It’s been said that history shouldn’t be read backwards, but that’s the only way it can be done, and the furious re-writing of Fraser’s government, not least by the man himself, naturally says more about the preoccupations and defensiveness of the political scene today than what happened then.
It’s perhaps for the best that Gough’s not around to see the hash they’ll make of it.
Rudd’s departure does not mean the Australian political system will be any less vulnerable to an anti-political attack either from within or without. It’s just that it is unlikely next time it will be done with such panache.
Into a vacuum could step somebody that has never made a point of standing for anything (or behind anyone) in particular. From that angle, Labor might have just found its best candidate.
The lack of a convincing reason on the source of Rudd’s popularity, is not because political commentators are thick, but because the answer is uncomfortable.
It will be the breakdown of the factional system that will be the necessary precondition for the return of Rudd, but not sufficient.
It is wonderful to see such bipartisanship at work in our Parliament behind the personal attacks.
Whether they like it or not Rudd is the only one in Labor with enough popular support to be a battering ram against those holding power and who are the ultimate target of reform.
A change in Labor has the potential, therefore, to change the entire political scene.
OK, this is going to get messy.