For all his faux blokeishness and Western Sydney credentials, Latham had no more ability to relate to the electorate than any insider Labor hack.
You think it’s about Rudd v Gillard? You ain’t seen nothing yet.
Crean was trying to find a compromise between a party power structure that has lost its relevance and a challenger whose popularity rests on not being part of it. It failed because things have gone past the point where a compromise is possible.
What is more important is that Gillard and Labor, detached as they (like the Coalition) are, can be seen to relate to someone in society.
It is the loss of that social base that Labor is struggling to adapt to, not some problem of ideology.
It will be the breakdown of the factional system that will be the necessary precondition for the return of Rudd, but not sufficient.
To anyone to look at the events in Canberra last week, barely any of it would have made a lick of sense.
In Australia, a Prime Minister facing even the most inevitable of defeats still holds to the end one power of incumbency – deciding when it will happen. Now even that has been thrown away.
The old will have to give way in 2013.
Far from being “out of it” some politicians have been working hard to make the remote communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland practically avant-garde.