The problem now with the ‘hold your nerve with Julia’ strategy is that her personal and policy performance appears to be a very poor argument for it.
It’s true that the ALP has some runs on the board (the NBN, parental leave, and so on) but it appears incapable of selling them, and stuck in this horrible vortex where its attempts to play on the field the Right has layed out look ever more self-defeating and anarchic.
Peter Beattie’s son appears to be his official spokesperson, which is odd, but it’s hard, having lived with the bloke as Premier for so long, to believe that he’s not touting himself as a Labor messiah.
That this could even be taken seriously is an index of how much has gone wrong, and how quickly.
Probably the only chance the ALP has is to go back to Kevin Rudd, but I don’t think they’re going to. And I don’t think they’re going to face up squarely to the way they have contributed mightily to their own woes over the past year, which would be a precondition of doing that.
So, what does the ALP do?
I’m not certain they can answer the logically prior question – ‘what is the ALP for?’ And there’s the rub.