Gillard’s decision

February 15th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Greg Ansley at NZ Herald reports:

Gillard has always maintained that she decided to contest the leadership only on the day she confronted Rudd with her demand for a ballot, and her repeated protestations to ABC’s Four Corners programme on Monday night – and to reporters since – have not been convincing. …

Gillard, both on Four Corners and to reporters since, has denied any preparation for a coup. But she has sidestepped detailed replies, pleaded memory lapses and has looked consistently uncomfortable.

It is best to be upfront about coup planning. No one believes it was a spur of the moment decision. I recall the Shipley coup against Bolger – they actually had a committee with a cover name (Te Puke bypass) which met for some months, and were upfront about this after the coup.

The decision boomeranged disastrously. Gillard was faced with allegations that, despite repeated statements to the contrary, she and senior staff had prepared for a leadership challenge weeks before the event.

Four Corners said this had been supported by internal party polling indicating Gillard was more popular than Rudd, and that her senior staff had begun writing the first speech she delivered as Prime Minister at least two weeks before Rudd’s ousting.

Former senator and Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson told the programme he knew a week in advance that a challenge was to be mounted.

Four Corners also said United States Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks showed the US State Department knew, even before some Labor MPs, of a challenge.

When the state department knows, everyone knows.

Gillard described suggestions that she had been driven by polling as “wholly untrue”, but admitted she might have known a speech was being written. “This was a tense few days for me and the Government, so I can’t specifically say to you when I came to know about the speech,” she told ABC radio yesterday.

But she said she did not commission the speech.

Ministerial staff are often pro-active, but I don’t think this extends to writing a speech for your boss in case they become Prime Minister.

I think it is unlikely Gillard will survive to fight the next election. More difficult to pick is who will replace her.

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13 Responses to “Gillard’s decision”

  1. lastmanstanding (1,293 comments) says:

    Gillards been an unmitigated disaster both as a PM and a party leader. Th contrast with JK couldnt be more obvious. Her demeanour is one of a smary nasty bitch with no morals no ethics and a lust for power at any cost.

    She is Clark without the talent.

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  2. tvb (4,418 comments) says:

    Coups against a sitting PM are dirty things. It is not a simple decision of the caucus though they have the power to act. Simple unpopularity should not be enough to remove a PM, there should be more such as illness, incapacity, or maladministration. I would not vote to remove a PM for mere unpopularity which seems to be the case with Rudd.

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  3. Fairfacts Media (372 comments) says:

    If only Helen Clark and Phil Goff delivered a Te Puke bypass, their positions might have been safer.
    At least John Key should be secure for sometime, unless any other plotters come up with another name for any coup committee:)
    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/tel/faqs.html

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  4. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Rudd wasn’t thrown out because he was merely unpopular. He was thrown out because he was a) merely unpopular with the electorate at large and b) extremely unpopular within his own caucus.

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  5. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    To give idea as to Gillard’s fecklessness, when the Ozzies were originally choosing their leader, it was a contest between Gillard and Rudd. Gillard was actually the more popular in the caucus and would have won. But Rudd said he wouldn’t serve under her. Gillard *caved* and became Rudd’s deputy!

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  6. sparky (235 comments) says:

    The best thing the Ozzie’s could do, is give the Leadership back to Kevin Rudd, after all Gillard stabbed him in the back. She is certainly not popular.

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  7. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    Gillard is on borrowed time – like Shearer.

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  8. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Shit a politician was a bit light on the truth, fancy that, who would have thought. Gillard and 747 Kevin deserve each other, if these clowns are elected again the bloody Ozzies need their heads read.

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  9. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    It is worth noting that the Coalition got more votes (not many) than Labor in the last election. Both sides ended up with the same amount of seats, and Labor did a dodgy backroom deal with three rural independants, a now independant member but former Green candidate from Tasmania (Wilkie) and the solitary Green member (from Melbourne) to keep the Coalition out.

    The electorates of the three rural independants are not impressed – they expected their members to support the coalition.

    It has probably worked out good for the Coalition – the Senate has a Labor-Green majority so it would have been a very difficult term for the Coalition. They will be hoping for an early election, or better still a double-dissolution.

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  10. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    It is perfectly possible Gillard didn’t make the final decision till the last minute. No-one in politics ever reveals their intention to stage a coup.

    This event was so well hidden none of the Australian papers picked up on it in advance, hence they now wont leave the topic alone.

    Gillard is a strange mix, a lawyer who once mispronounced hyperbole as “hyperbowl”, She is politically very naive.

    She may not survIve but will not be replaced by Rudd, He is a micromanager and has few leadership skills, The most likely replacement and cerainly the best choice is Steven Smith,

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  11. St Hubbins (26 comments) says:

    @Maggie

    Also recall Gillard criticising Tony Abbott’s “sense of high dungeon”. She is a hack union lawyer. Student politics is as far as she should have risen.

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  12. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    “Te Puke bypass”, now that is funny.

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  13. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Gillard will remain in power until the next election.

    Despite the headlines, the commentary is that Rudd doesn’t have the numbers and it just being an arsehole by ‘not ruling out’ a leadership challenge. Just a bad case of sour grapes.

    Heh. Te Puke bypass. Wasn’t Bolger based in Te Kuiti? Wouldn’t it be the Te Kuiti bypass?

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