Shaun Carney, probably the best political commentator I read, has it down perfectly here. This is the reality that all those red faced Labor ministers huffing and puffing their outrage at Rudd. They stare so deeply into their own navels – and the navels of their advisers – that they fail to understand or even comprehend a world about them. They’re like those geeks who spend days playing Second Life or World of Warcraft before staggering out into the sunshine to find a real world exists as well. Except these guys are still in their imagined construct.
Hello guys, wake up. First, all this talk of disloyalty is enough to make your head spin. For fucks sake – weren’t you disloyal to Rudd, your Prime Minister of the time? Secondly, there is a world outside of Canberra, made of people who live – mostly – in reality. They know what happened. Furthermore they’re smarter than what you think, if only because they don’t indulge in the same wishful fantasies you do. No Second Life for them – it’s all first life and a stiff mortgage.
Frankly, I can’t believe how dumb the Gillard supporters have been. Crean making unprovoked attacks against Rudd in the media left, right and centre, as if that will do some good. No, it has the opposite effect where it counts – the people. To the public it’s the bizarre sight of a grown man doing battle with the invisible man. The foe may be real to Crean and co, but to Joe Public who’s not seen anything himself of the disloyalty they complain of it seems unreal.
Now Wayne Swan has joined the party, which is unedifying all round. He’s gambled his future on Gillard surviving, but it’s a poor bet I reckon. It’s like getting the family dirty laundry aired in public – it’s ugly to do and no-one really wants to hear it. Incidentally I reckon his outburst tonight means that Gillard will call a spill for the leadership next week. She’ll win it, as she’s counting on, but the wound she’s carrying will continue to fester.
As for Rudd, he’s been masterful. He called their bluff and pulled the trigger. So clever. In the first instance he gazumped them. All those clever apparatchiks must have looked at each blankly when they heard the news and thought “oh shit”. They had all the running and thought they had the game all figured out except he did the one thing they hadn’t thought of. He turned on them.
In doing that he acted, he showed the intent which Gillard never shows because she’s too ponderous, or busy checking the polls. Once more he showed the wit and judgement that seems foreign to Gillard.
He took the high moral ground, pulling the rug from under Gillard – admittedly quite easy as she stands there stolidly oblivious as you tug and tug at the Persian. He was the one calling things to order. He was the one bringing things to an end. He was the one claiming others had been disloyal to him. And he was the one reminding Joe Public that those accusing him were those who had stabbed in the back. He was not a coward like that.
This is what will happen. Gillard will call a spill and win it with somewhere between 60-70% of the vote. Rudd will go back to the back bench. He’ll sit their biding his time until the next stuff up, and once more his name will be mentioned. There may be a clamour for him. No hurry though. Short of a miracle Gillard is cooked for the next election. As that bleedingly obvious reality dawns upon the mutton-headed Labor numbnut he’ll start shuffling nervously at the sight of the polls and begin to look at Kevin Rudd longingly. Others will do the same, “we need to talk about Kevin…” they’ll mutter. And the man himself will give them his cheesy Cheshire cat grin and put his arm around them, “comrade…” he’ll say, “let’s talk.”
That’s what I reckon. I may be wrong about the spill, in which case I think Rudd will go quietly to the backbench and scheme. I’m pretty certain he’ll end up in the top job, if only because it’s physics. I can see it, the numbnuts can’t. Yet.
He should be leader too, for all the reasons I’ve said before, and one other, very important reason. If he becomes Labor leader then the Libs must act. They’ll get nervous, and figure out that while Abbott is good enough to beat Gillard, he’s no match for Rudd. And maybe then they’ll up the ante with Turnbull. Now that’s a win-win for Australian politics, and a great positive for the country.
- Labor elder’s poll warning (theage.com.au)
Wikipedia: World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Blizzard Entertainment. →