Depends on your perspective of course. If you’re a factional number cruncher in the Labor Party and you were crunching for the right, then your day turned out okay. If you were Kevin Rudd, you’d have to say it was a cunt of a day.
I’m torn, to be perfectly frank. Yes, the Rudd government, or more pointedly, Kevin Rudd himself, had lost its way as Julia Gillard opined at her first ‘presser’. It’s a matter of perspective, again, but in truth you’d have to say that when a government becomes a one-man show, that man starts taking issues like the RSPT personally, engaging in what appeared to have become a personal battle of wills at the expense of the public purse, or when that one-man show starts exhibiting a form of paranoia sufficient to have his chief media advisor do ring-a-rounds of his caucus colleagues to see who’s with him & who isn’t, perhaps it is time to do something about broadening the show’s line-up.
I will quite openly state that I do not believe Julia Gillard to be the person best suited for the role, but maybe time and electoral tide will prove me wrong. I hope so. For the sake of the Party and the nation it governs, I sincerely hope I’m wrong. I believe that Gillard is only in the PM role now because the right faction wanted Rudd gone. She’s strangely popular with randomly polled unwashed, why escapes me because she’s not exactly been a public figure. She’s never appeared on QandA, for example. How would the unwashed know anything about her worthy of acceptance or denial? But, and call me chauvinist, but she’s female and women in higher echelons seem to need to be seen to be successful, to be winners, and that’s popular among women in general.
Julia Gillard is only where she is tonight because the right faction wanted her there. She is nothing more than the federal sphere’s version of Kristina Keneally. But, I hope I’m wrong. Despite my own increasingly jaundiced view of Kevin Rudd as a leader, I have to object most vehemently to the way he was despatched. Like a captured chess piece, he was simply knocked off the board by those he’d under-estimated. Run down by the oncoming road-train which never stopped or even slowed. I found his press conference this morning at 11:25am to be one of the most difficult political addresses I’d even witnessed. Too late, we saw the man behind the mask. The passion was clearly evident. So clearly that I was shocked and dismayed that such a man should be cut down in such a fashion. That’s politics, folks. Rudd neglected the tenets of battle, for that is what politics is. A battle of and for hearts & minds. Rudd neglected the most important tenets of war. Know your enemy. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. He didn’t need to send Alister Jordan off to make "Hey, are you on my side?" phone calls. He should have had the balls and made the time to go do his own polling one-on-one. Seek opinions, evaluate them and act on them, but sadly for Kevin Rudd, he simply doesn’t have that ability in his make-up.
Some will claim today is a special day in Oz politics. A woman has been appointed Prime Minister, well, no she hasn’t. She’s been appointed the leader of a political party. That’s all. She’s not faced the people nor fought a campaign. Rudd did that. Rudd brought us out of the wilderness against the wiliest political foe any Labor leader has ever faced, and decimated him. But apparently that was all he was required to do. I can’t help but wonder whether Julia Gillard is aware of just what she’s required to do.