The Kevin question is again consuming Labor. Will he or won’t he make a move to be prime minister again? Some MPs are convinced Kevin Rudd is the saviour to rescue the Government from annihilation in the September 14 election.

Not drowning, waving… Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

Others are just as certain he is a troublemaker and his regular public appearances steal the spotlight from the positive policies Julia Gillard is trying to sell.

Rudd repeatedly says he will not challenge the PM. And he says Gillard will lead Labor to the next election.

But just as the public doesn’t believe promises made by politicians, many MPs don’t believe Rudd has abandoned his desire to get his old job back.

A ginger group of MPs think he can become leader without breaking his promise in a two-step process. The first relies on opinion polls continuing to show Labor can’t win under Gillard and they hope MPs fearing defeat will decide Rudd is worth a punt.

Step two requires one or more of Gillard’s strongest supporters to switch camps. Some believe Rudd would only have “cover” if prominent Gillard backers sought to draft him.

Liberals have been stirring the pot, with deputy leader Julie Bishop this week predicting a challenge in March, and yesterday during question time Bishop and Victorian MP Kelly O’Dwyer gave Rudd chocolate roses for Valentine’s Day.

Of course, Rudd would have to be prepared to take on the leadership. Some believe the greatest twist in this saga might be that he would say no. “Why would he want to take the fall for an election we can’t win and rescue her (Gillard) from the blame?” says one MP.

But another says Rudd has an ego the size of Queensland, would be confident in his ability and would feel it was his duty to try to stop Tony Abbott becoming PM.

There is angst among Rudd backers about what to do next. Some want him to go quiet. There is a fine line between keeping a high profile and annoying the caucus members whose votes he needs.

This week Rudd urged police to step up investigation into video footage leaked a year ago of him swearing and losing his temper when he was PM.

And he directly blamed Wayne Swan and Gillard for the controversial mining tax not collecting “any real revenue of significance” - a comment some of his closest supporters said was “unhelpful” in the bigger quest as it was seen as firing shots.

Gillard supporters say this is evidence Rudd is up to something. They say he has undermined this week’s strategy to highlight industrial relations policy to have “modern workplaces for modern families”, with promises to give working women the ability to request greater flexibility, protection for work rosters and a pledge to make it cheaper and faster to tackle bullying.

Gillard’s backers are confident the PM retains majority support and say Labor would be subject to ridicule if it switched leaders again.

Rudd’s supporters admit he doesn’t have the numbers at the moment to win a ballot and want to avoid a repeat of last year where the Gillard camp spooked Rudd into making his move too early and he was thrashed 71-31.

They insist there is no number counting going on but say caucus members are deeply pessimistic and are shaking their heads in bewilderment about some of Gillard’s decisions.

Interestingly, there is frustration among Gillard supporters about the performance of the Treasurer. The recent Newspoll showing voters judged the Coalition better to handle the economy by a massive 50 to 28 per cent was a real blow.

“We’ve got low unemployment compared to the rest of the world, contained inflation and interest rates far lower than when John Howard was in office, but Swanny just can’t sell the economic message,” says a senior figure.

Instead, Labor made the test of its economic credibility the failed bid to return the Budget to surplus and the mining tax shambles.

Yesterday, Swan had a shocker. He was forced to issue a statement saying he had no plans to increase income tax after he clumsily left the door open in a radio interview, and in Question Time he wrongly said the national jobless rate was 5.1 per cent when it is 5.4.

Swan and Gillard joined forces to topple Rudd in June 2010 and the Treasurer is Gillard’s strongest supporter and protector. They rise and fall together.

If Rudd were to return to power, Chris Bowen or Greg Combet would be favourites to take Treasury. Some reckon Rudd would ask Bill Shorten as a peace offering to the Gillard camp and the unions.

Shorten remains solidly behind Gillard but is being closely watched by both sides. He played a key role in the removal of Rudd and is vital for her survival.

“He can’t knife two leaders and he knows it,” says one Gillard supporter, who argues that Shorten would destroy his own leadership ambitions if he moved against her.

Gillard’s loyalists warn if Rudd looks like he is going to make a move, they will launch a blitz bigger than that of last February, when Swan and other senior ministers accused him of sabotage and not having Labor values.

One loyalist said: “She won’t walk. He can’t beat her. But if this continues, we’re all going to lose.”

Gillard’s defenders say there would be a backlash from women if the first female PM was knifed by a man - despite the fact that’s how she came to power.

“She would go from culprit to victim. We’d lose any advantage on the gender vote if she is knifed.”

There is no bigger prize in politics. Gillard’s camp is making it clear it is ready for a fight. Team Rudd says only he can save Labor but time is running out.

Some Labor MPs believe a showdown is inevitable - but if it gets too messy the only winner will be Tony Abbott.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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108 comments

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    • acotrel says:

      05:13am | 15/02/13

      I thought Tony Abbott was supposed to be the Phar Lap of current Australian politics?  Why does he need Kevin Rudd to make a challenge for the ALP leadership ?  This intensive speculation is a clear indication that the LNP have nothing constructive to offer which might improve the future of Australia.
      Come on Tony - where are the innovative ideas ?
      ‘Let the dog see the rabbit’ !

    • Fred says:

      06:46am | 15/02/13

      Nice try Acotrel…lets try and pin the woeful infighting of the ALP on Abbott…talk about paranoid. Take a tablet and have a lie down old boy.
      Maybe the rusted ons should look internally to what is happening to the ALP across Australia at all levels, instead of blaming the Abbott monster.

    • Mr Sam says:

      06:54am | 15/02/13

      Why so excited about PM Abbottt’s idea acotrel? All in good time. Listen to winners in life dear aco, we know what to do to keep this country on track.

    • OverIt says:

      06:57am | 15/02/13

      The most constructive thing the LNP needs to offer to improve the future of Austalia is to not be the current government, with or without Rudd.

    • TimB says:

      06:59am | 15/02/13

      ‘I thought Tony Abbott was supposed to be the Phar Lap of current Australian politics?  Why does he need Kevin Rudd to make a challenge for the ALP leadership ?  ‘

      Because he’s bored with Gillard and needs a challenge. Rudd’s about the only hope the ALP has left. Which is sad.

      ‘Come on Tony - where are the innovative ideas ?’

      Out in force yesterday. Typical blind ALP dron that you are, you clearly wern’t paying attention.

    • Miss Wormwood says:

      07:02am | 15/02/13

      No, this intensive speculation is a clear indication that the Gillard government is going to be destroyed at the September election, and they know it, and some of them are hoping Kevin Rudd wants his old job back because there’s no question he would be more popular than Gillard.  That’s all.  It’s not about Abbott, it’s about the mess Labor created when they knifed a popular first term Prime Minister and replaced him with his deceitful, treacherous, incompetent deputy.

    • Boy Elroy says:

      07:08am | 15/02/13

      I suggest you turn on the tv and read a few more articles or read K Rudds Tweets and U Tube clips and educate yourself on his not so subtle electioneering. Didn’t see Tony Abbott anywhere in them this is 100 pee cent usual Labor implosion at its best. Tony is not your boogeyman it’s those faceless men.

    • acotrel says:

      07:57am | 15/02/13

      ‘Come on Tony - where are the innovative ideas ?’

      Out in force yesterday. Typical blind ALP dron that you are, you clearly wern’t paying attention.’

        Would you please provide the link to Abbott’s enthusiastic pontifications ?  Did he get Alan Jones to speak for him again?

    • ramases says:

      07:58am | 15/02/13

      Is your second name Paranoia or are you just that way because of your association with the Labor party Accers.
        It amazes me that the Labor camp insists that Rudd will be their saviour when in retrospect he was a even more dysfunctional PM than Julia and that’s saying something.
        So the brains trust in the Labor camp is to replace one loser with another loser and hope that through some miracle he can reverse the 4 years of complete stuff ups in a couple of months, reduce the debt that we are now all holding, stop the boats, get rid of the Tax we weren’t going to have and the dozens of other tried and failed policies we have had to bare the brunt of.
        Of course with his ego he would be sure that people would forget what a loser he was and is and flock to re elect him on the basis that its Rudd and not Julia, forgetting of course that not even his own party wanted him in the first place so why should the public.
        As for Tony, he is doing well to keep his policies to himself to just before the election as its well known that the failing Labor Party wouldn’t be adverse to stealing all the good ones, that’s most of them for themselves.
        We have seen this before and will probably see it again as the Labor Party seems to be a bit short themselves on Policies that will actually work and not fail like the majority of their previous policies and not blow the budget further.
        The one and only question that is on the minds of thinking people, you know not Labor rusted ons, is can we afford another 4 years that this disgrace of a Government, the failed policies, the scandals, the blow out in costings, the influx of Illegal Immigrants, the lies and deceit and the infighting, has given us before we reach the point of no return and become a third world country and the answer is a resounding NO.
      But Accers, don’t let that stop your tirades against Abbott as they make the funnies in the newspaper pale into insignificance and show the people of Australia the type of person who would vote Labor even if it meant the end to the way of life to which we have become accustomed.

    • TimB says:

      09:28am | 15/02/13

      ‘Would you please provide the link to Abbott’s enthusiastic pontifications ?’

      Just search yesterday’s Punch articles Acotrel. Surely that isn’t too hard for you?

    • Joan says:

      09:31am | 15/02/13

      Gillard and Swan team are just one big flop -  Labors D grade team so rotten - that“s the only reason Rudd gets a look at and even sniffing around to pounce on leadership role

    • Archimonde says:

      09:48am | 15/02/13

      TimB says:
      “‘Would you please provide the link to Abbott’s enthusiastic pontifications ?’

      Just search yesterday’s Punch articles Acotrel. Surely that isn’t too hard for you? “

      Tony Abbott blogs on thepunch?
      What’s his handle?
      TimB? ZSRenn? PJ?
      Shouldn’t he be working on the policies? errrr I mean discussion documents that he leaks for feedback???

    • Verity says:

      10:24am | 15/02/13

      Tony doesn’t have to do anything reagrding Rudd and the Leadership.
      Even the lefty journo’s this morning were saying that this morning.
      It’s Labor themselves slowly destroying themselves. I’m sure Tony couldn’t careless who is Leader of Labor.
      Bring on PM AbottAbbottAbbott!

    • Alfie says:

      11:17am | 15/02/13

      Acotrel
      Why are you interested in Abbott’s policies?
      You aren’t going to vote for them. Mind your own business.

    • Davo says:

      12:45pm | 15/02/13

      Yes acotrel, we know you blindly support the Labour Party
      We get it !

    • Sherlock says:

      05:16am | 15/02/13

      Seriously? How can Labor realistically consider reinstating Kevin Rudd?

      I can imagine the Libs election ads.Forget any dirt unit all they need to do is run footage of what the ALP themselves said about Rudd when he was originally deposed and when he challenged for the leadership.

      There are some great quotes from many ministers not the least the PM and the Treasurer.

      It also shows the complete lack of talent in the ALP when the only serious contender to replace the worst PM in history is the second worst PM in history. The one the ALP themselves though was so bad they had to sack him

    • Justme says:

      06:45am | 15/02/13

      +1

      Reinstating Rudd at this point would be like banning a few more doping cyclists and then asking Lance back to make up the numbers for the TDF.

    • TimB says:

      07:03am | 15/02/13

      The only potential issue is if the Facebook and Twitter surfing blind rabble who still think Rudd is the messiah ignore all that and decide to elect him on sheer popularity anyway.

      Because that’s about the only strategy the ALP has left: Put in Rudd, capitalise on his unexplainable popularity before the electorate remembers that half the current problems in the ALP are Rudd’s fault, and then quietly replace him with Shorten some time after the election.

    • Fred says:

      07:36am | 15/02/13

      The only reason Rudd is popular is because Gillard is so hated.
      Rudd was an incompetent megolamaniac, but Gillard is worse, she is a treacherous back stabbing megolamaniac who will has made every post a failure.
      I struggle to recall any successes that Julia has achieved…even if she has, no doubt she would have managed to stuff up the PR side of it to make a win look like a loss.

    • acotrel says:

      08:21am | 15/02/13

      @Fred
      ‘she is a treacherous back stabbing megolamaniac ‘

      More importantly she is a woman in a position of power over men ?

    • murray says:

      09:11am | 15/02/13

      If Rudd replaces Gillard it will be a wonderful thing - just think, we would get a new Cabinet. No Gillard, no Swan, no Wong - all sent to the bankbench.

    • subotic says:

      11:27am | 15/02/13

      “She won’t walk. He can’t beat her. But if this continues, we’re all going to lose.”

      Lose?

      Lost…... a long bloody time ago mite I add…

    • PJ says:

      02:22pm | 15/02/13

      Rudd has never blatantly lied to the Australian people.

      And Rudd is intelligent.

    • Jim says:

      05:21am | 15/02/13

      I reckon they’ll ask Ruddy to return and he will tell them to get stuffed and sit back with a champagne and watch Gillard be crucified at the election.

    • Borderer says:

      08:46am | 15/02/13

      You’ve hit on part of the plan. Ruddy is despised by caucus but is popular in his electorate and popular nationally. By letting Gillard lead them to election destruction he purges caucus. Gillard et al are gone, Ruddy is back in charge…. not an overly complicated plan and he isn’t tarred a back stabber….

    • ZSRenn says:

      09:22am | 15/02/13

      Agreed and I would think his seat is safe and he can then sit back and rebuild Labor on his own terms over the next three years,

      If he proves himself to be the man he thinks he is, he may ( I doubt it as too much damage has been done) stand a chance.

    • NSS says:

      10:23am | 15/02/13

      Labor being very factional, I think you’re right, boys. Why would he want to retake the leadership now with the imminent decimation of Julia’s support base?

      Also, if TA is as appalling a PM as I’m anticipating, how sweet will it be for Labor to have a popular Opposition leader and alternative PM spending three years ripping into him as he has done to Gillard? I can almost see Ruddy salivating at the thought. He’s young, he has time to wait for his resurrection. Howard did it.

    • Meph says:

      11:21am | 15/02/13

      It would also explain why Rudd has come out of the blocks so hard to try and maintain his own seat, and also why he seems only too happy to acknowledge the failures of his current leaders. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he is being totally honest about not wanting to challenge the PM, nor take over prior to the election. Why have blood on your hands when the Australian public looks set to lynch your enemies for you?

      Tyrion Lannister would approve!

    • Alfie says:

      11:22am | 15/02/13

      In terms of speculating over leadership, I don’t give a rats what Labor does. They are finished, with or without Rudd. They will have plenty of time in opposition to conduct a post-mortem and squabble over the carcus.

    • St. Michael says:

      11:56am | 15/02/13

      “Agreed and I would think his seat is safe and he can then sit back and rebuild Labor on his own terms over the next three years,”

      You seriously think Labor could win another election 3 years from now, with Kevin Rudd at the helm?

      Put it this way, Kevin Rudd’s 55 years old.  He’s more likely to hit retirement age before Labor gets another crack at screwing up the task of government.

    • NSS says:

      01:03pm | 15/02/13

      Not necessarily, St Mick. A government can screw up pretty royally in three years, can’t it? The problem will be in finding front bench talent for another crack and in restoring faith in the alternative. Ruddy might just be the person to do it.

      He’s 56 in September, in three years he’ll be 59, (der) two years older than Howard was when he finally ascended to The Top Job.

    • Reschs Monkey says:

      02:07pm | 15/02/13

      I notice Simon Crean is crawling up to Team Rudd with his statement made half an hour ago that ‘Rudd is doing “some good” for the party through his increased public profile’. Softly, softly tip-toeing around Julia, I think he’s got his eyes on the Treasurer’s job?

      Having Simon Cringe on the ticket, will no doubt pull in support from Victoria, where Rudd has the least support.

    • St. Michael says:

      05:14pm | 15/02/13

      “Not necessarily, St Mick. A government can screw up pretty royally in three years, can’t it?”

      True enough, we’ve the Gillard government as our precedent for that.

    • acotrel says:

      05:32am | 15/02/13

      ‘Some Labor MPs believe a showdown is inevitable - but if it gets too messy the only winner will be Tony Abbott’

      This is delusional wishful thinking.  Kevin Rudd is not an idiot.  His political career would be finished forever if he challenged Julia now.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvBDlCpzP0s

    • Fred says:

      06:50am | 15/02/13

      News flash Acotroll…Gillard, Swans, Rudd et al politcal career will be permanently estinguished as of Sept 15. Doesnt matter what happens between now and then…Rudd as leader, Gillard as leader, the Goose as leader, they all will lead Labor to oblivion.

    • acotrel says:

      07:30am | 15/02/13

      Counting your chickens before they are hatched ? - Abbott lost the last election which was unlosable for the Liberal party. Has he had a recent brain transplant ?
      Or perhaps the device which transferred a chicken’s mind into Bugs Bunny’s head has been used on him ?( He’d be much smarter.)

    • FZR560 says:

      07:36am | 15/02/13

      Yes aco, Kevvie’s not an idiot. It takes someone very special to piss $45 billion dollars against the wall. I mean really, really special.

    • Christian Real says:

      07:57am | 15/02/13

      acotrel
      Liberals cannot see past the square - Tony Abbott;  and they get exited with false hope of his false lies and deceit.
      It is not over until the fat lady sings and there is still a long way to go until September anything can happen or change in that time.
      Tony Abbott is doing what I would do however,and that is keeping his enemies close by him,the ones more likely to challenge his Leadership like Turnbull and Hockey.
      If Abbott did some how win the Election this year I can see Turnbull and Hockey been shuffled to the back bench because Tony Abbott will no longer have any use for them once his main goal of becoming Prime Minister s achieved.
      A Tiapan would be more trust worthy than Tony Abbott because at least you would know when it is ready to strike against you.

    • Bubba Ray says:

      08:01am | 15/02/13

      acotrel if you reckon the last election was anything other than a embarrassment Labor you got rocks in your head.

      and FZR560 if you reckon the stimulus spending was anything other than a success you got an equal number of rocks in your head.

      Bloody rusted on political cheerleaders who don’t think….....

    • Peter says:

      08:16am | 15/02/13

      acotrel - Why then won’t Ruddy say he has no intention of replacing Gillard or taking over the Leadership? That would put an end to this Labor soap opera.
      All he will say is he won’t “CHALLENGE” her.

    • acotrel says:

      08:38am | 15/02/13

      @peter
      ‘acotrel - Why then won’t Ruddy say he has no intention of replacing Gillard or taking over the Leadership? That would put an end to this Labor soap opera.
      All he will say is he won’t “CHALLENGE” her. ‘

      What do you want - burning bushes and graven images of his declaration ?

    • FZR560 says:

      08:38am | 15/02/13

      Bubba, your measure of success and mine appear to be completely different. For my $45 billion dollars, I’d like something useful, something lasting and something that wasn’t so completely botched that we needed to spend another billion to sort. If rusted-ons bother you. you may be in the wrong place.

    • Alfie says:

      11:25am | 15/02/13

      “Kevin Rudd is not an idiot.”

      He sure is acotrel. Even the ALP know that.

    • Bubba Ray says:

      01:54pm | 15/02/13

      FZR560 - you’d need to consider what purpose was the money spent for and did it achieve that purpose. Rather than coming up with a series of vague all purpose attributes to measure things against.

      I’m fine with rusted on’s every team has it’s supporters. It’s the not thinking things through bit that gets me…...........

      Neither side of politics is anything close to perfect or anything close to completely inept either (with the odd notable exception from time to time) .

    • FZR560 says:

      02:47pm | 15/02/13

      3 desired outcomes for the stimulus spending: win the next election: stop the country going into recession: provide improved infrastructure. How would we know if the desired outcomes were achieved for the first 2 points. As for the 3rd, would you call massive rorting a success?

    • Neil says:

      05:47am | 15/02/13

      What a pack of knob ends. Rudd might improve their chances a bit, but it would still be a highly incompetent government.

      Labor should us a favour and go and work in real estate or something where they belong.

    • DocBud says:

      07:48am | 15/02/13

      Let’s hope they don’t go back to handling union funds. I’d be wary of giving them a house deposit or letting them collect rent on my behalf, Labor politicians always regard other people’s money as their own.

    • Neil says:

      08:49am | 15/02/13

      Hardly a stroke of genius acotrel. China stimulated, America printed more money, and Rudd decided to sell our houses to Chinese people.

    • Bomb78 says:

      10:28am | 15/02/13

      Any new Rudd led government would be stripped of all it’s significant front bench experience, and for what passes as talent from an ALP cabinet. It would be like starting over.
      This is the story that’s not being told right now, but it’s surely in the pocket of the L/NP strategists - an inexperienced ALP cabinet sans Gillard, Swan, Roxon, Wong, Shorten, et al, against Abbott, Hockey, Truss, Bishop, Turnbull - all members of Howard’s cabinet, which by comparison looks gold plated compared with the current rabble.

    • Rickster says:

      03:38pm | 15/02/13

      @Neil labor should go and work in realestate…........why? Are you getting lonley there?

    • Super D says:

      05:57am | 15/02/13

      Rudd won’t win and no one will thank him for delivering a smaller loss. If there is a leadership change and I doubt there will be I reckon Swannie will be the man to step up. Everyone knows its a night watchman that needed and frankly he deserves to face the bouncers.

    • Len says:

      07:23am | 15/02/13

      Swan the goose would be out for a duck.

    • Zack says:

      06:03am | 15/02/13

      This ALP mess is all the doing of Gillard. A self-less and competent deputy PM would know that backstabbing your way to the top job is a no no. Labor has a huge mess indeed - Keep Gillard and get detroyed in the next election, switch to Rudd and have a lesser loss but clearly become a National joke. Anyone who knows the ALP’s history will know Gillard has stuck it to the party big time like to other. The wrong way to be remembered Miss Gillard, the wrong way indeed.

    • Joe201 says:

      06:13am | 15/02/13

      “but if it gets too messy…”

      Too late.

    • Keith says:

      06:24am | 15/02/13

      Rudd backers and Gillard loyalists…. List them particularly Rudds. Lets see!

    • Steve says:

      06:43am | 15/02/13

      Warms the cockles of my heart. Our glorious government. Can’t even govern themselves.

      I can handle 7 more months of this. Too delicious to pass up.

    • Fred says:

      06:43am | 15/02/13

      Good old Swanny, the economic pigmy.
      Good to see the ALP implode on itself. What a rabble. Go Labor!!

    • acotrel says:

      07:43am | 15/02/13

      You’ve been watching too much football. Abbott will probably kick an ‘own goal’.

    • Meph says:

      11:03am | 15/02/13

      “Abbott will probably “

      I love the absolute certainty behind this statement.

    • Mr Sam says:

      06:56am | 15/02/13

      Rudd may not want to captain the sinking ALP ship but he wouldn’t mind sending a few topedos their way. Gillard is up the creek without a paddle and then some. The same old ALP has made the same old mess.

    • Ken Oath says:

      07:02am | 15/02/13

      Rudd is just playing silly buggers. His ego is so big and he is so consumed with hatred and self-vindication that he wants Labor to be destroyed so he can say “I told you so. See you should have stuck with me.” He’s just doing enough to make sure that happens. Rudd to lead again? Not gonna happen. After the election when most of his enemies are destroyed he will regally assume his rightful, god given place as leader to his loyal subjects again.

    • Len says:

      07:12am | 15/02/13

      With Julia And Wayne at the helm Labor are destined for defeat. These 2 blundering fools must be completely punch drunk by now. Swan in particular. The jibbering buffoon made another goose of himself across the nation yesterday. the same jibbering buffoon who pronounced on every street corner that a surplus is a gaurentee.
      At least he can puff his chest out a little in moscow for a few days as the worlds ‘greatest’ treasurer.

    • Tarzmahal says:

      10:21am | 15/02/13

      I find it really bizarre that while the rest of the world praises Swan and his economic management, blind NLP supporters make comments like this. Our economy is envied world wide, thanks to the ALP. 

      I also find it strange that people feel the need to go on and on about the surplus and broken promises. Who gives a crap? Things change and a successfully government will and should adapt. I want a government that will make long term, sometimes unpopular policy decisions, rather than one that focuses exclusively on what the electorate wants to hear right now. I also want a government that is willing to spend money on health, education and infrastructure without pandering to all the morons obsessed with maintaining a surplus. Learn something about economics and then maybe you’ll realise just how well off Australia’s economy is, even if Gillard and Swan are unable to sell it.

      By the way, I am neither an ALP or NLP supporter exclusively. I base my opinion on policy and facts, not age old assumptions about either party.

    • Not a game says:

      07:14am | 15/02/13

      “Game on” she declared but she forgot the governing of Australia is not a game. I wonder if Julia Gillard ever considers what most Australians think.  Does she not read the papers, the comments columns, The Punch?  Does she ever consider voters at all or does she only plot and plan to keep herself in the top job.  It would seem to me that the Labor Party has devoted all its time and attention to the Labor Party and have completely overlooked the reason they are there.  Can’t rest on your laurels if you are devoid of them I suppose and so the denigration of Tony Abbott is all they have.  Then we are forced to endure the “bit” players in the farce, the likes of Craig Thompson representing Delusionville, Peter Slipper of Sleazetown and Stephen Conroy fresh from Thug Central.  How proud the two independents must be to have instigated the entire fiasco, both wallowing in irrelevance and ridicule for going against their constituencies and supporting this rabble.  The fact that some in the party are giving serious consideration to bringing Kevin Rudd back indicates the depths to which they have sunk. Gee what a choice - The Psychopath or the Sociopath.  Australia deserves better than this.  Calling an election was one of Gillard’s best decisions, now lets just bring it forward a bit, say around seven months OK.

    • NigelC says:

      07:25am | 15/02/13

      “but if it gets too messy the only winner will be Tony Abbott.” Not really - the win will be shared by us all and it can’t come soon enough.

    • acotrel says:

      08:08am | 15/02/13

      If you call ‘winning’ ,losing your livelihood when the mortgage belts collapse because of massive job losses through lack of business confidence, due to excessive belt tightening.
      You obviously have not been listening to what your heros have been saying.

    • Once were ALP voters says:

      12:26pm | 15/02/13

      Ok acotrel… you got me. I really am impressed at your level of delusion. Business confidence lower under the libs? Were you thinking at all?

    • jb says:

      07:46am | 15/02/13

      I’m sick of this snivelling little sock puppet.
      I felt sorry for him for a while but all he does is undermine this government, Abbott has had to do nothing Rudd has done it all for him.
      What a pathetic little sore loser thinking of nothing but his own ego.
      What should really happen is the labor party should kick him out for good for disobedience and treason.
      Do they really think the people of Australia are going to want this man as their PM again? A disloyal undermining control freak…

    • FZR560 says:

      07:59am | 15/02/13

      A disloyal undermining control freak. Who are we talking about again??

    • acotrel says:

      08:43am | 15/02/13

      Kevin Rudd ?  Tony Abbott?  Sophie Mirabella ?  Anthony Albanese ?  Bill Shorten ?  Can’t be Joe Hockey - he’s not ‘little’ unless there was sarcasm in the comment ?

    • Andrew says:

      08:35am | 15/02/13

      The thing for me is that the constant needling by Kevin Rudd and his supporters show me why he would not be a good PM (and wasn’t a good PM). That reason is because he places himself above the rest, it is about him.  Micheal Eisner at Disney comes to mind.

      He is popular because he can use the media, it had nothing to do with what he got done as he couldn’t really get anything done (even with a majority). Say what you want about Julia Gillard, she managed to get through a minority parliament things Kevin Rudd couldn’t do with a majority. Whether you agree with what was put through is irrellevant as they were both pushing the same things.

    • AdamC says:

      08:40am | 15/02/13

      All the toxic stuff the Gillardites accuse Rudd of doing as PM, like being dictatorial, making decisions on the run, obsessing over the media cycle, Julia is doing too. Only even worse.

      But why bring back yesterday’s man? If they are going to topple the Red Empress, Labor should give Shorten or Combet a go. A switch back to Rudd, no matter how much the punters may like him personally, would show that Labor is not really playing to win.

    • glivo says:

      10:06am | 15/02/13

      “Labour should give Shorten or Combet a go.”

      Does the ALP not have any sitting members who are not ex-Union Goons?
      After Sep 14 they won’t have as big a choice so it might be best if they did something now though.

    • LC says:

      10:25am | 15/02/13

      Or perhaps they could give the top job to Stephen Smith, Minister of Defense? I don’t recall any major stuff-ups in that portfolio since he’s had it.

      And in any event it’d probably be better to have him at the wheel than one of the union heavyweights you suggested.

    • Knemon says:

      02:16pm | 15/02/13

      AdamC - If you were aspiring to become an ALP PM, would you take the job on prior to the next election? It’s a poisonous chalice, let Gillard reap what she has sowed. I’ve no doubt that after the election we will see someone from left field take over the ALP.

    • AdamC says:

      02:58pm | 15/02/13

      Knemon, yeah, good point.

      Maybe LC’s suggestion of Stephen Smith as an interim, nigh-watchman leader has some legs, on that basis.

    • Onlooker says:

      08:44am | 15/02/13

      I prefer Rudd and judging by his supporters on facebook so do thousands of other Australians but either way it goes Rudd or Gillard the one thing I am sure of I won’t be voting for Abbott

    • Loxy says:

      11:48am | 15/02/13

      I’m with you Onlooker. I don’t happen to think Rudd was overly good as PM but he’s better than Gillard and given I will never vote for Abbott, I’m desperately hoping Labour changes their leader so I’m not forced to vote for Gillard.

      Alternatively, if the Liberals changed their leader then that would make things real interesting. Turnbull as PM is my pick out of both parties.

      One thing I am certain of is that if the Liberals changed their leader then it’s a forgone conclusion that Labour would. If Gillard is able to win the next election, the only person she could possibly win against is Abbott as he is equally unpopular. If Liberal puts forward some real competition then Labour would know they have to change their leader to even contemplate competing.

      Even against Abbott, Labour is taking a massive risk hanging onto Gillard.

    • Alfie says:

      08:54am | 15/02/13

      Kevin is a legend in his own mind.

    • Christian Real says:

      02:51pm | 15/02/13

      Alfie
      I agree with you Kevin is a Legend !

    • Anjuli says:

      09:45am | 15/02/13

      Why would the ALP think we would vote for Rudd ,he single handed took down the defenses of border protection, spent and give away the surplus like a kid in a lolly shop, then the pink bats debacle, tries to be the common man fails miserably .

    • Achmed says:

      05:56pm | 15/02/13

      He went to the election in 2007 with a policy to disband the Pacific Solution and won the election.
      Howard went to an election with GST as a policy and won and Libs keep saying because he won the election he had a mandate.
      But in typical hypocrisy wining an election only gives a mandate to Liberals.  Hey?

      Pink Batta - why not raise the issue of the businesses that stole and rorted taxpayer money, breached state OHS laws and failed to train employees?  Or look at the little publicity the media is giving the prosecutions of those businesses who failed to train employees resulting in the deaths.  Or the amount of money that has been recovered through taking the thieves to court, or the rotten thieves who stole the money and then declared bankrupt keeping the taxpayer money.
      Or the spending of the surplus and some more Australia is one of 6 countries in the world that has maintained its Trple A rating?  That it is a country with one of the lowest debt to GDP ratios in the world, lowest inflation and lowest unemployment

    • Robinoz says:

      09:56am | 15/02/13

      Rudd was, and is a dead duck. He was piss poor as a PM and it shows how desperate Labor is to find someone who may have even a sliver of hope to get elected in September. One person doesn’t make a party ... at least for thinking voters. Rudd or Gillard won’t make much different to this government, they will be gone at the flick of a switch on voting day.

    • LC says:

      09:57am | 15/02/13

      All the independents and the Green have stated repeatedly that their agreements are with Julia Gillard, that would mean that Kevin would have to re-negotiate with them, meaning the possibility of more dodgy Greens policies being forced on us all. Either that, or he has to face an early election. So it’s not going to happen.

      Gillard has chosen to be the captain of the S.S. Labor, and she has no choice but to stick with that, through think or thin.

    • LC says:

      10:39am | 15/02/13

      Dammit, THICK or thin.

    • Phillb says:

      10:04am | 15/02/13

      I really don’t understand the “popularity” of Rudd when ir knifed he had the lowest popularity of a PM in god knows how long, but now he is being hailed as popular?
      If anything he should thank Gillard for saving him as going down as the worst PM we’ve had.

    • Mack says:

      10:29am | 15/02/13

      Ah, let them fight among themselves. It’s fun to watch. And we all know that Labor has got zero chance of winning the election anyway.

    • Mr Sam says:

      01:23pm | 15/02/13

      The ALP…....what has it become?

    • Alfie says:

      03:49pm | 15/02/13

      So, the Milky Bar Kid is you hero?

      Shame he doesn’t have the numbers. I would certainly like to see him cop another pasting.

    • Rickster says:

      03:52pm | 15/02/13

      @Mr Sam…......The Government

    • Leigh says:

      10:30am | 15/02/13

      Unless you are a politician or a committed Labor Party member you should not bother yourself with the boring crap about Rudd vs Gillard. Just because polls say that people prefer Rudd to Gillard doesn’t mean that they would vote Labor if he took back the job of PM. The tax on CO2 and the MRRT all started with Rudd. Rudd did nothing about illegal boat arrivals (he was the one who started the flood we have today). Rudd is more presentable and intelligent than Gillard, but a leopard does not change its spots.

      Rudd was the pioneer of of ‘bad’ Labor after Hawke and Keating; he came up with big S socialism where previous Labor Governments were relatively moderate.

      The panic merchants knew they wouldn’t win with Rudd while he was PM; now they know that cannot win with Gillard, who has changed Labor from bad to truly awful and ridiculous.

      Another switch of leadership - back to the one they knew they couldn’t win with last time - would make no difference to Labor’s fortunes at the election. What Labor needs to do is, during their long time to come in Opposition,  go out and find a leader (they have none in the party now) who has the gumption to realise that nobody in Australia, including Labor voters, want’s the current style of sleazy self-interest, blantant and stifling socialism, suppression of free speech and general imcompetence which has taken over the ALP.

    • True Blue Ozzie says:

      11:43am | 15/02/13

      Labor has gone beyond the point of no return, even Kevin could’nt save them now, there drowning in the pool of scandel, coruption, broken promices and debit created by there own hands. Labor lost it’s last chance to win the next election 12 months ago, if they fail to have a clean out leaving old faces at the front after losing the next election, Labor will spend years in limbo. The old guard of labor must be seething behind closed doors, at the destruction of the Party they worked so hard for over so many years.

    • Mr Sam says:

      12:21pm | 15/02/13

      The old guard need to open up and the party on track! They have nothing to lose. Rudd won’t save the day, he will lessen the damage. Gillard needs to go. She needs to go now!

    • Rickster says:

      03:46pm | 15/02/13

      @ True Blue mozzie Who are you calling old? have you seen the front bech of the opposition? I didn’t know that cryogenics actually worked, Bronwyn Bishop looks like that guy they found frozen in a glacier.

    • Wales says:

      12:46pm | 15/02/13

      There’s plenty of time. Howard was unsuccessful until his third time around as leader. Remember him and Peacock, and then they went with Downer and a “generational” change, and then it was back to Howard.

    • Spanner says:

      12:55pm | 15/02/13

      If the Libs win and do NOTHING it can’t be any worse.

    • Rickster says:

      03:24pm | 15/02/13

      What do you mean If they do nothing, that’s exactly what their policys say they will do.

    • sunny says:

      02:08pm | 15/02/13

      Phillip Hudson - time to take a cold shower.

    • TC says:

      02:13pm | 15/02/13

      Rudd actually doesn’t say he won’t challenge Gillard, just that people should take a ‘cold bath’ etc etc. Russ is a lunatic and I suspect has serious issues. Why he is so popular is anyone’s guess. The people are fools.

    • PJ says:

      02:21pm | 15/02/13

      we cannot trust Gillard. End of argument.

    • KJ says:

      04:14pm | 15/02/13

      PJ, you are right, but also naive if you think Abbott can be trusted.

    • Christian Real says:

      02:55pm | 15/02/13

      PJ
      We cannot trust Abbott even if the statements he makes are from those carefully prepared scripted remarks how can anyone be certain that they are the ‘Gospel Truth.’ ?

    • Wrickster says:

      03:20pm | 15/02/13

      The NLP keep dragging this old chestnut out because Wabbott has know idea how to deal with a women and it’s on their wish list to get Rudd back so Tones can go man on man just like in the priory days. Out manouvered by a women once…...maybe twice, dont forget that women hate him well maybe not Gina,his wife, mother , daughters but just about every other women.

    • Ross says:

      04:41pm | 15/02/13

      As a disability pensioner I should be a rusted on ALP voter but not any more Gillard is hopeless and will take her followers down at the next election . Who will be left. Labor will lose most of there people and Australia will not have an effective opposition.. Abbott will be able to do what he wishes and that will be his downfall and Australia’s

 

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