BY all accounts it was an extraordinary sight. Kevin Rudd was in flying form. As were his guests. Last Saturday night, while dining at Noosa’s trendy eatery, Bistro C, adoring patrons mobbed the foreign minister’s table.

He's mobbed where ever he goes…

They flattered and fawned over the local celebrity, who was born nearby in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. An obliging Rudd did his best to accommodate them, leaving his guests at the table to stand arm in arm for group shots with his fans. He was in his element.

But that wasn’t the most extraordinary of things. Few people noticed the other man sitting at the table with him. And why would they. The former Attorney General Robert McClelland, dumped only last month in Julia Gillard’s frontbench reshuffle, is hardly a household name in Queensland or a face that many would necessarily recognise. But there he was, the political cuckold, dining with Rudd and several members of their families, as if they were long time friends.

At least one canny observer said he appeared the part of a proud father looking on in excitement as Rudd played to his audience.

It’s hard to imagine a more profound Pauline Conversion than these two men and their families sharing an intimate time together, even if it was by co-incidence that they both happened to be holidaying at the same place at the same time.

When Rudd was PM, he barely spoke a word to McClelland. He made it clear to most that he didn’t think much of him. The feeling was reportedly mutual. Now that McClelland is on the outer with Julia Gillard, yet another senior member of the NSW Right and Rudd appear to have become new best friends.

And he isn’t the only one that Rudd has been courting, according to senior sources in the NSW Right. Some would like to think – and have even recently hypothesised - that with the passage of time the prospects of Rudd still being in the game to mount a challenge to Gillard have evaporated.

But to believe that Rudd’s desires and ambitions have been diminished would be not only to underestimate him, but to be living a fool’s paradise in terms of Labor’s current prospects.

Nothing could be further from reality.
Over summer, the former PM appears to have been, in the words of Commodus, a busy little bee. MPs will attest, privately, to the growing fondness Rudd has been showing them.

The speculation that the NSW Right is split down the middle in support for Rudd and Gillard has been growing since the reshuffle.

It is no surprise that McClelland has joined NSW colleague and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and others in entertaining the idea of a Rudd return. My enemy’s enemy is my friend. Both believe have been treated badly by Gillard, as do others in the Right.

Gillard’s supporters suggest they may have forgotten how Rudd treated them as well when he was PM.

In the least it starts to suggest that some Cabinet Ministers believe that Rudd is a possibility of retaking the leadership and want to hedge their bets to ensure they come down on the right side of a challenge.

One thing is becoming clear in the troubles that could beset the PM when parliament resumes in a few weeks.

Rudd has a strategy. What began as a backbench-led movement with disparate groups of MPs is evolving, with Rudd now prepared to pick off senior members of Gillard’s ministry to secure the political elite of the Government - unlike the spontaneous explosion of the entire caucus that led to his political execution.

The NSW right are probably half way there and the fact that Bowen and McClelland appear to be behind Rudd reveals the impotence of the former powerbroker and Gillard loyalist Mark Arbib’s influence to hold the NSW machine behind the PM.

But what happens this year could largely be decided in the coming weeks.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Government’s polling improves over Christmas, if for no other reason than the electorate’s temperament softens.

The first polling in February will be critical. It would be expected that there may be some bounce.

But the feedback MPs get from their electorates around the local functions they will all be attending over the Australia Day weekend will also dictate the direction of the backbench when they return to Canberra two weeks later.

Already some MPs are reporting back that the mood on the ground has not shifted at all. Gillard is still deeply unpopular and so is Labor.

The problem for Rudd is that there is no consensus among even his supporters about what to do, when and how to actually achieve a change. And there is still entrenched opposition to the idea of his return among many senior MPs.

But if February brings no significant improvement for the Government or Gillard, then the Ides of March may beckon for the PM.

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71 comments

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    • acotrel says:

      05:32am | 14/01/12

      The ‘fight’ between Gillard and Rudd will probably never occur, however much the media might try to make it happen. If it does happen, Rudd will be finished in politics forever - he is yesterday’s man ! As far as this stuff is concerned, some people who get into this sort of speculation are like blowflies appraising a sheep’s bottom !

    • Thomas says:

      08:38am | 14/01/12

      ‘As far as this stuff is concerned, some people who get into this sort of speculation are like blowflies appraising a sheep’s bottom !’

      are you a slow person?

    • Ben says:

      10:20am | 14/01/12

      Labor have never had a problem with using “yesterday’s man” look at how the stuck repeatedly with Beazley - even after getting rid of him they were prepared to give him another go.

    • Steve Putnam says:

      12:38pm | 14/01/12

      Rudd is better off staying right where is.
      As PM, he was hoist on his own petard when he backed away from confronting climate change after calling it “the greatest moral challenge” facing humanity.
      Since he has been Foreign Minister however, he has won admirers in Washington and London and Beijing, (along with some critics) and his profile is internationally known. Besides, his language skills are wasted in the parliament.

    • Rose says:

      12:44pm | 14/01/12

      Ben, John Howard was regularly referred to as Lazarus with a triple bypass….both sides play the same game!!

    • Robert Smissen of country SA says:

      11:58pm | 14/01/12

      @Rose, the difference is that Howard had the ticker, not to mention some substance, Rudd has neither

    • acotrel says:

      07:50am | 15/01/12

      I cannot see how ‘Lazarus with a triple bypass’ is the same as trying to create a self-fulfilling prophesy ! Journalists are supposed to report, not become the news or manufacture it !

    • Mark says:

      11:10am | 15/01/12

      “Lazarus with a triple bypass” is the very definition of “yesterday’s man”. And it was John Howard himself who used that description when he was asked on the day that he lost the leadership to Andrew Peacock in 1989 whether he could become Liberal leader again.

      Howard had become leader when Peacock had resigned in 1985, and had now lost the leadership back to Peacock.

      Howard then lost a challenge to John Hewson for the leadership. Then they elected Alexander Downer in what they called a “generational change”. But when he resigned in 1995, it was back to the future with “yesterday’s man”, Howard.

    • AM says:

      09:30am | 16/01/12

      The will of the people will prevail rather than the will of the media. What seems to escape most commentators is that people LIKE Kevin Rudd.
      They like him and they don’t like what was done to him.

      So all these attempts at vilification and sneery smears don’t do anything other than make ordinary people realise what lousy and consistently unfair treatment Kev’s copped.

    • Dave C says:

      05:53am | 14/01/12

      There are many questions to be answered if Rudd gets the go ahead and becomes PM again.

      1) Will JG hang around or will she resign her seat creating a by election? also can Rudd and Swan work together again.
      2) How will Rudd deal with the Greens/Wilkie/Oakshott/Windsor etc etc, issues such as the pokies reform Gay Marriage (he is a Christian remember) etc and how long will that last for
      3) Will the style of leadership from Rudd be the same ie the gang of 4 kitchen cabinet, everything out of the PM’s office etc etc and the constant spin and media cycle manipulation by 20 something Get Up Young Labour people in Rudds office directing the spin ,and how long will the rest of the Govt and the cross benches put up with it.
      4) It is assumed that the polls will bounce as Rudd was always liked more by the people (due to his nice image build up however if only they knew the real Kevin) than Gillard but for how long will they bounce for? How long before the people realise that its the same Government just with a different or recycled leader spinning the same useless crap that was spun at them for 2 1/2 years.

      I can see the Kevin O’Lemon ads from the Liberal Party coming back if he gets the PM’s job back.

      Yes very interesting times ahead.

    • nossy says:

      09:05am | 14/01/12

      @Dave C - you missed Question 5 Dave.
          5)  who will replace Tones Abbott as Oppn Leader?

    • RobJ says:

      09:45am | 14/01/12

      “1) Will JG hang around or will she resign her seat creating a by election? also can Rudd and Swan work together again. “Her seat would be a very safe Labor seat I would imagine.

      I think Gillard will lead Labor to the next election, she might win, if she gets knocked off by Abbott she will never be forgiven, Rudd will take over, he won’t try and race Abbott to the bottom like Gillard did (and she won - Malaysia solution) and as a result I would imagine he would attract left voters back from the Greens making an Abbott govt a single term govt.

      If she scrapes through then she will still be on very thin ice. What the Liberals need to do is replace Abbott with Turnbull who would absolutely tank Gillard at the poll, If I were to vote for one of the major parties I’d vote for Turnbull over Gillard any day of the week and I’d imagine there are many others who would too.

    • RobJ says:

      09:47am | 14/01/12

      “Yes very interesting times ahead.”

      Can’t argue with that.

    • Dave C says:

      12:23pm | 14/01/12

      Nossy, as long as the Libs/Nats lead the ALP in every conceivable poll then Abbott is safe, I said the polls would bounce but for how long and once the public get the old Rudd back and all the things I said in point 3 happen again then Abbott is safe. As I said below this article is not about Abbott or the Libs.

      Rob J, what is this obsession with Malcolm Turnbull, he white anted a sitting member to get Wentworth,  he tried to oust Rudd with the Godwin Gretch affair and he looked the fool that he is as a result. After that stupid Gretch business the Libs say they would have lost an extra 20 seats. MT also wants a return to Work Choices (Abbott does not) which was the reason Howard lost in 2007 in the first place.

      Also MT is an arrogant republican toff who represents the richest part of Australia (hence why he wants Work Choices) and who has no idea how the Howard battlers in seats like Lindsay, Dobell, Page, MacArthur Gilmore or Eden Monaro are trying to just survive under this current Govt. The people in these “bellweather” seats dont want a carbon tax and they dont give a shit about Gay Marriage or a Republic they just want their livelihoods protected from Bob Brown. 

      You see Abbott is liked by the people in those seats (Rudd was too until the people started to see what he was really like so Labour chopped him) and that is why the Libs and Nats are so far ahead now and they are the seats that have to be won to change government.

      Having said all this yes Rudd would give Abbott a run for his money, IF Rudd could hold the cross bench support without his natural personality offending of the independents meaning that the whole thing would crash in a heap. 

      But stranger things have happened.

    • Robert Smissen of country SA says:

      12:00am | 15/01/12

      @nossy, Tony won’t be opposition leader, he’ll be PM

    • RobJ says:

      08:30am | 15/01/12

      “But stranger things have happened.”

      This is the thing, we all have our opinions but a week being a long time in politics who knows what will happen? I admit I have an appalling record on picking these things.

    • Northern Steve says:

      05:43pm | 16/01/12

      Dave,
      1)JG will certainlyl hang around if she loses to Rudd - she is a career politician and doesn’t have a lot to fall back on.
      2) Being a Christian does NOT mean you are against gay marriage.  A majority of mainstream christians are quite supportive of gay marriage being legalised, and you’ll easily find a number of gay friendly parishes in any major city in the country.  It’s mainly the vocal minority making an issue of it. 
      For the independents, I can’t see Wilkie or Brandt supporting Abbott, and Katter is a good mate of Rudd’s, so he should be able to swing some sort of coalition together
      3)  Yes, that is the real issue of a return to Rudd.  Has he learnt.

    • nossy says:

      05:56am | 14/01/12

      Poor old Tony Abbotts worst nightmare is not far away - yes the Ruddster, mobbed wherever he goes is on his way back and Tones is on his way out. Of course Tones himself has never been popular with voters and only on rare occasions has he ever bested the unpopular Gillard as Preferred PM - so he has no chance of besting Mr Popular Kevin Rudd on Rudds re-elevation to his rightful spot as PM. “I’ll see you all in the Lodge for Christmas drinks” shrilled an excited Tones 1 year ago to journos. Of course despite his every effort this never came even close to happening did it. I will nnever forget the look of shock on the little fells face when Slipper was wheeled out as the new Speaker - hahahahah the only sound you could hear was the keys to the Lodge slipping thru D NOs hands and hitting te carpet. When the Ruddster returns the keys will slip pernmanently from Tones hands forever. Still Dr NO did get his Truck licence recently so it does look like he is preparing fo his future trade to help pay off that reported whopping $700k mortgage. Breaker breaker - this is Dr NO trying to overtake!  hahahha Ohhh how sweet it is!

    • Dave C says:

      07:45am | 14/01/12

      This article did not mention Abbott or the Libs or Nats at all, zero zip zilch…. it was purely about Rudd possibly challenging Gillard for the ALP leadership. But yet you somehow pull out of your posterior a way from this article to have a vile smart arsed sneer at Abbott when the article had nothing at all to do with Abbott., so much so his name wasnt even mentioned.

      Its seems that is all the ALP die hard believers have got, bag out the other mobs leader sneer and smear in the vain hope their mob might scrape in.

      Pathetic really, just pathetic.

    • Nathan says:

      07:53am | 14/01/12

      I am labor supporter but lets be honest mobbed where ever he goes? As long as he stays in QLD that is the case.  Abbott has seen him off once so i don’t think Rudd scares him at all Abbott is a pit bull. A change of leader to a man who is hated by most of the party is hardly going to help this disappointing governments performance. Rudd talks crap and doesn’t do anything, Gillard may or may not get it right (depending on opinion) but atleast she gets something done

    • Freeman says:

      08:01am | 14/01/12

      ah yes, bring back the Duddster so Tones can give him another flogging. Rudd and Gillard continue to destroy the ALP for short term personal gain and all ‘Dr No’ has to do is put his feet up, continue to say no to every half baked ALP/green ‘policy’. He may as well start measuring the curtains for the lodge.

      Aaahhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

    • TM says:

      08:58am | 14/01/12

      You seem to have a thing for Abbott. I reckon you have an inferiority complex and you are jealous. You do realise that the topic of this thread is the mess that is the Labor leadership? Not one mention of Abbott or the coalition that I can see. You are the classic troll!

    • Martin says:

      10:03am | 14/01/12

      Nossy. Labor is shot. Abbott already saw Rudd off once, what’s changed since then. The fact is they are a hopeless rabble doing desperate things attempting to save there jobs for as long as possible because when this ship sinks where do these Labor dills go? Back to the union, back to Uni? Honestly, what job would many of them get if they are out of power?

      Abbott’s has had these clowns on the run for a year and a half, nothings going to change, calling him childish names like Dr No and Mr Rabbit only appeals to simple minded idiots. Rudd is going to be a large target second time around and Abbott and Co will doing a lot of laughing at his expense.

      As for the Slipper incident I note two things. Firstly this chap has some heavy baggage attached to him and hence could easily come a cropper. Secondly, the fact that Gillard took this desperate action tells me she is preparing for some sort of shock wave, maybe the Thomson saga may be set to explode, who knows.

      Some things I do know, Brown and Gillard are increasingly at odds, Wilke is sure to provide some antics if the Pokie legislation doesn’t pass and most importantly, if Rudd gets PM position back, an election soon after is highly likely, and that Nossy could see the end of Labor by the middle of the year. How sweet it is indeed. Bring on Rudd.

    • Cath says:

      12:29pm | 14/01/12

      “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left. ”  (Margaret Thatcher).  Plod on Nossy!

    • Brian B says:

      12:54pm | 14/01/12

      Geez Nossy, try reading the article before posting. I don’t think Abbott is involved in the ALP leadership tussle. Pathetic.

    • jb says:

      01:23pm | 14/01/12

      Nossy, I have been leaving you alone since one of our friends on the Goldy let slip about your condition but seriously there is very little excuse for the delusion in your writing. You should get out of the political game as it’s going to be the end of you old chum and regardless of how dumb your posts are and that your well being is playing a part in your bad judgement no one wants to see the passing of another over getting fired up from blog posts.
      The mods really need to ban you for your own health. Deep down I think you are a sensible character but the current political climate is detrimental to your old ticker pal.

    • nossy says:

      02:54pm | 14/01/12

      Wow I see all my Right Wing Nutter friends have bitten - bewdiful! Gday from your dear friend nossy fellas - dont forget I am still going to stage my “Goodbye To Tones” party here on the Gold Coast - all Libs welcome - free piss on nossy!

    • sandra says:

      03:08pm | 14/01/12

      Nossy you are obviously one of those people who has to have things repeated over and over and over—- Coalition is 10 to 12 points ahead. Abbotts popularity isno diferent to John Howrads ever_—yet how many elections did Howard win????—hhhhhhaaaaahhhhh—how sweet it is

    • nossy says:

      04:34pm | 14/01/12

      @jb jb old buddy how the bloody hell are ya?  All ok here so ignore whatever you have heard - I run on the beach daily, go boating and enjoying retiremment fella- most likely some goose I had a run in with years ago spreading rumours. We were thinking of moving to Sydney but I canned that - we would have been stuck in the burbs out Hunters Hill way - no staying on the Gold Coast old son. Have a great 2012 jb!

    • Against the Man says:

      06:21pm | 14/01/12

      Labor have already lost the next 3 Federal elections. It is a done deal. Thanks Rudd/Gillard smile

    • Malcolm says:

      09:01pm | 14/01/12

      @ AtM

      Why no thanks to Howard and Abbott for losing the last 2 elections ?

    • acotrel says:

      10:37pm | 14/01/12

      @Nathan
      ‘Abbott is a pit bull.’
      Should wear a dangerous dog’s collar ?

    • Gregg says:

      11:05pm | 14/01/12

      @ Forever Lost everywhere anytime,

      Tones still has you worried a bit mate don’t he and he probably worries the shit out of the Labor machine hence all the leadership runs soiling their undies.
      You might also like to recall just who it was that has brought the Ruddster down once and will do so again if need be.

      Even without Tones, all thinking Australians know what an Albino geek he is, one that throws tantrums and has the greatest of inferiority complexes, and that from a Queenslander.

    • I, Juliar says:

      06:11am | 14/01/12

      Rudd and Gillard are as bad as each other.
      The other self-believers, those irritating union hacks promoted way beyond their competencies - Shorten and Combet, would be even worse.  None of these current Labor failures with their wasted $$$$billions and hideously failed policies have what it takes.
      It seems they have “disappeared” Julia Gillard - limiting her public “appearances” to limit the damage her image and droning (or screeching) voice does to their polling.
      Labor is so utterly rock-bottom they even have to hide her.
      The juvenile Rudd might well stab Gillard, but my hope is that they will all stab each other and get it over with.

    • acotrel says:

      08:19am | 14/01/12

      Are you deaf?  How long do you believe the Australian public will continue to tolerate ‘NAH !  NAH !  NAH !’ ? ? ?
      Krushev used to do the same thing in the UN - bang his shoe on the table and cry ‘NYET ! NYET !’ - different language - SAME MESSAGE !’ -
      Both idiots ! !

    • Rose says:

      10:37am | 14/01/12

      And yet they don’t come close to being as despicable as Howard or Abbott. Kevin Andrews, Bronwyn Bishop, Phillip Ruddock, Angela Vanstone,,,all disgraceful.
      See two can play this game!!

    • Against the Man says:

      12:32pm | 14/01/12

      Rudd and Gillarrd are terrible politicians. Why didn’t Rudd last a term? One bloody term. Why is Gillard scoring record low in the polls for over a year? IF the ALPers can’t justify those points they are all full of the usual ALP crap. HaHaHaHa too funny watching the ALP drama! Instead of governing this country they are acting like teenagers in some TV show. Shameful and pathetic the ALP have become smile

    • Coop says:

      02:18pm | 14/01/12

      There we go again… someone makes a comment relating the article so acotrel immediately goes on a rant about the opposition.
      You are an embarrassment to yourself mate and to Labor supporters. Are you really that stupid and that one eyed that you can’t hold a the government up to critical review.
      Like them or hate them, the opposition are irrelevant to this discussion

    • nihonin says:

      06:14am | 14/01/12

      The soap opera continues for 70% Australia and the sycophants rejoice.

    • Erick says:

      06:15am | 14/01/12

      Fighting over who gets to be captain of the Titanic.

      The Labor brand has been spoiled for years by these two tossers, Rudd and Gillard. Voters aren’t even paying attention any more; just waiting until 2013 so they can toss the tossers out.

    • Ben says:

      10:22am | 14/01/12

      “Fighting over who gets to be captain of the Titanic.”  exactly!!!

    • Alec says:

      02:30pm | 14/01/12

      Harry Jenkins’ Xmas present seems to have finally done wonders for those who were still in denial.

    • Against the Man says:

      06:25am | 14/01/12

      What can I say. Bye, bye Gillard. Welcome back Ruddy smile

      Remember the carbon tax yer’ll!!!!!!!!!!

    • nossy says:

      08:37am | 14/01/12

      @Against the Man   you are starting to sound nervous ATM - not looking too good for your Dr NO is it fella - ohh well the Libs will elect someone else as dear Leader - maybe old Bronny Bishop might like a go hahhha Ohh how sweet it is!

    • acotrel says:

      08:39am | 14/01/12

      Tony Abbott would make a great PM ?  What a bloody insult to our intelligence that is !

    • Against the Man says:

      12:26pm | 14/01/12

      nossy….acotrel…...really like having you guys here. No, I mean it. You guys are the best of the minority ALPers and that is really sad in a good sort of way I guess. I hope you read the rest of the comments here, not much support for the ALP cause and that is reflected on a national level. Keep it up guys, I’ll throw you a lifesaver cause that ALP ship is sinking fast wink

    • Borderer says:

      08:45am | 16/01/12

      Nossy,
      Yeah, not too good leading by 12 points in the polls actually looks great.

    • DaS Energy says:

      06:46am | 14/01/12

      If that photo is taken in resturant they must be eating of the ceiling, theres not a table on floor. Bloke on the left is wearing a backpack maybe he brought his own picnic table and chair.
      But back to story such a sad fella old Kev is these days iso in need of public looking at me he even pays for it now by booking the most popular resturant at the most popular time. Bet he checked they didnt buy into pink batts before going there.

    • cheap white trash says:

      07:32am | 14/01/12

      WOW it just goes to show you that 99% of pollies dont have a moral backbone ,what we go from Rudd to Gillard back to Rudd,gee that says a lot about the Labor Party,from Dumb to Dumber…...
      What i dont get is that Rudd started the whole Labor Party spiral into the depths of the sewer,and they want to bring him back,and these people run our country,god help us,because the Labor Party wont.

      Beware of Politicians Bearing Gifts.
      This Labor Party tragedy will continue to unfold. will it be good for Australia?

    • Against the Man says:

      12:37pm | 14/01/12

      This is Gillard/Rudd actually destroying the ALP brand beyond repair. I can’t believe that the ALPers can’t see the enemy within their own ranks…....or maybe they don’t want to wink

    • Holly says:

      08:03am | 14/01/12

      Oh no just when we thought all this speculative drivel had gone away it starts again.  Your article outlines well why we should never ever contemplate having K Rudd as leader again.  Tony Abbott is a Kevin Rudd personality clone. The very last thing Australia needs is for either of these psychologically warped characters to be in charge.

    • Coop says:

      02:28pm | 14/01/12

      “Tony Abbott is a Kevin Rudd personality clone.” .... that’s one Ive never heard before. Probably because it’s so utterly wrong. You’d be hard pressed to find two less similar personalities.

    • Mik says:

      12:22pm | 14/01/12

      If there’s a spill, neither will win - Shorty will walk out the victor.

    • Robert Smissen of country SA says:

      12:06am | 15/01/12

      Will Australia have it’s own Pravda under Shorten

    • Gravelly says:

      12:37pm | 14/01/12

      Call an election Gillard! Both houses, now! Clear the swill from both houses, and let’s return to good Liberal government, led by the magnificent Tony Abbot. By the way, KRudds done well for a kid who grew up in a car!

    • Shane says:

      02:25pm | 14/01/12

      @Gravelly

      The trick to satire is not to make it too obvious.

    • Martin says:

      12:38pm | 14/01/12

      Now the Labor desperates are trying to suggest Abbott and Rudd are tarred with the same brush. Hahhahahahahhahahahahhahha.

    • Richard says:

      01:13pm | 14/01/12

      Although leadership is always very theatrical, either way’s fine with me. Julia Gillard will continue to do a great job, or Kevin Rudd will do a great job again. Win, win.

    • Margie says:

      09:35am | 16/01/12

      Richard,  you jest of course…Blind Freddy would do a better job than either of those two.

    • Anjuli says:

      01:34pm | 14/01/12

      Maybe the ALP will oust Gillard 6 months before the next election , to ride on the wave of popularity of the honey moon period ,people do have short memories.

    • nossy says:

      02:58pm | 14/01/12

      @Anjuli   your a thinker fella - anyway Abbotts GONE!  hahah Ohhh how sweet it is!!

    • nossy says:

      03:14pm | 14/01/12

      ““My holidays are not as important as sorting this out, but we can only sort it out if the government is prepared to take a position,” - so said Abbott re the Asylum seeker matter just before Christmas making political capital from the misery of others. THEN last week whilst Abbott was still on holidays this poor excuse for a National Leader FAILED to attend the 1 year QLD Flood ceremonies which of course PM Gillard attended! Unbelievable! But not unexpected - remember how he toured the flood stricken areas a year ago,made soothing sounds to the affected,  returned to Sydney and the very next day OPPOSED the Flood Levy! I give you the weakest person EVER, EVER to lead the Liberal Party ladies and gentlemen - Tony Abbott!

    • nihonin says:

      12:08am | 15/01/12

      Ah yeah he did oppose the Flood Levy (tax), I agree with him as well.  Why should anybody earning over $50,000.00 pay an extra tax, because the Qld government were too broke to pay the premiums for insurance on infrastructure only, not to assist people.  People donated their own money to assist others, the Qld government then sat on the money, till the people demanded it be distributed to those who needed it.

    • marley says:

      07:36am | 15/01/12

      No, the weakest would be the ALP government which refused to insure its infrastructure, thereby requiring the rest of Australia to bail it, not the people, out.

    • Northern Steve says:

      05:55pm | 16/01/12

      Maybe Bligh forgot to invite him.

      Of course, had he been there, you’d be crying foul about Abbott trying to muscle in on something he wasn’t a part of

    • stephen says:

      03:43pm | 14/01/12

      He can’t come back.
      Julia’s learning, and we are still on the right track.

    • Ian1 says:

      12:55am | 15/01/12

      Unity within the Labor party?  Hardly, with the exception of our Union fees and career Union apologists, they’re just a party with two B-grade actors pulling itself in opposing directions.  Neither of whom are free from the insidious influence of their Director. Bob “Hollywood” Brown.

    • Margie says:

      07:51am | 16/01/12

      Rose -Please remind me.  I remember the very competent Amanda Vanstone, but I don’t seem to remember Angela Vanstone.  Was she Amanda’s daughter?  We need pollies of Amanda’s calibre in Government - she had guts to do the correct thing & stood no nonsense. She called a spade a bloody shovel.  She also had common sense in spades - something very lacking in this current Government.

    • Tim Cahalan says:

      04:10pm | 18/01/12

      i agree with acotrel. Rudd is yesterdays man and Labor mp’s are smart enough to know that a second challenge could finish the party at the next election.

    • Skittlesz says:

      02:06pm | 08/02/12

      Mercurius@101I stluae your comment for its sheer elegance, pertinence and economy of language.

 

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From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

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