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.