Gillard has apparently called for a ballot on Monday. The old sage Laurie Oakes from Channel 9 was commenting on the Today Show this morning, and he said Rudd and his supporters need not respond to that. They could tell Gillard there will be a challenge but it would not to the PM’s timing. The reasons are simple – firstly, there would be no time for campaigning. Secondly, parliament is still sitting and should the ballot result in a change of PM, negotiations with independent MPs would be required and parliament could not simply be suspended for that to happen.
All very sound arguments to a lay person like me.
What was interesting however, was the sense that Laurie Oakes sounded like he was advising the Rudd camp on the appropriate response. Oakes is a known Rudd fan and he doesnt mince his words in showing his disdain for Gillard. Rudd supporters would be all ears when Oakes speaks, Oakes probably knows that.
Whatever the outcome, at least Australian politics is a little bit more interesting. Interesting stuff that the country can do without however… just bring on the elections.
K Rudd and R Ponting. They once held the highest and second highest offices of the country respectively. Each of those offices are now held by someone else. In the case of Rudd, it is now held by someone immensely unpopular, disliked and not trusted. Ponting’s successor has now won over the populace. Michael Clarke has through the course of this summer which saw a comprehensive victory over the Indians – an Indian Summer for Aussie cricket indeed – earned the affection of Aussies. Gillard however, remains a turn off for many. Poor judgment and liberty with the truth are a deadly combination as far as public trust and affection is concerned.
Both Rudd and Ponting however, are not happy little vegemites when it comes to exiting the scene graciously.
There comes a time for everyone, when the spotlight is trained on someone else. No matter the level of success, one soon becomes a has been. I bet the late Whitney Houston will very soon – if not already – disappear from public forum, great singer that she was. If only Rudd (in particular) learns how to be contented with what he is doing and not look at what lies at the next corner. That can be a really hard thing to do. To win confidence and affection however, that is what one needs to do.
There are reports Rudd is considering a challenge against Gillard. I had to remind myself what some of the misgivings against Rudd were, back in Nov 2007. I had these thoughts then…
After midnight on 21/11, no electronic election campaign advertisements would be permitted. I don’t know if there is a similar blackout from the print media. On television and radio however, we would not hear anymore election campaign advertisements after tonight. Well, for the next 3 years anyway.
The last 3 Labour Prime Ministers have all been very flawed characters. By and large however, you knew who they were, before they became Prime Minister.
With Gough you knew his social agenda. It may have been the ideals of that time for state support nearing total state welfare which sounds repugnant to present thinking and his total, take no prisoner attitude as he steams ahead with his agenda may have seemed suicidal. For that he may have seemed irresponsible. He may have been an idealist, but irresponsible. Yet he made no bones about it. Everyone knew what he was on about. He didn’t try to manipulate anything to project a different image.
With Hawke it was the same thing. He was a womaniser and boozer. Yet he did not pretend to be something else. Keating continues to dish out his tongue lashings and continues to speak his mind about anything he has a view on. You always knew he would do that. I liked both Hawke and Keating. It was Keating who made it cool to appreciate antique clocks. If not for him, whenever I stepped into the antique shop of my brother in law (Daniel Ching) I would not have stopped to stare at these clocks.
Rudd however, is a different animal altogether. His public image has been a carefully crafted one. Just over a year ago I read an interview with him where he quoted Dietrich Bonheoffer extensively. He claimed to be devout Christian. I watched him spar with Joe Hockey, then the Minister for Human Services (or some ministry like that) and thought he was such an articulate, sincere and likeable man.
My perception of Rudd has changed. I now see him as someone who is prepared to lie about anything to get what he wants. Integrity is not part of his vocabulary. He’d go to a strip club and claim he’d forgotten (because he was too drunk). When I get drunk I want to sleep or pick a fight, not go to a strip club. Maybe he got drunk in the strip club, who knows? He faked things on television. Before an audience of mainly Muslims, he would not affirm his belief in Christianity (would not say Jesus is the Son of God). How can someone hold such polarised stance? You cannot say you are a devout Christian and express agreement with Dietrich Bonheoffer’s theological writings and then cannot bring yourself to confess Jesus is the Son of God. He’d say things for years which he would not permit his team to say, if it meant being against the grain of the moment.
He appears to hold no views, sways according to popular opinion and would not tell you the truth. In fact he would lie, if that makes him look good or better. John Howard may appear to be like a grumpy old man at times and his “liberal” (read conservative a la Thatcher) views may not always be agreeable to the average wage earners (like me) but you knew where he stands. With Rudd, his true colours may only surface if/when he becomes Prime Minister. It may mean 3 disastrous years which would take a long time to fix.