Feb 26, 2012

Gillard’s margin of victory is important for who will replace her

The most significant question in tomorrow's leadership ballot is the margin of Julia Gillard's expected victory. On that bears whether Kevin Rudd will be the next Prime Minister or a th

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The most significant question in tomorrow’s leadership ballot is the margin of Julia Gillard’s expected victory. On that bears whether Kevin Rudd will be the next Prime Minister or a third contender, later in the year.

A substantial showing for Kevin Rudd, in the high thirties for example, would leave him as the clear candidate for when Labor MPs, or perhaps her own backers, moved to force the Prime Minister out later in the year. Rudd can sit on the backbench, completely silent, doing nothing but writing letters to his constituents, and it will be an ever-greater contrast with the mess that is Julia Gillard’s Prime Ministership.

A poor result for Rudd would humiliate him and leave him badly damaged — repudiated by his own party despite his insurgent-like appeal to the electorate. It would open the way for a third party contender — Stephen Smith, Bill Shorten or Simon Crean appear to be the most likely MPs — to become the sanctioned replacement for Gillard, who may well be tapped on the shoulder by the same powerbrokers that installed her. Rudd might contest again at that point, but he’ll be doing so with a poor base of support, while the Gillard camp and undecideds will lock in behind a Gillard successor.

A result in between will leave the situation more fluid, and much less clear for Labor, and more damaging. Labor needs a clear result either way. Every extra vote strengthens Rudd’s long-term hand as the replacement for Gillard. But the contest has come on too early for him; ideally, waiting until after the Queensland election, and further missteps from Gillard, would have accelerated the drift of MPs to him. The contest coming on in February is therefore a boon to the Gillard camp – not merely is she likely to easily defeat Rudd, but it gives party powerbrokers time to think about a long-term replacement of the “anyone but Kevin” variety.

The only guarantee is that Gillard won’t be Prime Minister by the end of the year. If it were merely a question of her poor polling as a result of hard decisions and, as Wayne Swan claims, constant destabilisation by Rudd, she would have plenty of time to turn things around against Tony Abbott. But that’s not Labor’s problem, or not its only problem. Gillard has lost the trust of voters, fail to convey to them what she really stands for, and has, along with her advisers, poor judgment. She has the time to turn it around, but not the skills or goodwill in the electorate.

Which means the only real question is, who will replace her later in the year — Kevin, or anyone-but-Kevin? That’s the important result tomorrow morning.

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67 thoughts on “Gillard’s margin of victory is important for who will replace her

  1. Aliar Jones

    for them, not ‘themselves’

  2. Aliar Jones

    I guess it all depends in how much faith you have in the media..

    me? none whatsoever.. the sure mark of an idiot is someone who uses the term ‘juliar’.

    Not only is that factually false, its evidence that people would rather have their thinking done for themselves.

    The fact actually is, she’s done an ok job in a difficult situation and our democracy is working fine and there is no crisis of confidence, except in the minds of people who would profit from a change of government to the Coalition.

  3. sickofitall

    Just out of curiosity, and it’s been a remarkable week… Who thinks that any of the claims made here are still valid? (not to slam into you Bernard, as I said, a remarkable week, with a lot of stuff noone predicted…)

  4. Johnfromplanetearth

    How does this madman KRudd get away with stating that if he loses the ballot he will give his unequivocal support to Julia Gillard? This is the contempt this man has for the Australian people, many of whom actually support him? He has no intention of giving his support to anyone but himself. He should resign from parliament immediately after the ballot. He may have fooled the Gen Y’s, however “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane” ~ Marcus Aurelius

  5. Peter Ormonde

    Bernard, you really need to get out more.

    The material you have been writing for the last six weeks is unsourced and shows no signs of you having examined anything at beyond your navel. You have stopped talking to people.

    Take this:
    “Gillard has lost the trust of voters, fail to convey to them what she really stands for, and has, along with her advisers, poor judgment. She has the time to turn it around, but not the skills or goodwill in the electorate.”

    According to??? Well there’s Essential’s market survey and there’s …um….

    Good politicians – and good journalists – don’t rely on polls to tell them what people think. They have mates, phone books, contacts. They know who to call. You don’t.

    Too much time chatting to Press Gallery hacks and wannabes. Too much time reading the Murdoch press and letting it set the stage. No input, no SOURCE.

    Write less say more.

  6. Steve Clark


    “And for the record the most deaths at sea were during the first of the TPV years with 400 deaths, 353 on one boat of women and kids.”

    The fact is the TPVs were part of a policy mix that effectively stopped the boats AND the deaths at sea. I can not understand how you can have so much trouble accepting very simple facts.
    The tragic loss of life only restarted when the people smugglers started again when Rudd changed the law and banned TPVs.

    You can call people smugglers by another name but the rest of Australia calls them people smugglers. It makes no difference to the outcome.

  7. Paul Defreitas

    They not only act without any fear of the voters (and really, why would they), but they get drunk with power. The Rudd coup in 2010 and Conroys bizzare quest to censor the internet being just two prime examples that come to mind.

    Actually, has Conroy ever done anything of value in the Senate?
    He’s certainly not even a pale imitation of Faulkner.

  8. Paul Defreitas

    Ian Sale – i would love to get rid of the how to vote cards, and compulsory party preference deal lodgings, including, no, especially for the senate. people would be forced to think! maybe they would finally understand a vote for the greens is not a vote for labor -unless you want it to be.
    And I hate how the first 2 senate spots for each of the two major parties are the safest of any super safe sure thing seats in the whole wide world -you win a seat without even the faintest of faint worries -surely people would do ANYTHING to get the first or second spot on the lib or lab senate tickets. Loyalties and policy positions are surely traded sometimes to get there.

  9. Ian Sale

    Bernard makes reference to the omnipresent and perhaps omnipotent power-brokers, those responsible for the Rudd coup, and perhaps ready to run another late this year. These operators need to be identified. Some we know. More often than not they hold the number one senate position, and are therefore guaranteed election – Arbib, for example. Would anyone but the most doting of relatives vote for him.
    Tasmania has a quirky state electoral system, but one measure ensures the possibility that candidates can be turfed out – the Robson Rotation. Parties do not get to determine the ticket – candidate’s names are rotated at random. Under such an arrangement Arbib, Feeney, Abetz, Conroy and others would have to face the electors in a more genuine sense. And hopefully they would be shown the door.

  10. Fran Barlow

    [Rudd’s refugee reforms put the people smugglers back in business and led to many men, woman and children to perishing at sea.]

    This falls well short of the top 729 times I’ve read this piece of vacuous and ignorant copy and paste.

    “people smugglers” (sounds criminal, opens door to nastiness) Check
    “in business” (lefties hate business, so must use this) Check
    “perishing at sea” (sounds heart rending, so good for bleeding hearts — muts use in script) Check
    Disingenous concern for people the writer thinks deserve their fate but thinks this is better than saying so when speaking to those of us who actually care about our fellow human beings .. Check

    Some omissions: more deserving claimants patiently waiting in some place not in the news; queue jumpers, welfare bludgers, aussie pensioners suffering from carbon tax, big spending government with expensive detention centres, red carpet/welcome mat; claimants insufficiently grateful at being locked up so deserve deportation

    Really, this troll Steve omitted some of the really obvious ignorant and misanthropic talking points so I can only give it 6/10 on the Blot-Akerman Scale of Misanthropic Murdochratic Trolling. You can do better.

  11. shepherdmarilyn

    That is utter crap Steve Clark, nothing about seeking asylum has a thing to do with fucking people smuggling and certainly refugees in Afghanistan were not reading the migration act to see if they get TPV’s.

    The delusion that the lack of TPV’s made more people come has been proven to be false many times over.

    And for the record the most deaths at sea were during the first of the TPV years with 400 deaths, 353 on one boat of women and kids.

    Why you even pretend to care about people drowning though is beyond me – 30,000 kids a day die of starvation and that is not because we have no TPV’s for refugees.

    it is a right and free choice for people to come and seek asylum and it is forbidden to punish them for doing so.

    Rudd changed a bit of policy, he did not change the frigging law.

    And as there are no people smugglers they can’t be back in business now can they.

  12. Steve Clark


    Rudds refugee reforms put the people smugglers back in business and led to many men, woman and children to perishing at sea.

  13. Steve Clark

    Tony Abbott may as well go on holidays and walk into the Prime Ministers job when he gets back.

    The Labor Party needs a complete re-build. There needs to be a separation of powers between the unions and the party. More power and secret ballots are required at the grass roots level to reduce factionalism.
    The grubby dealings hanging around labor and the HSU are just as serious as the Rudd – Gillard disaster.

    The deep seated problems are well known in Labor so maybe some good will come out of this if it forces real change instead of more talk.

  14. shepherdmarilyn

    Working with friends is easy, working with enemies is harder. Rudd got through several essential refugee reforms by working with liberal senators.

    Gillard has not even tried.

  15. Atticus

    Many thanks to all posters for their insights here and, most of all, to Mr Keane for suggesting these potential alternatives for the leadership of the Labor government depending on the caucus ballot.

    The chief reason I reckon that the replacement of Ms Gillard by Mr Rudd or another minister is a plausible scenario is that our Murdoch/Rinehart/Stokes media oligarchy (the ABC’s News having morphed bizarrely into a mere echo chamber of its commercial counterparts) has finally attained the arsenal of suicidal public quotes from Labor ministers, which the media lusted to provoke since Mr Abbott became LOTO.

    No matter how competently PM Gillard governs from now on, the unnecessary vilifications of this past week have handed the media oligarchy the means to unleash barrages of propaganda purporting that this Labor government is permanently disunited and hopelessly dysfunctional.

    One only needs to recall the incessant media chorus of “voters waiting with baseball bats to belt the Labor Party” for two years prior to the last NSW election to know what’s coming. NSW Labor’s record justified most of the media’s condemnations, but it is sad that the solid achievements of the Rudd and Gillard governments can now be so easily rubbished or rubbed out.

    Accordingly, my view is that during the next 12 months Federal Labor members might believe they have no choice but to risk changing the PM in a last-ditch attempt to avert gifting an O’Farrell-esque landslide to Mr. Abbott and, worse yet for the country, a Senate majority such as Mr. Howard was gifted after Mr. Latham’s defeat. Whether this would have any better impact for Labor than Keneally’s premiership did, who knows? Perhaps Mr. Keane could uncover his crystal ball again and tell us what he sees in there.

    As they say in the classics, I’ve got to zip. 🙂

  16. geomac

    In an election-eve interview with The Australian, the Prime Minister revealed she would view victory tomorrow as a mandate for a carbon price, provided the community was ready for this step.
    “I don’t rule out the possibility of legislating a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market-based mechanism,” she said of the next parliament. “I rule out a carbon tax.”
    If you call that a lie then your definition differs from the mainstream of people . August the 20th 2010 in The OZ . I have a small vid of Abbott declaring a carbon tax the most efficient way to reduce carbon , Skye interview . Was he being dishonest , being honest or just saying what he thought would sound best ?

  17. Paul Defreitas

    i like hearing how this is all the medias fault, all crazy kevins fault, all the greens fault, its anybodys fault but julias!

    The polls have been clear and consistent for the entire period of her reign -the people do NOT want her. They will even vote for Abbott rather than a Gillard led government.
    Last time she failed to win a majority, thinking this time she could somehow magically do better after all this is delusional.

    Julia challenged a very popular sitting Prime Minister (because he could sometimes be difficult and demanding!? Still havent seen a single one of those poisonous Ministers co me up with a specific example that occured with themselves, just general vague accusations. Sad!).

    Julia brought in the new asylum seeker “solutions”.
    Epic Fail.

    Julia may have gotten support in the parliament for a carbon tax (easy since the greens had their numbers boosted in the senate) but she has failed to explain or sell it to the people -that Abbott ever got ahead on this issue is just incredible. Besides, she promised she would never introduce one while she was leader, just before the election. She lied.

    Julia opposed the pension increase. Wouldnt own it and say “yes i did and heres why” though.

    Julia had the very average set piece speach at the labor conference, which should have been inspiring and explaining of what labor had done and plans to do, but no.

    So called left wing, atheist, former socialist, defacto partnered, feminist Julia decides “no, I dont like it” to the very labor idea of extending the definition of marriage to gay couples. She buckled to De bruen and the ACL. .

    Julia failed to tell Crean to stop with the vitriol towards her predecessor.

    They may not adore Rudd, but they have a chance of retaining government with him.
    With Julia they will head to certain defeat.

  18. geomac

    Karen , good points
    Who knew anything about the mining tax before it was announced ? I certainly didn,t and watch tv and read various media . Marilyn’s comment about a compliant senate may have limited cred but to get to the senate its has to get through the lower house . Like herding a gang of cats is a phrase often used by the media in achieving that job . If Rudd had vision it was the vision of a dreamer not a doer . He certainly didn,t see the Greens rejecting his bills and he made no attempt to ease the passage of bills with them . He , as McKew pointed out in her article didn,t avail himself of a double dissolution to get certainty on the carbon bills . Rudd had a lot of balls in the air but dropped them one by one except for the stimulus and that was a team effort along with treasury advice .

  19. floorer

    So it’s more about the tease than the Soc?

  20. Socratease

    All that’s needed for you baby. Go troll somewhere else.

  21. floorer

    Soc baby,all that heritage and that’s you’ve got?

  22. John

    “I am Che Kevara and I have failed.”

  23. The Old Bill

    If you look at the polls, Julia has clawed back some ground recently, despite all of the background rumblings.
    Rudd lost his job because
    a) He couldn’t work well with most people
    b) Unless it was something easy, like an apology, he couldn’t follow through.
    Since then he has done everything he could to destroy Labor behind the scenes, whilst we have had a minority government that has actually done something. Problem is, we have been so busy talking about Kevin, the leadership and Abbott, that the average Aussie doesn’t know who Gillard is, or what she has managed to do.
    I doubt if there is anyone in Labor other than Swan and Smith that could have seen us through to this point except Julia.

  24. shepherdmarilyn

    Karen, what is difficult about getting through an agenda that was agreed on with the Greens and Indies and a completely compliant senate?

    Do get over yourself.

    Rudd had vision and plans and policies, Gillard has given in to the vested interests and lost the country $80 billion in mining tax.

  25. Socratease

    Floorer, whereas your screen name puts you down at the appropriate level.

  26. Karen

    BK – JG may have her problems thanks to that white anter and the press nitpicking on the most petty issues that have nothing to do with JG’s legislative achievements to date.

    And its not a question of selling it, JG and her ministers put it all out there but the press don’t carry it – eg. JG gave a summary of her legislative achievements at Cessnock this weekend, that bit was not excerpted in the MSM. 269 pieces of legislation in 12 months under JG’s stewardship; who’s done that.

    If the press did carry it and stopped painting her as some cold, flinty, “wooden”, Lady Macbeth. When you see her out and about with people, she projects the exact opposite image. And if she’s like what she’s portrayed to be, then why are people in her govt saying that she’s good to work with, for. She actually lets her ministers get on with their job and doesn’t place stupid or unreasonable demands on them.

    You guys also have not addressed how Rudd is a totally unworkable proposition – he has lost the support of the cabinet – read, they won’t work with him. You’re worried about dysfunction, wait and see what happens if he comes in. He’ll start demanding stuff to be done at a certain time, other ministers through their staff won’t deliver – it will be akin to Little Britain’s ‘computer says no’. He’ll go completely mad within 6 months, and then those fantastic polls will start sliding again.

    And if that’s not bad enough, Rudd who hates the Greens, won’t do business with them, so there will be complete legislative grid-lock. For example, Rudd is already talking about a floating price for CO2 emission. Greens have already said no.

    In fact, any future leader for the ALP prior to the next election will face the same problem.

    I know the Canberra press corp say she’s unelectable, however, she’s the PM for the time, in dealing with a difficult parliament. She has a stable personality, works her guts out, works with everyone in govt, negotiates with everyone outside of it, and gets the leg. through.

    She deserves more credit. The line the press run, its all JG’s fault no matter what, is laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic.

  27. Steve Clark

    How does shepherdmarilyn get so much of her abuse and swearing past the moderator while others with simple and respectful comments get hung up for ages?

  28. floorer

    Socratese,your screen name seems to give you more cred than you warrant.

  29. GeeWizz

    [“Undaunted by your experiences as an astrologer Bernie you press on regardless…”]

    How is that non-challenge you predicted Comrade Pete?

  30. Socratease

    @JohN: Monday’s ballot will be described in history as The Great Catharsis.

    I don’t agree. Catharsis implies an ending. Monday’s ballot won’t end anything. Too much sh*t has been publicly hurled and that’s provided plenty of grist to the relentless media mill. A federal election would (ought to!) provide a parliamentary catharsis, but Labor will be fighting internally for a long time to come.

  31. John

    Monday’s ballot will be described in history as The Great Catharsis.

  32. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    I even stood as a candidate for them.

    As an engineer I don’t see anything delusional about moving to clean energy. Wind, sun, geothermal, hydro, bio-energy etc. All these technologies will develop over time, and though the current technologies cannot do the whole job now, by the time we get what is technologically feasible to do now implemented the improved technologies will be able to carry us forward.

    Of course energy efficiency and major changes to some things we do now are also needed. And yet we pretty much have not started.

    Again giving an example close to me. The Monash freeway in the SE of Melbourne was recently upgraded from three lanes to four in each direction. In the peak two hours this extra lane was shown to carry about 1,800 cars. Apart from the peak two hours, the extra lane is not needed.

    Besides this freeway is the Glen Waverley train line. Three extra trains during the two hour peak would easily carry the over 2000 people. Yet the Glen Waverley train line is still crowded at peak times.

    The car count was done by a cycling lobby group, and they pointed out for a fraction of the price of the extra lane a purpose built commuting bike path could be built. Maybe this would not carry 1000 cyclist an hour, but it would be incredibly cheaper per person trip to the city than the extra freeway lane.

    Labor and Liberal, both state and federal, are all still locked in to business as usual – cars instead of public transport and cycling, more coal power plants instead of a real push towards energy efficiency and renewable energy.

    The ‘religious’ thinking that I see comes from either the climate change deniers – who ignore the evidences because they believe it is not true, or the Labor supporters who believe that Labor cares and is taking action despite all the evidence to the contrary.

  33. Steve Clark

    Something is badly missing from your lazy analysis Bernard, and that is the possibility of a humiliated Rudd resigning from politics altogether.

    If he deliberately undermined the 2010 election as Swann says, then a by-election pay back is possible.

    He has been sacked as Prime Minister, then “effectively ” sacked as Foreign Minister. His future will be as an isolated back bencher, who doesn’t need the money, useful only as a whipping boy for Labors inevitable poor polling.

  34. botswana bob

    What I fund extraordinary is the stupidity of backbenchers. Many will be wiped out by the leadership of Gillard, yet there they will vote the way the faction thugs tell them.If they haven’t figured out yet that Gillard is terminal, they probably aren’t fed they’re watered.

    Most Qld MPs will vote against Rudd as they could care less about what Qld voters want and more of what union boss and ALP Czar Bill Ludwig wants. After the next federal election they will be needing union jobs after they are turfed out, so they will all be hoping the aging Ludwig hasn’t gone to that great Trades Hall up in the sky.

    The third candidate strategy makes sense. The faction thugs hope to completely destroy Rudd–thus the brutal attack on him by the likes of that one-man skill shortage Wayne Swan–and later is 2012, when it becomes evident that Rudd’s disloyalty is not the reason Gillard is flat lining in the polls, will move. The fact that Simon sez Crean could even be considered shows what poor shape Labor is in. His previous leadership was almost as bad as Gillard. Presumably it will be Stephen Smith, Greg Combet or the man who married the G-Gs daughter and thinks he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, Shorten.


    First thing MWH I did NOT say it was about me. In fact I have ‘reasonably’ good ADSL2, but, read what I said: I know lots of people nearby who don’t.

    So if the govt had given Telstra a monopoly they would have plucked the low hanging fruit?

    But they virtually had one, and didn’t.

    God, you really fail to make sense most of the time.

  36. floorer

    Hey MWH…..you don’t want know so no point / your name is starting to ring a bell though,maybe you didn’t need an introduction to Delimiter?


    I will agree with you on CC MWH, but as well as the Libs and Labs letting us down, so have the Greens.

    Yes, we are headed for mass extinctions and some gigantic Malthusian pruning (most definitely of our own species) but the Greens continue to peddle the rather romantic and ludicrous notion that we can run our projected populations’ energy demands on wind and sunbeams.

    My god, talk about religious delusion, but then again, you vote for them.

  38. eric

    I hope Julia wipes the floor with the pathetic Rudd tomorrow and that cabinet gets right behind on her the important POLICY decisions that this country needs badly.

    Most people put under the extreme pressure that Gillard has had to face would have fallen apart by now but Julia seems to thrive on the pressure and thats a very good thing to have in a PM.

    With some clear air and Rudd off her back and more plain speaking she will come out of this OK.

    She should also stop reacting to the idiot Abbott and just act as the PM.Leave phoney Tony to the other ministers to attack.

    The destruction of Rudds carefully constructed public persona has been a delight to watch and I hope he keeps at least one promise – that is to shut the **** up go to the backbench and quietly fade into history.

  39. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Sorry floorer, but what do you expect me to do?

    If the site includes an article or two saying why the NBN is the best way to go then please point me (and other readers) to it.

  40. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Christopher, the truth outs.

    When you accused my post of being all about me, what you really meant is that your support for the NBN is all about you. Because you don’t have good service now, you don’t care how things are done as long as you get it.

    I agree that you should have decent broadband.

    I suspect that in your case the reason you don’t have it now is that the government had made it a bad investment for Telstra to do more in your area. If policies had been
    different years ago then you would have decent broadband now.


    Thanks David McRae, it’s not like I don’t have plenty of criticisms of this government or Gillard either for that matter, but most of the vitriolic pablum is not supported by the evidence and is mostly politically inspired spite.

    When was the last time we heard anyone say that Gillard was not good to work with? Threw tantrums? Was Napoleonic? Judging from the government’s record, it’s been working extremely well since it ditched Rudd, and considering where the country is (just compare the US and Europe, for example) we have very little to complain about. But the culture of complaint (to borrow from Robert Hughes) is in full-throttle roar, with Abbott and the Orcs of Oz hurling stinking carcasses over the ramparts every day.

    Rudd gets his chance tomorrow, his last chance, and then it really is time to move on.

  42. floorer

    A quick look at Delimter/// aha

  43. shepherdmarilyn

    I am not a labor fan boy, wouldn’t vote labor or liberal if my life depended on it.

    Seems now Roxon’s only “complaint” about Rudd is that she couldn’t whinge to him, even though they were together day in and day out. What a twit.

    All I demand of anyone is natural justice be applied to everyone. The media and some of the ALP drones have denied Rudd any natural justice while they spew out the most vicious poison based on nothing at all.

    Try and think back to the British doco. of the killing fields of Sri Lanka and then think about this statement in Gillard’s Lowy speech.

    “Last night, the UNHCR published its revised eligibility guidelines on Sri Lanka. The guidelines are just one source of information which has helped to inform the Government about the changing situation in Sri Lanka.
    The UNHCR report confirmed the improved human rights and security situation in Sri Lanka and that displaced people continue to return to their homes. Instead of automatically presuming that particular groups in Sri Lanka are refugees, the UNCHR states that all asylum claims must now be considered on a case by case basis, noting that some groups may still be at risk.
    With the new information, acceptance rates are likely to fall.
    Today, in light of these circumstances, I am announcing the Government has decided to lift immediately the suspension on processing claims for Sri Lankan. Those currently in detention will have their claims processed against a range of country information including the revised UNHCR report I have described.
    So I have a message for people in Sri Lanka who might be considering attempting the journey to Australia. Do not pay a people smuggler, do not risk your life, only to arrive in Australian waters and find that far, far more likely than not you will be quickly sent home by plane.”

    The reality is that only 14 Sri Lankans have gone home since she made that absurd statement and ASIO have managed to find three children such a risk to our national security that they must be imprisoned for life.

    Then Gillard came up with the even more vile “if you pay a smuggler you will lose everything and be sent to Malaysia to back of the queue’.

    But the thing is the Sri Lankans sailed themselves here, that is perfectly legal by the way.

    And we now have the chief justice of the courts mocking the entire notion of people smuggling and courts refusing to find INdonesian crews guilty.

    All this viciousness that makes Ruddock look kind, has ended up with 6 suicides of innocent people, Gillard letting loose the AFP to shoot at refugees and staff on Christmas Island three times and then gloating about what a great job they did.

    And then putting a crime into the ALP policy platform months after she was told by our courts that pushing refugees away is illegal.

    We had 12 years of the racist Howard, do we need the racist Gillard as well.


    Oh FFS, spare me Jeebus!

    He said: “My situation is shared by everyone with ADSL2 or Optus of Foxtel cable service. That is the majority of the population.”

    I currently live in the 2nd biggest city in NSW. There is NO cable here. The suburb in which I live has residents who cannot get a port for ADSL because Telstra didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t provide them. Wireless is crap, and I can find plenty of locals who’ve given up in despair.

    Really buster, you can have your own opinions (for what they’re worth ie not much), but you can’t make up your own facts.

    Get another hobby horse, you’ve flogged this one to death.

  45. Gilly from St Arnaud

    Just imagine if Australia was already a republic and Kevin Rudd had contacted the Armed forces of Australia to seek there support of the overthrow of Julia Gillard as President..and it would be over in a flash unless the usual where to happen as occurs in many republics the world over…lol

    Funny but very serious …these current events should be a reminder as to why we should continue the support our current Constitutional Manarchy system of government otherwise it would be a lot more dangerous when political leaders got big heads and get feelings and illusions of grandeur…. come to mind…

  46. Peter Ormonde

    “… the only real question is, who will replace her later in the year…”

    Undaunted by your experiences as an astrologer Bernie you press on regardless…

    Time for a break from Canberra Bernard…

  47. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    A quick look at Delimter only found an article showing that Abbott was wrong on many points about the NBN.

    After 25 years of working for Telstra, and thus following things more carefully than most, the one constant we have is that the government and opposition are pretty much technology illiterate, and the business decisions made by government in this area are driven much more by politics than any attempt at an optimal outcome for the Australian people.

    Conroy has proven this many times.

    And when it comes to the opposition I must admit I don’t even bother to read their views as it will only upset me.

    The billions this country has wasted due to Labor and Liberal decisions on telecommunications and pay-tv are a disgrace. The NBN just continues the debacle.

    And much more important things, such as climate change, have an equal lack of serious debate.

    But with climate change not only have Labor and Liberal, and the press, failed us, but even the lobby groups such as ACF have become a part of the problem. (The ACF view is basically praising Labor but saying a bit more needs to be done. The reality is that we are still causing a mass extinction, and we are approach a point where very bad consequences of climate change will become locked in.)

  48. floorer

    MWH, head to Delimiter (Aussie site) for more info on the NBN. Renai Lemay (the guy in charge) is no Labor fanboi.

  49. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)


    Of course the NBN will make a profit. It is a pretty good business case to buy out the competition (not only are they paying for Optus to scrap its cable, but for Telstra to scrap its copper and cable, they are ensuring that other technologies don’t compete as well).

    This monopoly then sets prices so that it is profitable. While the rest of the world will look forward to faster speeds and more date for less money, the NBN starts off by providing the majority of it’s customers similar service for similar price, and then is talking about increasing prices.

    I don’t question the need for new infrastructure. I don’t question the need to subsidise some people so that they can get good internet. But the way Labor is doing this does need to be questioned.

    One thing that Crikey comments prove is that Labor fan-boys think that such questions are political – and thus unthinkingly lock-in their support to what Labor is doing.

  50. Socratease

    @GeeWizz: Interesting to read today that Rudd has called Dillard a “Childless, Atheist Former Communist”

    That’s an allegation which Rudd has denied, although many people in the community have been trotting out that very set of characteristics about her since she dumped Rudd, except that they usually add “lesbian” to the charge. The first 3 are facts; the 4th is unproven and is thus a slur.

    Nonetheless, the first 3 facts serve to make her fundamentally different from her opponent(s), and I submit they are part of why many electors don’t connect with her and never will.

  51. David McRae

    I happen to think there’s a good deal of evidence that Gillard is very classy – eg Albo offering resignation and she knocking it back.

    She may not need to be rolled Dec12/Jan2013 – if polls haven’t picked up after 6 months of goodies flowing the “punters way” via tax decreases, pension increases – then I reckon she will transition to being a senior minister in a say a Shorten govt.

    At this point, what little is left of Rudd’s poison to media will dry up or be seen for what it is.

    She will become, in time an elder such as Whitlam, Hawke or Keating. We will look back in a decade and say, we could’ve done with more time with her. Rudd will never have this. And when Oakes finally goes into retirement and writes his memoirs, Rudd will be known as the rat rather than strongly suspected.

    Oh and well said Christopher Dunne.

  52. shepherdmarilyn

    Michael, the problem is you prat that you might be a Greens supporter but the NBN is not about you dear.

    It’s about everyone of us and the long term replacement of the aging and awful copper wire system with something better and that will last the next 50-80 years.

    The cost over the lifetime of the system will be bugger all and one cannot argue that the silly notion of connecting phones and telegraph to the whole country a century ago was a bad thing can they?

    Telcos have been making vast profits ever since and so will the NBN.

  53. shepherdmarilyn

    Maxine McKew has made it very plain today that Rudd was not doing the “things’ the prattling lazy ninnies are suggesting.

    The media have whipped themselves into such hysteria anyone would think there were tanks in the streets with Rudd riding on top to stage a bloody coup.

    Talk of all out war, blah, blah, blah.

    Gillard’s very first major speech in the job was racist. There is no polite way to describe the excrutiatlingly awful and nauseating “Moving Forward” drivel at the Lowy Institute.

    Her demeanour is racist, elitist and crude. Ever seen or heard of Gillard out feeding the homeless or sleeping in the streets to raise awareness, or opening a campaign for organ transplanation, or an asbestos cancer clinic, Gillard didn’t want the pension rises as we know – that was Rudd.

    Lachlan Harris have both hit the nail on the head.

    If Rudd was so “bad”, and to date no crimes have been named, there were 120 other ALP members, are they such timid trolls that they couldn’t tell him so.

    He is not a dictator after all.

    And pray tell why is it that the media thought Howard’s work ethic of reading the papers at dawn was good, selecting his own bench was good, and being really very brutal with his own party, starting two illegal wars and so on was good but don’t dare have a labor party PM working their guts out.

    I think Maxine stripped the paint off this morning rather well, and who could accuse Maxine of having no integrity.

    Yes Gillard will win tomorrow but who will care?

    No-one likes her now and it is not about her gender as Anne Summers keeps bleating.

    She is just cold and harsh.

  54. Ronson Dalby

    “I cannot justify myself (or most other ordinary people) needing this higher bandwidth.”

    Then you haven’t considered the advantages it offers in medicine, education,business etc. It’s not just about getting rid of lag when you’re watching YouTube.

  55. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Christopher Dunne,

    As I said, for Labor fan-boys the NBN is no-questions-asked good. I’m a strong Green’s supporter (though these posts are just my personal view).

    My situation is shared by everyone with ADSL2 or Optus of Foxtel cable service. That is the majority of the population.

    I agree that a good government should do something so that those who don’t have access to these services get decent broadband internet. I question that the best way of doing this involves scrapping the three services that pass my house to provide a new service which offers no substantial improvement.

    I know that once the NBN is installed that for substantially higher payment I will be able to get a much faster service. I ended my career as the manager for research into broadband services at the Telstra Research Labs, and even with this background I cannot justify myself (or most other ordinary people) needing this higher bandwidth.

    One of the main reasons that Labor is such a bad government is that almost all the political and media discussion on Labor legislation is the infantile Labor saying it is good and Liberal saying it is bad. We also get big business promoting their vested interests.
    There is next to no politically neutral, rational discussion of any legislation.

    The NBN is a white elephant – it will do the job, but it dooms Australian’s to having to pay a higher price than we should.


    That’s it, the NBN is really all about you.

    Anyone not close enough to an exchange to get ADSL probably does not have a cable going past their front door either.

    Maybe the whole idea of the NBN is about them…or would that be too much like ‘socialism’ to contemplate? Heaven forbid.

    You can always smell a Tory, coz it’s nearly always about them.

  57. outside left

    geomac, very well put my friend

  58. Paul Defreitas

    It seems everyone is focussing on the cabinet, which yes, Gillard has 3/4 of their votes, but that’s only about 15% of the caucus.

    It seams no one is bothering to ask each labor backbencher how they will vote -you know, the 80 odd labor backbench mp’s who’s seats aren’t safe like many of the ministers.

    I certainly wont be surprised if Rudd wins by a slim majority on Monday, but I would be absolutely stunned if Gillard got anywhere near an emphatic victory.

    Forget the ministry, focus on the rest of the caucus -they will be the decider.

    As for a further challenge by anyone in 6-12 months -who in their right mind would want to take on that poisened challice with absolutely no chance of victory. They will wait until after the election defeat and then change leader.

    More interesting than all of this is, will whoever wins be able to maintain the confidence of the house? Surely those pesky independants must be having all sorts of thoughts running through their heads right now -wittness Oakshot’s wishful thinking on Turnbull saving the day. It’s not just Rudd, they are all mad!

    Can’t we just have a dd now please?

  59. geomac

    Good to see you acknowledge Rudd has been undermining his leader and party for a very long time . Naturally you cite likely odds which seems to be your want as a means of pushing your bias . You would be what I think they used to call an emu at the racetrack , picking through discarded tickets hoping to find a winner .
    Julie Bishop is childless but so what she claims to be christian . I was raised catholic , went to catholic schools but at the last census ticked no religion . Maybe I,m more honest than Bishop then again maybe we both are telling the truth . Thing is though I live what is called a christian lifestyle without the observance of being a christian or any other faith . I don,t judge anyone by their religion either except when a person professes a belief then acts exactly opposite to that creed . Love thy neighbour comes to mind or thou shalt not kill which goes against refugee vilification and invading a country on sham and illegal grounds . Communism as a basic tenet is a christian tenet but like christianity falls down in implementation and interpretation .
    Keane may or may not be right in his thoughts and predictions but only time will tell . I don,t see any sense for Labor to do anything after Monday other than continue to govern under difficult conditions , minority government . Let the electorate decide in 2013 when the fear campaign has been seen for the hollow sham it always has been . One vote or a fair majority on Monday should shelve any disunity from all and if they have their party at heart concentrate on promoting their achievements . Anything else is futile . Thats not my prediction , betting odds or bias but plain common sense .

  60. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    I find it ‘interesting’ how the Labor supporters think that the changes (I hate the word reforms) made by Gillard will settle in and then all will be well.

    How will things get better for Gillard when the carbon tax comes in?

    Firstly, as Gillard does not believe in taking action about climate change (the tax is only in place because that was the price the Greens charged for their support in parliament) the public’s apathy towards climate change action will continue.

    Labor will never try to sell the need for action on climate change because then it wold become clear that the carbon tax is far too little, and the last thing they want to do is give people the idea that they want further action on climate change. And once the carbon tax is in, surely it becomes easier for the opposition to claim that every new bout of sackings is due to the tax.

    The NBN is another disaster in waiting. Because the debate is just between Labor fans (the NBN is good) and Liberal (it is bad) there has been next to no real discussion about doing things in a better way.

    In my case I know that one day the government will pay for the Telstra copper pair (which currently provides my iiNet ADSL 2 service) as well as the Telstra and Optus cables that pass my house to be retired.

    When I get the NBN the price for my current speed and downloads is going to be about the same, and instead of looking forward to cheaper prices in the future (which will happen in most places in the world) those running the NBN tell us that prices will remain the same for a while before they start to go up. Faster speeds will be available, but at much greater cost.

    In many other areas Labor remains a looney right-wing government (treatment of asylum seekers, support of US wars, US troops in Australia, internet censorship, keeping Australia a low tax country (compared to the OECD average) and thus less money spent on health and education, ending universal health care by forcing the rich to have private health insurance, and of course gay marriage).

    But though people don’t yet say that Labor is a right-wing government they are starting to feel that the Labor spin does not match the reality.

    The public is still fed the message that Labor is the progressive major party (shows such as Q&A and The Insiders are all about supporting the idea of the ‘two sides of politics’). Even the progressive side of the media, such as The Age, ignore the Greens and promote the idea of the public having to decide between the two major parties.

    As a result, whatever happens to the Labor leadership in the next 18 months, it is looking very likely that Abbott will win the next election.

  61. GeeWizz

    I’m putting Rudd down for 44 votes, Dillard 58

    Interesting to read today that Rudd has called Dillard a “Childless, Atheist Former Communist”


    All the ministers lining up to say that Julia can win the next election won’t have much room to back another contender, will they?

    It’s either back Gillard and stick with it, or go with Rudd. A third player would be ill-advised to do a Steve Bradbury around those two now, because unlike his improbable win, they’d trip at the next election most likely and blow their chance.

    Whatever the the polls say now, 18 months is an eternity in politics and let’s remember Mr (one vote) Abbott is hardly the leader of a united party either.

    Give the carbon tax a chance to settle in, more mainland NBN, some of the other reforms to show themselves, and a bit of straight talking from the PM, and it may be another landscape in voter land.

    Gillard, it appears to me, did herself a lot of harm by protecting Rudd by not putting his faults to the public when she took his job. Well. she’s no longer constrained, and tomorrow’s vote will vindicate the truth of what she’s saying now, and Rudd will, according to what he told Oakes this morning, not try again before the election.

    Yeah, slim hope I know, but it’s all they’ve got now, and Rudd had better do what he says or there won’t be a party to lead after the next election.

  63. Johnfromplanetearth

    If the guarantee is Julia Gillard will not be PM by the end of the year and it isn’t the Australian people who are choosing that to happen then surely this farce must come to an end immediately. This Government will have to be thrown out, the nation cannot continue with the spectre of KRudd madness hanging over the Government for the next 12 months? KRudd is a spanner in the works and will continue to be a disruptive influence, if anything things will get worse as party members are kicking the ball in the wrong direction. Who is the 3rd party option? The Libs have the same problem, Abbott is not popular, Turnbull is not the answer, so who do they have up their sleeve? Does Australian politics have anyone worthy of leading the country? I thought the Americans had problems with the duds running for the Republican nomination, our problems here is a movie in the making, no embellishment required!

  64. asdusty

    Rudd is not a natural risk taker. I dont believe he would have precipitated this if he did not have, or was not very close to having, the numbers to get him over the line. Either way, Gillard is gone. She just doesn’t realise it yet.

  65. outside left

    Bernard, take that crystal ball back to the Rejects shop and get your $2 back . Julia will be PM at lunchtime tomorrow. Call it properly regarding Kevin, the revelations about him of late have gauranteed he will never be PM again.Most well informed people recognise that this is a good government, and only a conserted and obscene attack on Julia is the only option of the neocons and their bought mouthpieces. The predictions of her demise have been shouted from the rooftops since the election. Build a bridge, and get over it

  66. Voice of Harold

    Give me a break. Rudd is finished as leader. He effectively campaigned against his own party during the last election. He has white-anted, leaked and undermined ever since. This notion he can then come back and expect the loyalty required to run government is absurd. When you add in the dirt the opposition have on him now, he’s finished, and no amount of pathetic shopping centre photo-op stunts will change that.

  67. Anne Picot

    Actually I think Gillard has conveyed to voters what she really stands for and it isn’t their interests but those of her backers, the old guard factional bosses in all their decrepitude, and the big business, especially mining, interests behind them. Not to mention the US’s interests, whose agent of influence is evidently Mark Arbib.
    And no thanks to any of them for delivering us to Tony Abbott

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