July 31, 2010

Craig.W Might be Right

Only days ago my knee-jerk reaction to Craig.W's suggestion that the Libs had a pretty decent chance of winning this federal election was to say 'nay, ain't gunna happen'.

The ALP took an absurd gamble in dumping Rudd, not only the action itself, but the manner in which it was done. It had an unholy whiff to it. Even in the world of politics, the stench was putrid.

Having done the deed, for the greater good of the party - so the story-board goes - it would be no small irony if our first female PM also ends up being our shortest serving PM.

My first post when Gillard did the deed was to suggest the ALP was dead. I changed my mind. As you do. Now it looks as if my first thought was not so off track.

I might also owe Craig.W an apology.

This election, for all it's lack of color and movement, so bereft of substance or risk, is set to be one of the most interesting.

Even if Gillard is not lying awake at night asking the question, it's a dead-cert that her colleagues are, or should be: what the hell have we done?

Win or lose, the federal ALP is officially a haunted party. The ruddy smell will never go away.


  1. R and I were talking about this last night Caz.

    I really do think that Labor has shot itself in the foot here.

    Ya see, the problem Gillard has is this moving forward slogan. Not dwelling on the.... PAST?

    She therefore cannot spruik the success of the stimulus package because that was a PAST achievement. Kudos of course going to the man that she knifed in the back for the top job.

    YA know, the man that had caused the Labor party to lose it's way. ;)

    Boy is she caught between a rock and a hard place.

    If she wants to win this election methinks she may have to partake of a little humble pie.

    She has problems aplenty.. What with the continued leaks, and Rudd overshadowing the campaign.

    Abbott has a good chance of winning this if he keeps his nose clean, I reckon.

  2. Kath - from the moment Gillard offered-up the excuse that the Rudd gov't had 'lost its way', and by implication, Gillard had no choice but to rescue the gov't - and the country - she had a meta-problem: she was that government, she was core to it, ipso facto, she created and was one and the same as the government that she claimed to have cleansed, for a better, surer way ahead.

    We don't have to go to any trouble or depths to identify this fatal flaw, yet Gillard has continued along her glib path with barely a challenging "oi" from the assembled media. They continue to respond to her as if her flippant script is a truth.

    The other side of the coin is that Abbott is not being taken seriously. The assumption of a Gillard win (up to now) has meant that the media are almost ignoring Abbott, not offering any analysis or critique of him or his policies. What type of PM would he be, what would it mean for the country? They're don't even have the questions on their radar, so firm are they in the belief that Gillard is a shoe-in.

    This is an important election. Our journo's sure aren't treating it that way.

  3. What type of PM would he be, what would it mean for the country?

    Oh indeed.

    Gillard was not ever a shoe in; she is hobbled by her execution of an elected PM. Abbott, too, is hobbled by his stalking and killing of an opposition leader. This later is often ascribed to Tony disagreeing - fundamentally - with the assassinated’s view of "climate change". This is, naturally, a gross over-simplification: Tony disagreed with Malcolm lock, stock and "small l" Liberal policy. His only tangible benefit here is that he did not assassinate an elected PM. But, as Gillard pointed out in the “debate”, he well knows what it takes to look a leader in the eye and run him through for personal gain.

    Abbott is, on the extant evidence, a committed Christian; a Catholic. This is, pardon the pun, no sin: I too am from that background. I am in no doubt that Abbott represents the staunchly “conservative” heart of that faith. Whilst a candidate’s religious views are not, of necessity, a matter of debate in an election, it is clear that such can and will inform that candidate’s socio-political views. Thus it will inform Abbott’s political views and convictions.

    I do not know that I would enjoy Abbott’s social vision for this country – a vision he is wholly unlikely to let us in on as he said to Laurie Oakes today (he will keep his loose lips tight). It doesn’t take too much guessing though.

    Sometimes an “atheist” might suit secular government?

  4. I think the journo's, and largely the public, have assumed that Gillard is a shoe-in, Father. Not an entirely unreasonable notion, with little evidence to suggest an alternative ending to the story. Of course, that has changed in the last few days.

    Also, I must nit-pick over the untrue point (also raised in the media, in the odd opinion piece) that Abbott did Turnbull. He didn't. At all. It was someone else who challenged Turnbull - a very confident and surprisingly convincing challenge too. Abbott simply decided to throw his hat in the ring with the others. And bloody hell, he won. I wouldn't be surprised if there are still some in the Libs scratching their heads trying to figure out how the hell that that happened.

    While Abbott made a decision to line up, his winning of the Libs leadership was almost accidental. (It sure as shit wasn't the intended outcome!)

    Aside from Abbott's conservative Catholic social agenda, his lack of economic, defence, or foreign agendas concern me even more.

    Every announcement he has made to date, with significant economic implications, has been random. He's all over the shop. No coherence, no logic, no view to the implications or inter-dependencies.

    He is strangely superficial (don't laugh, I'm serious!) for a pollie. He doesn't seem to have a lot of interest, or depth of knowledge, in what we punters would deem to be fairly core areas of governing.

  5. Things are never so cut and dried in politics. Abbott was not about to "throw his hat into the ring" without some decent number crunching having been done. Poor old Joe Hockey failed that mathematics test.

    Turnbull had been serially stalked and flushed out over the previous week and a half. This was achieved by the use of the nonentity Kevin "who's Haneef?!" Andrews. Andrews was not ever a serious contender in anyone's mind - including his own I strongly suspect. He definitely was, though, a fellow hard-conservative traveller of Abbott who ran Tony's climate change raison d'challenge for him.

    What this served to show was that Turnbull's leadership was exceedingly vulnerable if not terminal. Andrew's never to be considered tilt at leadership illustrated the numbers: had six or seven Liberals (can't remember) voted the other way there will have been a spill with Andrews as challenger. Hockey, with palpable relief, painted this as strong win for the current leadership. As he would, he thought he’d been saved from having to make the hard decision of whether to run or not.

    He was absolutely wrong. What Andrew’s scaring of the Liberal leadership horses had shown was that Turnbull was a dead man walking if there were to be found a "serious" challenger.

    Enter, that week leading up to the December spill, Tony "it’s a big tax" Abbott. Asked several times by Mitchell on his radio programme if he was a leadership contender, Abbott replied he was only interested in saving Australians from an unnecessary "big tax". Sound familiar? Mitchell, from recollection, then asked Abbott if won the leadership would that be the slogan that Tony would take to the federal election? Abbott replied that he was not the leader and there were no plans for any spill.

    All the while you can bet the numbers were being crunched. The only fly in the ointment was that Joe's operatives had read the same no-spill tea leaves that Abbott's fellow traveller, Andrews, had procured by his “selfless” stalking.

    There was precious little "accidental" about the entire affair. Those with harder heads advised Hockey to stay out but, in the end, he's a politician.

    Abbott well knows what it is to look a leader in the eye and run him through. Mitchell saw the look in his studio and Abbott dissembled whilst his numbers assembled.

    And yes, “strangely superficial” seems correct. Abbott is running on the twin legs of “we’re not them” and “we’re far more trustworthy and competent than them” sans the details. This is sauced by tv advertisements preaching big minus figures and, wait for it, old fishing boats with the words “illegal”, “boats” and “immigrants” strategically placed.

    Abbott does, though, hold to cold conservative core views – both political and religious. He will not talk about these matters – as he said to Laurie Oakes (“zipped lips”) – for unlike the Liberal leadership horses, he has no desire to frighten the electoral horses.

  6. Obviously I wanted to make a point!

    Fascinating that Blogger told me the post was "too large" and so was not posted. It lied....

  7. Solomon1:03 PM

    I don't know, I think there is something wrong with him.

    "Mr Abbott landed in hot water when he said he wanted to get rid of ''waffley ministerial statements on things like the accessibility of cinemas''."

    On what planet could saying that be considered a good idea?

  8. Sol - he can be a bit of a dick, quite frankly. Howard was too, but at least his dick-headedness only extended to wearing daggy tracksuits, with matching top and bottom.

    Mike - don't know about you, but I'm fed up with the pollies and the entire damned country talking up the "illegals". It's not illegal to seek refuge. It's only illegal to arrive in the country without a visa. Small but significant difference, and our pollies should, but don't ever, take the moral high ground in noting that distinction.

    I still think that Joe, and a big basket of his colleagues, must be thinking "what if", right about now.

    The problem with Abbott is that he can zip it all he wants: we still know who he is.

    I didn't and don't have a view on Hockey one way or another, but he would have been a very palatable front man, compared to the flip, flopping, mis-stepping, stage managed caricature leading the ALP. Joe would have been an easy sell, in retrospect.

    If Abbott can get this close to winning it, it would have been a walk-in for someone as uncontroversial as Hockey.

    And we would have had Joe-blow as PM! Now that would have been fun.