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A light has gone from my life

I did so enjoy contemplating the coming inevitable defeat of Julia Gillard and the Australian Labor Party. Unimportant in the greater scheme of things, I know, but just to contemplate the ululations of grief and ritual cries of “misogyny” that would have come from the Guardian the morning after the next Australian election was a little thing that gave me a few snatched moments of innocent pleasure in this hard world.

Now, however

24 comments to A light has gone from my life

  • Michael Jennings

    If it is any consolation, Kevin Rudd is (I am told, with only one degree of separation, by someone who worked for him) far more loathsome in person. Enjoying his electoral demise instead should be an adequate substitue. You can enjoy the bleats of misogyny.

    I am watching the Guardian’s attempts to launch an Australian electronic edition with interest. I am not sure if they have any idea just how condescending they sound when talking to or about anything to do with the entire nation.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I am not sure if they have any idea just how condescending they sound when talking to or about anything to do with the entire nation.

    Yes, and continually trying to force messy actual events into their favoured neat structures as well. This editorial In praise of… Julia Gillard originally spoke of

    The cork of the Australian PM’s rage was pulled by her Liberal opponent Tony Abbott’s (aka The Mad Monk) posturing in a row over some indecent texts that parliament’s speaker had sent to a female ex-staffer.

    I could spot a certain problem with this account of the Peter Slipper affair even from ten thousand miles away. This was hastily changed:

    This article was amended on 12 October 2012. The original stated that indecent texts had been sent to a female staffer. This has been corrected.

  • [...] Discussion: Samizdata, Libertarian Republican and Outside the Beltway RELATED:  Emma Griffiths / ABC:  Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard 57-45 in Labor leadership ballot, paving way for a return to PM [...]

  • When I read the “Breaking News” on the BBC I was laughing so much I nearly shat myself.

    You literally couldn’t make this shit up, it’s reality as portrayed by the script writers of “Home and Away”.

    The fact that they dumped that harpy Gillard is unsurprising, she certainly had become an electoral liability, I mean knitting a kangaroo for Will and Kate’s baby, I mean what the actual buggery-fuck?!

    The surprising thing is that of all members of the Parliamentary ALP, the only one that could oust her was n-times loser Kevin Rudd. I mean, for fucks sake, what are they putting in the tea over there?

    It would serve Rudd right if his own constituency threw him out, a la John Howard. Certainly it would be an appropriate end to this 3-year ongoing farce.

  • Ha ha, yes I remember now. She got the guy That’s just ousted her ousted right? And now he’s ousted her back?
    Sounds fair enough. Did any Australians actually get a say on any of this?

  • Kevin B

    A commenter at Tim Blair’s site has suggested replacing ‘jump the shark’ with ‘knit the kangaroo’.

    Definitely works for me, especially in a political context.

  • James Waterton (Perth, Australia)

    It’s been an interesting day. Personally, I am a bit surprised that this has happened. Even when Rudd was forced out of office in admittedly disgraceful circumstances, he had a significant rump of support in caucus who have stuck by him to this day. Since having the office of the Prime Minister seized from him, he’s been waging low intensity warfare against Gillard. Rudd has long been considered an infamous and skilful leaker, preventing the Gillard spin machine from glossing over an almost neverending record of bumbling decisionmaking. In addition to this, Rudd’s supporters would periodically make a very public shows of ‘taking the numbers’ now and again, and leadership speculation would again blanket the front pages of Australian newspapers for a week or so. Taken in the aggregate, this all gave the firm popular impression that Gillard’s leadership was constantly under seige, that the party was in a perpetual state of disunity, with Rudd waiting in the wings.

    This must have been acutely irritating for Gillard, who proved herself to be a far more effective legislator than the at best erratic and at worst mentally unstable Rudd. It’s fairly universally recognised that when Rudd left office, he was loathed by a large majority of his party room due to his bizarre work patterns and unpredictable temperament. It’s likely that not much has changed, but due to the fact that the public widely despise Gillard. Yet as Rudd is presently a somewhat popular public figure, a lot of Labor MPs fearful of losing their seats have held their noses and backed Rudd. Nothing personal, Julia, just business. Of course, the flaws that saw Kevin Rudd tossed out of office in unprecedented fashion are no doubt still there, and will likely manifest themselves shortly under the prosecution of one of the most effective oppositions in recent memory.

    I actually don’t think that Rudd wanted to depose Gillard prior to the election. Despite Rudd seizing back the top job, it’s still most likely that the coalition will win government, albeit with a smaller majority than if the deeply unpopular Gillard was running the show come election time. Still, I think it would have been best for Rudd to allow the Gillard government to be absolutely destroyed, then he would have had the opportunity to emerge as the great saviour with almost limitless political capital to reshape the party – curtail the union influence significantly, which he has struggled against – but now he has to face the likely possibility of leading the ALP to an election loss which will probably not be catastrophic enough to provide the impetus for profound change, yet will brand him a loser once again. And Rudd was always an overrated political entity. There’s a fairly reasonable chance that he won’t even be opposition leader within a year of losing office – assuming the ALP doesn’t win the next election, which they probably won’t.

    As I said above, I don’t think that Rudd wanted to knife Gillard now. I suspect he wanted her to be crucified at the next election. He and his supporters were repeating the familiar pattern of spreading leadership rumours, tipping off their mates in the media, suggesting that a leadership challenge was imminent. But due to a perfect storm of horrendously bad polls for the Gillard government, many members in formerly safe seats were facing defeat. As for the marginals, forget it. They were gone under Gillard, but maybe the “popular” Rudd could save them. Maybe. It was suddenly presumed that the Rudd backers scurrilously agitating for a change of leadership were actually sincere, and that they’d better be sincere. In March this year, Rudd backers made a genuine effort to engineer a coup, but Rudd didn’t even contest the ballot, believing – possibly correctly – that he didn’t have the numbers. A lot of Rudd backers (many of them elder Labor statesmen) came out of the woodwork to support Rudd, and were sent to the backbench for their efforts. The latest Rudd effort to initiate leadership instability took on a life of its own, reached fever pitch, and I suspect Rudd’s committed backers presented him with a fait accompli; considering they thought they had the numbers, they weren’t going to suffer another humiliation where they set up a leadership showdown, only for their leader to refuse to stand at the last minute. Do that again, I think they said, and we all walk and you’re finished. Now or never, Kevin. Reluctantly, Kevin chose now, and won.

    Gillard’s demise is making a lot of people tie themselves up in all sorts of interesting contortions.
    A lot of Australian conservative blog chatter has been speculating that the Establishment left-wing media, consisting primarily of the ABC and Fairfax papers (Brits, think the BBC and the Guardian), will circle the wagons around Rudd as their best chance of retaining a social democratic government. Nevertheless, from what I’ve seen tonight, they’ve been quite keen to highlight Rudd’s history of duplicity against his own. In Rudd’s glory days, he received regular tongue bathings from “hard hitting” ABC reporters. These days seem to be well and truly over. Certainly the influential feminist wing of the socially progressive movement is outraged by Gillard’s removal. Yet they seem to genuinely (if rather curmudgeonly) fear that opposition leader Tony Abbott is going to take us all back to the days of coathangers and backyard abortion clinics, their worst case scenario. I suspect they’ll be about as staunch as Hillary Clinton’s PUMAs.

    Interesting times ahead.

  • Paul Marks

    The left have denounced any opposition to Julia G. as hatred of women. Well now, if they have any honour, the left must denounce Kevin R. and the ALP as haters of women.

    Of course as the media (the BBC-Guardian entity) do not have any honour…..

  • James Waterton (Perth, Australia)

    Interestingly enough, Gillard cabinet members and self-declared Gillard supporters Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong – both high profile boosters of the slanderous misogyny charges levelled against former PM Gillard’s opponents – have not stood down or been stood down, unlike other prominent (male) Gillard supporters. In fact, Penny Wong has been promoted. She’s just been made leader of the senate.

  • Lee Moore

    I’m fondly remembering all those impassioned Guardian opinion pieces about misogyny from when Mrs T was given the boot.

  • Mr Ed

    So Neil Kinnock’s spiritual ‘love child’ shall rule no more. I suppose, fom here, it’s like seeing Harriet Harman get ‘knifed’ by Gordon Brown c 2018 after a Labour internal coup post 2015.

    But, as Nelson Mandela said ‘Your freedom and mine cannot be separated’. Will they limp on in power until September?

  • I am struck by the sense that Penny Wong is the conniving ALP power broker from hell, actually. Of course she has been promoted.

  • @James Waterton (Perth, Australia):

    “It’s still most likely that the coalition will win government, albeit with a smaller majority than if the deeply unpopular Gillard was running the show come election time”

    Keep taking the tablets James. The “budgie smuggler” is in the ascendancy. Rudd is an n-times loser and come the aftermath of the general election they will dump him yet again if they can find someone prepared to drink deeply of the draught that is the ALP leadership poisoned chalice.

    Labor need to spend some time in the political wilderness so that they learn the lessons of the futility of opposition and become the masters of their own correction.

    At least that harpy Gillard got an appropriately vicious ending, a suitably Augustinian end.

  • Colonol Shotover

    Time to give this another outing.

  • RRS

    Ah Oz!

    What shall be in the bowl when the W C is flushed?

    That is this vital issue.

  • JP

    Just looked up Penny dare I say Wong? She doesn’t have one! Out in Aussie back country beating around the butch ummm bush, yeah that’s it bush.

  • “Sing now, ye people of the South,
    for the Realm of Gillard is ended for ever,
    and the Ginger Tower is thrown down

    Sing and rejoice, ye people of the Lands of the South,
    for your watch hath not been in vain,
    and the Ginger Gate is broken,
    and your Rudd hath passed through,
    and he is victorious.

    Sing and be glad, all ye children of the South,
    for your Rudd shall come again,
    and he shall dwell among you
    all the days of your life.

    And the ALP that was withered shall be renewed,
    and he shall plant it in the high places,
    and the City of Canberra shall be blessed.
    Sing all ye people!”

    With apologies to J.R.R Tolkien

  • Regional

    A reliable pollster conducted a poll that showed the 2ppv for Labor under Krudd had risen to 49.5% enough to sweep Labor back into power. Strayans are so dumb that if 100,000 morons committed suicide the average I.Q. of the nation would go down.

  • James Waterton (Perth, Australia)

    Keep taking the tablets James.

    Screw you too, John.

    I’m amused by the notion that you reckon the ALP were better placed going into the election with Gillard at the helm. You a fan of Julia’s?

  • Julia was more of an electoral liability than Rudd, about that there is no doubt, but Rudd is no great shakes. Six ministers resigned, not because they were fanatical Gillard supporters, but because they couldn’t stand having to put up with the same bullshit that they did during 2007-2010.

    The sight of Gillard simultaneously grandstanding as PM, yet having the unmitigated gall attempt to play part of the poor little woman oppressed by all these sexist men and their privilege was beyond belief.

    Now in fairness to Rudd, his time in the political wilderness might mean that he is better second time around, but the aphorism “A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots” exists for a reason, so we’ll have to wait and see.

    Equally, the ALP’s behaviour over the last 3-years has been appalling, all of it conducted in the full light of the media. Labour have shown themselves to be disunited, disreputable, lied to the electorate and finally, can’t seem to decide who they want to lead this “piss-up in a brewery”.

    All of which is a recipe for being punished by the electorate at the polls regardless of whose name is on the letterheads.

    Don’t get me wrong, Tony “Budgie Smuggler” Abbott is no great shakes as a political leader, but he’s given Rudd and Gillard the rope to hang themselves and that is what they’ve done, very publicly and very decisively.

    He’s obviously remembered the aphorism “Rattlesnakes don’t commit suicide”.

  • I had my heart set on hearing Jooolya concede on election night, and right now I’m sorry that that won’t happen. But a couple of weeks with Rudd back in the spotlight should fix it.
    What a worthless gang of incompetents. Nobody wanted Jooolya in charge but none had the balls to stand against her. Rudd was driven by vanity and lust for revenge – now that the people who deposed him have put him back on the pedestal he’ll be totally unbearable.

  • thefrollickingmole

    Its sad for 2 reasons.
    1: Gillard wont get her lungs kicked out in the election.
    2: And the main point. Rudd may be able to save enough seats to prevent a Royal Commission into the abuse of unions by its leaders. Thats the only reason Rudd now has union backing, he may be the only thing between them and severe legal wrangles.
    If Abbott was to win enough seats there is more than enough stench surrounding the unions/Labour to justify a RC.

    Heres a reminder.
    Eddie Obeid

    Thompson

    Theres scores more, but you get the general idea.
    If Abbott cripples the union then he de-facto cripples the ALP as the majority of their funding and voting members are from them.

  • Paul Marks

    The media are already pushing Kevin Rudd as a nice man (even the free newspapers given away on trains from London) – in spite of the fact that whoever wins the election will be inheriting an hand grenade with the pin pulled out, I still hope the international media campaign fails. It would be nice to see the “Carbon Tax” shoved up the backsides of certain international “liberals” (such as my dear friends the Economist magazine).

    thefrollickingmole – interesting, very interesting….

  • Nick (nice-guy) Gray

    The speech she gave when Rudd replaced her is probably what the concession speech would have been.
    And Rudd has raised Labor’s hopes- the Polls have risen to what they were when Gillard replaced him years ago, when Labor was on track to lose….
    Who needs soap operas, or comedy on TV? We have Big Brother Live from Canberra!