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122 responses to “Quick link: Bernard Keane on why it wasn’t leaks that gutted Labor”

  1. Oz

    Alannah MacTiernan has some interesting observations, especially about the “West Wing brigade” that runs the party machine.

    http://tinyurl.com/2degxn2

  2. Leinad

    Fookin’ Keano’s gone Nutter! /Malcolm Tucker

  3. MIKE

    Julia craps on about being “inclusive” and says that there will be NO swing to the left. What a dill. Julia, it’s the only place you will be safe.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/many-to-blame–but-only-one-to-protect-20100822-13axi.html#poll

  4. Lefty E

    Mike, Im seriosuly concernd about her ability to grasp evolving political realites. She seems to be stuck still in ALP right lala land. Even after Saturday!

  5. sublime cowgirl

    It also seems bad timing that Australian Story tonight features a show on the “Labor powerbroker breaker”, Paul Howes.

  6. MIKE

    LEFTY – If I was in her position, reality is the last thing I would want to touch.

  7. Lefty E

    “We had power – we broke it”.

  8. patrickg

    Oz, that was an interesting – and sad – interview.

  9. MIKE

    In case anyone missed it, and still has a shred of hope that Julia will do something about climate change, this is Paddy Manning’s article in the SMH on Saturday.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/labors-climate-enemies-within-20100820-138tb.html

  10. adrian

    The leaks was what done it spin that surfaced on Saturday night (and repeated by Peter Beattie this morning) is another glaring example of the ineptitude of these people.
    They think people will buy this garbage after what happened on Saturday!

    The only way to save the ALP is to get rid of these people before it’s too late, if it’s not too late already. After all, who’s going to get rid of them? Certainly not Gillard.

  11. paul walter

    No,the problem with Keane’s article is the problem with most commentary on this.
    They won’t contextify, if that’s not a neologism, why the situation is as it is with our system; that politicans are not allowed by party discipline and civil servant advice, to operate outside of the constrictions placed on us by neoliberalist globalisation (read colonisation) through the mechanism of funny trade deals and treaties still unexplained to the public, right down to the “harmonisation” of Australian culture to the neolib version of globalisation.
    Its like Katters remarks or the people smugglers thing: they cant speak to what something really is, so talk in euphemisms that confuse rather than educate the public as to the realities.

  12. wbb

    MacTiernan said the ALP should have show-cased its successes eg “The rollout of the Australian early development index, the national partnerships money that went in behind it, truly transformative stuff. Truly transformative stuff.”

    To stand up for the West Wing brigade for a minute, a party can only campaign on the issues that the media is interested in.

    There is NO scope in an election campaign for a party to talk about its policy achievements of the likes of the early development index!

    What the media wanted to hear about was Kevin Rudd, Mark Latham & leaks. The media didn’t latch onto that stuff because there was a policy vacuum – it fixated on the color and movement because that is what it does. Full stop.

    Rudd tried to go into the election on the mining tax policy because it was a policy area where there was scope for conflict and hence color and movement. Unfortunately the miners saw him coming. And the narrative had already been long put in place by News et al that Rudd was mortally wounded. And predictably the “mob” went after the wounded and backed the miners. That’s what we do.

    The ALP were destroyed by the fallout of their successful GFC policies and the inability of Rudd to shift gears quickly enough once the story had changed to BAU.

    Gillard tried her best but it was just too far to come back. The ALP’s main mistake was rushing to the polls too quickly.

    I am in a tiny minority here I know – but I don’t buy any of this stuff about the ALP failing because they didn’t lead with vision etc. The public does not look for vision. They look for certainty and reassurance (no debt, no boats). Abbott campaigned despicably well. The Greens provided the positive alternative and got their 11.5%. Great for them but not the type of figure that the ALP wants to aim for.

  13. billie

    When I saw Bitar on TV yesterday morning he was so slimy I felt defiled, wanted to take a shower, wash my hair and put on clean clothes. Like I had gotten a tonguey from an absolute slimeball. He is so slimy there is a grease trail behind him

  14. John Edmond

    Despite the clowns promoting it, I’m still astonished at the weakness of the leaks excuse. Arguing that that Gillard would have proved an electoral success if it wasn’t for the leaks is like boasting that putting your hand in a blender is great idea – if only the hand hadn’t been sliced into a smear by the spinning blades. The leaks (or some equivalent backlash) were an eminently predictable result caused by Rudd’s replacement and should have been factored in when deciding to change leader.

    Labor should really consider itself lucky at how mild the leaks were – part of the reason I don’t think Rudd had anything to do with the leaks is because I’m willing to bet he would have been able to provide far juicier leaks to Oakes.

  15. Brian

    LE @ 4 and Mike @ 3, I don’t trust what journalists say Gillard said any more, even if one of them is Grattan. I also think there is a penalty in being absolutely frank – witness how Maxine McKew’s comments were immediately spun into “recriminations”, no doubt to her horror.

    I’m a bit distracted with many things at present and haven’t had time to read all the other threads, so forgive me if all this has been said.

    If you want to get a grip on what ‘Australia’ thinks a good place to start is the AEC Virtual Talley Room. I think they’ve called Katter as LNP but apart from that it’s pretty right, although it’s conservative in declaring the doubtfuls.

    The most stunning fact, I think, is that Labor won more than 50% of the seats in every state, including NSW, except WA and Qld, where there was a complete train wreck in each case.

    I’m over these one or two factor narratives. Yes, I do think that the leaks in the second week stopped Gillard dead in her tracks, but it’s questionable how much something that happened week 2 had on the overall outcome. Probably less than Tony’s 36 hour campaigning stint at the end, when some people attended to what was going on for the first time.

    Remember Richard Farmer saying it’s more the image rather than what they say that counts. Abbott’s handlers emphasised making a movie rather than contesting policies, and did a bloody good job of it. The ABC conveniently strung all the action shots together for the TV news on Friday night.

    But there were 10 or a dozen other factors I can think of, and there are no doubt more that I can’t. Lord knows what’s going on inside the head and more importantly the emotions of 4-5 million voters who’s votes are somewhat fluid, but in the end a net change of one in 50 changing can turn an election into a comfortable win one way or the other.

    Without doing solid research commentators should be careful about writing fairy stories.

  16. AmishThrasher

    @4 Don’t worry about about Julia keeping up with political realities: I have no doubt she’s well and truly aware of the balance of power and Labor having lost the opportunity to form Government in its own right. The problem is in the talking points keeping up with political realities. A far more insidious problem.

  17. adrian

    But that’s the crux of the problem wbb. Labor just assumes that the media and the voters are not interested so they vacate the field. They need to make the media interested, and all the evidence points to the fact that the voters as a whole will be and are interested.

    I know it’s hard to sell a complex policy like the mining tax when you have an essentially hostile media, but it could have been sold better preparation, by emphasising what the money was going to be spent on and by not allowing yourself to be spooked by the campaign against you

    Labor has to start believing that they actually stand for something and have the courage to sell it and the faith in the electorate to believe that they will understand.

  18. rf

    That article and Ms McTiernan’s words seem about right to me. If Gillard can’t or won’t limit the influence of the fwits like Arbib et al then they are truly fucked.

    [email protected] – I dunno, maybe it was selective media reporting but I never really heard any sterling and consistent defence from any of the senior labour figures on the BER or the ‘botched’ home insulation. It felt like they just wilted away and made such a mealy mouthed defence that it counted for nought.

    You can bet that if it was reversed, the coalition would have mounted a much more effective defence. A la Andrew Robb maintaining a simple and strong message (albeit lies) throughout the election campaign.

  19. Nick

    Wbb @ 12: “The public does not look for vision. They look for certainty and reassurance”

    The swing to the Greens was (more than) twice as large as that to the Coalition.

    The Australian public looked for vision – and only 1.8 percent of them reverted to type (dimwit conservative certainty and reassurance) when it couldn’t be found.

    Better to stick with Queensland specific theories.

  20. Sam

    It is absurd to say that the leaks had no effect. They showed a party at war with itself in the middle of an election campaign.

    The leaks must have been devastating. When you consider, in addition, how terrible the Labor campaign was in so many ways, it’s a miracle they didn’t do much worse. If Turnbull had been leading the Liberals they would have won by 35 seats.

  21. Fran Barlow

    wbb was wrong all over the place when saying:

    Rudd tried to go into the election on the mining tax policy because it was a policy area where there was scope for conflict and hence color and movement.

    No. He went for that when he realised that trashing climate change ruined his brand. He failed to note that a man with a ruined brand cannot go into a big cultural policy affecting a well-resourced stakeholder group where he may need to compromise and he is on a short tiemtable. He should have learned that from the health stoush with the states. He is a bright man but lacking in piolitical acumen. It would have been possible to do both climate change and RSPT but not the latter in substitution for the former. That simply taints both.

    The public does not look for vision.

    Yes it does.

    They look for certainty and reassurance

    That too, especially if there is no vision. The government had better offer something. Of course, knifing the PM was not certainty and reassurance.

    Abbott campaigned despicably well.

    No, just despicably. In the absence of any unifying idea or any record to run on, he hid behind the noise and then ran against Kristina Keneally and Anna Bligh, who were not only unpopular and lacking in vision or reassurance but not running and asserted that these were what Federal Labor was not only about but responsible for. It seemed plausible, especially with Gillard running for state premier of QLD and Mayor of Western Sydney with the support of Arbib and Bitar.

    At polling booths I was on the Libs had signs about “Labor’s Debt” and rising electricity and water prices. I daresay 5/100 non-tribal voters would have spotted the multiple lie this involved, if prompted.

    The Greens provided the positive alternative and got their 11.5%. Great for them but not the type of figure that the ALP wants to aim for.

    You can have both.

  22. Russell

    For once I almost agree with Alannah MacTiernan – it was a repeat of the WA 2008 state election fiasco, where the ALP just lost to an opposition + independents who had been thought to be unelectable. I cited a few weeks ago, on LP, the letter that the ALP leader wrote, after the election, that could have won it for them had they emphasised those things earlier.

    But Alannah doesn’t mention ‘the vision thing’. One of the ALP’s problems is that it has accepted so much of the Liberal’s agenda: the economic rationalist, tax-reducing, private-sector-is-better, free-trade stuff, that they can’t inspire their traditional base because they aren’t really governing in their interest.

    The other problem the ALP party machine has is that there are a lot of nasty people in it. Power hungry, scheming, unprincipled, incompetent creeps that the current structure/hierarchy somehow promotes. There needs to be a culture change and an organisational change in the ALP.

  23. adrian

    “It is absurd to say that the leaks had no effect.”

    Yes it is absurd, but nobody is saying that.

    It is equally absurd to claim that the leaks were entirely responsible and I have heard a few dullards claim that.

  24. Brian

    Mike @ 9, you could just as easily conclude from the article that Gillard is perfectly aware of the forces arraigned within and without against climate change and that her strategy was to take the issue directly to the people in an act of deliberative democracy, informed by a panel of climate scientists to review the science.

    But like the Barry Jones/Beazley knowledge nation spaghetti diagram, a perfectly good idea didn’t pass the laugh test once the f*cking brainless media saw the opportunity of having some fun.

    I’m not saying that take on Gillard is right, but there is a tendency here to continually interpret everything she does as a f*ckup as well as in the MSM.

    BTW, Rudd was in the same place when she topped him.

    I think I’ll go and do something else for a while. Seeya soon.

  25. MIKE

    Part of the leaks narrative is, of course, to side-line Rudd and try to keep him out of the Cabinet. They must hate him so much because he makes them confront the stupidity of what they did.

  26. wbb

    In the absence of any unifying idea or any record to run on, he hid behind the noise and then ran against Kristina Keneally and Anna Bligh … It seemed plausible, especially with Gillard running for state premier of QLD and Mayor of Western Sydney with the support of Arbib and Bitar.

    I’m confused now, Fran. Was Abbott’s tactic effective or not? I claimed it was effective. You seem to contradict yourself?

  27. Chris

    Brian @ 24 – I think there would have a whole lot less laughing if it was something the ALP has announced when the Garnaut report came out (or better a group that worked with Garnaut). But to release it now it was seen pretty much as its real intent – an excuse to delay action. And to allow climate skeptics to vote for the ALP in the hope that the committee would recommend for no action.

  28. wbb

    I dunno, maybe it was selective media reporting but I never really heard any sterling and consistent defense from any of the senior labour figures on the BER or the ‘botched’ home insulation

    rf – they defended those policies time and again. The ALP created 500,000 jobs through stimulus. We are the only country to survive the GFC. Again and again they said that.

    But the GFC was yesterday’s story. You didn’t hear it because it couldn’t gain traction. You cannot get water from a stone. The sharper message you may have heard was school hall rip-off and pink batts. Has a much earthier ring to it. But all this is relative of course. The vote was split down the middle. Some did hear Gillard’s message.

  29. Fran Barlow

    wbb said:

    Was Abbott’s tactic effective or not? I claimed it was effective.

    Oh it was effective in cutting the ALP advantage. It’s just that in context, your claim was that it was effective because of political animus towards vision and a relative desire for reassurance.

    Had there been vision [“change you can believe in”] and no unpopular and visionless state regimes Abbott could not have run the campaign he did. He was handed the rails run and accepted it, which hardly requires wit. Yet he still failed to win. Had the ALP done one fewer stupid thing, they’d have won outright, and you can take your pick on which stupid thing they forgot about.

  30. Melbournehammer

    re @25 and others

    I think people should remember that the leaks were not all by rudd/rudds supporters.

    Lets just remember the sequence of leaks here. someone leaked against gillard re the deal and oakes released at the press club. in my view that could have been anybody – since there clearly were conversations about the proposal between gillard and supporters.

    then there was the rudd let aliser jordan chair meetings of the security cabinet committee. Now who was likely to have leaked that ? don’t know but the clear implication was that rudd did not take his duties very seriously.

    then we had the leaks re what gillard stood for.

    In short this was not rudd and rudds supporters poisoning the well single-handedly. both sides gave it a real red hot go. Shows a tremendously united front in an election campaign, no ?

  31. akn

    It is about globalisation, the way that China has positioned itself as the proletariat to the world, the change in class structure within Australia to the point that the working class no longer exists as a self conscious entity and the absence of any intellectuals within the ALP capable of repositioning the party as both a party of class and a party of social democracy. In so far as it is a party of class it only represents the blue collar men’s movement.

    Sorry to tirelessly repeat that but it needs saying.

    Who, BTW, thinks that the left wants Gillardroid back?

    Move on, nothing to see here but a wreck.

  32. MIKE

    FRAN – Mostly agree with you, but not that Rudd couldn’t have turned the mining tax thing into a strength if he’d stuck it out. My feeling as that he was starting to get some traction and rebuild his image when he got the axe. He was on a second chance with the electorate, but I think it was working.

  33. Fine

    “I’m not saying that take on Gillard is right, but there is a tendency here to continually interpret everything she does as a f*ckup as well as in the MSM.”

    Yes, you’ve noticed that as well, Brian. There’s some very nasty haters here.

  34. Lefty E

    “There’s some very nasty haters here.”

    Oh puhleaase, Fine. That one’s straight out of the Bolta’s Culture War manual of talking points, circa 2004.

    Take a look around you and gaze at the electroral wreckage and ask yourself whether some *criticisms* might possibly be justified or warranted, – and totally unrelated to any lower brain emotion like “hatred”.

  35. Fine

    Really, Lefty E?

    All the women who have posted about this on LP are just like Bolt and issuing forth talking points? Nice one.

    I’m not talking about fair criticism. I’m talking about personal insults and vitriol.

  36. Fran Barlow

    Mike said:

    My feeling as that he was starting to get some traction and rebuild his image when he got the axe. He was on a second chance with the electorate, but I think it was working.

    You may well be right, though I suppose we won’t ever know now. Certainly, I doubt the party would have done worse if he’d simply gutsed it out.

    The broader point though is that he went about it all wrong. He ougyht to have rejected action on it in April simply on schedule feasibility grounds. He knew he was going to an election and that the issue would be controversial and so he had to make the issue about stuff that was all on his side of the ledger without giving the opposition a target to aim at. failure to do that meant that this would compete with all other election messages.

    As I’ve said a number of times, when henry was released in December, he releases it saying:

    as these matters are a very substantial reform agenda, I am releasing them for public consideration before the government has had time to form a view on which should go forward, in what form and when. While I am attracted to the idea of a resources rent tax, as it will yield a greater share of Australia’s enormous mineral wealth for this and future generations, these matters are complex and we must hasten slowly if we are to achieve a consensus on on how best to ensure that the whole country shares in this bounty. Let the discussion on the National Resources Sharing Framework begin.

    In the midst of Christmas, apart from the political tragics and the industry people hardly anyone would have noticed. Pretty much anyone who had been asked what they thought of the idea of sharing the wealth around would have said — damned fine idea. Industry consultation could have happened away from the glare of publicity. Evertybody would have kept stum just so as not to tip their hand.

    In the meantime (say April), Rudd says that as it’s clear that the opposition have rejected the government’s mandate to act on climate change (and the policy they endorsed in 2007) and the Senate is unlikely to pass any further measures, that this is a matter that the government will have to resubmit to the people at the next election, in the latter half of 2010, so that the people can rule on whether there should be a price on emissions. With that in mind, he will examine the possibility of reaching a common position with The Greens along the lines of Garnaut and Grattan that he could put at that election. Due to the urgency of the matter, that will be a double dissolution election, so that the matter will not be unduly delayed.

    If Rudd can’t get agreement on the RSPT details he suggests that the matter be held over until after the election, so as to allow the new government to reconsider the matter. That alone would probably have spooked them because at that stage Rudd was looking certain to be re-elected. They would have had nothing to run against in an ad campaign as nothing would have been decided and they would have done no more than bat around ideas along the lines of the PRRT. The health matter would have been sucking up most of the airspace in any event.

    Come July, having cut a deal with The Greens for an interim price, he announces the DD, and then re-runs 2007 this time as the incumbent. He campaigns on sound economic management, delivered pension rises, PPL, tax cuts and dealing with climate change in the face of a recalcitrant opposition who had flip-flopped on the matter and had tried to block the government from saving the economy. He runs on the slogan No Turning Back!

    The Opposition would have been terrified, exposed as a rabble and would have been routed. It wouldn’t have been as good for The Greens, but from the ALP PoV, devastatingly effective.

  37. Fran Barlow

    oops mods: please close ital after [Let the discussion on the National Resources Sharing Framework begin.]

    Ta …

    [Done]

  38. Brian

    Cheers, Fine @ 33.

    Chris @ 27, Labor’s climate change policy was dreamt up in a weekend seminar in Brisbane I think around May 2007. There was insufficient deliberation then and a lack of consideration of options. We’ve been paying for that ever since.

    When Labor put together the CPRS they made a political decision to get it ticked of by the COALition. There is no information as to why, but it probably has to do with Ferguson’s denialism and others not fully committed within Labor.

    You’ll recall that I outlined here how the package dealt with by the COALition.

    After that they had the option of dealing with the Greens and looking as though they were doing a complete backflip (and it may not have been possible given the internal ALP politics), or going for a DD, which the people might not have thanked Rudd for, given that he was up to his navel in alligators over other shit.

    Gillard and Swan’s notion of taking a longer run at it may have seemed the only reasonable solution. Gillard has said repeatedly that we need bipartisanship, but in the same breath she always says that climate change is important and we need a price on carbon.

    Why do people want to believe she is lying?

    It turned out that it wasn’t a good strategy, but it may have been no worse than the other two. And it may have been the only one possible. I draw your attention to the reference to ‘cultural warriors’ within the PS in my post.

    But the decision to defer was not Gillard’s it was Rudd’s. Please understand, people, that he was in charge back then and it was his call. It was a call made by the bloke who called it the great moral challenge of our times.

    Gillard’s decision to stay with that and to deal with it through a process of deliberative democracy was done in a different context, and was clearly a mistake which she may not have made if there had been a full cabinet discussion. But logically it is of a piece with her earlier stance and does not mean at all IMHO that she’s cynically evading dealing with climate change.

    But there is a chance now that something more credible and substantive will emerge sooner rather than later.

  39. Rebekka

    @Fine “All the women who have posted about this on LP are just like Bolt and issuing forth talking points?”

    Don’t you get the morning updates from teh feminist hivemind with the talking points on how to attack teh menz today? Or is it just that we’re not saying in front of teh menz?

  40. wbb

    LE, merits of the uncontested spill aside, Gillard did well. Apart from the people’s convention (which I think is necessary to advance climate policy – but obviously disastrous in the context of the campaign) and the Sydney rail proposal which went sour – it was mostly a good and gutsy campaign against the odds. It had to be, to avoid defeat. I am actually buoyant the ALP is now looking favourite to form government. I had a fair bit of money on the Liberals to win (to ease the pain). She exceeded my expectations for the ALP.

    The political climate went completely off the rails for Labor at the end of last year. Long before she arrived in the top spot. People were in the mood to kick someone. 2007 was the hopeful election. This one, egged on by a ridiculous media, was time for voter payback.

  41. Ute Man

    As Guy Rundle has elsewhere pointed out, the growing absence of a core philosophy and its replacement by an assemblage of carefully-targeted micro-policies is not sustainable over the long term.

    What exactly is a “growing absence of a core philosophy”?

    I think this is a fundamental mis-reading of the modern ALP. As was demonstrated in spades by the Gillard “jobs, jobs, jobs” speech, the ALP has a strong core philosophy of being the political arm of (a shrinking number of ) trade unions. What has changed is that their wider platform of progressiveism has been abandoned back to a rump of policies around industrial job maintenance.

  42. Lefty E

    “All the women who have posted about this on LP are just like Bolt and issuing forth talking points? Nice one.”

    Uhuh.

    “I’m not talking about fair criticism. I’m talking about personal insults and vitriol.”

    Care to point out some examples?

  43. Ginja

    Bernard Keane’s analysis (at Crikey) seems to me way off on why the independents could very well support Abbott. Why would they give up three years – three years being at the centre of the action – under a stable Labor government for an Abbott government that would face a hostile Senate and be quickly forced to call a DD election?

    And Keane’s go at Arbib, Bitar, Shorten is just standard, lazy standard stuff that almost writes itself. Arbib was a genius before the last election – now he’s a dunce. Ditto all the blather about the supposedly horrible ALP culture.

    Keane often writes good stuff, but his post-election analysis has been pretty ordinary, I have to say.

  44. Macondo

    Fran Barlow said:

    Had there been vision [“change you can believe in”] and no unpopular and visionless state regimes Abbott could not have run the campaign he did. He was handed the rails run and accepted it, which hardly requires wit. Yet he still failed to win. Had the ALP done one fewer stupid thing, they’d have won outright, and you can take your pick on which stupid thing they forgot about.

    Brilliant, Fran. I mean it. So insightful that I could have said it myself. And did, here at home.

    But which stupid thing did I pick?

    There’s one thing they could have controlled once Rudd had been done in, leaks or no leaks, media bias or no bias, vision vacuum or not: the election date.

    The early election talk began months ago during the long period of Rudd’s destabilisation by Murdoch and the ‘Miners’ (I hate that term, it makes them sound like poor fossickers); Gillard was swayed by the ‘narrative’ of the press gallery and seduced by the thought or advice that it would catch Mr Rabbit on the hop during her own honeymoon. She was the one caught on the hop and in the headlights so to speak, with only a handful populist mantras of epic banality. The media hacks and the ABC (yes, the ABC) couldn’t wait to strike at her once they’d got Rudd.

    The election could have been held just before Christmas or even early next year, I think (correct me if I’m wrong); she should have used the extra few months to develop more thoughtful policies on a range of subjects (cash for clunkers – what a clunker that was), a better mantra than ‘Moving bloody Forward’, and the very idea of her being the PM. A couple of executive decisions, some sensible appearances on TV and radio, a bit of actual ‘governing’ for heavensake, and she would have been much better placed to race the wild hare on her own track, even with the burden of a hollowed-out policy shell that left only the NBN as a major difference between the ALP and LNP. She’d have been attacked by the shallow press gallery for waiting, but the advantages would have far outweighed the disadvantages.

  45. Lefty E

    “I am actually buoyant the ALP is now looking favourite to form government. ”

    Me too Wbb – I think minority govt is will shakeup our near dead electoral system.

    Im not convinced Gillard did all that well, and Im certain the ALP machine didnt: they were clearly on track for narrow win until the final week. I think the poll average proved quite accurate – but there was a late swin 0.5 against ALP.

    Nonetheless,a s long as Gillard gets up as minority PM (more hatred!) – part of me i think its a better result than majority ALP.

  46. jane

    Abbott’s handlers emphasised making a movie rather than contesting policies,..

    And I don’t know why Labour didn’t pick up on it and start making their own movies, Brian. Obviously, whoever ran their campaign should have been terminated with prejudice early in the campaign.

    The leaks could have been a non-event if Gillard & co nipped it in the bud, by implying Godwina Grech was at the bottom of it, thus stopping the Ruddleak meme and deflecting attention onto the opposition because of their recent form.

    Labour’s campaign just never seemed to get going, imo and what there was of it didn’t hit the mark. Either way the “faceless” Howes, Shorten and Arbib should now have their cards marked and be made to sit in the corner wearing dunces’ hats.

    adrian @ 17, agree entirely.

  47. furious balancing

    I bet if you go over to one of those torturous American blogs like Huffington Post you’ll still find H Clinton supporters, doing a remarkable politician no favours at all with their endless anti-Obama drivel.

    Just sayin’.

  48. Macondo

    Sorry, Fran, that wasn’t all meant to come out as a block quote!

    [fixed – moderator]

  49. Helen

    Lefty [email protected]: I’d agree I haven’t seen much Gillard hatred here, but holy-moly, have you been over to any News Ltd tabloid or similar lately? It’s really awful. I have my own reasons to dislike her policies and political outlook, but the hatred is very personal and nerny-ner and primary school level stuff. “Joolya” etc.

  50. Lefty E

    “Lefty [email protected]: I’d agree I haven’t seen much Gillard hatred here”

    Me neither, Helen. If Fine meant in the MSM, then I apologise. Sure plenty of it there.

    If she meant here at LP, I’m truly puzzled as to what she might be talking about.

  51. Rebekka

    “If she meant here at LP, I’m truly puzzled as to what she might be talking about.”

    Seriously? Look back at some of the comments in the immediate aftermath of the leadership change.

  52. Ken Lovell

    Brian @ 15 writing narratives that purport to make sense of chaos is what they get paid to do. What always intrigues me is why so much effort is spent at LP giving their stories credibility by linking to them and explaining why they are nonsense. If they were truly nonsense, surely the appropriate response would be to ignore them.

    MIKE @ 25 it may seem bizarre to outside observers, but I’m sure there are some people within the ALP to whom finishing off Kevin Rudd’s political career is a much more important objective than forming government.

  53. adrian

    I think it would be hard for an objective observer to separate Gillard from the machine men who gave her power and ran the campaign. Maybe when the history of the campaign is written we might have an idea, but at the moment we have the wreckage of a political party and a fair idea of the people that caused that wreckage.

    Anybody who wants to kid themselves that it’s not too bad or it was as good as it could be is dooming the party to learn nothing from the mistakes of the past.

    In case some might have forgotten:

    1. Ejecting a sitting PM 8 weeks before calling an election thereby destroying any incumbency advantage.
    2. Leaking against Rudd to validate the above.
    3. Not effectively dealing with the inevitiable leaks that any 5 year old could have seen coming as a result of 1 and 2.
    4. Moving forward slogan.
    5. Joke of an ETS policy.
    6. Joke of an asylum seeker policy.
    7. Real Julia announcement.
    8. Unfocused and negative campaign that severely underestimated Abbott.
    9. Parramatta-Epping rail link announcement linking most unpopular goverment in Australia with Federal labor and feeding into existing cynicism about service delivery.

    I’m sure that there are more, but if anyone from the Labor right or anywhere else wants to explain how these were not major errors, or somehow they were nobody’s fault, please do so.

  54. Lefty E

    Hmm, Rebekka I remember a lot of robust criticism of her actions. Nothing Id describe as ‘hatred’ – unless we got some RWDB ring-ins at the time.

    OTOH, I do recall several criticisms being repeatedly mischaracterised (the “mis-” is my opinion) as ‘personal attacks’ – sometimes in lieu of being debated as to substance.

  55. Ken Lovell

    Helen @ 49 I confess I was always troubled by the constant use of terms like ‘Ratty’ and ‘The Rodent’ to label Howard. Juvenile name-calling does no credit to anyone but the conservatives certainly don’t have a mortgage on the practice.

  56. Rebekka

    LeftyE, I seem to recall a fair bit of gendered language being bandied about. No-one is suggesting robust critisism isn’t ok. But refusing to acknowledge that some of those critisisms are couched in gendered language?

    Headdesk. Repeatedly.

  57. Wood Duck

    This discussion is all very well.
    When I get home tonight, I’m going to open a Reschs and sit down and watch Paul Howes talk about himself of Australian Story. And when that’s over, I’m going to log onto Centrebet and back Shagger Shorten to lead the ALP to the next election.
    Happy days!

  58. FDB

    “Headdesk. Repeatedly.”

    Yes, well refusing to address criticisms at all, purely because they’re couched in gendered terms, can also be frustrating.

  59. Fine

    Lefty E, this argument has been had many times before here, as you know, so I’m not that much interested in re-hashing it.

    I’ll just remind you of the estimable Dr. Cat’s line about men vehemently denying that they could have said anything misogynist, when the idea is suggested to them.

  60. wbb

    5. Joke of an ETS policy.

    Adrian, sincerely interested in what you would have put forth as the acceptable policy four weeks ago?

    Remember, Rudd had tried to keep the issue off the table. When Abbott (having taken over from Turnbull) predictably dragged it out into the light the ALP needed a rejoinder.

    What should they have said?

  61. wbb

    sorry!! – above is about
    6. Joke of an asylum seeker policy.

  62. patrickg

    To be fair, Fine, if you’re not interested in rehashing it, you did bring it up with your line about “haters”.

    I think everyone would be best served by addressing specifics, not generalities, and comments, not commenters. And I would argue that goes for both sides in the pretty unedifying squabble between yourself and Ken, predominantly, in the other thread.

  63. Terry

    A big part of what happened on Saturday was that Queensland reverted to the voting pattern it has shown since 1996 of voting more like WA than like South-East Australia, as happened in 2007. The effect was magnified by the large number of Queensland electorates with margins <5%.

    Also, the result is consistent with a pattern of the combined Labor/Greens/Democrats vote being around 48%, as has been the case since the 1998 election, with 2004 a bit of an outrider. A lot of the movement is between the parties in this configuration. For a link on this up to 2004 see:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/rb/2004-05/05rb11.pdf

    I think Keane, Rundle and the Crikey crew may be overcooking the "Labor Party is doomed" narrative, and conflating it with the point that Arbib, Bitar, Shorten, Swan etc. are less effective operatives than Bib Hogg, Graham Richardson and Robert Ray were. It wasn't as though spin and shonky promises were absent from the 1987, 1990 or 1993 ALP campaigns (Remember "No child will live in poverty" from 1990?), yet Labor won those.

  64. hannah's dad

    For the past 10 years, at least, the ALP has been scared shitless of the media.

    That needs to change.

  65. Lefty E

    “I’ll just remind you of the estimable Dr. Cat’s line about men vehemently denying that they could have said anything misogynist, when the idea is suggested to them.”

    I agree with Dr Cat. Im just not sure the point has ever been relevant to any threads here at LP.

  66. adrian

    Yes hannah’s dad, it’s all part of the fact that they didn’t really seem to believe that they were a legitimate government. As I said on another thread, they need to bypass the MSM, and find new ways of engaging with the electorate.

  67. Terry

    Kevin Rudd shouldn’t have introduced the mining tax in an election year. That caused big problems in regional Qld and WA. Also, paying more attention to the pink batts scheme earlier in 2009 would have helped.

  68. Fine

    You’re probably right patrickg. But, I get annoyed by it.

    My list of where Labor went wrong would include.

    1. Negotiating a rotten ETS last year, that no-one wanted.

    2. Walking away from that ETS and saying we’re doing nothing until 2013. The electorate then said ‘WTF? Wasn’t that the greatest moral challenge? What else are is Rudd going to to walk away from?

    3. The Great Week of Mea Culpa when Rudd basically said, ‘yes, we’re a bad government. I promise to work harder next time.’ Gave the opposition a huge free kick.

    4. Refusing to defend the whole ‘pink batt fiasco’. Leaving Garrett to hang out to dry. And that dreadful error of Rudd promising to help the installers and then doing nothing. Which got a huge amount of publicity.

    As Maxine McKew said on Saturday night, people didn’t get the government they thought they were voting for in 2007.

    During the campaign.

    1. Many really bad mistakes. We know what they are.

    2. The leaks which killed the campaign for a week.

    3. The hatred of the Q’land and NSW state governments.

    4. Q’land economy doing really badly.

    5. And as pointed out above a bit of natural return from the high water mark of 2007, particularly in Q’land.

    I blame Rudd, Gillard, the Labor machine, whoever those leakers were and a whack of bad luck as well.

  69. Fine

    Oh, and Rudd’s mismanagement of the mining tax debate.

    And the swing to the right when it comes to asylum seekers, first by Rudd, then by Gillard.

  70. Melbournehammer

    wbb – Couldn’t they have said

    I am the proud daughter of welsh parents. I was born in Wales and moved to this great country with my parents when i was blah.

    i understand my opponent was also born overseas. on our front benches we have the following children of migrants which includes (name names)

    these are the products of a first class migration system – a system which has been to the benefit of all of us.

    it is true that migration brings costs which are experienced by many in our community. But the benefits are there at both a personal and collective level.

    it is also true that many in our community are concerned about migration which does not occur in accordance with the strict migration program. Strong measures are necessary to deter migrants who remain in or come to australia without going through the proper processes. Many (figure insert here) are not aslyum seekers but are people who reside in australia without a valid visa – holiday makers etc. But some are asylum seekers and we need fair processes to deal with this to ensure that migration is done in accordance with law and justice.

    Finally, despite all the hot air emanating from Mr Rabbit, we also know that of the asylum seekers processed by the Coalition at Nauru (insert number here) were given the right to reside in Australia.

    it is a complex problem, one which requires solutions which go beyond mindlessly repeating “we will stop the boats”.

    What we got instead was a “fix the boat people” problem – process in east timor and then a week of east timor did not know, east timor voted against in parliament, maybe east timor might…the result was that the left saw it as ridiculously similar to howard, without getting any benefit on the right – because we will never manage to go hard enough to the right to beat them on this issue anyway (and thank god for that.).

  71. MIKE

    FRAN, agree, in hindsight, shoulda gone for the double dissolution. That would have saved his arse.

    But going back a bit, he should never have commissioned the Henry Review to be delivered a year before an election. He was too much in love with reports and policy. But I have trouble criticising him too much for that.

  72. Lefty E

    Id be delighted to, Kim!

  73. adrian

    Yes Melbournehammer, as with so many other issues their reponse simultaneously validated the coalition’s scare campaign and failed to solve the perceived problems that it raised.

    Better to tell the truth as you say above, or say nothing.

  74. Russell

    “That’s the real issue here, I think – how did they go from surging to government in 07 on a wave of optimism to where we ended up, which is probably where we’ve been for months”

    Obviously people have high hopes for change after a government has been in for 12 years. The Rudd government was hopeless at communicating where it was succeeding – I heard on the Science Show they put $2 billion back into research in the CSIRO and universities, I heard somewhere else they were doing quite well on public housing etc but the government was incapable of making these things part of a story of change. God knows what they did actually achieve.

    Rudd’s unbearable pretence of competence by using tortured language, and coming up with such ‘reforms’ as the health reform package (did anybody understand it?), and the ridiculous ETS etc impressed nobody.

    They were confusing on their aims: as they lost the ‘debt’ issue to the Liberals, they started to say they did it for jobs, good, but then the acted as though they had done something wrong, and promised to get the budget back into surplus ASAP to make up for it – never mind mental health, when health (like education and the environment) should be key areas of Labor advantage over the Libs.

    And they antagonised the socially progressive part of their support base: the Henson case and internet censorship, the refusal to reconsider gay marriage/civil unions etc.

    In the end, who knew what they had achieved, where they were going, or why.

  75. jane

    Fran Barlow @36, if only you had been advising the government. Would have left the Smuggles Set flat-footed.

    Helen @49, it’s a really deep, visceral hatred, isn’t it? They seem quite demented.

    adrian @53, I don’t think the rail link was such a negative outside of NSW. It was of little consequence to voters in Barker, where I live for example. And statewide was only mentioned in the media in passing. I agree with your other 8 points, though.

    Terry @69 & Fine @70, 71, no contest.

  76. MIKE

    RUSSELL – You’re forgetting the ciggies tax. There is a respectable argument that hurt rudd more than anything.

    But as Lindsay Tanner put it on TV, electoral gravity was always going to kick in and Rudd was going to tumble.

    But the point is that, when he got rolled, he was in a pretty good position for a first-term PM several months from an election. Johnnie Howard was usually dead, buried and written off about then – but still managed to get over the line.

    A lot of people seem to forget the Health debate with Tone in which Rudd smashed him all over the park. You don’t think Rudd could have turned on a similar performance about the economy during an election debate????

    The problem for Rudd (like most PMs) was that nobody really wanted to listen to him until an election was called, then he was back in the lime-light.

  77. adrian

    And of course the ALP wanted to initially avoid the economy which was the main thing they had going for them because that was mainly down to Rudd.

    Can’t prove it of course but I think that it was more than likely that Rudd would have won quite easily. Abbott would probably have found it more difficult to cope with KR if the health debate was any guide.

  78. dave

    Kim @66 I love that sort of analysis. Here’s some survey data based on what exists in the minds of those surveyed. Later, after the situation changes in a big way, we get the same gross percentage results. Conclusion, the big change had no effect…except there is no qualification of how the change affected the original survey group. In other words the figures pretty tell you nothing useful (except that nothing changed which is clearly not the case)

    imo what changed is that having ditched the moral high ground attached to action on climate change, the ALP tried to resurrect some labor friendly outrage with the planned mining tax but got drowned in the avalanche of media owned by Murdoch and Co (which they should have seen coming). Then they knifed their leader on the eve of a general election and now the best that they can manage is that it was everyone else’ fault that they lost their hard won parliamentary majority. What changed is the public perception of the ALP from a party committed to doing the right thing (about the greatest moral challenge of our time) to one with no loyalty to its own leader and run by a bunch of “professionals” like so-called power broker Paul Howes.

    I watched Howes on saturday night, he struck me a slimy little t_rd who couldn’t win a year 6 debating contest. He was very busy being “professional” but spent next to no time articulating a good reason to vote for the ALP.

  79. MIKE

    I could be spouting more crap than usual, but one of the things that really interests me about the political pros behind Obama (Pouffe and Axelrod) is that they also seem to be real believers. They actually believed in the guy’s mission. They encouraged him to express himself. And I think that makes a big difference to a campaign.

    Whereas the so-called political pros behind Julia obviously don’t really believe in much about getting into power, and that shows up in all sorts of ways. Or maybe it wouldn’t have made much difference, because she thinks like them? Dunno.

    She really needed John Faulkner next to her (like Rudd in 2007)

  80. Lefty E

    “The problem for Rudd (like most PMs) was that nobody really wanted to listen to him until an election was called, then he was back in the lime-light.”

    Agree Mike. Perhaps he “got” better than some other the public’s tolerance threshold – and the benefits of not campaigning constnaly for 3 years like Rodent did.

    That health debate was a classic there – it was like everyone one woke up and went ” thats right, the Ruddster! He’s right: Phoney is total jerkweed and lightweight!”

    Ive never seen an oppo leader get a bath like that – ever. it was a massacre.

  81. Russell

    “Ive never seen an oppo leader get a bath like that – ever. it was a massacre”

    and that added up to what, electorally?

  82. MIKE

    RUSSELL – It was a foretaste of the election campaign, nothing more.

  83. Fine

    “Can’t prove it of course but I think that it was more than likely that Rudd would have won quite easily.’

    You’re dreaming, adrian. To believe this, you need to ignore all the really stupid things Rudd had done previously.

    I heard Rodney Cavalier on Radio National who was scathing about the Labor machine and the campaign. But, he thought the biggest mistake was not dumping Rudd six months earlier, and not calling the election until October, so that Gillard could establish herself and distance herself sufficiently from Rudd.

    But, it’s one of those hypotheticals we’ll never know the truth of.

  84. adrian

    That’s right, we will never know, but I don’t think that I’m dreaming. To think that you would have to ignore that fact that he beat Howard despite a hostile media, ignore the fact of his sky high approval rating for most of his term, and the fact that when he was dumped his figures were better than many PMs who ended up winning including Howard.

    In short I believe that he could have retrieved the situation and obviously avoided many of the negatives that Gillard was burdened with.

    Then in due course Gillard could have taken over, and I’ve no doubt in different circumstances she would have done a better job.

  85. Joe

    Great link Kim. The first paragraph is spot on. What a disappointment… A coherent philosophy is actually the most important aspect of any so-called progressive party. It is hard to imagine, why this has become such an issue for the Labor party. There are very goof reasons to want to reintroduce organised labor into discussions about the workforce. We need some kind of socialist government if we want to navigate the changes wrt energy and the environment that are facing us.
    I believe that the links are a very good example of the syndrome that is effecting the Labor Party. What is the disease? The disease would seem to be related to the moral and corruption and mental malaise of the state Labor Parties which have been in power for too long now. It’s ironic to think that this breakdown in our democratic system is in part due to the patheticness of the state Liberal Parties.

  86. Nickws

    adrian @ 53:

    I think it would be hard for an objective observer to separate Gillard from the machine men who gave her power and ran the campaign.

    She’s crony in chief.

    I’m surprised the tories now want her gone, she legitimises every strawman argument about Labor factional insiders.

    Having said that I want her to succeed in blunt political terms, and if Shorten comes after her tenure I want him to succeed.

    Though it would be nice if another Rudd were to rise up throungh the slagheap, i.e. somehow who hasn’t being playing the party game every waking hour of their life since age eighteen.

    Melissa Park of Fremantle looks good, or perhaps Mike Kelly of Eden Monaro should he keep his seat for a couple of terms or be moved to a safer division. That economist from Canberra, Andrew whatisname, he’s also a possibility for a non-Howe future leadership. (Sad to think Combet would be considered an inveterate factional schemer thanks to his background at the ACTU, though I have no idea if he was in the life during his time as national secretary).

  87. Lefty E

    “…so that Gillard could establish herself and distance herself sufficiently from Rudd. ”

    Well, to state the obvious, Gillard didnt need to go in August. They chose to.

    “and that added up to what, electorally?”

    In case you dont if you recall, Russell, but it added up to a WHOPPING 56-44 in the newspoll the following week. (see Newspoll 26-28 March 2010).

    Yes: 56-44.

    I have to say, the putative electoral case against Rudd is extraordinarily pissweak given what a profoundly destructive act it was.

  88. sublime cowgirl

    Gillard has pulled Arbib from Qanda tonight:

    Heres the letter she wrote to the ABC.

    The ABC response is priceless.

    http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/arbib.htm

  89. sublime cowgirl

    Transcript here. Its too juice not to post in full:

    Comment from the Prime Minister

    I have made it clear that this is not a time for campaign analysis. The focus of Labor’s ministerial team must be on providing stable and effective government and discussing Labor’s positive plan for the nation’s future.

    Consequently I have requested and Senator Arbib has agreed to not appear on Q & A tonight which is focussed solely on campaign analysis. I have requested Labor Backbencher David Bradbury to represent the Labor team on the panel.

    In response, Q&A Executive Producer, Peter McEvoy wrote the following email to Russell Mahoney (PM’s Press Secretary) :

    Dear Russell,

    Mark Arbib agreed to be part of the Q&A panel over a week ago. We are now told he has been directed by the Prime Minister that he cannot join tonight’s discussion.

    Q&A provides an opportunity for Australian citizens to question their political leaders and has become a model for broader democratic participation in this election. We’re dismayed that Mr Arbib will be prevented from answering the questions of the Q&A audience on the significant issues raised by Saturday’s election.

    Contrary to the comment you released, tonight’s Q&A will not focus “solely on campaign analysis”. We expect a significant part of the discussion will be on the nation’s future and the importance of stable and effective government – the very issues Ms Gillard identifies as the focus of her team.

    We cannot accept your request that you choose a substitute panel member for tonight’s Q&A since this would be a clear breach of the ABC’s editorial independence. Mr Arbib will be represented by an empty chair at the Q&A desk.

    I hope that the Prime Minister and Mr Arbib might still be responsive to the obligations that all Australian politicians have to face Australian citizens and the media on matters of national significance such as the future government of Australia.

    Yours sincerely,

    Peter McEvoy Executive Producer Q&A

  90. John C

    I still think abandoning the ETS was the problem.
    As an aside, I thought Labor was in trouble in Macarthur on Friday when the afternoon peak hour traffic jam stretched from the airport to Campbelltown — a distance of 40 km.
    Labor began the project to add a couple of lanes 8km north of Campbelltown two and a half years ago. Over the last couple of months the project seems to have stalled even though 90% seems to have been completed.
    You have got to wonder how hard it would have been to finish the bloody thing before the the election.
    Another glorious political failure — bloody amateurs.

  91. akn

    Maybe they’d also consider putting a tin bucket on the chair where Arbib was gonna sit.

  92. Fiona Reynolds

    sublime cowgirl @ 93 & 94 (and love your icon), oh shit.

  93. paul walter

    Excellent reporting by Sublime Cowgirl and a good response to some of the apologists trying to defend or normalise these sorts of behaviours here, earlier.
    Mind you, it is likely Arbib would not have made it to the set from the ministerial car, before ending up with his necked stretched over a local lampost.
    Aebid. The factional hack who’s party scarce dares show the face of.
    Mind you after Howes, Arbib would have been just a bit way too much.

  94. sublime cowgirl

    I love that the ABC is going all Gestalt!! Fucking gold.

    “The ’empty chair’ technique
    by: C. N. Ramya, Counseling Psychologist
    Gestalt therapy is a complex psychological system that stresses the development of client self-awareness and personal responsibility.

    When you go see a Gestalt therapist, the office will usually have an extra chair–an empty chair. This chair serves an important function.

    Rationale – When the client expresses a conflict with another person, through this technique, the client is directed to talk to that another person who is imagined to be sitting in an empty chair beside or across the client. This helps the client to experience and understand the feeling more fully. Thus, it stimulates your thinking, highlighting your emotions and attitudes. For example, the therapist may say, “Imagine your father in this chair (about 3 feet away), see him vividly, and, now, talk to him about how you felt when he was unfaithful to your mother.” There are innumerable other people, objects (your car or wedding ring), parts of your personality (critical parent, natural child, introversion, obsession with work), any of your emotions, symptoms (headaches, fatigue), any aspect of a dream, a stereotype (blacks, macho males, independent women), and so on that you can imagine in the empty chair.

    The key is a long, detailed, emotional interaction–a conversation. You should shift back and forth between chairs as you also speak for the person-trait-object in the other chair. This “conversation” clarifies your feelings and reactions to the other person and may increase your understanding of the other person. “

  95. NIck Innes

    On Julia’s East Timor solution, any updates or mentions of late about how thats coming along? lol

    What are the odds we’ll ever hear mention of it again.

    Up there with her refusal to mention climate change in her launch and Swans refusal to mention the word deficit in his budgets.

    Unbelievable stupidity.

    The party needs a serious cleanout.

    Im available.

  96. Fascinated

    The empty chair just might be a get out of jail… but for whom does this particular bell toll?

  97. patrickg

    Let me put it this way, SC: I imagine that chair’s gonna have a few bruises by 10:30pm.

    Love it!

  98. NIck Innes

    “The basic electoral fact remains that in the last seventeen years, Labor has only once beaten the Coalition at an election – and that was by hiding behind Kevin07.” Piping Shrike
    http://www.pipingshrike.com/

  99. Russell

    “Melissa Park of Fremantle looks good” – very brave to comment here on her looks, Nickws. She’s my local MP, and I won’t have a good word said about her.

    Lefty E – I queried the value of the health debate to how the ALP went in the election, not to how they went in the polls. I would say the value was about zero. Of course I’m in WA where this time the ALP, amazingly, probably made health a minus for themselves – they were trounced by Premier Barnett’s handling of the issue.

  100. Fascinated

    from Q&A twitter:
    @Mafesto I hope all you #qanda viewers realize Malcolm Turnbull is wearing nothing but leather chaps under that presenters desk.
    Malcolm is on a roll. He must be so chuffed.

  101. NIck Innes

    Health would have been a big positive for Labor if they stuck with Rudd.

    Gillard and Labor post Rudd didnt say a word on health as it was Rudds baby and they couldnt take ownership of it post Ridd.

    The whole things stupidity of the highest order.

    You reap what you sow.

  102. Russell

    “Health would have been a big positive for Labor if they stuck with Rudd” – not in W.A.

    And where was the painful Roxon? What was her contribution to winning this election? Health and education are supposed to be big vote winners for the ALP.

  103. Pavlov's Cat

    This is a genuine, non-snark question from someone who hasn’t followed the loves and hates of Queensland politicians: can the people arguing that Labor would have won with Rudd still in place as PM tell me why Peter Beattie (who surely should know) is saying that with Rudd still in charge they wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell?

    (I gather there’s no love lost between Beattie and Rudd but that’s not really a reason — Beattie’s too smart to make such a judgement based merely on personal animus. Especially in public.)

  104. Kim

    @108 – Dr Cat, I wouldn’t assume that Beattie is doing anything other than echoing the agreed upon line here.

    Labor could hardly have done worse under Rudd – they lost all but one of 9 marginals in Queensland.

    So, in a sense, insofar as his position is that the leadership change was a positive, it doesn’t ring true to me.

    I think he’s probably trying to cover his own bum as someone who was an advocate of getting rid of Rudd.

  105. Kim

    Although it may be that what he’s saying is Rudd would have done as badly in Queensland and not done as well elsewhere. There’s said to be internal party polling saying that from June, but we need to take that with an enormous dose of salt.

    I’ve come around to the view that it’s unknowable.

  106. Ken Lovell

    Russell @ 107 that’s a very interesting point. Health didn’t seem to be an issue at all and education was marked by Gillard’s macho posturings about taking on the Teachers’ Union, which I suspect lost more votes than it won.

    If Labor was an international cricket team, there’d be lots of inquiries about who had been visiting bookies lately.

  107. Pavlov's Cat

    Did he give any reasons for his view?

    Not that I saw — it was a quick TV segment on election night, just one of the many 20-second interviews with various interested parties that the ABC was using to break up the monotony of ‘Old’ Nick Minchin’s leer.

  108. Flatulus

    Labor was beaten by cashed-up mining magnates – Abbott failed to win his home state and the Coalition won a majority of seats in only Queensland and WA where there were well funded anti Labor campaigns. So the three amigos might as well bypass Abbott and deal directly with Palmer and Forrest.

  109. Fine

    It’s also being noted that if Labor had put a few more resources into Victoria and SA, it’s possible they could have picked up more seats. There’s a lot of grumbling down south about this. Vic gave Labor 55% of the two party preferred vote and SA gave it 53%. The right-wing scare tactics don’t work so well down here. But apparently it’s only the seats north of the Murray which count. It would be fascinating to work out what these regional differences are about.

    I suspect one reason in Victoria, is that the right wing shock jocks aren’t that rabid, or powerful.

  110. paul walter

    Since the thread discusses possible reasons for labor’s troubles, perhaps it is instructive to consider the ABC headline, that within a couple of days after the election, Anna Bligh arrogantly announces that they will perservere with privatisation.
    My case rests, altho I can add that in SA labor shelved a horror budget till after the election, too.
    With current labor, arrogance breeds ignorance, which breeds arrogance.

  111. Rebekka

    “Gillard and Labor post Rudd didnt say a word on health as it was Rudds baby and they couldnt take ownership of it post Ridd. ”

    Yeah, clearly Nicola Roxon as Health Minister under both Rudd and Gillard had nothing to do with health… oh wait.

  112. nick innes

    Roxon tried of course but what I’m saying is the agreement rudd made with the states on health was totally ignored by Gillard and everyone in the alp except roxon who incidentally wasn’t given any prominence whatsoever in the campaign.

    Another stupid decision amongst many.

    I’m extremely disappointed like many on here.

  113. adrian

    That’s true, and the pity is that Labor seemed reluctant to give any prominence to any of their substantial achievements and we all know the reason for that.

    The coalition need to face up to the reality that had they had a decent leader they would have won in a canter.

    But both sides are in denial, and will probably remain so for some time to come.

  114. Russell

    Adrian – I think you’re wrong, Gillard had been deputy, Rudd was promised a senior position … Gillard said it had been a good government that had lost its way. There was nothing to stop them listing the achievements of the government before it got bogged down.

    Also, as I’ve mentioned several times, WA Labor, after two terms of economic boom, failed to mention all of its successes in their disastrous 2008 campaign. Only after the election loss did the ALP leader write to the paper listing all their achievements – enough for 2 campaigns. So it’s more likely just incompetent ALP party officials and campaign managers – nothing much to do with change of leader.