Why not Gillard for Leader

October 1st, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard is urging the Labour Party to pursue purpose to recover from its worst election defeat in 92 years.

She would not comment on whether David Cunliffe should stand aside from the coming leadership battle. However, her new autobiography highlights her belief that disappearing completely after she was ousted by Kevin Rudd last year was the only option for the good of the party.

In the book My Story, the former Labor prime minister warns of the dangers of former party leaders sticking around: “It is almost impossible for someone who has been the leader of a political party to accept and thrive in any other role.”

There are exceptions such as Bill English.

Here’s an idea. Why not make Julia Gillard the NZ Labour Leader? Get Trevor Mallard to resign, so she can enter in Hutt South, and Labour gets a leader that can unite caucus and the wider party.

Krudd is back

June 26th, 2013 at 10:38 pm by David Farrar

Well kevin Rudd won the leadership back b 57 – 45, after a two year campaign of destabilisation of his own party and Government. This says volumes about his character.

Personally I liked Julia Gillard. I know many people who have dealt with her, and even a couple who have worked for her – and almost universally they say she is excellent to deal with. She was pleasant, professional, and someone you could work with. Of course I disagree with her politics, and she made a couple of momentous errors with her u-turn on carbon tax plus support for Craig Thompson. But she was well regarded by many – even if that didn’t include much of the public.

Kevin Rudd on the other hand is despised by almost everyone who has worked closely with him Рespecially his former Cabinet colleagues. His psychology is quite flawed, and it is remarkable that the ALP have made him Prime Minister again Рdespite knowing all this. It was an act of desperation from MPs wanting to keep their seats.

The ALP will get a boost in the polls, but I doubt it will last too long. In fact their machinations of the last few months show how unfit for power they are. They need to be thrown out of office resoundingly.

Assuming they lose the election, what is fascinating is who will become Opposition Leader. Will they stick with Rudd in opposition? I’m not so sure. Bill Shorten was the heir apparent, but he has now helped axe two Prime Ministers and broken his repeated pledges of loyalty to Gillard.

Also of interest will be how many Labor Ministers refuse to serve under Rudd. Treasurer Wayne Swan has resigned and also Comms Minster Conway. Emerson and Garrett also expected to go.

Meanwhile the Coalition will remind voters of what Kevin Rudd said in March:

“there are no circumstances whatsoever under which I’d return to the leadership in future”.

That is as categorical a denial as you can get. So how can Australians trust anything Rudd says?

Rudd challenges

June 26th, 2013 at 2:55 pm by David Farrar

Kevin Rudd’s supporters have started to circulate a petition calling for a leadership spill. This means he has agreed to challenge Julia Gillard.

This shows the extent of his lust for power, that he will break his word so brazenly.

After his first challenge against Gillard he vowed to stop undermining her and that he would not challenge again. He lied.

After he backed off his second challenge, he said he will never ever be a candidate for the leadership again under any circumstances.

It looks like it will be a close vote. The unions are heaving people to vote for Gillard.

If Rudd wins, I expect Labor will get a boost in the polls. But I doubt it will last very long. It may help them lose by a lesser amount, but they will still lose I’d say.

And if Rudd does win, and loses at the general election, will he be kept on as opposition leader or will they roll him straight after the election?

Rudd’s corrosion

June 25th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

As Ms Gillard starts what is shaping up to be her toughest week in Parliament, a review of opinion polls indicates that Mr Rudd’s three-stage siege on the Labor leadership has cost the party direct political support and could destroy it for a generation.

The review by Gillard supporters is of opinion polls before and after Mr Rudd’s two previous leadership tilts.

Its release represents a new stage in the internecine warfare between the current and former prime ministers as Labor MPs stare electoral annihilation in the face.

A senior minister has told Fairfax Media that the only certain effect of Mr Rudd’s “revenge mission” has been to send the ALP’s stocks into the basement, guaranteeing that Tony Abbott will be prime minister after the election.

The figures, based on the results of the monthly Fairfax-Nielsen poll, the fortnightly Newspoll, and others, show Labor’s standing with voters has headed south immediately following the last two raids on the top job by Mr Rudd and his backers.

Very smart work by the Gillard team to compile this. Yes Labour would be low in the polls even if Rudd’s supporters were not white-anting the Government, but his continual attcks (through proxies) on Gillard are what has driven the ALP to such a low level in the polls. Voters hate disunity.

The ALP Caucus should not reward him for his campaign.

The most recent Fairfax-Nielsen and Newspolls show Labor’s primary vote at 29 per cent and the gap widening between Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott in the preferred prime minister category.

On that poll, the ALP would win 42 seats and the Coalition 103.

Meanwhile, the Australian Services Union’s NSW secretary, Sally McManus, has confirmed that she sent an email to members asking their opinions on the Labor leadership.

“I’m not doing that in order to get any publicity about it,” Ms McManus said in a voicemail message to Fairfax Media.

“At the moment it’s between me and my members . . . Probably I’ll leave the poll open for a couple of days and after that be in a position to talk to people.”

Support from the unions is critical to Ms Gillard’s hold on power. Australian Workers’ Union boss Paul Howes in particular has backed the Prime Minister’s continuing leadership.

Isn’t it appalling outside groups get to determine who the Prime Minister and Labor Leader will be?

And NZ Labour is heading this way. In Australian Labor, the unions only have (great) influence. In NZ Labour they now get 20% of the vote.

The evil Rudd

June 12th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

During an appearance on the ABC’sQ&A¬†on Monday night, Mr Latham accused Mr Rudd of sabotaging the party’s election campaign in 2010 and preparing to do it again for this year’s election.

Mr Latham said Mr Rudd’s ego is out of control and he must not be rewarded.

Despite his denials, Rudd is clearly campaigning for the leadership again. He is arranging supporters to turn up to public meetings and appear to be normal members of the public giving him a hero’s welcome. It is a cleverly crafted campaign to try and persuade people he is Labor’s only hope.

“He knows that every day he gets in the media cycle he’s knocking Gillard down a notch or two in the polls. This is a program, a jihad of revenge, the like of which we have never seen before in the history of Australian politics. And it goes beyond the normal human reaction of revenge. You are getting into the realm of evil.”

Despite polls that indicate Mr Rudd would give Labor a better chance in the election than Julia Gillard, Mr Latham said the party would better off “dying on its feet”.

Latham is a bit mad, but still to have one former ALP leader call another “evil” is extraordinary. They may be in opposition for a very long time.

Malcom Farr looks at the pros and cons of a change:

The basic contest is Ms Gillard against the man she deposed in June 2010, Kevin Rudd. But there is no official contest. Unlike other leadership bouts, no one has presented themselves as a combatant.

Mr Rudd has repeated past pledges that he will not challenge the Prime Minister and would not accept a draft. He expects Ms Gillard to take the party into the election.

That’s his talk, but Labor MPs are also watching his walk through dozens of marginal Labor electorates where he has been asked to help colleagues, and in the process has shown he can draw a happy crowd. Be mobbed by them, in fact, more like a minor celebrity than a former Prime Minister.

By contrast, Julia Gillard is seen to be so personally unpopular with voters the entire government is suffering, and in certain areas that is true. In western Sydney community and business sources have told news.com.au of their surprise at the number of times locals have, unprompted, raised their dislike of the Prime Minister.

As I say, the Labor MPs have to choose between a leader the public hates and a leader the caucus hates.

This has put the focus on Employment Minister Bill Shorten, a senior Victorian right MP who helped Ms Gillard into the job in 2010, as did the union he once led, the Australian Workers’ Union.

Mr Shorten has been conscripted by the mutterers as the man who could force or persuade Ms Gillard to step aside for Mr Rudd. It’s not a job he sought and, going by his renewed backing of the Prime Minister, not a job he wants.

He faces a grinding personal choice. He might have his CV forever marked as the Labor man who brought down two Labor Prime Ministers. Or on September 15 he might be confronted by colleagues who lost their seats and blame him for not bringing about a leadership change.

If Mr Rudd were to take over he might inherit a depleted front bench as ministers such as Treasurer Wayne Swan would find it hard to serve under him.

Rudd PM might go to an election as soon as possible, maybe August 3, the earliest date possible without breaking the link between the House of Representatives and the Senate. Go early while they still adore me, might be his reasoning.

But much would need to happen before that point, and the wait now is for the return of Parliament for its final two weeks before the election next week.

And the next Newspoll.

Will Julia make it to the election?

June 9th, 2013 at 3:43 pm by David Farrar

ABC reports:

The ABC understands Prime Minister Julia Gillard has lost significant support in the Labor caucus.

It comes after a week in which Labor disunity was on full display in Canberra and former prime minister Kevin Rudd re-emerged very publicly.

ABC Insiders presenter Barrie Cassidy says Mr Rudd is the only figure being considered as an alternative prime minister.

Rudd is like rust. No matter how many times he says he is not seeking the leadership, he continues to do everything he can to get it back.

He spoke about the tensions within the party on Insiders this morning.

“I am now very strongly of the view that Julia Gillard will not lead Labor into the next election,” he said.

“I think there will be a change either by her own hand or the actions of others. And I’m not relying entirely on guesswork here.”

That sounds definite.

The week of turmoil for Labor began with disastrous polling showing the party could be left with as few as 40 seats in the Federal Parliament.

It was revealed two long-serving MPs had already packed up their Canberra offices in preparation for the electoral wipe-out.

That is rather unsporting of them, as the election is still three months away. They could start packing up a week before and still have time.

The trans-Tasman relationship

March 25th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins at Stuff reports:

Seated across from each other in a New York restaurant they made for an unlikely couple.

On one side of the table was John Howard, one of Australia’s most successful prime ministers; darling of the political Right, bogeyman of the Left after taking the role as America’s deputy sheriff in the Pacific, and becoming the villain in the Tampa affair.

His lunch companion was Helen Clark, the socially liberal former New Zealand prime minister, a flag-flying Iraq war opponent, standard bearer for the Left-wing social democratic movement – and the woman who even now, four years on from losing the election, can spark visceral dislike among many on the Right.

Mates? Of course, says Howard, after they caught up recently for a chinwag in New York.

“We don’t just exchange Christmas cards.”

It reflects well on both Howard and Clark that they worked well together, despite being from different sides of the political spectrum.

 But historic and geographical ties have not always been enough to put the relationship on a friendly footing. Before Howard and Clark it was Lange and Hawke, Muldoon and Fraser. Tension, backstabbing, and suspicion reigned.

Fraser was an idiot, and Muldoon a bully. Hawke thought Lange was a flake, and he was right. There was also Bolger and Keating – Keating was just simply untrustworthy.

Gillard and Key, again polar opposites politically, have forged even stronger bonds than Clark and Howard.

Key says getting the personal dynamics in the relationship right is “critical”. With Gillard, it helps that their partners get on as well.

Once all the official business was out of the way during their two-day summit in Queenstown last month, Key and Gillard escaped to the exclusive Millbrook resort for dinner with partners Bronagh and Tim. They did the same in Melbourne last year.

“We have a no officials, casual dinner, have a drink together,” Key said.

A good relationship between leaders is no guarantee of success, but it is almost a precursor.

The big unknown is a possible Tony Abbott government – though he and Key have already struck up a good relationship, and speak to each other regularly.

Howard, meanwhile, is confident Abbot can only be good for New Zealand.

“He’s got a good start. His wife is a New Zealander.”

Heh, that may be useful.

The Australian social media battle

February 15th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Speculation is growing in Australia that Kevin Rudd will (again) challenge Julia Gillard for the Labor Party leadership in March.

The article linked to has some graphics and stats on their social media usage, which I have summarised below:



Kevin Rudd has an incredible number of followers. Around 1 in 20 Australians follow him (and a few Kiwis). But he doesn’t just broadcast – he engages all the time with people tweeting him. So does Tony Abbott it seems.

Thoughts on the asylum seekers deal with Australia

February 12th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

A few thoughts:

  • Isn’t it amusing that when Helen Clark agreed to take some boat people who were seeking asylum in Australia she was lauded by the entire left for her humanitarian gesture yet when John Key agrees to do much the same, but annually, he is condemned by the exact same people. And yes, the Tampa refugees were treated as part of the quota also.
  • How can one¬†criticize¬†this deal for encouraging queue-jumping yet also advocate that Australia should resume onshore processing which has been shown to massively encourage boat voyages and queue jumping.
  • Personally I think there is a legitimate criticism that this deal may encourage queue-jumping, but probably not significantly enough to actually lead to a group of people deciding to make a boat voyage they otherwise would not have.
  • There is a surprising lack of¬†sophistication¬†in understanding our relationship with Australia is not purely a transactional one. The decision by the NZ Government helps Julia Gillard (and any¬†successor) ¬†in what is arguably her most difficult domestic issue. That will not be forgotten.
  • The notion that Australia bullied NZ into this is¬†ridiculous. In fact as reported it was a NZ initiative
  • What is surprising is the lack of focus on a centre-right NZ PM helping out a centre-left Australian PM. It’s a nice example of not letting domestic politics interfere with having a strong relationship.
  • I’m surprised also no one has cottoned on to Gillard making an unprecedented early announcement of the election date, almost certainly being because Key the same thing in 2011.
  • Personally I think taking in refugees is one of the better things a country can do, so long as they are able to integrate well into their new country and that the level is sustainable. Note that Australia takes in 20,000 to our 750. I’d like that to increase at some stage in the future when our economy is stronger. But I think it is best increased through the UNHCR process, not through increasing the number in the bilateral agreement with Australia
  • You have to love Labour’s strong clear policy on this issue. They are outraged of course, but when asked what they would do, the answer is “Shearer said if elected, Labour would discuss the policy with Australia.” – you can’t make this stuff up.

The Aus-NZ agreements

February 10th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Quite a few things announced by Gillard and Key in Queenstown. They are:

  • Joint action to address the high cost of mobile roaming rates between the two countries
  • an $8 million trial of fast‚ÄĎtrack automated border technology for trans-tasman travel
  • Commencement of new retirement savings portability arrangements between Australia and New Zealand from 1 July 2013
  • Entry into force of the CER Investment Protocol from 1 March 2013
  • New Zealand has agreed to resettle 150 refugees who are subject to Australia‚Äôs offshore processing legislation, as part of their annual quota of 750 refugees
  • NZ$3 million in matched funding over two years to support trans-Tasman collaboration to identify potential vaccines for rheumatic fever
  • Investigate a possible reciprocal student debt recovery scheme.
  • An A$5 million memorial will be erected in Wellington’s National War Memorial park precinct by the Australian Government


The world is ending

December 7th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Damn those flesh-eating zombies and demonic hell beasts.

Australian Politics

October 12th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Last time I was in Canberra, was the day Kevin Rudd got rolled. Sadly it doesn’t look like either Gillard or Abbott will get rolled while I’m here, but the day before I got here the Speaker of the House resigned. The final straw was court documents revealing texts such as:

¬†“Brough is a cunt,” Mr Slipper said in a text on October 10 last year. Soon after, he said: ”Funny how we say that a person is a cunt when many guys like cunts.”

About five minutes later Mr Slipper began what the Opposition has called “‘vile anatomical references”. Referring to women’s private parts, he said: ”They look like mussell (sic) removed from its shell. Look at a bottle of mussel meat. Salty Cunts in brine.”

Personally I love mussels and scallops ūüôā

Anyway not the worse thing ever said, but in the context of this being to a young male staffer he kept hitting on, it was inevitable he went.

Slipper won a motion of no confidence against him by one vote, but as Labor were defending him the House, the independent MPs had gone to him and told him he must resign. He did. This meant that Labor looked like they were defending the indefensible.

Gillard used the debate to launch a¬†ferocious¬†attack on Tony Abbott as a sexist and misogynist. The attack has become a viral hit internationally, but let me tell you that actually in Australia I’m not sure it went down so well. The newspapers are full of stories casting scorn on it, It certainly appealed hugely to Labor’s own supporters but for many it was seen as playing the victim card.

Abbott did not help things by using the phrase “Government dying of shame” which was unwise considering what Alan Jones said about Gillard’s father. But it has also just come out that a comedian at a Labor/union fundraiser made very disgusting remarks about Abbott’s female chief of staff Peta Credlin. Gillard had left when it was made, but several Ministers remained. It rather undermines their attempts to make Abbott look sexist – rather it just shows how personally denigrating Australian politics is – in all parties.


October 1st, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Age reports:

There are calls for a boycott of radio station 2GB over remarks by Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones that the Prime Minister’s father, John Gillard, had “died of shame”.

The talkback host told a packed room of Liberal Party members: “Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he has a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament.”

That’s appalling behaviour by Jones, and frankly if he is unable to talk about Gillard without such nasty references to her deceased father, then he shouldn’t be on air.

Hat Tip: Keeping Stock

Howard’s solution is back

August 16th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The politics of the Australian Government’s decision to reopen offshore processing facilities for asylum seekers on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island will not be silenced despite the Opposition’s indication it will support new migration laws.

As Immigration Minister Chris Bowen yesterday moved amendments to allow the measures proposed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s expert panel on boat people, the Opposition tried to exploit her move as “capitulation” and to blame the Government for the deaths of 1000 people at sea.

Its attack was given force by the news that 67 more asylum seekers are feared to have perished in the Indian Ocean after the departure of their boat in late June and no evidence of their arrival in Australia.

Since Friday Australian patrol boats have intercepted seven vessels with more than 350 people on board.

The Howard era policy worked. It was effective, and as the message got out that boat people would not make it to Australia, the number of boats dwindled to almost nothing. Labor’s solution has been an unmitigated disaster, and their eventual capitulation shows this.

More than 22,000 people have sought asylum since Labor came to power in 2007, opening Gillard’s struggling minority Government to a debilitating attack from the Opposition and all efforts at reaching compromise blocked by both Liberals and Greens.

They only have themselves to blame.

Happy beefgiving

July 10th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

A funny advertisement for beef, featuring well giant balloons that look like Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.

Rudd and Gillard parody

June 18th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Very funny.

Gillard in danger

May 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

news.com.au reports:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will have her hands full when parliament resumes this week, fending off fresh leadership speculation, facing a potentially heated caucus meeting and bracing for a new opinion poll.

Newspapers said Joel Fitzgibbon, the government’s chief whip, was openly canvassing caucus for votes to return Kevin Rudd to the top job.

When the Chief Whip starts lobbying for change you have real problems. The challenge for Labor is deciding between the leader the public hates and the leader the caucus hates.

Incidentally I was staggered to be listening to Morning Report this morning, and hear an interview between I presume one of the hosts and the RNZ Australian correspondent. The host said something like:

“So Kevin Rudd will just be getting on with the job of Foreign Minister” and the correspondent said “That’s right”.

Rudd resigning as Foreign Minister and challenging Gillard for the leadership earlier this year was a rather major news story.

Will a gay sex scandal involving a Liberal MP bring down Julia Gillard?

April 22nd, 2012 at 4:37 pm by David Farrar

Normally an allegation of a gay sex scandal involving someone elected as a Liberal Party MP would not concern the Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Prime Minister.

But it does when the MP is Peter Slipper. He was first elected to Parliament in 1993 and re-elected in 2010. But in November 2011 the Speaker of the Australian Parliament resigned, and Slipper became Speaker against the wishes of his own party to help the Government’s majority. He then resigned as a Liberal MP, and is now an Independent.

At the 2011 Federal Election both Labor and the Coalition won 72 seats. Gillard retained power by gaining four votes from the six cross-party MPs. They are:

  • Adam Bandt, Greens
  • Andrew Wilkie, Independent (former Green)
  • Tony Windsor, Independent
  • Rob Oakeshott, Independent

After losing the Speaker, The Government can only pass laws 75-74. When Slipper became Speaker, the numbers became 76-73. But Gillard renenged on a deal with Andrew Wilkie, which made the numbers 75-73-1.

If Slipper resigns and a Labor MP replaces him, then Gillard has just 74 seats and the Coalition probably 74 seats and Wilkie hold the balance of power. Does not guarantee the Government falls, but would be very unstable.

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.

Labor own goal

January 28th, 2012 at 10:46 am by David Farrar

The SMH reports:

An Australian Prime Ministerial staffer has been linked to yesterday’s ugly protest incident in Canberra, forcing his resignation and acutely embarrassing PM Julia Gillard.

In an early evening statement, the Prime Minister dismissed as ‘false’ claims that one of her staff had spoken to people at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy prior to yesterday’s angry protest that temporarily trapped her and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

But Ms Gillard acknowledges that a member of her media unit ‘did call another individual yesterday and disclose the presence of the Opposition Leader at the Lobby restaurant. This information was subsequently passed on to a member of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.’ …

He is Tony Hodges, one of four press secretaries working in Julia Gillard’s media unit.

The link is deeply embarrassing for the Prime Minister and leaves her shouldering some of the blame for an incident where many had pinned responsibility on Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott.

This is typical Australian Labor tactics.  The press secretary would have leaked the info, hoping it would lead to anti-Abbott protests.

Instead it led to his own boss having to be dragged out by Police. And now they can’t blame anyone else for it.

Apples for Julia

October 17th, 2011 at 2:56 pm by David Farrar

Hawkes Bay Today reports:

Hawke’s Bay apple producer Apollo made a cheeky but tasteful offer to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for the Rugby World Cup semifinal between the All Blacks and Wallabies.

Apollo’s director, Bruce Beaton, packed a carton of New Zealand Queen apples and asked Napier MP Chris Tremain to transport the fruit to Prime Minister John Key’s house in Auckland at the weekend.

“The idea was that if Julia was over watching the rugby with John in Auckland, she could have a tasty New Zealand apple to munch after the game,” Mr Beaton said.

She wasn’t there, but hopefully the apples will get to her in Australia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

September 28th, 2011 at 9:06 am by David Farrar

The Australian reports:

“I’m a very happy little vegemite being Prime Minister … being Foreign Minister of Australia,” he told ABC Central West today while on his way to Condobolin, west of Orange, to open a rotary-funded indigenous studies centre.

One can forgive Kevin for the slip-up, as regaining the top job must be at the top of his thoughts most of the time.

Recent polls have shown he would do much better against the Coalition than Julia Gillard. However she is genuinely liked by many of his colleagues and Rudd is not, so the decision is not as easy as it might otherwise be. But this latest poll is a shocker for Gillard:

Ms Gillard is now neck and neck with Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister among female voters, 39 per cent to 37 per cent, compared to 52 per cent to 33 per cent at the last election.

Abbott has always been considered a total turn-off for female voters. If he is only 2% behind amongst women, then his biggest weakness has been overcome.

At home with Julia

September 16th, 2011 at 1:26 pm by David Farrar

This looks potentially very good. Anyone know if any NZ broadcaster will be showing it?

Hat Tip: Red Alert

The prime sledger

September 9th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Kate Chapman at Stuff reports:

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has told the Wallabies they better do well so she can get back at John Key for his “perpetual abuse”. …

She told the players that Key had been using every opportunity to rib her about the All Blacks during the Pacific Islands Forum which both leaders attended this week.

“We better make sure we’re in a position to be giving some mocking back at the end of all this.” …

“At every stage, I cannot describe it to you, any issue before the forum, any direction somehow Prime Minister Key would find a way of working in a sledge.

“I’ve had it for two days.”


Gillard hits the spot

February 17th, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald has an extract from Julia Gillard’s speech. Absolutely hits the spot. What a shame the Greens bllocked her from actually addressing Parliament, and having these wonderful words recorded in Hansard:

“Our founders could not have imagined the extraordinary events that would bring our nations far closer than any words or any laws.

Not forged in meeting rooms by old men wearing suits.

But by young men in trenches wearing slouch hats and lemon squeezers.

That is why I say Australia has many alliances and friendships around the world.

Economic and defence partnerships of every kind.

But New Zealand alone is family.

When those 29 men never came home from the Pike River mine, we didn’t just mourn for the two Australians.

We mourned for them all. Family.

When Pike River exploded, New Zealand didn’t have to ask Australia to send help.

We just did.

And when natural disasters hit Australia this summer, New Zealand didn’t need to be asked to lend a hand.

You just did.

And our gratitude is boundless.”

A great speech.