Julia Gillard: day two

Australian politics has entered uncharted waters after yesterday’s brutally efficient leadership coup, but the consensus view is that Julia Gillard is favourite to lead Labor to a victory which might have been beyond Kevin Rudd. One naysayer is Peter Brent of Mumble, a man who has been known to get things right from time to time. Brent’s assessment, published in The Australian yesterday, is that the odds now slightly favour the Coalition, whereas Labor under Rudd would most likely have increased its majority. I think he has it the wrong way around.

Certainly there is a view abroad – Mark Bahnisch of Larvatus Prodeo being one proponent – that changing leaders, particularly when in government, is inherently destabilising and destructive. The New South Wales state government’s game of musical chairs is usually offered as a cautionary tale. However, it is a mistake to compare the federal government with one whose problems are underlying, terminal and, most crucially, age-related. Through Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees and Kristina Keneally, NSW Labor’s primary vote has been super-glued to 30 per cent in the polls, for the simple reason that the leadership hasn’t been the problem.

It was a different story entirely with Kevin Rudd, who led a first-term government with a strong economic record that ought to be well ahead. The main problem lay with a leader whose credibility in the eyes of voters had been irreparably damaged by the celebrated series of policy backdowns followed by the government advertising fiasco. As is now well known, such problems were mirrored within the party. Stunning as events of recent days have been, there has been no mystery about their underlying cause: when Rudd’s poll lead evaporated, so did his authority in the party. All that remained to be answered was whether the party still felt he could struggle through to an election win, allowing the matter to be dealt with less bruisingly after the event.

Key to the decision that he couldn’t was internal polling which reportedly showed Labor headed for a net loss of 18 seats. Purported details of such polling were provided by a party insider to Andrew Bolt, and they tell a believeable story. Included are Labor seats on less than 5 per cent and Coalition seats on less than 1.5 per cent – about 40 all told. The broad picture is of Labor facing swings of 4 per cent in New South Wales and Queensland and as much as 8 per cent in South Australia, but no change in Victoria or Tasmania. In Western Australia, Hasluck would be lost, but no swing can be determined as Brand and Perth weren’t included in the poll. Also said to be a lost cause for Labor was Darwin-based Solomon.

Twenty-one seats in all were identified as Labor losses against three gains, which coming off 88 seats notionally held by Labor would leave them five seats short of a majority. This would involve an overall swing of about 3.5 per cent and a Labor two-party vote of about 49 per cent, slightly below the trend of published polling. Taken together, the evidence pointed to a worrying but by no means irretrievable situation for the government. What proved fatal to Rudd was a lack of confidence, based on recent performance, in his capacity to turn the ship around.

With regard to the likely electoral consequences, Peter van Onselen in The Australian pretty much bangs the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned, as does Niki Savva at The Drum. This from Lenore Taylor the Sydney Morning Herald also caught my eye:

Tony Abbott put a brave face on Labor’s last-ditch leadership change but privately the Coalition was desperately disappointed that it would not face an election against Kevin Rudd.

And it was utterly dismayed the mining industry had – as one source put it – ”succumbed to [Gillard’s] guile” by agreeing to her offer of a negotiating truce in the mining super profits tax war and to take the industry advertisements attacking the government off the air.

The Coalition has gone out on a limb in support of the mining industry and the prospect of a deal between the miners and the government has left it edgy.

Some developments from the upheaval:

• In what would be red-letter news on any other day, Lindsay Tanner made the shock announcement he would quit politics at the next election, making Greens candidate Adam Bandt a short-priced favourite to take his seat of Melbourne. VexNews reports “talk” that Tanner hopes to be succeeded in the seat by academic, commentator and occasional broadcaster Waleed Aly, who would seem just the thing to defuse the threat of the Greens, and Socialist Left warlord Andrew Giles, who wouldn’t.

• Shortly before the spill, VexNews reported that if Rudd went, so might two Queensland marginal seat MPs: Chris Trevor in Flynn and Jon Sullivan in Longman. Trevor said yesterday that Gillard would “always have my full support”, but Emma Chalmers of the Courier-Mail reports from Labor sources that he was contemplating quitting. Chalmers also quotes Sullivan expressing disappointment at the result, but going no further than that.

• According to The Australian’s Jack the Insider, “Liberal Party polling tells (Abbott) that he is starting this contest against Gillard from a long way behind. Kevin Rudd may have had his nose in front but the polling tells Abbott that Gillard would win the next election by the length of the straight.”

And while I’m here, here’s a piece I wrote for Crikey last week on the electoral state-of-play in South Australia. It might be showing its age in some respects.

South Australia was Labor’s forgotten triumph of the 2007 election, replicating on a smaller and less spectacular scale the decisive tectonic shift in Queensland.

The statewide two-party swing to Labor of 6.8% was only slightly below Queensland’s 7.5%, which was borne out in the proportion of seat gains: three out of 11 in South Australia, nine out of 29 in Queensland.

Labor’s resurgence put an end to a slump which dated back to 1987, the last time they had won a majority of the South Australian two-party vote, and 1990, when they last won a majority of seats.

Before that the state had been a source of strength for Labor in the post-war era, notwithstanding that a dubious electoral boundaries regime kept them out of office for much of that time at state level.

This was partly because the state party branch was spared the worst of the 1954-55 split, but also because of the large blue-collar workforce required to service an economy based largely on manufacturing and industry.

The difficulties experienced by these sectors meant the state was hit hard by the economic upheavals of the 1980s, which together with the damage done to Labor by the 1991 State Bank collapse led to a fundamental electoral shift in the Liberals’ favour.

At federal level this was manifested in a series of grim federal election results that reduced Labor to two seats out of 12 in 1996, to which only one seat was added in later terms of the Howard Government.

With one seat having been abolished in 2004, Labor’s doubling of their representation at the 2007 election gave them a bare majority of six seats out of 11, and left the Liberals without a safe seat in Adelaide.

The two Liberal hold-outs in the city were Christopher Pyne’s seat of Sturt and Andrew Southcott’s seat of Boothby, which cover the traditional party strongholds of the east and inner south.

In a tale that will become increasingly familiar as this series proceeds, speculation about the coming election was long focused on the Liberals’ chances of retaining these existing seats, but such talk faded as the new year began and disappeared with Labor’s poll collapse over the past two months.

Labor’s main strength in South Australia lies in the coastal plain north of the city centre, which makes a safe Labor seat of Port Adelaide and marginals of four others which are leavened with more conservative areas beyond.

The electorate of Adelaide covers inner suburbs both north and south of the city, which are respectively strong and weak for Labor, and the growing inner-city apartment population in between, which has proved highly volatile in its electoral habits of late.

In a rare sighting of the “doctors’ wives” effect, Labor’s Kate Ellis bucked the trend of the 2004 election to win Adelaide from Liberal incumbent Trish Worth, and she emerged from the 2007 election with what seemed like a secure 8.5% margin.

However, the Liberals are talking of internal polling showing them “closing the gap”, after staggering swings were recorded in the electorate at the March state election (at which Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith lost the state seat of Adelaide with a swing of 14.4%).

To the west of Adelaide is coastal Hindmarsh, which combines Labor-voting inner city areas with prosperous and conservative Glenelg in the south. Labor’s Steve Georganas won by the narrowest of margins when popular Liberal member Chris Gallus retired in 2004, before picking up a relatively modest swing in 2007.

North-east of the city centre is Makin, home to newer suburbs in the hills along with the eastern part of Salisbury on the plain. Makin is the only seat in the state which has form as a bellwether, being held by Labor from its creation in 1984 until 1996, Liberal through the Howard years and Labor’s Tony Zappia since 2007.

Further north is Wakefield, which offers even starker contrasts: deep red Elizabeth in the south, rapidly growing Gawler just past the city’s northern limits (where change is favouring Labor, if the state election is anything to go by) and conservative rural and wine-growing areas beyond.

Wakefield was a safe Liberal country seat until it absorbed Elizabeth at the redistribution before the 2004 election. Liberal candidate David Fawcett unexpectedly retained it for the Liberals on that occasion, but his narrow margin was eliminated by Labor’s Nick Champion in 2007 (Fawcett now stands poised to enter the Senate).

The only seat in Adelaide which conforms neatly with the mortgage belt marginal seat stereotype is Kingston, covering the city’s outer southern coastal suburbs. Labor’s Amanda Rishworth recovered this seat for Labor in 2007 after it was lost in 2004, interest rates having had a lot to do with it on each occasion.

The diversity that characterises the other marginals is significant, as it leaves their members as susceptible to rebellions in party heartlands as to the normally more decisive ebb and flow of the mortgage-payer vote.

This is where the mining tax could cause problems for Labor, as many blue-collar workers perceive a connection between the mining boom and the industrial and manufacturing sectors which employ them.

While South Australia is rarely given a guernsey as a “mining state”, BHP Billiton’s massive Olympic Dam project single-handedly allows the industry to punch above its weight, as it is associated in the public mind with the state shaking off its “rust belt” reputation from the 1990s.

Uncomfortably for Labor, BHP Billiton says the tax will jeopardise a $20 billion expansion to the project which is currently under consideration, a process that will certainly not be completed before the election.
Premier Mike Rann captured attention last week when he claimed any decision to stall the project would cost Labor four or even five seats.

For all that, the Liberals have big hurdles to clear if South Australia is to produce any of the seats it needs to overhaul Labor’s majority.

The problem is a lack of low-hanging fruit — even the most marginal of Labor’s six seats, Kingston, sits on an imposing margin of 4.4%.

Furthermore, the March state election suggests Labor has a trump card in the form of a ruthlessly efficient marginal seat campaign machine, which helped Mike Rann hang on to office with just 37.5% of the primary and 48.4% of the two-party vote.

The only seats in the state which swung to Labor were the two most marginal, Light and Mawson (respectively in Wakefield and Kingston federally), and the critical eastern suburbs seats of Hartley and Newland likewise held firm against a torrid tide. Elsewhere, Labor suffered double-digit swings nearly everywhere they could afford to.

Federal Labor will be hoping to achieve similar successes in working-class areas with a campaign to focus minds on industrial relations, thereby shoring up valuable support in Makin and Wakefield in particular.
Beyond Adelaide, the state’s three non-metropolitan seats are of limited electoral interest, notwithstanding the vague threat the Democrats and now the Greens have posed in Mayo, where Jamie Briggs struggled over the line in the September 2008 by-election that followed Alexander Downer’s resignation.

That leaves Barker in the state’s east, which covers rural territory which has never been of interest to Labor, and the outback electorate of Grey, which has transformed over the past two decades from safe Labor to safe Liberal — testament to the decline of the “iron triangle” cities of Whyalla, Port August and Port Pirie, and reflecting the experience of Kalgoorlie west of the border.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

966 comments on “Julia Gillard: day two”

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  1. The feeling in this female-dominated house is one of absolute euphoria – Julia is our girl and has been since the day we met her at a fundraising lunch.

    We loved Kevin as well, don’t get me wrong; and as much as I hated the way the Party went about deposing him, the fact remains that he was being seen as an electoral liability. One of the unpalatable things about politics is that these things sometimes take on a life of their own – regardless of whether or not they are true – just because people are saying it often enough. He had become the story; not the government, not its achievements, not its plans; just whether or not his personal support was tanking in the polls. The Party and the media needed a circuit-breaker.

    I suppose we’ll never know whether Kevin would have led us to victory. One thing is for certain, though; this is going to be one hell of an interesting time leading up to the election and Julia deserves the full backing of every progressive voter who understands that the most important thing right now is to ensure the next government is NOT headed up by Tony Abbott.

  2. chinda63

    I agree with all that you say except that I was a little more confident than you that Rudd would have secured victory. Gillard almost guarantees victory.

  3. Isnt it interesting the negative line about Gillard that being developed is that “She is a kept woman of the Party’s faction bosses”. Sound familiar?

    Who put Abbott there and executed Turnbull? The looney Right of the Liberal Party, yet nobody ever mutters a single word about Abbott being the “kept man of the faction bosses”.

    This is pure sexist and nothing else. But who wants to keep Abbott anyway.

    Kristina anyone?

    [Gillard: from zero to Labor Party hero – Given the chance, Julia Gillard will resurrect Labor’s fortunes and will almost certainly go on to win the election.

    Gillard is a formidable politician and unlike other Labor women, she has not been parachuted into the job simply as a result of patronage or downright despair to give a fresh look to a government rotting at the core, as has happened before at the state level.

    Her victory today, unopposed, comes with hope, conviction and confidence. ]


  4. [Julia deserves the full backing of every progressive voter who understands that the most important thing right now is to ensure the next government is NOT headed up by Tony Abbott.]

    Chinda63 – :kiss: :kiss: :kiss:

  5. I’ve always preferred Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd and know a lot of people who loathed Rudd. But most of these people would still have voted (or at least preferenced) Labor anyhow.

    Very interesting events and can’t say I’m sorry to see him go.

  6. Frank at 2802 in the last thread:

    [ Willagee By-Election – Gerry Georgatas knifed for Hsien Harper – not quite the PM, but a classic example of the “Party Machine” in operation. ]

    I’m really tired of hearing about that damn by-election, which I hear of exclusively from you. I actually know (roughly) what went down and why; you don’t, because you weren’t involved. It was an uncomfortable episode which didn’t even have very much to do with the Greens, and which everyone involved would rather forget about. There will be plenty of other fresh opportunities to attack the Greens with in WA; do some research. Lose the stale ones.

  7. As for the thread topic: The last day made my Facebook light up from the 95% of people who don’t usually care much about politics. General vibe amongst friends of mine (including members / supporters of the Liberals and Socialist Alternative and anything in between): they like Gillard and are happy that a woman’s finally got the job, but the method of her becoming PM leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. The WTF vibe is strong… with it happening at 7am Perth time, most people woke up to find there’s a new prime minister for some reason.

    As for my feeling: I’m warming to the idea of PM Gillard, although I wish it hadn’t happened like this. I’m not going to protest vote for the Liberals while Abbott is in charge, so it won’t actually change my vote any. It may make me grumpy though. Gimme a week to sleep on it.

  8. I just hope Julia takes a shot-gun to the ABC Board, like Kevin SHOULD have done. The ABC has become a joke (Ltd News), last night with tony jones saying how bad they treated Kevin and what did he do to deserve this etc etc ??? He and the media have been doing a hatchet job on Rudd for Months??? Gillard will hammer phony tony and make Barnababy look good.I want my ABC back.

  9. Itep. You may not have liked Rudd. But aren’t you concerned about mining companies deposing an Australian prime minister (with the assistance of the ALP right), then pulling their ads and trying to sneak away from the scene of the crime? Hard to imagine a more fundamental assault on our democracy. But wait! They’ve said that if they don’t get their way they’ll be back for a drive-by.

    Interesting to see what Julia does. If she gives them big concessions, I’ll vote liberal for the first time in my life, because at least the libs are honest about being mining company stooges.

    I’m sure she’s too smart to fall into that trap because, if she does, she will rip the soul out of the party (and suffer the consequences). But we will see. I sense the pragmatists (who got labor into this trouble) are in the ascendancy

  10. Bird of PP,

    This is always the ‘best’ way it happens i.e. much better than a new leader inheriting a ‘hospital pass’ when all is lost, or even worse, after a loss!

    It raises emotions because it is still ‘game on’ and, in soccer terms, a clean cut like this is the equivalent of a goal in extra time.

    In fact, the best change since either Hwke or Keating took over. Julia will prove equally a winner and Cossie’s mate from Young Libs will likewise miss out.

    Eventually the libs will get there (another term or 2) with either Malcontent or Hockster – either of whom would be far less vile that the Mad Monk.

    Aussie women will forever be grateful to Julia for thid pre-emptive strike on the current LibNat Mysoginist.

  11. OK, I can’t stay away from here. The place is too addictive 😀

    Anecdotally, every one I have talked to are pleased to see Gillard become PM and are saddened but relieved to see Kevin go.

    The reception in the media has been good, and Gillard had played the game perfectly yesterday.

    I am going to remain cautious until I see a few more polls.

    To all the Rudd fans who feel betrayed: I’m sorry these events transpired. Rudd was a much loved leader by everyone in the party. Even when he pissed us off, he was still much liked. This had to happen. I got to see now what the numbers were like and they were dire. Only the party faithful were behind Labor in the end. Those hyperbolic reports saying things like “up to 4 SA Labor seats could fall” were true. I know it’s going to take some time to get over, I appreciate that. I just hope you can come around to supporting a potentially great Prime Minister. As for this being a NSW Right coup. That is both correct and incorrect. It’s correct in the sense that most federal Labor leadership coups are spawned from the NSW Right (it’s the largest faction and was instrumental in Rudd beating Beazley) but it also should be known that most factions, right and left were on board too. This was a party wide effort.

    I really do hope their is a prominent role for Rudd in the Gillard government. Hopefully foreign affairs. Rolling him was not easy for the ALP. I can tell. The mood seems to be like shooting old yellar. I, personally, am still in shock. I can understand the grief.

    I know it will take time to get used to, but I know you guys will warm to her and I hope the nation does too.

    I can’t wait for the polls.

  12. [Very interesting events and can’t say I’m sorry to see him go.]

    wht a nasty pasty you may not have a job it wasnt for kevin.

    i am still convinced

  13. I can’t stay away from here. The place is too addictive

    [Anecdotally, every one I have talked to are pleased to see Gillard become PM and are saddened but relieved to see Kevin go.

    The reception in the media has been good, and Gillard had played the game perfectly yesterday.

    I am going to remain cautious until I see a few more polls.]

    yes the MEDIA loved kevin till it suited them not to be, how could all be so silly

  14. [Itep. You may not have liked Rudd. But aren’t you concerned about mining companies deposing an Australian prime minister (with the assistance of the ALP right), then pulling their ads and trying to sneak away from the scene of the crime? ]

    No because the problems were much wider than the RSPT. Rudd and Labor’s fall in the polls began before the RSPT, and before the ad campaigns.

    In any case, the mining companies have as much right to object to differing taxation measures than any other company/citizen/organisation.

  15. [Interesting to see what Julia does. If she gives them big concessions, I’ll vote liberal for the first time in my life, because at least the libs are honest about being mining company stooges]

    now now it all talk about labor then true labor peopl never change their vote never

  16. Not at all. I know they’re going to throw everything at us.

    I also know the newshacks and the opposition parties already have their talking points lined up about a Gillard government (probably have since 2007)

    I am, by no means, suggesting this will be a cakewalk.

  17. [wht a nasty pasty you may not have a job it wasnt for kevin.]

    Best not to get personal. Personally, I think Labor handled the GFC and the economic stimulus rollout well. I don’t feel I wouldn’t have had a job without it but that’s because of issues I don’t care to discuss. You have to learn to accept others will have a different opinion on certain politicians than you do.

  18. [10

    Itep. You may not have liked Rudd. But aren’t you concerned about mining companies deposing an Australian prime minister (with the assistance of the ALP right)……]

    This is an absurd characterisation. Rudd was elected by the caucus and removed by the caucus. In fact, he removed himself in the end, in a procedural sense. Rudd brought his misfortunes on himself, starting some time long before his idiotic tax scheme.

  19. If she gives them big concessions, I’ll vote liberal for the first time in my life, because at least the libs are honest about being mining company stooges.

    rosa, I know you’re upset, but lines like that are not helpful one bit. I understand hesitation, disconnect and even putting a 3rd party first, but actually threatening to vote for the Abbott nightmare just to spite Labor? I thought you were above that.


    Told whom? We know the media was going to be hostile to us, regardless of who’s leader. It’s how the leader bats away the pitches that count. And so far, Gillard has been hitting them out of the park.

  21. Yes it’s sad to see him go, but lets not allow ourselves to become fawning groupies. They didn’t actually assassinate the guy. He’s still with us.

    Kevin had disappointed me in areas of climate change and asylum seekers – i would say i’m to the left of him there. What I have heard from Julia has given me no cause to believe that disappointment is going to go away any time soon.

    I hope she can clearly articulate why the RSPT is good for the nation and why the mining industry wont fall in a heap because of it.

    I will mark the number 1 next to Rudd, Kevin on my ballot in Griffith. I just hope I do it without too much disappointment.

    The mad monk must never be PM.

  22. Some time ago, I think may be over a year, I made a point on this site that when Kevin Rudd’s popularity turned down, it would happen suddenly and it would go down far. The events over the last few months have shown that to be the case but even I would never have expected the events of the last 48 hours.

    What I cannot understand is that there is still the degree of adulatory praise on this website for Kevin Rudd – the man – discounting the policy positions that he adopted. What has been clear for some time is that he has been janus faced – all sweetness and light to the electorate but dark, egotistical in extremis, bad tempered, exclusive, managerially incompetent on the other face. Also poorly advised but then he was the man who appointed these advisers. The lack of support within the party yesterday (approx 30 votes from 112 as reported) showed how deeply unpopular he was within the party. In the end, despite whatever policy successes there may have been, he will be seen as a political failure just becasue of the nature of his demise.

    Even though Julia Gillard could be tarred with the brush of blame for some of the policy and political failure – it will brush off. She will be able to connect with the Australian people and it I think it will be enduring, there is too much warmth and humanity in her personality for that connection to be the brittle thing that Kevin Rudd had.

  23. My say I haven’t bought a Limited News paper in about 3 years; I don’t miss them. You will lose nothing in awareness sticking to the The Age, SMH or good websites.

    I have nothing against Gillard and do hope she goes well. She was made a partner at Slater and Gordon before she reached 30, so she must have been a good performer at her job before entering parliament. But she must reign in the factional bosses and make her own decisions (with Cabinet) or she will cop a mountain of flak. Having deposed her predecessor, she needs to do better to justify the decision.

    She has to hammer out a compromise with the Greens on the ETS – either a carbon tax or a Garnaut style CPRS. I don’t think the RSPT was a bad idea, but it may not be worth pursuing now. If anyone thinks she will recover voters who have switched to the Greens by hardening our stance against refugees they are deluded. Many in the Labor hard (dumb) right seem to think that warfare with teh Greens is teh solution to every poll dip. I think the opposite is true. If Labor tried to deal with the Greens, they woud actually win voters back. If the conciliation was successful voters would see there was no need to vote Green. If it was unsuccessful they would see the Greens can be cynical too. Either way I don’t see how Labor’s vote will be harmed.

    She should also promote Labor’s achievements on parental leave, avoiding recession, tax cuts, LOW debt, and even schools and infrastructure. Despite the media beatup, thousands of schools benefited from the stimulus package, and only a handfull had problems, usually due to the school not administering it properly.

  24. my personal opinion is that Mr. Rudd just worked to hard for you lot and this country and for every one, worried him self sick for all us ungrateful people. I think he was totally exhausted it started after Copenhagen, o’brien had a go at him about Copenhagen and he said he worked his but off, and you have that green person thinking he could move heaven and earth regardless to what other coutries did.

    No one appreciated what he did only a few dy hards for ex frank bb bh and cuppa and others socrates Vera and others, to turn ones back on him so quckly is shamful
    and i live in hope julia gives him a ministry, if she doesnt she has lost my support
    Many of us will not have short memoreis.. we wish Julia all the best because abbott is worse than death

    Mr Rudd will always be my hero. I would never ever say a bad word about him he got rid of howard no one could of done that.

    WE will see how long it takes the msm to show no respect for her either

  25. “Rudd was a much loved leader by everyone in the party”

    Except , by all accounts, those who had any up close and personal dealings with him. And they, are the ones that count.

  26. Itep – mining companies are NOT CITIZENS. They are fictitous entities. So why should they be allowed to throw tens of millions of dollars into political advertising campaigns to boost their bottom lines.

    Citizens (including shareholders) should be allowed to contribute to political advertising. Not major multinationals.

    We are pretty close to becoming a colony of multinational corporations. But don’t let that worry you.

  27. blackburnpseph. I guess for us normal run of the mill voters we didn’t see the poor management style he clearly had, or the lack of friendships… so i guess we can only go by what we know. Who can believe anything reported by the media?

    However, I do accept that these failings as a leader are enough to justify the change. We vote for a party, a team. If someone is so clearly not enabling a team environment that can only be tolerated for so long.

    It’s unfortunate but true.

  28. I am past my grieving now.

    Gillard is more of a political animal than Rudd ever be, and you need that. The leadership should be stable now, assuming the government remains competent.

    The facebook reactions from 95% of my friends who don’t care is disappointment (to say the least) at the way it’s done, but the very thought of abbot strikes fear in their hearts. A Turnbull liberals would of got their vote straight away though.

  29. blackburnpseph

    I voiced concerns about Rudd along the lines you mentioned three years ago, recalling what he was like as de-facto head of the Qld public service under Wayne Goss. But my point yesterday was not that Rudd was great, but that his attackers have known what he was like for all this time, and only now chose to attack him in an underhanded and badly timed way. They were panicked by the polls; this had nothing to do with Rudd’s style.

  30. I think the bad taste in the mouth over this transition will quickly dissapear when the nastiness of the Liberal & Murdoch media attacks start to come.

    [One month will see her 56/45 in the polls with a bullet.]

    I actually meant 54/46 with a bullet.

  31. Socrates – if the ALP dumps the mining tax, I will vote liberal for the first time in my life. I know they are mining company stooges – but at least they are honest about that.

    Julia does that and she will tear the heart out of the party from day one and totally destroy her leadership.

  32. briefly – really? and who ran a massive advertising blitz to diminish support for Rudd? Wouldn’t be the miners, would it?

  33. [My say I haven’t bought a Limited News paper in about 3 years; I don’t miss them. You will lose nothing in awareness sticking to the The Age, SMH or good websites.]

    you said everything i wanted to say, but you said it in a more professional obviously a

    uni a graduate.

    Yes and she must mention MR Rudd re the gfc and give him a portfolio i think business so he travels and is able to converse in many languages i am not keen on crean he needs to go.

  34. my say – I support labor policies – not labor personalities. The ALP backs off on the mining tax they’re no better than the libs and deserve a good long time in opposition. Won’t really matter who runs the country, because the ALP has lost its soul.

  35. “only a handfull had problems, usually due to the school not administering it properly”

    Socrates, You have obviously not followed the isse. The problems in the BER have not been about the school not administering it properly , it has been about state schools in NSW and Victoria having no input at all – the Department knows best. In fact, in Victoria, principals were directed by the Education Minister, that they MUST not be involved. All school plans were handed down from above.

    On the other hand, in the Catholic and Private systems, the principals have had a deep involvement and the schools have received a perfectly (within allocated budget) tailored solution.

  36. [Socrates – if the ALP dumps the mining tax, I will vote liberal for the first time in my life. I know they are mining company stooges – but at least they are honest about that. ]

    true labor people vote not matter what

  37. rosa 38

    check out my post in number 23

    You know very well Abbott is worse than just stopping the mining tax. A lot lot worse.

    Cutting off the nose to spite the face would be the most Pyrrhic of victories, as you’ll be stuck with a tyrannical regime you supported.

    I respect you and enjoy your posts, but find your logic hard to contemplate in this instance.

  38. I’ got up to 1150 or so before this new thread. Before I crash, let me say that in the early 50’s, THE most beautiful streamlined locos in the world were scrapped in Victoria; the famous Australian designed and manufactured S class. It was only after this tragic disposal that we began preserving some of our historical locomotives. Hornby made 1 prototype, and I would wonder how much that would be worth – it is in a private collection.

    Kevin Rudd to me is analogous to these locomotives (there were 4). Some posters – Vera, Kit? proposed earlier that we need a new party, possibly with Malcom and Kevin. Maybe that wouldn’t work, but it would be better than what we got, and better than what Britain got.

    I note the extremely nervous alp reps on news breakfast – yes you have seriously upset Australia. Beware our fury. Just watch ALL the swinging voters ditch Jules over this. Labor probably won’t poll more than 35% now.

    Sorry Jules, you made the mistake of disconnecting Australia from our government. At least you will understand how impersonal politics can be as you are brushed aside.

    I am now going to go back to voting green – I only went for Kevin because he was progressive. Hence my reference to the loco that pulled the Spirit of Progress.

    We need to recognise national treasures before they are gone.

  39. “I wonder what Mark Latham thinks of the events that have transpired”

    Methinks the language expressed by his feelings of joy would not be suitable for a family friendly blogsite.

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