Lemon, Lime and Bitter


On the anniversary of his final squeeze into the gin and tonic of history, the Liberals resurrect Kevin O’Lemon in preparation for a possible return of Rudd:

The Government had “lost its way”, Ms Gillard said. Well, twelve months on it is clearer than ever that this Labor Government is just a bunch of lemons – and it is Australian families who are left with the bitter taste.

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And Rudd is causing problems wherever he goes:

KEVIN Rudd has enraged cabinet colleagues with a media blitz on the anniversary of his knifing, prompting demands for the Prime Minister’s office to gag him.

As Julia Gillard declared her leadership “very secure” and dismissed “silly questions” about her plunging polling, senior ministers were despondent, lashing Mr Rudd as “dysfunctional”.

Almost 12 months after Ms Gillard brutally cut short Mr Rudd’s prime ministership, the pair yesterday engaged in a bizarre dual in the nation’s newspapers and airwaves.

The one-upmanship was played out against a backdrop of a devastating Nielsen poll that has the government at record low levels, and revealed twice as many voters want Mr Rudd as PM than Ms Gillard.

Ms Gillard also did a range of media events yesterday – a photo opportunity at a solar plant in Newcastle and a major solar deal with the Queensland government – before delivering a speech to Labor faithful in Brisbane.

Mr Rudd received a rock-star welcome at the Queensland ALP conference and conducted several interviews urging colleagues to get behind the PM, ignoring Ms Gillard’s barbs about his leadership in the Saturday papers.

He also issued a mea culpa over his time as PM, saying that he should have had a better mix of experience and “greybeards” in his office.

The turmoil dragged on as independent Rob Oakeshott warned the Labor Party not to move on Ms Gillard, declaring it could prompt him to pull the pin on the government.

“From my perspective if the Labor Party organisation wants to mess with Julia Gillard, the Labor Party organisation is messing with people such as myself,” Mr Oakeshott told The Sunday Telegraph. (source)

Oh dear, it’s all going horribly wrong.

More here.

"Horror poll" for Gillard


Is Kevin sharpening the knife?

The Sydney Morning Herald tries valiantly to put a favourable gloss on this (see here), but in the end, it’s lipstick on a pig. Gillard is sinking faster than a Pacific island. And to add to Gillard’s woes, Kevin 747 is almost twice as popular, demonstrating that it has become a case of ABJ – Anyone But Julia:

SUPPORT for the Labor government has fallen to 27 per cent, its lowest point in almost four decades, while Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have collapsed to levels not seen for a prime minister since John Howard introduced the GST more than 10 years ago.

The latest Herald/Nielsen poll also shows that a week away from the first anniversary on June 24 of Kevin Rudd’s dumping as prime minister, twice as many voters prefer Mr Rudd as Labor leader to Ms Gillard.

The poll, taken from Tuesday to Thursday night, contains a sliver of good news for Labor in that support for putting a price on carbon has jumped 4 percentage points in a month to 38 per cent.

But the government is in dire straits. A little more than one in four voters would choose Labor first should an election be held today, and almost 60 per cent disapprove of Ms Gillard’s performance.

She urged her colleagues to hold their nerve, suggesting that unlike Mr Rudd a year ago, she had a strategy to turn things around.

”We’ve got a plan which we are working through to deliver, which we did not have at the start of my prime ministership,” she told the Herald.

Since the last poll a month ago, Labor’s primary vote has fallen 4 percentage points to 27 per cent – the lowest primary vote for any main federal party in the poll’s 39-year history and the first time a major party has fallen to less than 30 per cent.

The Coalition’s primary vote rose 2 points to 49 per cent, giving it a two-party preferred lead over Labor of 59 per cent to 41 per cent.

This represents a 9-point swing towards the Coalition in the 10 months since the election and is the Coalition’s biggest lead since May 1996, two months after John Howard trounced Paul Keating.

Read it here.

Gillard and Swan wanted to abandon ETS


Which is worse?

That would be the same Gillard and Swan who are now trying to railroad through a carbon tax in breach of an explicit pre-election promise not to. To discover this fact, all The Australian had to do was check its news archive:

Speaking on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Mr Rudd, now Foreign Minister, said he had made the wrong call to abandon his ETS plan.

He said there were people in the party who wanted to kill off the idea, and others who advocated delay.

“I tried to find a way up the middle of all that, preserve the unity of the government,” Mr Rudd said. “On balance, it was the wrong call. We should have simply tried to sail straight ahead.”

Mr Rudd did not specifically suggest Julia Gillard, as Mr Rudd’s deputy, had lobbied heavily for the switch.

However, the caucus minutes, reported in The Australian last November, reveal a different story.

“I wish to place on record here that Lindsay Tanner and Penny Wong strongly argued to me against taking that position. Equally strong was the advice from Wayne and Julia that the emissions trading scheme had to be abandoned,” Mr Rudd said at the time. (source)

Julia is a fake, changing her tune to fit the prevailing mood (or the wishes of the Greens).

Labor Nightmare: The Return of Rudd?


Horror movie in real life…

Kevin Rudd was in good form on Q & A last night, breaching cabinet confidentiality to reveal that senior Labor figures were against an ETS, and leaving open the possibility (heaven forbid) of another go at the leadership. Another great day for Labor!

THE Coalition has seized on Kevin Rudd’s admission that he got it wrong when he dumped his emissions trading scheme, painting the comments as a job application for a second tilt at the Labor leadership.

The Foreign Minister’s breach of cabinet confidentiality – in which he admitted some senior ministers wanted the ETS permanently killed off – has also been used by the opposition to accuse Labor of hypocrisy over the issue.

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said there was “no doubt” Mr Rudd’s comments were an appeal to his backbenchers for another go at the leadership.

“I would suspect Kevin Rudd is applying to be prime minister, there’s no doubt about that, no doubt at all,” he told ABC radio.

Mr Rudd admitted on last night’s Q&A program that shelving his ETS was a costly error.

While admitting his mistake, he said he had resisted the urgings of some cabinet members who had argued for it to be axed completely. Others wanted to stick to the existing timetable.

Deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop, who appeared on the panel with Mr Rudd, said his comments provided an extraordinary insight into divisions within the Labor cabinet.

“He said that last night, that there were some who wanted it dumped for all time. He was clearly indicating that that was Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan,” she told The Australian Online.

“I think he relished the opportunity to set the record straight. That’s what it appeared to me.

“I think that Julia Gillard’s hypocrisy is just too much for him. And he’s outraged by it. That’s what it appeared to me to be, that he was speaking out over her hypocrisy.”

Ms Bishop said Mr Rudd had clearly broken cabinet confidentiality and had “never seen such an open discussion of otherwise confidential deliberations”. (source)

Just when you think it can’t get any worse for Labor. The Return of Rudd – a horror movie in real life.

Rudd's foot on the first rung of the UN ladder


Off to the UN

Secretary General here we come? Tony Abbott rubbishes Joolya Gillard’s “part-timer”:

DUMPED prime minister Kevin Rudd has accepted a part-time role on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s panel on global sustainability.

Tony Abbott immediately seized on the unpaid appointment to attack uncertainty over Julia Gillard’s front bench.

Labor dumped Mr Rudd as its leader in June, replacing him with Ms Gillard, who has said that if she wins the August 21 election her predecessor will have a senior role in a re-elected government.

Two of Labor’s most experienced ministers – Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Defence Minister John Faulkner – have announced they will quit their positions after the election.

And speculation has swirled that the Prime Minister will offer Mr Rudd the plum role of foreign affairs if Labor is returned.

Mr Rudd said in a statement the UN job would not compromise his role as an MP, presuming he was re-elected later this month in his safe Brisbane seat of Griffith.

But Mr Abbott said the job would involve “significant time out of Australia” and “significant time on UN business”.

“It’s now official. Former prime minister Rudd does have a part time job with the United Nations and what it means is that this government’s ministry is in complete flux,” Mr Abbott said in Sydney.

“Not only do we have a situation where the prime minister can’t say who her finance minister will be, who her defence minister will be, who her foreign minister will be after the election.

“We’ve also got the prospect of part-time ministers in the Gillard cabinet should the government be re-elected.

“It’s just not good enough. Australians deserve a full-time government and they won’t get that if this government is re-elected.”

Read it here.

Election 2010: Desperate Gillard begs Rudd for help


Nightmare for Julia

From the “You Could Not Make It Up” department. Just weeks after savagely knifing Kevin Rudd in the back and stealing the prime ministership, Julia Gillard is now relying on Rudd to rescue her disintegrating campaign:

THERE are now three leaders in this election campaign.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard; the alternative prime minister, Tony Abbott; and the former prime minister-in-exile, Kevin Rudd.

In his intervention, Rudd presents himself as the saviour of Labor’s fortunes – an event of far-reaching and unpredictable consequences.

There has never been an election like it. With each day it’s more about Kevin.

Gillard, who assassinated Rudd as prime minister six weeks ago, has been reduced to asking him to salvage her prime ministership. It is a huge risk and reversal, but Gillard had no choice.

Rudd, the recently detested and vanquished former PM, now returns to centre stage as potential saviour. Indeed, it seems only Rudd might resurrect Labor in Queensland and that he is dictating terms to the party. Labor MPs do not know whether to laugh, cry or cheer.

Read it here.

See also: “It takes two to tango but one to lead” and The Australian’s editorial on the subject.

Kevin Rudd "in line for UN climate job"


I know 5 facts about climate change, all of them wrong

Our socially-disfunctional-verging-on-autistic ex-PM would fit right in at the UN, spouting platitudes about saving the planet and the evils of capitalism whilst being whisked off to all-expenses-paid climate gab fests in exotic locations around the globe. At least at the UN he’s less likely to do any damage:

News Limited papers are reporting that the former prime minister is being considered for the top-level job, which would force him to leave Australia. [Tragedy! I can’t bear the thought!]

The newspapers quote an unnamed source who says Mr Rudd could be made a special envoy or an ambassador reporting directly to the UN secretary-general.

They say the United Nations “refused to hose down speculation” on the appointment.

Mr Rudd was in New York last week and met the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

They are most welcome to him – how about starting next week?

Read it here.

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