Rudd wants to be UN Secretary General

April 29th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The BBC’s United Nations correspondent Nick Bryant says head winds face former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd if he wants the top UN job  in 2017.

He says the UN will adhere to ”geopolitical correctness”, meaning it is an Eastern European’s turn. Speculation centres on former Slovenian president Danilo Turk and Slovak diplomat Jan Kubis. Former prime minister Helen Clark is also eyeing the job –  perhaps hoping regional ”turns” are over.

I made this point a few months ago – regional rotation is very very important in UN roles such as the Secretary-General. That’s why I think it is unlikely Helen Clark will be in the running.

I will say this though. Given a choice between Helen Clark and Kevin Rudd – I’d be supporting Helen all the way!

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SMH on Rudd

November 16th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I think the Sydney Morning Herald editorial on Kevin Rudd is spot on:

But Rudd’s exit provides a timely warning to the public for when it is next wooed by an everyman politician who seems too good to be true. As always in public life, all is not what it seems. …

Having starred in a stunning election victory, Rudd soon revealed himself, to colleagues then the public, as something less than he promised. In various guises he was the indecisive and revengeful anti-hero Hamlet, the egomaniac Coriolanus, the ambitious Macbeth, the gullible and jealous Othello, the rash Romeo and megalomaniac Julius Caesar.

We saw him refuse to accept advice, unable to manage people, often weak on delivery and, worst of all, lacking the courage of his convictions. The public, quite rightly, began to see through Rudd. When he backed down on strong action to tackle climate change, they wondered where he drew the line on principles versus politics.

Sensing weakness, his colleagues, themselves flawed by ambition, conspired with the evil Labor Party structure to force him from office.

As victim, the revengeful Rudd vented through sabotage and the undermining of Julia Gillard, thereby consigning Labor to a precarious hung parliament three years ago and, now, years in the wilderness. Through it all, Rudd has displayed self-delusion and narcissism of Learesque proportions. King Lear, like Rudd, allowed ambition to derail his better instincts, disconnect him for reality and leave a trail of destruction.

The damage Rudd wrought on Labor will take years to fix, although the task would have been greater had he not returned to the leadership for the September 7 election.

Labor’s relatively muted loss was testimony to his policy instincts, communication skills and lasting affinity with many Australians in all walks of life. Rudd also deserves credit for starting the difficult process to remake the Labor Party as a modern, democratic force.

King Kevin indeed. He did have incredible communication skills, and a lot of charisma. All of us have a number of psychological weaknesses, but Rudd’s were so massive that they over-ran all the good he did or tried to do.

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Rudd quits Parliament

November 14th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Ex-Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has announced he is quitting  parliament.

He said there came a time in every politician’s life when their  family said “enough is enough”.

The former prime minister and foreign minister said he would not  be continuing beyond this week.

He said the slings and arrows of parliament “hit home to our  families as well”.

“For our family, recent statements since the September election  have been particularly hurtful,” Rudd said in a speech to the House of Representatives tonight.

Having your colleagues tell the truth about you must be very hard.

Rudd had such great potential as Prime Minister, but his personal style made him a disaster.

Rudd said it was a privilege to be asked to return to the  prime ministership this year, and that they’d been able to “save  the furniture” in the election.

Asked to return! As if he was unwilling. It was his third coup attempt!

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Under new management

September 8th, 2013 at 6:24 am by David Farrar

Tony Abbott declared last night that Australia is now under new management and open for business. The Coalition have won with one of the largest margins in recent times – yet no a total bloodbath.

The latest ABC projection is Coalition 89 (+10), Labor 51 (-10), Greens 1 (nc), Independents 2 (-2). That is just below the 1996 result for Howard where they got 94 seats.

By state it was like this:

  • ACT – Labor 2 (nc)
  • NSW – Libs 21 (+5), Nats 7 (+3), Labor 18 (-6), Independents 0 (-2)
  • NT – Country Libs 1 (nc), Labor 1 (nc)
  • Queensland – LNP 21 (nc), Labor 7 (-1), Palmer 1 (+1), Katter 1 (+1)
  • South Australia Libs 6 (+1), Lab 5 (-1)
  • Tasmania Libs 3 (+3), Labor 1 (-3), Ind 1 (nc)
  • Victoria Libs 15 (+3), Nats 2 (nc), Labor 19 (-3), Greens 1 (nc)
  • WA – Libs 12 (+1), Nats 0 (-1), Labor 3 (nc)

Still a dozen seats in play so these may change.

The primary vote has been Coalition 45.3% (+1.6%), Labor 33.8% (-4.1%), Greens 8.4% (-3.3%), Palmer United 5.6% (+5.6%), Family First 1.3% (-0.9%), Katter 1.0% (+0.7%).

Kevin Rudd’s concession speech was terrible. Long, rambling, resembling a victory speech, all about him and disgracefully not once did he mention Julia Gillard. He talked as if he had been Prime Minister for the last three years. He retained his seat but announced he will not contest the Labor Party leadership. More than one person quipped how they had heard him say that before! But finally it looks like he is gone. I’d say Bill Shorten is the likely new leader, but time will tell.

Time will also tell how Tony Abbott will do. A prediction that one day Abbott will be PM in 2007 would have seen you laughed out of the room. He has run a disciplined campaign and team over the last four or so years. However it was very much a rejection of Labor than an endorsement of Abbott. They have a large enough majority that I’d expect they’ll serve at least two terms.

The tight preferencing between minor parties appears to have delivered them a lot of Senate seats, so that will be a major challenge for the Abbott Government.

Also Clive Palmer has got elected to the House. He appears to be stark raving mad, so that also adds an unpredictable factor.

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Inside the Rudd campaign

September 2nd, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

News.com.au takes a fascinating look inside the Rudd Campaign. It seems beyond dysfunctional. Highlgights:

  • Critics joke that by the end of the campaign the Rudd flying circus may consist of Hawker and Rudd literally piloting the plane, so centralised is the decision-making by the two old mates.
  • To raise morale, staff at CHQ are encouraged to clap each other. In the event of a daily “win”, staff stand around applauding their colleagues.
  • All policy is being made up on the road, with no one wanting to disagree with Bruce or Kevin for fear of being fired.
  • “The message of the day sent out from CHQ to seat directors never matches what Kevin stands up and says.
  • The Canberra press office is even worse off, not even CHQ filling them in, press secretaries there are left to wander the gallery with no information on what is happening that day, relying on watching Sky News to piece the day’s message together. It’s a complete shambles.”

I’ve been involved in some some shambolic campaigns, but nothing approaching this horror story!

 

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Rudd backfires

August 30th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

TWO of Australia’s most senior public servants have undermined Labor claims of a $10 billion black hole in Tony Abbott’s election costings, prompting Joe Hockey to call Kevin Rudd “a liar”.

In a dramatic and highly unusual move, the heads of Treasury and Finance issued a statement to distance themselves from claims the Coalition had a major financial hole in their election costings.

The intervention, just over a week from polling day, was welcomed by the Opposition, which has been under pressure to provide full details of its election costings, amid Labor claims of a major black hole.

Treasury head Martin Parkinson and Finance chief David Tune, in a joint statement, forced the Government on the defensive just hours after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had publicly accused the Coalition of a $10 billion “fraud”. …

Dr Parkinson and Mr Tune, both of whom were at a secretaries’ retreat in Canberra when the PM made the attack on the Coalition, undermined the Government’s central claims.

“These costings were not prepared under the election costings commitments’ process outlined in the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998,” they said.

“At no stage prior to the caretaker period has either department costed Opposition policies.”

This is highly unusual, to have the Treasury Secretary contradict the Prime Minister. But good on them for protecting the neutrality of the public service.

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The character of Rudd

August 23rd, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A woman called Lily Fontana posted on Facebook:

Just finished doing Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott’s makeup for the People’s Forum at the Broncos Leagues Club.

One of them was absolutely lovely, engaged in genuine conversation with me, acknowledge that I had a job to do and was very appreciative.

The other did the exact opposite! Oh boy, I have ever had anyone treat me so badly whilst trying to do my job.

Political opinions aside…from one human being to another…Mr Abbott, you win hands down.

This post, now deleted, has resulted in major stories. It fits with what so many people have said about Rudd – that he treats people awfully. It ranges from keeping people waiting for hours at a time, to abusing people for very minor problems. Another issue was:

In 2009 the Prime Minister was forced to apologise to a RAAF stewardess after it was revealed he reduced her to tears when the meal he requested was unavailable on a flight from Port Moresby to Canberra.

How you treat people on a personal level speaks volumes about character.

More bad news for Rudd is a poll showing he may lose his own seat.

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Rudd cheats twice

August 12th, 2013 at 6:59 am by David Farrar

Things are not going well for Kevin Rudd. First of all it seems he cheated in the election debate last night. The debate rules said the leaders could have a pen and paper only – and no other documentation or props. Yet Rudd had detailed notes on various topics which he referred to.

The rule may be silly, but if you agree to them you stick to them. It is cheating if one side is using notes, and the other is not.

The more significant cheating is Labor’s using taxpayer funds for their election campaign. The Government is spending millions of taxpayer dollars promoting their new boat people policy. The constitutional caretaker conventions clearly state that during an election campaign, and advertising of controversial policies must cease.

The Finance Department told the relevant Government Departments to halt the advertising campaign, but Ministers intervened and  over-ruled the Finance Department. The head of the DPMC has said he is powerless to do anything as “the Department does not have the power to enforce the observance of the conventions

Taxpayers are funding this $30 million campaign, during the election period. It is outrageous but typical of left parties who view taxpayer money as their own. We have own own experience with Labour’s pledge cards.

Meanwhile Tony Abbott took part in a 14 km road race – as a guide to a blind triathlete! I like most think it was a pretty cynical election stunt – but to be fair he has acted as a guide for blind runners before.

The real good news of the last week is that Abbott has declared he will not wear his budgie smugglers during the election campaign!

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Is Kevin Rudd a psychopath?

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

Andrew Carswell looks objectively at whether the tag of psychopath given to Kevin Rudd (by a member of his own caucus!) is accurate or not. He first points out what a psychopath is not:

 Is the man running this country really a psychopath, given the aforementioned ferocious descriptions appear to tick plenty of the boxes that define such a diagnosis?

Firstly, one has to demystify the term.

Such a designate is no longer deemed by experts to be the exclusive domain of murderers, serial killers and rapists.

No, you could indeed be sitting next to one. Your boss could be one, or, perhaps more likely, your high-flying CEO in his spacious corner office suite.

In fact prominent Australian psychotherapist John Clarke claims that between one and three per cent of the Australian population could be certifiably deemed psychopathic, and he warns not just police to keep a look out but companies and political powerbrokers.

Anthropologist Stephen Juan suggests that one in 10 companies are headed by a corporate psychopath.

It seems psychopaths are everywhere, and they are more likely to wear a suit and tie, than carry a bloodied weapon or be pointing a sawn-off shotgun.

“One of the misconceptions about psychopathy itself is that people think a psychopath goes out and kills people. By definition, they are somebody that is recklessly indifferent to any physical, emotional harm they may cause,” criminal mind expert Steve van Aperen said.

“There are certainly many undiagnosed psychopaths in business and politics.”

Juan says often people get confused between the terms psychopath and psychotic, which makes people less inclined to label someone as the former and thus grouping them with such fiends as Ivan Milat, Charles Manson or Martin Bryant. The distinction is reality, he says. Those suffering from psychosis have lost grip on reality. Those deemed psychopathic are very much aware of it, and are attempting to control it.

So you can be psychopath and not be a psychotic killer. What a psychopath is about it:

In a bid to unmask those with psychopathic tendencies and prevent crime, Canadian criminal psychologist and FBI adviser Robert D Hare created the Psychopathy Checklist in the early 1990s that remains the gold standed for reference.

Its defined set of traits include impulsiveness, superficial charm, grandiosity, callousness, manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, propensity to blame others, poor behavioural control, egocentric.

Whether unfairly or resoundingly just, Kevin Rudd’s name has oft been etched beside those traits, by members of his own camp or from across enemy lines.

The trouble for Rudd is that list of characteristics describes him to a tee.

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Rudd lurches right

July 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Labour in 2007 campaigned against John Howard’s Pacific solution which saw boat people go to Naaru, while their claims for asylym were processed (but if they qualified, they could them come to Australia). Howard was demonised for this policy, but Labor’s replacement policies have been disastrous, with the number of boats and people attempting the voyage increasing almost exponentially, and many many people dying in the attempt.

Kevin Rudd has now come out with a policy that is to the right of John Howard’s. He has announced that all boat people will be sent to Papua New Guinea, regardless of whether or not they qualify for asylum.

This could well help him win the election, as Labor’s failed policy was indefensible. However will his own party and activists support such a policy? The next few weeks will be interesting.

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Lib attack ad on Rudd

July 15th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Liberals have done an attack ad on Kevin Rudd. This one is not quoting what his colleagues said about him, instead it is pointing out the policies he implemented last time have failed.

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Malpass on Rudd

July 1st, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Luke Malpass writes in the Dom Post:

To understand why Julia Gillard failed so miserably as prime minister, one must understand the shortcomings of Mr Rudd.

When he was elected prime minister in 2007, hubris quickly became apparent.

He considered himself a philosopher king, penning trite essays such as how Protestant theologian and Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have voted Labor, and a 7000-word tome on how it was his sacred duty to save capitalism from itself.

Only social democrats, he opined, could navigate Australia through the global financial crisis.

Sadly, philosopher kings are often difficult human beings, and so it was with Mr Rudd. It is well documented that members of his own party were waiting for the day when “the public hates Kevin as much as we do”.

He was poll-driven, prone to tantrums, horrendous to work for and with. Last year fellow Labor MP Steve Gibbons called him a “psychopath with a giant ego”, and his own treasurer, Wayne Swan, said he had a “deeply demeaning attitude towards other people including our caucus colleagues”.

In 2010, many were pleased to be rid of him.

However, it’s often overlooked that Mr Rudd was dumped in large part because many of his policies were either poor quality or unpopular and his administration inept.

Rudd is a deeply flawed human being, but as Luke Malpass writes, that is not why the public went off him. They didn’t know about this other stuff.

Climate change topped the list of Rudd policy failures. Despite bloviating that it was “the greatest economic, moral and social challenge of our time”, Mr Rudd quickly abandoned doing anything when it became unpopular.

An ineffective fiscal stimulus was still being spent in school halls years after the global financial crisis had passed, while a home-insulation disaster came complete with house fires, deaths, and a ruined industry.

He presided over an abandoned laptops-in-schools programme. He introduced an unworkable and punitive mining-super-profits tax.

He legislated the Fair Work Act, taking industrial relations back to the 1970s. He dismantled the “Pacific solution” for asylum seekers, helping restart the odious people-smuggling trade, and 100 boat people are now arriving daily.

Arguably, his biggest failure.

For this reason Mr Rudd’s elevation will probably make little difference. The policies are the same, and are still unpopular.

The basic conceit, under which Labor has operated since 2009, is that it is no good at “selling its message” – the notion that people might just not like the policies is never countenanced.

A lesson for more than Australian Labor.

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Kevin Rudd

June 28th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Someone made a very good point yesterday regarding Kevin Rudd, is that the timing of his coup means he doesn’t have to do any governing – just campaigning.

That is possibly not coincidence. There is a huge amount of testimony that he was an incompetent Prime Minister. But he is a very good campaigner.

You have to laugh at the gall, in this story:

New Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has used his first address to Parliament to call on MPs to be a ”little kinder and gentler with each other”.

Hours after he was sworn by Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Mr Rudd used his first official comments as Prime Minister to acknowledge the contributions of former prime minister Julia Gillard and former treasurer Wayne Swan, while talking of the difficulties of political life.

”As we all know in this place, political life is a very hard life. A very hard life indeed … But let us all remember particularly on days like this that in this Parliament and in this place we are all human beings,” he said.

Incredible. He spends three years undermining Gillard, and then once he has dispatched her he asks for people to be kinder and gentler.

The Dom Post editorial notes:

Mr Rudd, a Machiavellian schemer who has devoted the past three years to undermining the woman who ousted him as prime minister, is not someone about whom as many nice things can be said. The challenge for the rival Liberal Party, poring over quotes from current and former colleagues, was not what to include in its first anti-Rudd advertisement but what to leave out.

That is so true. Their first advertisement is below and it consists purely of quotes from his own Labor MPs,

Mr Rudd’s newfound friends do not expect him to win the coming election but they hope that, with him at the helm, fewer of them will lose their seats.

Their calculations mirror those that led Helen Clark and other Labour Party notables to persuade Sir Geoffrey Palmer to make way for Mike Moore as New Zealand prime minister eight weeks before the 1990 election.

But will they keep him on as opposition leader? He might be ALP leader for just three months?

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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 – especially his former Cabinet colleagues. His psychology is quite flawed, and it is remarkable that the ALP have made him Prime Minister again – despite 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?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Poll shows Rudd would help ALP win in Queensland

February 24th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

KEVIN Rudd would catapult Labor into an election-winning position if he was to be reinstalled as leader, according to a new Galaxy poll.

A comeback by the former prime minister would deliver a 14 per cent boost to Labor’s primary vote in Queensland, putting it in line to seize two-thirds of the state’s seats.

The poll of 800 Queenslanders, taken on the evenings of February 20 and 21, found that federal Labor’s support, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the helm, was stuck on 33 per cent – close to the primary vote Labor received at the last election.

This would see Tony Abbott lead the Coalition to victory by 55 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party preferred basis in Queensland if preferences flowed as they did in 2010.

But Labor’s primary vote would soar to 47 per cent in Queensland if Mr Rudd returned to the leadership and faced off against Mr Abbott, the poll found.

Rudd is effectively campaigning full-time to gain the leadership back off Gillard. It will come to a head in March probably.

I’m not sure Rudd will win though. Generally MPs will vote for their own surivival, but a fair few Labor MPs would rather lose their seats than have Rudd back as Leader.

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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:

aussocialmedia

 

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.

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Turnbull pledges no challenge to Abbott

November 22nd, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

This video is quite amusing. Polls in Australia show that voters wants Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull to lead their respective parties. An audience member notes that both are successful, very wealthy, and popular (except with their colleagues) and urges them to set up their own political party. Turnbull says he is committed to the Liberals. Rudd jokes that he and Malcolm could never agree on the leadership :-)

The Australian reports:

The former Liberal leader is making it clear there will be no challenge for the leadership before the next election and that his aim is to be a senior, influential member of the Coalition cabinet should Tony Abbott win government, The Australian reports.

After months of co-operation between the former opposition leader and the man who replaced him after the party division over the carbon emissions trading scheme in 2009, a new stability and certainty is emerging within the senior Coalition ranks.

As Labor uses Mr Turnbull’s standing with voters to try to drive a wedge into the Liberals, Mr Abbott and Mr Turnbull have been in “close and regular personal contact” co-ordinating how to handle the prickly political issues of Mr Abbott’s defeat of Mr Turnbull as Liberal leader, Mr Turnbull’s continuing popular appeal, policy differences over carbon pricing and Julia Gillard’s campaign against Mr Abbott. …

There’s a lesson here for some parties in NZ.  Abbott did not get spooked by Tunrbull’s popularity and authorise a whispering campaign against him. He talked to him on a regular basis to make sure he was confident he had a key role to play going forward.

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Rudd and Gillard parody

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

Very funny.

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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.

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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.

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Rudd rat-fucks Gillard

August 1st, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Gillard is in trouble. And it is not Tony Abbott doing the damage, but almost certainly Kevin Rudd.

A poll has the coalition ahead 52% to 48%, and on radio John Pagani said that he had heard that Labor’s polling was not looking good in the all important marginal seats. So how has it happened?

Well first there was the leak to Laurie Oakes about the deal with Rudd for him to stay on until October, which Gillard walked away from. As only three people witnessed it, not hard to guess who put that out there.

Then came the leak that in Cabinet Gillard fought against Labor’s paid parental leave scheme. This has damaged her amongst “babyland”. Gillard also tried to limit pension increases – hell I am liking her more and more. But the public are not. And again no prizes for guessing the likely leaker.

And the latest leak also has Rudd all over it – a revelation that Gillard sometimes sent her bodyguard to meetings of the Cabinet national security committee. That one may be especially damaging.

And in case there is much doubt it is Rudd, Alexander Downer reveals that the former Liberal Government used to feed info to Rudd when he was a junior Labor MP, knowing Rudd would use it to undermine the Labor Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, as Rudd wanted his job.

Is it just me, or do Rudd and Chris Carter seem somewhat alike – both try and rat-fuck their leaders, because they had their travel perks and status taken away?

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