“Let’s own this spill people!”. Retail politics Rudd-style
Kevin Rudd is on a plane, which makes it hard to campaign for the prime ministership. So in the absence of media attention today he’s relied on the two most important women in his life - his wife Therese Rein, and his daughter Jessica Rudd.
Rein did a doorstop just after Julia Gillard’s press conference today where the former first lady urged people to call their local ALP member and tell them who to vote for in next Monday’s Caucus ballot. But tonight Ms Rudd made an even more unorthodox intervention in the bloody battle.
Writing on the website Mamamia, Jessica Rudd donned some literary pom poms and cheered on readers to “Tweet something. Rant on Facebook. Put a video on YouTube. Put a sign on your front fence. Have a chat with your neighbour. Tell your friends. Email your local MP. Ring them up. Stop them at the news agent and make them listen. Call your local radio station. Have a rally Vote in an online poll. Write a song about it. Get on Mamamia and say, ‘OMG she’s just saying that because she’s KRudd’s daughter.’”
This leadership ballot is happening in caucus, the group of 103 Labor MPs and senators we elected, but that doesn’t mean it is not our vote. We are their employers. My Dad works for me. I often remind him of that. He is my local member and I helped put him there. I walked into a church hall and in the privacy of a polling booth I put a one next to his name. You’re all employers too. You might not be related to your employees, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have access to them. When they aren’t doing their jobs, you can tell them. When they are misbehaving, you can reprimand them.
We are not a passive audience in a crowded cinema with popcorn on our laps waiting for the previews to end. We are participants. We have a voice and I think we should bloody well use it. Get up and say something. Say it loudly. Be heard. You might think Julia Gillard is the ant’s pants. Fab. Say it. You might think my Dad is ace. Cool. Write it. You might think everyone sucks. Scream it.
Her rah rah piece sits awkwardly alongside the crusty-by-comparison ministers such as Martin Ferguson and Robert McClelland who came out in support of a Rudd-return this afternoon. But it’s unlikely to be the maverick actions of an overexcited daughter.
For all it’s “rad”, “fab” and “cool” rhetoric, the message in Jessica Rudd’s piece mirrored exactly that of her mother earlier today and her father before that.
Rudd Snr is banking on public support to scare the Caucus into getting behind him.
I hope Labor MPs are ready for the barrage of Tweets, emails and Facebook messages Rudd Jnr may have just provoked.
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