Can’t even organise a coup in a party room

March 22nd, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The best quote about the failed putsch against Julia Gillard I saw was along the lines that if you have the numbers you use them, if you don’t have the numbers you talk about it.

Gillard has now beaten Rudd three times in a row. Is this the end? Probably until they get wiped out in the election.

Rudd’s talk of how he will keep his word and not challenge is simply code for he did not have the numbers. If he did, then they would have no confidenced Gillard and he could have them declared he is not challenging but there is a vacancy. His supporters have been waging a destabilisation campaign with Crean meant to be the Kingmaker. Instead Crean’s career is now as over as Rudd’s.

Gillard comes out of this internally stronger, but the public must be even more wary of someone whose caucus is so divided.

Tony Abbott must think it is Christmas Time. He had a wonderful quote, which may resonate with the public:

“You deserve a government which is focused on you, not on itself,” he said.

Nice. Also true.

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22 Responses to “Can’t even organise a coup in a party room”

  1. Brad (75 comments) says:

    “You deserve a government which is focused on you, not on itself,” he said.

    He says with Malcolm Turnbull an ever present spectre looming behind him

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  2. Paulus (2,562 comments) says:

    Only a fool, as Rudd is not, would take over only to have shit thrown in your face come September election.
    Leave Gillard to be the one to take Labor to the cleaners.

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  3. Neil (572 comments) says:

    Whatever you say, the ALP has always taken itself far too seriously. Hawke/Keating provided good govt in 1984-1995. However over the last 15 years we have seen the rise of the factions in ALP politics which seem to be solely about personal ambitions.
    Like so many Labor parties they use the excuse of governing for the battler. Rubbish ! There seems little doubt that Howard expanded the wealth of the battlers and saw the decline of dependency. Labor are always the moaners, just like in NZ, and now we have the unedifying sight of this turmoil.
    Labor will be wiped out on September 14. In an earlier post I said that Rudd would be the only to survive in Queensland for the ALP. Now I believe Rudd will be gone- why re-elect the walking dead.
    Labor must now focus on governing for the good of the nation, not the Australian trade union movement.
    Remember under Labor you have the potential for chaos- just look at the foolishness of Gough Whitlam in 1975.
    One more nail in the coffin of socialism. Great !!!!!!

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  4. Ross12 (1,273 comments) says:

    Another good comment to come from this ( taken from another blog) ” Who else but the ALP could arrange a contest without a contestant ? ”

    I’m not sure I agree with you DPF regarding Crean’s future. I think this could have been a “clever” game by Gillard and co. to flush out Rudd before he got the numbers required and Crean was just the front man for the game.She did not want to go into their parliamentary break without some form of finality to the leadership issue. So it was personal survival at all costs and that is where Abbotts quote is particularly relevant.

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  5. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Brad – there are many potential liberal voters who are turned off by Abbot and would prefer Turnbull.

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  6. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    Gillard is making the retention of being PM deeply personal. She hates anyone who is trying to rid her of this position. She cannot see that she is leading Labor into a train wreak. This is just what Tony Abbott wants. I think these Labor ladies are bad leaders and they ultimately fail.

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  7. ChardonnayGuy (1,184 comments) says:

    Rudd has a terrible record in terms of strategic management, and he’s a typical Queensland technocrat martinet with little sense of accountability and collegiality, which is why he was overthrown as ALP leader in the first place. And the dysfunctional ALP factional culture is worsening matters. Added to which, Gillard has done far too little to differentiate her premiership from his. As for the Liberals, I suspect Turnbull will launch a coup if Abbott manages to lose the election despite the current favourable circumstances.

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  8. Ed Snack (1,797 comments) says:

    If (as alleged) that there are liberal voters who prefer Turnbull, then Julia is even worse off than it would appear. However every single person pushing Turnbull that I have seen is simply a Labor troll trying desperately to divert some attention. So far it’s been marginally less successful than “look, there’s a squirrel”.

    This looks to me to have started as a possible coup attempt that just did not have the numbers. Despite every poll suggesting that Labor would do significantly better under Rudd than Gillard, the Labor hierarchy hate Rudd with a genuine passion and he won’t get back unless the polls drop to about 10% 2pp, there’s that much bad blood.

    When it started to founder I think it was then set up to whack the dissenters, and possibly more importantly, to divert media attention from the complete train wreck that was Conroy’s propped media regulations. I bet the left wing journalist (journo list ?) collective are quietly thankful, it must have caused near terminal cognitive dissonance to have to defend such an anti-free speech piece of legislation so publicly. And I’ve no doubt they could see how the Liberals could have used the legislation against them !

    Soon to Wayne Swann’s last budget, let’s see how much more taxpayers dough he can piss up against a useless wall this time.

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  9. ChardonnayGuy (1,184 comments) says:

    Not neccessarily. Like Rudd, Turnbull has considerable public support outside the caucus room but is despised and rejected by his caucus colleagues. Given the narrowness of Abbott’s leadership coup victory, he has understandable ambitions of making a comeback, just as much as Rudd does when Gillard is defeated at the forthcoming Australian federal election.

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  10. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    Listening to Gillard on the radio this morning, I think she’s misdiagnosed the problem, and therefore has declared that they’re cured. As long as she thinks the problem was destabilisation, rather than her leadership, she’ll continue to perform badly. More here: http://technpol.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/misdiagnosis-by-gillard/

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  11. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    He says with Malcolm Turnbull an ever present spectre looming behind him…

    The loudest voices calling for Turnbull as Liberal leader are from people who would never vote for him.

    I have spoken to a number of Greens and Labor supportes who just cant understand why the Liberals dont go with their obviously better candidate. That confusion remains even after I ask them whether they would vote for him and they say “If I was ever going to vote for Liberals, it would be for Turnbull”.

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  12. metcalph (1,407 comments) says:

    Considering under Abbot the Liberals are soaring in the polls (a stark contrast to Turnbull), focussing on the narrowness of Abbott’s leadership vote (four years ago and one general election ago) as evidence for Turnbull making a comeback has got to be one of the weakest straws clutched at that I’ve seen this week.

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  13. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    I wonder if Gillard actually listens to and believes the sycophantic feminists in the media who are claiming that this is all a result of sexism.

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  14. Pete George (23,326 comments) says:

    Do Labour fear a Labor debacle here? I bet there’s a few anxious looks across the Tasman, with fears that Labour may panic and do a Labor leadership debacle here.

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  15. ChardonnayGuy (1,184 comments) says:

    No, Pete. The New Zealand Labour Party is closer to the British Labour Party in terms of its political culture and doesn’t have appreciable factions similar to those that render the ALP almost ungovernable. Much the same is true of the British Tories and New Zealand National.

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  16. kiwi in america (2,477 comments) says:

    ChardonnayGuy
    UK Labour has factions as does NZ Labour – they are just not as rigidly formalised as Labor in Australia.

    I own licensing rights to a green transport sector technology for Australia and New Zealand and am in the process of setting up necessary infrastructure in Australia so I have reason to be there regularly plus I have an Aussie partner. Federal Labor under Gillard has all the same feel I remember being inside NZ Labour under Palmer. At least when Moore assumed the leadership senior caucus colleagues came to him with the famous poll showing that Labour would retain only 15 seats under Palmer and begged him to take over to save them from complete annihilation. The other major difference is Moore was eminently likeable – Rudd is loathed by his colleagues and clearly from yesterday’s debacle, couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery! Swing voters in Australia are fed up with Labor and you struggle to find outside academia, unions and committed feminists anyone in Australia with anything nice to say about Gillard. Roll on September!

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  17. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Gillard; The Left’s Thatcher.

    Enough said.

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  18. ChardonnayGuy (1,184 comments) says:

    Yes, but that was during the eighties and early nineties, and National had its own factions back then too- how else do you think New Zealand First shambled from its ungainly birth travails into the light and back again? Or, to put it in a single word- Muldoonism.

    No, Clark is the Left’s Thatcher. Gillard is a ginger non-entity.

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  19. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    It is always the left who want Turnbill and that in itself means he will not be Leader of the Liberals. Tony Abbott is the most effective opposition Leader in the modern history of Australia. He is softening his image and is becoming more Prime Ministerial. He is much more a strategic thinker than Gillard who operates from day to day.

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  20. scrubone (3,082 comments) says:

    It was a term that should really never have happened. Like Labour’s last one – the wheels are really falling off.

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  21. Nigel Kearney (917 comments) says:

    I don’t know about Abbott’s comment. I much prefer the government not to be focused on me, and would love one that is so tied up internal squabbling that it cannot implement policy at all.

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  22. PaulL (5,983 comments) says:

    tvb: I’m always careful about Abbott. Before Gillard became leader she looked like a strategic thinker. She’s been abysmal in power (in part due to the situation she’s in with a minority govt and an internal rebellion, but largely because she’s out of her depth). I worry that Abbott might be the same – he has lots of deep thoughts, but he’ll subsume them to populism in office because everyone’s told him that his actual principles and beliefs are unelectable.

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