distribution over time due to the methodological improvements introduced with the 2003-04 survey, it appears that there has been no significant change in income inequality from the mid 1990s to 2005-06″

    “- over the period from 1994-95, there was a 31% increase in the real mean income of low income people, compared to 32% for middle income people and 36% for high income people, but methodological changes may have had some impact on the comparability of these estimates.”

    Just because the middle and high income earners did slightly better, doesn’t mean that the poor didn’t do very nicely – thank you.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Previousproducts/6523.0Main%20Features22005-06?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=6523.0&issue=2005-06&num=&view=

  239. Mr Denmore

    I agree with Anthony Nolan @220. The great post-Cold War Washington Consensus-driven politics of the last 25 years has exhausted itself and the 20th century political groupings have no program to base their power strategies upon.

    Without any reason to exist, the parties’ inner workings – the pure politics of their behaviour – are all that is left to focus on, which is why the media is so obsessed with the mechanics of politics and not the policy differences.

    The new politics is about sustainability, but Labor – with its traditional ties to the industrial working class – is never going to go in hard on that front.

    Gillard’s elevation feels illegitimate, and while she may squeak over the line next month, she shows no sign of building a mandate for any meaningful change. Which makes me think it really doesn’t matter who wins this one.

    The best result would be a Labor-Greens coalition that forces government back toward the centre-left and starts to address the real long-term issues of climate change, sustainable growth, health and education

  240. Ken Lovell

    PeterTB the adjective ‘rich’ usually refers to wealth, not income. It’s prudent not to describe other people’s arguments as ‘nonsense’ until you have mastered basic concepts, don’t you think?

  241. Nickws

    Oh FFS, the BEOT has a 10.5* billion tax that it didn’t have before the budget. In what sort of a bizzaro world is that a win for the BEOT?

    * 10.5 billion or whatever number the Treasurer is touting today

    Peter TB, why do you think Wayne Swan’s loyal public servants are having so, so much trouble providing their minister with reliable revenue forecasts?

    And please don’t answer “because Peter Costello could have done the exact same decent thing, only properly and without the Labor-ry taint”.

    The rent seekers sure won this round.

    I shudder to think what happens if the bizness lobby groups and free market think thankers open hostilities against Big Government Conservative Tony, assuming he loses this election. If they’re the ones who claim his scalp then we’re only a term or two away from having ACT New Zealand as our federal Opposition.

    That sure won’t inspire Labor to stop its move towards corporate cronyism.

  242. gregh

    “mo significant change in income inequality” although the figures you quote below that seem inconsistent with this claim, it is the case that if income inequality remains static then people at the bottom are consequently worse off in the long run. This is because income inequality in and of itself produces worse outcomes for the bottom group regardless of raw income measures once basic needs are met – ie in the case of a country like Australia. For evidence see the Spirit level by Wilkinson and Pickett or http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/

  243. anthony nolan

    Mr Denmore @236: an interesting response and I agree that the old ties with the industrial working class will prevent Labor from developing a politics of ecological sustainability. If Labor wants to stay relevant then the party needs to make the leap to genuine social democracy. But I’m not holding my breath on that. I specially like:

    Without any reason to exist, the parties’ inner workings – the pure politics of their behaviour – are all that is left to focus on, which is why the media is so obsessed with the mechanics of politics and not the policy differences.

  244. adrian

    Maybe this is how the death throes of any dying civilization feel. Bread and circuses, and nothing really approaching facing up to desperate reality.

    The ALP as religion crowd are managing to get so worked up about nothing much really, as the ALP couldn’t really give a toss about them or anything else apart from keeping their sinecure.
    Their brand has a more friendly sheen than the other one for what we term progressives, but the sheen has worn too thin for many of us, and faith is no substitute for substance.

    ‘No reason to exist’ alright.

  245. Patricia WA

    Mark @ 211 – sorry, poor choice of words and phrasing. ‘Pejorative’ was the one I was looking for. I was going to ask you if you didn’t think that ‘faction’ had now become a pejorative term, rather than simply suggest you were using it negatively.

    Ken @ 213 Yes, I did read your earlier comment about union influence in the ALP. Throughout my long life I have heard and read much about the unions and their influence on Labour which I accept are true, having myself grappled with union corruption in the workplace. Equally on the right, whether Conservatives in UK or Coalition parties here, big business has undue power and there are plenty of political power plays and abuse within the parties themselves. I still prefer to throw my support behind the party of organised labour which for all its failings has done much in providing education opportunities, health services and a generally better life for me and my kind.

    PeterTB @ 214 – I was trying to do just that! As KR might say I’ll have to work harder at it!

    murph the surf @ 215 We already have one stand-up comedian in the family. As well I am resolved to respond positively to a request from an LP moderator that I desist from satiric verse on our more serious threads. I am now working on improving my prose contributions to LP.

    I still think there’s too much analysing here and elsewhere on what was a simple and necessary decision about whether it was more important that the Labor party retain office than that PM Rudd be given the opportunity to lead us to a loss.

  246. PeterTB

    Ken Lovell says:
    16 July 2010 at 10:30 pm
    PeterTB the adjective ‘rich’ usually refers to wealth, not income. It’s prudent not to describe other people’s arguments as ‘nonsense’ until you have mastered basic concepts, don’t you think?

    Er Ken, prosperity was the term I used – and to which Rebekka was responding. I think that real income is as good a measure as any of prosperity – don’t you? At least as good a measure as one can find with a few minutes googling.

    Anyways, you lot have led me astray from the point of Mark’s post. How does Labor counter?

    Call an election today – before things get worse for them!

  247. Paul Burns

    Ken lovell @ 228,

    The answer pretty obviously lies in new parties, with their promise of renewal and innovation and openness to argument.

    This is an interesting observation. Clearly the Greens’ vote has been increasing strongly, to the point they are in the running to win lower house seats this election. Over the last two federal elections Socialist Alliance’s vote has increased by something like .02/.03%. I can’t quote the exact figures because the long ago e-mails are analysing exact election results are lost somewhere deep in the bowels of my computer.
    Does anybody know if the small parties on the right are gaining increases in their votes, eg One Nation, Christian Democrat, Family First? (Seems to me the Xtan vote would be split between too many minor parties to amount to much.)
    Much as I would like to be an optimist for small left wing parties, I suspect the beat we can hope for, if the major parties continue to lose ground in the electorate is the Greens becoming the potential opposition party, the Libs splitting into moderates and ultra-rights, and the ALP moving further to the right. A sad end for the two once great major parties.

  248. Paul Burns

    @ 245,
    Thatshould read “fundy Xtan vote”

  249. Spana

    Rebekah, comments about Gillard and her silly grins and giggling are as legitimate as the many comments that have appeared in the media including on this site about Abbott in his budgie smiugglers. Is that sexist? Is there outrage? Lighten up.

    As for shadowy figures, how about Paul Howes, an ambitious careerist unelected who goes on TV declaring he has withdrawn support for Rudd. I am ex ALP. I know how the factions work and it is very, very murky.

  250. Rebekka

    Spanah, if you don’t understand how “silly” and “giggling” as opposed to, say, “stupid” and “laughing” are gendered terms, then it’s time you did some googling on gendered language.

    “Paul Howes, an ambitious careerist unelected who goes on TV declaring he has withdrawn support for Rudd. I am ex ALP. I know how the factions work and it is very, very murky.”

    Last time I checked, National Secretary of The Australian Workers’ Union is an elected position.

    I’m also quite well aware of how the factions work, having been an active member of the Labor Party and a state conference delegate for quite some time. But you know, feel free to keep being condescending. You do it so well.

  251. Rebekka

    Spanah, if you don’t understand how “silly” and “giggling” as opposed to, say, “stupid” and “laughing” are gendered terms, then it’s time you did some googling on gendered language.

    “Paul Howes, an ambitious careerist unelected who goes on TV declaring he has withdrawn support for Rudd. I am ex ALP. I know how the factions work and it is very, very murky.”

    Last time I checked, National Secretary of The Australian Workers’ Union is an elected position.

    I’m also quite well aware of how the factions work, having been an active member of the Labor Party and a state conference delegate for quite some time. But you know, feel free to keep being condescending. You do it so well.

  252. Pavlov's Cat

    Spanah

    Heh.

    It will go over his head, of course, but you have one appreciative reader at least.

  253. GregM

    Over the last two federal elections Socialist Alliance’s vote has increased by something like .02/.03%.

    Keep the faith Paul. With surges in popularity like that power is almost within your grasp.

  254. murph the surf.

    Careerist-one Paul Howse.
    I love the fact he was elected “unopposed” in 2009. Oh and that he ascended into the role after one Bill Shorten had risen into the ranks of our representatives.
    http://www.awu.net.au/119.html
    Unopposed- the sure sign of a healthy democracy.

  255. jane

    Actually, it’s just occurred to me that if John Howard had won the 2007 election, we would now have an ETS.

    Actually Peter TB, going on the Rodent’s past behaviour, the ETS would have quickly become a non-core promise.

  256. Paul Burns

    GregM @ 250,
    I have rejoined, and will possibly doing some electioneering for them around Armidale if my health is up to it.