Farewell Rudd, Gillard takes power and the palace coup.
June 27th, 2010 · Greg Atkinson · 25 Comments
Amazingly Kevin Rudd is no longer the Prime Minister of Australia and lost his position without a single vote being cast. Does this mean the days of the Government borrowing and wasting money are over or is Julia Gillard going to be an even bigger spender than Rudd? What a week, and worst of all Wayne Swan is representing Australia at the G-20 meeting in Toronto in Canada!
So swift was the removal of Rudd that the website of the G-20 Toronto Summit still has him listed as attending as of today. Not even the internet it seems can keep up with the swift and ruthless actions of the ALP party machine and union bosses.
As readers of this blog will know, I was not a fan of Kev07 and was critical of his leadership style and spin back when most people in Australia and majority of those in the media thought he was the political chosen one.
But despite my numerous rants against Rudd and the Government I never suggested he should be sacked or removed outside of the election process. What I expect to happen in a healthy democracy is that the voters of the nation will be given the opportunity to elect a new government and Prime Minster at the time of the next federal election.
What we have just witnessed in Australia is the removal of the elected Prime Minister by a small group of ALP factional bosses and union leaders because they feared they may lose power if Rudd lost the election.
So Rudd was removed to protect the power and influence of a small group faceless people behind the scenes. If the Australian public are not outraged by this then they need to have their brains checked. Rudd may have seen a dramatic fall in his personal approval but who gave these people the right to decide when a Prime Minister should be removed?
By the way, the changes in the Opposition Leadership cannot be compared to the removal of an elected Prime Minister. The people of Australia don’t elect Opposition Leaders and the Opposition Party doesn’t govern the nation. Anyone who compares the changes in Opposition Leaders with the removal of Rudd is a twit. End of story.
Gillard has political blood on her hands just as much as as the other conspirators who worked behind the scene to remove Rudd. She could have remained loyal and decided not to challenge Rudd. If she had done this then the palace coup would not have taken place. But she decided, as did Brutus, to pursue power and self interest over loyalty.
Let’s be honest, Gillard saw the chance to be Australia’s first female Prime Minister and was prepared to step on Rudd’s political corpse to get the top job. She will of course try to hide that fact over the next weeks and months by telling us she acted because of her concern over the way the country was heading. But she was part of the team on the bridge guiding the good ship SS Australia so what she says make little sense.
During Rudd’s reign she was intimately involved with formulating all major Government policies and for her to say now that the Government had lost it’s way means she also lost her way. Or wasn’t she part of the cabinet over the last few years.
Gillard has staunchly defended Government policies and ridiculed the Opposition for challenging them. So the question is this: was Gillard lying when she defended the actions of the Government or is she lying now about the Government having lost it’s way? I don’t recall her talking about the Government being adrift even just three months ago, so when did she has this sudden change of heart?
I suspect this happened when she saw the poll numbers and realized Rudd could be removed from the top job.
But sorry I forgot, she was the Deputy Prime Minister with portfolios covering education and industrial relations but nothing that happened over the last few years seems to even be remotely related to her. It was all Rudd’s fault!
Gillard is more likely to be a spender than a fiscal conservative so she is less likely to balance the budget than Rudd was. So watch you wallets and expect some more money being tossed at a variety of grand sounding government programs. (like the Building Education Revolution for example)
But don’t expect most of the media to be asking any tough questions. Already people like David Koch are talking about what an impressive start Gillard has made as Prime Minister. Excuse me for asking, but what exactly has she done so far apart from holding a press conference to try and explain why she toppled her leader?
Then of course we are getting bombarded with the first female Prime Minister new stories which means nothing to me. I don’t really care if the Prime Minister fell from Mars and has three heads, as long as he/she/it was elected and is doing a good job. If anyone votes for someone just because they are male/female or an alien then we should be able to shred their vote.
All of us should be outraged by what has happened. At the very least we should see it as a sign that the Government is weak and driven by poll numbers. This means that they will never take a position that is unpopular but in the interest of Australia’s long term future. This should scare people.
The Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT) was bad policy and should have been thought through more, but if Rudd wanted to make a stand on this then the voters would have decided the issue at the next election, as Tony Abbott had clearly stated that the Opposition would scrap the RSPT if elected.
Remember the same union leaders who worked to removed Rudd publicly said that they supported the RSPT. But now that they have removed Rudd, Gillard is talking about making compromises regarding this tax.
So which is it, is the RSPT a good idea as suggested by union leaders like Paul Howes or not? If not, or if it needed major changes, why didn’t they speak up about this earlier? Why didn’t Gillard suggest changes to the policy before it was announced? After all she was involved in it’s development.
So the union leaders put the knife in Rudd’s back for standing up for the RSPT which is a policy they also strongly support..well at least they said so. But who knows with these guys? Basically what they stand for is themselves and their power base, that’s about it.
Amazingly Gillard, who was largely responsible for the Building Education Revolution (BER) mess seems to have managed to doge any responsibility for this wasteful vote buying exercise. It seems her Teflon coating might be better than Rudd’s.
But the BER does explain why many of the union bosses like her. Again this should make people wary because Gillard owes them something. She might pretend she is above factional party politics but this is what has put her into the top job and can also remove her from that job if she gets out of line.
This latest political saga also highlights just how pathetic the mainstream media generally are. Back during the Australia 2020 Summit they showered praise on Rudd and barely questioned anything he did. But when they sense blood in the water they went in for the kill, but have barely laid a glove on Swan, Gillard and Tanner. Once again, it’s was all Rudd fault again which is Gillard line and the media are toeing the line.
The Rudd Government did lose it’s way but we can’t put the blame all down to Kevin Rudd. If Rudd failed so did Swan, Gillard and Tanner but is seems the only one amongst them with any honour is Lindsay Tanner who has effectively fallen on his political sword.
Then we have the other non-performers in the Government like Roxon, Conroy and Garrett to mention just a few, but I guess they will be happy for Rudd to take all the blame even for their own mistakes and blunders.
Finally I am tired of reading stories about how tough politics is or how rough it has been for Rudd. Soldiering in Afghanistan is tough, being a politician or press gallery reporter isn’t. At the end of the day Rudd still has a job and an overly generous pension and range of perks for the rest of his life. Most of us don’t enjoy the same taxpayers funded parachute when we hit tough times.
So farewell Rudd, it’s be interesting. Just remember not to yell at flight attendants now, we mortals can be arrested for such things!