Who else out there thinks that the introduction of Gillard’s legislative fix for the high court decision on her Malaysian solution was a really bad strategic move? The only reason that she could have been doing so is some sort of empty hope that Abbott would relent when the question was definitively put in the house. Of course as he is a far more astute player than Gillard. Tony Abbott has just been able to watch as yet again Labor drives a dagger into its own collective chest on this issue. Its just another case of Labor ineptitude and who better to go to but Richo who must thank his lucky stars every morning that he does not have to spin such bad strategy to a public who used to believe that Labor was a realistic option for decent government only to find that they have a very bad comedy act who seem to have forgotten that you don’t save a bad performance with even worse scripts and worse acting.
Leadership speculation is inevitable in this climate of confusion and desperation. Kevin Rudd is the name on every journalist’s lips and the lips of many voters, if the polls are to be believed. The big question is will the caucus be so panicked that it would swallow its pride and bring him back.
Rudd, of course, is doing nothing to dampen down this speculation and no doubt he will be emboldened by that stupid leak to The Daily Telegraph. If the Prime Minister or her office had workshopped for a month to find the most ham-fisted, clumsy way to leak a damaging story on Rudd’s largesse on his overseas trips, they couldn’t have been silly enough to come up with this. This one had the PM’s fingerprints all over it.
While wholesale panic has not yet set in, there is movement at the station on the leadership question. Rudd always had some supporters and the prospect of losing 40 seats has seen that support base grow from about 10 to somewhere in the early 20s. None of the caucus big guns have jumped on board yet and I doubt they will.
The intractable problem of the three independents who keep Labor in power has not diminished. There is no sign yet that they are prepared to countenance a leadership change. The problem is that this latest mega-failure on refugees has extinguished all hope in the caucus that their poll numbers may recover in time for the next election.
This is a dilemma as awful as it is unprecedented. With no logical candidate, no agreement for change with the independents, there is a sense of hopelessness settling over the entire caucus. There is a view that like good little lemmings they have no choice but to follow Gillard over the cliff.
I think that its only a matter of time now and even the much mooted return of Brother Number One from his enforced long (on frequent flyer) march can save either the government or the party. The only way that he would stand a chance would require him to drop the Carbon Tax, saying that it needs electoral endorsement before becoming Law and cutting back the NBN while trying to run a very dull “caretaker” government that focuses on sound administration rather than the endless and often questionable “reform”. Some how I don’t think that Brother Number One will be able to do this because his ego is just too uncontrollable and that he will want to invent some new “big vision” concept to redeem himself as the nations visionary saviour…