Preparing for war

Sunday, 24 March 2013 

If the events of Thursday were curious to those oblivious to the internal dynamics, the events of Friday must have been inexplicable.

If Bowen, Ferguson, Carr and the other Rudd backers now support the Prime Minister 100%, why did they leave her government? If it was because it was the honourable thing to do because they were planning to vote against her, why did they not leave after last year’s spill when they (presumably) actually did?

Nor does it make much sense on Gillard’s side. If the Rudd backers left because they were going to be pushed anyway, why should they have been? After all, if Rudd is no longer a threat then surely it would have made sense to display a united team. At least this time it would be real because there is now no alternative. Why, instead of moving forward and leaving what happened in the past, do we now have disunity entrenched for all the world to see on the backbench?

Since Federation there have been only two occasions that have produced a Government Ministerial walk-out even comparable to what we saw on Friday, both Labor: 1916 and 1931. Why does 2013 seem different?

The first reason is that the earlier cases were to do with a clear issue; conscription in 1916 and austerity in 1931. On Friday there was no clear issue, other than Rudd v Gillard, which had been resolved the day before.

In both 1916 and 1931, the splits in the Ministry reflected difficulties of imposing conscription and austerity on Labor’s base in organised labour. This time the underlying issue is the lack of any social base and how Labor should respond to it. It is because this is at its core a deeply internal Labor dispute, that nothing is quite as it seems.

Seeing this as about Gillard v Rudd, rather than the institutional tussle it actually is, continually blindsides commentators. Because they measure what is happening purely by Rudd’s prospects, they keep seeing every Rudd defeat as “closure”, when it is nothing of the sort. Rudd was written off last February after what was, we were continually told, the biggest loss in a spill in political history. Yet even Gillard loyalist Tony Burke had to admit that support for Rudd had grown since then to approaching half of caucus last Thursday.

It is now clear, as the facts emerge as the Rudd camp and Crean trade blows, that things went pretty much as described by this blog on Friday.

No doubt the Rudd camp were working together to some degree on the hope that Crean would able to sway the Caucus, or at least his groupies, to support Rudd (by the way, for the Gillardista Laborites out there, contrary to what Rudd claimed, he might have just been satisfied with a majority than a draft). Not surprising, Crean’s “non-endorsement” failed to bring anyone over at all and left the Rudd camp short of a majority.

No doubt smelling a rat, Rudd tried to contact Crean to deter him from calling a spill, but Crean was prepared to go ahead and flush him out by forcing him to challenge anyway. Crean denies having had any contact with Rudd (curious for a leadership “team” about to make a bid) but nearly every journalist has seen (been shown) the text that Rudd sent that morning to find out what Crean was up to but Crean presumably ignored.

Crean represented the compromise grouping that accepted Rudd was a necessary alternative, but only if he was kept under tight rein from the power brokers with Crean as deputy. He was not the only one. Martin Ferguson appeared also in that camp in his resignation speech, as Paul Kelly describes:

Ferguson offered the same critique of the government as mounted by Crean on Thursday, just more forceful. He is close to Crean and last year Ferguson advised Rudd to run on a ticket with Crean as deputy as a means of uniting the party under a new leadership. Rudd rejected this advice.

Uniting the party? Ferguson spoke of voting for Rudd and Crean (rather than Albanese) as he didn’t believe in a “winner-takes-all situation”. If this is just about Gillard v Rudd, whatever can he mean?

A clue came from a theme from Ferguson’s speech that was repeated by others on Friday, the need to return to the Hawke-Keating legacy. It was fervently picked up by The Australian and other right-wing culture bores as criticism of the “class war” rhetoric of the Gillard-Swan team. Outside the bubble of right-wing commentators, it is hard to believe this is taken any more seriously as Swan’s banging on about Springsteen and seen as little more than just another re-branding exercise. Certainly a return to the Hawke-Keating legacy would be unnecessary if you never left it.

However, in internal Labor circles the “values” rhetoric is seen for what it is, a nod towards Gillard’s union backers. The call for a return to Keating is code for those in the Parliamentary party that are now objecting to excessive union influence and seeing it as the cause of their problems. Rudd is the obvious pole of attraction for those who want more detachment from the bondage of the unions and their factional system, as Rudd knows how to turn it into electoral advantage.

But he may not be the only option. Another interesting resignation speech was that of Chris Bowen’s. For someone supposedly committing “political suicide” it was remarkably engaged. Indeed near the end it was beginning to sound like a campaign speech. It may be for the future. Rudd was appearing to hand over the mantle to Bowen on Friday (but given wily Rudd’s record, perhaps Bowen shouldn’t take it for granted).

The fact is that Labor has won only one election in the last twenty years, and that was by hiding under someone’s name. They are now set for an historic defeat under a leadership asserting “Labor values“ that few either think relevant or even believe is sincere. These departures are not committing political suicide and no one is giving up their seat. They are distancing themselves from what is coming, because they know when it does, it will discredit those associated with it. After that, the real argy-bargy can start. You think it’s about Rudd v Gillard? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Sunday, 24 March 2013.

Filed under State of the parties, Tactics

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42 responses to “Preparing for war”

  1. F on 24th March 2013 8:37 am

    But will it discredit them? It looks like the party will be a Victorian rump, and power-brokers like Shorten and Conroy will still have their power-bases to rely on. Maybe they welcome defeat, as way to expunge from the party those they see as enemies (Almost everyone in NSW and Qld)?

  2. The Piping Shrike on 24th March 2013 8:39 am

    I think they know it will. It’s why everyone has been so keen to incorrectly blame the 2010 non-result and the lousy polling since then on Rudd destabilisation.

  3. The other Michael who comments here occasionally on 24th March 2013 9:57 am

    If the polls are to be taken as a prediction of what will happen come September 14, it’ll be pretty hard for Bowen to put himself forward as Rudd’s ‘successor’ – he’ll have lost his seat!

  4. The Piping Shrike on 24th March 2013 10:56 am

    Just as well they have more time to spend with their electorate family.

  5. Avalon Dave on 24th March 2013 11:01 am

    I think Bowen will keep his seat. That was what was behind the big speech the other day.

    Bowen can now spend 6 months in his electorate explaining why he quit Gillard’s government, and thereby spare himself from the baseball bat treatment.

    With a massive electoral whack, the faction heavies are not only discredited, they don’t have the safe seats to hand around and therefore their power is diminished.

    You can’t put Loyal Union dunderheads in seats where you actually need to campaign – because then these idiots have to be exposed to the public. You can only hide them in safe seats. Well, there won’t be many safe Labor seats for a while…

  6. Dr_Tad on 24th March 2013 11:40 am

    Some weird things will happen inside the trade unions after September too.

  7. Roger on 24th March 2013 2:29 pm

    Earlier, Avalon Dave wrote that: “These factional power brokers derive their power primarily, from the ability to hand out preselections for safe seats. If there are no safe seats on offer, then presumably these guys can’t put their loyal duds into parliament.” And here he writes, similarly, that: “With a massive electoral whack, the faction heavies are not only discredited, they don’t have the safe seats to hand around and therefore their power is diminished.”

    There is optimism (from my perspective) in this line. But I am not made optimistic. The Labor Party has sustained enormous ‘whacks’ in the past (you all know its record of electoral ‘success’ compared with the other side). The ALP preselection process has not evolved one jot as a consequence. Why expect that there will be a learning from this particular whack, when the other whacks were barren? A boatload of party rules would have to be changed by conference members who see themselves as being benefited by the rules presently in place.

  8. T on 24th March 2013 2:59 pm

    Rudd was only a little time or some better tactics away from being PM.

    Gillard still means a bitter defeat and Rudd an (un)likely victory.

    The public are rusted onto this view. Its Rudd or its Abbott. Its not going to be Gillard.

    Do you think Shorten will have been happy to be sat on by Swan?

  9. Geoff Robinson on 24th March 2013 4:13 pm

    Labor at worse will lose by about 1996 margin might actually do better, Abbott might struggle under pressure but probably his negatives are fully incorporated in Libs vote. There was not much odd in Labor’s losses in 1996, 1998, 2001 & 2004 all explained by economic circumstances.
    If Labor lost Bowen’s seat on a national 1996 level of support they would hold seats elsewhere they lost in 1996.
    Yes Labor’s rightward shift in 80s weakened its grip on its core vote but it aided its appeal to non-core voters, Labor couldn’t win on its core vote. Any general political crisis could only be result of a shrinking economy & no sign of this in Australia.

  10. Lentern on 24th March 2013 5:58 pm

    Shrike I heard from Peter van Onselen among a few others that the NSW Right was actively learning on members to vote against Gillard/for Rudd, does this ring true to you? If so how does this fit in with your broader thesis about Rudd and the factions? Would it just be the case of some senior figures in the NSW right determining that Rudd is preferable to electoral annihilation?

  11. Andrew Elder on 24th March 2013 7:51 pm

    Labor won’t necessarily lose on 14 September. In order to go on and on about Labor’s loss of social base, you have to assume that the same thing has not happened to the conservatives – it has, and much, much more so. When Labor people campaign in Lib seats proclaiming them to be Labor Heartland, I might change my mind on this. In the meantime, keep in mind that whenever you see Gillard stumbling and performing below her best, that Abbott is at full throttle.

    I would have thought that the Ferguson scions were proof positive of hacks foisted on the public by factional leaders. Nobody should confuse Richard Marles or Chris Bowen with horny-handed sons of toil ready to rebuild Labor after “the inevitable”.

    So, these guys aren’t going anywhere. We’ll see in December. Does anyone imagine Ferguson will not be offered some sort of role with grateful miners, or Carr at a manufacturing organisation? Marles, Husic and Bowen will have to decide whether or not they want to sit back and watch more and more of the peers surpass them.

    Gillard seems to be redefining Labor’s core constituency as The Disadvantaged, including but not limited to low-paid workers. From there, it’s not too much of a stretch to appeal to anyone with a grievance, and to do so more convincingly than Abbott has or can.

  12. riccardo on 24th March 2013 8:32 pm

    i like the thesis that the union heavies won’t have safe seats to hand around as lollies but sadly this hydra has 1000 more heads to chop:

    -minor staff positions in union or mp offices for up and coming uni students
    -paid party positions (these could be threatened by reduced public funding and union funding being decoupled by abbott, hence the hysteria)
    -remaining backbench positions
    -the senate, which is less sensitive to swings
    -finally, the vast number of boards and industry super funds and government committees that alp govts end up with. remember all these quangos and commissions that they like these days, out of the reach of the dept secretaries, staffed with heavies who ultimately came from the labor movement tribe

  13. riccardo on 24th March 2013 8:35 pm

    andrew elder, you’re sounding like one of the gillard lovies that shrike warned us against

    of course conservative forces are empty as the alp are.

    there is no such thing as the ‘disadvantaged’ and certainly not in a way that the ALP could ever appeal to.

    When I was young the disadvantaged might have included single mums, dole recepients and refugees. Now how have these groups faired under Gillard?

  14. The Piping Shrike on 24th March 2013 8:49 pm

    Hi Andrew, I wrote extensively on the Liberals’ lack of base when they were in crisis. No doubt I will again. It just happens that Labor’s is dominating politics at the moment.

    Ferguson is very much of the old guard, which is why, like Crean they tried to keep control on Rudd on behalf of the “leadership group”.

  15. David Jackmanson on 24th March 2013 9:04 pm

    Andrew, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot about politics from you this last half-decade, but this time I think the Shrike is seeing things more clearly than you.

    I think people are getting ready to turf Gillard out, and Rudd sees his chance of becoming PM again by dominating the shattered, demoralised ALP rump after the election.

    He may be deluded, and Abbott will be an appalling PM, as you have clearly demonstrated in your blog. But one of the points you made is very true – the Liberals have no more social base than the ALP. I think they’ll provide no more stability in government than Labor has.

  16. F on 24th March 2013 9:43 pm

    I really do see Shorten’s Victorian base remaining after the coming decimation. Post this the party will be far more union orientated, and like an above poster said will not even consider what if any lessons to learn from the coming thumping defeat. Plus laborite supporters of the current leadership team are speaking with increasingly vitriolic and cataclysmic terms of ANY solution that involves changing to He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named. Like they hate him, and would blame their receding hairlines on him if possible. What (if anything) Shrike do you make of Rudd’s “never ever ever, plus a million” denials after the non-spill spill? Is he really out, or can we expect a another resurrection?

  17. The Piping Shrike on 24th March 2013 10:56 pm

    Let’s put it this way. It’s the right thing to say for now.

  18. Avalon Dave on 25th March 2013 10:12 am

    Assuming Abbott does convincingly take the House of Reps, but not the Senate, then it is true that Shorten will be the most powerful player in the Federal Labor Party. But only because Victoria won’t lose anything like the number of seats that will be lost in Qld & NSW.

    Shorten then has a big decision to make. Does he take the vacant leadership then & there (typically not a good thing to do for someone with PM aspirations), or does he risk letting Kevin take the reigns?

  19. Ralph on 25th March 2013 10:41 am

    What a mess. It really is ugly to watch. Whichever way it goes, it looks like the ALP is going to have to take its medicine. Clearly resolving the internal crisis is far more important than government itself. Being reduced to around 30 or so MPs should give them some food for thought.

    Against what looks like being a convictionless, gutless and probably do-nothing incoming Coalition government, the ALP is determined to make it easy for Abbott and co. Although Abbott in his own right is quite unappealing, I can see why many people are going to give him the benefit of the doubt. In fact I don’t think that’s even the right term. More likely, the public probably thinks that the other mob couldn’t be any more self-interested, ham-fisted or disorganised than the current excuse for a government. And they’re probably right.

  20. David Rohde on 26th March 2013 10:47 am

    Another insightful post. I have not so recently found this blog and also read quite a bit of the archive, and have found the story it tells of the break down of the unions as very believable. The Rudd vs Gillard story based around gender / Rudd is chaotic and/or a bastard seems to be a much less important side story – no doubt with some elements of truth…

    It was interesting finding a link to that old Gillard speech “factionalism is fractionalism”… this seems like such a long time ago… I assume that your explanation would be that the factional base is not strong enough to confidently keep her in so she must be obsequious to the labor bosses.

    I am also interested in your response to Lentern’s question about (some) union support for Rudd… one of the big surprises for me from last week is that in the fight between factional power and electoral contestability, factional power had a (narrow) victory. I think the fact that Gillard is reliant on the factions has given them a temporary increase in influence, it is hard to otherwise explain the refusal to change. I am hoping after the next election MPs from both the Gillard and Rudd camp can give some insight on why they made the choice that they did.

    From the electorates point of view Gillard is too similar to Rudd in policies to justify the change. She has done many good things but most of that comes from inheriting the Rudd legacy and to be fair completing the job. The most important aspects of the Rudd/Gillard legacy are the stimulus package and the carbon tax. The first she had to wash her hands from, the second she has the dual role of being wrecker and implementer. It should be a straightforward economic argument to win ETS vs direct action, but labor refuse to even try. Greg Hunt’s sloppy economics probably cut through because nobody on the labor side even bothers to respond.

    The only other place where she differs is by attempting to whip up xenophobia in the outer suburbs, this seems to only work (well) in the LNP. She is populist, without being popular.

  21. F on 26th March 2013 11:30 am

    “From the electorates point of view Gillard is too similar to Rudd in policies to justify the change.”

    I very much doubt that. This “justify the change” meme that keeps being batted about is very strange. The ‘justification’ is that Rudd is popular, electorally strong, and can actually talk to voters (and the voters actually listen)

    Any over-thinking of the ‘justifications’ is exactly that: over-thinking.

    I mean we live in a democracy, don’t we? Doesn’t that make being popular enough to win an election vitally important?

  22. David Rohde on 26th March 2013 12:09 pm

    I fully agree… I meant the initial change in 2010…

    It is very strange that there is such difference in the democratic views of the caucus and the general public…

  23. The Piping Shrike on 26th March 2013 1:18 pm

    I didn’t see anything on the unions this time but in 2012 they were almost unanimously behind Gillard. I imagine the shift to Rudd this time was confined largely to the Parliamentary party.

    Lentern’s question is more on the NSW Right. It’s an interesting one as it points to an important theme behind what is ultimately a power brokers’ fight to retain control – that is that the faction system is breaking down, and this has also destabilised Gillard. It means what should be a simple transfer, like the last appointments of Foreign Minister or leader of the Senate, can get messy. This is especially true of the growing incoherence of the NSW Right. I have written on this in the past and Latham talks of it in his essay.

    On policy differences between Gillard and Rudd there aren’t any really, other than those that have developed over the course of their tussle. Gillard’s position on asylum seekers and climate change more reflect prejudices of the electorate held across Labor, but especially the Labor Right’s belief they should “relate” to it.

  24. David Rohde on 26th March 2013 2:37 pm

    The appointment of Bob Carr points to another point of confusion for me… you talk about Carr as a creature of the NSW right [1], but he (apparently) supported Rudd… Is this just the incoherence that you talk about?…

    Graham Richardson, I assume also represents the power brokers, but he also switched to Rudd… although he is truly “faceless” in the sense of not being an mp. Just more incoherence?

    On policy differences, I think particular with regard to the ETS Gillard (rightly or wrongly) saw a strategic advantage in dumping it, where Rudd wanted to hold on and apparently fought very hard for reform in Copenhagen. This seems emblematic of the public perception including my own. Rudd did the vision thing, Gillard did strategy. Gillard has made slight modifications to Rudd policy and occasionally big changes in rhetoric.

    Gillard seems to listen to those that think pandering to the electorates prejudice where Rudd is at least a little slower to do so, and does draw a line.

    Some Gillard supporters would use her poor polling to suggest she stands on principle where Rudd is the one who chases polls. Of course both of them chased good polling with equal enthusiasm. I think Gillard is just unsuccessful in her attempt to do this as she makes haphazard adjustments to the policy and more importantly the rhetoric of the Rudd agenda and this makes her appear insincere, reinforcing the discomfort the electorate feels about the way she got the job.

    I would also agree there is no reason that the faction’s chosen pm can’t do really well… Labor supporters I think really expected to warm to Gillard, it just didn’t happen…

    I should read Latham’s essay he is always a strange combination of insight and bitterness.

    [1] An (almost) classic Labor power play

  25. The Piping Shrike on 26th March 2013 10:57 pm

    On Carr, yes, to a degree. The interesting thing with Carr was the way it appears that the NSW Right was prepared to leak, even if it damaged Gillard, to get him in.

    The problem for the NSW Right is that traditionally they had been able to marry what was good for the power structures of the ALP with what was good electorally. Gillard-Rudd splits that apart.

    Richardson doesn’t represent anything but himself, and some electoral strategy circa 1989.

    I don’t agree with your strategy/vision thing. Actually delaying/dumping the ETS was poor strategy as was shown when they did it. Gillard’s “strategy” is more focused on what works internally. Externally it’s, um, not that great. If Gillard is chasing polls, she’s moving pretty slow!

  26. James on 27th March 2013 8:30 am

    Labor has one three federal elections in twenty years, not one. They were 1993, 2007 and 2010.

  27. The Piping Shrike on 27th March 2013 8:54 am

    If we’re being pedantic the 1993 election was more than 20 years ago (just) and no one won the 2010 election, which is why we have a minority government. Otherwise, who won the Italian election?

  28. David Rohde on 27th March 2013 11:42 am

    Gillard seems to be to neither making hard decisions in the national interest nor making popular decisions to get elected. I assume she is at least trying to do the latter (e.g. 457 visa crackdown), but maybe you are right… I assume the factions both want to maintain control and get elected…

  29. The Piping Shrike on 27th March 2013 4:05 pm

    Well, both would be nice … but if you had to choose … no point being in government if you aren’t controlling it.

  30. DM on 28th March 2013 1:53 am

    Don’t forget that there will be a national ALP conference soon after the election. Some hard questions will be put and answers will be sought by a rapidly shrinking membership. My strong guess is that the defeat will be blamed on Rudd and his leadership ambitions. They will say that the constant leadership speculation was what spoiled it for Labor, but this will be the dead hand of the factions speaking. I’m really looking forward to the opening up of the party but this will not happen if everyday people don’t get up and start demanding a democratic and open ALP. So all you progressives out there be prepared to get out and make your voices heard! As far as I’m concerned this can’t come soon enough.

  31. Avalon Dave on 28th March 2013 12:15 pm

    It’s hard to believe this is playing out in the media on the back of the events of last week.

    “The intervention comes amid an increasingly heated preselection row, with the authority of Victorian Right faction powerbroker Stephen Conroy – who is pushing for his own candidate – being challenged by a splinter group linked to the Health Services Union.”

    I mean in one corner, we have the Minister for Bungling (NBN Schedule, Media Reforms and Internet Filter) and in the other corner, the Health Services Union.

    How the hell does an idiot like Conroy get a “patch” anyway. Who gives it to him?

  32. Andrew Elder on 28th March 2013 6:21 pm

    Thanks everyone for making me out to be some sort of Pollyanna.

    PS, I’m aware of your excellent work on the social base of both parties. There is now a process to be had of comparison, and of looking past motes and beams so that a comparison can be done of which is the least unsatisfactory party to secure government.

    Since Hawke there has been this idea that politics has to be some sort of popularity contest. It doesn’t. Malcolm Fraser won the two biggest election results in history and everyone agreed he was a bastard – particularly his own ministers, who quit/ died/ were sacked that make recent months look positively orderly. How hopeless would you have to be to lose to such a man, eh.

  33. The Piping Shrike on 28th March 2013 9:06 pm

    Andrew, I think you’re right this is a comparison to be made, but difficult in the abstract.

    If you look over the life of this blog we have seen it swing from one side to the other. It has been hard to illustrate clearly the problem with one side when it is ascendant (although I have tried, talking about the limits to Rudd when he was at the top and Abbott similarly). At the moment the issue is the degree to which both sides are propping each other up.

    But, as I argued at the start of the year, this is coming to an end. We may get the opportunity soon to see both sides flailing, and then we will really see what we are talking about.

  34. The other Michael who occasionally comments here on 29th March 2013 4:56 pm

    Or as I like to tell my friends: “If you think this government is incompetent and incoherent, just wait to see the next one!”

  35. The Piping Shrike on 29th March 2013 5:00 pm

    Well, it may not reach the institutional chaos of this one. But it will come in awfully confused why it has.

  36. F on 30th March 2013 4:34 pm

    Lucky for the liberals, they are not prone to introspection. Probably they would be happy not do anything much, maybe restore a few items of middle class welfare.

    Of the supposed policy achievements of this government, the mining tax is so badly designed ( or so well designed by the big miners who wrote it) that abolishing it may save the Feds money and the carbon tax is linked in to a crashing European price driven into the ground by an economic austerity death spiral. So again, whether the scheme is abolished or not is kind of irrelevant, because it will raise nothing like the expected revenue.

    Not that these were not good ideas, but they have been incompetently executed by Julia, which makes claims of her policy brilliance laughable.

    So whether or not these big new taxes get abolished, someone is going to have to fill a big hole of missing revenue. Presumably the Libs will go about this with their usual gusto, cutting back on investment and social spending. Difficult to see the Labour Party doubling down and turning up the mining and carbon taxes, so it would be cuts from them too.

    That is the agenda of the next government.

  37. Ralph on 2nd April 2013 9:54 am

    The Coalition has the luxury of just coasting into government, don’t they. It would seem that the public is just so heartily sick and tired of the ineptitude of the current government, that the election is seen as a formality. People aren’t angry anymore, that happened a year or two ago. At this point, they’re just jaded and fed up and ready to see what’s in store on the other side of the election with an alternative government.

    My view is that Abbott & co will be a largely directionless, ideology-free, policy-free government. I don’t see any ideological crusaders there. I can’t see any mad slashing of expenses and public services. Abbott loves big government and loves spending. He is just as populist, poll-driven and afraid of his own shadow as the ALP. I predict that this will be just like Bailleu in Victoria – a generally disappointing and underwhelming aftertaste to relatively high expectations.

    At this point, I just wish we could have an election tomorrow so that we could end the charade and get on with the business of seeing what Abbott and co would do. It’s the pain and waiting of seeing the ALP stew itself in its own juices that’s so hard to watch. It’s like a band-aid – sometimes it’s better to just rip it off quickly rather than prolong the agony.

  38. j-boy57 on 15th April 2013 5:22 pm

    when the revisionism of the Rudd /Gillard era commences
    it needs to get to the bottom of who decided not to call a double disolution of the parliament when the LNP reneged on there support for an ETS.. its the dumbest thing I have ever seen …

  39. Riccardo on 16th April 2013 11:50 am

    Rudd was trying to build his independent empire, I suspect his calculation was that a resounding second win, but a shortened term would reinforce the party’s control over the losers and dead wood that later knifed him.

  40. F on 17th April 2013 7:35 pm

    Let the revisionism begin. I’d be interested in you expanding on that Riccardo.

  41. Riccardo on 19th April 2013 11:22 am

    I doubt its revisionist. It’s all the same tale, made different in the telling.

    Of course Rudd used the ALP to get elected so he could do what he liked. The factional bosses got understandably annoyed at that and knifed him, biding their time through his popularity till the moment came.

    The question is, why has the ALP got to a point where Rudd’s behaviour was possible?

    Gillard was an ordinary puppet, forgot to dance with the one that brang her. Nothing much to say about her.

  42. Review: Mark Latham’s Not Dead Yet :The Piping Shrike on 29th April 2013 10:08 am

    […] Preparing for war […]

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