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

flicking the switch to vaudeville « Previous | |Next »
February 24, 2012

From what the anti-Rudd cabinet ministers are saying it is clear that the majority of the cabinet hold deep resentment towards Rudd about his administration being chaotic and dysfunctional. There also appears to be an element of trying to justify their past mistakes under the Rudd administration, such as not pulling Rudd into line over his autocratic and abusive governing style, and never clearly explaining to the public why he had to go.

The venom of the attack on Rudd does make it look that any form of reconciliation between them and Rudd is out of the question. Rudd has been underminimng the Gillard Government. On the other hand, it also looks as if Gillard's leadership is terminal. The lines from Rudd, McCelland and Ferguson that Gillard can't defeat Abbott have a ring of truth.


It does look as if the Gillard Government will continue its relatively conservative set of policies that focus on economic growth over social wellbeing and downplay environmental sustainability. So the massive educational inequality highlighted by the Gonsky Review will remain. There will be little change to the decline in Australia's school performance on international rankings. which coincide with the skewing of Federal Government money away from government schools and towards independent schools.

We have reached the limits of reform. The government is not looking for a fight on the education. Gillard moved quickly to put a distance between the government and the review she commissioned in another era.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:23 AM | | Comments (11)


Why should we worry about lowering of Australian educational standards anyway? If we need skilled or professional labour we can always import it, can't we? For that matter, we can import semiskilled/unskilled labour too. Isn't this whole education thing getting more attention than it deserves?

The answer to that plausible and (in some circles) probably popular attitude lies in understanding that education is more than just a narrow economic issue. However I don't see anybody seriously trying to make that point in the Australian political arena (should I say "any recent episodes"?).

Maybe... perhaps... possibly the only up-side to Rudd getting up... is that Labor MIGHT be able to convince the voters that it is not being controlled by the faceless men. That could save the party from doom. Or not.

BTW... does anyone remember the media reaction to the 2007 election? Labor had seen the largest electoral swing in an federal election since 1975. And the media pundits proclaimed that it would take the Coalition over a decade to pull itself out of the mud. The Coalition, we were told, were on the edge of oblivion and would likely tear themselves apart. Or something like that.

Ah... the good old days...

The current conflict in the ALP is a symptom of the institutional and structural crisis that remains to be solved. Rudd was not beholden to the factions, a fact for which they never forgave him, nor did they forget.Little else can explain the venom of the Gillard supporters.

I'm still waiting for one of the Labor front bench to explain why, if Rudd was such an impossible leader doing untold damage to the government and to the country, they continued to serve in his cabinet. In their haste to justify the palace coup of 2010 they unwittingly confirm their own lack of principles and courage.

The ministers said they covered for Rudd as long as they could --solidarity etc.

Ken says:
"I'm still waiting for one of the Labor front bench to explain why, if Rudd was such an impossible leader doing untold damage to the government and to the country, they continued to serve in his cabinet"

The problem that Gillard and Swan face is that they were instrumental in the Rudd Government's abandonment of the ETS . Neither were prepared to defend it. The government's environmental credibility was discredited.

"Ah... the good old days..."

They didn't last long. By 2010 we had leaks against the Gillard Government during the election campaign from within. It is commonly held inside the ALP that these leaks came from the Rudd camp---ie., sabotage. Hence the repressed anger towards Rudd.

Anyone care to guess how this debacle will affect the Greens?

Will they cop some fallout from the Labor explosion? Or will they finally be seen as a mature alternative to the big (??) boys?

They continued to serve in his cabinet for the same reasons we have all gone to work when we have had a shit boss. Varied reasons.

Can I add a point that I havent heard yet. If K Rudd is such a changed man then why is he displaying the same type of me me behavior in this campaign. The way he is trying to play the public against his own party is fairly good evidence of what is to come if he becomes PM again.
I would be quite unsurprised when he loses to see him cause much more chaos. Rather like the little boy who when told by his mum its time to leave the beach he knocks down his sandcastle but then knocks down all the other kids sandcastles too and leaves happy.

Dorie your analogy is not apt for all sorts of reasons. Political office is not comparable to turning up to work at the office for a salary. An MP's 'job' is to represent their electorates, and one of their obligations is to vote for the person they think is best-qualified to lead the Party and the nation. Being a minister is a perk of the job, not the job itself.

By valuing their ministerial perks ahead of their obligations, they demonstrated how spineless and without principle they are. The fact that they then allowed Rudd to serve as a senior minister in the new government, when according to them he is impossible to work for, just reinforced their lack of principle. If the man is as dysfunctional and destructive as they now assert, how could they possibly justify inflicting him on DFAT? By letting expediency trump principle, of course, in the name of clinging to power.

As I've written elsewhere, Rudd is not stupid. He knows he will not win today, so self-evidently he is playing a longer game. I find it more interesting to think about what that longer game might be than to take today's leadership spill as some kind of defining event.

I suggest we would all be better of if Kevin took his game (?) elsewhere.
The ambassador to Mongolia may suit.