Gillard the Great!

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The former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd recently astonished the Australian parliament by deciding to run against Julia Gillard the current PM in a vote of no-confidence.

I’ve long been a fan of JG, she’s my kinda lady, no messing and straight to the point.  So when I read that there’d been a challenge just 6 months before elections I’ve gotta say I was staggered.  The only reason for the Rudd shot at glory as far as I can see is that he’s way more popular at the opinion polls than JG, but still 6 months?

The Australian Labour Party must be in free-fall, senior minister Simon Crean, who brought the leadership crisis to a head by calling on his government colleagues to force a ballot, was sacked, and junior minister Richard Marles, a rising star who publicly backed Rudd, resigned late Thursday.  Add to this Joel Fitzgibbon, Ed Husic and Janelle Saffin all Rudd supporters who’ve resigned their positions recently and it looks a mess!

None of them has quit the government so they keep their majority so long as the support from minority parties doesn’t change.  The Labour Party ranks are split over whether by avoiding a showdown with Gillard, Rudd had let down his supporters who have worked behind the scenes to undermine Gillard’s leadership in the face of the government’s likely defeat at national elections on Sept. 14.

But Chris Bowen who quit his job earlier today said Rudd had done the decent thing.  What he also mentions is that the vote was probably too close to call, the outcome was by no means guaranteed.  So have we actually seen a victory for punch pulling I wonder?

Needless to say really, but if the vote was to be close it in no way would have solved the party in-fighting and jockying for position post election loss.  I also think that JG would have sacked even more of her ministers if she’d have won, (I love her spirit and fight temperament, I’d vote for her just for that alone, forget the politics).

And what has Rudd got to say about the whole debacle?  

The former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s office said in a statement earlier today that “there are no circumstances under which he will return to the Labor Party leadership in the future.”  Many were stunned by the 11th-hour announcement that he wouldn’t challenge her. He explained that he had vowed when he lost a leadership ballot to JG a year ago that he wouldn’t challenge her again for the sake of party and government stability.  So why the recent shenanigans I ask?

I can only think that Australian politics is pretty much the same as UK politics.  A murky, messy business with undercurrents and deals aplenty.

Still doesn’t stop me thinking that if only they really got behind JG the Australians have got a fantastically strong leader that many would follow.


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