The Ten Questions Labor MPs Are Asking Themselves

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Posted June 10, 2013 18:12:55

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd sit on the front bench>> Photo: Labor MPs are actively considering whether they should replace Prime Minister Julia Gillard with her predecessor Kevin Rudd. (Alan Porritt, file photo: AAP)

Federal Labor MPs are asking serious and pointed questions about what a change of leadership would deliver at this stage. A lot depends on how the Prime Minister herself chooses to play things over the coming weeks, writes Leigh Sales.

Fact: Labor MPs are actively considering whether they should replace Prime Minister Julia Gillard with her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

Fiction: It’s a done deal.

It’s not. Instead, Labor MPs are doing some grave soul-searching about their best course of action. They are asking serious and pointed questions about what a change of leadership would deliver at this stage. And a lot depends on how the Prime Minister herself chooses to play things over the coming weeks.

As we already know, the mood in the caucus is despondent. There’s a widely-held view - even among her supporters - that Julia Gillard is unlikely to win the election. But at the time of writing, there is no clear strategy for her removal given that she doesn’t wish to fall on her sword. MPs are also wondering very specifically what the party would gain by returning to Kevin Rudd. That is impossible to measure before taking the leap and so MPs are privately weighing the prospect carefully.

These are the 10 questions Labor politicians are asking themselves as they ponder the merits of switching Prime Ministers for a second time:

1. Can I save my own seat?

Instead of asking “Would a change of leader win us the election?” many MPs are asking “Would a change of leader save my parliamentary career?” Kevin Rudd is significantly more popular with voters than Julia Gillard (and for that matter, Tony Abbott). If a Rudd return carved even two to three per cent off any swing against Labor, it would save some key seats.

2. Will Kevin Rudd’s poll numbers remain as high if he returns to the leadership?

In the past few months, various polls have shown Rudd is twice as popular as Gillard with voters and that he would add 10 per cent or more to Labor’s primary vote. But there’s no way of knowing in what direction those numbers would go if Rudd were back in the hot seat. Will voters like Kevin Rudd more or less once he’s back on the TV news every night? There’s no way for Labor apparatchiks to test the waters on this without returning Rudd to the job. What if caucus reinstates him only to see his numbers drop almost immediately?

3. Why will changing leaders again work for Labor federally when it didn’t work in NSW?

In New South Wales, Labor tried Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees and finally Kristina Keneally. None of it made any difference to the annihilation in 2011. In 2010, when federal Labor dumped Rudd, internal polling showed the move would win votes. On election day, the opposite happened. Is going to the polls with Rudd or Gillard going to end up much of a muchness?

4. Does Kevin Rudd deserve a second chance to lead the nation?

There is still a huge amount of contempt for Rudd among his own colleagues. They disliked him as Prime Minister and their loathing has become even more pronounced at the way he has handled himself since. There is a view among a substantial proportion of the caucus that Rudd is a disloyal white-anter. His conduct over the past week - starting with his interview on 7.30 and followed by his campaigning in Geelong - has pushed the buttons of those in the party who don’t approve of his style. Even his supporters were unimpressed with how he handled the abortive Simon Crean-instigated spill. Labor insiders are asking themselves does this guy deserve to be rewarded with a return to The Lodge?

5. If Rudd is reinstated, what happens to the front bench?

Presumably Wayne Swan has to go, along with several other high-profile ministers. Will Labor be able to present a united front for the election or will the same divisions remain as long as either Rudd or Gillard is in the top job? Will the anti-Rudd brigade undermine the leadership team in the same way the anti-Gillard crew has been accused of doing? How will Gillard herself behave if she is tapped on the shoulder by a group of senior party figures?

6. What happens to the September 14 election date?

A freshly-instated Rudd has several options available to him. He could stay with September 14. He could take it off the table to reclaim the element of surprise. He could call a snap election. Or he could delay going to the ballot box until as late as possible. But his own control over the election date could also slip if the independents withdrew their support from the minority Labor government. Is a fixed date with Gillard better than an imminent election with Rudd forced by Tony Windsor


7. Is the party ready to go to an election with a different leader?

What would a Rudd campaign look like? All advertising and campaign material would have to be redesigned. And what would be the central message? Anybody but Abbott? Does that float? Furthermore, the policies Labor has been planning to campaign on - NDIS and Gonski - are signature Gillard initiatives. What does Rudd have in the kit bag, especially on asylum seekers?

8. How would a Rudd versus Abbott contest shape up?

Given the Labor shenanigans over the leadership, Tony Abbott would undoubtedly run the powerful argument that Labor cannot be trusted to manage the country because it can’t manage its own party. A return to Rudd would only give the Coalition leaders more ammunition to argue that they’re the adults in the room and deserve to be in charge. Presumably the Liberals have workshopped their campaign against both Gillard and Rudd. They have damning material to use against Rudd - from the mouths of people on his own side. The question is whether Rudd could successfully make Abbott look less than Prime Ministerial.

9. What would Labor look like in Opposition?

Given the pessimism about the election outcome, there is some thought going into what Labor would look like in Opposition and what would best help make the ALP competitive for the election after this one. Can Rudd help the party hold enough heartland seats that the next election is not an insurmountable mountain, even if Abbott’s first term is rocky? Will Rudd keep some of Labor’s potential future leaders in the Parliament, people like Chris Bowen and Jason Clare? On the flipside, is it worth sticking with Gillard to minimise any damage to people like Bill Shorten who may be tarred by association with another leadership change?

10. Does it even matter at this stage?

Is it best to just wait until after the election and then draw a line under the whole Rudd/Gillard era once and for all? Sure, the rebuild would likely start from a low base but by necessity, it would force the party to rethink its raison d’etre, in a way what some party elders have urged for a long time.

Leigh Sales anchors 7.30 on ABC1. View her full profile here.

Topics: gillard-julia, rudd-kevin, federal-elections, alp

Comments (523)

Comments for this story are closed.

  • sancz:

    10 Jun 2013 6:26:59pm

    11) when are we going to get some serious policy analysis from a proper journalist?

    do your jobs. the government is doing theirs. Abbott is doing nothing.

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    • Cynic:

      10 Jun 2013 6:50:41pm

      Rubbish! The article is to the point and relevant. The government is presently a degenerating rabble that is divided. Presumably you opt for "shoot the messenger" when you don't like the news.

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      • jerrybrookman:

        11 Jun 2013 9:09:28am

        @cynic,If the"messenger" is the one responsible for spreading lies, gossip and blatant misinformation in order to remove a democratically elected government for their own commercial interests then "shooting the messenger" or some other form of legal execution for such an act of treason is commonplace. Do'nt try this in China rupert!

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        • Aaron:

          11 Jun 2013 10:18:07am

          You are kidding right?

          First of all many of the countries you refer to this as being commonplace are not run by democratically elected governments. in fact most of them use such methods as a tool to suppress free speech and control the population.

          Secondly, if you think the Chinese government is some sort of model of comparison that we should be looking toward then I suggest you:

          - have a cup of tea.

          - have a good think about what you have said.

          - try to come to terms with what seems to be coming - a change of government by democratic means in a society where free speech is the norm and people have the right to choose to listen to what they want.

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        • Joe:

          11 Jun 2013 11:05:14am

          Yes, I'm sure Rupert is being much more careful and respectful in China, much more careful and respectful than he is in Australia.

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        • Rhosas:

          11 Jun 2013 12:11:05pm

          Was Rudd democratically elected or not?

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        • OverIt:

          11 Jun 2013 12:51:05pm

          He was elected by his party, as are all party leaders. He was NOT elected by the voters.

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        • JD:

          11 Jun 2013 3:53:27pm

          I'm sick of hearing this rubbish that voters don't elect the PM, he may have been chosen by the party MPs, but the voters have the final say.

          Do you think voters are blind and deaf, we rarely see our local MP, ( My local MP has never knocked on my door or made me a promise,his monthly news sheet is all I've heard from him.) but every day and night on the TV on the radio and in the papers we see the leaders of the parties and it is in them we put our trust in, not a party full of people we don't know with a party machinery by people we don't see or elect.

          It is the party leaders who make us the promises on policies to the voters and their leadership voters look to for the nation.

          Are you trying tell me the Labor party put Hawke in as leader for no reason, of course not they put him in because he was popular and would increase the party vote and was seen as a leader we could trust, the same reason they chose Rudd the first time.

          The leader is one of the main reason people vote in an election, just look at the 2004 election when we had a choice between Howard and Latham, few people believed Latham was up to being PM.

          In the 21st century with modern media election in Australia are more Presidential then in 1901 when outside of a newspaper article few people ever saw the PM, but your local MP was more representative of the local community and was seen locally even if it was only at the football to say hello to.

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        • hugh mungus:

          11 Jun 2013 1:30:17pm

          I assume you refer to 2007, when Rudd was democratically elected to Parliament in his own Queensland electorate. Subsequently he was democratically chosen to be Prime Minister by the parliamentary members of the Labor party, who were the only ones entitled to a vote in that election. Later, in 2010, Rudd resigned from that position and did not contest the resultant election. The new PM Gillard called a quick election to seek a mandate to govern - and was able to form a constitutionally sound government, which has also been able to govern effectively.

          Whining about Labor replacing a sitting PM ignores the fact that such action is not only constitutionally sound and eminently sensible - it has also been done by the LNP (Gorton v McMahon) and Bob Menzies himself was forced to resign the PMship as leader of the UAP during WW2

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        • Reader:

          11 Jun 2013 6:14:13pm

          Hugh Mungus: in retrospect, whatever the legitimacy or otherwise of Rudd's demise, it wasnt a smart move by Gillard, and it has had long-lasting detrimental effects on the ALP.

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        • Cynic:

          11 Jun 2013 12:38:42pm

          What a load of bunkum! I always get a laugh from people who attribute Gillard's unpopularity to some sort of MSM conspiracy theory, and then we're told that people are turning off the MSM in droves. I also assume that when the MSM was pro-Labor, as it has been at times in the past, that it was also responsible for spreading lies, gossip and blatant misinformation. But while Labor acolytes focus on the MSM and not the underlying internal reasons for their long-term popularity, they'll never improve.

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        • Lee of Brisbane:

          11 Jun 2013 3:12:23pm

          I sort of agree with you Cynic, but, the evidence is mounting on the MSM theory. Yes Kevin Rudd was significantly backed by Murdoch and yes so have most PM's been elected with partisan press. Only recently has it been that our own mother country has had to address the problems of Media influence and relationships with politicians through intimidation and threat and poor old Rupert is front and center. Considering the antics at the News of the World tabloids phone tapping and intimidation and lies scandal I think the question of Media influence over this election is not only valid but has merit. Where does the difference between analysis and opinion compared to lobbying on behalf of very few very cashed up and very powerful vested interest individuals lie and is that what we want in a democratic society. Ruperts vote is worth more than mine in Australia and these days he is a Yank. Go figure. 'Cynic' you have taken your eye of the ball mate. The economy is strong and recognized by the rest of the world as so. Our living standards are good, unemployment is down, inflation is down, interest rates are down, growth is strong, we are investing in education, health, disability and welfare. All good news stories for Australia yet the MSM overly concentrate on the normal internal politics of the Labor Party screaming crisis whilst not looking at policy. Suggests vested interest agenda and interference to me but what would I know. If you truly are a cynic you would vote Labor. lol.

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        • grump3:

          11 Jun 2013 4:37:41pm

          I also dislike Gillard & have nearly always voted for the Libs but not this time due to their bloody minded negativity.

          As to the polls, have a look at the impact the internet is having on Murdoch's media interests.

          Ever since Labor switched from a restrictive FTTN NBN to the far superior FTTP roll out his allegiance switched.

          Reliable high speed internet for the masses has printed media in trouble & is a serious threat to Foxtel unless Abbott succeeds with his directive to "Destroy the NBN" so now everything Labor does gets negative press while Tony gets a free ride.

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        • hairy nosed wombat:

          11 Jun 2013 1:10:17pm

          Total penetration of the Murdoch Press in this country is only a few percent of the population. Yes, they are relatively powerful, but News International's power in this country is constantly overstated. Mr Murdoch is in a similarly powerful position within the media in the USA, and have a look at how much influence they achieved over the result of the US election. Zero.

          They only preach to the converted. Mr Murdoch's business model has never been to try to influence people's thinking - this is a recipe for financial oblivion. He is much too clever for this. Rather his business model is to sell people opinions they already have. This is his genius. He doesn't sell news, rather he gets people to pay for endorsement of their already held personal opinions.

          No, the ALP has achieved this pretty much entirely on their own. Even Mr Abbott can't take much of the credit. In fact, even the ALP's policies aren't at fault - they appear to generally be ahead on this count. The ALP's demise lies firmly at the feet of its leadership, and the failings of the leadership reflect the failure of the internal politics of the ALP. There are actually some pretty capable folks inside the ALP. Don't worry that Rudd and Gillard are the best they have got. You just won't ever hear from them, other than to hear them parrot off some drivel written for them by the PM's office - over and over again.

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    • Kevin O'Gone:

      10 Jun 2013 6:57:06pm

      Abbott is doing his job supremely, and that's what really irks you.

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      • mark:

        11 Jun 2013 10:11:34am

        His job being??? Hiding from real scrutiny, while desperately trying to hold the Coalition together as a unified entity when they all:

        hate his paid parental leave scheme

        don't believe they can stop the boats

        want to go much harder on IR

        All this speculation is just more of a 'look at Labor' strategy designed to stop people looking at the sorry alternative.

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        • genfie:

          11 Jun 2013 12:41:03pm

          Yeaa, he actually runs away from media questions in this completely hilarious arms akimbo way in case he has to explain any of his policies. All his policy statements in the last week could have been issued by the Blue Fairy. Policy by magic. He's picked up a wand and starting to make silly announcements with a flick of his wrist.

          He's going to get rid of asbestos *ding*, stop the boats *ding*, solve global warming *ding", save the car industry *ding*, cause the Australian dollar to drop without increasing inflation *ding* and, my personal favourite, increase spending and cut taxes while returning the budget to surplus *dingalingaling*. I can't believe people buy this rubbish.

          And if people had seen and really understood what he and Pyne have done to disrupt parliamentary proceedings over the past three or four years they'd be disgusted. He's nothing but a jingoist bully.

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      • Joe:

        11 Jun 2013 11:11:25am

        Abbott is a wrecker. Pure and simple. He is not coming up with alternative policies that will work. Instead he is playing to peoples fears with his "STOP THE BOATS" mantra. Something he won't be able to do. And he won't admit that it is his previous LNP government that allowed a private debt binge is the reason our economy is in such a mess today.

        Abbott is not doing his job as an opposition leader. He is trying to get the LNP back into power at any cost.

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        • betty:

          11 Jun 2013 3:43:42pm

          He doesn't have to come up with any detail to his one-line "policies" because he doesn't have to.

          No one in the media is actually asking him. It is so very frustrating for the rest of us who would like some policy detail from both sides.

          It seems the the number one thing is to get rid of Julia Gillard as PM and that's it. Everytime someone grumbles to me that we'd be better off without Gillard, I ask them why - I can't help it. The answers I get are horribly abusive towards the PM but I'm still non the wiser about why they think Gillard is bad for the country.

          I don't want to believe that it's because the PM is an unmarried, child-free woman in a position of power.....

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      • Lee of Brisbane:

        11 Jun 2013 11:58:40am

        I agree. Tony Abbott is doing his job supremely, IF, you consider using Machiavellian Principles as your guiding reference. The Labor Party may have many different factions and many ambitious people, with real internal competition for the top job, all, of which seem to be a good thing. Many competing ideas, robust and somewhat open debate, a representative grounding. Combined them with a constructive bunch of conservative independents and a somewhat altruistic greens, they have delivered us one of the top performing economies on the planet. This without the need for those draconian "work choices" plus the NDIS, Carbon (Pollution) Tax, the fastest and most reliable internet to the home medium (light speed fibre optics) possible plus real education and health funding increases, combine that with, low unemployment, low interest rates, low inflation and steady growth, we are being governed very well indeed.

        I think the REAL supreme performer here has been the REAL Julia. She has performed admirably over a three year period in a hung parliament, through personal tragedy, with dignity and grace and she has GOT THINGS DONE. She has my vote.

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      • betty:

        11 Jun 2013 11:59:44am

        And his job at the moment is to keep his mouth shut and avoid interviews and policy discussion. He's doing really good.

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      • Judy Bee:

        11 Jun 2013 12:55:26pm

        Tony Abbott's job in Opposition has been, with the help of many organs of the media, to consign the current Government into absolute oblivion. That he has achieved this with misinformation, deception and with no viable alternative, is a feat that will go down in the history of Australian politics as the lowest ever.

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        • Ed W:

          11 Jun 2013 4:52:15pm

          And so say all of us !!

          Keep fighting with Julia to expose this shameful leader of the opposition.

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      • JamesD:

        11 Jun 2013 12:59:00pm

        You're right, as an Opposition Leader Tony has been doing a fantastic job, in that he opposes everything. But in an election year, his job is to offer a viable alternative for the country and at least an indication of what the next 3 years would look like under his government.

        Other than a gold-plated parental leave scheme, what single new idea does TA have for Australia? As he said in his budget reply... "parliamentary days dedicated to repealing laws, not passing them".

        And then what?

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      • Judy Bee:

        11 Jun 2013 1:17:06pm

        Abbott would not be the first elected Australian Prime Minister who surfed into power on the Murdoch media wave. No effectively communicated policies needed, just a budgee smuggler and some lycra.

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    • BG:

      10 Jun 2013 7:11:21pm

      The Government is tearing itself apart, she is doing her job. Get over it.

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      • julia fan:

        11 Jun 2013 9:04:55am


        The Government is tearing itself apart, Julia is doing a GREAT job.

        She should be left undisturbed in her efforts to continue leading the ALP in a direction that's wonderful for the nation.

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        • bobtonnor:

          11 Jun 2013 10:40:12am

          I too am a fan of Gillard, i think in the circumstances she has done an amazing job, trouble is that if she sticks it out to the election the majority of the work she has done will quickly be dumped by Abbott. Sheer stuborness will not save labor, doubtful will Rudd, but if he can help deliver that extra 3,4 or 5% primary it needs to be done, Gillard needs to stand down for the good of the country, the Senate needs to stay out of the coalitions hands because if not, Gina, Pell and Bolt will be steering the country, God help us.

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        • Joe:

          11 Jun 2013 11:18:38am

          The problem is the LNP has absolutely no idea about the world in which Australia lives.

          I seriously question whether the LNP has the people with the understanding, the knowledge or the capability to lead Australia in this highly uncertain world. Their ideas of neo liberalism and social darwinism are being turned against Australia and Australians. But they aren't smart enough to understand this and even if they did realise this they wouldn't know what to do about it. They will be like children trying to run a business. All the the things they thought were right have been turned on its head and they won't know what to do or which way to turn.

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        • Amethyst:

          11 Jun 2013 12:46:49pm

          And they don't need to know about the world we mere Australians live in.

          As when Campbell Newman swept to power in Queensland, Abbott will sweep in lacking any experience, understanding, vision or clarity.

          What he will get is a gross amount of political power which, like a teenager suddenly given a million dollars, will no doubt go straight to his government's head.

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        • Think first...:

          11 Jun 2013 11:43:27am

          If the PM is doing such a great job, why is the government tearing itself a part?

          The PM is being left to lead the party, the problem is that there are group within her own party who no longer want her as leader.

          That itself speaks volumes about her success as a leader.

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        • OUB :

          11 Jun 2013 3:00:19pm

          I read Julia Fan's post as a good attempt at irony. Most Coalition supporters would be satisfied with the direction in which Gillard is taking the ALP. She just about has Labor at the top of the slippery dip now.

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        • Felix:

          11 Jun 2013 12:09:37pm

          I think BG meant Leigh Sales is doing her job by reporting on it.

          Nice try though. ;-)

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        • Tamstermac:

          11 Jun 2013 12:16:39pm

          Ummm... I think BG is referring to the journalist in question here, not Julia...

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        • Mushroom:

          11 Jun 2013 12:23:44pm

          So you would be please Julia keeps her seat while those who supported her go down with the ship.

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    • Trump:

      10 Jun 2013 7:14:24pm

      The Govt is not doing their job otherwise they wouldn't be the worst polling Labor Govt in history.........something you may have missed.

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      • ron:

        11 Jun 2013 8:35:50am

        Your evidence for the government not doing their job?

        Is it the lack of legislation passed?

        Maybe it's the lack of initiative to tackle climate change?

        Maybe it's the lack of initiative to improve education?

        Or maybe it's their desire not to provide for the disabled?

        The bad polling has more to do with big business being pissed off with having taxes imposed and the media supporting business over people.

        It also has to do with the xenophobic rants of some media presenters who fail to acknowledge our international obligations in respect of asylum seekers.

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        • chipinga:

          11 Jun 2013 8:55:47am

          Rubbish Ron..

          what about the broken promise..Gillard could have had her citizens assembly then introduced a CTS rather than the worlds biggest carbon tax immediately after the elections.

          And have you forgotten the record 300 billion debt?

          The GFC hit the US and did not affect Australia in any way the same as it did other countries mainly because of the fiscal strength of Australia being one of the very few countries in surplus at the time.

          Throwing more money at education has never proved to work...just look at some other countries that spend far less than Australia yet produce better results.

          Hows Labors MRRT going for you?...

          Or perhaps you remember Gillard famous quote regarding asylum seekers "another boat another policy failure" hows that going.

 stick to Gillard..a real winner there!

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        • GraemeF:

          11 Jun 2013 9:39:57am

          The Labor party's handling of the GFC received world wide plaudits and awards. Because they were so successful it allowed some to spread the lie that the stimulus wasn't needed.

          If the GFC didn't affect us then why did the Coalition also have a large stimulus plan on the books?

          The only reason the Coalition and their backers are going on about the small and manageable debt is that their favourite line that ?nterest rates will lower under a Coalition government' can't be used so now they say that low interest rates are a bad thing and it's all debt despite what the economists are saying.

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        • chipinga:

          11 Jun 2013 10:09:35am


          please try and include the fact that Australia was cashed up at the time of the GFC and that we did not need to stimulate our economy to the same degree as other countries did, certainly not by splashing all and sundry with $900 cheques to buy a chinese made flatscreen or similar.

          Oh...and lets not forget that while other countries economies were in decline we here in Australia were experiencing a record mining boom and despite that we are 300 billion in the red.

          Pathetic really..if not very sad.

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        • Reinhard:

          11 Jun 2013 12:29:17pm

          Yes Chippy it was sad and pathetic , the way the Howard govt wasted all that mining boom money on middle class welfare and marginal seat pork barreling.. Money that could have been better used on vital infrastructure like, health and education, instead of their campaign of slash and burn that this govt has had to restore..

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        • hmmm:

          11 Jun 2013 12:38:08pm

          Did you buy a TV with your stimulus, did you? More fool you. Some of us actually used it for more productive measures (in our case, put towards aussie solar panels).

          During the time of the GFC, our 'record' mining boom was nearing its end, we are still in a boom of sorts but the price of coal is significantly less.

          JWH presided over much of the boom, providing middle and upper class welfare and smallish surpluses.

          We may be in a small debt, but at least the govt has used the money on infrastructure and jobs, something Lieberals would never do.

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        • Tom1:

          11 Jun 2013 1:20:13pm

          chipinga: Many people take an entirely different view to you. They are probably just as qualified, and perhaps more so. A continual reminder of Howard's ability to put a small amount away towards the end of his term in excellent financial conditions is really actually only because he could not spend it all. He tried hard though, and left incoming governments with structural debt. His Govt was the highest taxing on record, and he is also said to have been the most profligate Prime Minister ever.

          You of course have a different opinion, but one thing is certain and that is that is if Walter Murdoch decides that Australia needs a change of Government there is a very good chance, with all of his news outlets in Australia, that is what we will get.

          It seems that Americans are smarter than Australians in that regard.

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        • Nicholas:

          11 Jun 2013 1:21:19pm


          1) If the economy expands and the debt as a % of GDP stays constant, the the amount of debt is always going to be 'record' and rising, in the same way that nation's GDP is at 'record levels'. The question is whether the debt is material or sustainable, and the answer is no and yes.

          2) You mention that debt is despite the mining boom. Check tax receipts over the GFC. That will explain budget deficits easily enough.

          3) Gonski reforms. The funding model is broken, plain and simple. equality in funding per student is at the very heart of the problem and the solution. The Gonski review is a very well put together document that should be read by anyone with an opinion on the matter.

          The sad truth is that as the mining boom cools off we are appreciating a possibility of a structural deficit. This is the result of long term underinvestment in productivity and growth (including education). I would be more succinct in saying our greater legacy problem is 13 wasted years under Howard, abundant in middle class welfare and tax cuts and returned cash, where we left 'market forces' to strip every industry other than mining.

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        • Paulh:

          11 Jun 2013 10:33:22am

          Small and maneageable debt ??? We had Billions in the bank and surplus budgets, we now have a record debt that is rising faster than most EU countries,with NO plans as to how to pay it off.we had the IMF warning about over stimulus and wasteful spending,yet YEARS after the gfc labor is still spending on the far as interest rates go they are down solely due to the state of the economy and the high rate of the currency, yet they are still substantially higher than most EU countries and the US.numerous Alledged reform style policies are over budget,the lap top for students still went over budget and thousands still haven't got a lap top, free set top boxes averaged over $600 per set, loft insulation ( need I say more) NBN,green loans,grocery watch,fuel watch, super clinics, taking over health etc etc ALL failed.deluded and deceitful but why let a few facts get in the way

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        • Reinhard:

          11 Jun 2013 5:48:19pm

          Paul where do I start?..

          We had 100s of $billions in the bank but that was mostly squandered by Howard on tax cuts for all, middle class welfare and marginal seat barrelling.. Our debt is not rising faster than EU nations, in fact as a % of GDP it has dropped in the past year from 22.9% to 20.7% and that is still lower than it was for 5 years of the Howard govt.

          The IMF has never warned this govt of over-stimulus, or accused it of overspending, (you might be confused with the "profligate" Howard govt there)

          As for interest you are either saying they are too high or low, I can't work out which either way they were only lowered to put downward pressure on our high $Aus and are now correct. As for the rest, simple regurgitation of policy adding the word 'failed' is not good enough. so here are some facts in your way..

          Re Pink Batts , there were more deaths per installation before the Fed govt scheme than during or after and the school laptop scheme was never intended to be permanent,

          Fuel watch and Grocery watch collapsed due to oil and supermarket corporations refusing to co-operate by providing the required info. The Federal govt "taking over health" was due tom the Vic govt slashing $660m from its health budget and the other coalition states have been equally brutal, all the while playing the usual blame game

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        • Peter Schmidt:

          11 Jun 2013 10:54:14am

          Worldwide accolade, from the IMF, who is currently holding Hungary to ransom to borrow or face the consequences...

          A few antigovernment demonstrations organised by a few foreign NGOs? Like in Russia?

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        • GraemeF:

          11 Jun 2013 2:54:17pm

          From the IMF, from the Economist Magazine, from economist Joseph Stiglitz and many many more.

          Sins of ommision are just as much a lie. Try making a point without twisting the truth.

          I'm still not sure what your point is. Some version of shooting the messenger no doubt.

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        • Rodf:

          11 Jun 2013 12:12:02pm

          The Labor government received plaudits from the very people who caused the GFC - lots of credibility there. Australia's relatively good performance was because China was buying everything we could dig up. The surplus left by the previous government helped BUT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BIGGER given the mining boom that was squandered on excessive tax cuts but it was much better than the Greens have produced through their puppet Labor stooges.

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        • Paulh:

          11 Jun 2013 1:10:28pm

          Howard must have wasted the $96Billion that he used to pay off Labors/Keating Debt,must have missed that one.then we had the 2012 budget which was over $30Billion out and a $44 Billion deficit, then 2013 was $21 Billion further into deficit and ALL of labor/swans budgets were in deficit and all wrongly forecast, whilst revenues are Up, yes Up higher than ever under Howard.but why let some facts about economic mismanagement get in the way

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        • Dick:

          11 Jun 2013 4:52:46pm


          Some of us old rusted on types still recall the LNP reation to Whitlam when he became the first western leader to reopen diplomatic and trade ties with China. We had calls of communists, reds uhder the bed, etc. Until a week or two later when the yanks did the same thing. The coalitions 20 billion surplus has nothing on 1.4 trillion in super savings but your lot opposed super too and still to this day opposes it.

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        • Think first...:

          11 Jun 2013 12:12:40pm

          Manageable debt? Are you serious?

          The interest on one year alone will cost more than Gonski in total. No, you're right, that's a pitful amount of money.

          At $44 billion for the NBN, the current level of debt buys the NBN seven times over, with small change left at the end.

          At $7 billion for a major tertiary hospital, the current level of debt rebuilds every major tertiary hospital in the country.

          And what did we get for that - we delayed the GFC - we didn't prevent it. It will arrive in Australia at some point. Asset prices will be depressed, industries will have to adjust - it's basically happening now.

          Don't forget, the same people that awarded the government for their response to GFC were the same people who named Lehman Brothers as investment bank of the year, the year before it went broke and applauded the Irish government for the rise of the Celtic Tiger - how did that work out?

          The ratings agencies that the ALP are so fond of also rated Lehman and Bear Stearns as AAA days before the stopped trading.

          Manageable debt... Ha! You won't be thinking that when the next government (of either pursuasion) has to start "cutting to the bone" simply to pay the interest bill each year.

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        • Tom1:

          11 Jun 2013 1:29:57pm

          Think First: Is there a way I can contact you to get all of my financial advice. Up until now I have been listening to experts, and all of he time you have been there with your free advice and wisdom.

          Apparently any sort of debt is wrong, irrespective of your ability to pay. I should not have my housing loan.

          I have been listening to qualified economists who say if your debt, like Australia's does not exceed 10% of your assets you are doing ok. Apparently wrong again.

          Actually why is Abbott so keen to secure the Treasury benches when they are in such a parlous state. He has a lot of money to give away to wealthy women having babies, and industrial polluters. You should give him a ring.

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        • Think first...:

          11 Jun 2013 3:06:22pm

          As an accountant, the FIRST question needed to be asked by any person BEFORE they take on any debt is;

          "What will it cost to service the debt (ie make the payments) and will I be able to make those payments"

          Capital ratios, income ratios are all meaningless if you simply cannot make the payments (or if you need to stop eating to service the mortgage).

          All I am trying to do is point out that this "manageable debt" will actually cost a lot of money to;

          1. Service each year; and

          2. Pay back.

          If you still think its a great idea - go nuts. If, like sane people you realise that even governments need to service their debt and the money used to service the debt will need to come from somewhere - you should be concerned.

          PS - if your financial advisers are not checking that you can service the debt before they lend organise a loan - they are breaking the law.

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        • Thomas the Tank:

          11 Jun 2013 3:14:09pm

          How much debt have you got compared to what you bring in to service it? Compare that to the current national debt. Read Noel Whittaker's article of today for some explanation.

          As they say in the classics, "it's the economy stupid".

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        • Nicholas:

          11 Jun 2013 1:35:57pm

          @Think First,

          I think you need to 'Think First'. The single greatest contributor to our debt has been...... reduced tax receipts. The amount of reduced spending to meet this cyclical downturn in revenue would have left our infrastructure delinquent, our hospitals and schools further under-funded and our public system unmanageable.

          The Tory's in the UK brought in the 'cut to the bone' strategy, however it simply is not working and they are now suffering from even worse economic downturn.

          This is because the budget is a function of revenue AND spending. Taking funds out of government expenditure inevitably culls revenue receipts further, requiring further budget cuts.

          Thanks you very much but I would prefer to maintain equitable living standards in preference to an austerity race to the bottom.

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        • Think first...:

          11 Jun 2013 3:13:14pm

          Reduced tax receipts - you crack me up.

          Government revenue has increased every year - just not by as much as spending. What's happened is that the projections offered by Treasury have not been met for the last 5 years. But each year revenue has grown...

          As for your cut to the bone comment- everytime I hear that I just hear another broken promise. The ALP promised that following the spending spree they would exercise fiscal restraint and return the budget to surplus. What they are now admitting is that they neither have the courage nor discipline to return the budget to surplus, and in fact are now criticising the opposition for their intention to honor the ALP's promise.

          Keep listening to the "talking points" from the PMO. Afterall, they've done really well so far.

          PS - Austerity, the real kind, like we're seeing in Europe, is not a policy - its a requirement. Eventually governments need to pay down their debt too, or banks and other governments refuse to lend them any more money. If they keep printing their own money (unless they have reserve currency status like the US) inflation runs rampant and destroys the value of the currency in any case.

          You can continue with your make beleive standards of living for a while, but eventually you WILL need to pay for what you have with real money.

          By the way, what cuts are the government going to make to get us back into surplus, as well as pay for Gonski and the NDIS without increasing our debt even further?

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        • Pedro 2000:

          11 Jun 2013 2:30:46pm


          ?At $44 billion for the NBN? It is not $44b is it? It never was. You are including the rent etc to Telsra for their infrastructure in the future, about $11b last I heard. That will be paid out of revenue generated by the NBN. Not up front. That is like saying a business needs to include the cost of electricity for 10 years onto the cost of their new building. That would be silly. Just as it is silly to include it as you and Turnbull have done. Google NBN myths. This stuff is well known. Turnbull also knows this but is never challenged for his lies by omission and weasel lawyer words.

          The Govt (our) share is @ $30 billion. (Total @ $37b). We will get that back over time. The whole thing is a bargain that your descendants will thank us for.

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        • Albo:

          11 Jun 2013 3:08:10pm

          Spot on Think First !

          The fact that these incompetents have absolutely nothing to run on in September ( but a discriminatory plain packaging implementation !), means they must go further into public debt to create a couple of new election slogans like NDIS & Gonski which they will never deliver on nor ever pay for themselves, but will use them purely as their only re- election campaign slogans ( just as they did with the $90b + NBN slogan of 2010 ) ! Someone else of course will have to clean up their financial mess just like Howard & Costello had to do after 1996. And we thought the $96b debt they left then was tough and needed 10 years to clean up. Can't wait to see how long it takes to clean up the current $300b debt totally accumulated in just 6 short years and during the nation's record economic boom times !

          Imagine the mess if the Chinese weren't buying our rocks !

          This current ALP crew surely must be the most inept bunch in Australian government history !

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        • Short John Silver:

          11 Jun 2013 10:04:05am

          Ugh back to the citizens assembly.

          It was never a policy making initiative. It was designed to educate the public about the science of climate change. Yet it was ridicule by people who had no understanding of it and was dropped. Sigh.

          The stock market dropped from above 6800 to 3111 and remains at about 5000. Proof that the GFC had significant effects in Australia.

          JUST throwing more money at education does not boost attainment. But the undeniable fact is that many schools are chronically underfunded and this is hampering performance.

          The price assumptions that the MRRT was based on have proved inaccurate so the funding raised from it has been lower than predicted. But it's always been designed that way. To collect a lot in the boom times and only a little in tougher times, you know, the way a super profits tax should function.

          The only suggestion put to the Parliament that might actually have stopped the boats has been the Malaysia solution and the Libs refused to support it, while the pie in the sky Greens were never going to.

          This Government has Governed in very tough times and in a policy sense has performed fairly well. I would rate them a B-. Could have been much better but could def have been much worse. Open your blinkered eyes. Things are more complicated than you seem to believe.

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        • genfie:

          11 Jun 2013 12:21:40pm

          Don't even bother. Seriously. I've never in my life seen such a situation where the basic facts of governance in our country are so ill-understood by so many and where misinformation and downright lies can be passed off repeatedly as fact.

          Gillard has made a minority government function in a time of declining global economic conditions and passed groundbreaking policy in that time.

          I am not pleased with policies regarding single mothers, refugees, gay marriage and other similar areas and so will not be voting Labor in the next election. But the Gillard government has been extraordinary under the circumstances.

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        • Tom1:

          11 Jun 2013 1:35:02pm

          All I can advise you is to consider the things you are not pleased with and weigh them up with those that really count, and reconsider your decision. Picture for example Tony Abbott at a world forum, ambling up to the microphone, and opening his mouth. Then worst still he may be asked a question.

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        • pinoquio:

          11 Jun 2013 10:31:21am

          I'm looking for "these countries" you mention that spend far less on education and get better results??? not sure they exist mate...

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        • chipinga:

          11 Jun 2013 12:53:55pm

          Try China mate...small country with about 1.3 billion people located to the north of Australia...

          if you cant find China try Singapore..its a little closer and they to spend about a half of what we do here in Australia when looking at Public spending on education, total (% of GDP)

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        • Reinhard:

          11 Jun 2013 2:10:56pm

          Could be because they don't waste Public money subsidising Private schools...

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        • Albo:

          11 Jun 2013 3:43:50pm

          Try the top two (2) performers in literacy & numeracy... Finland & South Korea, each spending less than the OECD average on education. ( Finland spends 3.6 % of GDP on Education, Australia spent 5.1% of GDP in 2009 !)

          So what do Finland & South Korea have in common that Australia is missing that could influence the variance in results of testing for literacy & numeracy ?

          1. A "shallow orthography", ie. a language that is spelt as it sounds

          2. Little to no immigration

          3. High quality and highly qualified Teachers.

          Any wonder they are well above us in performance results !

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        • Pedro 2000:

          11 Jun 2013 11:57:52am

          You need some new slogans chipo.

          The CPRS/ETS/CO2 tax are all the same thing, a price on carbon, at @$23 a tonne until about 2015. How hard is that to understand? A price on Carbon is Labor policy and has been since before 2007. It did not suddenly jump out from behind a bush once we used the word, tax. What is wrong with you people? When she was asked that question prior to the 2010 election she answered it honestly. Unless you are accusing her of having a "secret CO2 tax plan". She did not, so she did no lie. The MSM know this yet have not chosen to mention it. Why do you think that is?


          How much should we (Australia) receive from mining companies for something we own 100%? If you owned a resource 100% and someone said they would come and exploit it for you, do all the work, how much would you want? I would say 80%. Remember they are covering all their costs before either of them would get a share? How much would you ask as a percentage? I bet you never give me an answer to this. Abbott has made 10s of $Billions for miners in this country and 75% of them are foreign owned. Shame on you all.

          Stop using the Gross Debt figure, it is dishonest. Our Net Debt is very small. Gross Debt will increase regardless of who wins the next election. This is well known.

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        • burke:

          11 Jun 2013 1:17:45pm

          I love it when people tell us how mining is easy, just hop in and collect the cash. Of course these statements come from people who know nothing about mining. If is so easy, why are they not doing it? Those of us who know better, know that miners earn their profits.

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        • Short John Silver:

          11 Jun 2013 2:36:23pm

          No one sensible believes that. But the undeniable fact is that mining companies have reaped huge benefits from price rises on world markets for commodities owned by the people of Australia. I suppose Gina and co were responsible for those too?

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        • Pedro 2000:

          11 Jun 2013 2:42:01pm


          How about you answer my question. How much would you ask for as a % for a resource that you owned 100%? The sound of crickets.

          MRRT Miners only earn their profits from something that they did nothing what so ever to create. That happened 100s of millions of years ago. They also do not earn those profits themselves. They pay people to add value to the company by doing all of the actual hard work. 12 hours a day 84 hours a week. Those people add more value than they cost to employ and are paid for their effort. MRRT affected Miners more often than not use other peoples money to make obscene profits for little actual work or effort on their part. They are not doing 12/84 weeks, for 2-4 weeks, ever.

          They just take the money, mostly overseas. Answer my question. That goes to any LNP voter.

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        • Mick:

          11 Jun 2013 12:23:07pm

          Not "going for the winner" is the smart thing to do in this case. It distances you from manipulation that you (Chipinga) are not able to detect.

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        • Paulh:

          11 Jun 2013 10:26:06am

          Absolute deluded drivel. Record debts climbing faster than most EU countries, a carbon tax with more revenue in 12 months from 23 million than the EU scheme has from 500 million in 6 Years. Record deficits and wasteful spending, poor policy implementation, policies announced as done deals before any details released then pursued with hate spin and smear. Constant attacks and wars on whatever they feel will win them a vote.a government that hates itself with constant infighting, a PM pursuing endless grandiose reform but unable to sell the details.Disability care with no details and nearly as much allocated to advertising as there is to the scheme, Gonsky review ignored and adapted to Gillards agenda being driven through with different deals pursued in every state often trying to buy agreement which completely distorts what Gonsky is about. Then we have a list of failed policies and no plans as to how to pay off the record debts.basically this bunch couldn't run a piss up in a brewery.

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        • Tom1:

          11 Jun 2013 1:41:16pm

          Paulh: One thing is certain there will be no vision under Abbott, other than that everyone should become Catholic, and live in some nirvana that he will create. He will probably be able to discover that decades of child abuse by those he puts his faith in did not really happen.

          Listening to him this morning and that is exactly the impression you get.

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        • OverIt:

          11 Jun 2013 11:47:27am


          Is the quantity of legislation passed your measure of a good government?

          Introducing the carbon tax has made not one single difference to the earth's climate.

          Lack of initiative to improve education? Notice how quick the states are to take up the proposed model?

          Desire to provide the disabled? Yes, clearly such a priority for the Gillard government that they defer its introduction for 6 years. Oh, and they specifically exclude anybody over the age of 65, how very caring of them.

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        • Mike:

          11 Jun 2013 2:05:17pm

          Introducing the carbon tax has made not one single difference to the earth's climate.

          Rubbish, I have installed LED lighting in both my home and workplace to the value of over $500,000 in an effort to reduce the electrical consumption cost that my business is and has faced due to the implementation of the carbon tax. Whilst I have not enjoyed the CapEx outlay it does have a pay off period and is lowering carbon consumption in the supply of energy and manufacture of lamps.

          This is having a direct impact on the environment and is exactly what the carbon tax was designed for...To improve competitiveness of renewable technologies

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        • Julian P:

          11 Jun 2013 1:02:11pm

          @ Ron I find the passing of ample legislation by lawyer Gillard and crew is excessive overhead for small biz in OZ, typical is the "Raising The Bar Bill" which changed our Patents Act so the little guy with a novel idea is now further distracted mentally and financially in having to essentially file a Provisional Spec with all the details of a full Patent Spec. The previous omnibus claim is now not allowed, so having list each claims separately just lengthens the documentation to essentially enrich lawyers IMHO. Perhaps the worst part of the new bill is the Aussie inventor now must find money and time to make say a novel machine and all its variants in a secure workshop before even filing say a first Provisional Spec. After the Split Cycle Technology rort IP Aust failed to stop when the lack of utility was bloody obvious they now via new law add undue stress on folk deserving few roadblocks for patent protection of their likely novel concepts. In summary I believe The ALP and its unions dislike small inventors.

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        • Judy Bee:

          11 Jun 2013 1:24:07pm


          This Government has performed well, and legislated on carbon emission reduction policy, education policy, disability care policy. Unfortunately it has backed down on an effective policy to keep the resources profits in Australia. That was really a time to step up and stare down the Mineral's Council campaigning (they effectively campaigned for the LNP without having to fill out the LNP Donor Register).

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      • True Blue Ozzie:

        11 Jun 2013 9:29:27am

        Gillard / Labor are the worst Government I have seen in my life time, and Gillard is by far the worst PM in our recent modern history! I have never come across 1 person who supports her not one, but so many who are border line hatred for her.

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        • toowrite:

          11 Jun 2013 11:16:04am

          Isn't it a very sad (and concerning) situation that people feel "border line hatred". What a damning indictment on how our society in this wonderful country has become - if this is true. In one sense it is not surprising with the daily barrage of demonising and monstering the PM gets from the Murdoch press, shock-jocks and various TV sources. Do you really feel proud of yourself if you have a laugh at the "dump her in a chaff-bag out at sea" comments. Just pure hysteria and ugly hatred that has no place in Australia - although the far-right conservative establishment might disagree.

          Whilst I disliked the small mindedness of Mr Howard and his intentional misleading of the nation on many matters - eg, children overboard; WMD to kow-tow to Bush and take Australia into Iraq and Afganistan WARS - I can't say I bordered on hating him.

          And, your comment has the usual amount of broad-sweeping generalised statements. Worst this, worst that - presumably you haven't been around very long.

          Anyway- if the polls are true, this Nation is about to be governed by the kitchen cabinet chaired by Murdoch who will be expecting a big dividend or two in return for News Corps roll in building this hatred towards the PM. Perhaps the ABC and SBS?

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        • burke:

          11 Jun 2013 1:20:37pm

          If News Corp is so powerful, how do you explain Hawke, Keating, Rudd, Gillard getting elected? Why do I bother to ask?

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        • Pedro 2000:

          11 Jun 2013 2:44:50pm

          How do you explain it?

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        • Adam:

          11 Jun 2013 11:54:31am

          "I have never come across 1 person who supports her not one"

          You musn't know many people

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        • davidb:

          11 Jun 2013 11:54:34am

          Dear True Blue Ozzie (sic) I suggest you widen your circle of friends so that you can make more insightful political comments.

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        • Observer:

          11 Jun 2013 11:58:54am

          Firstly you haven't seen Abbott in government yet,and secondly you are not looking in right place for supporters.Don't believe polls all people I speak to are very fearful of what Abbott is capable of doing in power.

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        • Observer:

          11 Jun 2013 11:59:05am

          Firstly you haven't seen Abbott in government yet,and secondly you are not looking in right place for supporters.Don't believe polls all people I speak to are very fearful of what Abbott is capable of doing in power.

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        • nicko:

          11 Jun 2013 12:23:53pm

          What arrant nonsense! Which foxhole do you live in True Blue?? Perhaps you don't know what has been achieved by this government against the most vitriolic hateful opposition in living memory. Pensions have never been higher, interest rates never been lower with the average family mortgage saving $5000 per year, DisabilityCare legislated, rorts to wealthy families who don't need government handouts curtailed, child care rebates never been better, and the list goes on....If Abbott and crew get in only the rich will benefit as employees will be attacked by a new form of workchoices to please those wealthy companies backing this bid for power. Take off the blinkers.

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        • Kaz:

          11 Jun 2013 1:27:34pm

          Just to clarify - who determines people to be 'wealthy' and not in need of government rebates? and is not Child Care Rebate a government rebate, available to the wealthy?

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        • chimpinga:

          11 Jun 2013 1:17:55pm

          Can we have an opinion from someone who isn't a twelve year old please?

          Seriously, the cant and "worst PM in my lifetime" crap from the lunar right LNaziP bogan/senile shills/scum is tiresome and drowns out any sensible comment from people with brains and actual experience.

          This is a nothing article from another member of the complicit, treasonous and seditious insider fourth estate and fifth column, following in Rupert Murdoch's/News Ltd's criminal shadow.

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        • Judy Bee:

          11 Jun 2013 1:30:06pm

          True Blue, you have just provided a viable example of the irrationality of some in the electorate. But Julia Gillard has the respect and admiration of many Australians, and will receive the vote from many many Australians who think differently from your good self.

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        • Tom1:

          11 Jun 2013 3:37:10pm

          True Blue: You must live in a lonely place . Tell me where it is and I will bring a dozen at the drop of a hat to enlighten and inform you. I will also bring a variety of Newspapers, and take your copies of The Australian to use in my cockey cage.

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      • Barj:

        11 Jun 2013 10:13:36am

        The government has done a splendid job in the face of rampant propaganda of the kind that has not been seen since the McCarthy era in the USA.

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      • sancz:

        11 Jun 2013 10:31:24am

        anyone can rig a poll to get the results they want. it's a matter of setting the questions in a certain order, or calling certain demographics. Nevermind that the ReachTel farce is *automated* suggesting that anyone with half a brain will hang up rather than talk to a robot.

        So naturally it will swing to the conservative vote.

        When these pollsters reveal their methodology i will take them seriously.

        meanwhile, the government dong their job: I await for some serious analysis of the policies being implemented.

        Gonski: the most significant reforms in education for a generation.

        NBN: the most important piece of public infrastructure since the Snowy River scheme, with impact on education and health for everyone, not to mention global business networks

        The National Cultural Policy: an absolutely necessary piece of reform to bring a sense of focus and direction to the fastest growing economic sector in the country.

        NDIS: hands up if you don't know someone whose life will be made easier through this reform?

        Already we've had significant emission reduction since the Carbon Price was introduced. and my (privatised) energy bill has gone up a whopping $7/quarter.

        i repeat, the government's job is to consult and implement effective policy. the media's job is to report facts, not speculate on rumours.

        what does Abbott do exactly?

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        • burke:

          11 Jun 2013 1:24:38pm

          But when the polls favoured labor, you did not think anybody was rigging them. Funny that.

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    • Peter Abbott:

      10 Jun 2013 7:40:10pm

      Pardon, which part did you have in mind? I am a retired businessman and I have never seen a government ever as incompetent as this one.

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      • JJ:

        11 Jun 2013 8:13:58am

        With respect, being a retired businessman does not equip you to provide judgment on the quality of any government; it only says that you are retired, and you used to be in business. You are just mouthing the usual unsubstantiated nonsense that has been a feature of this parliamentary period. Certainly the amount of vitriol, and the absence of analysis, is something new in Australia, but on most measures this has been a highly effective government, and extremely competent. Whether you like them or not.

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        • Aussie Sutra:

          11 Jun 2013 10:39:41am

          How arrogant of you! All citizens have both the right and the ability to criticise government at any point. And no matter how old or young a person is, they can certainly have their opinion as to the quality of the governments they have witnessed throughout their lifetime.

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        • Alexand:

          11 Jun 2013 1:00:56pm

          In answer to Aussie Sutra the argument that JJ was putting forward was a very simple one which was Peter Abbott being a retired businessman does give him any special right to make a statement that this present Government is the most incompetent that he has witnessed, and he makes that statement without offering any evidence as to how he comes to that conclusion. so therefor it can only be concluded as being throw away bias political statement that has no foundation

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        • ThatFlemingGent:

          11 Jun 2013 1:22:37pm

          If you want to claim a government is the worst in your lifetime *and be considered credible and informed* you need to actually qualify that with some examples, comparisons and facts, none of which have been provided.

          Instead we have the usual pained wailing self-martyrdom from the uninformed and bolted-on regressives about nonexistent "rights" and free speech (but only for "us", not "them", who will be shouted down, drowned out and accused of being authoritarian socialists)

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        • Think first...:

          11 Jun 2013 12:23:30pm

          Except the measure that counts - credibility.

          You'll refer to the number of peices of legislation that were passed - most of it procedural legislation, of little consequence. How did the media reforms go - did the cross bench (who are a part of the coalition government) get behind that little deal? What about the Malaysia solution? Did the Greens (who are a part of the coalition government) support that idea at all?

          You'll refer to their economic management and AAA credit rating. The problem is people remember the spectacular MRRT and promises of surpluses.

          You'll mention the hugely popular NBN - well perhaps if more people were connected by now, it would have more support. But seeing as they are 90% behind their initial targets and now encountering more and more problems, would you rate this as a success?

          The Carbon Tax - funny I can't see this on too many ALP ads, although I all but guarantee the LNP will run at least one ad reminding people of the promise given before the last election.

          Gonski - an achievement or an aspiration? Again, if the "promise" from the PM is to implement it, how many people will beleive she will actually be able to carry it through (surplus budgets, no carbon tax and Kevin Rudd has her support).

          You can go on beleiving the current government has been a success - I don't mind and neither will many others. But the reality is that it has been anything but a success and is in the low 30's of primary voting intentions BEFORE a single campaign ad from the opposition has aired. Normally governments start the campaing in front of the opposition, not trailing so far behind.

          The ALP have stuffed up. It all started when they panicked (or saw an opportunity) and replaced Kevin Rudd. I hope they can rebuild because for the sake of us all, we need at least two strong parties at the federal level.

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        • Spellit:

          11 Jun 2013 1:18:41pm

          'Gonski - an achievement or an aspiration? Again, if the "promise" from the PM is to implement it, how many people will beleive she will actually be able to carry it through (surplus budgets, no carbon tax and Kevin Rudd has her support).'

          I before E except after C. looks like the Gonski $$ are more needed than you think.

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      • Whiter:

        11 Jun 2013 8:26:10am

        Those of us who remember the Whitlam government must surely be seeing the comparisons between it and the Rudd/Gillard governments: a talented but dysfunctional leader surrounded by little talent and a lot of inept clowns.

        I've never supported conservative politics, but this is looking and feeling very like the dieing days of Labour in1975.

        But God help us when we're governed by a pugilist jock.

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        • Aussie Sutra:

          11 Jun 2013 10:41:37am

          I agree. Where do you even turn? As an ex-Labor voter I'm a member of a smaller party now and I doubt I'll even vote for THEM. The Greens are a disaster area of ill-thought out policies. The Liberals are downright scary. Labor is incompetent.

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        • lazarus:

          11 Jun 2013 10:53:00am

          I remember the Whitlam Government, it was the best time to be an Australian. Change was in the air and anything seemed possible. Then came Malcolm Fraser & Joh's shenanigans to stuff up things.

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        • Cynic:

          11 Jun 2013 12:42:18pm

          I too remember the Whitlam government - as economically incompetent and downright devious with the loans affair and sacking after sacking of ministers. The egomaniac was convincingly voted out in the end.

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        • ThatFlemingGent:

          11 Jun 2013 1:28:43pm

          They can't block Supply like they used to, but they can certainly get their mates and cheerleaders in the commercial media to help destabilise and white-ant a properly democratically elected government, slander independent members of Parliament from daring to deviate from their "natural" (conservative) party line and unquestioningly parrot talking points and narrative without further analysis.

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        • Marko:

          11 Jun 2013 11:54:17am

          It's okay whiter she has brought in some significant long reaching reforms that will be around long after Tony has balanced the budget and gone. Thats what the LNP do, balance the budget, thats it! Thats all they have ever done, run the country like a small business. Labor are the reformers this will flush out the "Nongs" in the parliamentary party and they can start innovating afresh.

          Oh and why is running the country like a small business bad? Because it's a country, not a small business.

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        • lionel hurst:

          11 Jun 2013 11:55:45am

          The ALP's demise started with egoistic prima donnas Whitlam,Hawke,Keating and finally Rudd. Something had to be done to return the ALP to a cohesive party rather than a celebrity star turn. Gillard was an expedient, not an answer and will not be the leader after the election. The expected loss and the reasons for it could and should create an ALP that is acceptable to the voters of Australia. Let's hope so.

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      • Melburnian:

        11 Jun 2013 10:14:45am

        I am a working businessman and see this behaviour on a daily basis from big business. Talk about the bonfire of the vanities from yourself.

        This is Australian elites in action.

        Therein lies our problem.

        It will get progressively worse.

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    • Hmmm:

      10 Jun 2013 7:59:06pm

      And what policy is there to analyse, was there a new policy released today? When the ALP can actually communicate a policy and stay focused the media may have something else to write about. Here is news flash - the opposition doesn't need to release or have any policies it's job is to critique government policy that's the basis of the Westminster System.

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      • Michael:

        11 Jun 2013 8:55:32am

        Actually, under the Westminster system there is no concept of a "government" or "opposition". That's just what happens when you superimpose party politics over the top of it.

        On paper, opposition MPs are as much the "government" as those from the majority party.

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      • Barj:

        11 Jun 2013 10:22:13am

        Well Hmmm, here is another news flash ? the opposition does not need and should not receive unlimited support for itself and unlimited propaganda hurled at the government by a one sided, shameless press.

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    • Tony:

      10 Jun 2013 8:11:44pm

      Wrong again. Abbott is doing what smart commanders do. Just holding fire and preparing his troops. Why waste ammo when the enemy are running in circles and shooting themselves?

      Actually Abbott is demonstrating the makings of a very good PM. No knee jerk reaction, no going off half cocked, no wasting time and energy on issues that don't matter, work to a strategy and stick to the battle plan.

      Meanwhile Labor is in total disarray. The subalterns are all screaming at the troops but no one is listening. They are in panic mode and there is no stopping the madness. When Abbott gives the orders Labor won't know what hit them.

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      • Peter the Lawyer:

        11 Jun 2013 9:31:17am

        As Napoleon said: "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."

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      • toowrite:

        11 Jun 2013 11:29:00am

        Yes, Mr Abbott doesn't have to do anything at the moment. He is having the easiest ride into the PM position ever - and probably the most undeserving as well. Can't imagine what Costello, Turnbull and others must be feeling.

        "Makings of a very good PM"?? Guess we will see if the polls are correct. It seems that one thing he will be blessed with is a majority govt. Something PM Gillard has not had the luxury of. The pressure of every single day may be the day that govt changes, or an election is forced must make governing more difficult. No wonder the opposition hardly asks a question on policy. All they pursued is constant demonising and chaos - and as usual, with the full support of the majority of the Media, it eventually sticks - whether deserving or not.

        He will of course be given continuing support by the Media as PM. Any little stuff-ups will be glossed over. What happens if the PM trips in her high-heels? All over the front page.

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    • reality:

      10 Jun 2013 8:33:44pm

      By the end of August many journos will be hoping nobody remembers what they're saying about the polls at the moment.

      We will !!!!

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      • andy:

        11 Jun 2013 7:25:16am

        given the long odds that labor have at the bookmakers, how much have you backed the ALP to win, or not be shredded to a rump opposition?

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        • Barj:

          11 Jun 2013 10:29:19am

          How much would you back the Abbott government and our biased press to be slammed and shamed by historians.

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        • Barry:

          11 Jun 2013 1:39:14pm

          Well, considering some morons still don't think the media had a bias against Howard during his last year. I would say it probably won't happen.

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    • TonyY:

      10 Jun 2013 8:35:23pm

      Actually, I think Leigh's analysis is one of the best I've seen and it nails all the ALP problems fairly and squarely.

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    • mediawatcher:

      10 Jun 2013 9:00:17pm

      Leigh, I suggest you read this Mediawatch story, then reconsider what you have written.

      "Ashleigh Gillon:

      Peter, I understand you're hearing from a Labor source that Anthony Albanese has recently just gone up to the Prime Minister in the parliament with tears in his eyes, saying he can't support her - how are you expecting this to play out?

      Peter van Onselen:

      Well if that is correct - and that's right Ash, I'm told by one MP that he walked up to her in the chamber of the parliament and said that he can't do this anymore, with tears in his eyes.

      ? Sky News, 21st March, 2013

      But it wasn?t correct.

      In fact, Anthony Albanese had been moved to tears ? like many in the great hall of Parliament House earlier that morning ? by speeches in the chamber of the House of Reps about the victims of forced adoption..."

      -from Mediawatch

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    • Act Rationally:

      10 Jun 2013 9:10:19pm

      The journalists are doing their job. They are reporting on the state of Australia's government. Just because you don't like what they are reporting, doesn't make it news worthy.

      Remember the Howard/Costello stories? Complaining back then were you?

      If Labor wants to leak like a sieve to the media, don't be surprised if the media then reports it.

      All in all this is immensely popcorn worthy.

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      • Barj:

        11 Jun 2013 10:37:14am

        Labor might be leaking like a sieve but the media drilled the holes with perhaps instructions from the Coalition but more likely from big business.

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        • Act Rationally:

          11 Jun 2013 5:57:58pm

          Craig Emerson on QandA last night:

          "The media are not making this up".

          Even they know it.

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    • Frustrated:

      10 Jun 2013 9:22:34pm


      Exactly. Abbott has done absolutely nothing to deserve the Prime Ministers job.

      All Tony Abbott has done is told "big porkie pies" that if he was Prime Minister that he could "stop the boats".

      And his mate Joe Hockey wants us to believe that he has the magic formula to return Australia to the Howard and Costello prosperity when that has been exposed as Ponzi Scheme based on a private debt bubble that is completely unrepeatable given that Howard and Costello left Australia with record levels of private debt.

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    • AGB:

      10 Jun 2013 9:23:27pm

      sancz, I'll take Sales' analysis over yours any day!

      And for the record, Abbott doesn't need to do anything thanks to Gillard and co.

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    • Chad:

      10 Jun 2013 9:33:22pm

      Jeez, bit delicate there. If the ALP was not in the mess they created for themselves, this would not be being discussed.

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    • rudy:

      10 Jun 2013 10:11:14pm

      There's no opposition policy and no new government policy to analyse. Clearly, panic is spreading in the government and some labor MPs are briefing journos off the record about the leadership. You're in fantasyland if you think that won't dominate the news.

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    • fred:

      10 Jun 2013 10:11:19pm

      Abbott is in opposition....Ms Gillard is in the midst of a 180+day election campaign

      We have no government

      Hopefully this will change in September.

      Rudd was a disaster but compared to Ms Gillard ... a giant on the political stage...albeit a flawed .. a very flawed one !!!

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    • Sceptical Sam:

      10 Jun 2013 10:30:17pm

      Steady there, sancz.

      This IS "serious policy analysis", ABC style.

      Leigh Sales was very nearly shedding a tear tonight on her programme when the disaster, that she finally recognized, struck her between the eyes.

      A change of leader will do absolutely nothing for Labor. They're gone. They have become beholden to the unions, and the majority of Australians think the unions are the problem - not the solution to the future of this country into the 21st century.

      However, I wouldn't be surprised if Labor didn't demonstrate its total stupidity by putting Bob Carr into the job - yes, from the Senate - because nobody else will take it. Not even Rudd.

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      • JennyB:

        11 Jun 2013 10:37:03am

        I can't believe how blind people are, if they hate the unions so much. Have they ever worked for a wage, do they have paid holiday entitlements, is their workplace a safe place to work , if they enjoy these conditions, somewhere along the line, they have a Union to thank.

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        • RobP:

          11 Jun 2013 1:37:13pm

          Have you ever considered that the criticism is not about what the unions have done, but what they have become?

          These days they offer one thing: a haven for people behind a sea-wall. And if the workplace is sufficiently unionised, that culture dominates the whole workplace, including for the people that would rather be independent of it.

          I think you are blind if you think that unions today are doing any more than that for their members.

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        • burke:

          11 Jun 2013 1:40:31pm

          No not ever. I think the credit goes to enlightened employers, who wanted to get and keep the best employees.

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    • Mel:

      10 Jun 2013 10:37:38pm

      Absolutely right on Abbott , all He`s done is to continually oppose the legal government at every turn and draw attention to some of the less well thought out Labor policies . When is He ever going to do anything constructive ?

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      • Tony:

        11 Jun 2013 7:22:29am

        And yet Labor claim the Opposition has supported 93% of the legislation presented to parliament!

        I suppose blatant contradictions are fine when you are desperately trying to slime and smear in an attempt to redeem a hopeless situation. Trouble is Labor has been hopeless since day one and the sliming and smearing and contradicting is all they have got.

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        • P38:

          11 Jun 2013 10:04:50am

          Aha! S that makes your tribe 93% as evil as the other bad tribe!

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        • toowrite:

          11 Jun 2013 11:40:29am

          In any Parliamentary period, the vast majority of legislation gets the support of both major parties. Much legislation is amendments to existing laws. Have a look at the last sixty odd years. Naturally, it is the big policies of real substance that are the combative areas and where Abbott has been less than statesman like in his strategy to cause chaos. Of course it is the job of the opposition to challenge the govt - and with a minority govt, this job is easier. To not support the findings of the expert panel re asylum seekers - to even shun involvement in the process - shows the opposition didn't give a damn about deaths at sea when they shamefully knew they win votes on it.

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      • Jack66:

        11 Jun 2013 7:49:29am

        Sounds like Rudd of 2007.

        And - you seem to assume there are well thought out Labor policies. Which ones ?

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    • Dugong:

      10 Jun 2013 10:55:15pm

      Missed Q&A, did you?

      Emerson stated categorically that these Labor divisions are real. Labor MP's are busy canvassing journalists. Call it what you like, but that ain't governing.

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    • rob1966:

      10 Jun 2013 10:57:00pm

      Abbott is doing nothing?

      You do realise that Abbott is the leader of the Opposition Party, and he is not supposed to actually "do" anything other than hold the government to account.

      On that, whether you like him or not, he has done a fantastic job - so much so that Labor are running scared, and most Labor supporters (and quite a few MPs) seem to think that Abbott has the power to impact everything that Labor do.

      What Labor are doing quite well though, is pulling themselves apart from the inside.

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      • Alpo:

        11 Jun 2013 9:30:33am

        "he has done a fantastic job".... rob, Abbott has done nothing. With the extraordinary and outrageous support Abbott is receiving from the MSM even a chimpanzee could beat Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, John F. Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, and everybody else in a contest of "leadership", "vision", "character"... This is a farce rob, isn't it time that you, moderate and intelligent centre-right people, start to realise it?

        I can only grant that some people in the Labor ranks have been sufficiently na?ve to fall for and also somewhat feed the farce.

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        • rob1966:

          11 Jun 2013 12:22:18pm

          Please, give the tired old "the MSM is against us" excuse a rest! It just does not wash!

          The "farce" is not the media, it is the Parliamentary Labor Party - and when high-profile and senior members of the party are stating as much even rusted on types such as yourself should sit up and listen!

          Labor's first mistake was selecting a leader (Rudd) that was all style and no substance - sure, he won an election, but once the pressure started to be applied, and he actually had to deliver on his promises the entire house started to crumble around him.

          Labor, I believe, made the correct decision in ousting him and replacing him with Gillard - unfortunately the party then started to believe its own spin. For Gillard it all started going downhill after the infamous "no Carbon Tax" debacle - rightly or wrongly the voters started switching off, and they were certainly not listening to discussions about semantics and intent!

          Add to that the debacle around the mining tax, the debacle around the "guaranteed surplus", the debacle around border protection, debacle around the NBN (way behind schedule and way over budget), about face on health fund rebates and super, and Labor had guaranteed its demise.

          The media did not make up these stories; they were all Labor's own doing!

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        • Alpo:

          11 Jun 2013 3:12:11pm

          Welcome to the herd of little manipulated souls, rob. Sorry to see it happening to you, though.

          I hope you enjoy it, just be careful with the strings, if you move your arms too fast the may entangle around your neck.... it's truly dangerous.

          I see that you are still digesting the "no carbon tax debacle" lie? What debacle about the mining tax? The tax that Abbott wants to repeal because he recons that he doesn't need more revenues (why more revenues if he is going to cut government programs anyway)?... Are you ready to live within your means, rob? Are your means any good?

          Please rob, I did try to save you, but you are just sinking down the MSM putrid hole.... I am losing my helpful grip on your hand, mate.... I am losing it.

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      • hugh mungus:

        11 Jun 2013 2:07:05pm

        "and he is not supposed to actually "do" anything other than hold the government to account."

        If that's enough for you, then you have low standards.

        I expect an opposition to present a coherent, believable set of policies (or policy positions) that will enable me to understand what they will be like in government. In the absence of that I have to guess, based on past performance and whatever policy fragments have been disclosed. As far as Abbott goes, his past performance is that of a lying (self-confessed) bully (Bernie Banton and others) who is prepared to force his personal beliefs (RU486) on the electorate. As a minister, he presided over a reduction (in real terms) of hospital funding ? while his government created a sense of entitlement by gleefully handed out more and more middle class welfare - and swelled the ranks of the Public Service by nearly 40,000.

        His policy glimpses include a new company tax to pay for parental leave. This is incoherent, coming from the ?small-government low-tax? party. To begin with, parental leave is not a welfare item ? it should be considered as a work condition, to be sorted out between employee and employer. Next, his tax forces companies who may already be paying parental leave to subsidise smaller companies who may even be their competitors. Next, his levy won?t even cover the cost and the regular taxpayer will be left to kick in the difference. Next, the scheme is so open to rorts it?s unbelievable. Finally, the level of benefit is overly generous (it?s the baby-bonus on steroids) and insufficiently means tested.

        Other policy gems include a CO2 abatement scheme which costs 10 times as much as the carbon tax and is less effective. Turning back the boats ? which simply will not work (the boat will be scuppered as the Navy approaches and the Navy will be forced to rescue the asylum seekers).

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    • J.T:

      10 Jun 2013 11:36:35pm

      Someone has an ALP membership that will soon be worth nadda.

      Here's a tip for you, free, you know like all the services government offers you.....Don't vote for the bastards, it only encourages them.

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    • rc:

      10 Jun 2013 11:52:29pm

      Pathetic reporting at its best ... sames goes for all the programs on ABC these days ...

      ABC - you are funded by tax payers money who are interested in the policies & it's implementation. Stop this nonsense!

      We would like to know about the respective parties' policies heading into an election; not in a party's internals.....There are great politicians on both sides of politics. Why don't you focus on their ideas for our future?

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      • Peter the Lawyer:

        11 Jun 2013 9:35:56am

        Policies aren't as important as philosophy.

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    • romeo charlie:

      11 Jun 2013 12:36:48am

      Summed up nicely.

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    • Bernie Kroczek:

      11 Jun 2013 12:54:07am

      Tony Abbott is doing his job, destroying the Government. It seems he's done a pretty good job so far.

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      • Trulie:

        11 Jun 2013 9:38:12am

        Tony Abbott's job is to hold the government accountable and present an alternative policy platform. I believe he has failed to do either intelligently, and I am not at all sure what a vote for Abbott represents. Empty promises do not a platform make.

        The Labor Party needs to get a grip and follow the example of its leader who is concentrating on business as usual. There is still a couple of months to go.

        I do not believe Rudd is a suitable candidate for the Leadership and even if he got in, judging by his last effort, it will do nothing for the reputation of the Party.

        I am tired of the press fomenting issues, and disloyal people within Labor should shoulder the blame for this mess.

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    • John:

      11 Jun 2013 6:04:20am

      Tony Abbott will do something He'll be a revelation to us all ! No more gutter politics and sleazy meetings with the False prophet Julia !!!

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      • Trulie:

        11 Jun 2013 4:32:23pm

        So you think the Slipper affair is not gutter politics, Thomson case looking dodgy, Godwin Gretz affair. Hah!

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    • chipinga:

      11 Jun 2013 8:48:34am

      Are you kidding..!

      How many labor MP's are set to lose their jobs with Gillard at the helm....try about 40 of them.

      Yet Gillard if she were genuine she would step down immediately to give the ALP some chance...but no, Gillard is all about self interest over that of her party.

      Tells you everything about the woman....

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    • ewk:

      11 Jun 2013 10:04:54am

      Good comment. We shud focus on policies and introduction of new legislation, at the end of the day, despite the quibbles, they still do their jobs. Just like normal pples, we have our problems but we still go to work and do our jobs. I actually don't know anything in detail about the percentage of gov spending, and what new programs are being introduced, I think we all need more info on that.

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    • doikus:

      11 Jun 2013 12:04:57pm

      I agree. Journalists should stop being lazy and study the issues in depth. I am sick of the "he said, she said" diatribe that passes for journalism in this country.

      For example: Gonski.

      I would love to hear a journalist ask Minister Garrett the following questions:

      Gonski was an investigation into school funding NOT school performance. Gonski did not analyse what we are doing wrong, he simply looked at the funding. Where is your proof that extra funding automatically equates with improved results?

      What are you going to do about poor behaviour which negatively affects all students' results?

      What evidence do you have that the schemes attached to the Gonski funding actually improve results?

      If Gonski is a "once in a lifetime opportunity" why do you have a strict yet artificial deadline in place? Surely such an opportunity should not be jeopardised by a matter of weeks?

      You say no school will be worse off but why do you not publish the funding quanta for private schools?

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  • Trump:

    10 Jun 2013 6:28:26pm

    1. Can I save my own seat?

    Repeat x 10

    I don't believe these people think at all or they wouldn't be in this situation. They should be thoroughly embarrassed.

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    • Sceptical Sam:

      10 Jun 2013 10:35:01pm

      No Trump. They should be thoroughly annihilated.

      They have demonstrated, yet again, that the current crop of Labor politicians is incompetent. They have trashed the nation and created a rod for the back of the Australian taxpayer for the next 5 to 10 years.

      Rudd will make not one iota of difference.

      Nothing will save them now.

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      • geo:

        11 Jun 2013 7:54:12am

        How have they trashed the nation? They've made the nation better. But you'd never admit that.

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        • big joe:

          11 Jun 2013 12:24:56pm

          geo, what they've done is to rack up massive debt, cynically introduce programs, NDIS, Gonski and the NBN which are mainly unfunded and not likely to be so in the forseeable future. Thats how they've trashed the nation.

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      • RayS:

        11 Jun 2013 8:14:36am

        Labor have turned to Liberal party policies, which tends to negate all the good things they have done and are still trying to do. They have lost the swinging voters, the true believers and the rusted on voters. In trying to counter the conservatives they have lost their base.

        That gutless change of direction in the last year will see Labor unviable for many terms.

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        • din:

          11 Jun 2013 10:59:20am

          i doubt anyone will read all the 'my side is perfect, your side is rubbish' posts, but this comment by RayS stands out

          One issue for labor supporters is why are the polls are terrible given the party is doing such a great job.

          they cant blame the public for being idiots - they dont get them to vote for their party.

          And they cant blame the polls for being wrong - they are produced by several independent companies whose actions would bear up to any claims of bias.

          but RayS has given a reason to explain what is going on .. As labor races to the bottom, they have ditched their old policies. This has alienating their supporters - who can only watch in horror at what labor is doing to themselves. They still have their core supporters who would vote labor even if Gillard admitted to be a mass murdering baby killer, but they have lost a lot of people without gaining any new ones with their policy changes.

          Personally. I'm glad that Gillard has refused to step down. Come Sept, lets see what happens.

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        • Jungle Boy:

          11 Jun 2013 2:36:46pm

          Spot on, RayS & Din.

          The ALP will never beat the LNP at its own game.

          And the current ALP can't seem to defend its own policies (some of which are quite good), maintain any consistency, or exploit the weaknesses in the Opposition.

          And deary me, why do they keep painting themselves into corners?

          What we really need (on both sides of politics) is real human beings instead of the spin-dummies that most of them are.

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      • OUB :

        11 Jun 2013 3:20:58pm

        Sam I believe making Rudd PM again would only set back the possibility of reforming Labor by two years at least. If Shorten then displaces him with a year of the next parliament to run they can write off another term and possibly another leadership prospect. Better for Labor not to tag Rudd and leave Gillard to lose the bout. At a convenient time both Rudd and Gillard can be excreted and the whole party will feel better.

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  • Mac:

    10 Jun 2013 6:32:58pm

    Stop, stop stop stop it right now. This media frenzy is self indulgent by the media industry fuelled by the political hacks. The average punter (aka the voter) has switched off and is no mood for a change. The next 90 days is like waiting at the dentist. We know its necessary but we just want it over. Rudd has had his chance. Let's move on.

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    • Trump:

      10 Jun 2013 6:59:53pm

      There's no one in the Labor party worth saving now they better start advertising on Seek to see if they can get something worthwhile happening this decade.

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    • Kingbast:

      10 Jun 2013 8:43:20pm

      Waiting for the dentist? Nice analogy. I prefer the one where this mob are hanging around after partying on our money, sitting on our couch, having drunk everything in our fridge and playing their choice of music really loudly. The next stage will be a punch up and the cops will be called. They don't have the good grace nor the good sense to realise that the party is over and IT'S TIME to leave.

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      • Albo:

        11 Jun 2013 4:12:12pm

        Gotta love this new episode of "The Power & The Passion" !

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    • Drunken Sailor:

      10 Jun 2013 9:31:11pm

      No way Mac - this is theatre at its absolute best - Labor sure are hopeless at governing but what a grand soap opera they are internally.

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      • JJ:

        11 Jun 2013 8:21:04am

        What do you mean by "hopeless at governing"? What have we lost in the past years, apart from peace of mind thanks to a sustained hate campaign - and a general drop in intelligence level as the Australian people turn into a bunch of angry, uninformed sheep. It's like a Peter Jackson horror movie - ludicrous and gross.

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        • Tory Boy:

          11 Jun 2013 12:41:40pm

          What have we lost?

          Border control

          Budget surplousus



          One thing we have not lost, not yet, is hope. Hope for Sept 15th, when union-labor are gone, utterly, totally, and for a generation or more, gone.

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        • Reinhard:

          11 Jun 2013 4:13:50pm

          Border control - caused by Howard era policy

          Budget surplousus - caused by GFC, heard of it?

          Manufacturing, caused by high $Aus...

          Savings.. Squandered by Howard

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    • Sceptical Sam:

      10 Jun 2013 10:39:50pm

      The sooner the better.

      However, "sooner" is in the hands of the independents. And, they are in no way interested or concerned about the national interest.

      Hopefully Tamworth/Armidale and Port Macquarie will give all independents a lesson they should never forget.

      Anybody want to take a bet on that?

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      • Jungle Boy:

        11 Jun 2013 2:48:15pm

        You'd obviously prefer to have more party clones.

        Do you realize that your party clones certainly do NOT consider the national interest, or even the interest of their electorate? All they're interested in is themselves and their party.

        And last but not least, what's so special about you that elections be timed to suit you?

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    • Pedro 2000:

      11 Jun 2013 1:33:03pm

      The whole thing just shows how ungrateful many Australians are. They have won the lottery of life. Simply by luck and the place of their birth. Australians are among the top 5 luckiest countries in the whole world (I do not include the USA in that list, poor buggers). Simply by breathing on a regular basis we have got it made. Even without Cultural Capital, we have education/training opportunities to help us, a social safety net, universal healthcare, safe regulated food, water, buildings, health, finance, education, etc. Social contract stuff.

      All of those things, at the level they are and the progress made is due to: Labor governments. Labor and left of centre progressive people working for the common good did that. Yet many people (swinging voters) will vote against their own interest when they vote LNP in Sept. Not just their interest but the majority of Australians.

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  • oleuncleaj:

    10 Jun 2013 6:36:12pm

    Although Q1 is undoubtedly in the minds of several if not many Labor members desperate to save their own seats, it doesn't make a jot of difference if they want to depose JG or not - as KRudd is not obliged to stand for the job of PM. And why would he? Changing leaders again would give the Liberals more ammo as described above, and Rudd would lose - maybe not as badly as JG, but he'd lose. And then he'd be out for good. So why not wait for the inevitable, and then present yourself as the great white hope for Labor's future after the annihilation? After all, KR is one of the few Labor members NOT expected to lose his seat in the coming bloodbath. If Kevin is not a complete idiot, he'll toe the party line loyally 'til the election, making sure all of his grassroots campaigning gets the widest possible coverage and then step into the power vacuum as the 'people's favourite' as Leader of the Opposition!

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    • Geoff10:

      10 Jun 2013 7:39:40pm

      Agreed. There's no possible benefit to Kevin in taking over at this stage. And really, before they try to remove Julia, the Labor caucus has to find a replacement willing and able to take on the job -- and acceptable to the electorate. The best thing they can do, for Australia as well as for their own miserable skins, is to present as united a front as possible and hope that Tony can yet manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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    • Drunken Sailor:

      10 Jun 2013 9:34:14pm

      Would Rudd accept the hospital pass right now - no objective realist would, but then KR is not one of those.

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    • lopati:

      10 Jun 2013 10:06:04pm

      Agree, Kevin won't save the party in this election (nobody can); given the ALP love of musical chairs who wants that on the resume?

      They messed up removing him, messed up calling him out (the essentially forced him, pulled the glove out of his hand and threw it in the ring for him) for his second challenge (the people wanted it but all the caucus wanted was their own jobs), they messed up dropping him from the front bench (probably our best FA minister in recent times and in fact still better at it then Carr), they messed up bringing in Carr to save them because whenever the sh*t came down he was absent - off overseas [achieving NOTHING of note] at our expense.

      No, KR is finally doing the best for himself: If KR comes back now he's still beholding to the faceless; after he can without blemish totally clean and expunge forever what's left of that lot.

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  • BRC:

    10 Jun 2013 6:40:51pm

    Leigh whilst all of your ten questions have merit as points for discussion I would think that it all comes down to number ten, "does it really matter" and I would think not. The ALP has to draw a line under the Rudd / Gillard debacle, learn from this mistake and re-evaluate what the party stands for a plot a course to once again stand for something and hence to eventually again be competitive. To stay on the current course with union power brokers and faceless men controlling the party would only see it end up the way of the democrats and, hopefully, the Greens.

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    • Dugong:

      10 Jun 2013 10:57:07pm

      The problem is that both Rudd and Gillard are likely to retain their seats. Potentially up to almost half their colleagues are not. That leaves both of them there as potential destabilisers going forward.

      Purely from a management point of view, it is a devilish challenge.

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      • andy:

        11 Jun 2013 7:35:28am

        sometimes to admit fault and change direction, heads need to roll at a high level.

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  • realist:

    10 Jun 2013 6:40:57pm

    1 No

    2 Probably not

    3 No NSW leader was as unloved as Gillard is.

    4 Probably not

    5 Rudd will sack his haters

    6 Who knows

    7 If not now when will they acknowledge they need a new leader

    8 Rudd would do better than Gillard, then so would a drover's dog

    9 Very sparse

    10 As Labor are heading for a wipe out anything would be better.

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  • Tooto:

    10 Jun 2013 6:41:27pm

    Prime Ministers haven't gone willfully since Menzies. It would be pretty significant if she stood down without a fight. The fact that Abbott is her opponent is probably what drives her to keep fighting, since losing to someone like Abbott woul be humiliating.

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    • Frustrated:

      10 Jun 2013 9:28:18pm

      The thing that drives Julia Gillard most is that losing to Tony Abbott would be humiliating to the Australian people.

      For Julia, it's not about Julia.

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      • Dugong:

        11 Jun 2013 9:45:47am

        That sounds an awful lot like it's about Julia.

        The polls tell us that "the Australian people" don't see an Abbott government as a humiliation at all.

        Methinks you are projecting Gillard's humiliation onto the entire Australian population. And they reckon Rudd has a big ego!

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    • JohnRe:

      10 Jun 2013 9:45:01pm

      [quote] Prime Ministers haven't gone willfully since Menzies. [endquote]

      Not true. When the party room vote was tied on a leadership ballot, John Gorton voted the leader's casting vote against himself. Greatest piece of political honesty I can recall.

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      • Parmelia:

        11 Jun 2013 12:19:33pm

        Remember Abbott deposed Turnbull by one vote - obviously his own.

        Have you all forgotten the merry-go-round that the Liberals had with Howard/Peacock/Howard and so on. Then Hewson then Downer then Nelson then Turnbull and then Abbott.

        All parties have changes and turmoil within their ranks including the Democrats in their time.

        Now we have Turnbull doing a Costello and not challenging Abbott - why not when Abbott's poll figures are less than Gillards.

        But the MSM don't even go there. Why not?

        Because Abbott is Murdoch's choice.

        Ask yourself, have you been Murdoched today?

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        • toowrite:

          11 Jun 2013 1:09:05pm

          Parmelia - Quite right. When Abbott beat Turnbull by one vote, a Turnbull supporter wasn't there due to illness. One wonders what the outcome would have been - would Turnbull have done a John Gorton? My guess is no. And there has been no public brawling since because Abbott did so well in the subsequent 2010 election and has lead the polls on the 2PP. Turnbull is really too moderate and Liberal for the harder right wing of the Libs and Nationals. The Conservatives just love anybody who can put them in what they see as their rightful place - the govt. They all know from the period that Parmelia refers, that disunity is a big negative. Pity Mr Rudd and his supporters don't get that. And yes, Abbott is Murdoch's choice - say no more.

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        • Albo:

          11 Jun 2013 4:32:12pm

          "And yes, Abbott is Murdoch's choice - say no more."

          Along with 58% on the 2 party preference of voters !

          Say no more !

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    • Albo:

      11 Jun 2013 4:29:04pm

      What drives her to keep going is that her Union masters are telling her to keep going, because they will never risk having to deal with Rudd again !

      As the Union's chief and most dutiful marionette, she will dance about till September until the new Union's puppet, Shorten is ready to be installed as the fresh new ALP Opposition leader with fresh confected narrative how they learnt their lessons of the past and how disunity is death !

      And so the ALP show will go on until another tilt at the crown is destined.

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  • Tony:

    10 Jun 2013 6:44:11pm

    "These are the 10 questions Labor politicians are asking themselves...."

    In other words - total confusion. But then, what's new about that? Can someone point to a dot on the timeline when 'total confusion' was not the state of play in this Labor government?

    They have turned confusion into an art form!

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    • ABC 4 ALP:

      10 Jun 2013 7:35:50pm

      Very true.

      I notice that "how can I best serve my electorate" was accidently omitted from the list!

      Also omitted was, "what will my faction master (Bill Ludwig, Joe de Bruyn etc) direct me to decide to do"

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      • Albo:

        11 Jun 2013 4:33:46pm

        Or "What Union back office should I go to now ?"

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    • Peppermint:

      10 Jun 2013 8:25:01pm

      Tony, please don't insult the Arts. As for asking 'ten questions,' well, since we have the ten commandments and often mull over it, so could we mull over ten questions. Confusion has nothing to do with it. Deliberation it is


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    • sunny:

      11 Jun 2013 12:42:37am

      Oh Tony. Forever the mouthpiece. Try thinking for yourself. Novel idea I know.

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    • toowrite:

      11 Jun 2013 1:18:46pm

      Has the LNP released 10 policies yet? Have the Media canvassed the detail of 10 policies yet? Has there been any public debate on 10 LNP policies yet? Regardless of what anyone's views are of the state of the Govt - to not seek the policy details of the alternative Govt (any alternative Govt at any time) is extremely regrettable. Whilst one lot maybe regarded as bad - the other lot maybe even worse!

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      • Albo:

        11 Jun 2013 4:36:42pm

        The LNP only needs one policy........"we are not the ALP" !

        Seems that's good enough for 58% of the 2pp !

        You best not encourage them to produce more policies, or it will be a historic landslide record to the LNP !

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  • Andrew C:

    10 Jun 2013 6:47:17pm

    Does anyone else find this new wave of media beat-up profoundly distateful?

    The media were played (willingly) like patsies by sections of the political spectrum the last few times Rudd agitated for the leadership. I cannot, in all honesty, fathom the stupidity, the absurdity, the sheer astounding idiocy of the media engaging yet again in the fantasies of a single person.

    Let me do their job for them, since they are refusing to do so. Rudd does not have the votes. Supporters, and destabilising conservatives, are deliberately telling lies to the media, who are as usual completely clueless, so they report that there is lots of support for him JUST shy of the numbers to try and make supporters of Gillard jump ship thinking they are onto a winner. But his numbers haven't changed. There are no talks going on, Rudd will not be back. Not that you'd know that listening to these reporters.

    Amateur hour.

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    • Alfie:

      11 Jun 2013 6:25:52am

      Yeah right, blame the media for destabilising Labor.

      Where there is smoke there is fire. Rudd has had 2 shots at the leadership since he was knifed, and is now campaigning vigorously all over the country.

      Whatever he is doing, it isn't for Gillard's benefit. It is all about Kevin.

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      • MJMI:

        11 Jun 2013 12:16:26pm

        Kevin Rudd was never knifed, assassinated or anything else.

        In June 2010, Rudd knew he did not have the numbers needed to win so he did not contest the vote initiated by Gillard. In February 2012 Rudd called for a vote and comprehensively lost to Gillard, despite media claims that it would be close. In March 2013 Rudd was said to be about to call for another leadership ballot but lacked the ticker.

        Rudd has simply been a destabiliser. Since he lost the PM-ship he has never got past the first of the five stages of grief - denial. He is in the classic Labor tradition - a great hater.

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      • Reinhard:

        11 Jun 2013 4:10:50pm

        Alfie it is indeed Rudd who is destabilising Labor, using the media to do so..

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 6:30:53am

      So if it is just a media beatup why is it Labor doesn't display some unity and hose it down?

      Oh, that's because it is actually Labor members that are fuelling the whole 'media beatup'!

      Sooner or later you will emerge from your grief driven denial and accept that it is Labor, not the media, that are hopeless. Until then, I suppose you will just keep on rambling?

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    • Patricia:

      11 Jun 2013 7:38:37am

      Andrew C, yes I find it totally distasteful. It is yet another distraction.

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    • Ruby and Bella:

      11 Jun 2013 7:39:14am

      With you Andrew C. The Guardian regurigtated a Fairfax article on the leadership stuff on Sunday. A lot of posters were quite mad about it, not about Labor or LNP but at the Guardian for participating in the process. A lot of objective posters on the left and right seem to be popping up there. The ABC seems to be turning into and add free SMH.

      Kindest regards

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      • Dugong:

        11 Jun 2013 9:52:00am

        Since you posted your comment this morning R&B, I am guessing you missed Q&A last night. I do recommend that you watch it on iView. Craig Emerson states categorically that the media aren't making it up; Labor MP's are indeed creating the story.

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        • Ruby and Bella:

          11 Jun 2013 11:19:55am

          Dugong, did you actuallt read our post. No where did we suggest that the media where making anything up????

          The entire post is about the Gauardian using Fairfax material and a comparison of the ABC's standard of reporting to the SMH.

          Do you just see a name that is not on your team and automatically oppose just for the sake of it? Disapointed, you normally have a higher standard than this.

          Kindest regards

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    • Pete:

      11 Jun 2013 8:12:42am

      Why do people like yourself always blame the media? The most noise over recent leadership problems have come from ABC journalists. What do they have to gain? Sales has been just as vociferous when tackling Abbott as she is when looking at the government. Why can't people accept that the rot for Gillard started when she knifed Rudd and went infectious when she lied about the carbon tax. The disease has progressed (with considerable help from the Rudd virus) and patient is now in a vegetive state with no cure in sight.

      As for Rudd taking the job, all the coalition have to do is roll out all the news takes of various Labor ministers calling him everything from a control freak to sociopath. This will be effective on its own in convincing people that nothing in Labor has changed and it's time to move on.

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    • Dugong:

      11 Jun 2013 9:48:49am

      PLEASE watch Q&A. Craig Emerson categorically stated that it is NOT the media making this up. Conversations are happening, and some Labor MP's are backgrounding journos.

      And the irony is that come September 15, Labor luvvies will look at each other and say "what happened?". Duh.

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      • Jungle Boy:

        11 Jun 2013 2:58:49pm

        For future reference we'll note how you hang off every word that passes from Mr Emerson's lips.

        Pardon me, but maybe Mr Emerson is not the brightest spark in Parliament.

        "And by the irony is"

        The irony is people who use such terms as "Labour luvvies". It just exposes how shallow and condescending such people are.

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      • Albo:

        11 Jun 2013 4:48:50pm

        I can't wait till they have another Brumby, Carr & Faulkner enquiry into what went wrong!

        Bet they use a lot of last enquiry's notes !

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    • burke:

      11 Jun 2013 3:06:40pm

      the media knows and you apparently do not, that Gillard is losing support. The reason is that if Gillard leads labor into the election, many exisitng members will lose their seats. Some of them can be saved by switching back to Rudd. The media knows all this and is reporting this. Do you want them to ignore what they know?

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  • mad Ian:

    10 Jun 2013 6:48:39pm

    What ever happens, 10 or 20 years down the track, Ms Gillard will be regarded in in a 'Whitlameque' way, having instigated and introduced many valuable reforms of the type that makes Australia the great country to live in that it is today.

    Kevin Rudd is a light 'fruit cake' but he's better than the other full blown 'fruit cake' Tony Abbott.

    Now maybe that's the problem - that they all have double consonants in their names ... have you noticed that TA has double doubles?

    Do yourself a favour and don't vote for the LNP (the Lying Nasty Perfidious mob) just to get rid of a government you perceive to be 'bad' - because they aren't, they are just not very good.

    Vote independent if you want to bring these morons to heel.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 6:35:00am

      Yep, no doubt there are many 'illegal arrivals' (the government's own term) that would agree with those 'many valuable reforms'. But sadly not all, the couple of thousand who have drowned don't get a chance to say what they think.

      Just 'collateral damage' in the battle for 'progressive' reform, and they don't get to vote anyway.

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    • Hotspringer:

      11 Jun 2013 7:13:50am

      Oh Ian, you are one of the few sane ones.

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    • The Fountain of KoolAid:

      11 Jun 2013 7:30:33am

      Please, can I have some of what you're drinking.

      Some on here like to bash the political journalists, but here, in all its double consonants glory, is rubbish analysis

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 7:38:09am

      are you preparing the ABC biopic about her already with her actions fresh in your mind?

      How many dead at sea would qualify as a government hell bent on bad policy? I recall Howard had years of hammering over SIEV X and the children overboard. Deaths at sea and deception about events there are bad no matter which side does it, but it has to be admitted that on labor's watch, the blood has flowed readily.

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      • Dugong:

        11 Jun 2013 9:55:52am

        And yet the noise is muted.

        The amount of noise the left generated about the Cornelia Rau incident was deafening.

        Yet there are thousands more people in detention today than in Howard's terms. Where are the protestors? where are the rentamobs?

        Those who protested during Howard's time but are silent now have shown themselves to be hypocrites of the highest order.

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      • Reinhard:

        11 Jun 2013 12:34:43pm

        Yes you are right Howard's Pacific solution is BAD policy, it is a crying shame that thanks to the selfish attitudes of Abbott and Brown / Milne that Labor has been saddled with it instead of Labor policy that actually stopped the boats for a time, Malaysia.

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      • Jungle Boy:

        11 Jun 2013 3:07:27pm

        "How many dead at sea"

        What a lot of crocodile tears. People have died at sea for thousands of years and continue to do so all over the world. They die on "dangerous boats" such as cruise ships, ferries, fishing-boats and dinghies.

        When are you going to campaign to "stop the cruise ships"?

        And how about cars? You know, those things that kill hundreds of Australians every year. The "blood flows readily", and yet you stand by idly and in silence .

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    • burke:

      11 Jun 2013 3:10:56pm

      Bookkeeper has triple doubles - so what?

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  • Perverse:

    10 Jun 2013 6:52:53pm

    For Queenslanders with some knowledge of Rudd's background here, it is difficult to understand his apparent popularity. Is it just that Gillard is so disliked that he seems so much better? His own colleagues have painted a picture of someone arrogant, self-centred and impossible to work with. Also, the current boat people debacle is of his making, and Abbott will crucify him over this issue. Its my guess the party will rather go over the cliff with Gillard.

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    • Trulie:

      11 Jun 2013 10:24:16am

      Rudd will not be leading Labor into this election, why would he? He is just following his true nature and stirring the pot. He has already let his colleagues down, just ask Simon Crean.

      I believe Labor can sheet home a lot of the blame for the current mess on one K Rudd.

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      • RW:

        11 Jun 2013 1:20:31pm

        Like him or loathe him,Mark Latham gave a great critique of Rudd on Q&A last night .

        I really can't understand who he is popular with and why they would want him back.

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        • Jenny:

          11 Jun 2013 3:03:08pm

          I so agree with you! It is incredible that he can have the popularity polls seem to suggest - can't people see what he has done to his own party? Instrumental in their loss of seats at the 2010 election and consistently undermining and leaking ever since - he is a really despicable person. Labor would be much better off taking a heavy loss and shutting the door on Kev's ambitions (no one will want him as leader after the election) than scraping into govt again, even if they could, with him as leader.

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        • Jungle Boy:

          11 Jun 2013 3:13:58pm

          Mr Latham also supported biffo in sport, inhuman assylum policies, and made a number of other concerning remarks on Q & A.

          Conclusion: the ALP can indeed make very good decisions from time to time. One was to dump Latham. (Another: plain tobacco packaging.)

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    • MJMI:

      11 Jun 2013 12:21:57pm

      By June 2010 it was the same for Canberrans. Most of us had a neighbour, friend, family member who was close to PM&C and told hair-raising stories about Rudd's behaviour.

      Plus we have had James Button's book confirming the tales we heard. People in the press who took Rudd's leaks at face value have a lot to answer for.

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  • Clyno:

    10 Jun 2013 6:53:06pm

    Labor has lost me. I don't care any more. I was rusted on for over 30 years but their internal goings on have alienated me. Rudd, as PM was not a good people manager and spent money he did not have.Inquries into everything. Altruistic ideas were not implemented well and yes I remember pink batts and school halls where more money was wasted on inflated pricing.The carbon tax is a con and the mining tax that costs more to administer than it raises is straight out of ' Yes Minister.' I recall when Whitlam was deposed there was a big initial sympathy vote for him but he lost the 1975 election by a huge majority so I do not expect a change in leadership at this time to make much difference to Labor's 2013 chances. Shorten, Howes (who's gone strangely quiet, unlike his crowing on TV the night of the Kevin shafting) have a lot to answer for. Clean out the rotten eggs, like Thompson and Obeid (gone now) and start again by reading a manual on good governance. Also make pre selections more democratic, not just from the shallow union gene pool so ordinary Labor voters are heard too.

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    • MJMI:

      11 Jun 2013 12:23:18pm

      Don't disagree with anything you have written.

      But then I look at the alternative ........

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  • mr shark:

    10 Jun 2013 6:53:50pm

    Although i don't think Rudd deserves another go at the leadership, if the electorate like him more than Gillard and he can save some seats for Labor , then i think it might be worth a punt . at the moment, with the hatred of gillard that is floating around ( not really deserved in IMHO and pretty irrational ) anyone who could keep Abbott from getting a huge majority should be given a go, because i really fear that the country will really go downhill if the current bunch of liberals get back in charge . Before the hard rightists have a go at me as rusted on labor, i am not happy with the Labor party on many fronts, but given the alternative, its imperative that the libs do not have another long stint in power as they are really a party of the past and have shown it by their archaic , backward , elitist , libertarian leaning economic and social policies in opposition , in comparison , Labor look good.

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  • Peter:

    10 Jun 2013 6:54:38pm

    A burning down and rebuilding of the Labor Party seems like a good idea.

    Hopefully it'll clear out some of the corrupt party hacks, ex-union mal-administrators and recent uni graduates working as 'advisors' telling Labor to tailor their policies further and further towards whatever lies and misinformation campaign Murdoch's media are running.

    One ameliorating factor would be that while Labor has an opportunity to redefine itself as a party with some principles, the Coalition under Abbott and his fellow extremist ideologues quite likely won't be able to resist the opportunity to over-reach and make themselves a deeply unpopular one term government.

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    • Trulie:

      11 Jun 2013 4:35:54pm

      You may be right Peter, but I just had a vision of all the dead wood in the Liberal line-up and drifted off course a bit. That would be a mighty conflagration!

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  • the nose:

    10 Jun 2013 6:59:04pm

    Changing the leadership of the labor party will achieve nothing.

    Rupert Murdoch will decide who leads this country! and Tony is the chosen one.

    I hope Abbott realizes that Rupert expects a return on his investment, don't take my word for it, former PMs who have not bowed to Murdochs wishes have paid the price, most recently these include, Whitlam, Keating, Howard, Rudd.

    Even though Gillard went to see Murdoch with her begging bowl, she was too late, Abbott was already their laying prostrate in worship of his idol the almighty MURDOCH!

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:30:00am

      If Rupert Murdoch can actually decide and get some order into this bunch of rabble then I say "Go for it!"

      Gillard, Rudd and the rest have demonstrated they couldn't organise a food fight in a kindergarten.

      Of course it could be that your hatred of Murdoch, or anyone else who is successful, is distorting your perspective. Jealousy is a terrible curse!

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    • struth:

      11 Jun 2013 8:00:53am

      It's amazing how dumb everyone else must be in your eyes. Little robots that follow every word of a rich media owner. That aloof "I am smarter than the great unwashed, who are brainwashed by Murdoch" must be a great burden for you. The intelligence to follow such a successful party as this, and socialist ideology that has never worked and still think you know better is truly amazing.................

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    • burke:

      11 Jun 2013 3:56:03pm

      Where is all this silly drivel coming from? Can I remind you all once again that Hawke, Keating, Rudd and Gillard were all elected by Australian voters. If we were all so brainwashed by Murdoch, this could not have happenned. Ergo - we were not.

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  • Alpo:

    10 Jun 2013 6:59:24pm

    The greatest hope for the country at this point in time, is that many Independents make both Liberal and Labor holders of marginal seats very, very unhappy. That will cool down the arrogant side of the Coalition (a vocal, sweating and drooling mob at the moment) and allow Labor to show what they have learned after leading a minority Government for one term.

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 6:53:08am

      Alpo, good to see the fires of hate still burning. It's a shame to see you give up proclaiming an inevitable Labor victory. Your party still needs you.

      What do you say now about Labor's tactic of opposing the opposition for the sake of it rather than attempting to govern? How smart did that look?

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      • Alpo:

        11 Jun 2013 9:43:14am

        Forrest, I never proclaimed an "inevitable Labor victory". I proclaimed a second hung Parliament. Labor IS governing, in case you haven't noticed. But it's really funny: If Abbott expresses his silly opinions about the government, he is "doing his job very effectively". If the government express their opinion about Abbott, they are "distracting themselves from their main duties"... Ha, ha, the Coalition Narrative is getting more bankrupt by the day, isn't it?

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        • Forrest Gardener:

          11 Jun 2013 10:08:51am

          Alpo, do the words "Labor will win" ring any bells for you?

          My question, of course, was about the wisdom of Labor opposing the opposition. Your response of AbbottAbbottAbbott speaks volumes!

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        • Alpo:

          11 Jun 2013 12:33:53pm

          Forrest, like it or not Abbott is YOUR leader and potential PM (god forbid!). Aren't you proud of him?... I am not!

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        • Forrest Gardener:

          11 Jun 2013 1:55:21pm

          Not my leader Alpo. You mistake me for a partisan barracker.

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        • Alpo:

          11 Jun 2013 3:21:47pm

          "You mistake me for a partisan barracker.".... Great joke, Forrest... still laughing. Your shares on the "No-barracking Company" plunged to $0 value a very long-time ago. Actually, since the very day you started with your comments.... and they have remained stuck to $0 since then. Please don't show disrespect to the people reading these posts, would you? There is nothing wrong about barracking if it's a result of specific choices about your principles and ethics. I welcome you to join me in the "Openess Company", even if we will seat in different benches at the annual meeting.

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        • Reinhard:

          11 Jun 2013 4:01:48pm

          And yet you parrot Tony Abbott's most devoted partisan, Andrew Blot..

          Don't you find it odd that no-one on the left carries on with Gillard-Gillard-Gillard, or Swan-Swan-Swan, because that would be , well, childish wouldn't it?

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        • Pete:

          11 Jun 2013 12:35:33pm

          You raise a good point and it is one of the reasons that the ALP has little or no traction getting its message across. They and their supporters are so transfixed with Abbott it has become a bit of a joke.

          My old philosophy professor use to tell us that "we realize what we focus on." I could think of no better example of the manifestation of that idea than what is happening with Labor right now.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:35:29am

      "a vocal, sweating and drooling mob at the moment" Oh dear! We are decending into the realms of pathetically petty are we not?

      Try focussing on performance Alpo rather than trying to denigrate people. But silly me, performance is exactly what Labor haven't got.

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  • Banksy:

    10 Jun 2013 7:00:13pm

    A pretty fair set of questions Leigh, all of which are unanswerable in their own way.

    I don't care if Rudd or Gillard takes Labor to the polls, and I don't care really who win the final poll -- I just want something to happen in this election cycle that teaches the entire political class -- all of them, every member, of every party -- that the last four years should never happen again. Ever.

    I want the electorate to give the system a whack, and for everyone who's been on the Hill to feel it. I want them to know changing leaders in a first term is not OK, I want them to know opposing a Malaysian Solution that was the best advice DIAC could muster, purely for political reasons, is not OK. I want them to know relying this much on focus groups and polls (and let's not kid ourselves, both sides do it) is not OK.

    We'll all reflect on this 2010-13 period in Australian politics with some regret in a decade; when we blew the proceeds of the boom, didn't address productivity, and expected wealth to come without hard work. And during that time, both sides in different ways, worried about themselves, instead of serving us, the people.

    We'll feel the effects of this sorry chapter in the future. Of that we can be sure.

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    • Alpo:

      11 Jun 2013 9:53:16am

      Banksy, I am sympathetic with your general feeling but I would like to counter argue that the proceedings of the mining boom weren't all wasted. One example: did you notice how Australian cities have changed (for the better, in my view) in the last 15 years or so?

      With this I certainly don't want to save the political class from their responsibilities, but as far as the situation since 2007 is concerned, we cannot forget the international economic/financial mess that has troubled most areas in the world. We are part of it but we did manage to somewhat stay afloat. Not bad, I would say.

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      • burke:

        11 Jun 2013 4:02:29pm

        Indeed - the extra prosperity in Perth is so obvious it is glaring. The population growth in Darwin is pretty striking too.

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    • Pedro 2000:

      11 Jun 2013 1:55:30pm


      Perhaps none of those things they need a wack for would be necessary if we had a decent MSM. I can never understand why the things I read here on the Drum are not picked up and used to challenge and confront ALL politicians. There is a large pile of the stinking proverbial of weasel words and semantics, lies by omission and straw-man argument that the media just let pass. They are constantly trying to make something happen or be said so they can use it the next day and next etc.

      It drives me nuts. The MSM should ask Abbott just once to back up something he says and prove that it is factually and objectively true. Just once.

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    • burke:

      11 Jun 2013 4:00:06pm

      The High Court opposed the Malaysian solution, which was never a solution for 30,000 people anyway.

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  • gentlefingers:

    10 Jun 2013 7:02:16pm

    Julia Gillard is the leader of the Labor Party and Prime Minister. She enjoys the confidence of the elected members of the Government. If she does not have majority support within the Labor Party, Julia Gillard will be replaced.

    Why are you devoting this article to pure speculation?

    History will judge Julia Gillard well, regardless of the outcome of the 2013 election.

    Whilst saying Kevin Rudd will improve the voting outcome for the ALP, there are many ALP supporters who would for the first time in their voting life vote for another or vote informally rather than vote for the treacherous Kevin Rudd.

    You only diminish the great reputation of the ABC by writing this rubbish. Having been a follower of the ABC, my time of viewing /listening is greatly reduced since the quality of reporting and discussion has been thoroughly trashed by the current ABC management/journalists.

    Australia is the envy of the world. Shame you can't support that hypothesis. Tony Abbott is a protected species. Why are you not devoting some time to analysing the sparse policies of the Coalition?

    The fact that you have written this article demonstrates that you are partisan, have an inflated ego and have a definite agenda.

    Sad days.

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    • Trulie:

      11 Jun 2013 3:22:59pm

      I quite agree. I am of the opinion that this government will be regarded as a great reforming government in hindsight.

      This latest outcrop of articles is a somewhat desperate attempt to keep eyes off what is happening in the Liberal camp where Turnbull and others are questioning Abbott's judgement and policies, particularly in regard to the NBN and asylum boats.

      It ain't over till the fat lady sings. I will believe the polls when I know what areas are being polled.

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  • Brian Bycroft:

    10 Jun 2013 7:03:09pm

    I?m as mad as hell and not going to take it any more. It?s about time we had some proper political analysis around the policy differences among the parties. I?ve had enough of incompetent journalists including Leigh Sales and Barry Cassidy rabitting about leadership speculation. If we had a leadership challenge for every time one was speculated by some journalist with nothing worthwhile to say, there would have been thirty or so over the last twelve months. At the end of the day the differences between the two major parties are more about policy rather than the figurehead. There are some major differences, including dealing with climate change, refugees issue, education, but we see little detailed analysis. If the current crop of journalists aren?t intellectually capable, get rid of them and get some detailed policy analysis so voters can make informed decisions.

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  • Mikeh:

    10 Jun 2013 7:03:47pm

    Last but not least - Question 11: What can I do which is in the best interests of my people and my country?

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  • Jo:

    10 Jun 2013 7:07:52pm

    If Labor loses the next election, then it is best to lose with dignity. At least Bill Shorten is showing some spine and continues to back PM Gillard.

    (Caucus could not function under Mr. Rudd's leadership up to June 2010, so how could they suddenly function under his leadership now?)

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    • grumpy:

      11 Jun 2013 8:06:06am

      Sorry Jo, It's not spine Bill's showing. If he changed his allegiance it would be an admission that he was WWWWWRONG in 2010. Can anyone locate Paul Howes? Hello Paul, you out there?

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      • Jo:

        11 Jun 2013 1:06:56pm

        gumpy: two men looked through prison bars - one saw mud, the other stars. How about looking up and away from cynicism.

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  • Kimbo:

    10 Jun 2013 7:11:54pm

    Naturally these are all the wrong questions that the ALP should be asking itself. If they delivered good stable government without all the waste, lies, spin and politics of division then we wouldn't be having this conversation. We have tried the progressive side of politics. Time for some conservative healing.

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  • harry:

    10 Jun 2013 7:13:58pm

    Understanding that Leigh is addressing the short-sighted imbeciles that make up the Labor caucus, so going more than one layer deep is beyond them, but surely they'd have to ask:

    Who will be Treasurer, since Swan has publicly stated that Rudd is a looney?

    How will Labor explain the the cretinous Treasurer that they currently have, for which they have been running a fiction he has "saved Australia" despite spending $250B on crap and misdiagnosing the state of the economy on every budget and mid year update, needs to be replaced? Doesn't this confirm that he was crap?

    How will the members of parliament that said they would resign if Rudd came back explain their change of mind?

    What will happen to half the cabinet that went on the public record to say they wouldn't serve under Rudd?

    How will they counter the Liberal advertising campaign showing Labor member after Labor member saying that Rudd is an egomanic and a lunatic??

    What a bunch of morons.

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  • Thomas:

    10 Jun 2013 7:15:16pm

    An attempt to replace Gillard with Rudd would be an act of desperation and faith, however, spared of any logic. Remember when Gillard replaced Rudd the situation was quite different. Rudd got 'stuck' on three important issues which the coalition used cleverly against him and made him look ineffective and incompetent. Those were:

    1. Border Protection.

    2. Mining Tax

    3. Carbon Pricing.

    Gillard was therefore elected to resolve those damaging issue and win the election for Labor.

    1. She negotiated 'Malaysian Solution' to resolve Border Protection.

    2. She re-negotiated the mining tax and kept the mining industry quiet.

    3. She announced formation of a 'citizen's assembly' to, as Gillard put it; 'Bring the community thinking close to the thinking of the government on the carbon pricing issue before making a decision to price carbon.

    The problem was that neither of the above issues were ever resolved and most become even worse.

    1. 'Malaysian solution' was challenged in the High Court and found to be unconstitutional. Since then, border protection issue went from bad to worse.

    2. The Resource Rent Tax was so poorly constructed that it collected virtually no money. The new tax kept Mining Companies quiet, however it made the government look ridiculous and incompetent.

    3. The big one. To be able to form the government Julia Gillard made the biggest ever concession to a non government party. She agreed to break her own pre-election undertaking to the electorate and introduced carbon pricing.

    The same three issues are still haunting Gillard and Labor as it will with any other leader of the party. There is no way to 'fix' any of the issue before the election. The best the government can hope for is, somehow, to minimise their effect on the election results.

    Based on the above - Where is the logic in replacing Gillard with Rudd now?!!! What are the desperate MPs hoping to gain with Rudd Labor government. He cannot change or even improve any of the above issues. "To minimise effect of the issues on the election results?!!" Hardly. The issues are so well entrenched in people's minds now, that the opposition only needs to keep on reminding everyone of them and Labor is gone. To make it worse, the debt and budget deficits have also become a major election issues and that is also not good news for Labor.

    Changing leaders at this stage will only remind everyone of the chaotic group of people who will be asking us to trust them to form the next government. Frankly, I do not like their chances.

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    • Pedro 2000:

      11 Jun 2013 2:12:40pm


      ?She agreed to break her own pre-election undertaking to the electorate and introduced carbon pricing.?

      No she did not. Labor?s policy at the last election was an ETS (a price on cabon) Before that it was the CPRS. For 4 years, 2 elections, and 3 attempts in parliament, Labor tried to get a price on CO2. They were always going to introduce carbon pricing, always. What are you talking about. Also see my post above relating to this defective meme.

      As for the MRRT being poorly constructed. Not according to the miners. They did nothing to see that Australians got a fair share of something we own 100%. How much would you ask as a percentage if you owned a resource 100%?

      The Malaysian solution? The LNP killed that off by not making the changes required in Parliament, not the Govt. If that policy had been implemented we may not have had those recent refugee deaths. As is, it was inevitable. With the Malaysian solution it MAY not have happened.

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    • burke:

      11 Jun 2013 4:06:59pm

      The logic is that some current members would lose under JG, but survive under KR. They are simply trying to save their own skins. Pathetic isn't it?

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  • Bighead1883:

    10 Jun 2013 7:21:21pm

    The Labor right faction has destroyed the party.It rode along with the populist/centrist Rudd into 2007 and promptly began sharpening knives.The resultant federal election fiasco in QLD 2010 showed them what the reality was.Instead of acting like a Labor government after 2010 they became more of a quasi Liberal government.Australian`s do not want a Laberal two majors.In fact we`re sick to death of them both.Oh don't believe Libs are a happy little nest either,the banker in Turnbull will strike swiftly if called,and that may yet happen because foot in mouth awaits Abbott at ant second once a journo accidently asks him something pertinent.

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    • Alpo:

      11 Jun 2013 10:06:45am

      "once a journo accidently asks him something pertinent."... I bet that the journos are already going through some serious retraining in the eventuality Abbott wins, to start asking new questions, more "pertinent" to the situation:

      a) "Mr Abbott, we know that the recent surge in boat arrivals is just unsubstantiated rumour spread by the soar losers in the Labor Party, can you confirm that"?

      b) "Mr Abbott, how can you explain the recent spike in sheer optimism detected by Newspoll around the country"?

      c) "Mr Abbott we understand the need to introduce those recent levies, can you tell us how good they would be for the resurgent economy of the country"?

      d) "Mr Abbott how much is the previous Labor Government to blame for your impossibility to deliver on your promise?"

      .... You get the idea.

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      • FalKirk:

        11 Jun 2013 2:24:24pm

        Bur wait there's more

        "Mr. Abbott - how did border control deteriorate into such a shamble?"

        Abbott - "Kevin Rudd."

        Just to even things out a bit - you know the drill.

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  • JLM123:

    10 Jun 2013 7:21:28pm

    Am I the only to remember how totally useless KR was when he was the PM? That is why we ended up with PM Gillard.

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 1:11:36pm

      it's probably a variation on stockholm syndrome. give the labor fans five years, and there will be similar mythology about Gillard being the political equivalent of the second coming.

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  • Holly:

    10 Jun 2013 7:24:16pm

    You forgot to ask whether Labor voters would be happy to vote for Labor with Rudd as leader. I have yet to find one. Let those lily livered malcontents and prima donnas who have spent three years scheming and conniving with Rudd and the Media to wreck PM Gillards prime ministership and Labor's polling results stop their whining and throw their energy behind the party. All the quality representatives have consistently backed Julia Gillard and are still standing firm. I have one in my electorate. I do not want the lying media deciding my vote. Goodness knows what deal Rudd has struck with Murdoch but it won't be in my interests I can be sure of that.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:40:46am

      Rudd struck a deal with Murdoch? You denigrate Murdoch. His empire is built on his being able to smell opportunity and pick winners and Rudd doesn't fit that category.

      You seem to ignore the fact that the current furore was sparked by a report by Barrie Cassidy (the ABC) none the less, and fuelled by numerous Labor figures.

      But go on, blame Murdoch if it makes you feel better. Reality is obviously not a realm you like to inhabit.

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      • Alpo:

        11 Jun 2013 10:09:29am

        Tony, you don't even understand how the mind of your master works, no wonder he can manipulate you at will. Murdoch did support Rudd, it's well known, accept it. But he was then "disappointed" and turned against him. Murdoch failed in 2010 to get rid of Labor led by Julia Gillard, he is FIRMLY determined not to fail in 2013.... we shall see.

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  • angry labor voter:

    10 Jun 2013 7:30:44pm

    Leigh can we get real and report real news? i want to hear the policy not leadership. The labor party has to get over the leadership issue, yes they made the biggest naive blunder in modern political history at the last election knifing Rudd but Gillard has some policy to her name...... I only watch the ABC and 7:30 because i think its unbiased media, unlike the croonies at murdoch and fairfax whose predicting a change of government since day 1.. please unless anything is acutally happening with the leadership issue don't speculate on it... im throughly sick of it and im even thinking of voting for the greens to stop abbot in the senate. Abbot, has no policies, and no vision his a conservative disgusing himself as moderate... scrunitzse him like that interview you had with him last year!

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    • harry:

      11 Jun 2013 6:45:58am

      I doubt that I have ever read something more compelling about the need to improve the standards of public education.

      We certainly don't a population unable to make sensible judgements, barely literate and wimpering at imagined conspiracies.

      However, if you are looking for "policy not leadership", I would steer away from the Gonski legislation. It's Labor's plan to spend another $14.5B over 6 years, and the legislation comprises about 1.5 pages which details that their plan is to meet with stakeholders and figure out a plan.

      This is a major improvement for Labor, in the past they've skipped this step.

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  • Daniel.W:

    10 Jun 2013 7:30:58pm

    Kevin will become leader of The Queensland Labor Party and be the next Qld premier before he is reinstated at a Federal level its only his hate of Abbott driving him now.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:42:32am

      "its only his hate of Gillard driving him now"

      There, that is probably more accurate. And as I have said before, nobody, absolutely nobody, hates like Labor!

      Rudd is abiding by the Whitlam adage "Maintain the rage!"

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  • maddoga:

    10 Jun 2013 7:31:14pm


    Can't you find any news stories apart from the Labor leadership issues,I am sure the deaths of 60 asylum seekers is a bigger headline, but is not pushed by media because it is not important in your eyes.

    Why don't you get Abbott on to question his policies rather than letting him off with half answered questions.

    Are you worried he will pull the rug on you,seeing as you already have him in the Lodge.

    The man is an absolute moron and would not stand up to Question from senior high school kids, as soon as it gets a bit hard he runs off.

    Can you see him in the international spotlight,god help Australia we will be seen as a third world backwater as son as he aahs and umms and opens his gob.

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    • brian:

      11 Jun 2013 8:13:26am

      I suggest Leigh has the following on her program -

      Abbott - to explain his Paid Parental Scheme and Direct Action Environment Policy.

      Hockey - to explain his austerity program and how sacking 20,000 Public Servants will improve an already great economy.

      Turnbull - To explain Fraudband.

      Mirabella - To explain manufacturing policy.

      Pyne - To explain his Education Policy including sacking one in seven teachers.

      These are just a few policies I would like explained instead of the rubbish now inundating the media.

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      • toowrite:

        11 Jun 2013 12:46:53pm

        Well put brian.

        I would suggest what Leigh Sales (and the ABC for that matter), has on their program/agenda, is not to get off-side with the Opposition. With the privatisation of the ABC and SBS clearly on the agenda (Victoria's Libs policy) - they all wish to keep their jobs - call it self interest like the pollies if you like.

        Anytime an ABC journo/interviewer has a moment when a LNP member looks a little silly (either by their own doing or being out-done in the exchange), a complaint is lodged re ABC bias. You only need to consider the recent Senate hearings and see Abetz in action to understand. The LNP will be on full revenge mode for any media organisation that dare hasn't supported them over the last 3 years. It will be a rough ride for the ABC in Senate hearings after the election - if the polls are correct.

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        • maddoga:

          11 Jun 2013 4:17:43pm

          Brian and toowrite,

          The election has not been held yet, thats why Abbott is being hidden away ,and you have Chrissy Whine screeching his Labor snitches have missled him again,fancy having him in control of anything it's like sending a boy to do a mans job it wont get done. He is a glorified choir boy.

          As soon as the election is called swinging voters will want some idea what Abbott will do so he can't hide for much longer getting air time on 24 news programmes telling people stories and sucking up to QLD people who now have a taste of whats to come only much worse.Piddling in peoples pockets will not wash with the half intelligent folk of Australia.

          Two weeks into the official campaign after writs are served, you will see the other Abbott, the blunderer,the media runner, the person who cannot handle pressure of hard questions and constant history of his previous ministerial decissions and misshaps being disclosed of a religious sky pilot trying to control a mob of front runners.

          Indonesias president SBBYO will not take any of Abbotts crap, no matter what lies he tries to tell to Australian voters,Abbott will do exactly what SBBYO tells him to do. END OF STORY!

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  • Spin Baby, Spin:

    10 Jun 2013 7:37:17pm

    I'd suggest that those that "don't move" to Rudd may well be putting their leadership ambitions in the bin as well... there will be a lot of angry people if the wrong decision is made here. I don't think there will be such an angry backlash from the public as there was when Gillard knifed Rudd... in fact I think you'd find the public will be clapping the knifing of Gillard so I don't think those backroom dealers should be worrying on that score. Do it publicly rather than in the dead of night as was done last time and you won't have any problems with the public.

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  • richard:

    10 Jun 2013 7:37:19pm

    I disagree. I think their contempt for Rudd goes beyond a polis desire to remain in power. If they wanted this they would have voted Rudd back in at the last two opportunities. It was clear then Gillard was a dead duck

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  • Bob the Bottler:

    10 Jun 2013 7:41:47pm

    The 11th question would be: How can we stop talking about ourselves so much and actually come up with some real solutions to real problems?

    Again with the endless leadership speculation. Please, enough is enough. Surely KRudd cannot be a contender again? The Labor leadership is currently the greatest hospital pass of all time. I can't think of anyone stupid enough to willingly step up and lead the party to oblivion. Better to rebuild Rome after Nero has finished fiddling, not grab the fiddle from him.

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  • Lynne Jenkins:

    10 Jun 2013 7:41:57pm

    What worries me is that the Labour Party might end up with only two seats after the election - Rudd and Gillard!

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    • Dugong:

      11 Jun 2013 10:28:53am

      It might be almost as bad as that.

      According to Antony Green's calculator, Labor may be left with about 37 seats. (Of course, that is applying the swing uniformly, so it is only a guide).

      David Feaney will have one seat, Gillard and Rudd two others. Given that the powerbrokers ("Factional Warlords" according to Mark Latham) number about 25, and assuming that they have awarded themselves the safest seats, that means that there will be about 10 minions left with 25 "warlords". As Gilbert and Sullivan said: "When everybody's somebody then no-one's anybody".

      What a schemozzle.

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  • Another Aussie:

    10 Jun 2013 7:45:26pm

    When the ALP caucus (that should be core cus with an emphasis on the cussing) chose to assign their voting rights to Paul Howes and Bill Shorten the deal was done. Their careers were over. The dirty deeds of the AWU were not acceptable to the electorate as a whole. The ALP has never gained traction since the Kevin Rudd was tapped on the shoulder.

    It is too late to correct the wrongs of the past, but not too late to learn from the mistakes of the past. Anyone associated with the tap on KR's shoulder must go, in my opinion. The voters do not like these people, the voters will never like these people. They have not been able to engage with the voters to accept their pack mentality. Without any goodwill, the likes of Bill Shorten and the other well known 'faceless men' will never gain the goodwill of voters.

    The MPs who backed Julia Gillard at least have the satisfaction of knowing it was their own choice that ended many of their careers.

    And since, as Graham Richardson so often says, the voters never get it wrong. The MPs who have decided on defeat will not be missed but those who remain in 'safe seats' such as Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten will not be respected.

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  • PeterC:

    10 Jun 2013 7:49:55pm

    Perhaps I am being a bit na?ve about this but is there a tie-breaker question some are also asking themselves - why not dump them both? It's impossible to see Julia ever becoming popular enough with anything approaching a majority of voters And Kevin appears to simply have too much baggage to be palatable because there is no way he can present a unified party room as leader. Bowen or Clare can't do any worse, can they? Enough voters appear to be looking sideways at Tony to maybe give the ALP a short-term bounce with a fresh face to save a few seats. But what would I know? I come from the Territory where we just voted in the worst government in political history anywhere in the world because we thought they couldn't do worse than the last mob.

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  • Daisi:

    10 Jun 2013 7:55:11pm

    And the one question nobody, including the media, is asking is 'What is best for the country?"

    Let's face it. Australia is nothing more than a plaything being squabbled over by a bunch of right wing nutters on one side and a bunch of not so right wing nutters on the other.

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  • Megan:

    10 Jun 2013 8:02:57pm

    Yes but this is all predicated on the assumption that Kevin Rudd would be happy to do all the honours. But why would he? He's virtually guaranteed a seat come the next election and he'll probably see quite a few MPs who opposed him lose theirs. I bet he's thinking that post September 2013 would be the perfect time for him to figure out his moves and remake Labor in his image.

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  • Leanne:

    10 Jun 2013 8:03:23pm

    Leigh presents this work of fiction as fact. We have already seen the media invent leadership speculation when there is none, with 'unnamed sources' before which did not come to fruition. It seems that the media is hellbent in doing everything it can by destabilising the government and creating drama where there is nine, because it does not suit their agenda to as serious questions and hold Abbott to account during this election also. Stop fabricating stories and presenting them as fact and start asking Abbott some serious questions that delve beneath the slogans.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:49:05am

      So all those Labor luminaries, including MPs, are just reacting to media speculation?

      Really? You are serious?

      Well in that case Labor need to go. If media speculation sends them as crazy as this then they have absolutley no hope of ever putting together a coherent policy in the face of opposition and if we are ever faced with a real enemy we would be lost. All the enemy would need is an effective propoganda unit and Labor would tie themselves in knots!

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  • two bob bill:

    10 Jun 2013 8:05:20pm

    Perhaps that old ALP favorite, the Drovers Dog, might be worth a punt.

    Seriously - the policies and implementation are the problem - not the dysfunctional leadership team.

    Anyway, has the RAAF got enough budget left for Kev's ham and salads after shelling out for avgas to intercept refo boats?

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  • Stirrer:

    10 Jun 2013 8:10:26pm

    OMG-they are all getting on the band waggon-Baiire-Mungo and now Leigh.

    Well I may as well hop on too, The questions Labor MPs should be asking themselves is"

    How did it get to this?

    Where has my courage gone?

    Why did I not insist of my fellow MPS in pulling their heads in?

    Why am I NOT defending my constituents from the ravages of economic rationalism?

    Do I want my constituents to experience the job and housing meltdowns just about EVERY Western country has?

    Am I engaged with my constituents?

    Am I such a dimwit not to see the global economy is dsyfunctional?

    Why do I not speak up about this and all the race to the bottom b/s coming from the IPA.-LNP-BCA- News Ltd and others from the extreme right?

    'As I seem to have let my constituents down by not defending them-should I resign?

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  • Another Aussie:

    10 Jun 2013 8:10:28pm

    There is something we won't see with the Labor core-cus ..... a call for a conscience vote on the leadership by union bosses!

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  • Jethro:

    10 Jun 2013 8:11:12pm

    Surely Leigh Sales has come to the conclusion that Labor will lose this election and Tony Abbott will form its successor. This is the same conclusion that her listeners and readers have reached. So it is time to ignore the navel gazing of Labor MPs and get down to real journalism. Start insisting on real answers to real questions and be prepared to cop some nasty responses from some nasty people. Just how will Scott Morrison "stop the boats"? Do not be put off by the thrusting chin and the bulging eyeballs. If he is not prepared to provide an answer this must be pointed out to the viewer in the most unequivocal fashion.

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    • grumpy:

      11 Jun 2013 7:56:06am

      Very good question. Scott Morrison has come under very little scrutiny over the last couple of years. How would Joe Hockey get the budget into surplus quicker than Swan? No details here either. Industrial Relations policy all a bit hazy too. Eric Abetz is a worry. George Brandis as Attorney General is a worry. Chris Pyne another worry and that's before we start to talk about foot in mouth Tony. Labor are hopeless under Gillard and deserve to go, but I wonder if Abbott and co will be much better.

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      • Frustrated:

        11 Jun 2013 11:53:07am

        Industrial relations is to blame the Unions and the high price of labour for our woes. But Australia's biggest problem by far is rent seeking behaviour and the kings of rent seeking behaviour are in the LNP.

        The Australian chooks about to vote to put the fox in charge of their chook pen. God help us.

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  • Beach Bum:

    10 Jun 2013 8:12:32pm

    For those of us who do not have access to the complete data garnered by the polsters, our best source of information is Newspoll quartely report, the last one available covered January to March 2013.

    This report identifies the male and female vote. What is very obvious is the lack of support amongst men for the Gillard government.

    We hear a lot about the female vote but very little about the male vote, even though it is 48.5% of the voting population.

    It is time to be realists and accept that gender voting does exist, it has for a long time, you only have to look at Emily's list to see this.

    If the ALP want to get back into office then it best look to regain the male vote. a very difficult task.

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  • Len Heggarty:

    10 Jun 2013 8:16:39pm


    I will throw you the first granade.

    Where is the evidence that Labor MPs are actively considering whether they should replace Prime Minister Julia Gillard with her predecessor Kevin Rudd. The media produces evidence. Where is the evidence? Now I ask this before tonight's Q&A because Craig Emerson is on the panel. Is Whyala going to be wiped out after September 14 or will it be sold for a song?

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  • Ray Manta:

    10 Jun 2013 8:18:07pm

    Does it even matter? Probably not.

    I read yesterday that the American Congress currently has a public approval rating of only 15%. There is a malaise in Western democracies that Australia is experiencing as well. We don't care about leadership games because frankly we no longer have faith in the political process.

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  • John:

    10 Jun 2013 8:19:00pm

    One option is for Gillard to announce that she is not standing for reelection, and quiting politics. Labor would then have the freedom to appoint a more popular successor, who would then campaign for PM with Gillard's support. This option would offer continuity in the lead up to the election (thus preserving deals with the independents) and Gillard would not be a destabilising influence after the election.

    C'mon Gillard: a test of whether you can put the nation and the party ahead of your own interests.

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    • KM:

      11 Jun 2013 10:39:18am

      And if she didn't stand for election in September people such as John would write to the Drum saying Gillard had ruined the party then walked away without facing the music. They would say she had passed on a poisoned chalice to the next leader and they would hate her for it.

      Lets face it those people will hate her no matter what she does and they will vote unquestioningly for the conservatives on the assumption they will be better.

      If Labor Party members of Parliament are making comments to the media they should stop. They have had the opportunity to change from Gillard to someone else and they didn't do it. Now, despite the risk of losing their seat, they need to shut up and get on with talking to their constituents about Gonski, NDS etc.

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  • skeptic:

    10 Jun 2013 8:20:38pm

    I always thought Italy is unique in the way it shoves its leaders round and round. I even thought it was quite funny when it happened.

    Now Australia is doing quite well in that caper too. I am so proud ! However, the Italians are doing it in style.

    I also have a check list of my own...

    (1). Cars

    Italy still has a car industry that produces very fast but bloody expensive cars. We are going to lose Ford, and possibly Holden.

    (2). Sex

    Italy has Bunga Bunga parties. We have none, well, not that they are publicized. Our journos are good at find faults with the politicians, but are damn slack at digging out sex scandals here. I guess our politicians are not very "satisfied", hence all that dummy spits in the Parliament !

    OK, I am getting back to the serious stuff for a minute...

    Labour is in big trouble. Whether it is going to be Rudd or Gillard, the tide has already turned. The ship has left the port ! The sad thing is that the MP's are panicking big time. So they should bloody well be when they are going to lose their jobs ! I guess they are now looking and hoping for that life saving log floating past them to hang on for their dear lives ! Rudd haters will probably switch camp if they believe there just might be a slim chance that they can survive.

    Gillard simply does not have that kind "excitement" factor as opposed to Rudd. Rudd may be talking a lot of crap, but he could do it with a fair degree of reasoning and style. Some people will buy into that. On the opposite scale, Gillard is just plain boring. The fact that she is perceived as being untruthful in the Carbon Tax issue has harmed her credibility immensely. The alliance with the Green was not such a good idea after all !

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  • Peppermint:

    10 Jun 2013 8:20:40pm

    If Labor is going to lose the next election, it's best that they lose with dignity, rather than installing yet another PM at the last moment.

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  • Beachboy:

    10 Jun 2013 8:23:16pm

    I used to feel superior to Americans because they suffer through such a dreadfully long election campaign while we have a short sweet election followed by a short hangover period.

    Sigh, whatever one may think of Julia, it's inescapably true that she has single handedly given us a hideous American style election. Everyone I know is just hoping for it to end soon. I would even accept a return to Rudd if he would just give us an early election.

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  • Ross Stagg:

    10 Jun 2013 8:23:43pm

    Guillard is an unelected national leader she was installed by independents NOT the electorate it's time that the legitimate Prime Minister regained the position

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    • OverIt:

      11 Jun 2013 5:35:49pm

      And that is exactly what will happen on 14th September.

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  • Patrick:

    10 Jun 2013 8:24:09pm

    Leigh, all good questions and ones that Labor Party people would have kicked around in the past few days. Before giving Labor the last rites I would be waiting until the ad campaigns for the respective partys have run for a week or two.

    These political ads , as any astute political observer knows, carry an awful lot of clout and influence when it comes to deciding who the people will ultimately vote in. Labor's ad campaign, backed by a certain onslaught for the ACTU will bring the two partys much closer together in the polls and in MHO will give Julia a foothold to get back into the race.

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  • Paul01:

    10 Jun 2013 8:24:55pm

    The ALP must stay with PM Gillard and let the election run its course.

    If the LNP wins then so be it, it is majority rule and Mr Abbott has made plenty of promises that will come back to haunt him.

    For example, what will Abbott say if he can't "Stop the Boats", he is already softening his rhetoric but he has made a commitment to the Australian people and should he win he must "Stop the Boats" or be branded as a liar who failed to protect our borders.

    Another example, "There will be a surplus every year of a first term coalition government" will this be held over Abbott's head as a great big new lie when no surplus is achieved?

    Leigh, it would be interesting to see how the 2010 election would have played out had Rudd kept his mouth shut. The ALP with a majority government after the 2010 election would have been a very different proposition and Rudd would not be an issue today. So Rudd in fact caused the problem that he is and he plays journalists as mugs at every turn.

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  • mushroom:

    10 Jun 2013 8:26:26pm

    They cannot be serious if they remove Gillard she will have been a PM who has never won an election.

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    • Bighead1883:

      11 Jun 2013 8:11:45am

      Now that mushroom would become an unbeatable historic event,nice thinking outside the square.

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  • Cheryl:

    10 Jun 2013 8:29:27pm

    I am so tired of all the media spin around the election and sadly the ABC has also been putting the boot in as well. The assumptions made that the election is a done deal and a man with a poor personality and fundamentalist Christian views, no apparent respect for women as a group and paternalistic attitude to indigenous people leading a party with no policies. Surely the Australian populace could not be so deluded to think of him as a leader for our country.

    Let's get down to some facts Labor has governed well despite media spin to the contrary. When are we going to get some balanced reporting?

    I am so sad some Labor politicians seem to be despondent but are they or is that media spin? Rob Cameron's comments about Julia having a battle may well be true because the media are constantly saying no one will vote for her yet she is such a capable woman when is credit going to be given where it is due?

    One l

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:56:33am

      So in your mind all those Labor MPs speaking out publicly are controlled by the media?

      I guess the secret is out then. Just check and I bet you find everyone of them uses an Apple IPhone. Yep, Apple has secretly installed an insidious little app that allows 'the media' to control every thought and spoken word. It is all programmed.

      Don't believe me? Well I don't believe your drivel about the media being responsible for Labor's incompetence either and frankly, my trite story makes more sense.

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  • John:

    10 Jun 2013 8:30:31pm

    Some supplementary questions for you Leigh:

    1. What does the electorate think to all this narcissistic Labor Party self obsession when the nation is on auto pilot?

    What do you think the next polls will show when Labor was completely fixated with its leadership dilemma as scores of people were drowning including women and children because of its disastrous border protection policy?

    2. Why is Rudd the only credible alternative? If Bill Shorten is the future white knight of the party, why doesn't he climb onto his big white horse and do some fighting when the party desperately needs some-one NOW to save them from annihilation? Or doesn't he have the real ticker that people thought he had and he still agrees with anything Julia Gillard says?

    3. Couldn't Labor have possibly got their policies all wrong and are hopeless managers anyway and there might be more to it than just Julia Gillard? Might the polls indicate that the voters don't like ANYTHING about Labor but they do like Coalition policy no matter who leads them?

    4. Has McTernan/Rudd/Gillard New Labor run its course and wouldn't it be better for the nation if it just withered away and Tony Abbott was allowed a good go with whatever majority he can win? And the whole McT/R/G faction disappear with their fat pensions and some-one like Chris Bowen form a completely new party with an image and a vision like Keating and Hawke once had?

    5. Can 3 people and a dog be fitted into a parcel to Albania?

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    • Bill From THe Bush:

      11 Jun 2013 7:31:55am

      Shorten is no "White Knight", just another union hack who brings more of the same!

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      • Paul01:

        11 Jun 2013 9:52:17am

        "union hack" as opposed to someone who is now a nationals MP with backing from the NFF Bill?

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  • Sdellar:

    10 Jun 2013 8:33:02pm

    Bring back Kevin! Don't delay!

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  • TonyY:

    10 Jun 2013 8:34:29pm

    At this late stage, a return to Rudd would instantly be seen by the voter majority as a cynical return to the revolving door system used by the NSW ALP as they destroyed their state Labor branch. There would be a momentary lift followed by a huge collapse.

    Remember, Rudd is the originator of the huge boat people problem - he is the one who undid the successful policies of the previous conservative government. And can you trust Rudd ? My personal opinion is that you cannot.

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  • MickJ:

    10 Jun 2013 8:34:54pm

    I thought that a few weeks ago, Kevin Rudd said that he would not contest the leadership again. So we hold him to his word otherwise he makes himself into just as big a liar as Gillard with her carbon tax howler.

    If Kevin is a Christian and God knows he is photograped enough outside of his local church, he would not be in the business of telling porkies; so with all that, it is on to the election with Julia Gillard.

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  • ru4real:

    10 Jun 2013 8:45:13pm

    I'm sick of this 'leadership' stuff, and want journalists to start asking Tony Abbott and the LNP for their policies!

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:12:13am

      RU, dissolve the parliament, issue the writs and take a vote. If you are not happy with a party's platform, then don't vote for them.

      By the way, what is Labor's program for the next parliament?

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      • Daisy May:

        11 Jun 2013 3:34:27pm

        FG: I am sure all will be revealed .. before.. the election.

        Unlike the Coalition who according to Joe Hockey today, have said that we won't find out what they have in store.... until after we have voted.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 7:59:00am

      The LNP's main policy is to do away with Labor and install a mature government.

      There are other policies on the boats, the NBN, the deficit, regional development, school funding but hell, if they just get the main one right then we are looking up aren't we?

      The Australian public sure think so!!

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  • Terry2:

    10 Jun 2013 8:47:36pm

    Setting the election date well in advance was an attempt to lure Tony Abbott out of his lair and expose him to some public and media scrutiny: obviously hasn't worked as the focus is still on Labor and the leadership.

    The media and the ABC in particular must get away from this personality cult and get back to real policy analysis and let the politicians play their games at their peril.

    The way things are going, there is a very real risk that Abbott could slide into office without ever being asked a question and without ever having stood before the Australian people and laid down his policy initiatives and his vision for our future.

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  • Simple:

    10 Jun 2013 8:57:13pm

    The one solution is. RUDD retires and stops white anting the Party or Gillard should do what she of done when she white anted RUDD throw him out of the Party.

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  • Steeden:

    10 Jun 2013 9:02:46pm

    Rudd is by far the most popular politician in Australia,Abbott is the most disliked opposition "leader"in Australia...Nuff said.

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  • Archer:

    10 Jun 2013 9:05:07pm

    The media wont let the leadership drop,they never have and never will im afraid..sad indeed.

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  • Gratuitous Adviser:

    10 Jun 2013 9:06:29pm

    10. Does it even matter at this stage? No.

    The damage was done in 2010 and will not be repaired until those involved go into oblivion and the ALP go into a period of serious reflection and rebuild, in opposition.

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  • Abbottollah :

    10 Jun 2013 9:08:08pm

    Maybe,just maybe the media will focus on Abbotts DUD policies for once..or is that a pipe dream?

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  • Mad Dog:

    10 Jun 2013 9:10:16pm

    Whatever happens to the ALP leadership is really immaterial. The contempt held for the voting public will be repaid when they get to have their say on this and any other issue.

    We are not all stupid, no matter what you may believe.

    Never ever forget, the people always get it right !!

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    • Daisy May:

      11 Jun 2013 3:31:30pm

      "Never ever forget, the people always get it right!!"

      Somebody should have told Abbott..... 3 years ago.

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  • punch:

    10 Jun 2013 9:10:20pm

    Our PM Julia Gillard is going to win the next election with her team because they have legislated and implemented excellent policies with more to come.

    Its very sad Australians have failed to recognise that our effective democratically elected government Labor/Green/Independent is the most modern, representative government to date. Its sadder to listen to/observe the relentless vilification of our first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard for whom I and many others regard highly.

    I do not accept this is the usual rough and tumble of politics. Tony Abbotts right wing LNP along with a majority of our media have deliberately targeted our PM to undermine her credibility and diminish our democracy.

    This is happening for a number of reasons. Abbotts ideological hatred drives him to destroy Labor, Greens, Independents or anyone else inside or outside his party who gets in the way of him obtaining power. Victory was so close but so far away; because those with experience chose not to form government with the unpalatable Abbott LNP. Extremely powerful, wealthy vested interests want Abbott to be leader for profits sake. Murdochs News Ltd does not want Labors NBN because state-of-the-art internet/technology changes the customer dynamics in every way. We will have control rather than the corporation. The mining companies do not want to pay tax and feel they have outright ownership of Australians resources when they are only lucky enough to hold the leases. Other corporations promoting dirty energy do not want the carbon price so they can continue to pollute the world without responsibility. There's know Leigh but fail to report facts.

    Phew what a perfect storm for Labor. Some think our PM and her team should have folded, but oh no, because we have this incredibly strong, determined Prime Minister resolved to push through policies for all Australians not the few. Julia Gillard is one of the most interesting and capable PMs Australia has ever experienced.

    Tomorrow when she launches her campaign to raise funds for the upcoming election I along with many, many others will be contributing.

    She's a winner.

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:14:08am

      Hooray for Punch. Your party needs you more than evah!

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      • Alpo:

        11 Jun 2013 10:12:09am

        But Forrest, your posts also demonstrate that the Coalition needs you... Why do they need you if they are in such a good shape?.... Hmmm, some food for thought there, eh?

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        • Forrest Gardener:

          11 Jun 2013 1:02:59pm

          Alpo, the coalition does not need me. The voters will get it right. They always do.

          But you asked a straight question and I'll give you a straight answer. There are times when I read comments like this one and I just can't resist the temtation to tease the Labor faithful. It's an easy target I know, but what the heck?

          This was one of those times. I expect there will be more in the weeks to come. Barrack away!

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    • bs :

      11 Jun 2013 9:57:16am

      No. Julia Gillard isn't "interesting".

      Because she couldn't name any interests (aside from knitting) - what on earth did she do in her leisurely early days?

      Because she could have been the first Prime Minister going to The Lodge as a confident, single woman. Instead, she weakly conformed and took with her an old boyfriend. That's what's sad.

      She's viewed with contempt by the majority of the country.

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  • Rene:

    10 Jun 2013 9:17:47pm

    Changing leaders again would not change any of the past six years of broken promises, spin and policy debacles .i.e.

    "There will be no Carbon Tax under a Government I lead",

    "Dismantling of the Pacifica solution"

    Pink Batts,

    School Halls,

    No surplus, etc. etc

    Gillard and cohorts can never answer a question, all the public get is "SPIN"

    Labor politicians forgot that they represent the people, not themselves.

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  • Jack:

    10 Jun 2013 9:20:20pm

    Good on you Leigh - anything to keep drawing a pay cheque as a journalist by a spruiker. 'Tis a pity you and other journalists see yourself running the country but not being game enough to stand for a parliamentary seat.

    How about being a journalist and not a pretend politician at least until the elections are over, please.

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  • Final count75_25:

    10 Jun 2013 9:21:39pm


    You missed the opportunity to ask the first and most important question.

    Will it be 'humanity and no union corrupted policy' or 'racist, policy on the run to appease the NSW right'.

    I choose progressive compassionate labor under Rudd, where the elected bloke in charge picks the team.

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  • Sukebe Dayo:

    10 Jun 2013 9:25:10pm

    Rudd would have to get real tough on asylum seekers as the large, silent majority want the flood to abate.

    Rudd was, and perhaps still is, very much in favour of increasing the refugee intake - again the silent majority (in fear of being abeled racist) don't speak out, publically, against them.

    I do not know anybody who wants them coming here and getting free handouts especially when they breed five and more kids just to keep on there $1100 plus income per WEEK. Such families would have to earn about $70,000 a year to clear $1100 a week - now where are the 70K a year jobs???? I don't have one and I have three degrees.

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  • Zapmeister:

    10 Jun 2013 9:31:38pm

    11. How could Rudd be persuaded to accept the leadership of an Opposition-to-be?

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  • mckfish:

    10 Jun 2013 9:32:16pm

    Changing which clown you put in charge of the circus does'nt change it from a circus to a government.

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  • Daryl Saal:

    10 Jun 2013 9:32:30pm

    Gillard has run an impressive government overall. Despite having to negotiate every legislative item there are a great number of impressive items on the board. Unfortunately the Murdoch press has demonised her in the eyes of the moronic majority to the extent that she is unelectable. Rudd is not anywhere near as capable an administrator, but he has much greater political skills. Best outcome is a private meeting, egos constrained, and a joint decision announced, that Rudd will lead with Gillard beside him. Australia would then be spared the Queensland experience of an LNP landslide, with all the hidden agendas.

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  • RoxyR:

    10 Jun 2013 9:34:41pm


    Interesting, but I didn't see the most important question in there.

    "What would be best for the country?"

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:16:22am

      Too easy RR, a parliament without both Rudd and Gillard. Still, the voters in their electorates will get it right. They always do.

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  • JohnM:

    10 Jun 2013 9:42:30pm

    The more likely 10 questions

    1 - What kind of job will I be able to get after September 14?

    2 - Why didn't I speak up ages ago?

    3 - Would Rudd be stupid enough to take over a sinking ship?

    4 - Is my superannuation invested in mining (tanking) or renewable energy (when other countries are back-pedalling)? Or will the taxpayers pay my superannuation anyway?

    5 - Will I be abused every time I walk down the street?

    6 - What have I achieved during my time in government?

    7 - How many people ended up dying because of our policies and schemes?

    8 - Where did all the money go?

    9 - How am I going to manage without all my assistants

    10 - Where is my nearest CentreLink office?

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    • Alpo:

      11 Jun 2013 10:15:30am

      JohnM, those are the questions that the People are asking about themselves, in relation to the times of both the Howard and the Rudd/Gillard governments. The times of the Mining Boom but also of the GFC.... Hence my suspicion that election day may become Independent Day.

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  • tc21:

    10 Jun 2013 9:56:21pm

    Lazy Australian journalists need to do some real work and present some decent policy discussion. This none sense merry go round has been going on since 2010.

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  • Owen Hitchings:

    10 Jun 2013 10:05:17pm

    I'm hoping that the Federal Labor caucus decides to swap back to Rudd. That decision will mean that we are rid of JG earlier than we would be otherwise. It would also likely mean an earlier election which should mean that we are rid of the whole Labor government a bit earlier.

    It's becoming increasingly clear that this government has squandered Australia's good fortune in the form of the Resources Boom and left us in bad shape to face what follows.


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  • Mik:

    10 Jun 2013 10:09:03pm

    Q7. Probably a bit late to do a Campbell Newman. Mundine might have been able to do it but they've burnt their bridges with him.

    The Union bosses are another possibility but if they were acceptable to the public they would have been bought in earlier. Howes did seem to get a run but appears to have lost favour. Julia has shown she can hold most of them together so the weakest link is actually all the others in the caucus.

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:18:00am

      Mik, how do you "hold most of them together" when they've been purged to the back benches?

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  • bluebeliever:

    10 Jun 2013 10:09:44pm

    It's the faceless men that need to be changed, like a dirty nappy. Waiting this long to do so is akin to neglect.

    Just the whole notion of putting a different head on the same spiralling chook, Frankenscience, slapstik and politics. Would be funny if it was not really our government.

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    • JohnM:

      11 Jun 2013 8:58:49am

      Mark Twain - "Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason."

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  • Godfrey Bouillon:

    10 Jun 2013 10:15:39pm

    Rudd does not want the leadership in such circumstances. Rudd has always had a very calculated approach to politics motivated by one thing - how history will be written of him. A spectacular Gillard loss is far more appealing to such an narrative than one where Rudd is belatedly returned to the leadership only to end up losing to Abbott.

    Regardless of who is in control Labor is going to lose the next election badly, but if Rudd is at the helm he will not be able to argue he could have saved them. He is positioning himself for this narrative and very likely attempting to build a following for leadership after the inevitable Labor defeat.

    Ironically Rudd might be the man to save Labor in the long term after the election. He certainly is the only high-profile candidate in Labor I can think of who has the motivation to reform the party and remove the poisonous factional warlords (the real problem Labor has). Shorten as leader is going to entrench this problem further, not solve it.

    All in all what a terrible mess they're in! Meanwhile Abbott can sit back and watch the Labor party tear its throat out for the next decade.

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:19:15am

      GB, Labor cannot move forward whilst either Rudd or Gillard are in the parliament.

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      • Alpo:

        11 Jun 2013 10:17:46am

        Forrest, is the Coalition moving forward under Abbott?... Where to, exactly? Back to the 1950s "future"? Back to a magical pre-GFC bonanza?... any more delusion? any more fantasy?

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        • Forrest Gardener:

          11 Jun 2013 1:04:32pm

          Alpo, don't know. Don't care.

          I do care, however, about where Rudd and Gillard have taken the once proud Labor Party.

          Shame. Shame. Shame.

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  • Bob:

    10 Jun 2013 10:16:17pm

    Ten questions about what or whom I would ask?As a blue collar worker I was glad to see the end of Howard and Costello. Unfortunately I have been bitterly disappointed by the performance of the Labor Party, not for the things they have tried to, and in a lot of cases, achieved to the benefit of all Australians but for their almost complete disdain of those voters who were seeking a fair go.

    The way this Labor Government has conducted itself is absolutely disgraceful. It has been an exercise in voter last, faction first at every turn and don't think for one minute this pathetic pack of contemptible liars aka the coalition is going to be one iota better. Presently I am thoroughly disgusted with the entire political crop.

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  • dubious the third:

    10 Jun 2013 10:17:24pm

    There is the small matter of whether the US would approve of a return of Kevin Rudd, since they seem to have been involved, 12 months prior, in his demise.

    Who really knows? We'll have to vote wikileaks to find out.

    What is apparent is that when a journalist asks an unsolicited question about "leadership in the ALP", and then they smell a story, they converge in a feeding frenzy of stories and reports, all based on a non answer to the first question .

    What are the journalist's (for want of a better word) intentions?

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  • Bos:

    10 Jun 2013 10:18:20pm

    Seems very simple to me.

    Is Abbott going to win vs Gillard?


    Is Abbott going to win vs Rudd?

    Probably but probably by alot less.

    Easy answer.

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    • Jezza67:

      11 Jun 2013 12:19:48pm

      Yeah, but if the ALP punt on Rudd, the Libs will just bring Turnbull on four years early. Same result.

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  • John:

    10 Jun 2013 10:43:20pm

    I think a key point may have been missed here.

    Does Rudd actually want the leadership at this late stage? I think Rudd understands that although he would probably improve their numbers he would not win. Why would he take the leadership only to cop a hiding?

    He also knows what a lot of people in his own party think of him and that he would be replaced as leader in opposition.

    So I ask you, unless Rudd thought he could genuinely win from here, why would he want the leadership knowing that he would lose the election and then be replaced as leader shortly after that.

    In effect he would only be being used to save some seats.....seats held by some members who despise him and were integral in ousting him from office.

    I could be wrong but I don't think Rudd wants it at this stage and he has said so himself on many occasions. For him to change his mind would give the opposition even more ammunition, and he knows it.

    I think Rudds ego will actually be massaged by Labor copping an almighty flogging at the election with Gillard at the helm.

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:23:16am

      John, Rudd may or may not be aware that the Corio media stunt was purely rent-a-crowd.

      If he was aware, then why take part in it? If we was not aware, then will anybody be brave enough to tell him?

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  • Joe Blow:

    10 Jun 2013 10:44:13pm

    11. If we let Rudd back in as leader, how long do we have to leave him there before we roll him again? 1 month? 3 months? 6 at the outside?

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  • thistle :

    10 Jun 2013 10:46:07pm

    Ask Mark Latham what he'd do.

    Let's have him back.

    People love him, when he's normal.

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    • Billy Bob Hall:

      11 Jun 2013 9:20:37am

      I agree. Mark Latham, most of the time was sensible.

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      • maj:

        11 Jun 2013 11:18:41am

        With Mark Latham admitting on Q&A that howard got the boat people policy right where does that leave the ALP and our Julia?

        Alone, stranded and bereft of both ideas and a future.

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        • Daisy May:

          11 Jun 2013 3:18:07pm

          Since when did Latham suddenly become the poster boy of the right wing?

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        • Reinhard:

          11 Jun 2013 3:53:40pm

          It always amuses me to see people like yourself suddenly find ALP identities like Latham, Richo, Crean or Ferguson to be a kind of sage , but only when they share your point of view or are criticising govt policy.

          Where that leaves the ALP is stuck with a Howard era policy that is simply not working, and don't try the BS line that TPVs would do anything, or towing back boats is actually an option.

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    • Tax U Bet:

      11 Jun 2013 3:11:00pm

      Like Abbott he's(Latham) a medication responder!

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  • spud:

    10 Jun 2013 10:47:36pm

    The question that I ask myself is how in the blue blazes did I ever get to this position of holding the PM of this nation, and a woman to boot, in such unbridled contempt? I expected that a PM would inspire some respect from me; because I expected that every PM, no matter what their colour, would have Australia as a whole at heart. I expected that the first female to do achieve this office would command even more respect given the obstacles she would probably have had to overcome.

    Instead, I am faced with a woman who got their via underhanded, even treacherous, back door deals, and who is only interested in staying there for herself, and via similar deals, even when that means breaking promises and faith with Australians and the absolute betrayal of the trust of the electorate. I never believed it possible.

    But Gillard is a living example of the old saying; sow the wind, reap the whirlwind; or in her case the cyclone.

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  • Gilly:

    10 Jun 2013 10:58:55pm

    And the number one question the electorate are asking.

    Why are Leigh Sales and the rest of the media not asking the LNP questions on police?

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  • Jim M.:

    10 Jun 2013 11:06:08pm

    The only question they should be asking is:

    "Why did I support stabbing Rudd in the back in the first place?"

    Then they should continue packing their office into boxes.

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    • Bighead1883:

      11 Jun 2013 8:47:57am

      Jim M,you sir have made the most correct quote out of all the commenters and even a more accurate analysis than the writer of the article.After voting Labor again for the first time since Hawke,I voted in 2007 for Rudd`s team.I was annoyed to the core at Labor`s right faction for it`s deceit.I went to the 2010 election with a caricature of Gillard taped on my back of her having a knife in her back dripping blood,this I drew myself.So my premonition may yet be.

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  • Dugong:

    10 Jun 2013 11:13:14pm

    11) Do we thin the Australian voting public are dumb enough not to see through our complete disregard for them?

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  • Mick:

    10 Jun 2013 11:36:24pm

    Fiction: The ten questions Labor MPs are asking themselves.

    Fact: The ten questions that Leigh Sales thinks Labor MPs should be asking themselves.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 8:02:59am

      Exactly! Labor MPs are still at the stage of running around crying "What do we do? What do we do?"

      Leigh has tried to give them some direction to help them out of their confusion but I don't think it is working!

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  • GAC:

    10 Jun 2013 11:39:54pm

    I believe that Labor setup their defeat when they removed Rudd as PM. This is just Karma and it is going to hurt like hell. I liked Rudd and I would have preferred to have him as PM at the last election going in against Abbott. That did not happen and all Australians were robbed of the chance to either vote him, in or out.

    I hope Rudd does not accept the PM position for several reasons:

    1. How much difference would it make at this stage.

    2. How long before the silent men get rid of him again.

    3. Why become PM again and face election defeat when in actual fact he is still an undefeated PM. Rudd was removed not by the people but by Labor.

    The Labor movement needs a wake-up call and this election is going to provide the impetus for this.

    Labor will have a lot of work to do to change perceptions and it could not happen to a better party.

    Rudd must feel the Karma and I hope he is the last Labor man standing. An honorable Labor leader undefeated by the people of Australia.

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  • Kevin:

    10 Jun 2013 11:45:09pm

    Had enough of current politicians on both sides. We need better people who can plan for the future of all Aussies. The lucky country no more and I do not see that improving with existing options. When will parties listen to the peoples 1st voting preference and stop the interference. Too many back seat drivers not elected by the people are destroying our childrens future.

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  • Dexter:

    10 Jun 2013 11:46:33pm

    And sadly, there was not one hypothetical question suggesting that these Labor clowns might possibly be thinking about what is best for their electorates and the country.

    Assuming that this 'top ten' list is based on off-the-record chats with the deer in the spotlight then I would vote for number 10.

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  • M8x:

    10 Jun 2013 11:51:55pm

    It's become stultifying. It'd be nice to hear just a little bit on potential leadership tussles in the coalition rather than this never ending depressing saga.

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  • Universal Soldier Mk 2:

    10 Jun 2013 11:54:43pm

    Lee, you forget Dutton who changed seats in the last election in Qld (2010) for a safer sell-outs forget conveniently!

    Rudd is the answer for Labor especially at a "rank and file level" we who hand out leaflets and but raffle tickets etc.

    Australians still feel Rudd was treated poorly more than 50%!

    It will only take Rudd a month to have the front bench firing on all 8 cylinders and the public will come back on board...the policies aren't the problem, then the "real" Tony will be exposed!

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    • Forrest Gardener:

      11 Jun 2013 7:25:57am

      Rudd was treated very poorly, and rightly so.

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  • Unheard:

    11 Jun 2013 12:05:41am

    If one life is saved by voting Labor out it will be worth it! If people lose their seats by sticking to their leader that is their choice in a democracy. Who cares except those who haven't been there long enough to qualify for their generous pensions?

    10 questions one same-answer : why bother x10.

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  • AD:

    11 Jun 2013 12:18:44am

    Congratulations to Monday nights 7.30 Report, The voice over (Chris ???) identified the loss of support for the ALP amongst "Blue Collar Males".

    This is the first time that I have seen the male vote identified, and yes, we do have gender voting.

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    • Tax U Bet:

      11 Jun 2013 10:40:30am

      Not all western Sydney males are cash in hand merchants...hate Gillard!

      There are "blue collar and then there are blue collar"...blokes working for wagers and the "tradies" and their "cash-in-hand" practices, the same people that gave you "gouging" in BER and Insulation during the heights of the GFC...shortage of trades and flow on with ripping off jobs all over the urban capitals of the country...patriots one and all...NOT!

      Get the tax that these criminals haven't paid and we could near balance the budget...this has gone on for decades; they loved Howard!

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  • Alexand:

    11 Jun 2013 12:20:09am

    There is no point in asking any more questions in regards to Labor, for according to the News Media of this country The Labor Government is like a dead duck in the water, so Leigh Sales what is your point in putting up 10 questions other than to keep the heat on Labor and the political billy boiling over which won't change the set attitude of the people to Labor, other than to entrench their demise further.

    Had the news media been more dedicated to a sense of scrutiny of Abbott's behaviour of spreading alarm and his actions of negativity and the lack of explained policy, not that there has been too much policy, but too little and which can be best described as no better than shoddy and expensive. Now that it is almost a given position that Labor is to loose the election, then on the basis of that Leigh Sales, don't you not think that you and your Journalists mates have a duty to our country and it's people to put Abbott and The LNP under the pump to disclose more policy and detail and explain how they are to implement such polices as stopping and returning the boats, which at the present is nothing more than slogans. Then there is their broadband which has more holes in it that a garden sieve and demonstrably backward for both the present and the future needs of both the people and the country. Their Maternity Leave Scheme which so rude in the obvious direction to favour the well off. Also considering that Hockey says the budget is in crises. Then there is their Carbon policy which even legendary Walt Disney would have trouble in producing such a fantasy. The green army on the long march to plant millions of trees, sounds like something out of a communist manifesto. Not stopping there, farmers digging holes to burying carbon and getting paid for it , singing the melody while digging , "Where as all the green grass gone"

    Come on you Journalists you have a duty to see that the opposition does not get into power by default, and if you are to do the job that is expected of professionals journalists, then we might have a closer election result. Then finally cut out this leadership cult stuff which seems to entrance the News media so much. Deal with policy that's what will drive the economy and the country.

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  • Brad:

    11 Jun 2013 1:03:57am

    1. At least 15 and perhaps as many as 30 of them, would most likely retain their seats under Rudd, who seem certain to lose them under Gillard.

    2. Just those voters who would see the sense of natural justice in his resurrection, would represent at least 10% extra votes, regardless of how fresh he came back in campaigning.

    3. What happened in NSW State leadership is pretty much irrelevant to most Australians in the Federal sphere.

    4. 'Does Rudd deserve a 2nd chance?'!! - he deserves to have his first full term for Christ sake! Which is why the Australian public may well give him a second term, ? like they did Whitlam, cut down in a different way and circumstance, but just as ruthlessly.

    5. By ridding itself of Swan as Treasurer, a returned Rudd led ALP could distance itself from the gigantic mismatch between what Swan promised repeatedly and how his budget actually turned out. And Gillard is tied to that budget outcome because she and Swan stuck by each other throughout.

    6. Your own Anthony Green has already published a definitive answer to this, on your website. E.g. What the Independents thought, after Parliament rises in a few weeks, would have no bearing on such a choice of date.

    7. NDIS - Rudd could leave it unchanged as Abbott has pledged to do, and hold it up as a fitting monument to Gillards time as PM, as Abbott has already foreshadowed. He could do better with Gonski than Abbott has done. He can claim Australia's position of strength re the GFC versus other countries, as largely his initiatives when he was PM last time. He could claim his caution on a carbon tax, has been vindicated. His resilience (which has haunted him in the party, re his internal critics) can be marketed to the electorate as the great Aussie virtue that it is.

    8. Rudd vs Abbott ? no contest, the libs might then have to switch back to Turnbull - but they'd then have even less time than Rudd to re-establish a new credible leadership, and it would strip Libs of the 'adult in the room' claim. Clearly why Abbott has looked so stressed over the last week.

    9. Never mind Bowen and Clare, even Bill Shorten would prosper under a Rudd lead election campaign: if Rudd gets Labor close but loses (probably the most likely outcome) Shorten might even have a chance to lead in Opposition. Whereas under a Gillard lead campaign to oblivion, Shorten would be a dead duck too. Shorten's strategy would be (probably is) to bring Rudd in as late-as-possible, to lessen Rudd's chances of an actual win for Labor.

    10. This is a question that us voters are asking ourselves, rather than MPs asking themselves, as most of them wouldn't be around post a Gillard lead campaign, to consider that future from their new varied careers. The best strategy that post-Labor voters who are pondering this question, is: vote Lib in the lower house to flush out this current dreadful era, but vote Labor (rather than I

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    • Joe Blow:

      11 Jun 2013 10:36:35am

      Just a few points.

      Rudd installed Swan as Treasurer ... oops. The reason Rudd got knifed is because Abbott had completely demolished Rudd's spin and lack of substance ... remember?

      But keep dreaming.

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      • Reinhard:

        11 Jun 2013 2:21:45pm

        Just one point Abbott was elected opposition leader on 1st December 2009, Rudd was deposed 23 June 2010, remember?

        Rudd demolished himself, no help required..

        As you say, keep dreaming that Abbott actually has substance..

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    • Brad:

      11 Jun 2013 12:01:29pm

      Ten got lost in the wash. It was:

      10. This is a question that us voters are asking ourselves, rather than MPs asking themselves, as most of them wouldn't be around post a Gillard lead campaign, to consider that future from their new varied careers. The best strategy that post-Labor voters who are pondering this question in a Gillard lead campaign, is: vote Lib in the lower house to flush out this current dreadful era, but vote Labor (rather than Independents or Green) in the Senate, to put something in place to impede Abbott once he is in power, and to give Labor hope and a real chance of reforming in the decade to come.

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      • toowrite:

        11 Jun 2013 1:38:31pm

        Brad - if Labor is decimated in the House of Reps, Abbott will just orchestrate a reason for a double dissolution election to gain power in both houses. Any Govt in this country needs an opposition. The rump that is in QLD and NSWs simply promotes arrogance and therefore bad govt - due to unfettered power. Personally, I'd be happy to see more Independents in the mix, along with Greens and even the Democrats again. Especially in the Senate - which is supposed to be the House of Review - as it has been over he last 3 years - could be better, yes.

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  • Daisy:

    11 Jun 2013 1:10:11am

    This whole mess is of labours making, any credibility they have had in the policy area has gone because of in fighting and the stubborn refusal of the PM to step down. Gillard will not be remembered for her policy successes but for the scandal and in fighting that has been the hallmark of her government. Draw a line under it, face the election and move on. And hope to glory that the next opposition leader is a person who can lead and perform like a honest true blue labor politician.

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  • Daisy:

    11 Jun 2013 1:13:02am

    This whole mess is of labours making, any credibility they have had in the policy area has gone because of in fighting and the stubborn refusal of the PM to step down. Gillard will not be remembered for her policy successes but for the scandal and in fighting that has been the hallmark of her government. Draw a line under it, face the election and move on. And hope to glory that the next opposition leader is a person who can lead and perform like a honest true blue labor politician.

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  • Bernie Kroczek:

    11 Jun 2013 1:16:52am

    People have short memories. Rudd was replaced in 2010 because, according to his colleagues he was seen a complete megalomaniac and his management style was dysfunctional. The idea that he is popular in the electorate is fiction. Certainly he is more popular with some people than is Gillard, but that doesn't make him popular per se.

    The question is, "Why would anyone want the Labor leader's job so close to an election which guarantees humiliation?"

    The sooner they get it over and done with the better for everyone, not least the voters.

    Rudd is definitely not the answer. If he replaces Gillard before the election he will go down in history as the man who led Labor to its greatest defeat in history, not Gillard. The fact that Rudd would willingly choose this says a great deal about his character and sanity, none of which is complimentary.

    Like it or not Labor actually needs a defeat of this magnitude so that it can spend the next ten years rebuilding.

    The best thing Gillard could do for herself, the party and the nation is to call the election as soon as practicable.

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  • Lucy (original):

    11 Jun 2013 2:00:24am

    Look carefully at your local candidates. These new unknowns may determine the route that Abbott has to chart.

    My aspiring LNP contestant has made his millions from poker machines in pubs.

    I doubt that Wilkie and Xenophon rejoice when/if this bloke is elected :-) .

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  • John S:

    11 Jun 2013 2:33:41am

    Why are you supposedly serious journalists focusing on & obsessing with the ALP?

    You all decided ages ago that Coalition has already won the election. So who leads Labor really doesn't matter.

    Why aren't you analyzing & scrutinizing Coalition policies? What are the public in for under a Coalition government.?

    What do media owners get back for their support?

    It is like watching a really bad movie where the media are so enthralled by their own spin & in such a frenzy they lose track of what is reality..

    Its like watching addicts looking for their next fix of media created drama. (The footage of the media pack running mid press conference to follow a potential new drama was laughable if it wasn't so tragic. And it was more than once)

    The worst thing for the Australian people is that you are taking us down with you.

    Please STOOOOPPPPPP. Its OK you win. You have helped make Labor's run to the election even harder. You can stop kicking them now.

    Kevin Rudd & the destabilising supporters do not deserve leadership. Neither does Tony Abbott & the Coalition who have helped to ignite & stoke the flames of the media frenzy by creating the toxic environment where spin & misinformation are the new truth.

    Forget Labor - do your job & get the Coalition to tell us why they should be elected. All they have done so far is give pamphlets & slogans.

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    • Michael of Perth:

      11 Jun 2013 10:03:22am

      "Why are you supposedly serious journalists focusing on & obsessing with the ALP?"

      Can't stand any more huh?

      It's because they are the government, they control the taxpayer's money .. that's why!

      It's not the media's fault, that's just shooting the messenger stuff, the problem is the government and the media are only doing their job and reporting it.

      Why aren't they scrutinizing Coalition policies, because the election hasn't been called .. simple really

      BTW - as a Coalition supporter, I am LOVING this!

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      • John S:

        11 Jun 2013 2:16:59pm

        .......because the election hasn't been called .. simple really

        And yet - Coalition, media & pollsters have already decided who won.

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  • Jonathan:

    11 Jun 2013 3:50:02am

    These are my questions.

    1 how to have intelligent evidence based debate instead of class warfare

    2 how to de-politicize both sides of the media.

    3 how to make people creative and positive instead of greedy and negative. Remember, a fish rots from the head. Our nation is rotting from its political class.

    4 what alternative is there to the current system which is broken because politician spend money we don't have on things that won't work. China is doing better than us a lifting people from poverty and building great developments. Is democracy really the best? If it is based on the presupposition that everyone's opinion is equal it is patently rubbish. Why do we tolerate it?

    5 80% of people never change their vote. Politicians are therefor addressing only 20% of the population when they arein media management mode, so what makes these people change their minds? Firstly I think their minds are pretty shallow, they go for "more money for me" or candidates hairstyles, gender or sorting preferences. These area the people who are ultimately running us.

    6 if democracy is broken, which I think it is, what do we replace it with and how?

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  • Clancy:

    11 Jun 2013 3:55:27am

    I am fascinated by the way the the way the media covers politics. Here we are, Ms Gilliard won two election challenges and an election,and yet still the constant speculation about her leadership and leadership in the Labour Party in general. Why is the coverage about this instead of the fact that we got through the GFC better than nearly anywhere else, etc? Why aren't we having serious investigations about serious issues such as the asylum seekers, salinity, housing affordabiity, etc?

    The more I watch how Ms Gilliard handles herself, the more impressed I am with her.

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  • Citizen Smith:

    11 Jun 2013 4:02:26am

    The only question that any duly elected official should be asking themselves 'What can I do to better represent the people of my constituency?

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  • MrEd:

    11 Jun 2013 5:39:10am

    Methinks Mr Rudd sees himself as the next Kim Beasley,

    He will humbly step forward to lead the bowls team that will be the remains of the Labor party after the election.

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  • janama:

    11 Jun 2013 5:41:52am

    There's only 1 question.

    lets get this over and done with please so we can move on, reestablish our position and reconnect with our constituents?

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    • Daisy May:

      11 Jun 2013 3:15:11pm

      @ janama....

      "reestablish our position" = Born to Rule.

      "reconnect with our constituents" = Invite Rupert and Gina to dinner ar The Lodge.

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  • Long Huynh:

    11 Jun 2013 5:45:19am

    Implicitly or explicitly, Kevin for a few times has shown his desire to get back the power of which he had slipped out his hands. Although having asked people to have cold shower a few times, Kevin still maintains his image as a positive and enthusiastic figure and is ready to roll out his sleeves for passionate works. He?s still around and visible.

    Calmly or reluctantly, Julia during the hard time of the first female Australian Prime Minister of a minority government has shown her strength to endure multidirectional attacks to accomplish her role in hardship. Her role is to lead Australia towards a brilliant future which is equipped by the current successful policies in educational, environmental and social fields. Her role is to constantly fight with Tony Abbott?s incurable negativity to maintain the positive spirit of Australians. And her role is also to lead her party out of a divided state. Well done Julia, you are strong and wise, and have the talent to mark scores on an unbalanced play-field.

    Julia?s current position as Barrie Cassidy described ?has lost significant support in the caucus, with key players now planning when and how she should be approached to step aside?. How dare they? Winning or losing an election is just like winning or losing a single battle of a long lasting political war. Australians will decide who will lead them. What the Labour has to do? On a strategic level, the party has to be fully unified to focus on its long-term vision, its values and its ideology belief. On a moral level, its members have to be accountable in the selection and promotion process. In short, unity and transparency are the most critical issues the Labour must face with and must be achieved to gain confidence from the public and hence to have a chance to win this election. If the Labour?s members can?t perform the fundamental unity step, they should forget this election and leave the political competition to other political forces.

    What Julia should do is to firmly stand on her leadership and try the best as she has been used to try. Kevin kindness in election campaign is regarded as a valuable asset for the Labour and he should not let other valuable thing to slip out his hands again, this time is his NAME.

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  • John:

    11 Jun 2013 5:59:28am

    The ALP and Bill Shorten brought this upon themselves by ignoring the voting people of Australia ! Julia Gillard was the Disaster just waiting to Happen & Kevin Rudd was the Disaster that Happened !!

    Bring on a New Government ASAP ! Preferably a Liberal National one.

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    • Reinhard:

      11 Jun 2013 11:18:42am

      You mean a Liberal National Disaster..

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    • Daisy May:

      11 Jun 2013 3:08:27pm

      Patience petal.... The election will be held this year .. as it is every 3 years..

      I am (almost) tempted to say, that one benefit of Abbott actually winning, would be the opportunity to throw a tantrum, and start shrilling for an election.

      However, the thought of the damage he would do to Austalia's International reputation and the embarrassment he would cause prevents me from giving in to that particular temptation.

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  • Sam:

    11 Jun 2013 6:04:20am

    Frankly I don't care who the ALP leader is. All I care is that Tony Abbot and the Coalition don't walk into government. I care about a government that focuses on the entire community and not a select few, a government that gives everyone equal access to services such as education and health and a government that builds communities not wrecks them.

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    • Joe Blow:

      11 Jun 2013 10:39:38am

      "I care about a government that focuses on the entire community and not a select few,"

      So a government that is beholden to the Unions that represent a trivial minority of Australians would not be to your liking then ...?

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      • Daisy May:

        11 Jun 2013 3:00:26pm

        JB: A Coalition government that is beholden to and focuses on the demands of billionaires like Gina Rinehart and multi national mining companies to the detriment of all Australians is more in line with your political preference?

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  • nightwatchman:

    11 Jun 2013 6:07:11am

    The gutter press want to have a good look at themselves. Print and speak the truth, not speculate. Try not to bring down a elected Government They right articles that are untrue and I heard some one say the other day that they publishing untrue polls. By the way Leigh under the Libs you might not have a job when they dismantle the A.B.C. eg. On your show the other night we had a clip of Christopher Pyne telling untruths yet no took him to task as for Julia I hopes she hangs on and continues to lead the party. AAA rating, N.D.I.S. Protection for workers National Marine Parks. Also when are you going to take Tony Abbott to task.

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    • Tony:

      11 Jun 2013 8:32:47am

      Last night Craig Emerson confirmed the press reports and admitted Labor is divided. Craig Emerson lying now? A tool of the media I suppose?

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      • Jo:

        11 Jun 2013 2:29:09pm

        Sheesh, Tony, every party is divided - for we are many. (One Party keeps it under the carpet where argument rots. Another hangs its arguments on the washing line, in the sun.

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  • John:

    11 Jun 2013 6:19:02am

    The Plebiscite is written Julia has to go Kevin cannot be resurrected until after polling day !

    Triumph to the People at least we'll have four years of hard work with strong leadership united a party in agreement.

    We may have a little hardship and austerity after Julia Gillard's and Swans disastrous term but we know we're on the correct path to a strong and bright future for our children and country !

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  • custard:

    11 Jun 2013 6:21:10am should always try

    2.unlikely he is an easy target won't work

    4. He doesn't

    5. It will be a rehash that's all would be earlier most likely

    7. Whatever it takes

    8. Rudd will be the subject of a humiliation campaign

    9. Better than government

    10. Probably not


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  • MattS:

    11 Jun 2013 6:28:32am

    Leigh writes - "FACT _ Labor MPs are actively considering whether they should replace Prime Minister Julia Gillard with her predecessor Kevin Rudd."

    However fails to bother pointing to the Labor ministers, back benchers or party members who state this. Come on Leigh - I thought more of you, if you are going to say something is fact, at least give it some credibility instead of stating blind statements with no solid evidence to back it up.

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    • Hugh:

      11 Jun 2013 9:06:24am

      She doens't have to. It was quite obvious and made loud and clear by Craig Emerson last night on Q&A. He admits it.

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  • BAJ Darwin:

    11 Jun 2013 6:38:33am

    The opposition must be laughing at the ALP,and with the journalists, on this ALP leadership shemozzle gone over endlessly in the media - it has become a blood sport.

    A sport fanned by constant looking at what polls say before the election.

    Isn't there anything else worth reporting - it seems not, as polls and what they say become the news and the driving force behind the strategies of both parties. Policy debate and the difference this would reveal between the parties has gone out the window.

    This navel gazing by government members may to some readers be worth reporting and even enertaining but for many it is sickening.

    Nevertheless the 10 questions you ask in your article are something to be pondered over but I would say to the players in this election not the media and its getting fed up audience.

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  • albie:

    11 Jun 2013 7:51:07am

    Women for Gillard launches today - surely the 'misogynists' in her own party wouldn't dare oppose her.

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    • Joe Blow:

      11 Jun 2013 10:42:48am

      Imagine the outcry if Abbott launched a "Males for Tony" fundraiser.

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      • Daisy May:

        11 Jun 2013 2:53:57pm

        Tony Abbott did that when he organised a group of 12 wealthy male supporters to finance a campaign to get rid of Pauline Hansen and One Nation... they apparently coughed up close to $100,000.00.

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  • wandererfromoz:

    11 Jun 2013 7:51:58am

    I am actually a person who believes in miracles - being - the suspension of natural laws to bring about the divine - or - from an ontological point of view - thus eliminating particular differences in belief or doctrine - the necessity that something should happen because something greater is at stake - and this can apply just to one individual let alone a whole nation.

    A prophet is proven by what he/she says by subsequent events.

    But the position of this government does not need a prophet - The prime minister is acting exactly like Mr. Howard in the dying days of his government - knowing he was doomed, should have gone but the maybe 'could have' ruled out by the unpopularity of his treasurer with his smirking smile. Mr. Rudd is not Mr. Costello - so it is a question of now weighing up whether there is going to be a complete massacre or perhaps a controlled wipe out with enough survivors allowing a rebuild.

    From this perspective it is going to be interesting to see if 'the one will sacrifice for the good of the many' - but methinks that on pondering this issue the weight of evidence suggests strongly this is unlikely. And that is why the Prime Minister is so disliked by so many irrespective of gender - because they know she will not do this for all the wrong reasons.

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  • DanofMelb:

    11 Jun 2013 8:14:07am

    I'm voting Liberal for the first time in my life - we deserve whatever Tony Abbott does to us - juts like QLD and Campbell Newman.

    Australia is not the country I grew up in and I don't feel very Australian anymore.

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  • Breach of peace:

    11 Jun 2013 8:42:22am

    It's all about selfish me me me with saving their own scalps and saving face with their own political party and nothing to do with the benefit of Australians nor the sovereignty of Australia and its state of affairs. True statesman/stateswomen would place Australia ahead of any political party or themselves.

    Australians have never seen so much incompetence, infighting, sham policies in one period. Their is mistrust, anger and resentment by the majority of Australians. Genuine and lateral thinking policies are sorely lacking and spending money you don't have is a no brainer.

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  • harvey:

    11 Jun 2013 8:42:31am

    Yes, now the voters are going to decimate the ALP parliamentarians and the imminent loss of their jobs is suddenly focusing their minds. As it does.

    Turfing out Rudd was underhanded. It caused maximum distress to him and his family. It showed up Gillard and her cronies as being cold-blooded, dishonest, and opportunistic.

    Sheer hubris from Gillard and her back room boys blinded them to the bleeding obvious. Did they think that Rudd and the voters would just suck this up?

    At my work there are bosses who are hard to get on with, but who deliver the goods. The delicate flowers who couldn't work with Rudd need to go to a real workplace and find out how to manage like the rest of us have to.

    I want a PM who is ethical, has common decency, governs for us all, and is competent on the world stage. I will vote for that person.

    Sadly, the current leadership of the 2 major parties leaves me no-one to vote for.

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  • GregL:

    11 Jun 2013 8:43:38am

    Basically what we are seeing now is essentially a re-run of John Howard's posiiton when he lost to Rudd.

    Like Howard we have a PM who is not being listened to by the electorate. It does not matter why or what for the simple fact is that people have disengaged from Julia Gillard. This is the same that occurred to Howard. In his case too there were people in his party who knew what was coming and went like lemmings over the cliff. Gillard like Howard before her is unable to accpet that people have given up on her. Why?

    It was not so much the disposing of Rudd. There was an election after that and Gillard retained government albeit in minority. Let us not foprget that Menzies was also pole-axed as PM and that was in the middle of a war! With a lot of assistance from the MSM , Abbott has run a campaign based on fear and xenophobia with the boats that has resonated deeply within sections of the community, particulary in marginal seats. This is despite the fact that Abbott refused to commit to a policy that would have had a chance of success in slowing the boats, Malaysia. Over the carbon price he crafted a picture of Gillard as not being able to be trusted, again with significant assistance from the MSM. This is despite his own time in government being riddled with changes in policy across a wide area of government, but these changes were explained away as core and non core promises.

    Rudd and his forces have destabilised Gillard and hence the Labor party since he lost the leadership. If Abbott has never accepted that he did not get to govern then certainly Rudd has never accepted the judgement of his peers.

    Gillard has initiated some wonderful policy initiatives based in equity and need that would not have seen the light of day under a coalition government like the NDIS and Gonski. She and her advisors lack political judgement and have a knack of making winners into losers. She has been let down by many of her colleagues. Along with Abbott's relentless campaign, these are the reasons Gillard will fall.

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  • Hugh:

    11 Jun 2013 8:44:34am

    Gillard won't step down because she won't give into Abbott.

    Nothing else matters to her.

    She couldn't careless about in the interest of the Labor Party, it's all about in the interest of Julia Gillard.

    She may know she will probably lose the election, but it won't be because she threw in the towel against Abbott.

    That's what Julia Gillard is all about. She's not going to allow A

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  • chas:

    11 Jun 2013 8:51:46am

    Perhaps political reporters should start thier own party ,they seem to opinionate more than they report

    Why not start reporting on policy and fact instead of rumour and stupid whispers

    with the amount of political reporters around they would proberly have more members than both parties combined

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  • Hugh:

    11 Jun 2013 8:58:21am

    I'm glad someone at the ABC knows what the issues are going on over the last few days.

    ABC Breakfast tried to make the issue this morning about Turnbull on Q & A. Who just repeated the Coalitions line of "they will turn back the boats when safe to do so".

    They mustn't have seen Latham and an hyterical, jibbering Emmerson on the panel.

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    • Qandist:

      11 Jun 2013 11:54:33am

      I thought that Latham was sane and rational.

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  • Antonia:

    11 Jun 2013 9:01:05am

    You've all been had. The charade works like a charm:

    "The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy." - Professor Carrol Quigley, Tragedy and Hope

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  • roza:

    11 Jun 2013 9:02:41am

    A great article, if considered properly, should result in Julia Gillard remaining as leader of the Labor party and contesting the election on her record of reform. This record will stand as a record of her committment to policies that recognise that all is not equal in our society. Some people and organisations need more assistance than others and other people and organisations should help pay for that.

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  • Greyarea:

    11 Jun 2013 9:03:10am


    good piece - there are so many variables that the outcome of any option is not clear, so I think we have some interesting times ahead watching the next 3 months play out.

    I would like to see Kevin take a real stand on something worthwhile. For example, why not close off shore processing and just take the refugees who arrive on boats into the community? They are going to keep coming whatever we do (unless Abbott has the balls to sink a few boats, not just mess around and ineffectually turn them back).

    We would then save a lot of money, stop being international pariahs, gain willing workers for remote areas, and avoid a legacy of mental illness.

    Time to open a space between the Government and the opposition, not close ranks.

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    • mop:

      11 Jun 2013 9:51:47am

      "I would like to see Kevin take a real stand on something worthwhile"

      Hey, why not hold a Best and Brightest festival and invite 100 of the favored left leaning types to Canberra and invite oh Getup! to facilitate and everyone could just feel sooo gooood about it all .. oh wait.

      Seriously, Labor have had no plan all along, that's why it's a disaster, they keep trying to make it up as they go and it is not convincing anyone.

      They have tried to buy our votes, they have tried to bully us and they try non stop to bullshyte us that they are on top of everything and that anyone else will be worse (really?)

      How many plans have they had now to stop the boats, yet all we get is yet more boats.

      All Labor needs to do to stop the boats is admit they were wrong, and reinstate Howard's plan .. which worked.

      they won't of course, their egos are too large and they are all too self obsessed about themselves and care not at all for the community.

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  • GraemeF:

    11 Jun 2013 9:14:22am

    Who do we want to bargain for us on the world stage?

    Gillard who is well received by the rest of the world and who has negotiated the path of important legislation through a hung parliament?

    Or Abbott who couldn't even get the trust of the conservative independents to form government even with enormous bribes and who walks away or goes into meaningless bluster when hit with difficult questions?

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 10:39:22am

      so because the rest of the world think she is wonderful we should bow at her feet? If the rest of the world love her, they can have her. us forelock tugging australians have seen her first hand when her words didn't make international news,. we know first hand how her policies pan out.

      the "independents" were ex-nationals with a massive chip on their shoulders and wouldn't have gone with the coalition if it was led by mother theresa.

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      • GraemeF:

        11 Jun 2013 1:09:22pm

        Have you got a shred of evidence that the independents would never have supported a Coalition government? Because there is none and you just have to make things up because you can't stand the fact that Gillard was chosen because she was a better negotiator and rated a safer pair of hands than Abbotts. As in climate change, making up bizarre conspiracy theories does not substitute for facts.

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  • patarus:

    11 Jun 2013 9:17:04am

    Questions are fine answers are not. If it was a reality TV show it would rate well - but then when Labor is stranger than fiction - particularly after the "job" done on QA - Labor might be better off adopting the Ten Commandments and pray for an act of God.

    Those here who have been passing comment for the last three or so years must reflect on the commentary - particularly those on the money - and reflecting 3 years ago at time of the minority formation that Labor was a self style disaster waiting to happen.

    Oakeshott was a prime derivative of that end game and his acceptance speech and embarrassing etude of that process and was in the same vein as Rudd's acceptance speech 07 as he defined Julia as a "wonderful human being". History post reflection shows both to be equally invalid commentary.

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  • Pedro Pesce:

    11 Jun 2013 9:17:38am

    This is both a dilemma and conundrum of Labor's own making.

    When you knife your leader in the back during his first term for suffering such a position in polls that Labor can now only dream of; and you were as responsible for those flawed policy decisions as he; then small wonder Gillard has the malaise she is in now - and deservedly so. Her much touted 'toughness' now only looks like intransigence and confrontationalist.

    Chooks have come home to roost, people - and even Labor speculating about a return of Rudd after such a public defecation over him by them shows just how dire and desperate things have become - the return of the sacrificial lamb at the hands of the Judas goats.

    Rudd has been given a big kick start now though by being besmirched by the completely deranged, unhinged Latham. Any detraction from the likes of him can only convert perversely to support from the rational. If Latham doesn't like Rudd, its a pretty good reason why the rest of us should! I mean he IS from the NSW branch, isn't he?

    The greatest sin these ALP people have committed is to foist the likes of an Abbott government upon us, something that chills my spine, when they could have been looking at another two terms in government.

    To the point of this article, there can only be one question in the end that these pollies will ask themselves, and it will be totally and as usual in their own self interests; not in the nation's.

    Brace yourselves for a lot more squealing now as the publicly funded feeding trough looks about to be removed from their snouts!

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    • GraemeF:

      11 Jun 2013 1:13:45pm

      The Coalition has knifed one Premier and one Chief Minister so why only concentrate on Rudd? Surely it doesn't bode well in the back stabbing scorecard when the Coalition have doubled Labor's effort.

      Abbott got in by one vote, his own, whereas Julia faced caucus and won by a significant majority.

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  • rumpole:

    11 Jun 2013 9:21:12am

    I think Julia Gillard has been a good PM. She has treated her ministers like humans, has negotiated well and put forward excellent reforms in education and disability care.

    Labor deserves to be re-elected on their economic performance.

    Julia is not however connecting with the electorate, who still bear a grudge for being deceived over the Carbon tax. If the polls are correct, she will lead Labor to defeat.

    A return to Rudd would be a disaster, not necessarily politically, but certainly in an administrative and policy sense.

    So who is left ? All the Labor party members who are potential leaders carry the stain of the Carbon Tax deceit, except one.

    Bob Carr.

    Would rocketing him of the Senate and parachuting him into the Reps be the worst available option ?

    Consider this.

    Carr was a successful Labor Premier, one of the few party leaders in the country not to be thrown out of office by either his colleagues or the electorate.

    He does not have a union background, which is advantageous these days as unions seem to be on the nose.

    He came into Parliament after the CC was introduced, so he does not carry the stain of it.

    He is a man of intellect who can coherently present Labor's case.

    As Foreign Minister, he has a proven record of representing Australia overseas, and successfully participated in our gaining of a seat in the UN security council.

    He is not a divisive figure in the Labor party, not being a vociferous supporter of either Rudd or Gillard.

    If Campbell Newman could run the Qld Nationals from outside Parliament, I see no reason why Carr could not be co-opted for the top job in Federal politics.

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  • Mal Phillips:

    11 Jun 2013 9:21:33am

    Gillard is more interested in her own power than the party or the country. Please go and allow Rudd to do some damage control. If she stays the country is condemmed to many years of conservative rule; a terrible legacy for any person.

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 10:40:37am

      but labor lost its way under rudd. wasn't that the narrative leading up to the last election. has it lost its way again, or was rudd (on his way to a massive beating at the polls) on the right path after all?

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  • Brett Bairnsdale:

    11 Jun 2013 9:23:57am

    Kevin Rudd would accept the leadership, however, it must be on his terms. His terms will never be met.

    Move the election forward Julia

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  • Constant Negadividee:

    11 Jun 2013 9:27:13am

    Question 12: Given that the government is a laughing stock, who'd vote for those idiots?

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 1:34:58pm

      Answer: have a look here on the drum, on the SMH discussion threads and you'll see either a myriad of believers, or the work of the office of the PM and her hundreds of media workers.

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      • Bradley:

        11 Jun 2013 2:37:54pm

        ... or the work of the Office of the Tony Abbott, who is set to gain the most from keeping Gillard as PM right up to the election. Nobody, but those doing such mischief could really be writing those 'Stick with Julia, she will win the election' comments found on these discussion threads.

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  • Paul Taylor:

    11 Jun 2013 9:30:04am

    It?s not Julia Gillard?s credibility on the line but ABC programs like 4 Corners & the 7.30 Report that once offered a balanced, apolitical, unbiased investigative perspective in reporting on national events based on factual truth, not engineered truth... not accompanied by nuanced & calculated cynicism. Hostility toward Labor is now palpable in body language & line of questioning (like on the 2013-2014 Labor Federal Budget, the Labor leadership) all aimed at shaping public opinion in favour of the Coalition. Public broadcasting has now become the tool of the MSM & it?s coterie of compliant journalists; the ABC & SBS to a lesser extent may as well be privatised & handed over to the media moguls. All this against a backdrop of increased public funding for the ABC & SBS in 2013-2014.

    You only have to look at the accidentally televised off screen tantrum performed by Leigh Sales, after interviewing Simon Crean on his account of Kevin Rudd?s no show at the last Labor leadership ballot or Chris Uhlmann?s real thoughts conveyed in his DRUM blog on 17 May,2013 entitled ?Labor finds itself without a homeland to defend? to get my drift. You only have to look at 4 Corners in the run up to the last QLD state election & more recently the unsubstantiated beat-up of cyber-theft of ASIO headquarter plans. There seems to be a concerted attempt at sensationalism aimed at discrediting Labor & in unearthing disgruntled, demoted or disenfranchised Laborites who either are no longer listened to or hold a grudge; with banner headlines like ?Rudd launching ?revenge jihard? as pollster predicts huge Labor loss? ....simply to blunt any possible Labor resurgence in the polls.

    Why can?t Labor ignore these orchestrated media distractions & concentrate on policy. Start with border protection: Surely there are enough sanitized military photos that show men, women & children at a distance drowned at sea that could be shown on national television in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia & Sri Lanka portraying an actual ultimate cost of life, not only to refugees but smuggler crews when refugees embark on a perilous boat journey to Australia.... a montage of compiled different disasters on a flick through. Couple that with the fact that both the GREENS & COALITION are not prepared to even enter into a 12 MONTH TRIAL of the Malaysia Solution when the real issue is loss of life at sea & not politics. Arrange a televised interview with the Indonesian & Malaysian Ambassadors to Australia to simply talk about their own problems & not our perceptions, when confronted with transiting refugees. In Australia if you had 20,000 refugees accepted it would represent one per 1150 Australian citizens...the current European average is one asylum seeker for every 625 inhabitants.

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    • Red:

      11 Jun 2013 11:52:00am

      I think that you are living in an alternative virtual reality.

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    • Barry:

      11 Jun 2013 12:58:15pm

      The ABC and SBS aren't biased. They are just focusing upon the big news stories. You can't expect them to ignore the fact, many MPs with Labor Party aren't happy, and are leaking the rumours themselves. Your accusations of bias really just prove that it is you who is biased. You obviously aren't willing to accept the problems inside the Labor Party.

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  • Jase:

    11 Jun 2013 9:33:52am

    I don't live in Gillard's electorate, nor Tony Abbott's. I can only vote for my local member and I won't be voting ALP.

    I moved here (Bass) just after the 2010 election and I have never seen my local member. For a while there I thought he had died and his staff were just propping up his body - usually at the bar at some local footy club raffle draw - so they could keep drawing his salary.

    Vote for a do nothing, faction-installed Caucus drone?

    No thanks ... and if my vote helps to install a Coalition Government I'll be quite pleased.

    As for Rudd v Gillard? Over it. So very, very over it.

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  • Trulie:

    11 Jun 2013 9:55:57am

    A question we should be asking ourselves - Given Palmer has started a new "alternative" party, why does it have almost word for word the Liberal constitution? Is this a Palmer/Abbott set up after the well publicised "quarrel"?

    Is it merely Abbott's "sponge" to wipe up the dissafected Liberal voters?

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  • Michael of Perth:

    11 Jun 2013 9:59:16am

    The government is hated, their leader despised, and all the elected officials in the government, Greens and Independents are tarred with the same brush?

    This is the result of the unions running things.

    Yet they ignore the people's view and continue to lie, to have little tantrums and spend taxpayer money on personal whims and talk of setting poison pills for any new government

    All the talk of who is the leader is typical of self obsessed and out of touch union people and their lackeys who do not understand we have stopped listening, we will change the government and it is not "selling the story" that is the problem.

    We know what the story is, we don't want to buy.

    Never again!

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  • Hugh:

    11 Jun 2013 10:01:00am

    The only thing Labor can do is have Gillard and Rudd stand together united confirming there is no leadership change going tohappen befoe the election.

    Otherwise you have Gillard in one corner and Rudd in the other. With this situation it's quite obvious they are not united.

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  • Myrtle:

    11 Jun 2013 10:06:20am

    The Labor Party have been showing poor judgement re leadership, ever since they sacked Kevin Rudd in 2010. Mr Rudd is a good man and was an excellent Prime Minister. WHAT DID HE DO WRONG? - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I could not believe all the malicous vindictive comments sprouted by Messrs. Shorten, Crean etc. and Nicola Roxon and others at the time. Nasty! Nasty! Nasty! What is the point of deciding now that Rudd is the person to get Labor elected in September. It is all too late. Labor MPs, you have stuffed it up all the way through! You discarded Rudd in the most horrible way, and now you think he might save your seats. If I was Mr Rudd, I would feel very used! Gillard should have been more patient and not let uncontrollable ambition take over, which is what happened in 2010. There would not have been a hung parliament in 2010, if Rudd had led the Labor party at this election. Granted, Gillard has done some positive things, i.e. the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the Gonski education reforms, and it is positive to have a female PM, BUT this positive legislation would probably have been passed if Rudd had been PM. I also think the carbon tax is a good tax. So if they change leaders now, it will make things worse. The stuff ups have gone too far. Craig Thompson, Eddie Obied, Peter Slipper sleaziness have also not helped at all.

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  • Rabid Dogs:

    11 Jun 2013 10:11:27am

    The vanities of the moralists, as they destroy the ALP.

    These death throes are like watching a pack of rabid dogs bite itself to death.

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  • Des:

    11 Jun 2013 10:13:09am

    It would be unfair to refer to shorten as the eddy obeid of federal labor....however the similarity is that he sees to be able to tell alp members in parliament what to do .....cannot these precious petals stand on their own feet without shorten telling them what to do. Howard & hawke lost elections before winning seats. Shorten dd not win a seat by defeating a sitting liberal. No,like combet he had the numbers to knock off a sitting member in a safe labor seat. For god's sake labor members. Represent your electors rather than listening to shorten or the awu

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  • punch:

    11 Jun 2013 10:22:07am

    Morning Leigh,

    All quiet on the western front......

    Julia Gillard is one of the best Prime Ministers Australians and Labor have been lucky enough to elect.

    I won't absorb the noise and misinformation fed through dubious media channels - its just noise. Thank goodness there are many other sources for the discerning.

    I just finished watching the impressive Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan in Brisbane talk about funding for Queensland schools. Apparently the government facts, modelling and figures have been released to the Courier Mail should anyone be interested. You' re damn right she won't blink; because this PM is focussed on pushing through excellent reforms for the many not the few.

    Of course our PM did not blink or miss a beat. Julia Gillard is an absolute winner all the way and deserves the support of Australians for an extraordinary job in extraordinary circumstances. People say politics is not for the faint-hearted well say its time for the warm-hearted like our PM Julia Gillard.

    Oh by the way - I also watched Tony Abbott claim he'll 'Stop The Boats', 'Get Rid of the Carbon Tax, 'Take the Surplus into Black', 'Lower Taxes' and the outrageous statement ' a good school is not about buildings'. Well Tony, you tell that to the many schools who didn't have air-conditioning, heating, school halls, playgrounds enough desks etc which the effective Labor stimulus package provided. Abbotts a snake-oil merchant. Oh dear.

    Just under 100 days to make sure Tony Abbotts extreme right LNP do not gain power.

    Don't forget Gillards fund-raising campaign starts today? Make sure you back the winner.

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 12:52:03pm

      one of the best PMs ever? the nice folk in the white coats need to adjust your meds, punch. even staunch ALP fans aren't going to go as far as you. the labor party have failed to convince the electorate that their "reforms" are useful and value for money. they have spruiked their little hearts out and failed to carry people along with them.

      they have played the game of politics in smearing, spinning, flip flopping and they're seen for the shallow, hollow and inept people they are. not because Murdoch is some evil villian who hates socialists, but because you can only fool all of the people for so long.

      i hope the sun is shining in your parallel universe.

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      • Reinhard:

        11 Jun 2013 3:39:32pm

        Andie if you want to see smearing and spinning go no further than your daily Murdoch rag.

        April 2, 2013, - 'Crean has signalled he could be prepared to cross the floor on superannuation changes'.

        What Crean said was "I have never threatened to cross the floor in my life and I am not starting now."

        April 8, 2013, Daily Telegraph - 'Ninety billion nightmare: 'True' cost of Labor's Information Revolution'.

        April 9, 2013, Daily Telegraph, "NBN at half Labor?s price" Simon Benson

        Those stories were so false they were both featured on Media watch

        July 19, 2012, The Australian - 'Europe won't be 'lectured' by Julia Gillard'.

        The Press Council found 'the article was inaccurate and unfair'.

        June 19, 2012, Daily Telegraph - 'PM Julia Gillard 'slapped down' at G20 summit by the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso'.

        Press Council upheld a complaint that 'the headline and article were inaccurate'.

        February 6, 2013, Daily Telegraph - "New childcare hygiene rules throw candles in the bin" by Natasha Bita

        Blames Labor ('Tanya Plibersek, who launched the guidelines yesterday') for banning kids 'from blowing out candles on communal birthday cakes'.

        The 'ban' was actually a 'guideline', and the guideline had been passed in 2005, under the Howard government.

        Imagine if we had a press council with actual powers...

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  • Stuffed Olive:

    11 Jun 2013 10:22:16am

    The best chance is with Julia Gillard as Labor Leader. This speculation and regurgitation of gossip and opinion is getting ridiculous. The ABC has gone into dangerous water and must return to examining both sides. The concentration on Labor is only okay when countered by similar articles on the Liberals and what they (pretend to) offer the country.

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  • Nahum:

    11 Jun 2013 10:22:50am

    Gillard will never surrender. It is not in her nature. She deserves to be remembered for the greatest defeat in living memory, so if the ALP ignores the arithmetic of her consistently appalling poll numbers, she will get her due.

    Despite all the blame attributed to Rudd (and quite a lot of it is due), the defeat that Gillard will inflict on the party may in fact destroy the ALP. As for Shorten, and his hopes of leading in Opposition, if it is possible, it will be a long road back. He may be in a walking frame before they are in a position to lead again.

    The losers are the Australian people. We lost when the ALP installed Gillard. We lose because they have never been in a position of strength BECAUSE they chose Gillard. (Forget all the Rudd/Gillard interplay - Gillard is unelectable - Worse than Crean, Beazley or Latham at their worst, though not as bad as Brendon Nelson was for the Liberals.) Finally, we will most probably lose when Abbott is elected with an opposition so battered and bruised that it will not be capable of keeping his Government accountable.

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  • bobtonnor:

    11 Jun 2013 10:27:43am

    'In New South Wales, Labor tried Morris Iemma, Nathan Rees and finally Kristina Keneally', the fundamental difference here is that the people chose Rudd not Bitar and Arbib.

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  • Ray Manta:

    11 Jun 2013 10:35:28am

    What a pathetic, inward-looking nation we have become. This week international diplomacy is in crisis mode as the Obama administration tries to defend the indefensible. European nations are on attack over the infringement of their privacy rights by U.S. spy agencies, and America is looking exactly like the anti-democratic totalitarian states that it claims to oppose, with no respect for the rights of any non-Americans. Here in Australia, all we can think about is the latest rumble among the lower-form playground bullies in Canberra. Get a grip, for goodness sake.

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  • Aussie Sutra:

    11 Jun 2013 10:37:20am

    I doubt Labor will even BEGIN to take a real look at itself until it glimpses the few shreds that will be left of it after this upcoming election. As a lifelong Labor supporter it is very tough to know that my usual party of choice has lost the plot so badly, and I doubt I'll ever be able to vote for them again. They can ONLY see through a "Gillard/Rudd" lens at best right now, and even their most prolific thinkers don't get past a list of the usual suspects who would simply do more of the very same things both Gillard and Rudd have done that have alienated the nation. Abbott will be even worse of course. But I hold no hope for Labor.

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  • Gypsy:

    11 Jun 2013 10:57:27am

    Mr Howard refused to believe the polls.

    He refused to believe the electorate were not listening to him despite all he believed he had done for them.

    He refused to hand over the reins.

    No one had the courage to tell him to go so he waited until the voters made him go.

    Sound familiar?

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 12:52:59pm

      we can only hope that, like howard, julia's own electorate wake up and smell the rotting albatross that is hanging around their collective necks.

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  • Gypsy:

    11 Jun 2013 10:57:37am

    Mr Howard refused to believe the polls.

    He refused to believe the electorate were not listening to him despite all he believed he had done for them.

    He refused to hand over the reins.

    No one had the courage to tell him to go so he waited until the voters made him go.

    Sound familiar?

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    • Daisy May:

      11 Jun 2013 2:38:45pm

      Gypsy... Howard was in government for 11 years... He was told... by Alexander Downer that he should go .... Janette Howard refused to leave Kirribilli and wouldn't allow John to hand over to Costello.

      Totally different circumstance.

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  • old67:

    11 Jun 2013 10:58:22am

    All you AUSTRALIANS the media have got you ranting and raving they are using you all. Not one has the backbone to question the LNP the rest of the country will end up like QUEENSLAND you fools.

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  • Reinhard:

    11 Jun 2013 10:58:40am

    Thanks Leigh, I think it's high time for one option and one option only , stop this mindless leadership speculation, once and for all.

    Kevin Rudd, more than any other PM in our history showed that running the country requires more than being Mr Popular. Rudd showed he was simply not up to the task and while showing some lack of judgement, Julia Gillard has been streets ahead of Rudd in that dept. It's just a shame that Gillard is not Ms Popular with voters because the electorate are not complete idiots and will eventually see through Abbott & co's constant stream of lies.

    Here's hoping that happens before it's too late.

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    • toowrite:

      11 Jun 2013 1:57:00pm

      TooTrue Reinhard. We can only hope now. The PM is Ms Popular with most people who have met her - thus the majority support within the ALP. But she doesn't get an even break anywhere. To amplify that last comment - look at the goings on of the Opposition spokespeople. They now can say anything, and never be seriously challenged on it or taken to task. EG, Julie Bishop basically saying the Indonesian Ambassador is lying when he said that there will be NO co-operation with Australia in towing boats back. Pyne coming out and blabbing all sorts of conspiracies, sources within the ALP told him this and that - all unfounded - it doesn't cost him anything - they can blab anything and never be held to account by the Media.

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  • Peter Schmidt:

    11 Jun 2013 10:58:51am

    Abbot might not be as smooth talking as Gillard, but he has been holding his party together for more than 3 years, without any major problems. No knee jerk reaction to Gillard's attacks, holds himself and his party steady. He is a true tactician. Never panics like Gillard, a true leader.

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    • Daisy May:

      11 Jun 2013 2:34:15pm

      "Never panics like Gillard, a true leader"..... so who was that man running out of Parliament in a state of panic .... who was that man who clenched his fists and nodded his head in rage for more than 60 seconds when asked a question that he didn't like?..... a true leader? Not likely.

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  • Marcus:

    11 Jun 2013 11:02:26am

    Polls indicate Australians do not want Julia Gillard and will not vote Labor if she remains PM. Extraordinary selfshness and chutzpah on her part makes it clear she puts her own ambition before the wishes of AUstralians, whom she is supposed to serve.

    Julia Gillard, stand aside. Put Australia first, not yourself.

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  • Helena:

    11 Jun 2013 11:11:50am

    While Rudd and Gillard campaign seperately and not together it will always look like we have two PM's competing against each other.

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  • Phil:

    11 Jun 2013 11:14:48am

    The answer for Labor is simple. All they have to do is.

    1. Learn that substance is more important than spin.

    2. Be honest. You will be found out if you lie.

    3. Show integrity.

    4. Don't use gender as a weapon.

    5. Don't try and divide the nation into have and have nots.

    6. Learn that the amount of money spent is not the measure of success. It's the result that matters.

    7. Never let your blind faith in an ideology get in the way of good policy.

    Astute readers probably already realize that I have just described the Coalition.

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  • Lawrence of Bavaria :

    11 Jun 2013 11:18:12am

    - The boats will not be stopped,

    - climate change will not be adressed,

    - alternative energies will not be supported,

    - Gonski will not be fully funded/implemented,

    - the mining industry will not pay a fairer share,

    - small business will not stand a chance vs Big Business,

    - the skills shortage will not be eased,

    - the environment will not be protected (Marine Parks, GSG, mining leases, population growth),

    - gay marriage will not be an issue,

    - the workers will not have a voice against the Big End of Town

    - budget surplusses will not be jeopardised by much needed

    infrastructure projects (High speed trains, public transport, public housing)

    - there will not be any move towards a republic

    - when GFC, Mark 2 hits, there will not be any decisive action by the government

    Go ahead - Vote 1, Tony Abbott.

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    • Emily:

      11 Jun 2013 12:37:52pm

      No I am voting for Julia, she's on my list

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  • Frederick:

    11 Jun 2013 11:20:14am

    Bill Shorten has come to understand the true weight of his decision.

    If Labor Wins or Looses, it would be by his hands

    Either way, the stain of this decision will remain with Bill Shorten and the history books, forever.

    So which note will be recorded in the History Books, the man that helped send Labor into oblivion or the Man that saved the Labor from defeat.

    I leave you with a famous quote "never underestimate the intelligence of the voters" Bob Hawke.

    I think this means that we make the final decision.

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  • Observer:

    11 Jun 2013 11:22:48am

    Watching Q & A last night, I waa appalled that no one asked the obvious question : What happens when an assylum seeking vessel is intercepted? The people often disable or sink the boat, so they HAVE to be taken on board. Good luck with getting ANY vessel into an Asian port to disembark assylum seekers. They don't want them either, in case that's not obvious. Why don't we want these people,? Because they soak up what little room to move we have in housing. Because they impose costs on our social and infra-structures which we haven't/can't plan for, which are already overloaded. We are a rich country, yet we have 100,000's homeless. We have to house people somewhere, and form viable communities, and unoccupied residential land is scarce. Building communities takes time and great expense, we don't normally allow unplanned shanty towns. Their needs are immediate, from the time they arrive, and we're not coping. So we shut the door, and work on what we can with what we can spare. Demand exceeds supply, so desperate people will risk all for a better outcome, and ignore the risks. If they stay, they'll die, if the boat sinks they'll die, but if they make it, there's hope for better. That's enough motivation for anyone. The only way to stop the boats is to return the people to country of origin and leave them there, if allowed to.

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    11 Jun 2013 11:33:59am

    I think the hatred for Julia is gender bias. The average working man in the street can not come to grips with a woman at the head of a political party and a leader of the government of the country.

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    • Barry:

      11 Jun 2013 12:54:37pm

      Your assumptions sound like you might be suffering from a dose of misandry . . .

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    • andy:

      11 Jun 2013 12:56:08pm

      what utter bollocks. In NZ helen clarke led a strong labour government for several terms. i personally despised her politics, but she won respect for bringing people with her.

      Julia is hated as she is a conniving, scheming, devious person who seems incapable of showing us who she really is. she is on any given day what she thinks will make us like her.

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  • David McAlister:

    11 Jun 2013 11:34:50am

    The sad thing about the ALP leadership speculation is that those driving it, mostly in the media, think we've forgotten that they had taken to calling Kevin Rudd 'krudd' well before Julia took over. And that was what he was called in the electorate too! Any ALP MHR or Senator who thinks they will be better off under Rudd is deluded: it will take 30 seconds, if that, before he becomes 'krudd' in the media and the electorate once more.

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  • Trish:

    11 Jun 2013 11:37:26am

    Your analysis of ALP dysfunction is probably correct. However it really is time for the media to apply the blow torch to the Opposition. The ALP is now a soft target and it's the media's responsibility to provide balanced analysis. Abbott especially has got away with enormous inconsistencies and obscurantism.

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  • Barry:

    11 Jun 2013 11:50:01am

    Julia Gillard is a poor PM. That's all there is too it. Her job is to sell the party, and sell their vision. At the moment, she is failing miserably. Noone with a logical and unbiased view on things would state that she is doing a "good" job.

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  • Wayno:

    11 Jun 2013 11:50:07am

    I just wish they would hold the election right now and be done with it! Every day of this pointless speculation just harms our nation further, we have become the political laughing stock of the world.

    Almost the entire industry that I work in has been put on hold until there is some kind of certainty returned to our nation.

    this means that myself and many thousands of other ordinary working men just like me are struggling and going broke while these narcissistic scoundrels posture and bicker for their own self interest.

    The days of Kevin 07 were exciting and optimistic for our nation.

    Now I only feel anger and hatred.

    I will never vote for labour ever again, and I am embarrassed and appalled that i did in 07.

    I feel sad for our nation

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  • Mish:

    11 Jun 2013 11:54:19am

    If Labor give Rudd the leadership I will be not vote for anyone . I cannot vote for an egomaniac who is intent on destroying the ALP . As far as I am concerned having Rudd as leader will destroy the party . I thought after the last attempt Rudd made he would get the message . If he truly was a team player he would be supporting his party instead of running about the country grandstanding , the man is toxic ,he has infected the ALP with his egomaniacal disease . I am deeply disturbed that the ALP would even consider switching back . If the local member has done a good job representing their constituents they will be elected , if they keep up this nasty white anting they deserve to lose their seats .i am so angry at Rudd supporters and their lack of courage , instead of destabilising the party start talking about all the great things you have done

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  • MJMI:

    11 Jun 2013 12:01:34pm

    Thank goodness for an analysis that indicates that there is more than one factor in all this. Thanks Leigh for reminding us that life is complex and cannot be reduced to tweets of 120 characters - or even an A4 page or a simplistic view, such as Barrie Cassidy presented on this site on Sunday.

    For me your question 4 is the most interesting and the one that draws my most vehement response - NO.

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  • rufus t firefly:

    11 Jun 2013 12:03:33pm

    Surely the point for the numbers men in labor is that handing the leadership to Rudd provides a win-win scenario in an election they are going to lose anyway. Firstly, giving him the leadership (rather than him winning it) keeps him in their control, and secondly, once the election is lost (but perhaps by less) Rudd is finished with for all time. It doesn't affect the powerbrokers for the party to be out of power, that's all part of the game to them.

    Changing leaders isn't about winning the election, it's about insuring factional control is never shaken up again.

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  • Monsieur du Monde:

    11 Jun 2013 12:04:06pm

    Rudd has put his plush Canberra residence on the market. Either he is expecting to return to the Lodge sometime soon, or he has already been given the nod from his friend Julie Bishop that she will appoint him Ambassador to the United Nations after September. My bet is on the latter.

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  • Philosopher:

    11 Jun 2013 12:09:07pm

    This is a good article that states the dilemma. Abbott did his job and exposed the ALP feet of clay and the union controls. There is a division in the LNP ranks in case you had not noticed and there will be a new party system in place and almost is complete now. There many well be a completely new coalition in place with Palmer as PM. Abbott might be part of it or may even be leader of the opposition with the ALP or what is left of it on the cross benches. The reality is that the ALP is finished no matter who leads it. Australia may well vote none of the above and a pox on their houses. Eden Monaro is already lost and may well be a PUP seat with Dean Lynch the mayor of Cooma Monaro. These guys are not light weights and almost every seat in NSW is already covered and also in Qld. Vic is not far behind nor is WA.

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  • Colmery:

    11 Jun 2013 12:09:24pm

    This article finishes with; "the rebuild (sic of the ALP) would likely start from a low base but by necessity, it would force the party to rethink its raison d?etre, in a way what some party elders have urged for a long time". Where is the fact that supports the idea that parties rebuild and re-think their raison d'etre in opposition?

    The exact opposite is typically the case - any pretence of unity is discarded and the passionately ambitious in the next rank tear into those deposed and each other. This has been demonstrated many times on both sides of politics.

    What happens inside parties is largely unaddressed in the definition of our system of government. When federation was being debated the notion that parties would likely form and dominate was considered, but not acted on. At the time they did not know what we now know, but they were opposed to the prospect of party domination, they just couldn't agree on how it would pan out.

    Democracy was very new when we federated and the media was a small force largely serving a small literate elite. Times have changed dramatically, but the will to re-design the system to address the world as it is now does not exist because we are transfixed by power and the passions it fosters - rather than the urgency for wisdom planning our future.

    Pathetic really.

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  • Little Lil:

    11 Jun 2013 12:12:01pm

    I'm staggered at how many shovel holder uppers still support this incompetent Govt. Obviously they can only see the perks given to them and not the long term effects of the wasteful spending. Record gross debt will take many years to pay off so therefore it will be the incoming Govt's fault when the recession finally hits us all. History has shown we are years behind the rest of the world when it comes to trends both fiscal and fashion. Only when it hits the hip pocket nerve will these dills finally realise just how bad this Govt has really under performed.

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  • flashdaisy:

    11 Jun 2013 12:12:36pm

    It is so disappointing that journalists have done nothing but undermine Julia Gillard. It must be a bloke thing continued on by the Journalists.

    Does no one realise that the Liberals are NOT meant to ASUME THEIR PLACE!

    The libs would have driven the economy into the ground, no reforms, no Gonski, only mining and business interests would have been served.

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  • toowrite:

    11 Jun 2013 12:14:18pm

    Most polls re leadership questions are constantly reported as showing Rudd is preferred over the PM Gillard. Yet when drilling down you find that that result is heavily affected by LNP supporters. Labor supporters usually poll 2 to 1 for PM Gillard over Rudd - very similar to the Caucus.

    It is hard to prefer Rudd as he didn't fight for his PM'ship in 2010 - he pathetically surrendered knowing he had lost the majority of support within caucus. He set things up for sympathy and to make Ms Gillard look as bad as he could. He and his supporters then leaked stories to further make her life difficult during the election - resulting in a hung parliament. He and his supporters then continually white-anted her PM'ship throughout the minority govt period whilst she was constantly under attack also from the LNP and their Media backers - obviously working on the strategy of hoping she would crack. You have to admire her fortitude. Rudd then finally challenges - gets beaten 2 to 1 - but still doesn't stop to seek revenge for what he lamely gave up.

    Now he won't challenge - but won't stop seeking revenge either. Rudd should have left after being beaten 2 to 1; yet he now is trying to orchestrate the situation where PM Gillard voluntarily stands aside for him. If it doesn't happen soon, I think we can expect to see more leaks designed to damage PM Gillard - if the usual Rudd leak journalists can be enlisted to play the game.

    My guess is that history will be more kind to Julia Gillard than to Rudd.

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  • Supertaff:

    11 Jun 2013 12:15:08pm

    ll Ms. Sales can come up with is imaginative fiction.

    What about Mr. Turnbull saying on Q & A that the coalition will not be able to return boats to Indonesia?

    What about Mr. Turnbull saying that anyone who blamed the planed closure of Ford in 2016 on the carbon "tax" was being disingenuous?

    Both statements are directly opposite to those of his dear leader.

    Now, apply some spin to that Ms. Sales,

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    • Anne:

      11 Jun 2013 12:48:21pm

      Turnbull didn't say the Coalition will not be able to turn the boats around. He said they would turn the boats around when safe to do so, as they have in the past. He went on to say they had done it 6 times in the past. He also said of course they would not be towing them into Indonesian ports.

      The question put to Turnbull was "what if the Indonesian Government sent ships out to stop them being turned around."

      The ABC for some reason seem to be incorrectly reporting what he actually said.

      Watch it again and listen to the question put to him.

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  • John:

    11 Jun 2013 12:19:35pm

    The time has arrived - The Whinging Aussie - not the whinging Pom anymore.

    To anyone who has travelled or known about the current world downturn and it's effects on the Australian economy for which we have little or no control over, we are lucky to be in the good situation we find ourselves economically.

    Julia has managed to govern sucessfully an extremely difficult term with only half a party - What could she have achieved if she had the support of all the Labor party.

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  • Mortan:

    11 Jun 2013 12:28:29pm

    This is the irony Captain Gillard defies the mutiny but sinks the ship but her few loyal sailors are left to drown as she sails on in a last leaky life boat.

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  • Amethyst:

    11 Jun 2013 12:38:43pm

    Labor in decline now reminds me of John Howard's governement in decline before they were thrown from power. A mad scramble on ideas, legislation, last minute 'we'll be remembered for this' bravado and a whole lot of blood sport. The train wreck is coming for Labor, just how bad it will be is up to the voters. Whatever the outcome I'm not confident about Australia's future under either regime.

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  • Kevin:

    11 Jun 2013 12:45:07pm

    I will vote informal until the ALP regains its principles, especially over human rights regarding asylum seekers. End mandatory detention.

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  • PM:

    11 Jun 2013 12:45:28pm

    First we had to put up with the soapies all those years.

    Next it was all reality shows and we went from bad to worse.

    Now we have the ALP that seems to have taken these and combined them to make todays politics.

    It is about time the govt got on with their jobs, concentrated on what is best for the country and stopped thinking about themselves

    Roll on September as even though I am only one vote I have something to say

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  • Athena:

    11 Jun 2013 1:05:37pm

    I think Leigh's questions are exactly what the ALP should be asking themselves. Changing the leadership now would be a disaster.

    I don't know who the Murdoch press are polling, but the ALP should stop allowing themselves to be spooked by the polls; they should also stop letting Julia Gillard carry the can for everything that goes wrong or for people's anger being projected onto her. When she took over the leadership I remarked to an American friend that the ALP has a habit of handing women the poison chalice, then letting them take the blame when they lose elections.

    If it is true that Kevin Rudd is STILL white-anting, then he is behaving like one of those men in the midst of a custody battle, who kill their children so their wife can't have them ("if I can't have them, nobody is having them) - them being us, the voters.

    If they get rid of Julia Gillard now, it will be a betrayal of women's rights which will exceed the dismissal of Whitlam in its effect.

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  • Judy Bee:

    11 Jun 2013 1:09:01pm

    Leigh, some intelligent and honest Policy analysis including comparisons with Opposition policy would be relevant and apprecoated at this time. The electorate, fed this kind of journalism from various organs of the media, is in irrational mode. This is opinion built on the premise that the future 'alternative government', the shadow cabinet headed byTony Abbott, has nowhere near the talent, intelligence and capability required.

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  • Rae:

    11 Jun 2013 1:12:07pm

    I would LOVE to see Rudd as leader just for the pure joy of the seeing the election campaign against him. What a gift to the coalition.

    The best Rudd could do is a minor sugar fix.

    No empathy for this government. The mess they are in is all their own doing with both Rudd and Gillard's behaviour being the main cause.

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  • Zathras:

    11 Jun 2013 1:17:03pm

    Perhaps the LNP and the voters should be asking a few questions of their own.

    Such as -

    1. If the boats arrivals don't suddenly stop (or even appear to slow down) what will be the excuse?

    2. If our electricity bills don't immediately fall by 10% (as promised) when the Carbon Tax is scrapped, then what be be the excuse?

    3. If the paid parental leave scheme is introduced and seen to be "a great big new tax" on business with costs subsequently passed on to the community, what will be the excuse?

    4. If the dollar falls or the economy begins to slide for any reason whatsoever, what will be the excuse?

    5. If overseas mining interests take even more money out of the local economy through further tax windfalls and PAYE taxes go up due to "austerity measures", what will be the excuse?

    6. Once the Carbon price, the NBN, Gonski, the NDIS and all the other initiatives are dismanteld, what policies will there be to actually create something?

    7. What are the proposals for the future of SBS and the ABC?

    This leadership saga has been going on for the last 3 years.

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  • AGB:

    11 Jun 2013 1:17:38pm

    All this leadership speculation's making me nervous...

    In preparation for Sept 14th, I've bought a case of vintage champagne and a brand new wide-sceen tv so a (not-so-small) group of friends and I can finally watch Gillard concede.

    Labor, hold your nerve!

    My little party's the hottest ticket in town!

    Champagne, anyone?

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  • HolyCow:

    11 Jun 2013 1:35:33pm

    The media is every bit as complicit as the politicians - on both sides- when good government means slow news you do your best to ramp up the negatives. When was the last time you said something positive about our government and the benefits it has brought our people. All the politicians want is to save their seats, and all the 'journalists' want is to see their name in print and everyone knows that good news is no news. Thanks for nothing.

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  • AliCat:

    11 Jun 2013 1:55:27pm

    I found your questions insightful Leigh. There was no bias - just good honest jounalism at its best.

    I am a Labor supporter. I support Ms Gillard entirely and despise Rudd and his idiotic, narcissistic supporters. If the likes of Joel Fitzgibbon get booted out, good riddance to them. I also don't see Chris Bowne as PM material - he left his Immigration portfolio in a mess for Brendan O'Connor so don't see how he can manage the top job.

    I believe that Labor can win. When you consider the achievements of Labor through such difficult times with 2 Oppositions [incoude Kevin here!] then she has managed with absolute aplomb. She is a very clever, tho kind woman. She deserves a better run.

    There is nothing wrong with the economy. Tim Colebatch in The Age today has spelled out that the economic issues are to do with the rate of the dollar more so than anything else and misjudgement by the Reserve some time ago. The Opposition have no right to be blaming the government for an emergency situation following the Budget. Only idiots would believe this and unfortunately there appear to be too many of these people around - in the swinging seats where the polls are constantly held.

    I remain confident that Ms Gillard can win the next election if the media especially give her a fair chance. We know that anything Murdoch won't so unbiased respresentation from all the others would be appreciated.

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    • maddoga:

      11 Jun 2013 4:40:21pm


      Agree with you regarding Gillards strengths, however her only failing is taking notice from spindoctors and idiots who think they know best. She has to rid herself of fools and use her own Knowlege and experience to gain control again.

      Gillards only chance of turning polls around is to contest Abbott on all of his policies and blow holes in Abbotts two economic Geniuses hapless Hockey , and rudderless Robb.

      Neither of them can count and I doubt whether either have any personal experience of what it is required to run a chook raffle, as I doubt either have been involved in community events, they seem to be above all of that.

      Having said that I have never been polled and polsters do not give you a demographic of where polling is carried out,or where their info comes from, I can tell you from where I work their ideas are in total contrast to what people are telling me.

      You may well be correct , Gillard could still win the unwinable election as media leads us to believe is the case.

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    • Tas:

      11 Jun 2013 5:58:29pm

      Well said AliCat! Exactly! I think that Julia can win too.

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  • Roger of Scoresby:

    11 Jun 2013 2:05:39pm

    Following a leadership coupe is the Labor rump in a Tarago.

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  • JMJ:

    11 Jun 2013 2:08:41pm

    Leigh, there is a lot of speculation out in the media about a possible change to Labor's leadership. But what most forget is that the chatter is coming from unsubstantiated secondary sources. Kevin Rudd has always maintained that he will not make any further challenges for the leadership unless there was a vacancy and may I say if anyone has other intentions to undermine the PM's positon then he has openly declared his support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

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  • Vickie:

    11 Jun 2013 2:44:54pm

    Gillard today -"We don't want to live in an Australia where abortion again becomes the political play thing of men who think they know better," she said.

    This is the sort of nasty rubbish that spills out of Gillards mouth constantly and she wonders why people hate her.

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  • gazofbrissy:

    11 Jun 2013 2:46:21pm

    Id like to see the media quiz the coalition polies a bit harder, lets see what they really got, except bagging people, which is seems to me all they do.

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  • GraemeF:

    11 Jun 2013 3:04:46pm

    I still can't make out whether your average right winger is economically illiterate or intentionally ignorant. The abuse of clear facts is such a standard tactic in their hands. Twist, distort and lie have been so ingrained that I'm not sure they know they are doing it themselves.

    Fact. We had a GFC. Fact. The world acknowledges that Labor's handling of the GFC was exemplary. Fact. BER cost over runs were less than 5%. Fact. Accidents under the pink batts installation program were lower than before the scheme. Fact. Almost every economist on the planet would laugh at you if you claimed our government debt was too high. I could go on and on using facts to disprove almost every accusation thrown at Labor by the born to rule mob.

    Fact. Right wingers can't handle the truth.

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  • ied:

    11 Jun 2013 3:12:07pm

    the lnp must be beside themselves with the possibility of being handed government,without having to do anything of any significance ,like enunciating any policies of much difference than the ones already in place.

    its unbeleivable,the lnp has been able to ride on the coat tails of a hostile media without being in the spotlight seems to me the fourth estate through various editors,proprietors and commentators has been active in working towards the downfall of the current government,the only unknown is will the australian electorate fall for far so good for this strategy the polls must be giving them great hope.

    as far as the government goes,its.its own worst enemy.

    the alp has failed to read any lessons in history a divided party inevitably goes down.if the alp finds itself in opposition after the next election as the polls suggest,the first part of their rehabilitation should be media studies 101.

    the next prospect the electorate faces,if they no longer can tolerate a hung parliament which has been skillfully portraid as weak, ineffectual and incompetent especially on the government side.who are you going to give an absolute majority to the lnp or the alp.

    the only saving grace is a half senate election which is not due till well into the term of the next government.hopefully putting the brakes on any excesses.

    think long and hard citizens before september.

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  • Morgan:

    11 Jun 2013 3:44:17pm

    Later historians are going to have a rich field for research in examining how and why the dying media of Austrlia set about destroying a refiormist Government. If we ask ourselves who would benefoit from an Abbot government one can only find Gina Rinehart and some foreign owned energy companies.

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  • gerard oosterman:

    11 Jun 2013 4:38:32pm

    Surely no one is that mad to vote LNP except perhaps those that are still addicted to commercial TV and radio. Don't listen to the Jones,Bolts et all. You'll go blind.

    1. There are 960,000 more jobs in Australia than in 2007.

    2. Since 2007 our economy has grown 13%. Compare that to the US economy which has grown by 2.25% and the European economy which has shrunk by 2%.

    3. Australia has one of the lowest levels of debt in the world, the equivalent of a $12,000 mortgage for someone earning $100,000 per year. That?s why we have a AAA Credit Rating from the three key ratings agencies.

    4. Interest rates have fallen from 6.75% to 2.75% since 2007 ? the lowest rates on record. A family with a $300,000 mortgage is saving more than $5,000 a year.

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  • Ric:

    11 Jun 2013 5:03:55pm

    I cannot agree you more with the points that you have made, however and unless not apparent to me or perhaps anyone else I feel that

    Gillard has been a bit unfortunate in all of this. I feel and sense that there had been a lot of backrooming and in fact too much

    of this has taken place, Labor is of the opinion that the only reddress towards their waning popularity is more discussion within

    the caucus and develop strategies from therein, good heavens there are people in the electorates. Gillard has been duped and

    more to the point set up, you refer to the fact that she is losing support within the party wasn't that the same feeling they had

    when SHE! was asked to approach Rudd and request that he give up the leadership, I mean aren't we going back over things

    again. How many times can a party play the same card trick? In spite of what I have mentioned isn't it always the headlining

    that play the crucial role here, among the voter the only thought in their minds will be 1) Gillard axed Rudd 2) she appears to be

    a liar 3) She made a rather vitriolic speech an essay and directed this towards her opponent in opposition Abbott 4) Abbott offered

    nothing and no more to her than short answers comprising of no more that two letters NO with most of the legislature that the

    government forwarded. Is that all there is is that all there is and you know the rest. It's all about a stouss between two egos and

    who wins the chair, many of their disagreeing points were to my feeling more personal than one would have imagined and should

    have taken precedent perhaps more behind closed doors than to be tabled in the hearing room.

    I feel that it is becoming time for good and effective governance to finally make itself present, for good analysis of what is being

    forwarded what is to be tabled and off course the opposing views and for politicians to make themselves credible within their

    communities and that is my wish. In the interests of Australia.

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  • A Good Australia:

    11 Jun 2013 5:23:54pm

    Stand aside Julia

    It is the want of Mr Murdoch

    His organization has spent dearly on your downfall, and succeeded to incite hatred for a world renown and respected government that has survived when nearly every other great nation has fallen financially....although, we are next if Austerity Tony - the climate change denialist steals power via the now irrelevant and non trusted MSM.

    Stand aside Julia

    Your fair and equitable NBN is not wanted - nor is your fair go for the NDIS patients, nor your carbon price that is working - and costing us FA.

    Or your wage increases for most of us.

    Stand aside Julia

    We want Tony and his $3 million dollar donated 'opionion" that has been carefully bought well in advance for some nice n heavy leverage.

    Go now Julia - we dont need to look after the education of all kids on a need basis, we want it to go back to the Howard years, where we took all of the funds away from public schools, hospitals.

    We also dont want any of your superannuation to help the low income earners, we are happy for them to struggle on in life, after all, those on lower incomes don't have much "calibre" to warrant spending on them.

    We want Tony - we want to give our hard earned taxpayers $ to polluters, instead of THEM PAYING US for the pollution they pump out against alarming dangerous science consensus.

    We want Tony - its only fair to give a "calibre" woman $75,000 to have a baby, and $2000 for the "non calibre" woman/ FAMILY

    We want Tony - and his choked, expensive last century Fraudband - hey we dont really deserve to be on the cutting edge of technology in the world. Let alone have great technology available for all of those who want to study via the net, we dont need better medical online analysis for the elderly and sick, bring them in each time to the struggling public hospitals.

    We want Tony - to maybe just explain to us all why he has alarmed pensioners with his outrageous multitude of lies of doom and destruction once the carbon tax came in ($3mill from the fossil fuel boys sure has some leverage eh?..)

    We want Tony - even with no policies, and including the failures that are all out there now.

    Go Julia - Go Kevin - go Independents - go Greens - go Anyone

    There is only ONE who has to go - and it is Abbott, and the "team" of front benchers that need to re-explain/reword/re spin his constant lies, as they dig themselves into the hole of no respect for the truth..

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  • Reinhard:

    11 Jun 2013 6:31:51pm

    We should start focussing on more important questions. like:

    Why does our media continue to ignore the indiscretions of Coalition MPs and Senators , both state and federal?

    The list of offenders is growing by the day, more recently we have had Torbay, Sinodinos, and now NSW Finance minister Greg Pearce, yet all the focus seems to be back on the ALP. I wonder why?

    Just today I witnessed such a news farce on a Nine "News" cross to NSW state parliament , where Premier Barry O'Farrell is under pressure to dump Greg Pearce, but the only reason by the "reporter" gave was that Pearce had fallen asleep in the chamber. He actually argued that O'Farrell should not be under pressure to do so because others had done far worse. This "report" strangely neglected to mention the fact that Pearce has actually been accused of being drunk in parliament, failing to disclose his property interests to the parliament and also misusing his travel entitlements when he booked flights to Melbourne on the same dates as the Melbourne Cup, Australian Open and AFL grand final.

    It is high time that we ask more of our media and show more vigilance against these increasingly blatant attempts to deceive the public.

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