23 March 2013

A thousand deaths

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.

- Shakespeare Julius Caesar Act II Sc I
Having been elected as Prime Minister in 2007, Kevin Rudd would wake up most mornings and see that News Limited broadcast media outlets would bag one or more of his policies, whereupon he would dither and eventually drop that policy. When he dropped his government's policy to address climate change in the face of News Ltd hostility, people began to wonder what, if anything, he would stand up for - and he was pushed out of his job.

If he had been re-elected by the ALP, he would have done that again. He would have cringed beneath the cosh of News Ltd again, and again, and again. No amount of smarm or negotiation by Rudd or anyone else will or can overcome this.

News Ltd really want Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. Abbott wrote for News Ltd as a student, he wrote for them as an adult before entering Parliament, and in his memoirs Peter Costello affected surprise when Abbott would set aside actual governing and shadow cabinet work in order to write for News Ltd. Costello has known Abbott for decades and worked with him over many years in the Howard government, but to affect surprise at this relationship diminishes Costello. Abbott was a News Ltd man before he married and became a birth-father; he was a News Ltd man before he was a Liberal, let alone an MP. News Ltd is second only in importance to Roman Catholicism in understanding who Tony Abbott is and what Tony Abbott means.

Labor people of a bygone age who could barely comprehend what corporate power even was flung the accusation at Menzies, that he was a tool of the Collins Street business elite; Billy McMahon headed the legal team that acted for what was then the Bank of New South Wales against the Chifley Government's attempts to nationalise it. Neither of those men, no Liberal/UAP/Free Trade/Protectionist leader nor any other party leader I can think of, was so covered in any one corporation's pocket-lint as Abbott is vis-a-vis News Ltd.

Against that, Stephen Conroy's Crean-like charge into the maw of overwhelming opposition should be seen as understandable - even commendable in some crazy way. Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke. The Greens were generous in crafting a narrative for the government, a skill it has lacked and a sign of considerable goodwill from a rising party that can afford to be generous. The idea that the Labor-News Ltd relationship could get any worse is absurd, but not half as funny as the idea that Kevin From Queensland is the one who can set things right.

Rudd's spinelessness is now obvious to those who keened for his return, those who embarrassed themselves by leaking and conniving in his favour when he wouldn't put himself out for them. The spate of resignations is the implosion of the dream that Rudd was bigger than he is, or was. It has revealed a number of things about important people at a crucial time.

Chris Bowen once said that he would smash the business model of people-smugglers. The business model he has smashed most successfully was by resigning, those of the also-not-illegal models of Chris Uhlmann, Peter Hartcher, and all the other journalists who bet their professional lives on the attitude that if you can't say something nice about the Prime Minister, come and talk to me.

Julia Gillard is the 27th Prime Minister of Australia. All the other 26 had members of their backbench, and even their ministry, who hated them. If journo experience counts for anything this fact should inform coverage of the incumbent. This is not a special plea to go easy on her, it's an expression of disappointment that reality does not inform reporting.

No press gallery journalist had more than forty separate members of caucus come to them and say they were backing Rudd, nor anything like that number. They all claim there really was a groundswell, they all claim caucus dissent was real, but in reality it was just the same old whingers - Fitzgibbon, Kim Carr, Bowen, Husic and the rest - getting more and more carried away with themselves. Every press gallery journalist who made any claim to an authoritative check of the numbers has been deliberately and repeatedly untruthful. Rudd never had the numbers at any point since 2010 and any journalist who said otherwise deserves to be sacked. They simply believed what the old fabulists told them, passing it forward rather than pushing back.

This big lie on the part of the Canberra press gallery coincided with a call for journalists to cultivate the trust of their audience, in the face of evidence that Australians distrusted journalists more than any citizens of any other developed country. In a fragmenting media landscape that relationship of trust is everything. Media diversity is pointless if it only means more ignorant people lying to you.

Which mining company will engage Martin Ferguson in post-ministerial consultancy? To ask such a question is both to see the importance of good journalism, and its lack. Remember how Mark Arbib said that he was resigning for the sake of his family, and how all the journalists believed him? Walkleys all round, and have one yourself.

The second smashed-business-model belongs to Abbott, still insisting that the division in the ALP will continue even as the anti-Gillard Labor movement collapsed. Only a distant observer would look at Abbott's words and say: he would say that, wouldn't he. To be a member of the Canberra press gallery is to lack the perspective and the perspicacity to say such a thing, to be unable to do anything but take Abbott at his word. Note how only Julie Bishop, similarly doomed, is trotting out this line; the smarter Liberals know that gig is up. It was as pathetic as those Liberals from last century who kept insisting that Whitlam or Hawke were communists. Those who aren't capable of developing a new direction are at least being canny by being quiet.

The business model of the Prime Minister has not been smashed. What the press gallery and the Opposition insist is a "shambles" would have been represented as a triumph for any other leader: the challenger chickened out and his supporters fled. At those press conferences where Ferguson, Bowen et al departed it was hard to hear the lamentation of their women, but the effect was the same. Gillard is freer than she has been at any stage of her Prime Ministership, less able to blame others for her failures but in a position where fewer are committed to her failure than at any time in half-a-dozen years. This would be a triumph for any other leader; the grudging admissions that she's tough (particularly, it must be said, from female journalists) is a start in changing the Narrative.

The Prime Minister was right to sack Crean for his rogue intervention. She would be wrong not to bring him back later in some important capacity, unless he makes a goose of himself in the meantime.

The broadcast media were wrong to misreport the apology to victims of forced adoptions. That will be more important to more people into the future than the occasion when some leeches were salted off the backside of the Gillard government. They should have reported it - a moment of national greatness and magnanimity - as the story against which the leadership pretensions of Rudd and Abbott could be contrasted. Those are the people with scars, who are shattered, who have undergone bloodletting - not some leaky pollies dragged screaming from the lolly shop.

Journalists should have seen Abbott's speech on that august occasion as final, incontrovertible proof that he is emotionally disabled; a captive of institutions that are not big enough to apologise either, and in no sense a co-Prime Minister let alone the inevitable successor.

The Royal Commission into institutionalised child abuse is doomed unless Abbott is defeated. His lip-service in establishing it counts for nothing.

Not since John Howard was drafted to the Liberal leadership in 1995 has any governing-party leader been less encumbered than Julia Gillard is now. The fact that Gillard can start pointing to achievements as a pattern for a future where Abbott hasn't even got his policy settings right shows the Coalition (and the press gallery) have been wrong-footed again - just like they were when Gillard thrashed Rudd last year.


  1. Hard to believe those journalists touting that Rudd's alleged popularity would, if Rudd were made leader, translate into any chance of winning the next election. Once put back in, his complete lack of ability to lead any political organisation larger than a school tuck shop committee would become evident again and his popularity would promptly tank, as it did last time he was given a go. Hard to believe anyone with an IQ above 70 can't see that, but even harder to beleive that journalists with decades of experience can't see it.

  2. I am enjoying this sabbatical of yours, Andrew. One of your best entries yet, filled with triumph and vindication. :)

    1. If I wasn't going to post on this it would be a sign I was giving it away!

    2. I knew this piece would be worth waiting a couple of days for. Thank You for your keen insights, Andrew.

  3. Chris Grealy23/3/13 6:59 am

    Don't you think you're being a tad too simplistic? Rudd formulated the ETS legislation but was unable to get it through parliament, so he sensibly decided to concentrate on getting the government re-elected so that they could try again. You call this cowardice; I call it pragmatism.
    Rudd didn't want to challenge last year, but had the situation forced upon him. He flew back to Australia and did what his supporters wanted; he stood for the leadership and lost.
    This time, he decided that he wouldn't be pushed. There was no point in standing again, and he told everyone so. You call this cowardice; I call it commonsense.
    Rudd has been doing his best for Australia and Labor. Whatever he does or decides, he's going to come in for bloody stupid allegations and stories. He knows this, and he's big enough to deal with it.
    By accusing him of cowardice, you're just parroting The NewsCrap hacks you supposedly disdain so much. You are parroting Mark bloody Latham! There's a role model for you.
    To close, Gillard claims that she was pushed into seizing the leadership in 2010. Perhaps she showed cowardice by allowing herself to be pushed? How different things could have been now if Labor had run a Kevin 11 campaign, and reintroduced the ETS legislation. Nothing for Abbott to complain about then, no shrieking Tea Party lunacy for the last three years. Wouldn't that have been better?

    1. Since losing the leadership he should have been big enough to stop the whiteanting, to not condone behaviour that he never tolerated himself. If he'd learnt anything from the events of June 2010, he'd have learnt that those who'll do it for you will do it to you. If Rudd truly had Labor's interests at heart, he would have taken himself out of the picture.

      Gillard seemed to have been in the driver's seat in June 2010. The helpless-as-a-kitten routine last February and Thursday is the opposite of what leadership is and vindicates those who removed Rudd from the Prime Ministership.

      Abbott's complaints are not the benchmark for good policy that you seem to think it is.

    2. Rudd has shown nothing but malcontent and disloyalty to the Party and to the Labor Government. Everyone understands his disappointment and sense of injustice. However, to undermine both Government and enhance the possibility of a LNP victory at the next election is far worse than the disloyalty or fear of his supporters. If he had nipped the speculation and hope in the bud early on and continued to do so, it would never have got to this point in the first place. He held on in the hope that he would again be PM and at the expense of Gillard. It was all about his need for revenge and the blame is squarely on his shoulders.

    3. Chris, you're discounting the manoeuvring Rudd has been doing behind the scenes. He's been a destructive element in the party since losing the leadership and, by failing to suck it up and get on with the business of beating the Liberals, he's shown what little fortitude he has.

      If, as you say, he has been doing his best for Labor, then his best leaves a lot to be desired. He's a great campaigner and he's popular with the people, so why hasn't he been selling Gillard to the world the way Pyne, Bishop, Hockey et al sell Abbott?

      It's not courageous of Rudd to condone and participate in the white-anting of a partly leader, especially when he has the talent and supporter base to take her popularity to a winning position.

      Rudd's position closely parallels Malcolm Turnbull's. Compare their efforts on behalf of their respective parties over the past 12 months and it's obvious only one of them has the courage and maturity to put the party ahead of themselves.

    4. What would have been better still - If Rudd had not leaked to Oakes, who chose to go with it in last 3wks of 2010 campaign , so as to maximize damage.( memory fails me on the topic - could have been re Slater/Gordon??)Whatever it was, Govt campaign never recovered. At the time Govt held a healthy lead over Coalnt and expectations were they'd be returned with modest but workable majority. IMO Rudd's leak cost them about 5/6 seats - Result was a hung Parl - platform for Moron Abbott/ parliamentary norms trashed - rest history.

    5. Rudd is a manipulative jerk with a massive grudge......

      He has a wealthy wife and is a lib in sheeps clothing.....

      He has no personality and cant even pretend to have one when hes on msm

      A complete and utter Brisvegas tosser....

      His advisers must be either repulsed by him or sadly even worse than him as the next gen of souless apparatchiks

    6. Rudd was unable to get the ETS legislation through parliament? Didn't he enjoy a clear majority in the Lower House at the time? And why was Gillard able to get the legislation through when she had to work with a hung parliament?

  4. Andrew, this is a wonderful post. Please dont stop writing on your blog!
    A request - can you fill out an argument for why and how the child abuse royal commission is doomed if Abbott gets in. Is there a history of oppositions killing off inconvenient royal commissions, or would it be a new low of wrecker-Tony to do so? Doesnt a royal commission have a degree of judicial independence?

    Note that your argument should be a bit better than 'Tony's Pell's boy/a catholic, therefore...'. After all, you are into political analysis and insight, not just cheap animus…

    Against your contention about Tony killing the R.Comm, quite a number of catholics inside the admin structure & hierarchy are liking the R.Comm because 1) it will be done judicially, not by politician clowns in a shambolic parliamentary inquiry (vide Victoria's), 2) consequently it will be run be rules of evidence allowing decent contestation of testimony, and thorough discovery of records, rather than facile acceptance of mudslinging/reputation, 3) it will allow serious propagating/testing of the Church's claim to have sorted out its act in the 1990s, and thereafter refined the system of kicking out abusers promptly; 4) it will showcase the sort of serious bureaucracy/governance structures/record-keeping the Catholic church has in place, which it has turned to fixing the problem in the last decade, which will make the other denominations/civil institutions show up as at best disorganised, and at worst, (and in particular the fundamentalist christian churches) pretty unserious in their 'Trust Jesus, trust us' approach to governance/conduct-codes etc.

    The above points are pretty obvious from spending a few hours reading the different denomination's public submissions to the Victorian enquiry, on which there has been little comment except for a rolling lazy-media 'Catholic bash'.

    Most importantly, and this is where a bit of political analysis would be in order, Andrew, which you have the smarts to do, if you can get past your residues of teenylibertarian anti-Catholic animus: there is a real question of whether the Catholic church in Australia is able to extract sweetheart deals because of Churchmen threatening the state with political power at the ballot box (vide Greens/Lab and Cath.Ed in the victorian by-election), or more interestingly, whether the CC is such a player in education and health and some tricky areas of social provision that it is actually in a sort of co-dependent embrace with the Australian State - each actually at this point of history rather needs the services/functions and good will of the other, and this may be increasingly so. Could it be that the church and state desperately both need to clear the air so their co-dependent embrace can continue, resulting in this sort of view of the commission: the state is offering the church a long 10 year absolution process in the Royal commission, after which they can continue/enhance the business-as-usual embrace. So on this analysis, Tony wont sabotage the Royal Commission, because both his political side, his Catholic side, and even perhaps his Newslimited side will tell him not to. (Interesting further cultural story to be told of how NewsLimited have gently dovetailed with Pellite catholicism over decades).

    (Remember, the roman catholics are going to loom larger over the next 20 years, as the anglican and mainstream protestant churches diminish further in numbers and congregants, and their social/educational/welfarist provisions become correspondingly more slender).

    Once again thanks for a great post.

    1. I agree with you about the vast majority of poeople who want this matter exposed and dealt with - but Abbott stands against, not with, those people. His speech on the apology to forced adoiption victims was full of sly defences of the perpetrators.

      Abbott does the bidding of those, like Pell, who have most to lose from cover-ups being exposed. I think the Hawke government wound up ther Costigan Royal Commission too early; it had made some important discoveries re organised crime and tax avoidance, even though it was set up as a witch-hunt against the union movement.

    2. Given that you think that "News Ltd is second only in importance to Roman Catholicism in understanding who Tony Abbott is and what Tony Abbott means", one would think that you would engage with an argument indicating that the hierarchy (even its Pelly bits) of the RCC may actually propel Tony in a different direction from shutting down the R.Comm and instead let it play to the end. Ive provided several considerations for that, but you have reflexively gone back to "most people" versus the churchmen as those with the most to lose from exposure. Great enjoyable cliche, and mabye the flecks of spittled outrage with that are your thing, but they arent good political analysis of the actors in question. Indeed, its an activist line that is increasingly irrelevant for assessing the Australian Church's position after say, about 2003, as the Church's record improves and its processes are tweaked, its sordid generation of bishops and perps start to retire/die off/go to goal through the 1990s and 2000s, and it improves relative to the do-nothing approach of some other civil associations that have been comparatively unserious on the abuse issue. The point is, in late 2013, for various reasons, the Church may actually benefit from a good old cleanout provided by the R.Comm, and its leadership recognise that, and if they are Manchurian-Candidating Tony's thoughts, as your writings suggest, then I think that that might dictate different behaviour.
      Remember that roughly half of the 40 current bishops have been installed since 2000 or so, and are not all mini-me's of Pell, many of the (older) remainder are centrist and not Pellite (e.g. the Queensland ones). (Similar story goes for generational transition for the other lower positions and the backroom operators/Church strategists). Indeed, he and his faction have always been rather isolated in the Bishops Conference, its just he makes the most noise in the media. The internal flavours of theological politics and relations to state are far more nuanced than perps-and-conspiring-bishops versus most people.

      You are entitled not to give a shit personally, but as someone presenting yourself as a political analyst who sneers at the MSM as being lazy and uninquisitive, and then wants to analyse Tony who you say is chiefly motivated by his RCC connections, you seem to be terribly uninterested in thinking through the church stuff. C'mon Andrew, you can do better!

      I agree with you that his terms in that address were maladroit and disgusting - but my guess is that points more likely to very incompetent/clueless staffers and him than his playing attrition strategies for the Pellites in a sneaky way. Have you got a ref to the full address, I havent been able to find it.

    3. Marmalade, this wasn't the focus of my article.

      There are, it seems, two types of Catholic: those who want sexual abuse covered up, and those who want it exposed and rooted out. I agree with you that the latter have the momentum and will ultimately prevail, but I am also conscious that the Catholic Church is not a democracy. I think Abbott is on the side of the former and Gillard the latter.

      There comes a point where a leader has to stand up and own what happens to them. If you look at his defences of his clandestine meetings with Pell, or his performance as Health Minister (protesting against abortions while funding them), you'll see that his apology-but-not-really was in keeping with his character rather than some sort of aberration that might fairly be sheeted home to others.


    4. I agree with you re your second paragraph. Im not suggesting Abbott is not flawed, or that the crappiness of his staff in not correcting stuff like 'birth mothers' excuses him for thinking it was a good idea and saying it. And its typical of his wet, lame apologies for what are impulse-bully character failures. He shouldnt be PM. Agreed. God only knows who with profile and substance in the Libs could lead them competently while bearing the cartload of noddies they have in Parliament at the moment.

      But your first paragraph is just lazy - the simple division of cover up/root out, the "Church is not a democracy" (a Narrative phrase of church pseudoanalysis if ever there were one - Pell isnt a Richelieu), and Tony and Gillard wearing their respective blackhat and whitehat.

      Lets play pretend (see if you can keep up, Andrew) - What if Gillard had a meeting with Boy George during the jaunt to Western Sydney, and thereafter the controversial bits of the discrimination review went to Coventry, Gay marriage stayed there, assurances were given mitigating Gonski, the Churches offered to help out on, and thereby get a thumb in the pie of NDIS, and Gillard got insurance against a church Sept. 12 mail-out stinkbomb a la Elder in Melbourne? Would this be a 'clandestine' meeting?

      If it were, would she have to hand in her white hat and wear a black hat?

      Yes, say the ugg-booted libertarians because of transparency, ie their right to know everything while sitting at home in their PJs contributing nothing to institution-building of national life.

      No, because the structural politics of church and state in Australia is perhaps a more sophisticated and delicate one of cross-institutional interdependence than the personal character stuff you are open to dealing with.

    5. Everything after the second paragraph of your most recent spray is nonsense, apart from the interdependency stuff. The second par might be valid if my post centred on church-state issues, which it doesn't.

    6. Sinodinos /Turnball would be a great team....

      Barnaby Joyce......??

      Sad really

  5. Chris, you are avoiding the main issue. Rudd is so self-obsessed that he cannot lead a party. He can lead a fan club - his own. You also avoid all the behaviour and incidents that confirm the main issue. Rudd has been doing his best for Rudd. Since the 2010 Election he has plotted and schemed and conducted his campaign of utter bastardry. There is no denying that fact. His actions have been calculated and timed in synch with the media clock. His resignation as Foreign Minister whilst he was overseas representing Australia was utterly unforgivable. No, it would not have been better. When I, in the APS in 2007 was thrilled that this charismatic person would be our PM, others who had served under him in Brisbane warned me of his history there. Sadly they were right.

  6. "Rudd has been doing his best for Australia and Labor."

    Sorry mate, that's utter bullshit. Leaking against your own party for 2 years (and even during the 2010 election) is not "doing the best" for Labor.

  7. andrew u say so much as me as an ordinary blogger is trying to say on our little blogg,,some are in dispair not me, just a little i suppose, this had to be done, if the pm had done it in feb, last year the public may have seen it as spiteful, as they still thought rudd was their
    so the public now have seen more heard more, not turning up must make the most reluctant rudder understand better.
    yes they can still talk to the press but what about, the press could not be happy that rudd did not front to be counted and if so many supporters where they hiding
    they did not go to be couted,just take alook at the video as they march out with julia after the no count the only rudders that faced the camera after that was a about 5 mostly female. a couple of very young ones

    this teachers them they are elected to look after their constituents and just get on with the job of being good members nothing else wins their seat for them
    will each of the rudders be forgiven in their electorate
    depends how they handle them selves how; some will not be relected,
    but then with labors good policies libs have abbott and no polcies and only negaive talk,

    what is your opinion on your heading abbott will not be pm
    i look to you for hope, if you hold on to that so will i


  8. I think that the events of this week were a case of so little happening so fast that the media were the only ones who noticed or cared. As you said Andrew it kills the Rudd story, stops his supporters and now the PM gets the rare opportunity to recreate her front bench.
    It seems counter intuitive but I think the PM will get a small poll bounce out of the events of this week.

  9. Hi Andrew,

    Enjoyed your post and your quote from Julius Caeser is very apt. Question: How can an otherwise sensible person such as Bowen hook himself so completely to Rudd? Is it Bowen's revulsion at the knifing of Rudd as an elected leader ?

    Rudd is not only a coward but a traitor.

    1. Rudd took the NSW Right seriously, which impressed Bowen and Burke. Burke changed his mind even though Gillard wasn't convinced the sun rose & set on Sussex St, while that was a dealbreaker for Bowen.

  10. Rudd and Abbott have similar personality traits, and I imagine an Abbott govt would be similar to Rudd's only the policies are polar opposities.

    Both Rudd & Abbott have a similar need to be 'loved' by the crowd and would be better suited as soap opera stars than politicians.

    Abbott emerged as a foil for Rudd because they are both so narcissistic. The fact that Rudd wanted to be drafted by popular caucus acclaim shows this.

    Abbott tries to only put himself into situations where he cannot be challenged as he cannot cope with dissent (cf Riley moment and the Thursday forced adoption speech - on Thursday he clearly could not cope with the heckling). He too wants applause and accolades, and his ego-centric speech content backs this up.

    Another distinct similarity is their use/manipulation of media confidants. Rudd through populism and promises; Abbott has a better leg-up since he was once part of the fold. Both have used the scribes to embellish the imagined fiefdoms.

    Rudd did, in fact, use them to advantage 3 times now (much to the media's disgrace) whilst Abbott has so far succeeded in creating an almost completely false impression of both the govt and the state of the nation. Whether it is enough to gain the lodge remains to be seen as it asks average Australians to deny their own lived experience.

    If Abbott succeeds, it will sadly declare that we, as a nation, have returned to the feudal mentality that dictated we succumb to the power of propaganda (like many in nazi Germany in the 30s & 40s) rather than thinking for ourselves and an accepting the evidence of reality.

    1. There is nothing at all narcisstic about Rudd. Why is it that you believe the MSM lies about it and about a man you have never met?

      I have met him, talked to him and spent time with him. He is warm, interesting, intelligent and funny.

      We have similar country backgrounds and were both born into poverty and share farming.

      Gillard and Abbott both got off their boats in the 1960's, they have no history or grounding in this country.

      Why is it that Gillard fanboys believe the MSM when they slag off Rudd but hate them when they tell the truth about Gillard?

    2. People who've spent more time with him than you have seem to disagree, champ.

      I'm no fan of Abbott but I disagree that "he has no grounding in this country", and it isn't true of the PM either.

    3. "Gillard and Abbott both got off their boats in the 1960's, they have no history or grounding in this country."

      Mate, who do you think you are? They have both lived here for 50 years. If that's not grounding, I don't know what is.

    4. 2nd Anon, that's a disgraceful, xenophobic attitude. I wan't born in this country either, so unlike you, I needed to do more than pop out of my mother to become a citizen. I swore an oath to my country, and was proud to do so - my citizenship ceremony was one of the proudest moments of my life. Have you EVER publicly sworn an oath of loyalty to your country and your fellow Australians?

      I didn't grow up in rural hell, nor did my ancestors rock up 200 odd years ago and disposses the original owners, but that does not mean I am any less Australian than you are.

  11. And now we have the inevitably-doomed-government routine from Hartcher et al. Where do these doofuses get such insight? Certainly, it will be fascinating to see how this plays out over the weeks and months ahead, but inevitable?

    Hartcher's opinion piece today is beyond ridiculous. According to him, Labor has chosen to "retain its comfortable internal arrangements". WTF? And, apparently, these events show that Crean was all about giving Labor the opportunity to "look at its own performance", an opportunity it foolishly passed up. Is this guy even serious?

    I'm prepared to believe that re-election is a huge ask for Labor, but not for the reasons these blind-as-bats hacks declare daily.

    1. I've written off Mark Kenny, and after this week I'd write off Hartcher too. Of course the govt has to work hard for re-election - they all do.

    2. You'd hope hatchet Hartcher now has writers block. He and Mark Kenny are intent on bringing down and destabilising the Gillard govt.
      Day after day the same articles of speculations, I guess Hartcher is now saying "I told you so".
      The relationship between the MSM/ABC, the govt and the 24/7 news cycle is extremely unhealthy. the govt needs to set the narrative not the MSM/ABC.

  12. A great article, If Tony i will say and do anything to get into power Abbott and his lieettes get the keys to the lodge god help Australia, i blame the media in Australia for allowing this man to walk into power with out letting we the people have a true insite to what he stand for and his policies they the media have kept us in the dark because they work in the dark it is no wonder we the people hold junoes in such low regard and rightly so let the light shine and the truth will set you free ,Abbott has brought so much fear into Australian politics we are scared of the boat people it is there fault for australias woos its is the state of the australian economy we are in such a bad way , carbon pricing, mining tax so on and on, the fear of the lies this man brings to politics is shameful there is nothing to fear but fear itself Australia is in a great place low unemployment ,low inflation ,low interest rates we as a nation are doing great but let not the truth shine through we need some fear from Abbott and the so called Media

  13. I read this post last night. The last section seems to have dropped off into the void, cutting off at the "lamentation of their women" link.

  14. Andrew, what a sorry pack of disciples our press gallery have become.

    In addition to your criticism of journalists in all this, the continual polling of Rudd v Gillard has been a significant contributor to Simon Crean's "white noise".

    I'll be interested to see how Newspoll (read "The Australian") deal with this now. Given Rudd has declared he'll never be leader, under any circumstances, do they look stupid if they continue to poll on preferred Labor leader? Yet, if they drop the Rudd questions from their polls is that a concession their Rudd campaign is over?

    Perhaps I'm naive, but I expect they have no option but to drop Rudd from their future polls. When they do, that will focus attention on Turnbull v Abbott and will be a turning point in the Liberal campaign.

    1. Abbott can only succeed while Labor cringes before News Ltd. They have the potential to be unified and to not take any more crap, but their execution had better improve (I think they're good for it).

  15. I was lying on the couch at the blood bank with a needle up my arm when crean came on the tv. I thought the blood going into the bottle would be boiling. How stupid can a man be. I used to be a bit of a fan. Since then I have boycotted the leadership debate, read nothn in the newspaper , nothing on the net bar the headlines until thispiece today. Thanks for bringing some sanity back to my life. If ever anybody doubted that the press gallery sings from the same sheet their reaction this week should kill it forever.

  16. I agree with your comment above "Anonymous".
    As an outside observer it appears to me that Rudd was blown up by a 'bomb' of his own making when it was prematurely detonated by an ill informed and exasperated Simon Crean.
    I think Rudd was hoping to keep this 'leadership' running sore open until the election, after which he would reap the rewards of his treachery from a grateful coalition government by way of a juicy overseas appointment.
    I consider Rudd is extremely aware of his own performance limitations of holding the office of Prime Minister, and never really intended to re-occupy that position.
    His preferred role was as a Gillard spoiler.

    Unfortunately for him, he lost control of the divisive movement he had been so patiently cultivating; media speculation avalanched and participants started to mistake their own gossip talking up the numbers for facts. Simon Crean acted on false confidence based on misinformation.

    Rudd's latest claim that the reason he didn't stand against the PM this time because it would break his word of honour given after his last challenge is disingenuous.
    He broke that promise long ago in continuing to plot against and white-ant Gillard and the labour government.

    1. He has not been doing anything of the kind, just because the MSM make that claim does not make it true.

      He is so far from cabinet and the inner circle of the ALP that he might as well be in Siberia and as half the cabinet have no idea what Gillard is doing anyway how the hell do you think Rudd could do or say anything.

      Peter VanOnselen points out today that there is not a skerrick of evidence ever offered to suggest Rudd is doing anything but his job.

      So why blame him for Crean's ridiculous kamikaze behaviour.

      It's all about Gillard's deranged paranoia - after all she was up to her eyeballs in deposing Beazley for Crean, Crean for Latham, Latham for Beazley, Beazley for Rudd and then Rudd for herself.

      She has no policy, no ideas, no plans except Rudd's.

      It is not gutless to keep your word, it is gutless not to keep your word.

    2. So why would you necessarily believe Peter Van Onselen, former Howard staffer and Howard biographer?

      I still suspect that Crean might have taken one for the team. I predict he will return to Labor's front bench.

  17. Yep, again, the single best commentary on the Rudd/media fiasco I have seen.

    It would be cherry picking to give one 'best' sentence but this one is, unlike Rudd, a worthy contender:

    "What the press gallery and the Opposition insist is a "shambles" would have been represented as a triumph for any other leader: the challenger chickened out and his supporters have fled"

    Its a pity 'alternative' sites like Crikey, New Matilda and Independent Australia are parroting the MSM/OM/BM [whatever we call them] line.


    1. With reference to Independent Australia , the criticism above was written before David Horton's piece appeared.


  18. Another superb article Andrew.

    I hope that some good will come of this, perhaps now that the traitorous bastards have been exposed and have fallen on their swords The Government and in particular the PM will get some clean air.

    But what will the MSM reptiles write about now that the leaking has (hopefully) stopped.

  19. I watched in disgust as one after another of the Labor "Rats" paraded before the cameras following their failed Coup. All of them going on and on about their achievements and how they where honourable men. Then all the "honourable" men started ratting on each other, clearly they their only real motivation is self interest.

    1. Oh for god's sake how can they be rats? It's a political party so much like the other political party it is hard to see the difference.

      Even today Australia could barely bring themselves to vote for an investigation into the heinous war crimes of Sri Lanka because they want to make sure refugees stay home to die.

      Get a grip.

      And why should the journos. check numbers, Rudd said on Monday he would not challenge.

    2. Thanks Marilyn.

      Journos should check numbers because on three previous occasions (June 2010, September 2010 and February 2012) Rudd claimed to have the numbers and clearly didn't. Journos should be as tired of having their chains jerked as I am, and as Barrie Cassidy was in his wonderful piece yesterday.

  20. It is disgraceful that journalists did not check the numbers. Certain commentators simply accepted the numbers placed before them by the Rudd camp. They wanted the story to be true. For some it was a handy way to maintain the destabilization of Julia Gillard's leadership, for others it was a blood sport, entertainment, an easy way to fill space and gather hits on-line. They have broken their own code of ethics. JG has had a weight taken off her shoulders. I think she will thrive. I am not as certain as you are Andrew but I think there is every chance that the ALP will win the next election. I do not say that because I am politically partisan but because I think Julia Gillard deserves the chance she has not been afforded, particularly by a biased media.

  21. Andrew, why do you join the trash bagging Rudd? He told everyone he was not going to stand days before Crean went off on a rogue tangent.

    Why the hell do you call that gutless?

    The women victims of forced adoption had a promise a week earlier from Rudd that he would do nothing, Crean knew on Monday he was not standing so it is Crean who is gutless.

    Short of Rudd standing Crean should have stood and lost.

    Why you morons all believe the MSM so slavishly when they trash Rudd and ignore and claim all the things they say about Gillard are false beats me but a bob each way is not guts, it cowardice.

    If Rudd was really a coward he would have quit the party and politics last year and brought down the government, gone home to sip his award winning tea and written books about the spivs in the ALP.

    Gossip is not fact and yet here you are stooping to the same knee jerk reactionary crap.

    1. Rudd allowed the speculation to run, then piked minutes before the ballot: that's gutless. He had two choices: call it off earlier in the week or stand his ground and accept the result. Neither of those options depended on Crean. He chose neither, to his lasting disgrace, dropping his supporters in caucus and the media right in it so that he could try to look like a cleanskin. He's done, time to take out the trash.

    2. Well said Andrew. I can't imagine why Simon Crean lent his support to Rudd. He had been very critical of his leadership abilities after the last attempted coup. Maybe Simon knew Rudd did not have the numbers and thought he would emerge from the party room as a compromise leader. The whole episode makes no sense. I think Rudd's no show affirms complaints about his managerial style, all huff and puff and procrastination. Remember he only became leader in the first place because JG gave him her votes. I can't understand why the plotters were going to inflect him on us again.

  22. Chris Grealy23/3/13 9:32 pm

    For God's sake, he did not "allow the speculation to run". Only last week he told everyone to calm down, that it would never happen. He's been saying that for 12 months now, but everyone seems to have gone deaf and/or amnesiac.
    Now he's ruled out ever running for the leadership again, but some still don't seem to get it.
    There were some who were trying to manipulate him, and in the past week, we've seen them drop the pretence and come out in public. Fitzgibbon, Crean, et al. He stood by his word and refused to challenge, and now he's being accused of everything under the sun. Crean is whining that he was set up - I don't think so. Fortunately, Rudd is a damn strong bloke with the courage of his convictions, and a thick hide to boot. Good onya Kev!

    1. You're assuming some sort of integrity between public and private statements. Naivete can be so cute!

    2. Yet Kevin Rudd's denials always had a sort of creepy get out clause if need be : and the 'drafted' one was it.

      Only the very naive will ignore the endless campaign by Rudd supporters to derail Gillard and replace her with Rudd.

      Why would they blindly leak and leak and leak to the MSM the coming challenge that never was. Testing the air always with Kevin silently allowing them to.

  23. As if to confirm this, I had a Genu-wine journalist ask me on twitter today: "Do u want journos to write what they say on the record (press releases) or off the record (anon sources)? Or neither?". Are they really the only choices? I would have thought you critically review press releases, ask questions and use your "anon sources" for corroboration - not for quotes - for the story you finally write

  24. I read p.v.o"s opinion on this coup....

    It has elements of merit when he quotes sources that he can"t disclose about Rudd


    The rants on his Contrarians show must make him proud to be an academic....

    Sad at times when you must toe the company line....

  25. Rudd should have resigned in 2011, how things might have been different if he had.

    I'm not so sure this dispenses with the leadership issue, if the polling remains at this level will the labor party really decide to walk over the cliff with Gillard? I'm not so sure, perhaps it's what they need to do after the madness of the change in 2010.

    Rudd is certainly ruined beyond any hope of redemption now

  26. Great post Andrew.

    Just regarding your banner proclaiming that Tony Abbott will never be Prime Minister of Australia, how confident are you of that now that the election is only a few months away and all the polls are indicating a wipeout for the government. Is it just bravado on your part or a genuine prediction? If it's the latter could you perhaps do an article explaining why you believe that.

    All I can say is I hope you are right because if you aren't, the voters of this country are about to elect the greatest dickhead of a Prime Minister we have ever had.

    1. Still confident. Abbott is promising less, and has less ability to deliver, than Gillard - and people will see that, with or without the help of the broadcast media.

  27. I would rather believe Patricia Large than a single pollie or media person intent on running their own dopey story.

    Subject: Proof the print media talk to themselves

    The print media don’t seem to listen or hear any story but the one they have written themselves about Kevin Rudd. Gossip by the press gallery is not news, gossip is not fact but the fact is Kevin Rudd was not organising any spill. He was not out for revenge last week he was keeping a promise. I know I would much rather believe Ms Large than any member of the press gallery and I have had a gutful of the press gallery and their little club of gossipers who never present a single fact about Rudd.

    Crean was the one making the noise, he should have run himself if he was so concerned because he knew that Rudd was not going to on Monday and he knew why.


    PATRICIA LARGE: I think that Julia Gillard should now come out and say I'm deeply sorry for what happened in the Labor Party on your day, on your important day. I do think that Julia should come out now and say I'm sorry for the behaviour of these people and it should never have happened on your day.

    LUCY CARTER: Does Simon Crean owe you an apology as well?

    PATRICIA LARGE: Yes, oh yes, majorly, definitely, yes, yes. I knew that Kevin Rudd would not do anything on this day to us deliberately. He promised me a week before that there was no way he would challenge Julia, that there was no way he would upset anything to do with the Labor Party because as far as he saw it, Kevin said that this was our day to celebrate, it was our day to take in the apology and nothing should override it.

    LUCY CARTER: Having had such a build-up for it and hoping that this might give you closure, do you think that this has re-opened old wounds?

    Now Maiden and all the others should apologise to Kevin Rudd, listen to other voices and understand that if Rudd was so evil he would have told the ALP cowards to get lost, bring down the government, sip his own brand tea and write nasty books like Mark Latham did.

    1. Mark Latham despite his shortcomings is very realistic about the labour party...

      The first three chapters of his book are a must read and a very truthful and sad account of politics...

  28. sheer poetry.
    and true.

  29. Excellent piece, Andrew. The lamentations of Grealy, Marilyn and all the other falangist fanbois confirm it's veracity.

  30. http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=35623

    So perhaps the hateful here who believe the Murdoch narrative about Rudd but persist in their belief that the Murdoch narrative about Gillard is all a lie ought to read this from Father Frank Brennan who was actually in the room on the day.

    Crean's behaviour is beyond disgraceful.

    He makes Wilson Tuckey, Sophie Mirabella and Peter Dutton's boycott of the apology to the stolen generations look polite by contrast.

    Now the questions remain - why did the staff take messages to the bosses in the house, why did Crean call that conference and who did he tell in advance beside the media?

    Why did he disrupt speeches in such a shocking way?

    And why didn't any of the media talk to any people in the room on the day instead of all talking to each other and since when is breaking a promise a good thing when pollies are hated for doing so.

    Crean was well aware that Rudd was not doing anything, how can you moronic fools still blame him.

    And as Oscar Jones on IA has chided me and claimed I am hiding because I am anon here it is only because there is no other profile that fits me.

    Andrew is well aware that I am Marilyn Shepherd and I don't like writing under anon.

  31. great piece Andrew.
    Pity you got MarilynS'd

  32. Excellent article. Thanks.

    Just a few points:

    The triumvirate MSM/ABC/LNP, driven by profit, ineptitude and power, in that order, are pursuing and/or are aiding and abetting the process of "regime change"!

    One thing the public and the progressive side of politics have to understand: the MSM/ABC/LNP alliance is your ENEMY. DO NOT FEED THEM!

    Message to the ABC: A professional Radio National NEWS service does not contain OPINION.
    If it does it is called INFOTAINMENT! A NEWS service allows listeners to make up their own mind.

  33. Is Nikki Savva Piers Akerman or is Piers Akerman Nikki Savva

    1. No theyre both Andrew Bolt with an inferiority complex...

  34. Good grief I didn't chide you for being anonymous MarilynS.
    I pointed out that your arguments can be spotted anywhere on the net and basically, I know them by heart now.
    Your spirited defense of Kev is admirable although to what purpose, it is a mystery.
    Oscar Jones.

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