The Gillard faceless men putsch

A month ago, I couldn’t see it happening. There has been quite a bit of speculation around the traps in recent weeks about the leadership of Federal Labor, but I’m not sure that too many people took it completely seriously. Then suddenly, in a matter of hours yesterday evening, it all happened. Senior factional figures within the party evidently put forward a case to Gillard for standing against Rudd that she could not refuse. It would be very interesting to know exactly what precisely compelled her to act, to turn on a dime under pressure after months and years of proffering resolute support for her leader. She has been pushed off the proverbial cliff on this, and I think we all deserve to understand why.

Federal Labor has just shot itself in the foot in a dramatic way; one recalls the damage ultimately done to the party by the Latham challenge. I’m not sure what sort of risk assessment was conducted by the folks pulling the strings here. If Rudd somehow clings to power, against all odds, he will be critically diminished. The Opposition will be able to pick at the bones of Rudd’s credibility all the way up until the impending election. If Gillard wins, she will have a lot of explaining to do, and not a lot of time to do it in. An election may be called within days so that Gillard can establish a mandate from the people, nullifying the Opposition’s likely line of attack. What is she going to do differently – what is she offering that is really any different? If she is going to do a number of things differently to Rudd in a policy sense, how can the people trust what Federal Labor say anymore, given that just days and weeks ago she was talking up her leader’s credentials and direction? We have no idea about what Gillard’s personal views are on the RSPT, climate change, or any number of other issues. Presumably, at least in part, her personal views may be deemed irrelevant. The so-called faceless men may well decide what her views will be.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Julia Gillard will make a great Prime Minister – one day. But that day is not today, and I still don’t think this is the right time or the right path, for her, or her party. If the putsch succeeds, it will have been a rise to the top characterised by cowardice and panic, driven by people who care more about polls and the state of the spin cycle than just about anything else. Of course the alternative, now that the putsch has been rammed maniacally into motion, may be even worse.

Happy unbirthday, Tony Abbott!

5 thoughts on “The Gillard faceless men putsch

  1. It’s one of the wierdest days I’ve seen in a couple of decades of politics watching. Absolutely brutal execution at dawn, coldest overthrow I’ve ever witnessed.

    I suspect Jules has been watching for an excuse for a little while. The idea that she went from dead loyal to dead determined solely because that little idiot of a CofC was doing numbers is a bit hard to swallow.

    Strange days. I’m not a big fan of Rudd, so mechanism aside I can’t really cry for him. There’s something a bit tragic about it all though, he got rid of Howard for us less than 3 years ago…

  2. I disagree. Kevin wanted a go at PM he was given it. It didn’t work out. Unfortunate, he is talented and hardworking but simply couldn’t sell our policies. Also his choice of autocratic style did not please Caucus. Julia, regardless of gender is the perfect replacement. She has demonstrated that she understands her brief, totally understands how politics works, is driven but not ego-centred, interacts well with people, is highly articulate and has a sense of humour. She is a gift to you. Relax folks Julia has it in hand. As for Mark’s quite proper ‘faceless men’ remark, of course they are there but I assure you Jules is her own person and will tread that minefield with safety.

  3. I think there is a definite sense of something being wasted here. Granted, Julia may be able to turn around those all important polling figures, but the manner in which the transition has occurred will leave a lot of people feeling confused and disgusted.

    Despite the media hysteria, this was a guy leading the preferred PM polls and neck and neck on two-party preferred. The savage way in which unelected powerbrokers have removed a leader endorsed by the people at the last poll is going to leave a bitter taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

    We will gain some votes out of this, but will just as many (or more) be lost?

  4. Pingback: The Gillard Spill « A Senex View

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