Federal is the new NSW. And I’m an idiot.

Hot diggity I’m stunned.

I maintain Kevin had to go. He panicked against Tony Abbott and dropped every policy of differentiation instead of actually arguing the point. However I’m a bit shellshocked after a week of Julia Gillard.

I had actually written a gloating post about Julia’s rise to PM titled ‘Suck it up, whingers’ aimed at those who complained about the way Rudd was replaced. Rudd, as far as I was concerned had lost his way. He was the Prime Minister. He was the Government. He held the cards. And every time Abbott bluffed, Rudd folded. The polls showed a revolt against a man unwilling to argue.

Julia’s rise was democracy-by-other-means in action, I believed.

I still maintain that when the ETS was rejected and Malcolm was rolled by Abbott Rudd had the perfect opportunity to call a double dissolution election. He should have stood up and shouted – you all wanted it, but we’re stuck in the Senate. They say I haven’t done much but they’ve stopped me at every turn. Time to vote! Time to send the Liberals a message. Had he done so, I believe he could have won the election and still be riding high in the polls.

But he didn’t. He asked nothing of us. And then he shelved it. Fuck you Kevin, fuck you.

And so, from that moment on, whether if be on refugees or climate change or freaking any topic mentioned by Abbott we saw Rudd fold and moved his position to the right. That is, if we could be bothered to listen to him. So Julia’s roll into power, from my perspective, was a reflection of this. Kevin failed the public trust by failing to stand up and fight. She’d restore it.

Ah. It gives me wry amusement to think of that belief, as cute as a newborn kitten that can’t suckle – and now dead as one that couldn’t, just two weeks later.

I didn’t make the connection that the coup was poll driven and that Kevin’s stances were also poll driven. Rudd’s polling was showing breakthrough of Abbott’s ‘great big tax’ line, so he folded to mute it. Rudd’s polling was showing Abbott’s line on the ‘boat invasion’ (complete with Dad’s Army style red-arrows) was supported, so he backed down there. The kicker is, however, I disconnected this with Julia’s rise.

Julia’s rise was completely poll driven. However I expected Julia to champion human rights, champion climate change, champion tax reform and the NBN. After all, these were her stated positions. I thought Rudd’s problem was he was hollow and I thought Julia thought that too! But, as you’ve now guessed, I am a naive fool.

Her power was bestowed by the polls and the factions. The factions are poll driven. No doubt they were pressuring Rudd to fold on the ETS themselves (I so bet this is true: that the same guys who rolled Rudd were the ones who got him to nix the ETS). And now they own Julia.

As the last few days have shown, she won’t fight. She won’t be principled.  Kowtow to the mining companies. Gay marriage off the table. A ludicrous paper-thin refugee ‘solution. A new climate change policy that could be photocopied policy from the party that doesn’t believe climate change is an issue.

So now the NSW Labor party, the most power-corrupted organisation in the universe – saved at the last election only by a completely incompetent looney Liberal Right – is calling the shots in Canberra. Bad move, people, bad, bad move.

Abbott may be a nutter. His views may seem illogical and short-sighted to me. He may not be constantly conservative and populist and ready to announce anything if he believes it’ll get him votes. But it works. Lots of people like his rumblings. His tough guy straight talking image, in Australia’s presidential style elections, is electoral gold. Instead of being a straight-shooter we expected, Julia has shifted to the right of Rudd. That’s a fail, right there.

The polls showed a bounce on Gillard’s rise. However, that was before she spoke. If the polls don’t show a nasty turn against Julia (or at least the ones performed on behalf of The Australian!) or that Labor is still bleeding to the left I’ll never comment on politics again*.

So Federal is now the new NSW. Maintaining power is the goal. But the spin-doctors are incompetent. Labor’s only hope is people are so afraid of Tony Abbott as PM that they’ll vote Labor.

For me, though I say call that election, Julia. Parties that don’t fight for what they say they believe in, parties unwilling to argue a position, parties that copy their opposition don’t deserve power. I live in the most marginal seat in Australia. It was won by 184 votes. Consider that margin down to 183.

* This may be a Tony Abbot ‘Iron Clad’ promise or John Howard ‘non-core’ promise – take your pick. Maybe it is even spoken off-the-cuff in the heat of the moment and isn’t from scripted notes.**
** New polls (12th July 2010) show a drop in Labor (8 points down from 47 to 39) and is bleeding left to the Greens (5 points up from 8 to 13). Looks like I can still comment on politics. Gillard still remains in a poll winning position with a positive satisfaction rating, so obviously dog-whistling is popular still.

3 thoughts on “Federal is the new NSW. And I’m an idiot.

  1. “And so, from that moment on, whether if be on refugees or climate change or freaking any topic mentioned by Abbott we saw Rudd fold and moved his position to the right. That is, if we could be bothered to listen to him. So Julia’s roll into power, from my perspective, was a reflection of this.”

    In the two or three days following the “revolt” or “betrayal”, as some people are STILL putting it, I kept saying something to this effect, and felt surprised that I seemed to be alone in this view amongst my friends. This really puzzles me because my mates are all educated, intelligent people! The same people who criticised Rudd’s jelly-like constitution were the same ones who seemed to be calling for Gillard to answer for an action which exists so that such things can happen. What she & the party did was legal, and that system is there for good reason. And she was criticised for this? Joe Hockey was within this angry mob. He surprised me the most. As my mate so beautifully puts it, the Australian people required things of Rudd, and he wouldn’t “either shit or get off the pot”. (haha!) Whether or not she has been a bit vague in her first days as PM, the method by which Julia Gillard came to power was legal and she had the numbers. So…. what’s the problem?

    (i.e…. I agree with you, mate!)

  2. Dear Idle,

    Post the rise of Gillard, I spent two weeks overseas, so I am yet to see the implications of her new position. Reading your post gives me an indication of what has been going on in the past couple of weeks. Thank you.

    What I can say, if I may, is how I felt of Rudd’s gutless demise:

    Three years ago, we (OK so maybe not all of us) voted in Kevin 07. A man we were familiar with, a man we could relate to. A man, who, for a polly, we could somewhat trust. He started with a bang and apologised. (Everyone likes a man who can apologise!) He abolised WorkChoices. He saw us through the GEC/GFC.
    Kevin 10 however was a man who was not as familiar to the Australian population as Mr 07 was. He had still done a pretty OK job if you ask me. OK, so the Mining Tax was a pretty bad move, one that was most unpopular with the peeps. But was it that bad that Mr 10 should have been ousted from the big chair?
    I would dare say no.

    Now, going back two weeks (pre caucus) I was a huge Gillard advocate. A female (redhead at that!) PM to be – bloody brilliant! But get in line Gillard, wait your turn. Give the big Kev a chance to run his term, because really, in the scheme of things, three years in the big chair ain’t that long.

    What disappointed me though, more than anything, was Kev stepping aside. #PissWeak.
    As one of my favourite artists says: “If I’m gonna go down, I’m gonna do it with style”.
    Stepping aside was gutless. Give your people a chance to stand by your side. And if they don’t well, the you’re out anyway. But take the chance. Be a man. Have some balls…

    Kev – I’m disappointed.
    Gillard – from what I’m hearing – you ain’t doin much better.

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