Kevin Rudd is a feckless son of a bitch. He can spend three years white-anting and poisoning and plotting and scheming and throwing others under the bus. And as I sit here he’s giving his first speech as Rudd Redux and actually has the temerity to talk ethics and honour and purity of purpose.
He stands there praising Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan, two people he has made it his singleminded focus to bring down via leaks, and toxicity and slander and second-hand skullduggery, and he does it without even a blink or a wink or a cheeky half-knowing grin.
I’ve disagreed with Julia Gillard on some things. I’m vehemently opposed to her immigration policy. I believe her anti-gay marriage stance is a cynical position taken to keep the conservatives and the Christian lobby onside. I don’t for one moment believe it’s her actual stance.
But I voted for Bob Hawke’s ALP when he backflipped on uranium mining and screwed me over with tertiary fees. I voted for Keato’s ALP even though he was a slimy bugger. I voted for Kim Beazley’s ALP for fuck’s sake. I voted for Rudd’s ALP the first time around because the man knows how to campaign and he said all the right things.
And I voted for Julia Gillard’s ALP in 2010 despite a deep feeling that the she had come to the job the wrong way.
And now they’re asking for me to vote for Rudd’s ALP again.
An ALP gutted of its some of its best and brightest. Swan, Combet, Conroy, Emerson, and, of course, Gillard herself. All because they cannot stomach working for Rudd again. Augurs well, doesn’t it.
(You’ll notice I don’t care much what Peter Garrett does. The man’s a windsock who could have been leader of the Greens right now, with an enormously important job to do, soul intact, if he’d just had the spine to resist the lure of the Big Party.)
I don’t think I can do it, comrades. I don’t think I can.
I’m glad Albo is staying on. I’m glad Swanny will fight in September. I want to know what Plibersek, Macklin, Smith and Tony Bourke are doing. I want to know what their thoughts are and how comfortable they are.
I’m delighted Penny Wong is now leader of the Senate, though it was disconcerting to see her marching in lock-step behind Rudd this evening post-Caucus. Ultimately, she is wasted in the Senate, but I hope she has a place on the front bench.
Kevin Rudd blubbed like a sook when he got knifed. Julia Gillard was solid and strong and remarkably good-humoured and composed. I think that says everything about the two personalities, and the two motivations at work with these people.
I would have taken Julia’s strength and negotiating skills and Parliamentary performance any day over Rudd’s smarm and pseudo-trendy teenager speak. Zip off, indeed.
I don’t particularly want to vote Green. Not in the House of Reps at least. Senate, sure.
But right now I feel like my ALP is a sham. A hollowed out sham, allowing the whims of a bored media pack and the egos of its leading lights to dictate terms in a soap opera, not a government.
As for Julia Gillard, she has my admiration, and my deepest sympathy. She’s been cool, strong, gracious, smart, determined and FUCKING SUCCESSFUL.
She deserved better. So did we.