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The Resurrection of Kevin Rudd
February 16, 2013 4:50 AM   Subscribe

The plot is thickening in the lead-up to the Australian national elections. "'I said a week or so ago everyone should take a long cold shower,' Mr Rudd told Channel Seven on Friday morning. 'What I'd say to Malcolm and you Joe (Hockey) is it's time to jump in the ice bath'."

There is speculation that Kevin Rudd, the former Australian Prime Minister who resigned from the post after an unsuccessful power struggle with current Prime Minister Julia Gillard, will be making a comeback.

Some say he has bigger ambitions yet.
posted by rhombus (56 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Et tu Metafilter?
posted by adamt at 4:52 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


He just needs to shut up forever.

He's a very destabilising, angry, vulgar, little control freak. He'd be better suited to NSW politics.
posted by taff at 4:57 AM on February 16, 2013 [8 favorites]


Why isn't this election between Rudd and Turnbull? They're both amazingly intelligent and their episode of Q&A was awesome.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:04 AM on February 16, 2013


Why isn't this election between Rudd and Turnbull?

Because Rudd is hated by his party (being a control freak will do that) and Turnbull only looks good in comparison to his party.

Should it be? Probably. I will give you that.

What I'd say to Malcolm and you Joe (Hockey) is it's time to jump in the ice bath'."
... and then he removed the kidneys.
posted by Mezentian at 5:43 AM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cui bono? It seems to me that Turnbull only benefits from fuelling the speculation. From what I can gather it seems he started the rumour in the first place? Sounds like classic political maneuvering to me, facts not required.

So without a Labour source confirming, or any nonpartisan info either way, this is really here nor there, is it?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:55 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


The plot isn't thickening. The narrative hasn't even changed. The only difference between this story and every other fortnightly 'potential spill' is that Rudd himself seems less convinced that it might happen.
posted by notionoriety at 7:38 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rudd just needs to sit back and wait for the blackout

Turnbull just needs to do the same, except for the fact the are in the ungodly situation where an Abbott-led party is set to win.

In part because Labor can't control The Narrative.

The WA election is in a few weeks. The Liberals are set to retain power, but that's only going to give the Liberals a degree of legitimacy that will help counteract the Queensland Implosion.

There's really nothing in these SMH articles/op-eds that's new. And unless there's a rabbit-in-hat moment, the electorate is just going to trudge down to Abbottasbad, ignoring the fact that the writing is on the wall for 2014, and buying into the fact that the Gillard Government has made some poor decisions. Starting with the scrapping of the RSPT and going from there.
posted by Mezentian at 7:46 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


God, that's so depressing, Mezentian. And yet, horribly, I think you're right. Let's just hope Can't Do Campbell keeps fucking up.
posted by h00py at 9:18 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still can't believe how badly Labor fucked up the last election, it should have been basically impossible for them to lose, given that we had one of the few economies in the western world not going into meltdown at the time. And now we get 3 years of Abbot -- barring some kind of miracle.

Fuck.
posted by Proofs and Refutations at 9:33 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Virtually everything I've seen out of Julia Gillard has rocked my socks. I find her views on marriage equality extremely disappointing, but at least she has allowed movement within her party on it (even if it was movement that went nowhere). But past that, she's astoundingly awesome. I certainly hope she retains her seat.
(Full disclosure: American here, admittedly not a student of Australian politics)
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:52 AM on February 16, 2013


The MRRT/PRRT has pulled in $1billion plus in revenue.
Most people have forgotten the PRRT aspect, and are fixated on the $120-is million that the MRRT pulled in, forgetting that the PRRT exists, and will kick into overdrive in 2015 or so (I'm foggy on that) when the Gladstone LNG plants start making money.

The problem with Gillard's government is two-fold:
She's an illegitimate PM. You can spin it how you like, but the stain remains.
The Government has made some amazing reforms, but they are inept at selling them*, in part thanks to some bad decisions.


(*The gay marriage debate slots in here nicely. Jules isn't a fan, and I am okay with that, it's her choice to not be okay with it for whatever reason. But it is symptomatic of an inability to spin anything.)
posted by Mezentian at 10:04 AM on February 16, 2013


The Rudd as Pope video was sublime. I wish we had that kind of biting satire in Canada (but at least we have Aislin).
posted by KokuRyu at 10:26 AM on February 16, 2013


I hope Rudd doesn't come back. He's cut from the same cloth as Abbott: a small-minded religious authoritarian paternalist. Witness him rebuking a female PhD student a few years ago for choosing to study rather than doing her duty to bear children.
posted by acb at 10:31 AM on February 16, 2013


Witness him rebuking a female PhD student a few years ago for choosing to study rather than doing her duty to bear children.

Er.... Citation? Or was it something you saw?
I'm no fan, but I have a hard time believing that.
posted by Mezentian at 10:33 AM on February 16, 2013


And now we get 3 years of Abbot -- barring some kind of miracle.

It'll be a miracle if Abbott is a one-term PM, with News Corp. and the mining industry behind him. Maybe if he displeases Rinehart and she throws a few million at buying the ALP/building one of the far-right minor parties into an opposition.
posted by acb at 10:34 AM on February 16, 2013


one of the far-right minor parties into an opposition.

WHO'S IN THE HOUSE?
BK'S IN DA HOUSE.
K to the A to the DOUBLE TEE EEEEEE ARRRRR

KAP's potentially a game changer, as Hanson was. It has six months, and could get there if it is well run.
posted by Mezentian at 10:38 AM on February 16, 2013


I'm no fan, but I have a hard time believing that.

At that point one of my friends introduced me, dropping in that I am completing a PhD. At this, Rudd rolled his eyes and in a terse voice lacking any sense of irony remarked that is the "excuse" that "all" young women are using nowadays to avoid starting families. Since then I've come up with numerous one-line retorts, but in the moment I just froze in shock.
posted by acb at 11:52 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, the main problem with Gillard (apart from homophobia, slashing foreign aid, war on Assange, inhumanity to asylum seekers etc, etc) is that she runs a government that is widely viewed as inept. Rudd, for all his faults, is extremely popular and basically the only chance Australia has of avoiding a right wing government for the next 6+ years.
posted by dontjumplarry at 2:01 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, I've heard from a couple of other people (academics) who have met Kevin personally that there is a big difference between his public persona and his vastly less pleasant private persona.

Having said that, his removal in a mining-industry coup was one of the lowest points in Labor Party history, and the way that the Party subsequently trashed all the (substantial) achievements of his time in office is one of the main reasons that we're staring down the barrel of an Abbott government (which four years ago would have been a laughable idea).
posted by moorooka at 2:32 PM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


With Gillard vs. Abbott, Gillard's the lesser evil by a country mile. With Rudd vs. Abbott, it's a photo finish.

I wish the Tories had chosen Turnbull; then Gillard would have had to make an effort.
posted by acb at 2:40 PM on February 16, 2013


There is speculation that Kevin Rudd

Oh for fuck's sake, good work going with the SMH playbook there. I love how things just seemed to spring forth, fully-formed as Athena from Zeus' forehead, in the eyes of the media and the credulous fools happily munching on their soggy sao's.

"There is speculation", "Critics say", "In the eyes of some". It's brilliant. No need for a quote, a name, anything on the record.

Who is this speculation from? Hmmm, let's think. The Coalition, that's one. Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop and Abbott himself certainly would have a an established an unquestionable insight into Labor Party backroom shenanigans. Their bleatings are well worth giving credence to.

Who else? Hmmm. Peter Hartcher. Michelle Grattan. Fran Kelly. Oh right, the other speculation is coming from journalists who are writing the stories themselves. Well, we should believe them, after all, they correctly predicted 27 of the last 2 leadership challenges, and have absolutely no interest or track record in writing content-free, churned-out gossip as they're incapable of either understanding or researching actual policy. Thankfully, politics is basically a larger-than-life game of Chess; thank god we have these Bobby Fischer's to tell us what we really think about things. FFS.

I don't expect Metafilter to descend to the sub-gutter level of the Australian media.

"Like" Kevin Rudd, or Julia Gillard? Wtf, I don't know anything about them. I like a lot of the things their governments did, especially Rudd, and less so Gillard what with the lurch to the right, horrible, illegal refugee policy, 180 on the Intervention, and cop-out on gay marriage - and most importantly, arrant stupidity and pride in being willing to destroy Labor's chances and give us a fucking Abbott government for nothing more than personal antipathy.

Rudd and the NSW Right? Hahaha. Whatever his no-doubt many faults, they hated him; it was Paul Howes on Lateline who announced Gillard's intentions, remember? She couldn't have done it without the NSW Right, couldn't have done it without scum like Arbib, Feeney, Shorten and remains indebted to them. Who put Bob Carr - that self-satisfied, supremely arrogant, twat in as Foreign Minister? The only things worse are the dogs like Ferguson and Coal Fitzgibbon that Rudd is now lying down with.

Rudd's "dire" polling, the so-called impetus for that bone-headed move, never got as low as Gillard's. Indeed, Gillard's has only once or twice been higher than Rudd's at its lowest. Labor Party didn't do it for Australians, or Labor voters. They did it for themselves, stupidly. And lost good people like Tanner in the process.

Meanwhile the media has even made this corpse of a story punch drunk, they've beaten it up so much. The whole thing makes me so pissed off.
posted by smoke at 3:45 PM on February 16, 2013 [11 favorites]


With Rudd vs. Abbott, it's a photo finish.

Are you kidding me? I would vote for bloody Arbib over Abbott. Abbott is a quasi fascist who would tow boats out to open sea because Racism. He would see Australia set the world on fire because Climate Denialism. He would incite more racial tension because Muslims. He would sell off Australian's assets and strip health because Neoliberalism.

Believe me, I'm far from a fan of Labor's atm, but if you think Abbott and Rudd - or anyone from Labor - are interchangeable, then you need to two things: 1) Go back and look at policy outcomes from Rudd's term, and 2) Cast your gaze to the Newman govt in Qld for a handy preview of what Abbott will do to Australia.
posted by smoke at 3:50 PM on February 16, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, what smoke said...but with more vehemence and vulgarity.
posted by taff at 4:47 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The over the top hatred of Abbott (and Howard before that) just makes me think all my leftie friends want a George Bush of their own to hate. He's not ideal, but he won't dismantle socialized medicine or bring in the death penalty, and his refugee policies, though horrible, aren't any worse than Labor's. But I got constantly attacked last election when I said I'd vote for the guy who didn't want to censor the Internet.

I hate to say it, but the only option is the Greens, since their refugee policy is actually humane. Or write in Turnbull. Or Nick Cave I guess.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:14 PM on February 16, 2013


his refugee policies, though horrible, aren't any worse than Labor's.

Well, that's not true. He wants to turn back the boats. I believe that's the only difference between the two parties these days.

Or write in Turnbull.

So, invalidate your vote?
The only people who can vote for Turnbull are the good people of Wentworth, and he has 65% of the vote there already.
posted by Mezentian at 6:27 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Labor has abandoned the Internet filter, thankfully, and the Greens never supported it. So there's no need for the net-filter thing to make anyone consider voting Liberal.

However if you so love your internets to the point of being a single-issue voter, remember that the Liberals would have destroyed the National Broadband Network and left the country's Internet running on shitty slow copper-wire in the hands of price-gouging asshole private monopolists.
posted by moorooka at 6:47 PM on February 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


l'd vote for Rudd over Gillard. Her few policy successes she inherited from him, and she's basically amoral as far as I can tell. Seriously, what good is she, apart from the fact she's not Abbott?
posted by wilful at 12:16 AM on February 17, 2013


Labor, Gillard slip in latest Nielsen poll.

This is the unwinnable election, apparently.

Seriously, what good is she, apart from the fact she's not Abbott?

That she's not Abbott is just enough for me. Not that I will vote for her party (I don't live in her seat) but I will preference the ALP above the righter-leaning parties.

I did start this comment hoping to make sure y'all had https://www.belowtheline.org.au/ bookmarked for the Senate race, but it seems to be down.
posted by Mezentian at 6:11 AM on February 17, 2013


Thirteen per cent of respondents said they were less likely to vote for Gillard because she was unmarried and has no children, and the same among said they were more likely to vote for Abbott for the opposite reasons.

Urgh
posted by moorooka at 1:17 PM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Watching ABC breakfast. Paul Howes, when asked about Labor's polling: "I regret in the past that I've been one of those people going on tv and talking about polling. I will never do it ever again."

ABC host: "But that was exactly what you did to get rid of Kevin Rudd."

Paul Howes: "And I'm eating some humble pie. I think talking about polling is a waste of time."

Go fuck yourself, Paul. Happy to talk about polling except when it's bad for you. Slugs like you are why no one wants to vote for Labor. Remember your reason for voting Gillard in? (aside from polling, the one in your "book" *retch*) Refugee Policy. Your conscience wouldn't let you support Rudd with his backwards refugee policy. What a joke.
posted by smoke at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2013


Christopher Pyne is going to be Minister of Education. Think about that for a minute.
posted by Wolof at 1:39 PM on February 17, 2013


Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne, and Julie Bishop all disturb me tremendously.

Hockey and Turnbull are the only ones who appear to have actual pulses and both of them look like they're slowly being drained of all their blood in a backroom.

As for Rudd, I don't think he has any chance - no one wants to work for him anymore - his public persona is not his private one.
posted by heyjude at 2:39 PM on February 17, 2013


Hockey is a cretin. His avuncular mien betrays an absolute and laughable ignorance of finance or economic history, theory, policy or practice.

As for Rudd, I don't think he has any chance - no one wants to work for him anymore - his public persona is not his private one.


It's amazing to me, how many people are happy to repeat this trope, and yet - mystifyingly - staff turnover in Gillard's office has been very high (forgive me, Hun link) - I've read it was actually higher than Rudd's, not that it matters it's a job that traditionally has always had high turnover.

And - more tellingly, imho - the media, despite repeating this ad infinitum, has not been able to rustle up a single ex-staffer or public servant to go on record and say what a nightmare he was to work with. Out of the dozens of people who worked directly with him, and now quit Labor or the public service, not a single one. Imagine that. But everybody's happy to hold forth about what a nightmare he was to work with based on some gossip, or that they knew someone who knew someone in the QLD govt or whatever crap.

I'm not saying he's Saint Kevin, but I think it's revealing that the only people who have gone on record to say working with him sucked was some of the people who voted him out. Ah Labor, try representing your constituents some time; dude was more popular with the public - you know, the people who vote you in - for longer, than Bob Hawke. What a bunch of idiots.
posted by smoke at 4:04 PM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


And lost good people like Tanner in the process.

Tanner's departure was not influenced by Rudd's spill. Rudd severely sidelined Tanner, according to media reports: "KEVIN RUDD and his senior ministers were so suspicious of Lindsay Tanner that they used to hold fake pre-budget meetings to ensure their plans did not leak".

based on some gossip

The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and several other members of Cabinet have described Rudd's leadership as "chaotic" and "dysfunctional". Tanner outlines his thoughts here (TheAustralian link) of how the SPBC, or "Kitchen Cabinet", worked.
posted by kithrater at 4:43 PM on February 17, 2013


You don't understand," Rudd said. "As a result of your papers, 15 million people around the country think I'm a f****** c***!"

Penberthy had to laugh: "I think it's only about 10 million, mate."
posted by Wolof at 6:07 PM on February 17, 2013


I'm just going to quote John Quiggin in full here, as my bottom line:
We’ve had quite a few debates here about the Labor leadership. While there are plenty of issues, there is one that, at this point in the cycle, trumps all the others. Of the two serious contenders, who is more likely to save Australia from the disaster of an Abbott-led coalition government? The answer to this question is so clear-cut that I find it impossible to believe anyone would dispute it: Julia Gillard has almost no chance of victory at this point, while Kevin Rudd has a chance. There’s certainly room for debate about how good Rudd’s chances are, but none, I think, as regards Gillard’s. And, whatever the stylistic differences, in substantive terms Gillard’s agenda is the one she inherited from Rudd.

The question now is whether we will have another three years to implement that agenda, or whether we have a Newman-style slash and burn assault on the public sector, the environment, science, women’s rights and, of course, the working class. The only thing likely to stop that is an immediate change of leadership.
posted by wilful at 1:45 AM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


when labor passed over warren mundine to give arbib's empty seat to bob carr, I think they made a very big mistake. I think mundine (warren - not anthony - warren) showed real potential as a leader and future prime minister.
posted by compound eye at 4:11 AM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is all very depressing after seeing a bunch of "Colin Barnett can find his arse with both hands so that's why I'm voting for my local-yet-unnamed Liberal MP" ads this morning. He's not as bad as Campbell Newman but I'm tired of having Woodside Petroleum Ltd running state parliament. The union ads have even worse actors, and I haven't seen anything from the ALP yet.

PS: If you can't afford to make an ad for every local candidate, don't have an actress pretend she's my neighbour chatting about our generic Member of Parliament because it sounds ridiculously silly. Drop the fake folksiness and just do a campaign ad for the whole party.
posted by harriet vane at 7:35 PM on February 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has anyone seen the Fairfax websites today? Who knew that Michelle Grattan of all people was the last thing keeping Fairfax from going completely bonkers?
posted by kithrater at 8:07 PM on February 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The evidence that Rudd is not well liked is that he's not the leader of the ALP.

I think it's unfortunate that Gillard isn't polling terribly well - she is one of the few politicians who appears to be capable of behaving in a vaguely sensible manner. Rudd is very smart, but his ego (and childishness) is what stuffs it up for him.
posted by heyjude at 10:26 PM on February 18, 2013


she is one of the few politicians who appears to be capable of behaving in a vaguely sensible manner

Behaving in a vaguely sensible manner, in today's media climate, is a losing game. When was the last time any of you saw the only Australian party capable of formulating policy in a vaguely sensible manner judged on the merits of those policies? Doesn't happen. They've been labelled "extremist" and "a party of protest, not of government" and that's as much deep analysis as most of us are up for.

Collectively we're amazingly stupid. We elect one major party to hit us in the face with a hammer for three years, and when we eventually notice how much that hurts we chuck them out and get the other lot in to hit us in the face with a shovel. And as long as the wrong lizards don't get in and we have something juicy on the front page to whinge and bitch about, it's apparently all good.

Because Australian politics has not been about policy since the Dismissal. Policy bores an electorate that would rather watch WWE than read newspapers. Politics is now just another televised spectator sport, the public no longer supports political parties but barracks for them, and the Canberra press gallery is basically just a bunch of sports writers egging us on.

About the only thing that could stop Abbott at this point is a doping scandal. We need to get Christopher Pyne to deny repeatedly that any of his team has ever ingested or preferably injected a peptide.
posted by flabdablet at 8:07 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Howes lashes anti-Gillard leakers - "Key Labor figure Paul Howes has lashed out crudely at Labor MPs he says are undermining Prime Minister Julia Gillard, telling those who anonymously attack their leader to 'grow a pair'"

Oh, irony. If I wasn't held up restraining an impulse to punch his stupid gob in every time I see it yapping, I would have to chuckle. Leaking bullcrap sure is bad, isn't Paul, when it happens to someone you like?
posted by smoke at 10:51 PM on February 20, 2013


Mind you, his compulsion to appear in front of the media - and the ego propelling it - is almost awe-inspiring, representing as he does the facets of Labor that swinging voters hold most in contempt.
posted by smoke at 11:50 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's just occurred to me that Abbott might actually be serious about dismantling the carbon tax.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

How the fuck are we ever going to turn into the Saudi of sunshine with a short sighted fucker like that in charge?

Fuck.
posted by flabdablet at 3:42 AM on February 21, 2013


flabdablet, flabdablet, flabdablet ....
Have you forgotten?
Abbott Pledges Oath In Blood To Repeal Carbon Tax.

A man who believes in Satan isn't going to piss off the Dark Lord.
posted by Mezentian at 7:46 AM on February 21, 2013


I look forward to an explanation of the differences between core blood oaths and non-core blood oaths. After all, why else would you vote for Abbott if you don’t enjoy Howard nostalgia?
posted by kithrater at 2:53 PM on February 21, 2013


All this talk of blood oaths just makes Abbott sound much cooler. And you're comparing him to the evil super-conservative who passed gun control measures that Obama couldn't pass in his wildest dreams?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:18 PM on February 21, 2013


And you're comparing him to the evil super-conservative who passed gun control measures that Obama couldn't pass in his wildest dreams?

Abbott continually compares himself to Howard. His election pitch can be summarised as "if you vote for me, I will return Australia to the Howard golden age". Abbott himself has said as much. Abbott's failure to explain how he will reverse time to 2005 is a good reason not to vote for him.
posted by kithrater at 3:31 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


An oath in blood! Does that mean the carbon tax is dead, buried and cremated?
posted by flabdablet at 6:03 PM on February 21, 2013


Jonathon Green at the Dumb and Piping Shrike raise an interesting alternative view, that the only people keeping Gillard in power are the faceless men, who have more to lose from Rudd as PM than they do from Labor being wiped out at the next election.
posted by wilful at 2:44 AM on February 22, 2013


And you're comparing him to the evil super-conservative who passed gun control measures that Obama couldn't pass in his wildest dreams?

You ain't from around here, boy.

(Seriously, Howard wearing a flackjacket at Gympie was a ticket to Lulzville because no one could understand anyone taking a shot at a PM. Now, Chinese submarines? Totally happened).


Abbott's failure to explain how he will reverse time to 2005 is a good reason not to vote for him.
Satanic Magic.
Have you not being paying attention?
posted by Mezentian at 8:11 AM on February 22, 2013


> the only people keeping Gillard in power are the faceless men

Dunno about faceless but come to think of it Oakeshott and Windsor have been keeping a low profile. (The electorate is going to deliver such a smackdown ...)

The Gillard government won't last until mid-September.
posted by de at 3:01 PM on February 22, 2013


You mean her leadership, or Labor in general? Cause if it's the latter your prediction is quite similar to the Coalition, and they've been banging on about that since she got elected, so you will excuse my skepticism.
posted by smoke at 6:02 PM on February 22, 2013


Yes Smoke, her leadership. By her own (Rudd roll) reckoning Gillard's leadership is untenable given her polling, and while Gillard continues to hand swipe the polls away as irrelevant (to her), the polls will only get worse.

There's a sense that Gillard scheduled the election this far out to protect her government from rogue by-elections but a perhaps unintended, perhaps unforeseen, consequence is the campaign-significance it gives to polls. I really can't see Gillard lasting much beyond the Autumn sitting. Swan's another one in for a bad Fall.

What then happens to the Labor government is more in the hands of Windsor (and Oakeshott) than caucus and factions. Windsor's deal is with Gillard, not her party.

This isn't annoying Coalition spin. What's going on is between Gillard and an electorate keen to vote. Gillard is in strife.
posted by de at 4:04 AM on February 23, 2013


Dunno about faceless but come to think of it Oakeshott and Windsor have been keeping a low profile. (The electorate is going to deliver such a smackdown ...)

Aye. And yet at least one (Oakeshott, if I recall) is standing for re-election.
posted by Mezentian at 4:38 AM on February 23, 2013


Clarke and Dawe, as ever, nail it.
posted by flabdablet at 8:03 AM on February 23, 2013


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