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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-15-10 08:18 PM
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Gillard 'raving mad' to give Rudd a job
"Labor figures are turning against the idea of giving ousted prime minister Kevin Rudd a front bench job.

The Labor leadership issue flared again yesterday amid claims that Julia Gillard reneged on a deal she made with Mr Rudd the night before she dethroned him in a party room coup.

But some Labor figures are concerned about the details now appearing in the media and one has told the ABC that Ms Gillard would be "stark raving mad" to have Mr Rudd on the front bench after an election." /

It really does look as if it was Rudd who leaked this to Laurie Oakes - what on earth did he think he would accomplish?

It was always going to be difficult to have him on the front bench, even though he would be an excellent Foreign Minister, and it would be embarrassing to have him sitting on the back bench. But this play for sympathy has probably cost him any chance of a political resurrection. The best option would probably be to cut a deal whereby he will resign his seat at the election in return for a good overseas posting something at the UN perhaps, like Gough Whitlam had with UNESCO.

The worst thing about this affair, if it was indeed Rudd who leaked, is that it underlines just what poor political judgment he has which is why he lost the leadership in the first place.

I feel very disillusioned on two counts one is the enormous potential that Rudd had and wasted, and the second is that I don't believe that Gillard has any more political courage than he had, and is probably inherently even more conservative.
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RFKHumphreyObama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-29-10 08:52 AM
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1. A few points to make here
Firstly, I'm not definitively sure that it was Rudd who leaked this. It could have been anyone in Rudd's inner circle whom, unlike Rudd (who still had the prospect of a foreign ministry after being knifed) lost everything with the change of leadership and who has nothing further to lose. One suspect (although he has denied it) is Rudd's former Chief of Staff, Alistair Jordan, who has been smeared endlessly by the coup plotters since they seized power and who, as Rudd's closest political confidant, probably knew all the inner workings of the Cabinet.

If it were Rudd who did it, I cannot justify him doing it now when the party is in the throes of a campaign against such a malevolent entity such as Tony Abbott. However, I can see it from his point of view
(1) Bitterness often clouds political judgment. Look at the way that Bob Hawke kept taking pot shots at Paul Keating during the latter's premiership (and is still doing now!!!) and the way that he's dumping on respected Labor cabinet ministers like Senator John Button in his old age. It's clear he's never gotten over been dumped in 1991 and he's effectively sacrificed his potential status as a respected elder statesman in a way that makes him look like a bitter old man. Or look at John Gorton, whom after his exit, spent the next twenty years embittered and estranged from his party and who never forgave Malcolm Fraser for what he believed to be the latter's treacherous actions against him. Or John Hewson, Mark Latham, Bill Hayden and the list goes on...
(2) Rudd probably knows realistically that serving as a Foreign Minister in a Gillard government isn't going to work out in the long term. For one thing I suspect there is too much mutual suspicion and distrust between the two for things to ever really work out (especially given the dynamics of their partnership during the tenure of the Rudd government). You can argue that Alexander Downer served in Howard's cabinet after the latter replaced him and that Bill Hayden served in Bob Hawke's cabinet after the latter replaced him. True, but the circumstances aren't the same. Neither Hawke nor Howard served in the role of deputy and had as much of a close working relationship with their successors in the same way that Rudd and Gillard did. The closest comparison to the current situation between Rudd and Gillard would be Peacock serving under Howard after the latter replaced him in the 1980s (Peacock was sacked after his phone conversations with Jeff Kennett undermining Howard), Gorton serving under McMahon after the latter had ousted him (Gorton proved a disloyal deputy and was sacked) or Hewson serving after Downer after the latter had ousted him (Hewson left after a few months in acrimonious circumstances). These sort of situations rarely work out well. Rudd also probably knows that, if he served as Foreign Minister in a Gillard government, he will have to sit in Cabinet alongside and work alongside the various treacherous Cabinet ministers whom he led into government and promoted into Cabinet only to have them plot against him, undermine him at every turn and eventually stab him in the back. That would be a very difficult thing for even the most forgiving human to do
(3) He's probably resentful that Gillard is trying to take credit for the policies of the Rudd government while at the same time trying to distance herself from it and its record in the process. It's worthwhile noting, for example, that people like Gillard and Arbib were some of the main advocates of urging Rudd to ditch the ETS and then turned against him when the consequences of that decision cost him popular support. He's also probably bitter that the coup plotters have been planting stories in the various newspapers trying to discredit his person, government and his leadership style week in week out in an effort to justify their actions. Of course you can understand it from the perspective of the coup plotters -they have to justify their actions to the public and Gillard has to establish her own identity and cultivate her own independent image and part of that involves distancing yourself from your predecessor. But it would be hard for Rudd not to take it personally and he's responding in kind -although two wrongs don't necessarily make a right

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-10 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Funny you should mention Alister Jordan.
I thought of him just this morning. He's wet behind the ears, and has made some really big mistakes. He might think he's doing Rudd a favour by belittling Gillard. Or it might be more twisted than that somebody who doesn't want to see Rudd in Cabinet, and is trying to make it look like him leaking, and maybe not realising that it will damage the party as much as Gillard.

Of course, Mark Latham has to jump in with his particular brand of spite the media only talk to this creep because he makes headlines for them. But I find it hard to believe that Rudd would do this, because it's just plain stupid, and stupid he isn't, whatever Latham might like to think.

What's certain is that this coup could bite everybody on the bum. How could Gillard want to give an important position to Arbib or Shorten it would look like returning a favour. And I think it may always taint Gillard, just as the Dismissal always haunted Fraser as long as he was in parliament.
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