Campaign countdown: The mouse that (almost) roared
Chris Trevor is as mad as hell but after a bit of a think he’s decided that he’s going to keep on taking it some more.
Julia Gillard is facing her first outbreak of Rudd-related and faction-related niggle since winning the leadership just on three weeks ago, with little-known Queensland backbencher and Rudd loyalist Chris Trevor going public to denounce the treatment of the former PM and warn it will cost Labor seats in the Sunshine State.
The one downside with Mr Trevor’s stand is that it isn’t really much of a stand as all - as, quite pathetically, Mr Trevor said that he was so bitterly angry about the treatment of Kevin Rudd that he thought about quitting and has now decided not to. Stands don’t get much lamer than that. You’d be generous giving it a three out of 10.
“It is no secret that I think the way various factional bosses treated former prime minister Kevin Rudd was absolutely disgraceful,” Mr Trevor said.
“I also think it’s pretty disgraceful the way they have tried to destroy his character and his achievements since they got rid of him. I ask that the attacks on Kevin Rudd stop now.”
But Mr Trevor’s rage at what he calls the “absolutely disgraceful” treatment of Mr Rudd is not so acute that he’s going to give up his political career. He told his local paper The Gladstone Observer that a long phone call from his new leader Julia Gillard had convinced him to stay.
Whatever you say about his Mal Meninga-style stand, Trevor’s comments have highlighted two nagging questions which Labor must address as it heads into the campaign. Is the residual sympathy towards Kevin Rudd over his brutal treatment sizeable enough and strong enough to affect the poll? Specifically, is it an issue in his home state, and particularly in Brisbane?
In the piece I linked to above, journalist Matt Franklin (who worked for years covering Queensland politics) writes in The Australian that Coalition figures in his home state believe Queensland is “now in play” after Rudd’s knifing.
And the comments from the public on this piece on Chris Trevor in Brisbane’s Courier Mail also suggest that some Queenslanders are still smarting at the local boy’s treatment by Caucus.
A sample: Phil of Samford wrote “Love him hate him , Rudd did something for Labor no one else could lead them out of the wilderness after 13 years against a Prime Minister that had done basically nothing wrong .Credit where credit is due .Someone called Pickle wrote “(Rudd’s) supporters on FB and Twitter, and his supporters at home in Griffith know how hard he worked. And even if you don’t like Mr Rudd or his leadership style or his policies, as a former PM of this country, he deserves respect.”
There were many more that were just as positive.
More broadly, the waiting game continues as to when Julia will visit the GG. There’s some significant economic housekeeping today with Treasurer Wayne Swan set to release revised budget figures taking in the changes to the mining tax, which Phil Hudson writes about here in The Herald Sun.
As for the election speculation we quite enjoyed this spray from the generally becalmed Ross Gittins in the SMH today where he unloads on the arbitrary haste towards an election. He also gives a massively uncharitable assessment of Julia Gillard’s performance thus far over her “hasty, amateurish patch-up jobs” on the mining tax and border protection. On the latter, Nauru has re-emerged as our nnew potential processing centre/dumping ground, and you can read about that at all the news sites.
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