If the normal rules of the game applied, Rudd’s confessional moment on Insiders would have been a foolish move.
On several levels, the Garrett episode has brought together both what is distinct about this Labor government, but also its weaknesses.
It was the political assault on the old power bases of the party that was the underlying theme of federal Labor in 2008.
It seems very careless of Rudd to agree to launch a book that has let out one of Labor’s most closely guarded and politically damaging secrets – that they dread the possibility of Costello as leader of the Liberal party.
Nine months ago senior Howard Ministers were crawling all over Garret’s ‘gaffe’ that Labor might sign up to emission targets without China or India as a sign of the eco-extremism of Labor’s front bench. Roll forward to July 2008 and it is the leader of the Liberal party who gets into trouble from his own side for suggesting that a carbon-cap ETS should not go ahead without China or India.
Australia may be ranking 14th or whatever, but international diplomacy is not the City to Bay Fun Run. No-one cares how far down you are in the ranking, you are either in the leading pack or not, and Australia is not.
Given it was written by a political reporter who has spent so long cheering the ALP, Alan Ramsay’s latest article shows a remarkable naivety of how that party works and, indeed, of politics in general.
Gaffes only have an impact if they expose a reality that everyone knows is there. Garrett’s comment that everything will change once Labor gets in is unlikely to make the electorate think Labor has a secret agenda. There are those who think Rudd’s me-tooism is a tactic rather than the political reality both parties are [...]