I am dismayed by the return of Kevin Rudd to a leadership position within the ALP. Rudd destabilised the Gillard Government for nearly 3 years and has been rewarded for his treachery. Rudd’s campaign in 2010 against Gillard cost Labor outright government and was a major factor behind Gillard’s ensuing problems. If Labor now loses by less in the forthcoming Federal election they will still be stuck with a major liability, Kevin Rudd. This adds an extra layer of complications for a party that has failed to adapt its visions to a changed Australian society – Australia is not a society of downtrodden workers where unions have a key role – that finished decades ago. Neither Gillard nor Rudd have tackled this core issue.
Commentators have short-memories – Rudd lost his position as party leader because he could not successfully transform ideas into policy actions – he was a incompetent, disorganized leader. Rudd has many ideas – indeed his mouth typically runs breathlessly ahead of his brain. Rudd is a glib, unprincipled, grey-flanned suit full of pompous verbosity (a more direct scatological description better characterises my view) with an exaggerated sense of his own importance. Rudd is an embarrassment to Australia on the international stage.
The only positive side of this whole issue was the tenacious and principled stance of Julia Gillard – a woman of considerable abilities and steely resolve. Gillard’s main failing was her inability to argue the case in the electorate for the good policies (on climate, education and disabilities) that Labor has introduced. Governments cannot just seek to get controversial, new policies introduced – it must justify them to the electorate through its advocacy role.
The atrocious sexism Julia Gillard has experienced in her recent public life signals the extent to which gender equality in Australia has not been achieved. Her exit from politics will be a sad outcome.
Great choice coming up for us all! A Coalition that looks increasingly like an offshoot of the US Tea Party ratbags and an ALP headed by Rudd.