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362 responses to “Labor leadership roundtable V”

  1. Sam

    that’s the end of #respill then.

    Nah, it’s just the end of the beginning.

  2. Jacques de Molay

    Is there enough room for Arbib at Crown Casino with Karl Bitar already there?

  3. faustusnotes

    How are the anti-gillardistas going to string together a narrative of her being the puppet of faceless men now that one of them has resigned. I thought he and Shorten were using her to secure their own ambitions …?

    Or maybe it’s the opposite?

    I have a suspicion today is a turning point in the media narrative over Gillard’s leadership. She’s seen off their contender and shown that she won’t be pushed around by them (or anyone). Now they are going to have to start talking about her politics. I note quite a few have already been applauding the “fighting Julia.” Abbot can’t whine on about an early election or ALP disunity, since Gillard won with the biggest margin in history (though I note that lots of people here were straight onto talking about how Shorten would get her job, rather than how her victory was unprecedented for its great size).

    I think maybe now Gillard will begin to make headway with the press. The polls have been recovering for a while and she’s got 18 months till the election, with the CPRS sweeteners on the way … I wonder if Abbot has enough introspection to worry even a little about what might happen from July?

  4. Katz

    This is what Mark Arbib told his contact in the US Embassy in October 2009:

    In October last year, as Mr Rudd’s popular support began to sag, Senator Arbib openly canvassed leadership tensions within the government, telling diplomats Mr Rudd wanted ”to ensure that there are viable alternatives to Gillard within the Labor Party to forestall a challenge”.

    Mr Rudd’s brother, Greg, told embassy officers a similar story.

    http://m.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/yank-in-the-ranks-20101208-18pwi.html

    Did Arbib tell porkie pies to the Americans?

    How hard did Arbib push for Gillard in June 2010?

    Did Gillard wait this long for revenge against Arbib?

  5. tssk

    Gillard only won her spill by two thirds of the party.

    Abbott thinks that we should look at these figures carefully suggesting that a third of the ALP have no faith in Gillard.

    Remind me again…..what percentage did Abbott win his spill by.

    Anyone? Anyone?

    Don’t worry, I’m sure the media will follow that up.

  6. akn

    Arbib going is the best sign of, one hopes, of Gillard’s determination to now have a real go.

  7. tssk

    Sorry to post before six minutes are up but Sam is right. It’s just the begining.

    Only Rudd Turnbull can win against AbbottGillard.

    There you go media, I’ve written the material you need to fill in that Rudd shaped hole in your heartcopy.

  8. Fine

    Okay, here’s another perspective. Just talked to a friend who’s a young woman, 25, smart but totally uninterested in politics. It goes something like this:

    “So, what do you think of the leadership challenge?’
    “Ah, What’s that man… Rudd…What’s that woman’s name?”
    “Gillard”
    “Not her. That other man. Ah…Abbott. I think he’ll win”.
    “What do you think of Gillard?”
    “Ahh, I like her. She’s a woman. But the media always make her look so haggard. But, I guess I’d look bad with that job too”.

    We should remember so many people couldn’t give a toss.

  9. Geoff Henderson

    Considering the proportion of votes in Gillard’s favour, it must mean the misogynists changed their minds. Or that there was never anything in that misogynist stuff!
    It will be fascinating to watch the “spin” from now on, and the “realignment” that might be expected within the party.

  10. paul walter

    “Whatever shall we talk about now?”
    The latest Wikileaks dump?

  11. Ambigulous

    Katz, why “revenge”?

    That quote sounds flattering to Julia: painting her as the obvious and best-liked alternative to Kevin in the FPLP.

  12. Nickws

    Closure, closure, closure, closure! or so PM instructed me had been achieved by the events of today.

    Now that we’re all Americans, Oz Labor can haz primary system please?

    Certainly a primary system would force any S-man challenger to explain why he’s moving against Julia Gillard if the time comes later this year.

    (Arbib? I actually want to give him credit for being truly jack of politics, of being labelled a ‘faceless man’ for eternity, even after he displayed his gentlemanly Diamond Jim McLelland-esque credentials by getting gay marrriage reform inserted into the platform. Of course this doesn’t exclude the possibility that he left because he reckons today is Day One of the S-man leadership push, and it’s all too much for him to bare.)

  13. Katz

    Think it through, Ambi.

  14. pablo

    Jaque@2. Now that NSW premier O’Farrell has warmly greeted the idea of another Packer casino in the reserved-for-parkland green space at Barangaroo, there will be twice the job for Bitar. Call in a mate?
    But I think it is fair to call Arbib a belated casualty of Wikileaks. The embarrassment has just been all too much.

  15. Giles Of Green Gables

    Hooray!

    Julia now has one year to close the poll gap. Very achievable.

    Not impressed with Albanese. His nomination announcement had all the mock pain (ok some real pain too) and faux-tortured principle (ok some real tortured principle too) of Godwin Grech at the Utegate Senate Inquiry.

    Good bloke ‘n’ all, but he too had fallen for the Fool’s Gold of Rudd’s populism and is looking not much further than to get himself re-elected. I suspect Cartesius may be correct. Albo had sold himself to Rudd for factional preferment.

    Insiders was enjoyable yestoday if only for Lenore Taylor, with whom I am secretly in love, sustaining a 57 minute stare of loathing at Piers Ackerman. Has the local Guiness Book Of Records rep. been notified ?

    Their pollster dude, Catsaras, gave some perspective to the polls. ALP currently at 46/54 only need to gain 3% in 18 months to win in 2013. In all previous elections where the polls have the govt. at 49 or better the govt. has won.

    Hilarious footage of Swan on Feb 5 vehemently denying Rudd was plotting anything. Fair dinkum Swan would deny his head was on fire even while the CFS was beating out the flames. He’s not exactly shifty so much as toddleresque in denying fault, stinked up undies et. al. I like him as Treasurer though. Has full command of the subject matter. B+.

    Arbib: Though the man is personally appealing and apparently does good work his approach to power is disgusting in the extreme. Haven’t been happier since Rees sacked Tripodi. It must be shattering for Arbib to know that his way of doing government is so disgusting it is known as a disease. NSW disease. He only has his massive super and lifelong perks for comfort.

  16. zorronsky

    I hope the brains trust can use the new Governments in NSW and Vic to point out how disastrous their policies would be at a Federal level.

  17. Ginja

    Nickws: I think that’s right about Arbib. I say this as someone who has little sympathy – to put it mildly – for the NSW Right, but the image of Arbib as a factional headkicker was always way off the mark.

    Pablo: I was surprised at the time at all the fuss over Wikileaks. Unless you happen to believe in conspiracy theories – like the one about the CIA bringing down the Whitlam government – I can’t for the life of me see what Arbib had to be embarrassed about.

  18. zorronsky

    That’s given that Federally the Libs have no policies.

  19. Thomas Paine

    I think today’s Piping Shrike has it pretty right. Factions against reform. And why was Faulkner so quiet, was Arbib the price for that?

  20. AT

    Any reason for Gillard not to give the now-loyal Mr Rudd the foreign affairs portfolio? : )

  21. Nickws

    Ginja, I wonder if Arbib is disillusioned to the point that he deliberately quit after the ballot in order to screw-up the news cycle. That makes quitting as he did when he did the perfect anti-politics statement; of course people looking for reasons to validate Julia Gillard’s dedication to holding back the Right, or Wikileak’s belated ability to influence Australian government, they will differ on that, as we see.

    I seriously doubt there is anything to the ‘political assassination’ of Mark friggin’ Arbib.

  22. Nickws

    Thomas Paine: why was Faulkner so quiet

    The burden of being the only one they all respect.

    There used to be more than one of those in any given parliamentary Labor party.

  23. robbo

    Come on guys, we all know how the conversation is going to proceed for the next gawd knows how long:peta’s puppett bangs on every day about:
    Illegitimate PM
    dreadfull Government
    untrustworthy PM
    worst government ever and so on and so on
    Nothing will change because while ever the media in this country is so sodding lazy the puppett only has to adopt the first law of propaganda(repeat,repeat,repeat) that the dickwits of the press gallery will report his bullshit as fact.

    All the leadership spill has done is spare us the nightly obscenity of the puppet in a flouro and hard hat. for a few days

  24. Charlie

    Maybe Big Kev could go to London for the Olympics as Sports Minister, yeh sure. | Mungo stole my line about bonfire of the vanities, but I guess many thought the same thing anyway. | On Sunday, ‘Insiders’ presented a composite of polls that showed Gillard’s fortunes rising, slowly over the past few months, long may that continue.

  25. paul walter

    13, thanks. Was a bit jaded, it was just something that came to mind that’ Id read earlier that seemed a quick answer. So much of the real world has been deliberately passed over in the tabloid hunt for soap opera scandals.

  26. Andyc

    Fine @8: My first reaction to that example of wilful ignorance is one of extreme depression, although I suppose I should actually rejoice that someone can be so unaffected by the onslaughts of our various leaderships. I suspect the first few months of the Abbott Dark Age might prove a wake-up call, though.

  27. Lefty E

    One interesting postscript on all this: tonight I googled the so-called “Stag” slur against Gillard, alleged of Rudd by Ellis et al.

    Here’s what he is actually alleged to have said:

    After mingling with partygoers, Mr Rudd reportedly approached guests with links to Mr Farrell’s “Shoppies” Union and said: “I’ve been wondering how you reconcile your conservative brand of Catholicism with a childless, atheist ex-communist as Labor leader.”

    This is absolutely not how it was subsequently related by Ellis et al. They took the words totally out of their context. Its clearly less of slur on JG, and more one of the Shoppies/ SDA itself, pointing out its ideological hypocrisies. Though not my style, its witty in a way.

    These are the guys, de Bruyn et al, primarily standing in the way of recognising same-sex marrriage.

    What a complete and total beat up!! I wonder how many of the allegations against Rudd were of this same, erm, quality?

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/ipad/kevin-rudds-fringe-act-at-the-stag/story-fn6bqpju-1226281513733

  28. Megan

    Gillard has proved herself the maestro manipulator, cunningly goading Rudd into his dramatic resignation as Foreign Minister through innocently ignoring Simon Crean and co’s attacks on him and expertly expediting the challenge before he had the time to foment the threat of real discontent. A decisive victory for her as evidenced by the distinct lack of reader commentary on all the media columns. It’s done and dusted and I wouldn’t be surprised if she made Arbib walk the plank to help sweeten the ireful and aggrieved Kevin to the picture of fawning and docile submissiveness we saw this afternoon. Good that’s all settled then, I can at last concentrate on my upcoming subject for this semester…

  29. Nickws

    This is absolutely not how it was subsequently related by Ellis et al. They took the words totally out of their context. Its clearly less of slur on JG, and more one of the Shoppies/ SDA itself, pointing out its ideological hypocrisies.

    rant{No, Lefty E, you don’t realise—sexist terminology can never, ever be used ironically. Gendered slurs are just that powerful.

    Why, next you’ll be telling us Rudd was trying to undermine sexism!

    Now, on the other hand, we all know for a fact that it’s Julia Gillard who is absolutely dedicated to undermining the Rightwing factions who have delivered her this historic triumph… Despite the fact we don’t have any anecdotal evidence of her questioning these Rightwing factions like Rudd seemingly did.}rant

    (I didn’t realise his contempt for her extended to implying she’d been enough of a communist in order to be able to rat on them. I thought that was a line which came from ex-student radicals who’ve fallen out with JG.)

    As it is I’m now reconciled to the probability that Gillard failing to get back to a set of election-winning-polls this year will see her gone, replaced by an S-man before Christmas.

    It’s not about her or Rudd, it’s about a structural defect in the national ALP leadership in the post-Hawke/Keating era. Beazley had two terms in opposition free of challenge, and it’s all been a few seconds away from free-for-all ever since. This need examining.

    I just don’t get how any dedicated Greens or angry non-Labor Leftwingers think they can take much solace in her victory. Or why they would.

    Buggered if I see how there’s any functional enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend logic here…

  30. tssk

    I can take solace in that it’s pushed back a Tony Abbott parliament by a few months.

  31. Katz

    Peter Costello on the Labor spill:

    As for Rudd? He will not change. While he has breath he will be angling for the leadership. Even if he wanted to be, he cannot be loyal to another leader. He will brood and he will fester.

    http://m.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/pms-forces-mistaken-if-they-think-kevin-will-give-up-20120227-1tys4.html

    The Smirk’s  insight is valuable because there is no greater expert on disappointed festering than Peter Costello.

  32. furious balancing

    Heh. If Rudd wanted to point out the hypocrisy of Farrell’s mob, he might have pointed to Don’s very close friend, the former SA MLC who is awaiting his day in court.

  33. Geoff Henderson

    tigtog@33 – I read the article you linked and now feel quite ill and despairing.

  34. joe2

    This is interesting from Media Watch. From the questions and answers letter between Alan Sunderland Head of Policy ABC and Jonathan Holme

    2. Heather Ewart said on 7.30 on Wednesday evening that Michael Danby had named the journalists to her, although she did not name them. Was the decision not to name them referred up to senior management? If so, why was a decision taken not to name them?

    The determining factor in all decisions by 7.30 on what to include in their coverage on the day was, as ever, solely editorial. Senior management was aware of the material available on the day, and provided advice to that effect (i.e. that all decisions on what to include and what not to include should be editorial). A package had been partly prepared earlier in the day, but the resignation of the Foreign Minister late in the day meant that package did not run, as it was overtaken by events.
    The coverage that DID run was comprehensive, and included all of the key elements of the day that were considered most editorially important by 7.30pm

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3440733.htm

    So an editorial decision to run with a breaking story-about the Foreign Minister resigning- meant Aunty was cunningly able to keep two of its reporters roles, as direct conduits for his backgrounding over many weeks, out of the news. Nice!

  35. Sam

    Re: the land deals, you can just imagine the scene:

    “Maaaate, let me tell you about this deal …. maaaate …..”

    Re: Costello

    one wag in the SMH comments has commented that Rudd had to challenge, because he didn’t want to be known as another Costello.

  36. Sam

    Don’s very close friend, the former SA MLC who is awaiting his day in court.

    Yes, but one wouldn’t want to generalise and imply that all Catholic social conservatives are predisposed to the kind of activity which could lead to them enjoying a spot of Her Majesty’s hospitality, would one?

  37. akn

    Oh-oh, here we go, it’s the NSW corruption roadshow. All the way into JG’s office. All the time that team Julia was calling Rudd a rat and now it turns out that there were rats in the ranks. If Thommo was anywhere but the lower house…but wait there’s more…free steak knives with every ex-NSW treasurer … makes the fire at Alpine Press look like amateur hour.

  38. Sam

    Warren Mundine is in the frame for Arbib’s Senate seat.

    Boring. Anthony Mundine would be much better.

  39. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    A couple of truly bizarre memes have sprung up during the present leadership crisis, namely:

    1. The Rudd-didn’t-wear-enough-deodorant interpretation of the 2010 leadership coup. Hell, I always thought that politics was about lust for power and personal ambition. Indeed, I always assumed that Rudd could soil himself in every Cabinet meeting and his colleagues wouldn’t mind if they got what they wanted. So I don’t quite know how to fit that interpretation into my frame of reference – unless, of course, it’s pathetic bollocks.
    2. The Julia-became-PM-without-a-ruthless-bone-in-her-body interpretation. See above.

    Well, at least we know a bit more about Nicola Roxon, Simon Crean, Wayne Swan and Garrett (who really should get back to music, if music will have him).

  40. Terry

    The AFR piece by Pamela Williams today would suggest that nothing ahs been learned in the Labor unity stakes.

    Key quote:

    One key hard-head said this week that Shorten needed to keep his head down for now lest Labor lose the chance for a clean leadership change in the future when the final break comes from the Rudd-Gillard era. Even from within the fighting machine this past week in the Gillard bunker, this player saw little chance of Gillard rebuilding her stocks with the public. Nevertheless, the restoration of Rudd was an intolerable notion. So deep was the hatred, that losing office has been regarded as preferable to restoring Rudd.

  41. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    TERRY – I would prefer it if Shorten broke cover earlier rather than later. Indeed, if anyone is going to get smashed at the next election, I hope it is him. Then there is more chance that Rudd (or someone else) can come in as a reformist opposition leader.
    Though, you never know, of course. I haven’t seen anything about Shorten that fills me with confidence. But sometimes head-kickers reach the top and (with no more heads to kick) become genuine reformists (Keating, LBJ, etc etc)

  42. Sam

    Tel, I wonder who this might have been? Perchance a certain Senator who has pulled the pin?

  43. Paul Norton

    Nickws @31:

    (I didn’t realise his contempt for her extended to implying she’d been enough of a communist in order to be able to rat on them. I thought that was a line which came from ex-student radicals who’ve fallen out with JG.)

    Only if you define Peter Costello as an “ex student radical”, which is wrong because he was actually an ex-student Labor Rightie.

    I’ve explained this before, but in 1980-81, if you were a female student activist of moderate Labor leanings and you supported the existence of the Australian Union of Students, even whilst being critical of aspects of it, the peculiarities of the internal politics of AUS meant that you would be aligned with the students from the Communist Party of Australia, who in those circumstances were very much a moderating and stabilising force within AUS. The closest analogy would be with the role played by the Spanish Communists during the Spanish Civil War as the mainstay of the alliance with the moderate socialists and centrist republicans. Gillard was no more a CPA member than Juan Negrin was a PCE member.

    As I’ve also said before, if you were a Labor Right or Liberal student in 1977-81 and you desired the destruction of AUS, you would have been not just in alignment, but active collaboration, with the Maoist students at a time when they were proudly displaying portraits of Pol Pot on the walls of their offices.

  44. Sam

    1977-81… Maoist students … time when they were proudly displaying portraits of Pol Pot on the walls of their offices.

    There’s a certain now prominent Sydney barrister who was a very active student Maoist in that era.

  45. Paul Norton

    Indeed there is – initials DC?

  46. Terry

    Sam, the use of the word ‘hard head” – used three times in three paragraphs – may suggest Garrett. But I think that unlikely. Can you think of any other bald factional operatives?

  47. Paul Norton

    Terry @49, I’ll gazump Sam and guess that David Feeney might have been the concrete cranium alluded to.

  48. Paul Norton

    Even though he still has hair.

  49. Fran Barlow

    The closest analogy would be with the role played by the Spanish Communists during the Spanish Civil War as the mainstay of the alliance with the moderate socialists and centrist republicans.

    That reference serves the purpose for which you intended it, while helping us to understand why reactionary spivs like Arbib could back her into power.

  50. Terry

    I hope there are not Caucus members who are not now feeling the love, as suggested by Wayne Swan, Simon Crean and Craig Emerson.

  51. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    TIGTOG – In many ways, Mungo is right because politics in this country is between the low heels and the high heels (Gullivers Travels) and because they are so interchangeable, trust in leaders counts for so much.

    But I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Julia come up with an idea of her own. If it was up to her, would we have the NBN, a Carbon Tax, etc. Indeed, now that the big ideas thrown up in the first term of labor are exhausted, where to now? Pokies reform might have been a good starting point, but this govt has run scared of the clubs, etc etc.

  52. Terry

    Hang on a minute, what about the Citizens’Assembly?

  53. Martin B

    @42

    If you cannot imagine a scenario of a leader being autocratic and/or dysfunctional over and above the usual norms of politics then I suggest that that is a failure of your imagination. That is not to say that that account is necessarily true but “It’s bollocks because I can’t imagine it” is particularly low on the evidentiary scale.

    On the second point, obviously there are self-serving exaggerations and fantasies on all sides of the argument and anyone who has been around longer than thirty seconds would bear that in mind I would think.

  54. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    MARTIN B: Are you saying that personal ambition and lust for power had nothing to do with Rudd’s removal?

  55. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    TERRY – Yes, forgot about Julia’s attempt to delegate policy development to a citizen’s assembly

  56. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
  57. Martin B

    I would have thought my second paragraph makes it clear that I do not think that, but to be explicit, as I said earlier I find totalizing explanations to be unsatisfactory. I think that it is neither the case that ‘this was only about personal ambition/factional power’ or ‘this was nothing to do with personal ambition/factional power’. Individuals are normally motivated by a range of reasons and groups of individuals even more so. Trying to reduce these actions to one simple narrative is an exercise in propaganda, not analysis.

  58. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    MARTIN B: I think we agree then.

  59. Grey

    “Look Julia could blow her own feet off in the next two weeks and keep our polls down in the 30’s, but even so Kevin Rudd will never get more than 30 votes in the ballot. That’s how much people hate him,” said this player before yesterday’s leadership ballot that saw Gillard roundly defeat Rudd. “We just have to see what happens in the next six months. But we had to destroy Rudd first.”

    “We’re muscling up,” said another hard-head last week. Yet another said, “We’ve got them on the run, now we’ve shown them our muscle. They’ve disintegrated and we’ve only just started the fight.”

    “Our tanks are rolling into Berlin,” added another

    What a bunch of delusional nutters.

    Meanwhile the government hangs of the narrowest of threads. Andrew Wilkie has hinted he might support a non-confidence motion today, if Abbott made the slightest effort he could win him over. Gillard cheated Wilkie in two ways
    1. Giving him a funding package for the Hobart hospital and then taking the money out of future GST grants – meanwhile the health system in Tasmania implodes.
    2. Forcing him into a stupid bureaucratic pokies response that she had no intention of delivering on if it was possible to be avoided.

    So Wilkie is low-lying fruit awaiting an Abbott plucking, where would the 2nd vote come from? Promising Rob Oakshott not to oppose him in Lyne (“A small price to bring this bad Government to an end. We congratulate Rob on finally listening to the views of his electorate”)? Promising Peter Slipper the Speaker’s chair if he stands down (“To our surprise Peter has proved an excellent Speaker….”)

    Seriously, how hard could it be if you were Tony Abbott?

  60. adrian

    Yes, Wilkie might spoil this particular party. And who can blame him? Wasn’t it a written commitment?

    Seriously, how hard could it be if you were Tony Abbott?

    Well Abbott always has been and remains Labor’s best asset.
    The question is, has he learnt anything from past failures?

  61. Katz

    Well, let’s see how hard Tony Abbott makes it for himself.

    Are you implying that it will be more difficult for him to win an election in a year’s time than it would be today?

    Interesting admission, if true.

  62. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    GREY – Send in the deprogramers.

  63. Thomas Paine

    I think the Piping Shrike hits then nail on the head, once again.

    Labor people who get near the top of the pile in Labor are in no way weak-knee jelly backs that would shake at the hugely intimidating appearance of Mr Rudd. Such an idea is laughable and feeds into the ever growing propaganda.

    These people eat red-back spiders and betray a half dozen friends before breakfast. Mr Rudd even as PM is no match for them, no matter angry and how many naughty words he might use.

    In this business power is at the bottom of every issue. Always was always will be. Don’t watch the hand, watch the man behind the curtain.

    The P-Shrike is spot on as usual.

  64. Katz

    Labor’s heavy hitters didn’t fear Rudd. They despised him. The two emotions should never be conflated.

  65. Thomas Paine

    “We’re muscling up,” said another hard-head last week. Yet another said, “We’ve got them on the run, now we’ve shown them our muscle. They’ve disintegrated and we’ve only just started the fight.”

    Imagine their faces then when Rudd and a small group wander in and say they are starting a new political party.

    Seriously, he is a workaholic, thinkaholic, he won’t sit still for a moment, and an unoccupied Rudd will start thinking of things to occupy his time. A break away party is just the sort of thing he would do if he thinks he has no chance with the Labor leadership ever.

    It is still early in the corrupt power games of Labor.

  66. adrian

    The question then should be, why did they despise him?

    I think we all know the answer to that, and it has nothing to do with his leadership style, dysfunctionality, lack of consultation with his colleagues, or any of the other tosh that we are continually fed.

  67. Thomas Paine

    Labor’s heavy hitters didn’t fear Rudd. They despised him. The two emotions should never be conflated.

    So they couldn’t deal with him, couldn’t get what they wanted, or any changes. Simply not a credible. And adding to meme wont alter this.

  68. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    TP – It’s really a terrible admission for a socalled “political professional” to make, isn’t it, that they ran at the first whiff of body-odour.

  69. Thomas Paine

    The question then should be, why did they despise him?

    Well the clue comes from the story that he told a delegation of those guys looking for increased allowance, to FO.

    He challenged their sense of superiority and power. Rudd kicked the Labor ‘aristocracy’ in the nuts, and its been war since I gather.

  70. Lefty E

    Yep, good analysis from Shrike – there’s no question there’s a factional power structure element to the vitriol against Rudd. Why no release of the 2010 electin report? Why on selective anti-Rudd tracts?

    Again, I wonder how many cited episiodes of his bad behaviour (like the Stag beat-up, above) would survive a thorough parsing.

    ‘A percentage’ is my guess – though not necessarily a very high one.

  71. adrian

    I think it’s quite extraordinary how many people have been sucked into the Rudd as a sociopath/dysfunctional bastard meme.

    It doesn’t stand up to event the most rudimentary scrutiny.

  72. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    ADRIAN – The wider community hasn’t been sucked in, because they start from the basic (logical) position that they’re all the same.

  73. Sam

    It may be that the factional warlords felt threatened by Rudd, but it was his own bad behaviour to nearly everybody, not just them, that did him in. He burnt every bridge, deliberately, thinking that he didn’t friends or even a solid base of support because he had Newspoll. This was fine in the heady days up to December 2009, when he was torturing Nelson and then Turnbull. But, enter Abbott, and with Newspoll heading south, Rudd became extremely exposed.

    Contrast with Gillard. A failure on nearly objective criteria, miles behind in the polls, she has survived by treating people well and generally not being a shit.

    The lesson of Rudd is the age old one: be careful how you treat people on the way up because you’ll be meeting them again on the way down.

  74. Lefty E

    Adrian – Im sure he was a prick to work for, in many respects. I dont see the need to doubt that (though I do doubt a great many recently cited episodes).

    But that wasnt his problem: his problem was he was a poorly-connected-with-factional-powerbrokers prick to work for.

    PS It is noteworthy the the turnover in his Foreign Ministry staffers has been low the last 18 months. The idea he couldnt learn from mistakes is clearly dubious.

  75. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    TP – In retrospect, Rudd getting to chose his own ministry was a recipe for disaster. What’s the point of being a factional boss if you don’t have any patronage to distribute?

  76. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SAM – Or they are bound to Julia because, if they weren’t, they would have to admit to the biggest f…up in Australian political history and because Rudd is still a threat to the power of those behind her. Read Piping Shrike.

  77. adrian

    I don’t doubt it, Lefty E, but the point I’m making is that it doesn’t really explain anything, as you imply.

  78. Martin B

    I think it’s quite extraordinary how many people have been sucked into the Rudd as a sociopath/dysfunctional bastard meme.

    I’ve given my reasons for believing the general thesis*. I haven’t seen any ‘scrutiny’ of it other than people saying “I don’t believe it/We know it was the evil factions/All PMs are bastards”.

    * I’ve also agreed that the thesis is clearly presented in ridiculously inflated terms for self-serving ways by the anti-Rudd forces (just as the ‘factional leaders don’t care about winning elections/Only Rudd can save us’ argument is presented in ridiculously inflated terms for self-serving ways by the pro-Rudd forces.)

  79. Patrickb

    @3
    “How are the anti-gillardistas going to string together a narrative of her being the puppet of faceless men”
    Sensible debate, that’s what I like to see. You’d do well in the ALP.
    I actually think that we may see the govt. come out of this OK. The press have exhausted themselves and Rudd would appear to have accepted his fate. Obviously the polls have the potential to white-ant the govt. as they have done in the past but it looks like the independents are holding their line so a no confidence motions is not going to happen and Abbott will have to fume for a bit longer.
    And that’s a good thing as petulance does not make the heart grow fonder and listening to Barnyard (where has he been?) it looks like bullying and harassment are the dominant rhetorical strategies in the LNP ATM. As we all know the Abbott opposition is opposed to the development of policy. This will become a liability as the election draws closer. IF there is a narrowing in the polls in the ALPs favour we MAY dodge the Abbott bullet.
    BTW I think the ALP should draw on the rhetorical assistance of Beatty and Keating and drop the manager speak. Beatty stomped on Barnyard on Q&A.

  80. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    MARTIN B: You say that you agree with the “general thesis” and then say it has been presented in “ridiculously inflated terms”. If so, surely you don’t agree with the general thesis.

  81. billie

    Sam, There is no doubt that

    1. Rudd was a ruthless administrator reorganising the Queensland public service sacking many long serving low paid public servants doing little work, for which he earnt the epitaph “Dr Death” He did last as long as his Premier Wayne Goss.

    2. Rudd carefully built his image with the Australian people with his weekly sessions on Sunrise with Mel and Kochie. In June 2010 and yesterday he used his family as a weapon to reinforce his wholesome everyman image.

    3. He ran a chaotic Prime Ministers office and did make decisions in a timely manner

    4. Julia Gillard is a superb/good administrator and superb/good negotiator so things get done

    5. Julia Gillard is considered light on for policy

    6. Julia Gillard has failed to get her message across which is blamed upon
    a. hostile media
    b. undermining from her own Party
    c. Captain Catholic or “Just say “No” Tony Abbott

  82. billie

    oops, I meant LeftyE and there are a few missing “not”s

  83. Martin B

    Not at all. It is exactly as I said – I agree with the general proposition that Rudd’s characteristics as a leader went beyond the usual norms of politics and that these charactersitics caused serious problems for the operation of government.

    I don’t agree with all of the ways this argument is presented. I don’t think this entails holding him to be a sociopath or any of those other descriptions of him.

    Nor does it mean that I think the events of June 2010 were done well. I agree that the whole affair was done badly and was one of the major factors in destroying the confidence of the population ion the Australian government.

  84. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    MARTIN B: Like to add any other factors you say contributed to Rudd’s fall, apart from the general thesis?

  85. Nick

    “1. Giving him a funding package for the Hobart hospital and then taking the money out of future GST grants”

    Grey @ 62, is that actually what’s happening though?

    One of the funniest events of last week I thought was Wilkie calling a press conference, which the ABC breathlessly built up in anticipation of what he was going to make of the whole debacle. He then proceeded to speak about domestic Tas issues for 15 mins or so without referring to the leadership challenge once :)

    Eventually the ABC got bored of waiting and cut back to the studio…

    Wilkie did seem at pains though to make clear it was only a small percentage of funding to be deducted from future GST? (I really don’t know one way or the other)

  86. Katz

    Why stick with “fear” when it plainly wasn’t “fear”?

    To do so is destructive of truth.

    When you fear a spider you run screaming from the room. When you despise a spider you whack it with a rolled up newspaper.

    Under neither circumstance do you try to reason with the spider.

  87. adrian

    6. Julia Gillard has failed to get her message across which is blamed upon
    a. hostile media
    b. undermining from her own Party
    c. Captain Catholic or “Just say “No” Tony Abbott

    So it has nothing to do with her poor communication skills, namely:

    1. Generally talking like a particularly poor robotic primary school teacher, trying to explain something to kids who simply refuse to learn.

    2. Relying on hackneyed and cliched phrases over and over again. Even this morning, when she just about lost the robotic voice, I heard the phrase ‘working families’ far too many times.

    3. Failing to communicate any semblance of passion, vision or genuine enthusiasm, partly because of 1 and 2.

    4. A sense of humour wouldn’t go astray sometimes.

    I really hope that Gillard takes it up to Abbott, but she needs to rediscover the communication skills that she apparently had when deputy PM and before.

  88. Martin B

    Have I not already said so several times now?

    I think: concerns about the operation of government; concern about electoral success; personal ambition are three factors that in varying degrees were almost certainly motivations for all of the key actors.

    I’m not the one pulling the “we know that there wuz only one reason” in this thread.

  89. Sam

    Billie,

    maybe the reason Gillard can’t get her message across is that she just isn’t a good communicator. It’s not surprising. Very few people have these skills.

  90. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    ADRIAN – A bit of policy heft wouldn’t go astray either. But that’s the big problem with Julia. I like Rudd because I know he is fundamentally a policy wonk (so I will forgive much, and have to). But Julia is a playa, pure and simple. She isn’t really interested in policy, so she doesn’t think the community is either.
    You remember Rudd’s press club debate with Abbott, when he totally wiped the floor with him. It seemed the more arcane Rudd got, the higher his worm lifted. In other words, the population might not have understood everything he said, but he didn’t talk down to them and clearly knew what he was talking about.
    I spoke to a swinging voter a few days ago and she told me that when she listened to Rudd she found him “reassuring”, but she never felt that with Julia.
    What do you think?

  91. Katz

    While Rudd was a winner in the judgment of the polls, the “faceless men” were prepared to grit their teeth and tolerate the little twerp.

    But the faceless men needed Rudd for one reason only — to win elections. At the first sign of Rudd’s failure to win elections, the faceless men assassinated Rudd without remorse.

    Would Rudd have lasted longer if he had been a good bloke? Possibly.

    Would Rudd have lasted longer if he conformed to Labor factionalism? Probably.

    Would Rudd have lasted longer if he were both a good bloke and a faction creature? Almost certainly.

    But even good bloke faction creatures get knifed eventually. It happened to Beazley twice.

  92. Sam

    It happened to Beazley twice.

    Only once. Beazley I stepped down voluntarily after the 2001 Tampa Osama election.

  93. Katz

    In that case it never happened to Rudd because he stepped down voluntarily as well.

    Argument over.

  94. Sam

    The Labor Party is getting better! Today, Bob Carr’s name has been floated as a replacement for Arbib, and then withdrawn within a couple of hours. I suppose that Gillard’s office, if not the PM herself, sent an incredulous WTF??!! to Sussex Street around lunch time.

    Who comes up with these nutty ideas?

  95. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    KATZ – Pretty much agree with that, except the proposition (if you are making it) that the faceless-men thought Rudd was going to lose the 2010/2011 election (when called). My reading of the situation was that they were really afraid he would win, in which case they would never get rid of the little twerp. Don’t forget, Rudd was up 52 – 48 in Newspoll (and climbing) just before he got the boot, and he got the boot on the very last day possible and just before locking in a mining deal. The FMs thought that, in one fell swoop, they could install Julia and sell her to the electorate (and maybe even improve the vote).

  96. Sam

    Beazley I wasn’t pushed. He’d just lost two elections running. He wasn’t going to be next Calwell by losing three.

  97. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SAM – Maybe they thought they could sell Bob Carr as an agent of change (because he co-authored the party review) but realised that one would be dead on delivery.
    But it does make you wonder what planet they live on.

  98. Lefty E

    The Carr story appears to be bollocks.

  99. adrian

    The point is Katz, Rudd was a ‘winner in the polls’ when he was dumped.
    As KOS said, the more logical explanation is that they were scared that he was going to win and they’s never get rid of the ‘little twerp’.

    Why else would you get rid of a leader with great polling numbers contextually, and feel the need to invent private polling that you then leak to well known Labor sympathiser Andrew Bolt?

    So you invent the story that he was going to lose the next election and hope the public is gullible enough to buy it. Well the weren’t and they aren’t.

    You think it makes sense? A harbour bridge awaits.

  100. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    When you think about it, in normal circumstances, with an opposition leader like Abbott and a strong economy, this is just the time for a Govt to rush to the polls and lock in an election before the Libs get wise. Unbelievable.

  101. Nick

    adrian @ 90:

    5. Seemingly unable to be Prime Ministerial in question time. For all Crabb et al’s “this is a new Gillard we’re seeing now”, she went straight back into the same old patterns – overly loud, overly aggressive, overly defensive, one track tirades, one after another, with never a pause for thought or consideration. You’re the Prime Minister…it’s supposed to be decisive now…so own it ffs! Make them wait and listen. You dictate the pace and volume, not them. Try some dynamic and ebb and flow, instead of crashing away relentlessly like a third-rate metal drummer. What could have been an opportunity to improve and build upon her fumbled earlier speech, and become a day’s worth of quality mini-speeches about conciliation and rebuilding while everyone was still listening…just wasn’t to be. Nope, it’s always all the about the Opposition and *their* lack of whatever, and why *they’re* so terrible. Sure, that needs to come across, but there really has to be more…that constant negativity thing really does run both ways.

  102. Katz

    You’re making it up Adrian. Between late March 2010 and mid June 2010, a mere 80 days, according to Newspoll, Rudd’s personal approval as PM plummeted from 51% to 36%.

    See here:

    http://newspoll.com.au/image_uploads/100605%20Federal%20Voting%20Intention%20&%20Leaders%20Ratings.pdf

    This data easy sustains an interpretation that Rudd was becoming an electoral liability, despite the fact that the ALP was holding up quite well in the polls.

  103. Jacques de Molay

    The Labor Party is getting better! Today, Bob Carr’s name has been floated as a replacement for Arbib, and then withdrawn within a couple of hours. I suppose that Gillard’s office, if not the PM herself, sent an incredulous WTF??!! to Sussex Street around lunch time.

    Who comes up with these nutty ideas?

    Not only that but I heard they want(ed) Bob Carr to take over as the new Foreign Minister and potentially be a leadership candidate down the line!

    The Sussex St mob are accused of many things but they’ve certainly got a wicked sense of humour.

  104. Lefty E

    despite the fact that the ALP was holding up quite well in the polls.

    Which pretty much says it all.

  105. Chris

    Nick – yea an ALP MP was interviewed on ABC24 saying how they now had to do a lot of hard work before the next election by showing how bad Abbotts policies or lack of them are. It’s almost as if the ALP haven’t realized they are in government now and no longer the opposition.

  106. Jacques de Molay

    It’s almost as if the ALP haven’t realized they are in government now and no longer the opposition.

    It’s been their biggest problem from the beginning.

  107. adrian

    Yeah Katz, and the fact that he’s so unpopular now proves your point I guess.

  108. Nick

    We is holding the Opposition to account! WTF. I think it’s crazy, Chris.

  109. Grey

    Wilkie did seem at pains though to make clear it was only a small percentage of funding to be deducted from future GST? (I really don’t know one way or the other)

    Nick @ 88
    The claim that the deal was not as attractive as it looks on surface came late last year from the State Labour government and the local AMA. Both have agendas – State Labour to distract from their own mismanagement of health and the AMA (perhaps a conservative bent?) seemed to think Wilkie should have accepted Abbott’s 1 billion dollar new hospital offer. Wilkie’s electoral pitch was very much that electing an independent would enable Hobart to reverse the concentration of the northern Tasmanian electorates in gaining electoral largess – hence it is very much in his interest to talk up the existing deal – at least until he gets a better offer. I can’t tell you where the true facts of the matter lie, but I expect Governments will always look for ways to claw back these headline deals behind the scenes.

    The perception is out there that Wilkie was bilked and since the Royal Hobart Hospital is currently closing five operating theatres and 100 acute beds, it begins to seem a little beside the point.

    The Commonwealth has already taken over one of the Northern Tasmania hospitals in past electoral bidding wars for Braddon and Bass, there would seem to be an opening for Abbott to allow Wilkie to pose as the saviour of the Royal Hobart Hospital in return for a no-confidence vote. Wilkie would need something dramatic to justify himself before a fairly strongly Labour-Green electorate.

    Tony Abbott might need to make his offer with a bit more finesse this time though – Andrew Wilkie is a delicate flower in such matters.

  110. Terry

    Dennis Shanahan thinks the answer is for Gillard to “assert her authority” by really getting stuck into Kim Carr, Robert McClelland and any other Rudd sympathisers still out there. Fortunately he’s behind the paywall.

  111. Sam

    I … I … I …. agree with Dennis Shanahan.

    I will now kill myself.

  112. Grey

    “Dennis Shanahan thinks the answer is for Gillard to “assert her authority” by really getting stuck into Kim Carr, Robert McClelland and any other Rudd sympathisers still out there”
    Senator Kim Carr, yes, MP Robert McClelland, perhaps not.

  113. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    GREY – Did Shanahan suggest what weapons should be used and how civilian casualties could be minimised.

  114. Nick

    Thanks for that, Grey!

    Here’s Wilkie’s press release about it from the other day.

  115. Katz

    Here, thanks to Wikipedia, is a list of events that may have influenced the thinking of ALP heavyweights between the moment that Rudd commanded a 51% approval rating to the moment he was assassinated:

    29 March – 100 boats have arrived since November 2007 bringing 4,386 asylum-seekers and at least 225 crew members to Australia. The 100th boat, with 41 passengers and 3 crew on board, was intercepted in the vicinity of Christmas Island.

    12 April – The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, announces a taskforce has been established to investigate allegations of rorting in the Government’s $16b Building the Education Revolution program aimed at upgrading facilities at Australian schools.

    27 April – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces the deferral of the introduction of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until after the end of the current commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (which ends in 2012), citing a lack of bipartisan support for the proposal and slower progress than expected in terms of global action on climate change.

    2 May – The Rudd Government announces it will tax the above-normal profits—known as super profits—of the mining industry to fund a superannuation rise and a company tax cut.

    19 June – A by-election is held for the New South Wales state electorate of Penrith. The by-election was won by the Liberal Party candidate Stuart Ayres with a record swing of 25.7% in two party preferred terms. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of Karyn Paluzzano after an admission that she lied to the Independent Commission Against Corruption and her subsequent expulsion from the Australian Labor Party.

    We see here Rudd policies coming unstuck. Boats arriving in numbers, rorting, dumping one huge proram and FOUR days later announcing another monster. That Penrith by election, though a state event, looks like a party coming apart at the seams.

  116. Terry

    Collateral dmaage may include 10-20 currently sitting MPs, but, hey, to make an omelette … Anyway, one of them will be Garrett.

  117. Grey

    @ 117 Nick

    Here’s Wilkie’s press release about it from the other day.

    This press release may be comparing apples and oranges. It states that he, Mr Wilkie had secured 340 million for the state while the CGC report states this has lead to a reduction in 59 million.

    In a fit of boredom I downloaded the Update Report, it states:

    For Tasmania, the impact of Commonwealth payments was particularly marked. The
    reduction in GST shares was largely due to the funding for the redevelopment of Royal Hobart Hospital and the construction of the new Women and Children’s Hospital.

    The figure of 59 million relates to a change for a single year between the 2011 Update and 2012 Update relating to the Health and Hospital fund.

    Now perhaps Wilkie’s 340 million has all been dispensed in a single year and this 59 million payment will indeed be the sole subtraction – but I can’t draw this conclusion from the CGC report. I would prefer an assessment or calculation from the State Treasury or some suitably qualified body that follows these matters beyond my 10 minute perusal of a report.

  118. Lefty E

    Sounds like a normal first term govt Katz.

    Who now recalls Howard sacking Ministers, reversing on the GST, terrible mid and late term polling (‘one-term wonder’ being bandied about), taking 9 months to repudiate Hansonism as it demolished the coaltion in QLD, loss of John Moore’s blue ribbon seat in a bye-election, pissing of rural voters with gun control, massive spending cuts, core/ non-core, in fact losing the popular vote to Beazley etc etc.

  119. Lefty E

    Here’s a handy comparsion from Crikey:

    If you want collapses in voter confidence in first-term governments, Kevin Rudd had nothing on Howard.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/06/28/the-strange-case-of-the-terrible-first-term-prime-minister/

  120. Sam

    loss of John Moore’s blue ribbon seat in a bye-election

    That was late in the second term.

    one of them will be Garrett

    No it won’t, because he won’t re-contest. The girl from Opus Dei will be the candidate for Kingsford Smith.

  121. socrates

    While I am unshocked at the outcome of the leadership vote, or the behaviour of the factions, clearly I was wrong about Mark Arbib. He has announced his resignation from the Senate to “spend more time with his family”. Touching. (It is remarkable how many politicians who care about their families wind up leaving politics – this concern seems to be as terminal for their careers as “moving to Queensland” was for a soapie star on Neighbours.)

    Here was I thinking Arbib was a factional player who would never leave. Yet despite the tremendous success of his time in office, both in advising Rudd to delay the ETS, and running the 2010 Federal Labor election campaign, he has pulled up stumps not long after making cabinet. What a loss! Even Tony Abbott will grieve at the departure of this principled stateman from Canberra.

  122. adrian

    Yes, Rudd had nothing on Dear Leader.
    Just that the Libs powerbrokers aren’t quite as stupid as those on the Labor side.

  123. Patrickb

    @67
    “They despised him”
    Said with sagacity, pity it’s vacuous. Not being too interested in making useful contributions is what got the ALP into such a bind as well.

  124. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SOCRATES – I am a little less confident that Arbib has fully left the public eye.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/quitting-the-heart-of-the-storm-mark-arbib/story-e6freuy9-1226283423296

  125. Katz

    I don’t imply that Rudd’s assassins were smart, LE.

    In fact, I’m arguing against the hypothesis that they were engaged in a well-planned plot.

    These folks were reacting, foolishly perhaps, to events in accord with their prejudices, which were anti-Rudd.

    A muddle, not a well conceived conspiracy.

  126. Patrickb

    @89
    Is just me or does Katz appear to be channelling David Carrdine’s master from “Kung Fu”, that is “Master Po”. Perhaps a new ‘nym grasshopper?

  127. Sam

    More Yoda than Master Po, I think.

  128. Katz

    Maybe your sphincter is blocking your view, Patrickb.

  129. Sam

    Now, now boys, play nice.

  130. Patrickb

    @105
    Talk about cherry picking. The last poll shows that the ALP were ahead 52-48 as previously stated. The same polling period has Abbott at 37and Rudd at 46 for preferred PM. The only downside is Rudd’s performance, but hey that was fixable and anyway Abbott’s a worse choice for most people. The “bad polling” explanation doesn’t have enough legs to justify the coup. There are other, well known, explanations.

  131. Katz

    What are you trying to explain, Patrickb?

  132. Sam

    What are you trying to explain, Patrickb?

    It’s a Freemason conspiracy, that’s what. Watch Gillard carefully when she shakes hands with certain people. The secret handshake is subtle, but definitely there.

  133. jumpy

    Katz

    Maybe your sphincter is blocking your view

    Nice one.
    Gunna use that on the” Queensland state election” thread if someone says ALP can win.
    Cheers.

  134. Patrickb

    @131
    What a riposte! I’m actually raspberrying you right now. Anyway I think Katz’s next to last comment basically concede’s the point they’ve been trying a avoid for the last million comments: the Rudd coup was carried out by a bunch of malicious numptys upset because they had been outwitted. Now perhaps we can leave off the sagacious vacuity for a while, thank god. Actually the bit about a “well planned plot” is crap unless you think that Hitler had a well planned plot to take over Europe or GW Bush had a well planned plot to invade Iraq. Well planned means that you have some clue as to the consequences of your plot.

  135. Katz

    I’m happy enough with the numpty thesis.

    I’ve been arguing against the willing stooges of the mining magnates thesis.

    When thinking about well planned plots at least George Bush thought far enough ahead to have designed the flag of the “New Iraq”.

    Here it is. It’s one of my favourite symbols of failure.

    http://unclehornhead.blogspot.com.au/New%20Iraqi%20Flag.jpg

  136. Joe

    Well, it’s all over, really.

    The only interesting thing left to ponder, is how this is going to go down in the analls of LP history? But even that may not be interesting, as unlike Hawke, I think the opinion on Rudd is fairly unanimous.

    Bruce Hawker has had an interesting week. I don’t know if he shouldn’t take a few days off, rather than get involved in the Queensland election straight away.

    The next generation of Labor leader is also an interesting question. I personally, like Roxon and Combet. They need a few more flying hours, but I think they have the smarts.

  137. Kevin Rennie

    My latest Global Voices post looks at the blogosphere’s reactions:

    Australia: Prime Minister Julia Gillard Wins Big in Leadership Dogfight

    It seems that we will talk about the usual – football:

    …the inevitable sports satire came from the White Maggot (the name refers to umpires who traditionally wore white) in Rudd set to challenge Gillard as Bulldogs Number 1 Ticket Holder. The Western Bulldogs is an Australian Football League club located in Footscray, part of Julia Gillard’s electorate. The prime minister will be hoping that her bark is at least the equal of her bite.

  138. Mindy

    Is five successive threads on one topic a record at LP?

  139. Patrickb

    Speaking of Numptys, I hear big Phil taking to three luminaries on the LNL repeat. Paul Kelly, Rodney Cavalier and Barry Jones. Great, a fat old man talking to 3 other old men of varying degrees of corporeal excess about the demise of the ALP. Yet again. All are in furious agreement that things are dire but as far as solutions or insights are concerned I think we’d be better off interviewing the seals at Seaworld.
    What really flurks my kerjigger though is that we never get the same discourse around the Liberal party. I mean I’d really like to know what’s gooing on there. Is the lurch to the right permanent, is it grass roots. Are they connected with the GOP and Tea Party? How do they decide on policy (oh, rhetorical question).

  140. joe2

    What really flurks my kerjigger though is that we never get the same discourse around the Liberal party. I mean I’d really like to know what’s gooing on there. Is the lurch to the right permanent, is it grass roots. Are they connected with the GOP and Tea Party? How do they decide on policy (oh, rhetorical question).

    Now that sounds like the makings of an interesting discussion. I wonder if it would take direct backgrounding from Malcolm to Chris Uhlmann and Mark Simkin to get it off the ground or whether they would continue not to notice his various manoeuvrings.

  141. Patrickb

    In answer to my own question I expect that the Liberal doesn’t actually have much of a story to tell. They lurch in and out of power, not really achieving much. That’s the nature of conservatism. It’s fair to say that the vast majority of major reforms in Australian political and economic life have been initiated by the ALP. Well at least since WW1.

  142. Nickws

    Shaun Carney in the Age thinks it would be a smashing idea if Gillard were to appoint Chris Bowen treasurer(!)

    Our elite political press is broken beyond repair. Even the potentially worthwhile opinionating like this Bowen-to-replace-Swan idea is drawn totally out of their arses. They don’t even understand the political games they spend so much they time propagating.

    What is the point of the gallery?

    Also: Nice long thread you’ve got here, and I’m not going to respond to much or any of what is said, but to say this: I like the fact that the most resolutely pro-anti-Rudd-bandwagon poster here is someone who’s on record as saying that Whitlam’s intervention into the Vic ALP was the end of democracy in the party. Yup.

    I think that helps put bloggosphere ‘high info’ ‘independent’ thought into some perspective. At least it’s cheaper than a hardcopy edition of the Age, I suppose.

    And yet the reallife Labor Left activists of the site must maintain their silence (and I don’t blame ‘em, there is nothing for them to say in the face of so much soul-destroying amateur quarterbacking.)

  143. Lefty E

    Well, if youre one of the people, like me, who tends to respect Laura Tingle’s work a bit more than other political journos, I strongly suggest you check out her take on certain issues arising from yesterday:

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/1204_tingle.pdf

    Email exchange between her and mediawatch

  144. Nickws

    What sort of bullshit is this; MediaWatch is demanding reporters reveal sources, or that they don’t even accept politicians off-the-record feeds in the first place? That’s not a legitimate criticism of the gallery’s screwiness!

    Time for Stuart Littlemore to get medieval on this successor of his in the chair, methinks.

  145. David Irving (no relation)

    That’s very interseting, Lefty E. Frankly, I think Tingle is the only one of them worth listening to.

  146. David Irving (no relation)

    Fuck. That’d be interesting

  147. wbb

    71-31.

  148. Nickws

    Oh how I wish the polling margin was one tenth as good for Gillard.

    A four point lead over the Coalition; I’d sacrifice any number of chickens on the SDA’s satanic altar for that.

  149. Chris

    Nickws @ 146 – as has been discussed on Twitter with Holmes, the first time a reporter reveals the identity of a confidential source will be the last time the reporter has any confidential source.

    That being said, I thought some of the questions posed were reasonable. And further it needs to be asked if rather than the media being the manipulators as it is often alleged, if it really is that they are being used by the politicians instead.

  150. Jacques de Molay

    You’re onto something Chris. They talked a bit about this on Q&A Monday night with that shiny former adviser of Rudd’s who bangs on about things like 24 hour news cycles & lifting veils etc and whilst pollies and their assorted hanger ons like to go on about the media the reality is they need them almost as much as the journos do. They need the journos to leak to.

    And clearly the only reason that embedded pack of journos in Canberra exists is to make good contacts and get the leaks. A journo is only ever as good as their contacts (which is why Peter Hartcher is now looking decidedly glum). Look at Glenn Milne as soon as the Libs lost office no wants to know about him anymore. He was on something like $250K a year but when the relevance of Costello’s leaks diminished he was cut adrift.

  151. Labor Outsider

    @151 and @152

    It is a two way street..both need each other and in some ways despise each other…People forget that Blair’s media strategy was formulated to allow Labor to finally control the media cycle rather than being controlled by it…Of course, it was somewhat heavy handed and in the end probably counterproductive….Kevin’s strategy had a similar origin….He wanted to control his own destiny, which meant a media strategy that tried to drive the media cycle as much as possible….Of course, MSM knows when it is being played and looks for ways to reassert itself, more often than not when a polly is on the way down or on the back foot…

  152. adrian

    Tingle provides a bit of perspective, unlike some of the more hysterical ALP right apologists on this site.

    Are politicians rude about each other? Of course they are. Do I report it when it is important for my readers to know about it? Yes. I point you to pieces I write in 2009 and 2010 which reported the internal problems in the Rudd government and similar ones I’ve written about the Gillard government.
    However, as I said earlier, I believe the whole premise of your questions is wrong.
    That’s because the only way Rudd was ever going to get back into the leadership was if Labor became so desperate it drafted him. This would have required the ‘faceless men’ to have to admit they were wrong, which was always a big stumbling block.
    Rudd was always being told to sit back and shut up if he wanted to come back and, in general, he did.
    Whatever happened in the 2010 election campaign, I find it hard to think of any example of a bad turn of events for the government since the campaign that can be sheeted home to Rudd. That is, unless you count the fact that he lived and breathed and was therefore a reminder of the fact Labor had a choice.
    What has happened in the past couple of months has been a result of Julia Gillard’s missteps – which caused some of her supporters to peel off but not necessarily move to the Rudd camp – and then the Gillard supporters doing whatever they could to provoke Rudd into acting in a way which would allow the prime minister to either sack him or otherwise bring this issue to a head earlier rather than later

  153. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Bob Carr for FM. The idea was an absolute masterstroke if your goal was to piss off the whole electorate of NSW by reminding them of the previous government. According to Denis Atkins, it was thought Carr would provided “political and policy firepower” for the Government. What on earth could they have been thinking? And what does that say about the rest of Government MPs? Detached from reality is an understatement. Further, according to the Australian, the plan wasn’t smacked down because it was nuts, but because the factions wanted to install one of their own. Julia was reminded, in no uncertain terms, who was in charge.

    Labor does have one man with massive political and policy firepower, but he’s a pariah on the back bench.

  154. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    I think there are people in the ALP who are deeply impressed with Bob Carr because they know he’s read a book.

  155. joe2

    …..unlike some of the more hysterical ALP right apologists on this site.

    Who are you referring to adrian?

  156. Geoff Henderson

    152 & 152 I agree. The relationship between politicians and the press is synergistic, both needing/using each other to conduct themselves and achieve their goals. Pollies need to be “seen & heard”, journo’s need to have something to say, and if it has some originality or scoop value, that is just great for them.
    That the relationship is so will surely bring some ethical and moral conflicts, but they carry on anyway.

    A similar mis-match can be seen with political or corporate “spin”. In these cases both parties cooperate to bring information to the masses. Truth or balance of argument is often not even attempted, the media gets it’s grist, the other party gets its message out there.

    Regular or routine disclosure of sources would require stringent fact checking (evidence) and slow down the reporting cycle. It would surely make the media (and pollies) less entertaining, something neither wants.

  157. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    JOE2 – Geez mate, I think you’ve blown your cover.

  158. Katz

    @154

    So Tingle is NOT alleging that Rudd was assassinated in the interests of any mining interests.

    (Oh, wait! Does this mean that Tingle too is part of the Grand Conspiracy?)

  159. akn

    @ 155: they’ll be trying to find a clean skin from NSW. Don’t hold your breath.

  160. Lefty E

    Tingle has blown a considerable hole in the narrative about Rudd and the media, his so- called campaign strategy, and also who likely brought about the challenge.

    On the 2010 election, she just stating what everyone already knew.

  161. Labouring the Point

    I have come late to this.

    I cannot be original as Peter Brent has written almost everything I wanted to.

    In terms of the 2010 election just remember it was some twit in government that dissed Rudd as PM that started it all.

    At least Arbib and Bitar have gone.

    It is very ironic that we have a pretty good government but they have absolutely no political smarts at all.

    This is why I just do not what will happen when the budget goes into the black as announced in May and the effects of the ETS are minuscule come July. People are expecting something greater than the GST which shows massive ignorance.
    Will they get angry for being wood-ducked or not?

  162. Sam

    a clean skin from NSW

    Now, that is an oxymoron.

  163. Chris

    tigtog @ 159 – agreed and I doubt that everything that a journalist is leaked is published – if no other reason they’re concerned about getting sued and you can often see in news reports a confidence level of sources (single/multiple/broad description of where leaking is coming from).

    However, Holmes was explicitly asking for reporters to reveal their sources (see email to Laura Tingle) and that is something quite different.

  164. akn

    Yes Sam. It’ll need to be someone who has just joined the party.

  165. Sam

    It’ll need to be someone who has just joined the party.

    How about Kyle Sandilands? By NSW Labor Party standards, he is a man of good character, integrity and intellectual depth.

  166. joe2

    This only increases the responsibility on journalists – particularly in these days of a crazy news cycle – to be responsible in reporting things like media speculation.The fact that some people in the gallery have made an imminent leadership challenge an almost weekly event has brought criticism and ridicule on our heads.

    Laura finishes up with this . She is pointing the finger at stuff being made up. And it is to be noted, she was not in the Rudd backgrounding loop- probably because they realised she was more likely to nail them- that had some other, so called journalists, in a constant state of frenzy.

    It was not appropriate, for instance, for Uhlmann and Mark Simkin to just run with the material, unskeptically, that they were being fed and thus acting as proxy agents for the Rudd destabilisation campaign.

  167. adrian

    Katz, I don’t know why you keep prattling on about a mining conspiracy.

    Many of us merely contend that Rudd was ‘assassinated’ because he threatened the power, influence and control of the factions.

    As Lefty E says, what Tingle blows a hole through is the entire ALP right narrative (that you among others have bought hook, line and sinker) about nasty Rudd continuously undermining poor Gillard etc etc etc.
    and the spurious reasons given for his removal in the first place.

    Another example of this government’s ineptitude, I’m afraid – the axing of the solar/alternative energy hot water scheme a few months before it was due to end anyway.
    Whatever genius thought that the miniscule amount saved would be worth the inevitiable political fallout needs their head read.

    No wonder Rudd wanted to micromanage this bunch of political novices.

  168. joe2

    Adrian, no holes blown, Laura just has an opinion which you happen to agree with, as far as it suits you, and helps your now crusade.

    No word on who you consider “the more hysterical ALP right apologists on this site” ?

  169. akn

    I think they need an orphan. Quite literally, someone with no *family connections* at all because in NSW la famiglia is everything. Then they’ll need someone whose never had lunch. The Vietnamese are out because well, no-one knows what the eff they’re really up to. An Aborginal would be good but after what they did to poor Linda Burney by handing her the poison chalice ministry of child protection the field of candidates ha shrunk to one. The Jews got their crack with Eric so it’s someone else’s turn. The Italians and Lebs, well, they’re family aint’ they. And your traditional whitefella w.c. heroes are all charges pending. its a very difficult situation. A woman would be acceptable but they’re still jumpy about NSW plumbing after Belinda Neil.

    No, a very difficult problem.

  170. Sam

    The Italians and Lebs, well, they’re family aint’ they.

    How about Joe Tripodi? Maaaaate.

  171. Katz

    I have never contended this, or anything like it:

    As Lefty E says, what Tingle blows a hole through is the entire ALP right narrative (that you among others have bought hook, line and sinker) about nasty Rudd continuously undermining poor Gillard etc etc etc and the spurious reasons given for his removal in the first place.

    My argument is that he was removed because he was undermining everyone, including himself. In other words he was perceived as self-destructive and that his self-destructiveness was perceived to have the collateral effect of destroying the government.

    Note that I used the word “perceived” (twice!).

  172. adrian

    That’s a novel interpretation of Tingle’s words joe2 @ 170!

    Well, as I said Tingle just gives a bit of perspective on the whole mess. She is also one of the more respected journalist in Canberra I would have thought.

    As for a crusade, maybe against bullshit.

  173. Katz

    And might I add that one of the persistent memes of Rudd apologists is that he was removed to save miners from the RSPT.

    And no amount of post facto obfuscation can change that fact.

  174. Sam

    Some of Rudd’s supporters on this blog are plus Ruddiste que le Rudd.

    It’s time to move on.

  175. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SAM – Ho, ho. But I’m worried Sandilands’ policy depth would just create too much envy among his front -bench colleagues. And what if he told one of them to f… off.

  176. akn

    Yes Sam. It’s all unfortunately true. I had a friend who was close to Ernie Ecob (eeek!) who, on one occasion when she rang Sussex St, actually opened her conversation with “maaate…”. As for Tripod. Well, look, in NSW the laws of defamation are such that I can’t afford to give you an honest opinion.

    Of things NSW – they had to get rid of Arbib after the revelations about him briefing the yanks as they cannot afford even the perception that someone in the cabinet room is yarning to them. They should piss off anyone who’s got his phone number. I’d say also that the daughter of the head of the HSU (forgotten the name) who works in JG’s office needs to go for the similar reasons.

    No, there’s no choice for it but to find someone from the committee that regulates the towing industry in NSW. Or that tattooists registration board. Or a retired judge with no driving convictions. That’d be the easiest way to find a cleanskin NSW Laborite.

  177. Fine

    Which is probably why Rudd didn’t leak to her, adrian.

    But, it’s telling that you boys keep using the sexist meme that Gillard is a just a puppet of the ‘faceless men’. Rudd is as much a creature of the factions as any other Labor politician. The NSW Labor Right helped into the leadership role in the first place. His independence is a complete myth which Rudd propogated as part of his ‘people power’ campaign.

    And please stop using ‘assassination’ even in quotation marks. The same with ‘coup’, ‘knifing’ etc. Rudd chose to resign. No-one died.

    I wish Rudd hadn’t resigned. I wish that he had ordered a spill and we could have seen the numbers. I bet they were about the same as Monday’s. Maybe that could have prevented all this nonsensical conspiracy theories.

  178. akn

    Well yes Katz. That’s my view. It shits, walks and quacks like a duck. The ALP looks after the interests of sections of capital and sections of its constituency especially the rump off the blue collar male w/c. Rudd’s real failure is in not getting his battle elephants lined up before his silly announcement of a 40% tax. If he’d offered to hypothecate the tax and nominated % deliveries of the tax to health care, dental health,a decent carer’s allowance, a no fault disability support scheme etc…then thing’s would be different. But, at core, Australia is now a quarry and the Lords and Ladies of the quarries set the agenda.

  179. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    KATZ – Pamela William’s article in the AFR on the demise of Rudd. I note the references to the mining industry

    http://afr.com/p/national/kill_kevin_the_untold_story_of_coup_cZPfd14BXwPurp6V65gM4N

  180. Lefty E

    And might I add that one of the persistent memes of Rudd apologists is that he was removed to save miners from the RSPT.

    To clarify, this was strongly implied – if not outright put – by Four Corners recently, rather than originating with posters at LP. They didnt (and it doesnt require) a dark smokey room scenario: mining co’s were at the time putting millions into a campaign. Does anyone seriously imagine they werent also lobbying ALP figures? The subsequent package then represented a huge backdown, especially on the largest co’s (such that only the small ones continued to campaign). The nature of the tax proposed had strong international implicaitons.

    Motive, corpse. No smoking gun, I agree. Frankly, its worth looking into. Id hardly describe the specualtion as wacky.

    Which is probably why Rudd didn’t leak to her, adrian.

    Tingle is making a broader claim than that fine, she’s talking about “a completely wrong set of premises about events in Canberra” and moreover than any “two stage campaign” was being “wargamed” by every man, woman and their dog, rather than Camp Rudd itself. sheis also saying “Rudd was always being told to sit back and shut up if he wanted to come back and, in general, he did.”.

    Thats a pretty wide repudiation of the whole thesis by a very senior Canberra journo.

    You arent required to believe her, but dont misrepresent what she’s saying: she’s not simply claiming “I was never leaked to”.

  181. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Peter Brent, explaining again why he thought Rudd would win the next election.

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/rudds_first_demise/

  182. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Sorry, “would win the next election…if he had stayed PM”

  183. akn

    Fine you’d better spell out the implications of what it is that you find “telling” about suggesting JG is beholden to the factions. Otherwise your implication is mere hot air and it looks very much like you don’t have the ability to state, advocate and defend a clear concern.

  184. Katz

    OK, KOS, here is the money quote from Pamela Williams’ article:

    But it would heavily overstate the role of the miners to suggest that their campaign was the key factor in Rudd’s demise. If there was a single theme to Rudd’s political death, it was this: Rudd had foes everywhere. Once his support collapsed in the polls, there was nowhere to turn. He had centred all government decision-making in his own office. Nothing could be delegated, no issue was too small for prime ministerial oversight.

    Only a monomaniacal conspiracy theorist could spin this into a Grassy Knoll Moment.

  185. joe2

    sheis also saying “Rudd was always being told to sit back and shut up if he wanted to come back and, in general, he did.”.

    Lefty E, remember, this comes from someone who was not being backgrounded. She might have thought the best of him as I did.

    Up until recently Rudd appeared to be a good chap, going about his job, despite harassment from journalists. All the evidence now indicates this was not the case- a select group in the media were prepared to not allow the public into their dirty little secret – and that he was actively destabilising the government which he was supposed to be a part of.

    Maybe Laura had not realised the extent of his connivance like many of the rest of us.

  186. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    “Grassy knoll moment”? Isn’t that a rhetorical device to defeat someone’s argument by totally overstating it. I

  187. Socrates

    At least with Rudd gone Labor can get back to the business of protecting the jobs of coal miners. They have just cut short the solar hot water rebate scheme, whihc has been more popular than expected, and so the $320M budgetted for this year has been spent.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-29/solar-subsidy-scheme-cut/3858738

    Funny, by comparison subsidies to car manufacturers and clean coal projects don’t met targets all the time but they don’t seem to get cut as much.

    Fran, how do I join the Greens?

  188. Brian

    I think there is little doubt that the mining industry was conducting opinion polling and feeding the results to the likes of Bitar and Arbib. What caused the coup was multifactorial. It would have gone nowhere, however, without Gillard agreeing to move.

    There is little doubt that uppermost in her mind was the dysfunctionaliy of Rudd’s running of the government. She says so, it came out in Pamela Williams piece on the coup in 2010, Lenore Taylor and David Uren’s book Shitstorm written before the coup, and many sources since.

    Rudd seems to have done reasonably well in running Foreign Affairs, perhaps better than that. There is a quantum leap between running one portfolio and managing a ministry in the high 20s. Re-installing him from this POV would have been high risk.

    This is an issue that goes beyond ‘mere’ managerialism.

  189. Sam

    how do I join the Greens?

    You don’t. They find you.

  190. Katz

    KOS, I referred to a monomaniacal conspiracy theorist, not to you.

    Whatever, I do not deny that the RSPT issue was one among many that weighed on the decision to remove Rudd.

    I’m arguing here for multi-causal analysis against monocausal analysis.

    It seems to me that the fruitful way forward is to attempt to weigh the importance of many causes rather than to seek to privilege just one of those causes among many.

  191. joe2

    She is also one of the more respected journalist in Canberra I would have thought.

    You might have said she is about the only “respected journalist in Canberra”. There are certainly very few and sometimes even they are not in a position to get their head around all the issues.

  192. Grey

    And might I add that one of the persistent memes of Rudd apologists is that he was removed to save miners from the RSPT.

    Its only a small step from being a Rudd apologist to becoming a Gillard denier, but I digress.

    Wikileaks cables inform us that the Labor Right faction was informing the American ambassador in 2009 that as soon as Rudd fell in the polls sufficiently he would be replaced, depending on the timing of that fall the replacement would be Julia Gillard (early fall) or Bill Shorten (post 2010 polling fall). This put Julia Gillard in a bind, if she was loyal to Kevin Rudd she would be passed over by the factions when a natural succession opportunity arose. Her instincts on the night of June 2010 was to find a compromise and not to challenge and she attempted along with Rudd and Faulkner to put off a challenge while the party united behind the leader to see if polling improved. The factions informed her bluntly that was not acceptable and if she didn’t challenge she would have missed the leadership bus forever. History tells us the choice she made, which is probably the same decision any politician would have made presented with such options.

    The mining industry simply provided the trigger for such a scenario to arise. As we know, private enterprise has one responsibility: to increase returns to shareholders within the law. It could not respond in any way than they did to a proposed increase in taxation and such a proposal was always going to have to involve a negotiation where the Government sold the concept to the public and then struck a deal with the industry from a position of strength derived from public support. That was never going to happen when the party was desperately searching around for a pretext to replace an intruder. The mining industry had no interest in the leadership beyond forcing a backdown on a taxation increase. The factional interests opportunistically seized the opening that the mining advertising campaign presented.

    I have heard opinions that the new mining tax has been so watered down to be virtually optional and won’t cover the expenditure and company tax rate cuts introduced in parallel. The factions regained control of the Labor party, but at the cost of the billions of dollars to the taxpayer.

    But that is a small price to pay to allowed the favoured sons and daughters pick up the plum positions that State patronage provides.

  193. Brian

    I’m happy to accept that Laura Tingle has a good idea of what is going on. However, others tell a very different tale. Nicholas Stuart, the Rudd biographer, gave us as fact the other day that the Ruddsters were planning a move late last year, couldn’t get the numbers so deferred it to the beginning of this year, couldn’t get the numbers, so the move was supposed to be after a disastrous defeat of Bligh in the Qld election.

    Even if this was pure fiction and Rudd was as pure as the driven snow, the stories were about and it seems that those close to Gillard and probably Gillard herself believed them.

  194. furious balancing

    Rudd’s mistake was talking to key Gillard ally (ha!) – no journalistic code to stop him spilling the beans.

    If Rudd was sitting back and waiting, then speaking to Wilkie back in November was rather risky.

  195. Sam

    Rudd seems to have done reasonably well in running Foreign Affairs, perhaps better than that.

    True, but so did Alexander Downer, which suggests that it is not a difficult job.

    Why is not a difficult job? Because

    a) it is staffed by smart people with good judgment (unlike a lot of the bureaucracy) who do a good job of keeping the minister out of trouble

    b) it doesn’t spend a lot of money (unlike, say, Defence) so the potential for major program stuff ups is limited

    c) Australian foreign policy consists of following a well-worn script on major world stuff and bullying small Pacific nations, which is easy to do

    d) Australian foreign policy is of no interest to the electorate, except maybe 43 wonks, so there are no pressures there.

  196. furious balancing

    Oops, should be: “key Gillard ally – Andrew Wilkie.”

  197. adrian

    Unfortunately the term conspiracy theory, usually used in conjunction with words like ‘nonsensical’ has just become shorthand for an interpretation of events that the writer happens to disagree with.

  198. Lefty E

    Maybe Laura had not realised the extent of his connivance like many of the rest of us.

    Yeah, it’s a shame she lacks the level of connections, information, and contacts and insight available to posters at LP.

    Who have frequently lauded her as the only one worth reading.

  199. Sam

    she is about the only “respected journalist in Canberra”

    +1

  200. joe2

    how do I join the Greens?

    hang out with the carrots

  201. Lefty E

    which suggests that it is not a difficult job.

    Well steady on there – Emerson managed to screw things up into a minor furore within 24 hours.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-28/labor-mps-defy-ban-on-west-papua-meeting/3858188/?site=illawarra

    Mr Ferguson says Dr Emerson’s actions reflect a poor understanding of what groups like the West Papuan friendship group do in the Parliament.

    He says former foreign minister Kevin Rudd would never have banned MPs from attending today’s conference.

    “Absolutely not. He’s had experience with a variety of similar parallel groups on other countries, other issues of human rights,” he said.

    “In actual fact he’s been very cooperative with some of those groups.

    “There’s no way he would have went down this road at all.”

    Thanks Laurie Ferguson, btw. Who voted for Gillard.

  202. Lefty E

    i.e, not Mar’n.

  203. joe2

    Sam, Paul Bongiorno seems to be the other one.

  204. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    GREY – The cave-in to mining industry after Julia got elected really was a sight to behold. When you’re in a negotiation and the other party axes its OWN representative because he won’t reach a deal with you then you know the negotiation is over and you can extract whatever price you want. The idea that, in those circumstances, there is a real negotiation is ludicrous.

  205. Sam

    Yes, a spectacular own goal by Dr Emerson.

    I think his Phd is in doh!-ness.

  206. Brian

    Just another thing.

    Rudd said he would never be part of a stealth campaign to unseat a sitting prime minister.

    He could have said that on any of the many occasions he was asked about his intentions by the press, but didn’t. Instead he led them along, playing games, with remarks that he’s a happy vegemite being Foreign Minister.

    Contrast this with Shorten, who straight out lies and says he never aspires to being PM.

    I’m not saying that Rudd was intentionally dog-whistling his intentions, but he could have done a better job in putting the thing to rest.

  207. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Alan Mitchell (of all people) said something very interesting in today’s AFR. He said that between now and the election, Julia has to come up with a huge idea and run with it. Dunno what that is (a bridge across Bass Strait?). But micro-reform ain’t enough. Any ideas? Sovereign Wealth fund? Dust off the Henry Report and get stuck in?

  208. Sam

    Contrast this with Shorten, who straight out lies and says he never aspires to being PM

    But that doesn’t matter, because Shorten’s ambitions couldn’t be more obvious if they were tattooed on his forehead.

    [Rudd] could have done a better job in putting the thing to rest.

    But his strategy was to play with Gillard’s mind (the same strategy he employed so well against Howard), by not putting the thing to rest.

  209. Sam

    Julia has to come up with a huge idea and run with it.

    Nationalise the banks. It worked for Chifley.

  210. akn

    Grey @ 96: very well put.

  211. su

    The amazing thing about my victory was that I beat the factional system, the power of the machine. Kim Carr was the only factional leader who backed me. Look at who got rissoled: Ray, Conroy, Marn, Smith, Swan, Sciacca, Mcleay, Bishop, Albanese,Griffin, plus Sussex Street. Add to them the union bosses who opposed me: Sharan Burrow, Greg Combet (ACTU), Bill Ludwig, Bill Shorten (AWU), Jeff Lawrence (Miscos), Doug Cameron (AMWU) and Joe De Bruyn (Shoppies). Far Left and far Right, they backed Beazley—someone they could control, unlike maddie me

    Latham Diaries.

    That is a vastly different picture to either the Rudd win when most his numbers were actually Gillard’s and the NSW Right came on board because of Rudd’s wooing of Arbib and this ballot when we see most of the factions split (except the Vic Right and perhaps Carr’s group?) and factional leaders on both sides of the equation. Carr and Albanese, Marn for Rudd, but not in the case of the latter two at least, taking their entire factions with them. Marn for Rudd but Evans for Gillard. Trish Crossin for Rudd (according to Terry) but Wong, Gibbons and Ferguson the lesser for Gillard. Faulkner for Rudd (presumed) but Macklin for Gillard, Albanese and Plibersek in different camps. Bowen and Mclelland for Rudd, but most of the NSW right apparently for Gillard.

    If others can sort this melange into a coherent narrative of the factions reasserting themselves then I’d be interested to hear the account. To me it appears as though the most powerful factions were unable to command a bloc of votes for either candidate. And the talk among the ALP hierarchy is of a move to direct election of candidates by the membership. Talk is cheap I know but doesn’t this, and the resignation of Arbib rather indicate that the concentration of power in factional leaders and by remote control of the unions is shifting already? It isn’t as though this argument for change is new. It predates Latham and many people in both camps, including Gillard herself who made a speech to the effect in 2006 (stated in the full text of the wikileak cable posted in the last thread), have been discussing the need for change for some time.

  212. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Grey @ 96: very well put.

    I concur

  213. joe2

    Yeah, it’s a shame she lacks the level of connections, information, and contacts and insight available to posters at LP.

    Good to remember that Laura was answering Holme before it became a lot clearer who the journalist conduits Rudd had been using were. It’s interesting that 7.30 made the editorial decision, given its clear significance, not to name their own staff involvement because of the rather poor excuse that they did not have the time.
    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/1204_sunderland.pdf

    Her contention…

    Rudd was always being told to sit back and shut up if he wanted to come back and, in general, he did

    …looks pretty misguided in view of more recent evidence.

  214. Katz

    Grey @196 has stated what I have argued all along.

    Gillard wanted it revenge on Arbib because he was so indiscreet in his retention a tetes with the US Embassy and because he compelled her to accept a poisoned chalice when the factions moved against Rudd.

    Gillard did not wish to challenge at that moment but feared that her moment might pass.

  215. Katz

    Scratch “retention”. That should read “tête-à-têtes”.

  216. adrian

    Hey joe2, how come it’s Laura, but Holmes, Rudd etc. Know her personally do you?

  217. joe2

    I suppose it is too much to ask that you respond to argument , Mr……., @220, rather than run with something so trivial. Though, if it concerns you, so much, I have not used the surname of someone I have the greatest respect for, I will refer to her as Ms Tingle in future.

    And I notice you appear incapable of identifying “some of the more hysterical ALP right apologists on this site”.

  218. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    GREY – The mining companies acted the way I would expect them to act. But that’s why corporations in this country should not be allowed to engage in political advertising or make political investments (sorry, donations) in political parties. Corporations have no political rights. They are entities set up to confer limited liability on investors. The seals at Sea World are close to humans than corporations (many of which are foreign owned anyway). Only citizens should be allowed to participate in our democracy. Everything else should be excluded.
    Wonder if the ALP will pick up the ball and run with it?

  219. adrian

    joe2, I was actually thinking about someone called Cartesius, and somebody else with a similar name who got particularly strident, but if the cap fits etc.

  220. adrian

    Wonder if the ALP will pick up the ball and run with it?

    Like your sense of humour KOS.

  221. joe2

    I thought you would be struggling, adrian. That’s what comes with making such silly, generalised, statements.

  222. su

    I have nothing but respect for Tingle and what she seems to be saying is that this kind of plotting and manoeuvering is like background static in Canberra and that what has brought the press gallery into disrepute is them reporting the static when they all knew that Rudd did not yet have the numbers. Given that she is one of the few who scorned that kind of reporting, she is the last journo someone would approach if their aim was to scare up a few more numbers by undermining the current leadership in the media.

    Uhlmann outed himself as having been briefed by Rudd’s supporters. If he was to remain a reporter of reality and not a pawn in a leadership game, I think Tingle is correct, he should have kept this to himself. The whole thing became a self-fulfilling prophecy and in effect wedged both sides into bringing on a spill. But it is undeniably true that leaks and counterleaks were occurring as part of a shadow leadership play. For instance I imagine that the leaking of Bowen’s urging re the Pacific Solution came from the Gillard camp.

  223. paul walter

    Su’s comment must surely relate to MW on Monday on this and is a tell-tale sign of constructive thinking amidst a bit deadwood creeping in.
    I wonder if Su was unlucky enough to catch any of the rapidly deteriorating QA, afterwards?

  224. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Why is it assumed that Rudd or Gillard would necessarily know who their “supporters” are briefing. If I was a “supporter” I wouldn’t be telling them what I was doing. In the same way, IF I was a Rudd supporter who leaked to Laurie Oakes, I wouldn’t tell Rudd what I was doing.

  225. joe2

    ..what has brought the press gallery into disrepute is them reporting the static when they all knew that Rudd did not yet have the numbers.

    This is the crux of the matter. The role of the media is not to become players but report matters fairly, not make stuff up or join an alternative opposition cheer squad. Uhlmann has outed himself not only for being briefed by the supporters but seemingly sympathetic to their cause and sense of grievance against the P.M.
    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/1204_uhlmann.pdf

    There is also the added ingredient that Newslimited is a sworn enemy of this minority government and prepared to undermine it at every opportunity. Encouraging sourpusses, when they knew quite well they had not a hope in hell of winning but just causing trouble, fits in well within this stated brief. They were more than happy to play these fools for the suckers they were.

    ABC journalists found themselves in on the pile on. Not that they seem to need much encouragement these days.

  226. su

    There are self-interested briefings and gossipy briefings but by the time people are talking about actual numbers and a two part strategy and the timing of the first challenge it stretches credulity to its utmost to suggest that Rudd would not be aware. He could have put a stop to it very quickly if it was done against his wishes.

    Is it too late to put Latham’s name forward for the senate seat? LOL.

  227. Lefty E

    Her contention…
    Rudd was always being told to sit back and shut up if he wanted to come back and, in general, he did
    …looks pretty misguided in view of more recent evidence.

    It does? Says who? She’s contending the challenge was brought to a head by Gillard’s forces, which fits with the Crean attack, and Rudd best chance was to be drafted in poll desperation, and he knew it too. This is perfectly consistent with Rudd not openly ruling out a challenge, which, frankly, is the only thing anyone has established he did.

    I’m sure his mere presence did make Team Gillard uncomfortable, and hence their recent definitive moves. Im also sure Rudd was quite happy for the speculation to continue, as polls continued to be bad. Thats different from suggesting he ran some major ongoing campaign.

    brian’s quite right that “he could have done a better job in putting the thing to rest.” Obviously he didnt want to. Many labour voters didnt want him to either – far more than wanted him to disappear. Thats the situation Labor finds itself in. The numbers are oppositely alinged in caucus.

    Tingle’s saying the theory that Rudd was out there actively gaming a ’2-step’ is wrong. And she’s better informed than us. I’ve seen nothing since 10am Monday that contradicts that view.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen at least one claim from team Gillard (“The Stag” incident) proved to be total spin.

  228. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Out of curiosity, how did Ulhmann’s wife vote?

  229. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SU – I talk a lot of BS (sometimes on this blog) which never comes to pass.

  230. Lefty E

    Forgive me if I’ve missed something, but where are the separate figures for those who identify as Labor voters?

    Glad to be of service Tigtog! Youll find all that info here: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/ in the most recent 4 headline posts. The Labor voter breakdowns are all there, as well as the general figures.

    eg

    Breakdows by party support from Galaxy and Newspoll point to a dramatic swing in favour of Rudd among Labor supporters: in Galaxy’s case from 49-48 in Gillard’s favour a month ago to 53-39 in Rudd’s favour now, while Newspoll has Rudd’s lead at 58-41.

  231. Sam

    how did Ulhmann’s wife vote?

    Ms Brodtmann said Ms Gillard’s win was “the best result for Australia, for working families, for Canberrans and for the Labor Party”.

    She noted the result reinforced the trend of support for Ms Gillard that she and the other ACT federal Labor members had witnessed in the past week in Canberra as they were deluged by emails and phonecalls.

    “The majority of Canberrans supported Julia Gillard as Prime Minister so I am just so relieved it is over,” she said.

    Uhlmann and Brodtmann — could it get more Germanic?

  232. su

    On the other hand, I’ve seen at least one claim from team Gillard (“The Stag” incident) proved to be total spin.

    What you have seen is contradictory and partisan accounts of a single set of events, and decided which one you prefer, you have not seen anything proved.

  233. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SAM – Danke

  234. Sam

    K1-7
    Sie sind willkommen

  235. Lefty E

    Well, Su, I’ve seen the full actual quote in its context, and decided it simply doesnt support the implications one side attributed to it.

  236. su

    Lefty E, then you are better than me in intuiting what is an accurate report and what is not (and there were more claims than simply that one quote), like I said: contradictory and partisan. Even if you deposed every single person who was present I think you would end up with at least two completely different versions of events.

    Tingle’s saying the theory that Rudd was out there actively gaming a ’2-step’ is wrong. And she’s better informed than us. I’ve seen nothing since 10am Monday that contradicts that view.

    I believe this to be true for Tingle, but other journos Uhlmann for eg. have said that they were briefed on the two-part strategy and that challenge one was to come in March. I still think that whoever was hawking this to journalists knew that Tingle wouldn’t have a bar of it. Bruce Hawker, ever the incompetent and doing Rudd no favours at all, didn’t deny it, he just said that Rudd has now promised that this will now stop.

  237. andyc

    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN @ 222 re. non-personhood of corporations and an end to corporate purchase of representation: absolutely! It would be fantastic if one of our dominant parties (and one of them will never do this) were to adopt the path of sanity and democracy, rather than follow the absurd American route to corporate totalitarianism.

  238. Chris

    andyc @ 242 – you won’t see the ALP support banning of organisations donating money to political parties as they would lose all the union funding (and the pokies funding!). And the LNP won’t support it either for obvious reasons.

  239. Katz

    In reference to the recent spill, there is no doubt that the Gillardistas were the aggressors. Crean’s attack on Rudd compelled Rudd to challenge.

    Why did the Gillardistas want to bring it on? Doubtless, they feared that time was on Rudd’s side. A few more months of dire polls of the sort suffered by Gillard would have made Rudd more attractive in the eyes of the most jaded marginal seat backbencher. Cheeseman was the first of this ilk.

    Better to lance the boil early.

    From that point of view, it was a pretty smooth operation.

  240. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    CHRIS – But I don’t see a problem with unions aggregating funding from individual Australian citizens and donating it. Nor do I see a problem with the Mining Council aggregating funding from individual Australian citizens and donating it on their behalf (Clive Palmer can contribute up to say a $5,000 cap if he wants). I just don’t believe corporations should be able to use their balance sheets. The corporate imperialism of Rio-Tinto (75% foreign owned – many shareholders sovereign wealth funds) engaging in political advertising in this country is staggering and revolting.

  241. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    KATZ – Re lancing the boil. You’re probably right.

    But what happens (wargaming here) if the TPP is down to low forties in say six months (could go even lower if Thomson gets charged) and the factional bosses decide to give Julia the shove.

    By that stage, of course, MPs will know that, before the recent leadership vote, the factional bosses fed them a lot of crap about a Julia fightback and will be a lot more wary next time. They will also feel they gave Julia every chance.

    Presumably, Bill Shorten and Stephen Smith will throw their hats into the ring. One is a union hack and the other is a photocopy. Neither has any chance of saving the ALP.

    Anyway, there is a spill. Rudd needs 20 more votes in caucus to become leader again. Maybe he can get that many against Shorten and Smith because MPs will not feel any loyalty to Julia (she’s out of the picture) and they’re facing extinction.

    Anyone who tries to predict the future, usually gets it wrong (including me). But is that an implausible scenario?

    Have the factional bosses lanced the boil or just given MPs (who’ve given Julia another chance) a better excuse for dumping her if she doesn’t right the ship.

  242. MP

    I cannot see why Rudd talking off the record to journos about a possible challenge, would be destabilising to Gillard.

    We’re told that we NOW know the REAL story of Rudd’s freaky leadership style and his demeaning attitude to people he didn’t like etc etc…

    but we knew all this. We heard all this while Rudd was still PM.
    There have been books written on the subject…

    Who was leaking and destabilising then?

  243. Chris

    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN @ 245 – heh, and I guess pokie machines are just political donation aggregation machines? :-)

    And if you are going to have a personal donation cap and allow organisations like unions to aggregate donations for individuals then the unions will need to either get permission from their members to donate to a party or at the very least inform them how much they are donating on behalf of each individual member. Otherwise members won’t know how much money they can donate before hitting the donation limit.

    The other problem is that I think you’ll just find corporations doing more of the advertising directly rather than via political parties. So it would make a rather marginal difference at the best and at worst give an advantage to rich people who can fund their own campaigns rather than rely on donations.

  244. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    CHRIS – Totally agree that unions will have to get permission from members. Remember, they are just collecting their political donations and passing them on. They will also have to report who they are donating on behalf of.

    Corporations will not be allowed to engage in political advertising (that is, advertising concerning government or opposition policy) at all. FULL STOP.

  245. Sam

    the TPP is down to low forties in say six months (could go even lower if Thomson gets charged) and the factional bosses decide to give Julia the shove.

    Entirely plausible.

    But I think you underestimate both Shorten and Smith.

    Shorten has an ability to cut through with a message. He did with disability insurance reform. Obviously that is small potatoes compared to the entire Federal Government, but it’s a lot better than the current PM, who couldn’t sell the virtues of a free trip to a brothel to a footy team on an end of season trip.

    Smith is boring as batshit, but the flip side to that is that he is a Serious Man. In Germany, he would be a real contender for the top job. In the land where Masterchef is considered the peak of high brow intellectualism, it would be a risk, But given the choice of Smith or Abbott, who has all the gravitas of Krusty the Clown, it might work.

  246. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SAM – I agree that in normal times either might be a decent candidate for PM. But I think (maybe wrongly) that for Labor to move on it has to hold up its hand to the electorate and say “we made a mistake, but we’ve learnt from it and we’re now back on track”. The best way to do that is elect Rudd. The other two candidates just send the message that it’s business as usual in the ALP (unless, of course, sacrificing Julia will be enough to appease the masses – which I doubt).

  247. Katz

    Sydney Theatre Company’s take on recent events:

  248. Sam

    Well, I don’t agree that giving Rudd the Bulli was a mistake, for the reasons that have been ventilated on this blog, ad nauseum.

    And what could be more business as usual than recycling a past PM?

    There’s no question that Gillard is on borrowed time. She will be gone before too long; it is just a matter of who replaces her. I think it will be Shorten.

  249. Joe

    But Smith isn’t serious enough for the German parliament, Sam. (dt. “Leider.”) For that you need at least a fake PhD– preferrably a real one, and Smith only has a masters. I doubt that makes Stephen sad, though! Mind you, something seems to be gnawing at him.

    German politicians are also less inclined to have law degrees. And that’s a really positive aspect of the German parliament. In fact, that German law– as it is written, is accessible to anyone with a highschool education is a nice aspect of their democratic structure.

    (That Lawyers are held in such high financial esteem in England, Australia and the other colonies (including Virginia), is because, traditionally it was the purview of upper-class sons (those not smart enough to become doctors and too smart to become architects), and god-knows they need a cultural leg-up whenever they can get one.)

  250. Jacques de Molay

    Just watched the Indies (Windsor & Oak) address the NPC today and Windsor said both the Labor & Liberal parties were pretty similar and that both are conservative parties.

    Tony Windsor spot on as usual.

  251. Joe

    But what does that make Katter? A dangerous radical!

  252. adrian

    Tony Windsor for PM!

  253. joe2

    I agree, Windsor would seem to be Prime Ministerial material , adrian. But even he comes up with strange decisions like not backing the means test on the health insurance rebate. You might find he is actually less progressive than you imagine.

  254. billie
  255. Chris

    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN said:

    Corporations will not be allowed to engage in political advertising (that is, advertising concerning government or opposition policy) at all. FULL STOP.

    Good luck with enforcing that in any effective way.

  256. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    CHRIS – I don’t see a problem. My understanding is that even the mining council acknowledged it was engaged in political advertising because its ads contained a.statement about who authorised it. In fact, it’s pretty easy to distinguish between a marketing ad and one that has political content.

    .

  257. joe2

    Good luck with enforcing that in any effective way.

    Think taxation department , Chris, they can be very persuasive. If it was not just a cost of doing business, to run these ugly anti- democratic campaigns, they might at least think twice about doing it.

  258. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    SAM – I think the axing of Rudd showed that if you’re gonna depose a leader you’d better have a good reason. Death is a good one; so is insanity; so is retiring on health grounds (if believable) or because you’re just fagged out (if believable: see Carr and Beatty).

    In other words, its got to look like the leader has gone voluntarily. If not, you’d better have a bloody good rationale, something Labor was not able to provide after Rudd got axed and they didn’t know whether to embrace his legacy or repudiate it. Once the population sensed this was just about power politics and not about THEM they got very pissed off.

    So the first priority of the hardheads will be getting Julia to go quietly and make it look like that was HER decision. Good luck boys.

    If they can overcome that hurdle (so it doesn’t just look like another example of leadership churn which has nothing to do with the electorate) Shorten will be in a much better position, even if Rudd stands against him and loses.

    But my guess is, being a politician, she won’t be going anywhere, in which case they would have to blast her out. The damage from doing that (the perception of more leadership churn) will probably be worse than the solution and they might as well stick with her.

    If she won’t go quietly, the only real solution is to draft Rudd and cast him as the rightful prince returning to claim his throne. At least it’s a reason of sorts.

    That won’t happen either.

    Nor will a happy ending.

  259. Chris

    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    CHRIS – I don’t see a problem. My understanding is that even the mining council acknowledged it was engaged in political advertising because its ads contained a.statement about who authorised it. In fact, it’s pretty easy to distinguish between a marketing ad and one that has political content.

    They did it because it was the easiest path. Block that path and they’ll find another route. For example, lets say they weren’t able to directly able to make political ads. So they buy a television station or buy a bunch of unrelated advertising from a television station and the television station starts having a bunch of “investigative journalism” shows on how the proposed mining tax is going to hurt the country. Still want 30 sec ads to spread through prime time? Think about promos for the “news” shows.

    What about social media or blogs? How are you going to stop them (or “enthusiastic employees”) posting political oriented messages without affecting the ability of ordinary people to post opinions.

    You might be able to change the nature of political advertising, but it will still be there, just without the authorized message at the end.

  260. Chris

    And according to the 7:30 report apparently the Rudd camp is getting the blame for the Bob Carr for FM leak. More anti-Rudd PR, an early break to the truce, or just loose lips from the Gillard camp?

  261. joe2

    I have just as much trust in what is claimed on 7.30 as I do for The Australian….zilch.

  262. FDB

    I miss Lindsay Tanner.

  263. Jacques de Molay

    Personally I’ve got no problem with the mining industry or any other industry, rent seekers etc running ads. The day a government gets concerned with a few pissweak self-interested ads like that you need to give it away.

    What you do is say alright the mining tax is set at x and if I see another ad on TV after midnight tonight the tax will then become x + y. They’d be gone the next day. When you start giving mobs like them any sort of credence whatsoever is when it’s all over.

  264. Jacques de Molay

    I miss Lindsay Tanner.

    So does the ALP. Sadly he knew it was the right time to get out.

  265. Chris

    FDB @ 267 – Lindsay Tanner for PM! Though I think he put a bit too much of the blame on the media rather than the politicians themselves for the way things have turned out.

  266. FDB

    Okay, and I’m a bit conflicted cos my local member is now Adam Bandt, but still…

  267. Geoff Henderson

    So Bob Carr was approached for a senior post or not? Ms Gillard emphatically denied that. Bob Carr says he was.
    So are we back to where we were before the leadership debacle? Has anything changed? More untruths.
    I thought Julia would see that she had a pretty good rope thrown to her, and another chance for the “real” Julia to come out of her closet. I was dreaming.

    It is a curious start to her new lease of political life to see her withdraw subsidies on solar hot water. Whatever the reasoning, the timing and arbitrary nature of the move is an example of continuing ineptness, undermining already damaged credibility of this government.

  268. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Peter Brent (Mumbles) makes the very good point that, when Rudd was dumped, the ALP effectively threw away the benefit of incumbency. It almost became like an opposition party because, having repudiated Rudd it had great difficulty running on its record. Nor could it offer itself to the population as the stable option. Effectively, it was as if two opposition parties were running for office and everything was up for grabs. In that situation, Julia really didn’t have much to offer other than a citizens assembly)
    I fear that if the ALP now dumps Julia Gillard and goes to a third party candidate it will be a return to that very same problem. Indeed, voters will be even more keen to put labor on the bench so it can sort out its problems.
    Of course, if the party goes back to Rudd (the status quo ante) it might be able to avoid that optic (though I’m usually wrong about these things), but I just can’t see that happening.

  269. paul of albury

    tigtog, that sounds like the sort of lawyerly distinction we would have expected from honest John.

  270. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    GEOFF – My understanding is that marginal MPs in NSW battered their way into Julia’s office and held her hostage until the decision was rescinded. It’s understood that Julia kept screaming “Kevin sent you, didn’t he” until she was hit with a tranquiliser dart.

  271. Geoff Henderson

    tigtog@273 – so sorry, I was a little imprecise there. But maybe you would concede that there are occasions when the PM and government are somewhat synonymous, and that a generalised view is acceptable.
    My frustration came from the all-to-familiar corruption of truth.I saw Ms Gillard (on video) denying an approach to Carr. Why could she not just say that an approach had been made to Carr? Or asked for time to be informed?
    If you are asked a question you can answer it or not. But if you choose to answer it there is a duty to answer it truthfully, to paraphrase Lord Denning. This applies to all people, and especially PM’s.
    Whilst I acknowledge my “poor” English, I think my point was still adequately made

  272. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Just checking my avatar

  273. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Think I’ve got it now

  274. Sam

    The Carr affair looks like another fiasco by Gillard’s office.

    It looks like they communicated with Sussex St that it was a good idea. But anyone with a scintilla of political judgement would have known immediately that it was a bad idea.

    1. It would obviously piss Stephen Smith off.

    2. Making a senator and FM of the chief villain of the vomitous sewer that was the NSW Labor government would be a bigger turn off to voters than appointing Ivan Milat.

    3. Carr would be a disaster as FM. He’d be running his own idiosyncratic agenda, completely out of control, and he wouldn’t give a shit what anybody thought about it.

  275. adrian

    Unfortunately events of recent days show that Gillard has learnt nothing from the leadership challenge.

    She is asking us to simultaneously believe that she is responsible for the cabinet changes yet had nothing to do with the drafting of Carr?

    Added to the axing of the solar scheme, it’s not a good look in the circumstances.

  276. Chris

    tigtog @ 281 – I think thats a bit of a pedantic view. Yes, legally she doesn’t directly have the power. But she is the PM and whether or not the NSW branch listen to her is a measure of how much respect they have for her opinion. And given that it was leaked pretty early how much they care about party unity now.

    btw even if the leaks (well that lasted at least a day) were correct I don’t think its clear that she wanted Carr as FM, more that she wanted him in parliament and thats the carrot that might have got him in.

  277. adrian

    Yes, the fact that anyone thought that this was even remotely a good idea is astounding. You can imagine the conversation.

    ‘Yeah, let’s draft someone linked closely with the wretched corpse of the NSW labor government’
    ‘Great idea, what about an ex-premier, you can’t get much more closely linked than that’
    ‘Yeah but Keneally’s a woman’
    ‘No Bob Carr stupid! He reads books on American history so he’d make a great FM’
    ‘Brilliant, I don’t think he’s doing too much at the moment, I’ll give him a call.’
    ‘Better check with the PM first’

  278. joe2

    No need to bother, tigtog, the usual suspects have grabbed the Shanahan stick and are running with it. The facts of a matter are irrelevant when it comes to another Gillard bash.

  279. Lefty E

    Yeah, this Carr business seems a bit irrelevant.

    On the other hand, I do wish they’d find a better way to shut down programs than another sudden death announcement.

  280. joe2

    On the other hand, I do wish they’d find a better way to shut down programs than another sudden death announcement.

    Lefty E, not ideal but difficult to handle. Everybody who had signed up before the other day will have the rebate honoured up until the time the scheme was to end in June, anyway. Not reported much was that the scheme only applied to replacement of those with an existing electric hot water system.

    Beats me why anybody would need an incentive to get rid of such a system when it must cost them an arm and a leg to run with electricity even if they did not give a stuff about the environmental cost.

  281. Chris

    tigtog @ 286 – no, I don’t think she would be aware of every single thing Sussex street does. She simply wouldn’t have the time and they wouldn’t want to tell her everything anyway. But there’s a big gap between her being completely involved and wanting Carr to be the new senator but getting knocked back by people within her party.

    Carr has been very statesmanlike since leaving parliament and in terms of time is quite distant from the NSW government. And perhaps since I never had to live under his policies I didn’t see what would be particularly bad about him. Its not going to be easy to find a candidate that hasn’t got strong links to the previous government but still has enough influence to get the senate seat is it?

  282. Chris

    Beats me why anybody would need an incentive to get rid of such a system when it must cost them an arm and a leg to run with electricity even if they did not give a stuff about the environmental cost.

    Much higher capital cost for solar systems even though they’d save the money over say 5 years. It also tends to be a sudden unexpected cost – eg. water heater breaks, need a new one yesterday, so people tend towards the lowest upfront cost rather than long term cost.

  283. adrian

    Chris, most of the infrastructure problems currently plaguing NSW are down to Carr and his treasurer Michael Egan.

  284. akn

    Constitutionally it is the Premier of NSW who nominates the replacement member. By convention, and convention only, this is on the recommendation of the political party whose member has resigned/deceased. Recall that Joh breached the convention by sending Albert Field to fill a casual Labor senate vacancy rather than the nomnated Labor member. This was significant:

    Field had resigned from the Queensland Public Service immediately prior to his Senate appointment, but there was a dispute about whether he remained a public servant when appointed. This may have made him constitutionally ineligible to be chosen as a senator, so the Labor Party challenged his appointment in the High Court. Consequently he was on leave from the Senate, unable to exercise a vote, from 1 October 1975. However, going against tradition, the opposition parties refused to provide a “pair” to maintain the relative positions of the Government and Opposition. This gave the Coalition a majority in the Senate, allowing them to pass motions to defer consideration of supply and force the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.

    I’d reckon that the NSW ALP will be subjecting the replacement nominee to the usual checks: working with children (Orkopoulos), sexual hyperactivity (Thommo), ethics…oops, that rules ‘em all out. Maybe Labor could ask O’Farrell to nominate someone after all.

    What about that blackfella whose on the run? Ron Medich? Rocky Gattilari? Parachute in Uncle Chop Chop and offer him AG to sweeten the deal?

  285. adrian

    joe2, apart from anything else, it’s so politically stupid to get so many groups offside, for peanuts. The scheme was due to end in June anyway.

    I’d argue that it should have been extended, but what they did was get bad publicity for no real reason.
    And Dreyfus looked dodgy claiming the scheme was due to end in 2012 anyway so what’s everyone complaining about lack of cosultation etc. Yes, June 2012.

  286. joe2

    But there’s a big gap between her being completely involved and wanting Carr to be the new senator but getting knocked back by people within her party.

    Chris your faith in what Shanahan says is true is very touching. And it was you that said Tanner blamed “the media rather than the politicians themselves for the way things have turned out”. From what I took of his book he was actually very balanced.

    Ever considered it might actually be you that is just a little bit one sided in protectiveness of the likes of an organisation that has made no secret about it’s desire to bring on an election and end a minority government?

  287. Martin B
  288. joe2

    joe2, apart from anything else, it’s so politically stupid to get so many groups offside, for peanuts. The scheme was due to end in June anyway.

    They expected a cost over run as people rushed to have them installed. Possibly also fearful of dodgy brothers pushing for a quick, last minute, buck.

    They are being watched like hawks on budgetary matters and that is the kind of call a government needs to make. It aint always a popularity contest, adrian.

  289. Chris

    joe2 @ 295 said

    Ever considered it might actually be you that is just a little bit one sided in protectiveness of the likes of an organisation that has made no secret about it’s desire to bring on an election and end a minority government?

    There’s a lot more to the media than Murdoch!

  290. Lefty E

    Not much at stake though budget-wise:

    Mark Dreyfus should put on the public record the costings for this scheme and the savings he is looking to get from unceremoniously cancelling it early. Only $24.5 million was set aside for the scheme in the 2012-13 budget, so savings will be minimal, but the costs to the industry huge.

    http://christine-milne.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/dreyfus-must-reinstate-and-extend-solar-hot-water-scheme

  291. Chris

    Lefty E @ 299 – looks like the amount involved is pretty much rounding error when it comes to the budget. A few more people used the scheme this year than expected and it ran out a little early. I’d guess that the industry was hoping/expecting that it would be extended (solar HW makes a lot more sense than solar PV ones in terms of CO2 savings) and fundamentally they’re upset because that didn’t happen because the government is saving every cent in order to deliver a surplus.

  292. Lefty E

    Yeah, but its always renewables subject to ‘shock finance’, isnt it. Happened a few times now.

  293. akn

    Just goes to show, Martin B, that some us really are still living in 1975. Shame Frazer shame! Now, where’s me bong?

  294. Chris

    Lefty E @ 301 – yes they have a habit of doing this. Which doesn’t exactly encourage people to get into green industries.

  295. Fine

    I think this thread should be renamed “Gillard is teh evil and we believe the Oz.”

    I’m feeling a bit nauseated.

    akn, upthread you asked me what I found “telling”. I was referring to the unconscious sexism on display in this thread. I also find it “telling” that people keep rehashing the meme of the “faceless men”. The fact that Abbott also keeps rehashing this might give a few people pause.

    Why are people being sucked into News Ltd’s agenda? Now, the “Carr affair” (I’m just waiting till it’s titled “Carrgate” ) is a disaster for Gillard and proof that nothing has changed. Ever have the feeling that the Oz would be saying that about her, regardless of what she did?

  296. joe2

    An interesting take on the sad decline of Bearnard Keane and the Tingle letter at Loonpond. All relevant, I believe, to issues raised on this thread.

    http://loonpond.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/in-which-pond-continues-quest-for.html

  297. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    FINE – You can accuse me of sexism, but please don’t accuse me of reading the Oz.
    Isn’t this all the handiwork of the 30-something bunny running the NSW Labor Party? If these guys had a trace of political romanticism in their blood they wouldn’t make so many mistakes. Instead, they keep outsmarting themselves.

  298. Paul Burns

    Anybody else notice Piers Akerman has lost weight?

    Re the Carr Affaire. It surfaced in the OZ, ffs. Of course it was bullshit.

  299. Justin

    This Government’s antipathy to anything renewable is quite breathtaking. In practice they seem to be just as much in denial about climate change as the Libs.

  300. su

    Other people have found the mass outbreak of face-recognition failure telling too Fine, since the line was coined by the conservatives and, until Rudd, had only ever been used by the LNP to beat up on the ALP. Machine men and machine politics, yes, faceless men ,no, not unless you were of the reactionary persuasion.

  301. Fine

    “Faceless men” was a highly effective term coined by Menzies in response to a photo of Whitlam other Labor pollies waiting outside a meeting of the National Executive, while those unelected men decided policy.

    It isn’t appropriate to use it about elected politicians using their factional heft to get what they want, as ugly and nasty as that sight can be as well. It also completely erases the women pollies. The “men” decide on what’s happening, while Gillard, Wong, Roxon, Plibersek, Ellis et al stick to their knitting.

    It’s in the pernicious nature of sexism for it not to be easily recognised, especially in ourselves. . No-one wants to be sexist. But all of us are, sometimes.

    And if the Oz is flogging a phrase, doesn’t that tell you that it’s just plain wrong?

  302. Sam

    “Faceless men” was a highly effective term coined by Menzies in response to a photo of Whitlam other Labor pollies waiting outside a meeting of the National Executive, while those unelected men decided policy.

    It was coined by Alan Reid, Canberra correspondent for the Bulletin.

  303. Katz

    Yep.

    Here is the picture in question:

    http://www.nla.gov.au/apps/cdview?pi=nla.aus-vn2247771-1

    The “faceless men” of 1963 were elected to their positions on the Federal Conference by the state branches of the ALP. They were not elected by the people.

    The faction bosses of 2010 were elected by the people to their positions in either of the two houses of parliament. These faction bosses became ALP-endorsed candidates for elected as a result of faction deals done by other faction bosses in the ALP. They are members of safe seats or they were high on the Senate ticket.

    Rank and file members of the ALP, through Federal Conference, have less input into preselection and into formulating ALP policy in 2012 than they did in 1963.

    See how far the ALP has progressed?

  304. adrian

    Great picture.

    One thing that hasn’t improved is the standard of Liberal Party advertising.

  305. Fine

    I stand corrected Sam.

  306. su

    Reid was also a political player, much more so than the reporters weeping for Whitlam when they should have been chasing the story. He was a plotter and a schemer who had read too much Machiavelli, a man who not only reported conspiracies but also fired them up like a frenzied stoker on a tramp steamer. He was in love with intrigue and the intrigues he uncovered mostly pleased his boss, Frank Packer, proprietor of The Daily Telegraph and the fledgling Nine Network.

    Packer saw the existence of the Labor Party as a threat to the propertied classes, so Reid’s stories on Santamaria and the 36 faceless men came as manna. Packer wanted Billy McMahon as prime minister, probably because he knew he could manipulate him, and Reid helped bring this about. Reid, an intelligent man, must have known that McMahon, a leaker with the leadership qualities of a small insect, was unfit to be prime minister, but he went along with the boss.

    Reid wasn’t simply another journalist in the gallery, another seeker of truths. He was also there to look after Packer’s corporate interests …

    Link

    Nothing much has changed then.

  307. alfred venison

    dear editor
    “confessions of a faceless man: inside campaign 2010″ by paul howes. self deprecating, part of the vernacular, or liberal stooge? just asking.
    yours sincerely
    alfred vension

  308. su

    Dear, dear. You merely prove the point, others labelled the execrable Howes so. A willingness to use opposition/hostile media tactics against your own party speaks to a regrettable propensity for scorched earth politics. I can see why, having fruit so inconveniently positioned, you might feel defensive about the phrase, but I think the argument for empowering the broader membership can be had without playing into the hands of the murdocracy. Careful with that irony, Alfred.

  309. alfred venison

    dear su
    that is the title of the book by paul howes about the 2010 campaign – its his title for his book, not someone else’s label for him. so what is it, self deprecation, or vernacular, or fifth columnist for the libs?
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  310. akn

    Fine:

    akn, upthread you asked me what I found “telling”. I was referring to the unconscious sexism on display in this thread.

    Well that’s what I mean by an unsubstantiated allegation. I won’t attempt to second guess what you mean by “unconscious sexism” on this thread so what about unpacking the allegation so people can understand what you are talking about? Spell out your argument, please.

  311. Helen

    Heavens AKN, unconscious sexism (or any other ism) isn’t exactly an arcane concept which is difficult to understand. It’s when (for instance) someone asks a question about surgery or carpentry where it is assumed that the surgeon or carpenter must be a he. All the learned gendered distinctions which we’ve had drummed into us since childhood.

  312. akn

    Well yes Helen. Of course. There has been a lot of overt sexism directed towards Gillard from very crude Tea Party types, Jonesy broadcasting from the toilet, the media in general commenting on her appearance and so on. What I was wanting from Fine was a nuanced argument pointing out the flavour of unreflective sexist assumptions on this thread. In the absence of a respns from Fine no other conclusion is possble than that some of us are bein’ accused of buying into or in some way reflecting the sexist attitudes noted above. Which is a pretty dirty suggestion IMHO.

    I guess what Fine might advance is that there is a general double standard at work in which normal political moves and manouevres from Gillard are treated differently because she is a woman. You know, the idea that women in public life have to be twice as good to be treated as just acceptable.

    But it would be up to Fine to argue that. In the meantime it seems reasonable to me to return fire towards drive by allegations of unreflective sexism. For the record: I don’t line up and celebrate every time any woman succeeds; it depends on which woman and whose interests she represents. The same applies to men. That’s a flat gender playing field.

  313. Geoff Henderson

    Helen thanks for that. I too was a little querulous at Fines references to sexism, and unconscious sexism.

    I have mentioned here before that I am older – 65 in fact. That makes me the product of a happy homecoming of my dad following WW2.
    In those days the roles of the sexes were different, notwithstanding that many women filled “male” roles during the war. But by and large, women’s roles were “home duties”. That meant keeping house, bearing and raising children, much as had been the case for so many decades past. There were few options, but the war effort and loss of men triggered (IMO) a revision of the traditional role. Other factors might include the increased availability of cars and the government policy of the quarter acre block.

    Today the change continues and women are increasingly able to take the roles they are so well equipped to do. There is more distance to go, and some barriers remain, but again, IMO progress is real, substantial and continuing.
    Having said that, I get the idea that some believe that baying and whining about women’s inequality at every moment is productive. Earlier we saw some stuff that claimed misogyny was behind Gillard’s issues. I think that was not the case. Even the pic heralding this thread show equal men and women as officers of Gillard’s team – implies equality right?

    I understand the concept of unconscious sexism – you describe what I grew up with. I saw little wrong with that, and for the time, it was an historical outcome of social history and lack of options for women. It was not sexist in the sense the term might be applied today. I don’t feel at all guilty, nor driven for that reason to support change.

    I do hesitate to have to revise my unconscious terminology too much, especially where that involves neutering everything that might somehow be construed as male or female. That’s a crock. I mean, how would I refer to a ship, and object traditionally referred to a female? I already shudder at the abuse of political correctness and now there are those who want me to re-shape my unconscious level of sexism.

    Have I got it wrong? Please correct me if I am so lost or misunderstanding.

    Sorry for the rant, I have drifted off topic somewhat too, and face possible removal by the mod.

  314. Justin

    Gillard admitted in Parliament she did in fact talk to Bob Carr about his interest in the Senate spot. Which means the comments above about her lack of judgement on that count were fair after all.

    Just sayin’.

  315. Helen

    Geoff, I would take you up on quite a few of these points, but that would drag the thread even further off topic than it has been. But since this is directly about the leadership, in answer to your point

    Earlier we saw some stuff that claimed misogyny was behind Gillard’s issues. I think that was not the case

    There are hundreds of examples to the contrary. Did you see the recent (post-spill) headline using the words “FLYING START” with the F and the S x’d out in red?…

    Also, you can’t be an ally of people who are trying to point out injustices by describing those actions as “baying and whining”. That’s a clear perjorative.

  316. Chris

    Helen @ 324 – um, that was a photoshop job, probably by someone trolling for some outrage, not a real headline….. even if the twitterverse got rather excited about it for a while until someone pointed out its fake.

  317. Helen

    There’s no shortage of other examples, Chris.
    And as a photoshop, it’s somebody out there (one of many, as you can see from Herald Sun / tele / Punch comment threads) who see these kind of wordplays on JG as HEE-LARIOUS.

  318. Chris

    Helen @ 326 – no doubt, but that one is fake. And I’d agree there’s lots of people on various sites who think they are funny (some just enjoy other’s getting angry at them and so are deliberately provocative). But while the flavour is slightly different, politicians like Abbott face the same sort of thing – eg “the Mad Monk”, Mr Rabbit, Mr No, endless comments about his bathers, etc.

  319. Geoff Henderson

    Ah Helen – I thought I was somewhat enlightened:) – ‘still think that. I don’t say that all is sweet, but you can’t change historical mores so quickly, takes generations.

  320. Helen

    Oh! I’ve seen the light! Sexism doesn’t exist any more!
    Thank you, thank you.
    I give up.

  321. Fine

    “In the absence of a respns from Fine no other conclusion is possible than that some of us are bein’ accused of buying into or in some way reflecting the sexist attitudes noted above. Which is a pretty dirty suggestion IMHO. ”

    Dear akn, I actually don’t spend all my time welded to this spot, which is why I haven’t replied. Helen wrote about ‘unconscious sexism’, which you don’t seem to have reflected on at all. I suggest that with your jibes about Kate Ellis’ short skirts, your an example of how it works. You may think that’s just a jolly jape. But, it’s an example of how women are patronised and judged by their appearance. Saying it’s a joke doesn’t make it any better.

    I was quite explicit about how the discussion of the “faceless men”, and by the implication the idea that Gillard is just a puppet of those men, is sexist. Read what I wrote. By implication, she is being compared unfavourably to Rudd, who apparently is independent of those men. She is being placed in a role traditionally designated for women; dependent, compliant, easily manipulated. Furthermore, the women who support her, and the women who don’t, are erased from the discussion. They don’t exist. You may argue the phrase is just a convenient shorthand. But it’s interesting how this shorthand is used unreflectively and reinforces retrograde ideas.

    Of course, the other trope used against her here, is the whole “knifing”, “assassination” discourse. Again, this is another role women get to take up; untrustworthy, devious, unstable, the ruin of a good and honest man. Think of figures such as Delilah and Jezebel. “Ditch the witch”, and the other overt expressions of sexism, are just a very small extension of this sort of talk. You may not realise your reinforcing sexist ideas; that’s why it’s called ‘unconscious sexism’.

  322. Geoff Henderson

    Helen maybe the time is ripe to request a separate thread for this topic. It seems to me there is plenty to discuss.

  323. Meeee

    Looks like there’s more to the story. Bob Carr for FM . Wheels within wheels…

  324. Chris

    My calendar must be wrong, surely its April 1st!

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/bob-carr-to-take-foreign-affairs-role-20120302-1u731.html

    Does this mean that Gillard manage to stare down the faceless men after all!

  325. Patrickb

    Carr is foreign minister. Is JG blind-siding the media? If so go hard! I listened to Farr and Graten pontificating about the “Carr affair” this RN morning. They now look absolutely clueless. Graten in particular appeared to have swallowed the “powerless PM” story stating that govt. MPs were “despairing” at the lack of co-ordination.

  326. KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN

    Julia has immense power because those around her now can’t afford to let her stuff up, or look like she’s stuffed up.

  327. Katz

    How do you stare down someone devoid of a face?

  328. Geoff Henderson

    You’d have to say then Kevin-one-seven, that those around her are not doing a very good job.
    In the few days Ms Gillard’s Lazarus show, she has again demonstrated that her word cannot be trusted. You can’t have confidence in a PM whose word no longer carries credible weight. The person known as Australia’s PM (note I have taken sex out of the title) tells lies to the public. How stupid does the PM think we are? How can such contempt role from the PM’s mouth?

  329. Chris

    Katz @ 336 – thats why its so hard to do :-)

  330. Katz

    I notice that the TPP in Barton in 2010 was 57 – 43.

    Perhaps enough for Gillard to survive McClelland’s desire “to spend more time with his family”.

    However, Gillard could be destroyed by just one non-working family.

  331. Meeee

    The polls must be fascinating if the PM would rather be seen to be a liar than weak. Probably it’s the old “all politicians lie, but the PM should be in charge”

  332. Meeee

    The polls must be fascinating if the PM would rather be seen to be a liar than weak. Probably it’s the old “all politicians lie, but the PM should be in charge”

  333. Justin

    Bloody hell, now Carr is FM after all!

    Maybe Gillard noticed the only negative press was about (apparently) stuffing it up, not the idea of Carr as FM in itself.

  334. su

    its his title for his book, not someone else’s label for him.

    That’s just willfully obtuse, his title sprang from the public descriptions, post June’10, of the Arbib/Feeney/Shorten/Howes/Ludwig crew as faceless men.

    Incidentally, I have seen quite a few people around the traps assuming that the majority of the left were in the Rudd camp, but based on public declarations by caucus members and the most credible of the “lists” more than half the broad left faction voted for Gillard.

  335. joe2

    The person known as Australia’s PM (note I have taken sex out of the title) tells lies to the public.

    Geoff, if it were true of Gillard, which I do not think it is, the people would not find that any great surprise, given the precedent of John Howard who held both the position of P.M. and most conspicuous liar, a great deal longer , than the present incumbent.

  336. patriciawa

    Meeee – The Prime Minister a liar re Carr’s appointment? How so? She offered him the position yesterday – and hasn’t gone into the detail of all the other people she has spoken to about this in the previous days.

    Amazing the fictions developed around this appointment by the Opposition and the media! If the only ‘scandal’ they can get into a lather about is the PM’s legitimate deliberations and consultations about appointments to her cabinet there can’t be much wrong with her government.

  337. alfred venison

    dear su
    obstuse?

    “i’ve decided I’m going to make it one of my missions to ensure we get at least a couple of think tanks to match the sydney institute. but if we are going to do that then labor’s faceless men will have to learn to tolerate dissent.”
    paul howes – address to the sydney institute – 2010-11-12

    “well, they’re the same faceless men who in 2007 tore down prime minister kevin rudd. these are some union officials outside muscling up on members of parliament.”
    doug cameron to tony jones on lateline – 2012-02-22
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  338. Geoff Henderson

    Well I guess that if Julia denied that she was talking to Bob Carr, then admits that she was in fact talking to Carr (when she said she was not) then how can that be anything but a lie revealed? Indefensible, even allowing for the need, on occasion, to not be fully disclosing. In those circumstances though, decline to answer.

    Would Howard do that? yeah I think you have me there. How about Hawke, Keating etc.? Same answer I suppose.

  339. Helen

    Geoff @331 – Cheers, may do so in a couple of weeks – no time before that!

  340. Jacques de Molay

    Bob Carr, FMD.

  341. joe2

    Geoff, your problem is that you fail to understand the difference between putting out feelers, for a position, and asking directly whether someone wants a job. There is a difference.

    And also wishing to run with the liberal sponsored shock jock meme that Gillard is somehow a liar.

  342. su

    Both post-June ’10. Ten out of ten for hypocrisy for former AMWU chief Cameron.

    I reject Marks contention that the union movement is a Gordian knot that should be cut. This panders to decades of antiunion rhetoric from the Australian media, the Liberal party and various right wing think tanks.
    Reactionary forces have been ranged against the union movement. This has been designed to disarm, discredit and demonise one of the only mass organisations capable of, and prepared to, stand against the economic and political excesses of the neo liberals and their big business supporters.

    Embarking on an orgy of internal party review while there are so many challenges and opportunities for the Rudd government would be the Australian equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns. Party reform is a not the “main game”.

    Cameron to the Fabian Society, 2008.

  343. Geoff Henderson

    Joe2 I am not faultless, but to align me in any way at all with Jones is an unintended (hopefully) insult to me, my family and anyone else in the room.
    Let me be clear – I consider Jones the be an award winning black belted 5th dan horses end.

  344. joe2

    No insult intended, Geoff, but the liar meme is straight out of the Liberal hq propaganda dept. A day does not go by without Abbott running it and not writing it down on paper.

  345. Helen

    …not writing it down on paper… heh, heh, I see what you did there…

  346. adrian

    I like the fact that the Carr appointment has made the Canberra press gallery look like the pack of idiots that they are (mostly).

    But don’t know how well it will go down in NSW, and if he’s far enough removed from the stench of NSW labor.

  347. alfred venison

    dear su
    the faceless men meme well & truly out of the box; by your account at least since june 2010. it is used by labor denigrators & labor supporters. in addition to the usual suspects, its being used in our time & in the current debate by certain labor mps & senators (and others) to refer to a locus of power within their party that they contend is influential, insufficiently accountable, and anti-democratic. attempting to restrict use the phrase to its original 20th century meaning & usage is futile and denigrating people who use it as supporters of the oppressor is infantile. time to focus more on the signified and less on the signifier. or (re)acquaint yourself with the uses of metaphor / metonymy in practical discourse and vectors of language change over time.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  348. su

    Alfred, I’ll just restate what I said upthread, I believe you can have an argument about empowering the broader membership and factional reform without reinforcing every LNP/Murdocracy assertion about evil unions and the Labor party in general. I respectfully disagree with your contention because the signifier in this case is so loaded and that loaded meaning has such currency with the right wing. I won’t quibble with you any further, we see it differently.

  349. Katz

    What was being claimed as sexist was the suggestion that a woman PM was/is subservient to/being puppeted by a group of men, faceless or not.

    It’s not sexist if it’s true.

    There have been numerous men who were dupes of other men. Has there not been a single woman who was the dupe of men?

  350. alfred venison

    dear tigtog
    respectfully, i saw the argument move on from “persons who use that phrase are in danger of unwittingly polluting their arguments with unnecessary sexism” to “persons who use that phrase are enemies of the people”. i have no quibble with the first argument.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison