Monday, April 4, 2011

Kev throws a QANDA grenade (of sorts)

A very interesting QANDA tonight – one that was at first interesting because of a decent policy discussion on foreign matters, but one that got very interesting about half way through when talk turned to Kevin Rudd and his dumping of the CPRS.

He admitted he was wrong to do it – “I think my judgement on that was wrong”, he said. This was great to hear – refreshing.

But he then let go some information about Cabinet discussions at the time – that some wanted him to press on, some wanted to delay it (as happened) and others wanted it dumped altogether:
"You had some folk who wanted to get rid of it altogether, that is kill the ETS as a future proposition for the country. I couldn't abide that”.
When asked if it was Swan and Gillard who wanted him to dump it he came back with “there was a diversity of opinion” line.

When talk turned to factional thugs and asked if some are in caucus he says “It’s an interesting and diverse caucus”.

The whole tenor of the show turned with his statements. It went from being an interesting discussion on foreign policy to probably front page news on domestic issues. It will be seen as his slapping back at Gillard. It will be blown up as a quasi attack on her leadership.

In reality, other than his admission of error on the CPRS, little new has been learned – perhaps the fact that some in Cabinet wanted to dump the plan completely. At a guess you’d say Martin Ferguson was in that camp. Gillard we already know was in favour of delay, Swan too. We’ve known that since last August. Sure Rudd confirms it, but that doesn’t make it new.

So what did we learn that was new? Errr not much really, just that a politician spoke the truth. It’s a shame such a thing is a shock to both the public, the media and the politicians themselves (no doubt ALP mobile phone were ringing madly during the show).

Gillard, regardless of what she advocated in the past, has said she has changed her mind and is now pushing for a carbon price. And just quietly she is pushing for it a hell of a lot harder than Rudd ever did. She at least is talking about the economics of the price – ie that prices would go up. Rudd was too invested in the whole greatest moral challenge riff.

So Rudd told the truth tonight and admitted he stuffed up, and that people in Cabinet were advising him to dump it. Why do it given he knows how it will be reported? Obviously he still thinks the leadership is there to be won. In Government it won’t happen – the deal with the independents pretty well kills much of a chance for change, and also the ALP just could not do it again – it’d be NSW ALP like suicide (ok, so given we are talking this ALP, let’s not count it out!).

Rudd you would think is looking ahead to a time when the ALP is in opposition and they turn back to him as some sort of return to a better time.

For mine, I liked the way Rudd talked tonight on QANDA, but I don’t forget that Annabel Crabb’s nickname of Ruddbot was well deserved. As PM he became monotone, and also failed to adequately stick up for the BER, the insulation program and the deficit (and other policies) in the face of a pile of bull from the opposition and the media.

Many from the left side of politics while watching QANDA tonight seemed to get a bit dewy eyed on the Twitter stream, and seem to have forgotten his faults. He is absolutely right to say he was responsible for dumping the CPRS. As soon as a leader is shifting blame to other members of Cabinet for a decision being made he or she is no longer the leader.  This guff about Gillard and Swan advising him to dump it would all be for nought if he had been a leader who said, sorry, you’re wrong, nope we’re going for it – I’m off to the GG and we’re calling a Double Dissolution.

He didn’t and he admits now his error in pursuing the policy he did. Bravo, well said. But let’s not make it into more than it is (the media will do that job for us, nicely).

UPDATE The Newspoll out this morning has the LNP up 55 to the ALP’s 45. Boom! So in the Last three Newspolls We’re had the ALP lose 4 per cent, gain 5 per cent and lose 6 per cent. A little bit too volatile for reality. Best at this time to look at the average of the polls – go over to Possum and let his Pollytrend lead the way. ALP are definitely behind, but 45? Bit low I think.

Let’s continue our look at how The Oz treats its poll – see if you can pick the Newspoll that was good for the ALP:



Mr Tiedt said...

Gosh - Gillard dumped for Rudd. Now that really WOULD be a story for the ages!

Thirdborn said...

Well said Grog, I for one were getting sentimental, but we have to be pragmatic about this. Gillard arrested the fall and probably won the election. At the same time, KRudd is a brilliant foreign minister and doing the government proud. Lets keep it that way.

Hillbilly Skeleton said...

Well, just like the old days, Kevin Rudd put me to sleep, literally, tonight on Q&A. Then I woke up and saw all they fey hokeyness and contrived bonhomie that drove everyone nuts by the end. An end that had to come.
I like things better the way they are now, with a leader and a Foreign Minister that are well-suited to their jobs. Kevin is now free to fly 24/7 around the world, boring the pants of all the other diplobores. Kevin never could deal with Tony Abbott, that's why his services were disposed with. Julia does it so much better.
If the ALP go back to Kevin Rudd at any time in the future, they need their collective heads read. However, once bitten, twice shy, I don't think Kevin will be able to persuade them to take that trip again.

Leigh said...

Imagine if the Labor Party were all singing from the same songsheet? What would we have to talk about? Would it matter who was opposition leader? Would Julie Bishop be anything more than a Chaser warm-up stunt artist? Oh that we could have a reasonably sensible press gallery to follow real issues in Canberra...(sigh)

4 kids, 20 suitcases and a beagle said...

Twitter was definitely dewy eyed. How quickly we forget.

Anonymous said...

There is little doubt the ALP were saved from defeat when they gave Rudd the option to resign or be dumped.
Ask Tony Abbott. He had started doing victory laps. He tried to deny it but was outed by a lawyer who exposed what he witnessed at a Libs meeting in Perth

paul of albury said...

While we think Rudd a failure as PM for not strongly leading when others counselled delays and backdowns he was actually dumped for not being consultative enough, for going it alone too often.
Perhaps we and the parliamentary Labor party want different things from Rudd?

Patricia WA said...

Rudd got closest to the truth when he talked about his judgement being affected by the pressure of the job. Hubris plus that enormous pressure meant he was riding for a fall, and with him his government, and the country too had Abbott got in. I agree with Thirdborn. Julia Gillard 'arrested the fall.'

I don't believe she planned the challenge, and I do believe her claim that she felt it was her responsibility at that time to take on the top job. One can only imagine how that long, long conversation went between them before his final understanding that all was lost and that he had no support in Caucus. It takes a particular kind of courage to confront one's leader and a man in his predicament and state of mind. After all she didn't need to talk to him at all. A truly ruthless rival would have used a go-between. was good to see him in good form and obviously enjoying life again. He has a lot to offer and the he's giving us plenty of it as Foreign Minister. He's a healthy, intelligent human being with a good heart. As is our Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Oh for heaven's sake, Gillard has not had one poll as good as Rudd's were over more than 3 years and with the dopey attacks on the Greens lack of family values (while she sends cops to shoot refugees) she just looks and sounds awful.

Rudd was far better than her.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how News Ltd and Their ABC spin this. ... Though there aren't likely to be any surprises.

Greg Jericho said...

The problem though Anon is Rudd cared too much about the polls. It permeated all he did and said. All his "we're going to get a whack in the polls for this" type stuff . Who gives a damn - just do it.

Good policy is good politics. Too often for Rudd he hoped it was the other way round. But the big thing was when he did have good policies (eg the great work during the GFC) he struggled to make good politics out of it - and so from the LNP we got pink batts are evil, deficits are evil, BER is evil and Rudd was left more than a bit floundering.

Voxpop said...

I'm in the camp that would still prefer Rudd as PM. I had hoped to one day cheer the succession with Gillard but the way it happened and so prematurely I was rather disgusted in the party. I've had no reason to be happy having the first female PM as I had hoped to be and the dissapointment has continued. Thank god for the Greens is all I can say as I'm very sure Gillard wouldn't be onto pricing carbon without them - pity she couldn't support Rudd when he tried. Oh and Rudd would have fared so much better at the last election.

Anonymous said... no fault on Tony Jones pursuing for an answer forclose to nearly 10 minutes straight ?

Gordicans said...

I agree Grog, the only interesting bit was Ruddy saying I stuffed up. And he was insufferable towards the end (ie his rule, not Q&A), but I disagree with Thirdborn...I reckon Rudd would've got a majority in the election. Impossible to prove of course.

I had high hopes for Gillard but what a dissapointment. Sick to death of her constantly trying to convince everyone that she and Labour stand for something (her Whitlam speach last Thursday was a shocker. Neither she, labour or the libs stand for anything except power, and sucking up to the americans and rupert murdoch (who increasingly runs the show). Get over it and bring on some policy.

Anonymous said...

Well everything you predicted was correct.

Seems memories in the media get shorter and shorter and the public get dumber and dumber.

The entire story of the ETS dumping is in the excellent book Shitstorm, get the lazy toads didn't bother to read it.

Anonymous said...


"Seems memories in the media get shorter and shorter and the public get dumber and dumber."


... Just how the media like it. Makes for more conservative voters.

Anonymous said...

You only have to ask DFAT people what if Rudd has changed, and he hasn't. What has happened is that DFAT now bears the brunt of his manic micro-management style, rather than the whole govt.

A mate who was in PM&C when Rudd was PM said Cabinet meetings were indecisive, badly chaired and lacked direction. Under Gillard they are punctual, focused and no-nonsense.

No-one doubts Rudd's intelligence but his interpersonal skills are learned, not natural. The bonhomie is not fake, but it is forced.

There's a PhD thesis on Rudd's personality waiting for some bright spark, but whoever takes it on won't get far because Rudd is secretive and finds it hard to trust people. That's why he was ditched.

Anonymous said...

good to see your tweet published live grog, along with the chaser boys and a curiously absent claire bowditch...

is it just me or was The Death Stare just an impertinent, interjecting school girl last night?

and as for the publisher lady - putting it on rudd for not getting more than 1% of his message into the MSM, she needs to take a good look at herself in the mirror (lest she not think Virginia Trioli is staring straight back at her).