Is there any way out for Labor as the Gillard vs Rudd brawl rolls on ? We need an Australian Federal election NOW

This post will grow – but I wanted to give readers a chance to comment now on the fast moving developments as the Gillard and Rudd forces tear one another apart. I noticed in Kev747’s speech from Washington Thursday morning – he did not mention the Carbon Tax.
This chart shows the decay in Rudd’s support in the first half of 2010 –

but note only to the 50-50 zone – what would Gillard give for those numbers. Then the Rudd removal on 23 June marked RS – the Federal election on 21 August is marked with an E.

This shows the preferred PM % since the 2010 election – the midline is 40% – intervals 5%.

The slow improving of Abbott must terrify GreenLabor.

20 thoughts on “Is there any way out for Labor as the Gillard vs Rudd brawl rolls on ? We need an Australian Federal election NOW”

  1. It would be interesting to see Kev answer questions re the increasing rate of job (manufacturing) losses & the carbon tax before any leadership challenge.

    He would not of course. Like Julia he would see the potential for greater support amongst the disparate hopes of all sides than having an honest defined position which would by default disappoint & fracture followers.

  2. I suspect Rudd will have some kind of strategy to drip feed his plans to the media over the next few days, which will take the spotlight away from Gillard. Ordinarily Gillard would be grateful for a distraction from her disastrous performance, but in this case the distraction highlights it.
    Rudd was always good at making the big media announcement, even when he effectively said nothing. If he talks about the carbon tax now, that might unsettle the greens too much. He would want to do this at a time of his choosing, and preferably just prior to the next election (assuming he wins the leadership). Rudd dumping the carbon tax would take a lot of wind out of Abbott’s sails – at the right time.

  3. The media coverage is of the usual awful standard. They portray this as some kind of personality conflict, when it is in fact a battle over the extent of union control of the ALP.

    Gillard is a front for the unions. Rudd for all his faults wanted to reduce union control, which is what got him dumped.

  4. Phillip I don’t know whether the media standard results in the peculiar popularity in which Rudd seems to be held in the online polls in which the question ‘do you want Rudd or Gillard to be PM’ always seems to result in the majority for Rudd
    But in my opinion they are both equally awful if you consider the benefit for Australia in having either of them
    But I think you are right in saying ‘Gillard is a front for the unions. Rudd for all his faults wanted to reduce union control, which is what got him dumped.’
    Rudd knew he had no other ground or fundament other than the polls which gave him for a time popularity
    But looking at the media coverage now it’s still looking like a popularity contest, Rudd’s wife is asking the public to contact their parliamentary contact so in that view a ‘vote from the streets’ and Gillard still going on what she calls her achievements (most of which are bound up with the Greens and the Unions)
    The boats are not mentioned; of course the waste of money is an achievement; the Pink Batts report recently handed down is completely overlooked
    My favourite for anaylitical comments is still Piers Ackerman

    Wake up Australians.

    It doesn’t matter who leads the Labor Party, the party is an international joke and our nation has been reduced by Labor’s antics.

    All former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has done through his resignation is help destroy the thin fantasy that Labor has been capable of running the country.

    The vitriol which has been spewing from Canberra ever since has demonstrated why Labor should not be in office.

    and Tony Windsor (in his self serving way) says Abbott is unstable
    links at that blog

    My view of why Labor should not be in office is that it has been the most wasteful Govt I remember in my lifetime and it’s members individually don’t even realise that

    Why doesn’t the media (MSM) ask them about this little difficulty

    I’ve been a swinging voter in the past (thank whoever I never voted for Rudd or Gillard) but all I can say is WAKE UP AUSTRALIA – the MSM are not your schoolteacher and being of voting age I would hope you have some common sense

  5. Two mates of mine who are big employers, respected by staff, with a lot to lose from bad IR, warned me about Gillard before ’07. Her bungling and waste elsewhere have taken our eye off the real prob: IR!

    Jobs started sprouting in my depressed region as soon as Howard was elected; people who were being “empowered” and “processed” “educated” etc under Keating started to get incomes and work, started to get on with their lives.

    Gillard is far worse than Keating, and Keating was bad for jobs once you subtract the spin. The most compelling reason to get rid of Gillard has always been, not the bungling and waste, but the IR. That’s the slow acting poison.

  6. I am hoping Gillard wins and the ALP vote at the next election collapses to the Greens. Pretty much ensuring the Coalition win good majorities for the next 2 or 3 elections.

    Much as I dislike Rudd, he is more likely to win the next election.

  7. If we rely on the media, we will never know what politicians are like.

    When I came back to SA, my local member was Alex Downer. The media always slanted it that he was the “plum in the mouth plutocrat” or “an amiable twit in mesh stockings”. Yet locals who met him in the street or the supermarket car park found him friendly and approachable (and with a good sense of humour). I must say that I have never had a local member so visible in the electorate (around the street, at the local market etc.) and I live 16 km away from him. This was the safest seat in the house with a long time member, hardly the necessity to be so available unless that was your nature. I might add that he is still goes to his local supermarket (not mine) on Saturdays and is still the same.

    On the other hand, I was briefly on a local committee and found him very quick, intelligent (and no believer in global warming). Yet the public servants were obviously scared stiff by him, and had all the information ready immediately. Obviously he expected his staff to perform at a first class level. Obviously neither amiable nor a twit to them.

    I have met Tony Abbott twice (years apart) and what he is like I cannot say, but I certainly didn’t get the impression of “unstable”. Perhaps Tony Windsor felt that anyone who doesn’t flip flop for immediate advantage isn’t someone he could deal with.

  8. I saw this from the Labor leaning paper, The Age. Not sure what is meant at the end by, “Gillard holds her job and you accept her government is headed for oblivion whenever it goes to the polls, arguably a quick election could have some upside even for Labor.”

    Unsavoury way to sort out a feud

    by MICHELLE GRATTAN, The Age February 24, 2012
    Kevin Rudd says he can win the voters, she can’t. Julia Gillard says she runs a functional government, and his was shambolic. Both are right. Caucus members face an invidious choice. Whatever they do — and at this point they are expected to re-elect Gillard — it will be a disaster. In less than five years, thanks mainly to two leaders who have been bad in very different ways, this Labor government has become almost as discredited as the Whitlam one all those years ago.

    On the present numbers, most members of caucus are out of sync with the people. On the basis of all earlier polls, voters want Rudd back, and no doubt this will be reconfirmed in the polls to come before Monday’s vote.

    What an irony: all this talk about poll-driven politics and yet the caucus seems determined to ignore the polls on the vital question of leadership. Either madness, or a determined choice about the style of government, according to your view.

    If Gillard is re-elected, the public could feel even more sour towards Labor than it does now, because the ALP will have failed to heed the popular voice. If, against the odds, Rudd won, he would have been so trashed by senior ministers that it’s hard to think how the government could regroup and function. Surely there would have to be quite a few ministerial vacancies.

    The Gillard camp’s tactic to vilify Rudd undermines the party and tarnishes Labor’s achievements. If Rudd fluked a win, Tony Abbott could dispense with the ad agency and cut and paste the transcripts.

    As one minister followed another in describing how appalling Rudd had been, the Gillard supporters displayed the usual discipline in following a ‘‘line’’, but the line is so abusive that it is shocking. Ministers are not only tearing Rudd to shreds, they are destroying their own credibility.

    Take Treasurer Wayne Swan. He said on May 18, 2010, just a month before he was party to the coup that ousted Rudd: ‘‘Kevin Rudd has a deep commitment to Australia, a fantastic work ethic, and a very good record to put to people at the next election.”

    On Wednesday this week, in his brutal attack on Rudd, Swan said: ‘‘The party has given Kevin Rudd all the opportunities in the world and he wasted them with his dysfunctional decision making and his deeply demeaning attitude towards other people, including our caucus colleagues.’’

    Was Swan telling the truth when he was serving under Rudd, or is he telling it now? Swan explains discrepancies in his comments by saying he has ‘‘been a team player all of my life’’. He can’t say he only became aware of the Rudd negatives in retrospect. He was one of the gang of four that ran the government under Rudd. He tried to get change, he says, but Rudd’s ‘‘behaviour then became increasingly erratic and that is why the leadership changed’’. Yet remember how late in the piece Swan was still praising Rudd.

    Then there is Craig Emerson, who has been out saying all sorts of unpleasant things about Rudd — whom he backed in the 2010 vote.

    Gillard herself has joined the denigration of Rudd, a risky decision — the normal thing would be for a leader to stand above the dirt-throwing but she wants to get the curse of the coup off her back. The PM said the Rudd government became paralysed; she too tried to get things back on course before she challenged Rudd. It seems beyond belief that senior ministers used to tough politics couldn’t do more to rein Rudd in. It says as much about them as him.

    The Gillard camp’s campaign is dirty, demeaning and destructive, even taking into account the usual excesses of leadership battles. It’s unworthy of its perpetrators. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be effective — not least because it has its roots in a lot of truth.

    Rudd’s ploy is to take the high moral ground, appealing to supporters not to respond in kind. Although this is driven by tactics rather than virtue, it certainly looks more edifying to the outside world. But it’s not the public who will get a vote on Monday.

    Of course Rudd plays by double standards, though he strives to keep them disguised. He said he resigned because the PM had not shown confidence in him, and it’s true she didn’t. But equally he has been serially disloyal to her. The ‘‘who, me?’’ pose is nonsense.

    Gillard is trying to get a patch of the moral ground. She says that if she is defeated — not that she expects that — she will go to the backbench and never eye the leadership again, and calls on Rudd also to put aside his ambitions after a loss. But Gillard’s is an empty promise. If she lost, the possibility of return would not pass through anyone’s head.

    On Rudd’s side, a real pledge of loyalty is something that’s never going to come. While there was the slightest chance of a comeback, Rudd would hold himself ready, regardless of the clever words he might find to suggest anything else.

    Whatever happens, Labor’s agony looks certain to drag on. Many in the community think the time has come for an election — to revisit the 2010 poll that produced a non-result.

    An election would prevent the government finishing some of the things it is doing. But if Gillard holds her job and you accept her government is headed for oblivion whenever it goes to the polls, arguably a quick election could have some upside even for Labor.

    The counter-argument for Labor is that something might turn up but it’s hard to see. At least an election would allow a fresh start with a (brand) new leader. But forget what the voters want: on election timing, as on leadership, Labor appears in no mood to think about their preferences just now.

    Michelle Grattan is Age political editor.

  9. As you say Warwick Australia needs an election now. The country can ill afford another 18 months of mismanagement under this dysfunctional rabble, no matter whether the number one deck chair is occupied by Gillard or Rudd..

    Kevin Rudd in his “policy speech” today told us that his coup depends on people power and that people should make their wishes known to their Labor MPs. I could not agree more that the people need their say, but ringing Labor MPs isn’t going to fix things – only an election can do that. I might have missed it, but I didn’t hear Rudd promise an early election if he is successful.

  10. for those who like polls (I do too and this poll has a third question)
    Who do you want as Prime Minister?
    Julia Gillard7.93% (1607 votes)
    Kevin Rudd40.71% (8247 votes)
    Neither. I want an election51.36% (10404 votes)

    Total votes: 20258

  11. Just saw Laurie Oakes interview KRudd on Ch 9 TV.
    It was a fairly pro-Gillard performance by Oakes.
    Rudd often came across as resembling a talking doll.
    Although I agree it is preferable for Rudd if Bruce Hawker (a founder of ALP publicity firm) was not calling on the PM to resign, on KRudd’s behalf. He is no faceless man as the ALP union faction bosses are.
    I came away thinking the entire interview did not help the cause of “yours truly KRudd”
    It was nice though that he did not end with “I gotta zip”.
    As your headline says, “Is there any way out for Labor….”

  12. I just saw this in my local rag; The West Australian
    “Rudd removed from top job for own wellbeing”are things not getting somewhat bizarre?
    Kevin Rudd’s one-time senior adviser on mental health says the former prime minister was removed from the top job for his “own wellbeing”.

    With a torrent of stories emerging of Mr Rudd’s frenzied work practices and dictatorial decision-making, John Mendoza, one of Australia’s leading experts on mental illness, warned of mass public service resignations if the former foreign affairs minister was returned to the top job.

    “The Australian public is now starting to understand that he (Mr Rudd) wasn’t knifed in the back, in fact he was removed for his own wellbeing and the Government of the country had to function,” Professor Mendoza said.

    He believed the mass resignations would be across the senior echelon of the Australian public sector.

    Mr Rudd hand-picked Professor Mendoza to spearhead his promised overhaul of mental health policy.

    However, Professor Mendoza quit a week before Mr Rudd was dumped in 2010, complaining of a lack of funding and support.

    He told ABC radio yesterday he quit because Mr Rudd’s leadership was dysfunctional, erratic and chaotic.

  13. Val Markus @ #4 said:

    My view of why Labor should not be in office is that it has been the most wasteful Govt I remember in my lifetime

    Warwick, I wonder if you could make a post where your readers could be encouraged to add examples of the waste and preferable quantify them. Here is an example of what I am seeking (I haven’t added to it for quite a while, so there should be lots to add):

    Why are the Rudd and Gillard Governments considered to be incompetent?

    What have they done reasonably well in over four years in government?

    1. My schools web site

    What have they done that has been a disaster?

    1. Industrial relations – returned to the industrial disputation and inflexibility of the 1970s and 1980s

    2. Returned to the days of $100 billion net debt and now we are running a $50 billion deficit.

    3. NBN – $50 billion government-owned monopoly enterprise (nationalised our communications system, communications content under Ministerial supervision, review by Productivity Commission precluded by legislation)

    4. CO2 Tax and ETS – economy damaging, productivity-killing, retrograde-reform with no benefits

    5. Minerals Resource Rent Tax – increased sovereign risk, meaning investment costs in Australia are higher for everything. Does not replace the inefficient mining royalties, which was the intention and was widely supported assuming the funds collected went to the states

    6. Renewable Energy Targets, Renewable Energy Certificates, $20 billion funds for picking losers

    7. Building Education Revolution (BER) – $16 billion wasted on work that has no productivity benefit

    8. ‘Pink-bats’ home insulation fiasco ($2.5 billion wasted, lots of long-time profitable businesses put out of business)

    9. Stopped cattle exports to Indonesia – long term damage to the industry

    10. Killed the Howard Governments successful “Pacific Solution” for handling boat people

    11. Grocery watch

    12. Petrol watch

    13. Green loans

    14. Green cars ($3.5 billion subsidy annually)

    15. Health Reform (fiddled around the edges, none of the changes promised by Rudd in 2007 have been or will be implemented)

    16. Super Clinics

    17. Tax reform (Henry Tax Reform report shelved)

    18. Federal State financial relations reform (nothing done)

    19. Adding thousands of new regulations for every one removed.

    20. Increased the size of the public sector

  14. Beachgirl, thank you for the quote from Michell Gratton.

    I am surprised and delighted to see this from Michelle Gratton. She is a died in te wool, far left ideolgue. So for her to recognise, and admit and write what she wrote in the article shows just how seriously bad, disfunctional an incompetent is the Labor government.

  15. Back in August some lists were published.
    I think after that I tried to make a combined list – here is my attempt with 51 just added.
    Gillard/Swan/Rudd Govt. Top 50 Lemons
    1. Carbon Tax – “There will be no carbon tax under the Government I lead.”
    2. NBN – $50 billion but no cost-benefit analysis – will be a shambles bigger than AUSSAT.
    3. Building the Education Revolution – The school halls fiasco
    4. Home Insulation Plan (Pink Batts) – Dumped
    5. Citizens Assembly – Dumped
    6. Cash for Clunkers – Dumped
    7. Hospital Reform – Nothing
    8. Digital set-top boxes – Cheaper at Harvey Norman
    9. Emissions Trading Scheme – Abandoned
    10. Mining Tax – Continuing uncertainty for our miners as version 1 morphs into version 2 – and what other mad scheme could emerge.
    11. Livestock export ban to Indonesia – Over-reaction and harm to many people in the industry.
    12. Detention Centres – Riots & cost blow-outs – hunger strikes – professional self-harming – Millions of dollars of compensation claims in the courts – driven by taxpayer funded lawyers.
    13. East Timor ‘solution’ – Announced before agreed – never went anywhere – dead.
    14. Malaysia ‘solution’ WHAT A JOKE IT IS – who dreamt this up – we send back 800 and get 4,000 in return – only GreenLabor could agree to this – now bogged in the High Court.
    15. Manus Island ‘solution’ – no shame – simply recycling what the Howard Govt did.
    16. Computers in Schools – $1.4 billion blow out; less than half delivered
    17. Cutting Red Tape – 12,835 new regulations, only 58 repealed
    18. Asia Pacific Community – Another expensive Rudd frolic. Going nowhere
    19. Green Loans Program – Abandoned. Only 3.5% of promised loans delivered
    20. Solar Homes & Communities plan – Shut down after $534 million blow out
    21. Green Car Innovation Fund – Abandoned
    22. Solar Credits Scheme – Scaled back
    23. Green Start Program – Scrapped
    24. Retooling for Climate Change Program – Abolished
    25. Childcare Centres – Abandoned. 260 promised, only 38 delivered
    26. Take a “meat axe”‘ to the Public Service – 24,000 more public servants and growing!
    27. Murray Darling Basin Plan – back to the drawing board after a wet 2010
    28. 2020 Summit – Meaningless talkfest
    29. Tax Summit – Deferred and downgraded
    30. Population Policy – Sets no targets
    31. Fuel Watch – Abandoned
    32. Grocery Choice – Abandoned
    33. $900 Stimulus cheques – Sent to dead people and overseas residents
    34. Foreign Policy – In turmoil with Rudd running riot
    35. National Schools Solar Program – Closing two years early
    36. Solar Hot Water Rebate – Abandoned
    37. Oceanic Viking – Caved in – big win for taxpayer funded “Asylum-seeker Industry”
    38. GP Super Clinics – 64 promised, only 11 operational
    39. Defence Family Healthcare Clinics – 12 promised, none delivered
    40. Trade Training Centres – 2650 promised, 70 operational
    41. Bid for UN Security Council seat – An expensive Rudd frolic
    42. My School Website – Revamped but problems continue
    43. National Curriculum – States in uproar
    44. Small Business Superannuation Clearing House – 99% of small businesses reject it
    45. Indigenous Housing Program – way behind schedule – tangled in Govt and Indig red tape.
    46. Rudd Bank – Went nowhere
    47. Using cheap Chinese fabrics for ADF uniforms – Could not spell – ditched
    48. Innovation Ambassadors Program – junked
    49. Six Collins Class Submarines – none operational – too noisy when they do sortie – cost $6Billion – The Hon Kim Beazley, AC was the genius Defence Minister when they were purchased I seem to recall. And our current crop of genius’s are planning a “Son of Collin’s Class” fleet. Save us.
    50. Debt limit to be increased to $250 billion – to pay for all of the above and much more by us and our grandchildren.
    51. As at 26 Feb 2012 our borders are essentially open to any comers – and the main stream media (MSM) hardly mentions the issue now.

  16. I wrote this comment to a paper some time ago just about the BER and the stimulus package
    Wayne Swan has been spruiking his Govt’s credentials for saving Aust jobs by the stimulus packages; the last couple of weeks I have heard various figures – from Swan on Insiders I think the figure was 200,000 jobs; Swan more recently has said 250,000 jobs; Gillard has cited a figure of 400,000 jobs; how are those figures assessed I wonder – on some Treasury modelling – and how much did each job cost? In the case of the insulation program, the cost per job has been estimated to be between $300,000 to $600,000 and at least from 2007-2009 inclusive unemployment rose. It wasn’t the Govt which saved Australia from a recession; it was the miners, the cost of sorghum and the surplus left by the previous Govt. This Govt has been the most incompetent and wasteful Govt I have ever witnessed. I’m glad Abbott and Hockey are not Swan and Gillard!
    The Bureau of Statistics figures for August, 2008, show 989,500 people were employed in construction. In May, 2010, that figure was 1,006,700 – an increase of 17,000.
    According to figures revealed during Senate estimates on June 3, the BER had swallowed $7.8 billion as at May 7, 2010, which would cost each new job at $453,488.37.
    That is a conservative estimate based on the assumption that every new job in the construction industry, including those in the mining sector, were created by the BER spending. ”
    PaulW of Sydney (Reply)
    Mon 09 Aug 10 (08:43am)
    Piers Ackerman’s count on number of jobs created

    A brief examination of the BER fiasco shows that the union movement has claimed the wasteful spending spree saved or created 200,000 jobs.
    Gillard has put the figure at 350,000 and Crean at 450,000.
    The Bureau of Statistics figures for August, 2008, show 989,500 people were employed in construction. In May, 2010, that figure was 1,006,700 – an increase of 17,000.
    According to figures revealed during Senate estimates on June 3, the BER had swallowed $7.8 billion as at May 7, 2010, which would cost each new job at $453,488.37.

  17. that comment was published in The Drum on 16.8.2010

    and this Govt keeps spruiking their economic credentials, they’re delusional

  18. The Mining Tax is yet to be introduced into Federal Parliament. Once it is passed it will be stalled in the High Court by constitutional challenges by the States.

    At a micro level; the local Primary school had been waiting 14.5 years for new buildings until the “Education revolution” rolled along. Much money was spent for what looks like a good result, but I haven’t seen any cost analysis.

    A nearby school was forced by the SA bureaucracy to put in 2 large water tanks to “fight fires” despite their, and the local CFS, protesting. The only area available was recently levelled land just below the 2 existing tanks (same size). This was levelled for the new school building. The cost of these tanks was $50,000 EACH.

    I know someone who sells tanks and he was apoplectic. His estimate was $14,500 including site levelling, pumps and electrical work.
    The $100,000 was deducted from the amount available for building, so a much smaller building was put in, but then there wasn’t any space left after the tanks for a larger building. I believe that at least 7 schools in SA suffered this way. One wonders where all that overpayment went? The State coffers is the politically correct answer.

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