Image for The brutal execution of a flawed leader

I never liked Rudd,  nor did I vote for him,  and predicted his downfall in many of my letters to various editors.

However I have nothing but abhorrence of this woman, backed by her long union-inspired indoctrination, who plotted the downfall of the very person with whom she shared and plotted the very strategies which were put in place and so infuriated the Australian electorate.
             
As an Australian who believes in fair play I fervently hope that the Australian notion of fair play comes to the fore in refusing to allow this woman to gain her personal triumph at the cost of another’s misery and in the long run, that of the nation’s.

This disgusting act of treachery is from union inspired indoctrination which the Liberal Party fought so hard to stamp out!!  And from an individual I will never vote for; nor show any semblance of allegiance.

Peter van Onselen, however, says it is all Rudd’s fault ...

Little solace for flawed Rudd
Peter van Onselen, Contributing editor,  From: The Australian

FAR from being a puppet of party apparatchiks, Julia Gillard is the federal government’s reluctant heroine.

Kevin Rudd’s lasting legacy to the Labor Party is that he has united its national right faction. A grouping that has been at war for years has come together and helped to install a left-winger in the prime ministership.

That’s quite an achievement, something only a person who has rubbed a large quantum of people up the wrong way could make happen.

This reality from the parliamentary week, perhaps the final one before the election, says so much about Rudd, the way he chose to govern and why his fall from grace has been so hard.

Towards the end, even the three members of the gang of four who had worked with Rudd so closely - Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner - started to be shut out of decision-making.

Rudd retreated into his office and listened only to his young, inexperienced advisers, not all of whom were prepared to tell him what he needed to hear.

The ousted prime minister had so many opportunities to change his ways and that was always the preferred option of even the most ruthless of the powerbrokers who plotted his downfall.

There was never going to be a downfall without Gillard’s imprimatur. Without her there was no viable candidate to replace Rudd. But she wanted to know for certain that Rudd wouldn’t change his ways before changing the prime ministership.

A coup just ahead of an election is risky.

When Rudd wouldn’t change, he had to go. It was a vicious and gut-wrenching spectacle to watch.

By that point he was in such denial that he didn’t see the execution coming. His hubris in office meant he lost sight of just how weak his support structures inside the Labor Party actually were.

He had no power base other than his popularity, which had faded long ago.

He truly was the emperor with no clothes and he fronted the media for his final press conference as prime minister as a man diminished and shattered by the realisation, not of what had been done to him, but what he had done to himself.

Although I do wonder whether Rudd’s awareness was heightened enough to understand his own role in his downfall.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was right when he said in parliament that no Australian prime minister should have to suffer the embarrassment that Rudd had suffered just a few hours earlier. But where Abbott was wrong was in blaming Rudd’s colleagues for what happened. The only person who is responsible for the events of the past week is Rudd. Just as provocation is a defence in law, it is a defence in politics too.

The war of words is now under way between the government and the opposition, between conservative commentators and the left-wing intelligentsia. Is Gillard a patsy of the labour movement’s so-called “faceless men” who threw their support behind her to allow her to become Prime Minister?

Let’s get this sorted out with two simple words: absolutely not.

Abbott said on Perth radio yesterday that Gillard “has harnessed the faceless men to rise to the top”.

For a start, in the modern media age the faceless men aren’t all that faceless. Bill Shorten, Arbib and David Feeney are all parliamentarians who make regular media appearances and are by definition elected to public office.

The Australian Workers Union’s Paul Howes does more media than all three of them and, while he is not elected by the community at large (not yet, anyway), you could never accuse him of being some backroom operator who tries to wield influence out of public view. He has been one of the Labor government’s most vocal critics on issues ranging from nuclear power to the treatment of asylum-seekers.

Gillard did not play a lead hand in plotting Rudd’s downfall. In fact, she was a very cautious starter for the challenge that ensued.

It was not a matter of her going to the powerbrokers to lobby for backing. They came to her to plead with her to step up and challenge Rudd for the good of the government. They needed her more than she needed them.

The modern media means that we get to watch politics as it is playing out, not only once the events have passed.

It can be a brutal business …

Full article, HERE

Michelle Grattan: Finessing a flagrant backflip, HERE

Other analyses, HERE

Meanwhile,

Gillard regains a winning edge
MICHELLE GRATTAN AND KATHARINE MURPHY
June 26, 2010

JULIA Gillard has had an immediate impact on support for the government, with Labor’s vote now higher than its 2007 election-winning lead.

In an Age/Nielsen poll taken on Ms Gillard’s first two days as Prime Minister, more than half the voters surveyed said they approved of her ascension.

The government’s two-party vote has leapt 8 points in three weeks, taking it to a 55-45 per cent lead over the opposition.

On these figures Labor would sweep to power with almost two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representatives.

As the new Prime Minister yesterday spoke with United States President Barack Obama and presided over her first cabinet meeting, the poll of 993 people taken on Thursday and last night shows Labor’s previously languishing primary vote up 14 points to 47 per cent.

Much of the rise came from the Labor ‘‘protest’’ vote returning home. The Greens fell 7 points, to a more normal level of 8 per cent - what they polled at last election.

More than half (56 per cent) approved the choice of Ms Gillard as Prime Minister. She leads Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister by 55 per cent, up 6 points on Mr Rudd’s final rating, to Mr Abbott’s 34 per cent, down 5 points.

The dramatic switch to Gillard has seen a swing of about 2 per cent from the last election. The poll will reassure Labor that it did the right thing, quieting some bashlash over the brutal treatment of the leader who took the party to its 2007 win.

Read more HERE

Malcolm Farr, News Ltd:

AN OPINION poll suggests Julia Gillard will take Labor to stunning victory in an early election.

That’s the prediction of the first exclusive opinion poll taken in the aftermath of Kevin Rudd’s dismissal, with the Gillard effect pushing Labor back into poll position almost overnight.

Voters should prepare for an election as early as August, with senior MPs saying Ms Gillard was expected to seek a mandate for leadership as soon as possible.

The new Prime Minister is also expected to quickly ease one of Labor’s major headaches, with senior sources inside the new administration last night revealing she was expected to announce a mining tax compromise within days.

That deal was tipped to meet “most” of the industry’s concerns including negotiation over the 40 per cent tax rate and the threshold when it kicks in.

“There will be some settling in, a deal on the mining tax, and then I think we will be going [to an election],” one senior MP said.

“And we would expect to go in August. We have started pulping our Kevin campaign posters.”

The exclusive Galaxy opinion survey commissioned by The Daily Telegraph revealed Labor’s primary vote surged from 37 per cent to 41 per cent, lifting it back into a winnable position as voters sent a loud and clear message that Mr Rudd had been the problem.

The Coalition was at 42 per cent, down one percentage point.

More importantly, Ms Gillard was rated the preferred prime minister with 58 per cent to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s 32 per cent.

More people said they would rather have a beer with Ms Gillard than Mr Abbott, and 52 per cent said he was not someone they liked much.

Just 24 per cent thought the same about Ms Gillard.

However, voters recorded strong disapproval at the brutality of the coup, with only 45 per cent saying it had been a good decision.

Full story with links, HERE