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Yesterday I was a man on a mission off to the wilds to pick up an engine and a gearbox for my Morris project, these are not the parts that I will actually use in the car, rather they are just parts that I have borrowed from my long suffering brother to work out the mountings and other details of the installation in my car. Anyway it was that away mission that found me missing out on the Peter Beattie chapter of the sad and sorry saga of the Federal Labor party yesterday . Unlike my other regular commentators I know Beattie pretty well, in fact when I was a student he used to be a regular at the Mexican restaurant that I worked at in Milton. So I can honestly say that I have known of him well before he even rose to star status up here in Queensland. and to be honest I have always thought that he is a “good bloke”. So when I heard on the radio that he was going to stand in Forde for the ALP my initial reaction was to think that he could be a good man to have in the parliament.
Then I gave the matter some thought and I was a little less sure. You see I began to remember that this good bloke had made a few rather big calls that were less than wonderful. Things like privatising electricity distribution which promised a new era of lower energy prices (my current bill in next to me on the desk ere and its twice what it was this time last year ) I remember too that while he was a competent Premier he steeped down so that Anna Bligh could become premier and she was a bloody disaster creating the financial mess that Campbell Newman is working so hard to fix even though it is at the cost of his popularity. Then there is his famous “water grid” a net work of pipelines pumping stations and water recycling systems that was built during the last big decade long drought that we endured. The idea may yet prove to be of value should we have another long dry spell but now that the weather has swung back to its more normal rain fall levels its hard to see the whole thing as anything other than a global warming hysteria white elephant, which, like the mega expensive desalination plant at Tugan on the Gold Coast just sits idle.
Beattie is without doubt a consummate media performer he is an utter and unashamed “media tart” who can play the “chooks” with the sort of talent that most political candidates enviously aspire to. He even leaves the would be Labor Messiah Kevin Rudd for dead in his ability to play the media to his political advantage, however he does have one very obvious “tell” when what he is doing is a bit less than sincere and that is his tendency to crack the biggest toothy and undimable smile when he is playing the media game. Its like some part of him is self-conscious of t he stunt and he then over compensates in trying to sell the contrived message. That “tell” was very much in evidence yesterday at the media appearances that he put in with Rudd. He was trying just a bit too hard to prove how much he endorsed the new again Dear Leader even though it was only a matter of a couple of months ago that he was dressing Rudd down for destabilising Gillard.
What it boils down to for me is that while at an emotional level I like the man, and I even respect him for his time as premier I just don’t think that he is as sincere about his enthusiasm for federal politics. You know how I see politics as a game? Well deep down I think that Peter Beattie does as well and he is playing this move for all that its worth. He may even win the seat but if he doesn’t then I think that he will still enjoy the journey , if he does win Forde then The ALP may benefit from having a “good bloke” in its parliamentary ranks but I can’t see the faux friendship with Rudd lasting long into either Government or opposition after September 7.
- Kevin Rudd confirms Peter Beattie will run as Labor candidate for Queensland seat of Forde (abc.net.au)
- Abbott flags Beattie-Rudd leader rivalry (bigpondnews.com)
- Peter Beattie to stand in election, report (news.theage.com.au)
- Beattie bombshell: a ruthless captain’s pick (smh.com.au)
- Beattie to stand for Labor (smh.com.au)
- Peter Beattie enters federal election (bigpondnews.com)
- Labor brings back Peter Beattie to contest seat of Forde, dumps pre-selected candidate Des Hardman (abc.net.au)
- Beattie returns to play politics (thesourcenews.com)
Credit where credit is due as it seems that the message about the futility of seeking asylum via a dodgy boat trip is getting through and that is something of a relief for those of us who have argued long and hard about the problem.
Lets look at this issue as a whole though, Rudd opened the flood gates that has seen fifty thousand people arrive uninvited on our shores and over the last six years Labor have gone through the full spectrum of denial, blame shifting, failed brain fart ideas like the Timor and Malaysian solutions. Those of us who have argued for the return of the system that worked have been called cruel and racist and more than a thousand people have been drowned seeking Rudd’s Aussie nirvana. Yep its been six years of ALP moral glory and now they undoubtedly expect that the voters should reward them with the fruit of their franchise for fixing the problem that Rudd, in his vanity created in 2008?
Am I the only one who thinks that this is political trickery of the highest order?
I certainly hope not.
But then again there is always the possibility that such dark fortune can be visited upon the nation when you have a slick salesman leading team Labor…
None the less I hope that political Karma pays out on the man and his party who caused the problem and that we as a nation can deliver a nice long sojourn in the wilderness as the just reward to the man and his party who ignored the fundamental principle in politics, namely if it ain’t broke then don’t fuck with it.
- Will the fraud Kevin Rudd fool Aussies again? (blogs.spectator.co.uk)
- Rudd – no morals says an ALP supporter (oconnoroz.wordpress.com)
- Rudd Calls Sept. 7 Vote in Australia Showdown With Abbott (bloomberg.com)
- No moral limits to what Rudd will do to win (theage.com.au)
Ray chided me yesterday because my re-blog of Yale’s post did not have the latest Rudd vid as prominent as he would have liked, well here we have four times the Rudd which should please my friend. To my mind the vid is a great example of the power of mockery and the truth that Anthony Ackroyd so well enunciates here is that our Brother Number One is ALL ego and that he thinks that its all about him. Frankly as we approach the two week anniversary of the end of Gillard we would be hard pressed to find a single viable policy that has been delivered by Rudd.
The sugar hit of the change is clearly evident in the Polls however sooner rather than later the country will have to have a shot of insulin and when it does I expect that the truth will dawn on the people that the big spoonful of sugar that Rudd is serving covers the very nasty medicine of Labor incompetence and stupidity over the last six years.
I am eternally thankful that my fellow Sandpit authors have given us their perspectives on the failed coup and its aftermath because I have been at both horrified and rather to bemused to write anything substantive about the whole sorry mess and I have been trying to avoid letting my personal feelings of Schadenfreude cloud my judgement over the implosion of the Labor party. Its just too delicious when a bad government turns upon itself and is so obviously committing a very public act of political suicide. Now for a government that claims not to to be in campaign mode the stunts and pork barrelling are starting to c0me thick and fast. With Gillard promising millions for schools up here in sunny Queensland and we will see an unending litany of similar promises where ever the blighted one appears to spruik her political potions. The new cabinet announcement will be an interesting thing to watch and I expect that those elevated to, a hem, greatness will all struggle to hold their seats as a consequence of drinking deep from Gillard’s Koolaid but I suppose that they can take some comfort from the beneficial effect that their brief elevation to the ministry will have on their superannuation when they join the ranks of the unemployed after September 14. When you are living in gloomy times there is no doubt that you will enjoy even the most fleeting moments of sunshine even when omens foretell that eternal darkness is but a few short weeks away.
With that in mind I am of course not at all surprised that there are moves a foot to encourage Brother Number One to totally leave to political stage and either quit or lose his seat in the house. Personally I can understand the reason that the Gillard Glee Club would want all trace of the once and future leader erased from the timeline but I also expect that a man of Rudd’s ego will not go quietly under any circumstance. One who appears to being coerced to stay though is the leader of government business in the house Anthony Albanese who is just too valuable to the Gillard crew to be allowed to fall on his sword in the same way that fellow Ruddites have done over the last few days. Its a measure of the lack of moral turpitude in the Labor party that even in total victory of the the forces of the Rudd push that Gillard has to hold on to Albanese like grim death because they have no one in their camp who can do what he does in the house. Yet another example of the way that this government is driven by only one thing and that is to preserve the current power and status of its leader and to pretend that the future of the party does not matter in the least.
The Easter festival has always been about renewal even before it was assimilated into Christian mythology and I can appreciate the value of such a festival in the cycle of the seasons but for Labor I see it as being about death without the possibility of resurrection, of a tomb that will not be empty on the third day and that the sightings of a risen saviour will all be the desperate delusions of the faithful who have all but lost their religion and who chant the litany even though their hearts are not in it any more. Take heart though Comrades because there is hope that what will die in September will be the the worst aspects of the the once admirable Labor party and that which will be resurrected and nurtured in the wilderness of opposition will be a party that is relevant to today and the changing face of the Australian electorate rather than a slave to the unions and their outdated socialism and class warfare mantras. Then again such political cancers are incredibly hard to kill so I won’t be holding my breath waiting for the electoral Chemotherapy to work.
- Albanese rejects calls to quit ministry over spill (abc.net.au)
- ‘Gutless’ Kevin Rudd reneged on deal, says Crean (news.ninemsn.com.au)
- Pressure mounts on Gillard to dump Albanese from cabinet (3aw.com.au)
- Never, ever: Rudd rules out another tilt (smh.com.au)
- You: Julia Gillard calls leadership spill – live (guardian.co.uk)
- Gillard says leadership struggle is over (news.smh.com.au)
- Never again, says Kevin Rudd (theage.com.au)
poem ditty by GD
Kevvie in his kevlar suit
laughing ‘cos it’s all a hoot
Simon Crean gets the boot,
another day in Labor
Stephen Conroy’s face is red
his underpants are on his head
the censorship is all shot dead,
another Labor failure
the deficit is on the loose
Swan is looking like a goose
spending all with no excuse,
another a drunken sailor
the rusted-ons believe in Rudd
to save them from this bath in mud
but really he’s another dud,
not a Labor saviour
the voters wait with bated breath
to hear about a Labor death
but Joolia is such a pest,
it’s six months more hard Labor!
By Ray Dixon – reproduced from my home blog Alpine Opinion
The first inkling that Simon Crean’s new-found support for Kevin Rudd may not have been exactly a sincere change-of-heart, came soon after his surprise announcement – that he was seeking a leadership spill – when Crean suddenly (and angrily) gave an answer to a question in which he clearly chastised Rudd over his previously stated position of not mounting another challenge:
”He can’t continue to play the game that says he is reluctant or he has to be drafted. I know the party will not draft him.”
That did not sound like a friendly ‘defector’ and, furthermore, if Crean knew “the party will not draft (Rudd)” that suggests he also knew Rudd did not have anywhere near the numbers required to take the leadership – so why was Crean ‘going out on a limb’ giving everyone the impression he was in favour of Rudd being reinstated?
Looking back at Crean’s full announcement it then became clear (to me at least) that it was full of typical, evasive and ambiguous Crean ‘doublespeak’ where everything he was saying could be taken two ways. For example:
“I have talked to the prime minister yesterday and today….I am asking her to call a spill for all the leadership positions in the party. If the PM does not agree to it, which I suspect she won’t, I am calling on members of caucus to form a petition. This is not personal. This is about the party, its future and the future of the country. I believe we can win the next election.”
That’s clearly a neutral position and he’s not calling for Rudd to be PM there.
“We need to settle this and move forward. As for the position of positions being declared open – Kevin Rudd has no choice but to stand for the leadership. He can no longer say he will only be drafted. That’s why I’m putting myself forward as part of the leadership group.”
There he goes again, telling Rudd off by insisting that he challenges. And “putting himself forward” as Rudd’s possible deputy could simply be Crean trying to make his defection seem genuine – in the end it amounted to nothing.
“I’m doing this in the interests of the Labor Party and, in turn, the nation.”
And “this” could mean setting Rudd up to mount a challenge he can’t win.
“I look forward to caucus making a mature decision….I will be supporting Kevin Rudd. He has got no option but to run. I want no more games.”
Supporting him to do what? To challenge and lose? Crean’s trying too hard to force the issue here and his reference to “no more games” is actually another slur on Rudd.
“I’m urging Mr Rudd to put his name forward….I do not believe simply changing from Ms Gillard to Mr Rudd will solve anything. The internals must stop. We must be an inclusive party.”
That’s almost a dead giveaway that Crean is still in Gillard’s ‘corner’.
Mr Crean is asked if Mr Rudd has the numbers: “I wouldn’t be doing this if I did not believe there was the mood and the need for change within the party.”
There’s the ambiguous “this” word again. And yes, there was certainly a “mood” to change to Rudd among some party members but perhaps Crean means he’s out to kill that off.
And later yesterday (after the non-vote), Simon Crean’s appearance and demeanour on ABC TV – grinning like a Cheshire cat – was hardly that of a man who had failed in his mission.
For someone who had just been sacked from the Ministry position he held under Gillard after his so-called defection, Crean seemed mighty chuffed with the overall outcome and Gillard’s so-called victory … and his assault on Rudd continued:
Sacked arts minister Simon Crean says he cannot understand why Mr Rudd did not take on Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a special caucus meeting earlier on Thursday.
“I can’t understand why all of this agitation would be on, including the need to bring it to a head, then for the contender not to stump up,” he told ABC television.
… “He had an obligation to run. He didn’t discharge that obligation so he has only got one obligation now and that is to back off,” Mr Crean said.
… “I think he has demonstrated that he isn’t a threat to the leadership because he didn’t stand when he had the chance,” he said.
“(Rudd running) in itself would have been an important cleansing for the party,” he said.
Mr Crean is calling on the rest of his party to take the result as a circuit breaker to end speculation and get on with “inspiring the nation again”.
He had no regrets about acting in “the interests of getting the party back on a solid footing.”
Call me a conspiracy theorist or wise-in-hindsight, but I think those comments clearly demonstrate that, for Crean, yesterday’s outcome was mission accomplished.
Crean knows exactly why Rudd didn’t run – because he didn’t have the numbers – but feigns surprise and faux anger at Rudd for letting him down.
He’s stuck the knife in … and turned it. Again.
And Crean could barely contain his delight last night, even using the same “Rudd has/had” to challenge rhetoric he used in the morning. He didn’t miss a beat but it all sounded hollow and insincere to me.
You see, it needs to be remebered that Simon Crean was also the instigator of the first Rudd challenge just over 12 months ago when, while Rudd was overseas, he launched an extraordinary public attack following the release of the infamous ‘F-bomb’ blooper tape (that seems most likely to have been released by Gillard’s office) on the grounds that Rudd was ‘destabilising the party’.
This lead to Rudd having no choice but to resign from the position of Foreign Minister, following which Julia Gillard then announced a leadership spill to force Rudd’s hand and challenge (while he was still overseas). Crean knew then that Rudd didn’t have the numbers to topple Gillard just like he would have known the numbers yesterday – so why did he go ahead?
As for Crean being sacked as a Minister by Gillard (for his so-called disloyalty), it’s not inconceivable that that was a ‘bullet’ he was willing to take to get rid of Rudd. After all, Crean’s been around for a long time and might only have 6 months of his career left.
But as to what happens now, well, when the dust is setlled maybe it’ll become clearer that yesterday’s events will actually make Gillard’s position worse, not better.
Wait for the next opinion poll but after this debacle I reckon Labor’s support will fall even further – perhaps as low as 25% primary vote – and stay there.
And that spells real (and fatal) disaster for Gillard – maybe Rudd’s not dead yet?
According to some pundits in the press today is likely to be the high noon moment for the Gillard Regime and the resurrection of Brother Number One well personally I don’t know its certainly possible but I can’t help thinking that the internal animosities within the party might just prove to be irreconcilable. The Daily Telegraph reports on a piece of information control that kept the news of Rudd favourable polling away from the caucus just before the knives were pulled on Brother Number One.
Its a story that would have made Machiavelli proud and one can imagine about way the Gillard coup plotters sought to control this crucial bit of information and just how relieved that they were to know that their efforts were successful. Then again its quite amazing that none of the caucus thought to ask just why a whole swag of party polling was suddenly cancelled at just the point in time when it was Rudd’s fall from grace with the voters that was the claimed reason for the sharpening of knives.
Labor have even further blotted their copy book with the rather heartless move against those single mums and even a committee that they head is saying so:
Even the most heartless conservative can not fail to recognise the political madness of this so called “cost saving” measure. You can bet with great certainty that every one of those single parents will not be voting for Labor this time around and once people switch their vote it takes a great deal more incentive for them to return to the fold than it took to lose them in the first place. Its a whole lot of political injury for the party to save a few bucks. Worse still it makes a mockery of Labor’s claim to be “for” the disadvantaged in our community. If they wanted to save money that is well and truly wasted they should have abolished all of the “Clean Energy Future ” nonsense instead. That would save many billions more that the “savings” of this measure and on top of that it would have played better with the middle ground voters who have been crossing the political street to vote for Tony Abbott in droves.
As I see it the tragedy of the modern Labor party is that they have tried, without any benefit, to court the loopy left constituency which is far smaller and of course they can’t go too far in that direction without alienating the centre from which they are bleeding an ever increasing number of voters straight to the coalition. Their problem though is that those who slip into the loving embrace of the Greens tend to preference Labor but those who go to the Coalition will not return the same secondary benefit to the ALP. Am I the only one who can see the inherent problem in this strategy here for Labor?
So will today be the Gillardageddon? I don’t know for sure but its shaping up that way and if it is I suspect that we will be going to the polls well before Sept 14. As a resurgent Rudd will seek to capitalise on any honeymoon period to maximise his chances of making a good showing in the final result. It will all be too little too late for the ALP who have utterly trashed their own reputation with such skill and acuity that a conspiracy theorist would be insisting that the party must have been infiltrated by agents of the Coalition. Back in the real world though we can see that what has killed the Labor party has been two things firstly they have failed to keep pace with the changes to the demographics of our society. No longer is there a vast cohort of low and semi skilled labourers who are amenable to the message of socialism and “worker solidarity” we have moved on form that to being a country were more workers are highly skilled and many are contractors or sell their Labor via their own small businesses. To these men and women the union dominated Labor party are like a lumbering sauropod , a lumbering dinosaur that is out of its time and place in the current environment. Secondly they have lost sight of just how corrosive their own archaic internal processes are to their public image. I think that it will be a near fatal combination at the next election and that it will be the reason that The ALP will take up residence in the wilderness for a very long time.
- Rudd Twice as Popular as Gillard in Australian Opinion Poll – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- PM facing landslide loss in new poll (bigpondnews.com)
- Loss of confidence in Gillard (smh.com.au)
- Cabinet ministers desert Gillard (theage.com.au)
- The attractions of dull and predictable over the wild and crazy ride with Labor (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Speculation Mounts of Aussie Leadership Challenge (abcnews.go.com)
- PM says she won’t flinch on leadership (news.smh.com.au)
Interesting developments in the death throes of the Gillard regime,as the Fairfax press report that key backers are apparently reconsidering their support for the embattled Ranga. Of great amusement to me is that the . With her bait and switch attempt thanks to Comrade Conroy descended in to utter farce and humiliation as both the idea of this new “oversight” mechanism and the ineptitude of the way that Conroy has tried to ram it through the Parliament backfires badly with all but the out of tune lead singers of the Gillard is running a story denying that there , one of the key players in this end game is wavering in his support for GillardGlee Club realising that this is a doomed project and its going to take Labor with it. We see Labor spin in ever decreasing circles around its own plug hole .
Clearly the impending Gillard implosion may suit the barrackers for the Rundestration push but I personally don’t see how a credible government can be made from the clump of soggy pubic hair that will be dragged out of the drain after the Gillard gurgle has grunted its last graceless gasp. Would even the most dedicated Labor voter have any joy or confidence in the party when faced with that pencil stub and the ballot paper? Oh I know that many dyed in the wool true believers will still vote Labor at the next election they won’t be able to do with their hand that which their heads tell them is necessary but it will be with a bleak resignation rather than any joy or devotion to the party, and that dear friends is the tragedy here that a party formed under a bent gum tree at Barcaldine which and has held the faith of ordinary working people for a century has been slowly committing suicide since 2010. There have been too many errors of judgement, from both Rudd and Gillard and too many times that they have taken the people for granted and even when Gillard’s Coup and the subsequent reduction of Rudd’s sizeable majority into a a whimpering minority government beholden to both the loopy Greens and even loopier “independents” and now as the endgame unfolds all we see is farce played out with a deadly earnestness that demonstrates just how unfit to rule Labor has become.
Will Abbott be better? The Gillard Glee Club have been hyperventilating about every possible scare that they can invoke, from dawn to dusk they have been insisting that the sky will fall and that we will be plunged into a “new dark age” of repressive 1950’s proportions, women will be chained to sinks, and forbidden to either close their legs or wear shoes according unreconstructed Glee club . The Warminista faithful are certain that an Abbott government will condemn us to being fried by Gaia‘s wrath while they sip their Lattes by the beach. The vested interests tremble in fear that their Rolls Royce dreams of the NBN will not be delivered as promised by Gillard ( like, who but the Glee Club believed it anyway?) but people like my neighbour just dream about getting ADSL rather than the wonky satellite broadband they have to put up with because our exchange has only limited ports. Every where you look in the political landscape there is disappointment caused by the grandiose promises mouthed by Labor and the lack of subsequent delivery and its that disappointment that will ensure that the Abbott government which makes much more modest promises endures for far longer than Labor has since 2007. There are certainly things that Abbott is likely to do that I think will not be of benefit to the country, their climate change policy is one of them and I think it could at this point be quietly dropped in its entirety but it won’t be. In the some category is the submarine program and the Joint strike fighter purchase In the age of the drone and the attack helicopter I cant for the life of me see what we need either.
I don’t see Abbott falling for the short-sightedness of rushing to placate the sectional interests of his own party either because its clear to me that he is playing a long game here and that game recognises that rashness and “crash through” thinking creates more problems than it solves. The desire for administrative longevity should see a rather more dull political landscape in the opinion of this humble scribe and after the last five years of “Labor excitement” I think that I am going to be very good with a few years of dull and predictable.
- Gillard is definitely not drunk… or Conroy’s zombie hordes shuffle in time to the beat of his drum (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- Cabinet ministers desert Gillard (theage.com.au)
- Gillard can beat Abbott – Shorten (bigpondnews.com)
- Loss of confidence in Gillard (smh.com.au)
- Gillard an ineffectual campaigner (smh.com.au)
- Labor troubles now entrenched (smh.com.au)
- PM facing landslide loss in new poll (bigpondnews.com)