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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

ALP: a self-inflicted madness « Previous | |Next »
February 20, 2012

The Gillard Government is increasingly caught up in some kind of self-inflicted madness. It now looks as if the trajectory is one of self-destruction if Rudd continues his campaign for the leadership. Rudd doesn't have the numbers (around 30-35?) but he is doing everything he can to build momentum. He is causing trouble.


The momentum for an end to the civil war continues to build. Gillard should call a spill and end the speculation, rumours, gossip, whisperings, outbursts, bad mouthings, leaks etc when Parliament resumes next week. Rudd goes to the back bench and Gillard stands on her own.

The strange thing about this is that there is not much policy difference between Rudd and Gillard. Gillard continued with the policies of the Rudd Government and all the indications are that Rudd would continue with Gillard's policies.

Yet the ALP is tearing itself to pieces with its bawling. Over what? Electoral reality? If Gillard is a walking political corpse, facing a massive electoral defeat, then all Rudd can do is try and sell the same policies better. Then what? Electoral defeat?

In his The Labor Leadership: a time of peril and opportunity op-ed at The Drum Malcolm Farnsworth makes a good point:

It's de rigueur now to profess disgust at this turn of events. Serious minds decry the brutality, the ambition, the lack of policy debate. They bemoan a political system that has somehow failed. They proclaim a weariness with politics as usual. But I'm having none of it. These are marvellous times for politics. These are the times when you see how things really work. This IS the system working, not failing. These are the times when character is revealed, when political judgment is on the line, when boldness potentially pays big.

The system for Farnsworth is the factions in the ALP and the way they operate in exercising their power. It is the ALP's political culture that is destroying it.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:17 AM | | Comments (14)


Rudd "is doing everything he can to build momentum. He is causing trouble."

Rudd campaigned within the ALP against the deal Gillard made with Wilkie to clamp down on poker machines. He publicly refused to endorse it, and he acted to gain support from the MPs being targeted by the gambling lobby.

He should have supported that deal. It was in the public interest. The fact that he didn't indicates Rudd is about Rudd.

Have we come to the point where it doesn't really matter who comes out on top, Rudd or Gillard, but the resolution is the more important thing?

Personally, I would prefer Gillard stay, but Rudd would still be better than Abbott. As time goes on and the next election gets closer, and the polls sit still the way they have for months, and the likelihood of an Abbott win increases...

They need to have a spill, give the media the circus they want so much, and get on with it.

"the ALP is tearing itself to pieces with its bawling."

There is open hostility in the ALP these days.

the media have what they love-- the circus of a leadership spill within the Gillard Government. Now they can really get to work with -senior Labor sources say; Labor sources say and so on.

The columns of the media will be filled with nothing else for days on end--until Gillard calls the spill and seeks a mandate from caucus.

"Have we come to the point where it doesn't really matter who comes out on top, Rudd or Gillard "

The conflict is little more than office politics over who gets to be CEO. It must be despairing and very depressing to be caught up in the political games.

Peter Brent in Compromise candidate? in The Australian says:

Gillard is finished because of her diabolical standing in the electorate, reflected in low opinion poll numbers. But ultimately her problems come from her very poor political judgement.

This is the standard line but they rarely spell out what is Gillard's very poor political judgement. It is just assumed that we all know what it means.

So what does it mean?

The recent video was more likely released by the Rudd camp. It gave him the opportunity to say how much he had changed, how much better of a leader he would be without even saying his hat was in the ring. Then he pops off around the world to do important work for Australia and leaving Gillard to the media and her foot shooting.


Announcing an asylum seeker deal with East Timor, before asking East Timor how they feel about it. Announcing the Malaysia deal ditto. Failing to lead (whatever that means) the public debate (whatever that means) on the carbon tax. Leaving the same sex marriage issue to fester.

And the biggest one, failing to suck up to the press gallery.

it sounds like the "her very poor political judgement" is a tabla rasa. You can put whatever content you want in.

In the past few weeks my opinion of Rudd has taken a real battering. He's not doing anyone (including himself) any good. Enough! Time for him to show his cards or leave town.

Rudd has gone to Mexico
To search ancient civilizations
Dig in tombs and cast bones
In quest of that thing that he must
Must have
A usable word that rhymes with twelve

There appears to be a lot of hatred in the ALP surfacing and Rudd hasn’t even formally called on the challenge yet. This could go on and on.

They are a conga-line of vipers. Sssssssss!

Rudd breaks the stalemate. Whilst in Washington he resigns as Foreign Minister saying it is time to end this “soap opera”. He created the soap opera.

Even if Rudd doesn’t have the numbers he must challenge Gillard to end the continual destabilisation and speculation about the leadership.

The Labor Party caucus will decide this