Oct 262007

Mirko Bargaric wrote a pointed piece yesterday, for Online Opinion, to do with Kevin Rudd seemingly selling out on his principles.

If we recall the title of Graham Richardson’s tome of his career in politics, one wonders whether Kevin Rudd has adopted just such an attitude in regard to winning this years election. “Whatever It Takes” seems to be the Rudd ethos, especially with regard to making any sacrifice, as long as it’s not detrimental to the party’s electoral success, or his own Prime Ministerial ambitions.
After backing himself on what he’d said earlier this year with regard to the behaviour of Joe McDonald, in response to yet another Howard anti-union spray, Rudd has today performed an immediate about-face and had McDonald expelled from the Party supposedly because of what he – McDonald – said outside of the Perth Magistrates Court yesterday.

JOURNALIST: John Howard’s in town, any message for him?
JOE MCDONALD: He didn’t ring me. John’s gone, you know that? I’ll be back. Hey do you like it? I’ll be back.

For that apparent indiscretion, Kevin Rudd believes McDonald’s comments were ‘unacceptable’, ‘highly inflammatory’, ‘not part of the 21st century Industrial Relations system of Australia’, and demanded the federal executive of the ALP expel the CFMEU official forthwith. Did McDonald inflame anything? Was he derogatory or personally insulting to Howard? Personally, I believe he was only stating facts. To all intents, Howard IS gone. Maybe it was the ‘I’ll be back’ swipe at Liberal Party advertising? All’s fair in politics, I would have thought, and yet, Rudd has reneged on his original stance. Why? Is Joe McDonald that much of a political burden in the run-up to 24 November? Was it absolutely necessary to neutralise what was simply just another Howardian bleat about so-called union thugs ruling Labor? It hardly seems credible. This does lead me to question just exactly where Kevin Rudd stands on any given issue?
Clearly, leading Labor out of the wilderness is the primary, indeed, ONLY consideration in the forefront of Rudd’s mind. If winning means sacrificing a few union officials, or a few personal ethical and ideological standpoints, then that’s precisely what he’s going to do. If doing so means he stands so close to the Howardian ideology that he risks being tainted by its stench, how does he plan to suddenly appear as pristine as freshly fallen rain once the Howardian carcase is buried? One wonders, just how is all this bloody-minded cut and thrust going to translate with the electorate once he’s in power, and we see the real Kevin Rudd come out. Are we seeing the real Kevin Rudd now? I think not. There is an inherent risk in playing at being someone you’re not, especially at the political level Rudd is aiming at.

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