Saturday September 14, 2013 JG ELECTION DAY
One week after Tony Abbott’s election, and I find myself reflecting on what could have been achieved (and wasn’t) simply due to personal ego, a powerful press, and a clever (a better word would be dishonest) opposition.
In my opinion this is one occasion where, the opposition won Government on an own goal, not on policy (there was little policy debate) and hence, to claim a mandate that the people were voting for any particular policy is a complete fallacy.
I find myself worrying that, the antics of several (and there were many) knowing and unknowing contributors to this treasonous situation, have created a bad precedent and, in addition, for the public NOT to know, care about it, and then not discuss it, is contributing to an unhealthy future, and simply bad and NOT RIGHT. I find myself wanting to urge talk, openness in order to avoid a repetition of this scandalous and treasonous injustice, an ugly boil, that has to be lanced, before we can ” move on”!
The fact is the Labor turmoil or perception of it, has been blown out of all proportion, giving Labor a super bad name as not being able to govern itself, then how on earth can it govern the country, when under Julia Gillard, despite a heel nipping opposition, internal egos and a predominantly hostile and out of any control press, successful Government was achieved, successful policies were introduced but gaining no credit for the things that mattered. The victim being the country of Australia
To be blunt, Government of the day, was “overthrown” by Goebbels style propaganda, reporting downright lies, spurred by internal power plays (the KRudd factor) but today (one week after Tony Abbott day) we find ourselves, not being able to properly discuss and analyse what went wrong, “for the good of the party”, we can’t air our dirty washing, for fear of muddying the waters and making our situation worse.
Well, I for one, believe sweeping this situation under the carpet is wrong, (and for all the good it will do) raise the issue, and hopefully, better brains than me can further the arguments and help stop similar injustices from happening in the future.
So what am I on about?
Lets start at the beginning when One K Rudd was elected, several really good things happened (Kev said sorry, Kyoto was signed, strategies to beat the GFC were set in place and perhaps others I have skipped over) but we now know (see ref 1) the Prime Ministers office was in turmoil, due to Kevin’s chaotic, and downright rude, vindictive, autocratic and procrastinating leadership style. We know that Julia Gillard tried her hardest to keep things on track, warning Kev of the issues, remaining loyal to the end, (7pm June 24, 2010) when they met to discuss the situation resulting in a JG leadership challenge spurred on by Bill Shorten and other colleagues. JG has vowed secrecy as to the details of that meeting, leaving us mere mortals to ponder and prophesise. The meeting was the portrayed in the press (spurred on KRudd’s “woe is me” attitude during the resulting press conference) as Julia Gillard Knifing an elected PM in the back, a complete press beat up, when you consider the ALP’s democratic “rules” for electing a leader were followed and simply envoked by a challenger.
So the “back stabbing” JG lie was born, almost making it impossible for JG to have ultimate success right from the start. The Carbon Tax “lie” (where a valid statement was truncated by the press) was the second key JG injustice giving Tony Abbott a cart Blanche, easy ride to the Lodge, all based on lies and exaggerations.
The statement of Tony Abbott “not being my Prime Minister” has merit, he has NO mandate for anything, One KRudd brought this on, he kicked the own goal! Why couldn’t he see sense and work with JG. Why couldn’t he as PM, perhaps find a management solution to helping him manage his role, work better as a team player, (if he was an employee, his boss would send him off to management school, or give warnings, and then sack him), it seems JG tried, but it was he, and he alone, who rejected pleas for stability which were ignored.
Why did JG (and her first ministry) hide KRudds indiscretions for so long after 240610? For several reasons, the main one for me was to avoid blood letting and giving the press and the opposition more ammunition, but also to respect KRudd’s achievements. All fruitless in my opinion, the damage was done. KRudd’s and the ALP’s only solution should have been to stick with KRudd, but help or force him, manage better in a style more suitable to his colleagues and the country’s well being.
Why discuss this at all? Don’t say we all learn from our mistakes and it won’t happen again! It can happen again. Power does crazy things to people. God help us when Tony Abbott’s power trip kicks in! Blame One KRudd! Or perhaps blame JG and her colleagues who perhaps should have collectively sat on KRudd and made him comply with their wishes, but as we all know, forcing anything on anyone is a bad move. No, he could not be moved or forced, he and only he, could rule, he and no-one else could rule, and my God, no one else was going to achieve, what was my god given right to rule. I was the elected PM ( another fallacy, PM’s are not elected) it was me who beat little Johnny, no one else, even if I did need Sunrise’s help a titchy bit!
Post 240610, One KRudd had countless opportunities to be the team player his conscience (his God) should have been guiding him to be, but no, Kev had to be the smarty pants, driving nail after nail into JG’s coffin. She to her credit continued to support him as Foreign Minister, giving him honour, credence and respectability. But no, no team player here, no helpful hints to JG as she struggled day after day to combat the undermining, the bad press, the opposition lies and exaggerations, no urging of colleagues to unite, back the PM and educate the people through the press, NO, the rule, no-one can do it better than me, Kev, the messiah! What hope did she have?
Not wanting to be a smarty pants myself, but extremely frustrated as to what was so obvious to me, as to Kevin ‘s lack of any understanding of a team approach, is when at the time of all of the leadership challenges, I nagged, through, Labor sites, messaging lower level parliamentary members through Facebook, even talked to my local Member Laura Smyth, about the need for harmony and Kev, for the good of Labor’s reputation etc, he should work with Julia, either in a PR or other close leadership position to show voters, the unity required. I believe, had this been done, even after the 240610 JG challenge (the unjustly put “knifing” incident) harmony would have been seen and the Labor Government would have survived. No, it wasn’t with the benefit of hindsight, I tried to suggest sense, it was ignored. I was told don’t talk leadership, join the Party and basically go away. (Laura Smyth was a Ruddster, I wonder if she is now, lamenting on her being chucked out of “office”)
Returning to today’s leadership situation, the new, 2013 rules where the rank and file together with the elected members of Parliament choose the leader, gives a perception of a more democratic process and a step in the right direction, but what are the pitfalls? Can the rank and file be the victims of propaganda? How can a leader’s management, leadership and communication styles be predicted with a level of confidence that defies any situation where a better person may be available if say the elected leader does not meet expectations? (The saying, that often people are promoted one step above their abilities is often very true) Is the only way a dudd leader can be deposed in an orderly manner, is for him/her to resign and perhaps re-contest? OH, forgive me, isn’t that what a leadership ballot does, the encumbant stands aside to be subjected to a vote of “members”.
1. The Stalking of Julia Gillard, KA Walsh