Meet the New Boss

By DeusExMacintosh

(same as the old boss)

Kevin Rudd has ousted Prime Minister Julia Gillard as leader of Australia’s Labor Party.

He won by 57 votes to 45, in a leadership ballot of Labor lawmakers.

The change comes ahead of a general election due in September, which polls suggest Labor is set to lose.

This is the latest twist in a long and bitter rivalry between the two politicians – but it could be the last as Ms Gillard has said she will now leave politics.

“I will not re-contest the federal electorate… at the forthcoming election,” said Ms Gillard, Australia’s first female prime minister.

“What I am absolutely confident of is it will be easier for the next woman and the woman after that and the woman after that, and I’m proud of that,” she added…

The ballot followed months of speculation over the party’s leadership, and came after a day of drama that saw Mr Rudd’s supporters push for a vote.

Shortly before the vote, a key power-broker, Bill Shorten, switched his support to Mr Rudd, saying Labor stood a better chance in the polls with him.

Many people do not think Mr Rudd will win the election but he may mitigate the losses and shorten the time Labor could spend in opposition if the party loses, our correspondent says.

BBC News

27 Comments

  1. Lurker
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    And if Labor is re-elected, just how long would Rudd remain PM? Six months? One year? Two years? The Unions loathe him, and have supported him only because the polls indicate that he could save the party – they’re holding their nose whilst they pretend to work with him and in the meantime, continue to deceive the electorate. Rudd is a narcissist and is only for Rudd, he’s not one of the Union boys so he’s not their preferred candidate. The odds of him getting rolled again and the Unions’ preferred candidate getting installed I think would be pretty high. All the people voting Labor just for Rudd would have to keep that in mind. Labor = Unions. For the last few years Labor has governed only for the Unions and not for the country. We need a new Government, so Labor can go away for a long while to reform into something that is pro-Australia and less in bed with the Hard-Left Unions.

  2. Lurker
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Hi Legal, I agree with your comments and especially agree with your final statement. The Australian people have been marginalised by Labor who are selfishly thinking only about their survival and their jobs. I’ve heard a great deal of ‘talk’ about the nation, but precious little action, in fact everything Labor does is either to win power, or entrench themselves further in power – and the nation can go hang. I too feel sick, especially at the thought of gullible voters thinking that a change in leader will mean better days for the nation. Don’t these people remember what Rudd was like first time around? Labor is for Labor/Unions and if they spare a thought for the nation, then it’s only in the context of how Labor/Unions can benefit. I’m trying to think of one good, honest, and honourable thing that they’ve done for Australia over the last six years and I’ve come up with naught – even the disability scheme and gonski are really just about empowering and/or enriching various Unions and also brainwashing innocent children, and the superfast broadband scheme has blown out our national debt, and exposed workers and residents to formerly quiescent asbestos; and the less said about our non-existent border control the better (Rudd was the architect of that shermozzle)!

  3. Posted June 27, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    At least the Kevin and Julia show will be over, if not now then at least after the election. It’s a pity that some of the better policies of this government has been overshadowed. For the most part I don’t think it’ll make that much difference in the running of the country, nor for that matter even if/when Abbott takes over.

  4. derrida derider
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    If Labor is elected, Lurker, Rudd’s position would be absolutely impregnable, though of course that’s very unlikely. If Labor is thrashed then the survivors will get rid of Rudd post-haste – no-one likes him and they can rightly blame him for most of their predicament. Gillard would certainly have won the last election easily if not for those deliberate leaks.

    The tricky question is what happens if they lose the election fairly narrowly. Then it will be a case of wanting to get rid of Rudd but ensuring the Abbott government’s easy and early re-election if they do.

  5. kvd
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Just an aside to all the hurly burly (or should that be ‘argle-bargle’ – according to Justice Scalia?) of the past couple of days. I often read, and have nodded in agreement, about how badly we are served by a ‘biased press’ – never mind which side, or what cause.

    I was following the ‘Live blog’ on the SMH site today – byline Stephanie Peatling, Senior Writer – and noticed a quite glaring (from my point of view) factual error. So I emailed her politely, and was very surprised to receive a reply within 90 minutes (no doubt written for her by a fact-checker) which acknowledged the error, and promised to correct.

    And then she/they (or ‘it’?) promptly did just that!

  6. Posted June 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    [email protected], I wonder that’s why they waited so long to change over to Rudd so he doesn’t have a chance to boost Labor support enough to actually win. I suspect that unless Labor does win, Rudd will go pretty quickly no matter how close the election. However, there does seem to be quite a few Gillard supporters walking away from politics in light of what’s ahead, so who knows. It might be a matter of who survives rather than how many.

  7. Posted June 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    My local member is leaving politics–she is not contesting her seat at the next election–so the Rudd and Gillard show is definitely over.

    Rudd would have to stage an extraordinary poll reversal to win. Which is unlikely, given that everyone knows when the election is, so the polls are probably fairly predictive; not effectively “by-elections” where voters kick the incumbents.

    Particularly as there only has to be one brain-snap and all the negatives will come roaring to front and centre.

  8. Posted June 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] There is often a surge in poll support for a new Leader. Downer got one, for example. The trend is the thing.

  9. Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    FIrst – my take at https://plus.google.com/110690210342823992560/posts/KjqBuoK4iRs

    The real question is about the following two figures from a couple of weeks ago, Aus Fin Review

    Preferred ALP Leader: 58% Rudd, 32% Gillard
    Prefereed Lib Leader: 62% Turbull, 32% Abbott

    Readers Digest 100 Trusted Australians:
    Turnbull, number 68 (top politician), then, down in the 90s, in order Rudd, Gillard, Abbott.

    Given how they will contort previously declared core principles for a couple of percent advantage ….at the drop of a hat … why both party back rooms for so long ignored the electoral potential of a (former) leader almost twice as popular as the one they have, and in the case of Turnbull, the most trusted politician in Australia, …. strange, and says a lot about back rooms loving leaders racing to the bottom of the scumbucket.

    The stated reason for Rudd being toppled in the first place was the likely loss of an election … so at least the ALP is consistent swapping back. And, if we say that politics and reporting has been going downhill in recent years, then you cannot complain about going to former leaders.

  10. Posted June 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    The thing is, the biggest bit of political bastardry in the last decade is nothing to nearly a century ago, or, more correctly, just over half a century to almost a century ago. Rudd, Gillard, Shorten … the lot are wimpy little amateurs compared to Billy Hughes (5 parties, 50 years, so on average, a decade of loyalty to each!)

    Rudd, Gillard, Keating … they could only get a governing party to knife a sitting PM. It you are a /proper/ bastard, and you are PM, you knife your entire governing party in the morning, and remain PM with a new party in the afternoon, without raising a sweat.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Hughes

  11. Lurker
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I’m not a member of any political party, I’m just a Conservative voter, however all I know is that although the Left love Turnbull (although they don’t love him enough to vote for him), the Conservatives in Australia, and I suggest the Libertarians too, can’t stand him, and it was his playing footsies with Rudd over the original ETS which fired up the Conservative base which I believe was the catalyst for leadership change in the Liberals. In my opinion the Liberals are not going to be spooked by Rudd and throw away three plus years of solid leadership by Abbott just because the Left are pining for Turnbull. Rudd is a narcissist, Turnbull I reckon has similar attributes although moderated. He is known as the Member for Goldman Sachs for good reason – and good enough reason for not putting him back as leader.

  12. Lurker
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I really don’t understand the angst against Abbott. As a non-Catholic (actually non-practising Christian) I don’t have an issue with his beliefs. As a woman I don’t have an issue with his stance on abortion. He’s put in the hard yard volunteering – rural fire brigade, surf life saving, helping out at remote Aboriginal communities, plus fundraising for various worthwhile causes, which to be honest, is more community work than most of us would ever do in one lifetime, and more than most politicians would ever consider doing in their spare time. His wife works, he’s raised seemingly well-balanced daughters, he seems to me to be a good dad and a loving husband. He’s got a sharp intellect and an excellent educational background – so why are people so fearful of him?? I really don’t understand – it seems to me to be very irrational when you balance out all that’s he’s done in his life. Turnbull on the other hand seems to me the complete opposite – narcissistic, looking out for #1, ie Turnbull. Why anyone would want to swap Abbott for Turnbull is beyond me. Perhaps you LE, as a Centre Left person could explain to me just why Abbott is considered such an ogre.

  13. Lurker
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    My mum always told me that men and women have different roles in life. I took that to mean that it doesn’t make men superior, or women inferior, just different. That being said, my mum or my dad never said I could not achieve my dreams because I was a girl. Those barriers, those limits were never placed in front of me.
    So with that mindset I did some pretty adventurous things in my life, some pretty dangerous too – like abseiling, mountain climbing, white water kayaking, water and snow skiing etc, and at this point in my late middle-age, I still am working towards other personal goals (many more achieved).
    My Christian, highly socially-conservative parents never stood in my way, so I never had a mindset that somehow as a woman I couldn’t achieve the stars – my only limitations were the limits I placed on myself, either through so-so academic results, or sheer laziness.
    So this fear the feminists hold is totally foreign to my mindset as a Conservative – why should I fear Abbott winding back women’s rights, because as a Conservative I don’t believe in this day and age any barrier exists for a determined, talented, ambitious (and honourable) woman. If the women you speak to are so anxious, then perhaps they are projecting their own inadequacies and fears onto Abbott, because frankly I see nothing in Abbott’s life and philosophy that tells me he will wind back women’s rights.
    In order to get a balanced viewpoint, perhaps the women of your acquaintance should move out of their Progressive circles, and interact with the wider community.
    In conclusion, and to be brutally honest, Abbott came down hard on Gillard because his job as Opposition Leader is to hold the Government to account – and he did that, because that is what he is in Parliament to do.
    So here is a parting thought – in my opinion Abbott was in a lose/lose situation – if he treated Gillard as an equal and held her actions to full account, then the feminists would yell that he was being mean and a misogynist; yet, if he acted differently, the feminists would accuse him of being condescending, and demand that the first Australian female PM be treated as an equal. It was a no-win situation for him. At least with Rudd as PM, Abbott can do his job and properly interrogate him without accusations of misogyny being unfairly flung at him!

    p.s. Apologies for the lengthy post.

  14. kvd
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    The ‘context’ that LE speaks (italics are mine) of:

    Gillard’s denunciation of sexism in politics came during a debate about whether the speaker of the house should resign for sending text messages that denigrated women. Abbott told Gillard that unless she sacked Peter Slipper over the texts, she was just as bad as him. “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever,” she fired back across the dispatch box. “The leader of the opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well I hope the leader of the opposition has got a piece of paper and is writing out his resignation.”

    It was the first time an Australian leader – and possibly any world leader – had delivered such a forthright attack on misogyny in public life.

    Gillard cited Abbott’s past description of abortion as “the easy way out”; his characterisation of Australian women as housewives who did the ironing; and his suggestion that men were better adapted than women to exercise authority and issue commands. She listed Abbott’s calls for her to, “politically speaking”, make an honest woman of herself, as well as his appearance at political rallies in front of placards that described her as a witch and another man’s bitch.

    – from a session of Parliament that I also watched.

    And, given the context, I applauded her response.

    As to ‘ogre’ well that’s a little over the top. I am basically a rusted on Liberal voter, but the thing I particularly dislike about Mr Abbott’s political approach is his reducing complex issues to simple one-liners. It is as if he holds the electorate in contempt – believing that such nonsense as “stop the boats” and “great big new tax” will suffice to gain him office.

    Anyway, enough of that. Both he and she are very good examples for a push to limit terms of office to no more than two election cycles. Because after that the only thing they seem to get better at is ‘politics’.

  15. Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    The Gillard misogyyny speech was so, so interesting. In the context of the day there’s no denying it was a distraction, and intended to be a distraction from the Peter Slipper issue. But it was also an attempt at seizing the high moral ground, making yourself and your party a defender of strong moral principles and defining yourself against the other party. (Perhaps it wasn’t even fully intended as such; often rhetoric can take on a life of its own, separate from the person speaking.) But for me, I just can’t get over the Slipper issue; the media rightly saw that this was an important part of the story. Some Gillard enthusiasts didn’t. That’s life!

    I agree with KVD that Abbott’s approach is too simplistic: I saw his press conference held straight after the news of the Labor shenanigans and sure enough, he reeled out the same slogans he always does – ‘stop the boats, bring the budget back into black, and axe the carbon tax’. It seemed an incredibly tone deaf and strangely insignificant thing to say.

  16. Posted June 28, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Oh, re – the extent to which the misogyyny speech was prepared, well, on the same day, prior to the speech being given, Anthony Albanese gave a doorstop to the media in which he used *exactly* the same examples and arguments Gillard did. Credit to Gillard, of course – she knitted all the examples into the perfect weapon (pardon the mixed metaphor) with which to slice and dice the opposition. Still, for me the examples used weren’t even individually very convincing – several were simply examples of Abbott being thoughtful, and entertaining interesting, if politically incorrect, thoughts about the sexes.

  17. Dave Bath
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    LE: I also thought that (a) the recruiting of Slipper and (b) the defence of Thomson …

    Yes …. that goes to character … not the relatively inconsequential things about narcissism, but to basic decency.

    I was hopeful about Gillard at the start, but as her willingness to race to the bottom, in word and deed …. the unwillingness to take a stand on things like equal marriage as strongly as any other social conservative … I found her unprincipled.

    I would rather have as leader a person who was principled, looked at evidence … no matter whether they were arrogant or not, male or female …. and even if they were coming to an issue from the “opposite corner” to my assumptions.

    If Barnaby was in the lower house, I’d rather have him as PM than Abbott – he might not be as smart as Abbott, he has many of the same sky-fairy-fan biases, shares much of the same worldview … I disagree with most of what Barnaby Joyce says … but I recognize him as being honorable, and thus much more qualified to be a politician than Abbott, or Gillard … or indeed most of the clowns in Canberra.

  18. Dave Bath
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Of course, there is the other wonderful thing about Gillard leaving … the other ‘worthies” who have taken a tumble or a slap in the face: Howes (slap in the face, not as hard as he deserves), but Conroy and Swan out of cabinet at long last …

    Combet is a talent lost, but he hasn’t really lived up to his potential. Emerson … well … another reasonable guy out of cabinet. Garrett – not actually /bad/ so much as dead wood.

    The more I think about it, almost no matter how good a PM was, if it meant giving Conroy and Swan a knifing …. it would be worth it.

    Maybe Conroy could ask for a front bench spot under Abbott – Conroy would fit right in with the other unprincipled social regressives.

  19. kvd
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Not to defend either person, but remind me again of what, specifically, has either Mr Slipper or Mr Thompson been convicted of? Wasn’t so long ago that the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial (even if the population at large thinks you should be hung) was being loudly declaimed here.

    And you miss the point of Ms Gillard’s speech. Just read the italics; she was not actually defending his actions; just denying Mr Abbott’s simplistic claim that this disqualified him from high office.

    Plus of course getting the boot in where it hurt 🙂

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