Dear Kevin Rudd, Revenge for redemption’s sake is doomed. PS Enjoy your hollow victory!

“Whoever emerges ... as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That's no longer possible.”
“Whoever emerges … as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That’s no longer possible.”

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27 June 2013

Now that Kevin Rudd has got his old job back, let’s hark back to Monday’s Q&A program (24 June 2013) where Graeme Richardson had plenty to say about the dysfunction of the ALP.

Referring to Gillard and Rudd, he said, “The hatred for both of them in the caucus is now so great that you can’t imagine either of them in any way, shape or form being able to unify the party, which is an awfully sad thing for me to say but I have never seen division like this.”

Makes Kevin Rudd’s victory seem rather hollow, doesn’t it?

Here is the pertinent transcript:

GRAHAM CRAIG: My question is to the panel as a whole. Would it not be the height of ruthless self survival and arrogant disdain of the public’s choice if the Labor Party now went to Kevin Rudd, who they declared as a failed PM incapable of getting things done and then going back to their replacement, who we did not vote for, for no other reason than self-survival and therefore hence, yet again, denying the Australian people the opportunity and their democratic right to appraise a PM’s full term at the ballot box?

TONY JONES: Graham Richardson?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Well, thank you very much. Look, this arrogant disdain for the will of the Australian people, it seems to me that the Australian people’s will is clear: they want to get rid of Julia Gillard and they are desperate to. And they got pretty angry with Labor for getting rid of Rudd when they wanted to get rid of Rudd themselves. So I’d look upon it as giving them an opportunity to get rid of Rudd again, the one they missed out on three years ago. I think that, at the moment, I have never seen, never witnessed a hatred for a Prime Minister like I am seeing, even among Labor voters. It’s appalling and I think something has got to be done about it. I may be in a minority on that but that’s my view and I’m not even sure if the Labor Party will do it this week. I just hope so. I have never seen a situation like it. If they don’t get rid of Julia Gillard this week then I fear that the future of the Labor Party itself may well be danger.

TONY JONES: Let me quickly go back to our questioner. Are you saying this because you want the chance to vote Julia Gillard out of office?

GRAHAM CRAIG: I haven’t really decided yet on that.

TONY JONES: Okay.

GRAHAM CRAIG: If you’d like me to answer questions, I will swap with someone on the panel if you like.

TONY JONES: No. No.

GRAHAM CRAIG: But I just feel…

TONY JONES: I was just interested where your question was coming from, that’s all.

GRAHAM CRAIG: But this will be the second time that the Labor Party has not given the Australian people the opportunity to give their opinion at the ballot box on a PM’s full term.

TONY JONES: Yeah, Richo, just address this issue: the big problem with going back to Kevin Rudd is the intense hatred of him in some quarters of the ALP and I’m wondering is that unique to the Labor Party?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Look, all I know is whoever emerges on Thursday night as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That’s no longer possible.

TONY JONES: Why not Thursday night? Why not Friday morning?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Well, it could be Friday morning. But I suspect it will be Thursday night. That’s a suspicion only because no-one knows what’s going to happen. So I think it’s impossible now to see unity under any circumstance. The hatred for both of them in the caucus is now so great that you can’t imagine either of them in any way, shape or form being able to unify the party, which is an awfully sad thing for me to say but I have never seen division like this. You know, when Hawke and Keating were having their times and troubles, everyone was still talking to each other. It was still a relatively pleasant place to be. There is nothing pleasant about it now.

Click here for this Q&A program with full transcripts, tweets and video.

 

 

 

 

Crean – Simple Simon or Saint Simon?

Tragic irony - hanged by his own halo - by an executioner to whom he has done the greatest service
Tragic irony – hanged by his own halo – by an executioner to whom he has done the greatest service. Photo source: abc.net.au

 

24 March 2013

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Kevin Rudd is a cunning character whose game-playing had not been seen through by even his own supporters.

Kevin Rudd‘s sole aim has been to fiendishly plot the ruination of the party that dumped him from the prime ministership – and if his own supporters lose their seats, so be it.

He routinely authorised his supporters to leak damaging stories to the media with the singular purpose of destabilising Prime Minister Julia Gillard. And it worked.

He made many and varied media appearances, clearly designed to bolster his own popularity – as if to be a pretender – in both senses of the word. And the polls had him way ahead of Gillard as preferred prime minister.

He knew that Gillard was becoming increasingly unpopular in her own party and that numbers were shifting his way.

He could see that Labor would be massacred in the September 14 election and that only he, as leader could save the party from that.

He continued to set the trap.

The bitter Gillard/Rudd divisions within Labor were sinking the party and destroying the credibility of both sides.

The Gillard government had become dysfunctional.

And so, as if following Rudd’s script, Labor veteran Simon Crean decided that something had to be done to save his beloved party from ruin.

Crean, a long-time supporter of Gillard had also become disenchanted with her, and could see that Rudd resuming the leadership was the only possible hope.

“Saint” Simon did the honourable thing and called for a leadership spill for the good of the Labor party. He announced his support for Rudd, knowing that he would be sent to the back benches if Rudd lost.

Simon had received assurances from the Rudd camp that Rudd would contest.

But Rudd did not contest!

Why?

Because Kevin knew that by not standing, he would throw the party into absolute chaos, making it look an even more farcical shambles with a greater likelihood of being sent into oblivion come September. And it worked!

Rudd’s own supporters are furious with him. Why had they bothered to support someone who would back out of a challenge? Gillard has now relegated them to obscurity.

But Kevin doesn’t care. He never intended to become Labor leader again and has achieved what he set out to do – destroy the whole party.

Now, the even-more-damaged Gillard, who has lost a swag of pro-Rudd talent from her ministry, is looking more vulnerable, no longer from Rudd, but from the electorate which is more than fed up with the dysfunction and bizarre power plays, which are due in part to Rudd himself.

Cunning Kevin!

SIMPLE SIMON OR SAINT SIMON?

Saint Simon? The spill was initiated by Simon Crean who was saint-like enough to put himself on the line for the good of the party.

Simple Simon? He was silly to believe Rudd, who he decided to support, and who was delivering directives to him via his supporters.

BUT …

As it turns out, Crean has done Gillard a huge favour – but he has been sacked by her. As Michael Gordon wrote in The Saturday Age on 23 March 2013:

“The bitter irony of the coup that collapsed is that the man who did Julia Gillard the biggest service pays the heaviest price. Simon Crean has not only removed the threat of Kevin Rudd, he has done more than any other individual to end the destabilisation of Gillard and give her prime ministership a fresh start. Now he’s in exile.

Thanks to Crean, Gillard is more in charge of her destiny than at any point since her 2010 campaign was sabotaged from within and by some poor judgment calls. The upside is that she can govern with more confidence and less concern about being undermined; the consequence is that she will be held singularly responsible for Labor’s performance at the looming election.”

The Michael Gordon article

Crean points finger at Rudd