Note: Kevin Rudd gave his first interview since losing the leadership last night, which Leo Shanahan looks at in the next post. With Labor struggling in Queensland, I spent the first few days of this week in The Sunshine State talking to voters in the seats of Griffith and Longman, and trying fruitlessly to interview the former PM. The anti-Labor sentiment in Rudd’s home state was identified by Newspoll yesterday and is born out in the piece below focussing on Rudd’s seat.
Where's Kev? A rare Rudd sighting in Griffith.

There are no posters, no balloons, no “Vote One” vans, no army of volunteers handing out leaflets for the candidate. On the day I arrived, even the street leading to the electorate office had been shut down, after a bizarre accident where a man suffered a heart attack, and while the ambulance was tending to him, a truck came around the corner and smashed into the back of ambulance.

The electorate office is stuck between a Blockbuster video store and a pet shop and it has a small yellow sign out front which reads “Kevin Rudd: Standing up for the Southside.”

It’s a lowbrow setting for a man who just four weeks ago was running a nation but who now, adding injury to insult, is not even in his electorate office but at home recovering from an operation on his gall bladder.

Southside: But no Rudd in da house.

In the course of a day of conversation with voters in Kevin Rudd’s inner-Brisbane seat, the overriding sense you get is that they feel dudded and disenfranchised by what was done to their local member.

It’s not that the people of Griffith are marching in the streets demanding the local member’s reinstatement as PM. There are no vigils being held, no petitions doing the rounds. I only find one house with a Rudd poster on it (from 2007) and when I knock on the door an old man answers, and I tell him I’d like to talk to him about his support for the former PM.

I wouldn’t say I’m a supporter of him, I was a branch member many years ago and they still had my name and they asked me if I would put a couple of posters on my fence, so I said I would. The other night some drunk kids coming back from the pub bent one of them in half. I should probably fix it. But I don’t really care about politics much these days, and I’m in the middle of making my bed so I don’t really want to do an interview. All I would say is I feel sorry for him with what they did to him, it was pretty bloody ordinary.

The perceived pretty-bloody-ordinariness of Rudd’s removal is something which is identified repeatedly across his seat, whether they liked the job he was doing or not.

Abiding by the rule that if you can’t say anything nice about someone don’t say anything at all, one lady tells me she won’t go on the record because she “couldn’t stand” Rudd. She says that when he went to a fundraiser at her daughter’s school on the Saturday of week one of the campaign, he had no cash on him to make a donation, promised to come back later, and had not been since. “For me that was the measure of the man,” she said. “But I still don’t think what they did to him was fair.”

Temp worker Carolyn Watschur and her semi-retired husband, part-time cabbie Jack Watschur, aren’t Rudd supporters either.

The Watschurs didn't love Rudd but disagreed with his removal.

Carolyn says:

I think he’s very arrogant, an upstart, when he’s being interviewed it’s always “just let me say that I will check into that and get back to you at a later stage” which really gets on my nerves. But I still really disagree with the way Gillard and her gang of three went about getting rid of him. At this election I can honestly say that we have not received any literature at all from him in our letterbox. He’ll get back in anyway, and there might be a bit of a sympathy vote there because the way they knocked him off was ordinary.

Jack agrees with his wife. 

I don’t know how Labor has been getting here but they have been, especially at the state level. I definitely think there might be a sympathy vote for him though. It’s going to make some people less likely to support Julia Gillard.

The Watschurs were in the minority in this seat, where most people talked about Rudd favourably both as a local member and as prime minister. Jessica Beurman-Bett, 30, a drama lecturer at Griffith University, captures the vibe best. “It’s the Kevin Rudd Fan Club around here,” she says.
Jessica and her husband sent the former PM a condolence email.

“He was doing a great job under very difficult circumstances. He became PM in a very difficult time and was given such a short amount of time to prove his worth. I have to say I cried, my husband and I both cried. I felt really bad for him, somehow I felt it was a bit underhanded. We both got on the internet straight away and tried to send him an email telling him he had our support.”

State public servant Kay Balke, 53, said that while Rudd had “lost his way” nothing could justify the party doing what it did.

Power, but not to the people: public servant Kay Balke.

“It was like they took power out of the public’s hands. It just seemed lousy. It was vicious. I think people were taken aback. I think Julia Gillard must be, gee, so incredibly ambitious to go through and do what she did to him.”

Mark Ruwoldt, 36, a computer program director described the coup as “pretty rude”. Real estate manager Margaret Harris, 60, said: “Gee whiz they didn’t waste any time putting the knife in his back, shouldn’t that have been up to the people?” Retiree Christine Nelson said: “Kevin Rudd was the person we voted for, and I think there is something wrong with our system if more than half of the people voted for him, then why should a handful of men, treacherous men, be able to go against that choice? We didn’t vote for them.”

And on and on. In Rudd’s own seat, the sense that the voters were duded by the factions will obviously be more pronounced. It also takes on a State of Origin tone here in Queensland, where the observation that the Brisbane boy was stripped of the top job by factional players from Sydney and Melbourne comes up repeatedly.

Peter White is drinking with half a dozen mates at The Colmslie Hotel who work as painters and dockers at the Port of Brisbane. Pretty much all of them are Labor to their Blundstone boot straps. But they have got the shits with the party over what it did to Rudd.

The boys after work: that lot down south knocked off our prime minister.

Peter says:

It was factional rubbish. It’s a bit rough that it was all that lot down south who were pulling all the strings, that Arbib bloke and the rest of them.

His wharfie mate John Clotworthy agrees, and is not the first person in the seat to question the constitutionality of what Caucus did.

How does it work out that we vote him in as prime minister and they kick him out, not us? Is it even legal for them to do that? Why did they even do it? Is it just because of the media, the polls? Where do they get those polls from anyway? It was bullshit.

The worrying thing for Labor – and it’s something they clearly did not think about at any great length ahead of June’s coup – is that there might be an enduring national sense that Kevin Rudd, regardless of whether he was a halfwit or a hero, should not have been removed as prime minister by the party but by the people.

On the night of the coup one Labor backbencher likened it to “NSW coming to Canberra” – a shocking comparison where the factions subjected the voters to three premiers in three years and can now reflect on the fruits of their efforts in the form of a 25 per cent primary vote.

Who knows what will happen in a couple of Saturdays. Should Labor lose, Kevin Rudd will no doubt argue that the knife the party stuck in his back was the same one it used to slash its wrists.

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    • Super D says:

      06:22am | 05/08/10

      “Standing up for the Southside” is perhaps the most modest slogan ever to be associated with Kevin Rudd. 

      Just months ago he was standing up for the planet, for refugees, for stimulus spending, for Australia’s working families, for a fair share of our nations mineral resources and for every other focus group approved notion that passed across his desk.

      Every time he sees his own signs he must get a painful reminder that he used to stand up for so much more before the electorate realised he basically stood for nothing.

      If I was a resident of the southside I would be wondering if Kevin really was going to stand up for me.

    • Russell says:

      07:28am | 05/08/10

      he should have stayed in bed.
      maybe he is going for the sympathy vote

    • Tom says:

      07:53am | 05/08/10

      Sympathy, for what? He was not exactly overflowing with kindness towards the Australian public or workers who were stupid enough to trust him. Throw him out.

    • John Jones says:

      07:30am | 05/08/10

      Listening to his interview on the radio you could tell that he has lost it, the will to fight, sickness or not the tone was defeatist , he should rest on his laurels and retire gracefully to either the private sector or the UN.

    • Rudd wants me to forget Pink Batts? says:

      07:32am | 05/08/10

      Speaking to Adams last night Kevin Rudd suggested that a change of government would be by “default”.  His clarification is timely.

      In the current context he obviously considers “default” as the result of the presiding incompetent, infighting government under its power-hungry, mind-changing Prime Minister Gillard.  How much of Rudd-Gillard’s past failures have to be listed before Rudd realises that it wasn’t just his knifing by opportunistic union heavies that sicken observers, it was all their disrespectful deeds as an entity.

      Rudd’s hospital tea-lady’s friendly “Kevvie” obviously appealed to his unusual ego, that pretentious “working families” jargon.  Rudd appears to be the richest man in our parliament.  Fat cat unionists who waved him goodbye are no different today than yesterday. 

      Working families, moving forward,  Kevin Rudd personifies and reminds me of everything ugly in Labor’s recent past.  Pink batts and four lost lives.  Gillard’s incompetent education portfolio - kids today mercilessly bullied because their local peers’ constantly remind them of internet published lower school ratings.  Teachers told her, but Gillard’s fixation would not be moved, even when education professionals did their best.

      Rudd’s ongoing addiction to notoriety personifies this government’s historically incompetent term of office.  The more things change for Rudd, the more they remain the same.

    • Rosie says:

      09:01am | 05/08/10

      My exact sentiments!

      His pathetic excuse to his mate Philip Adams “Well, the bottom line is I can’t just stand idly by at the prospect of Mr Abbott sliding into office by default.” only proves what a self serving, attention seeking and ambitious so and so he is.

      This election was never about the people of Australia it is about Dithery Dillard, the assassinator and pathetic I love me Kevin 0 Ten the victim who are both hungry for power. Off course they have no choice but now to become paly paly and hope to now gain sympathy votes. Scraping the bottom of the barrel if you ask me!

      The Southsiders because they are 3 weeks behind everyone else should stop feeling sorrying for Kevin0Ten and pay more attention to why the Labor Party got rid of their candidate, someone the party thought was not performing.

    • Rose says:

      11:47pm | 05/08/10

      He was actually referring to the idea that people would vote against Labor in protest to the way he was ousted as PM and that because of that Abbott could slip in as PM. Rudd is right, that would be a national tragedy.

    • Jack says:

      07:34am | 05/08/10

      I live in Griffith and apart from one campaign letter Kevin has been relatively non-existent around here the last 4 years. That being said there’s no way I’m going to vote for the coalition, the running candidate was thrown in the ring about 2 weeks ago, the last time she went to Canberra was probably on a school excursion. Atleast Kevin has some experience and weight in Australian politics. It’s also a little unlucky that he’s been ill before the election. I think we will see the Greens getting more votes than ever in this seat, because there’s absolutely no way the coalition are going to win the battle of Griffith. Sorry Penbo..

    • BobM says:

      10:39am | 05/08/10

      Jack votes Labor in spite of the BER, DER, Pink Batts including 4 deaths, watered down mining tax, no feasibility study into NBN, failed fuel watch, failed grocery watch, waste of time and money 20/20 summit, ‘greatest moral challenge of our time’ climate policy, etc.

      Just goes to show…....

    • Robert Smissen, rural SA, God's own country says:

      12:12pm | 05/08/10

      You are soooooooo right Bob M, sentiments like this just shows why you shouldn’t marry your cousin or half sister.

    • Brad Coward says:

      12:22pm | 05/08/10

      As I have said in the past, Jack, a rusted on Labor voter would vote for a 5kg bag of spuds if it was put forward as the Labor candidate.  The Labor candidate as you yourself say, has been virtually non-existent in the electorate.  But you will give your vote to a candidate who has proven himself to be completely useless.

      Goodness me !  At least the 5kg bag of spuds could be turned into chips, so not completely useless as a Labor candidate !

    • All_the_best says:

      07:42am | 05/08/10

      Get well soon Kevin the country still needs you.

    • Joan says:

      08:06am | 05/08/10

      Gillard needs him….not the country. Remember Rudd was knifed because he was on the nose with the electorate .,  Gillard has turned out to be another rotten apple served from the same Labor rotten barrel.  Toss them out!

    • BobM says:

      08:54am | 05/08/10

      Yeah, as they said on The Chaser last night , “Kev’s been under the knife twice in the last month” - no wonder he’s feeling a bit under the weather!  And our country still needs you - but only to campaign with Julia as a reminder that you used to be the PM before the Red Terror took the job from you.

    • Against the Man says:

      07:44am | 05/08/10

      The ALP has shown no respect to Queenslanders (as well as the rest of Australia). Queenslanders need to vote Labor out and send a message that they won’t be rat - f**ked by the Gillard government.

    • Harriet says:

      08:29am | 05/08/10

      Against the Man is that a pseudonym for A Downer, I thought I recognised the language.

    • Diamantina Dick says:

      07:47am | 05/08/10

      Further evidence for the theory that the execution of Rudd was a Republican plot to promote the policy of a directly elected President!

    • Joan says:

      08:00am | 05/08/10

      Labor has revealed that beneath, all the spin, sheen, Face book, twitter it is rotten at the core. The fact that they don’t understand the people and their relationship to the PM , that they don’t value the peoples vote at the ballot, that they think the peoples vote is only of value on election day. indicates they shouldn’t be in governent - they don’t understand the people they want to represent.

    • Harriet says:

      08:33am | 05/08/10

      Joan, Howard was an advocate for the electorate choosing the leader(when it suited him), and as Costello would say to the party. Look where that got you.

    • T.Chong says:

      08:33am | 05/08/10

      Joan, time to put away the tears. Rudd has moved on , now its time for you also, even though yur grief has being very moving..
      Maybe the stress and outrage you feel is because of Howard.
      The “Lying Rodent”- ( thanks ,Mr C. Pyne) decided to hang around far past his use by date, thinking he was greater than the Coalition, hence the defeat, including the shame of loosing his own seat.
      Perhaps the ALP decided that the politician was not greater thanthe party?
      And if the LNP had have had such guts, instead of letting Howard sink, then maybe they would have retained office.

    • The Badger says:

      09:21am | 05/08/10

      And the conservatives do?

    • Joan says:

      10:07am | 05/08/10

      It`s about the voters….something both Liberal and Labor pollies should learn—- respect the voter

    • Faul Kinell says:

      08:26am | 05/08/10

      People have very short memories. The GFC was met head on by the government with quick decisive action, may have overspent in the urgency but the point is we survived without massive unemployment. The pink batts issue was unscruplus operaters being trusted to do the right thing then rorting disgracfully. As for the so called “school halls debarcle”, our local primary school principle is over the moon about 6 extra classrooms being built by local builders for excellent value after years of making do with transportables. So to my mind, hiccups yes, but infrastructure finally being built for the future when Howard just sat on and gloated about being debt free and budget in surplus without making that money work for the national good.

    • The Scarlet Pimpernel says:

      09:45am | 05/08/10

      Billions of dollars of this money was wasted. Now, given that it was a stimulus package, many of us would not have minded had the chippies, plasterers and small local companies made a few bucks. However, several (Labor) state governments dicatated that bids could only come from certain companies (foreign-owned multi-nationals) and THEY got our tax dollars in the form of increased profits. 

      I haven’t seen a reliable figure yet, but I understand anecdotally that it is between $5Billion and $8Billion out of the total of $16Billion that was rorted.

    • fairsfair says:

      10:28am | 05/08/10

      Paul, we would have dove into recession without that “budget in surplus”. One of the main reasons we are ok is due to the prime position we were in when it all started to fall apart. I agree - the spending was required and they did overspend - but you can’t give Labor all the glory for keeping us afloat as without that nest egg lil Johnny left us - we would have been stuffed. The coalition would have spent in response to the downturn and kept us going - just not as much waste would have occurred.

    • Faul Kinell says:

      10:53am | 05/08/10

      SP, Foreign owned multinationals? Don’t make me laugh!
      Perkins Builders constructing our local primary school extentions are VERY local here in Bunbury, SW WA.
      Also to imply up to 8 billion of 16 billion (50%) has been rorted is outragous and I suspect when the report comes out you will not believe the figures anyway!

    • The Scarlet Pimpernel says:

      11:17am | 05/08/10

      @ Faul Kinell

      1. Perkins won a meager $53 Million worth of those contracts.
      2. WA does not have an ALP Govt (see my previous comment) and WA has been to all intents and purposes excluded from any comments on rorting by the ongoing investigation.
      3. Baulderstone (owned by Bilfinger Berger) and Bovis Lend Lease won probably more contracts than any other single companies.

    • Richard says:

      12:32pm | 05/08/10

      I will straight up make the assertion that Australia would be in a stronger position right now if the stimulus measures were never taken. Since we can’t go back in time and change things to prove it my assertion is just as valid as yours Faul Kinnell, which you trumpet about as if its an undeniable truth, but lets look at this rationally.

      For a start, our exports and balance of trade remained robustly strong during the whole period of 2008-2009, due from demand from China for resources. This had nothing to do with stimulus programs, in fact the $900 cash handouts were spent in good proportion on foreign imported goods, therefore weakening our balance of trade and damaging the economoy.

      My other point is that recession is not a terrible, disasterous outcome that we had to be “saved” from. One former Labor PM himself (Keating), led Australia into “the recession thay we had to have”, and the economy grew stronger because of it: it set us up for the boom that followed.

      Recessions are NECESSARY to structurally rebalance an ecomony that has grown bloated on excess credit consumption. By replacing private borrowing with public borrowing, all the Government has done is delayed the day of reckoning, which will be all the more severe for the delay they made instead of facing our problems head on and rebuilding our national savings.

    • Randal says:

      02:21pm | 05/08/10

      @Faul, stimulus accounted for 0.8% of Australia’s growth over the past 12 months out of growth rate of 1.7%, without stimulus Australia would have grown by 0.9%, and in reality the only stimulus that hit the economy was the cash handout which impacted the retail market.

      Stimulus spending on pink batts, whilst having a fatal effect upon people’s lives and a combustive effect upon people’s homes, had ZERO effect upon the economy.

      Likewise the much rorted BER spending had little impact as per the A-G report and current economic studies which clearly found that the financial benefit has yet to hit the economy as many contracts are yet to be completed.

      So any notion that Labor somehow saved this nation from recession is pure folly, it was the strong financial position of Australia, the quicker than expected recovery in the Chinese economy that kept Australia out of the financial quagmire, and had the ALP reigned in the spending we would be looking at a surplus by 2011/12 and would not be carrying the 100+ billion dollar public debt that they have no plan to pay off.

      Labor’s legacy is one of economic panic and debacle and to this point I quote the outgoing Minister Finance Lindsay Tanner:

      “We were in a crisis… and did not have the time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s…”

      With that attitude coming from a Senior Minister responsible for finance is it little wonder that this government has been overrun with waste and economic mismanagement and looking most likely to be only the second government in our political history to serve just a single term.

    • casba says:

      08:37am | 05/08/10

      I’m with you Against the Man! Off with all their heads!

    • Andrew says:

      08:45am | 05/08/10

      Until very recently Labor would not have been concerned about Griffith at all. It would have been considered sufficient to say “our local member is the PM”. People forget that those holding higher office are STILL local members.

    • Macca says:

      09:06am | 05/08/10

      I felt sorry for Rudd after he was removed as PM. However, once again he uttered the words “can I just say this” and that was it. My sorrow has all but vanished. I would have liked to think the betrayal would have released him from the Shackles of public spin language. Apparently not

      Underneath the facade there appears to be a Good, Hard Working ambitious Australian who wants to do his best for his country. And underneath that is a slimy, powerhungry arrogant and pompous toss who lost touch with reality a long time ago. The product of the ALP when its not one of their own

    • Robert Smissen, rural SA, God's own country says:

      12:19pm | 05/08/10

      Hard working? ? ? Unambitious? ? ? You must be talking about someone else mate, the little bugger has never raised a sweat in his life

    • Jo says:

      09:13am | 05/08/10

      This is not the US - we do not have a President and you do not vote for a Prime Minister.  Articles like this confuse the situation - why didn’t you focus on who else is standing in Rudd’s electorate?  That is more relevant to Rudd losing or holding his seat.

    • BobM says:

      10:49am | 05/08/10

      @Jo - if people can’t work out that they vote for their local member, not the Prime Minister, then perhaps they shouldn’t be voting at all.

    • TIMFROMTHETOPEND says:

      12:45pm | 05/08/10

      I dont remember the slogan being ALP 07!

    • Richard says:

      01:12pm | 05/08/10

      But they vote for their local member on the basis of who their local member will vote for in parliament. If you can’t work that out Bob then you shouldn’t be voting at all.

    • BobM says:

      02:16pm | 05/08/10

      @Richard, I don’t think some people are that bright - I’m sure there will be some people looking for ‘Julia Gillard’ on their ballot paper and scratching their heads when they can’t find it.  And even if ‘they vote for their local member on the basis of who their local member will vote for in parliament’  - if it’s the Labor party, you may not even get the PM you were expecting, eh?

    • Phil says:

      09:18am | 05/08/10

      Given her glowing reference yesterday and of recent, could M/s Gillard PLEASE EXPLAIN exactly how a good government went bad? In what areas did it go bad? What is she doing differently to make sure it would be good?

      We all know Queen Julia will not answer whether she welshed on a deal (think we know she did but thats old news now) but her apparent ability to control the debate on how things are going to be different along with a media who will not ask the tough questions, may allow her to defraud the Australian People once more.

      Pembo, why dont you get these or similar questions put to her. You have the opportunity, we dont.

    • OldGirl says:

      09:20am | 05/08/10

      I saw Kevin Rudd on tv last night or heard his interview I should say..thanks Sky News. I like Kevin and I was relieved he was ok. I must admit I was not going to vote Labor because of Kevin’s treatment but after listening to him, I may change my vote. Gee I hate this feeling of not being assured and confident with my vote. I am not in Queensland I am in N.S.W but like many N.S.W I holiday in Queensland and I think the people are fantastic. I can understand the anger they feel. Its a feeling of being cheated . I feel we were robbed. Anyway hope I will sort out how I feel before the election. Have a good day all

    • Arthur Spencer says:

      09:23am | 05/08/10

      As a Queenslander I can honestly say that Griffith will re-elect Rudd, but that will be about it.

      No Labor seat in QLD is safe. We have had a state government that has tore us to shreds and quite frankly we can see the similarities between this federal government and our state government. The promises, the spin and the lies are all too familiar, the Bligh government is about to sell off half our assets because they have run out of money but she failed to mention it in the last election campaign.

      Only the hardcore left will vote for the ALP in QLD this time around, the green vote will be significant but if people use their democratic power they may not preference Labor which would well and truly spell the end for them.

      Good article David a big improvement from the No means No rubbish.

    • loxy says:

      01:54pm | 05/08/10

      I beg to differ Arthur on your comment that ‘only the hardcore left will vote ALP’. I am a swinging voter and as such fairly moderate in my views and I’ll be voting ALP this Federal Election. Why? Because the thought of Tony Abbott running this country terrifies me! He is a fundamentalist through and through who right now is doing his best to pretend he isn’t in order to give himself the best chance of being elected - unbelievably it appears to be working.

    • Randal says:

      03:08pm | 05/08/10

      @loxy

      Based on your comments I think the only parties that you would swing between would be between the Greens and the ALP.

      The use of the term “terrifies” and “fundamentalist” was what gave you away.

    • Bring on another party says:

      01:15am | 06/08/10

      Too right Randal, re: Loxy. Probably the only thing swinging there are the two raisons just below the brain of the little head that does all his thinking.
      If you want to vote for more of this total incompetence, don’t bite the messenger who points out you’re a numbskull.

    • Gregg says:

      09:26am | 05/08/10

      You cannot say they didn’t lay it on for you Dave with
      ” after a bizarre accident where a man suffered a heart attack, and while the ambulance was tending to him, a truck came around the corner and smashed into the back of ambulance. “
      sort of epitomising what has happened, only for Labor it was no heart attack, no accident and as for Krudd
      ” she “couldn’t stand” Rudd. She says that when he went to a fundraiser at her daughter’s school on the Saturday of week one of the campaign, he had no cash on him to make a donation, promised to come back later, and had not been since. “For me that was the measure of the man,” she said. “
      Yep, blown our money, no cash and just empty promises.

      You got your summary a little skewed though with
      ” The worrying thing for Labor – and it’s something they clearly did not think about at any great length ahead of June’s coup – is that there might be an enduring national sense that Kevin Rudd, regardless of whether he was a halfwit or a hero, should not have been removed as prime minister by the party but by the people. “

      For it’s hard to believe that too many Labor guys can think too much at all and it’ll not just be looking for Kevin after the election but a whole lot having disappeared after the Nation ditches the halfwits.
      Actually, we should as a nation be thankful to them for with Kevin they probably could have wormed their way back in as he would have had enough people still conned.
      But people crying over him!
      Well I suppose there could be a new production in the making ” Ghosts of the Corridors ” perhaps even a role for Mark and a lying snake line or two or three and Bob could be an old crooner, Keating another villain…....

      The new Julia supposedly is not about conning and if she continues to attempt standing on what she has, she is not going to be standing too well at all.

    • BobM says:

      11:14am | 05/08/10

      The only difference between the ‘old Julia’ and the ‘Real Julia’ is that the “real Julia’ doesn’t wear pearls anymore.  Apart from that, not much has changed…..

      I heard a snippet of Rudd’s interview with (super Leftie) Phillip Adams, and Rudd certaily sounded washed out and deflated - probably what happens when you’re had an unexpected knife in the back a few weeks before undergoing surgery. The human body can only take some many knife wounds.  wink

    • jb says:

      09:29am | 05/08/10

      The Labor party are clearly bipolar and as crazy as a hat full of monkeys!
      Why on earth would they bring back Rudd?
      ‘He’s lost his way that’s why we replaced him’
      ‘The Govt lost it’s way’
      Is the new Foolya Joolya trying to tell us it’s not true, the govt did’t lose it way? Kev didn’t lose his way?
      So she just knifed him for her own personal gain did she and now wants to humiliate him more?
      If Kevin Rudd was the man he says he is he should put his family first, labor didn’t give a crap about him so he should do the right thing by his daughter Jess and do the book launch with her and send a clear message to Ms Gillard.
      Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you!

    • Don says:

      10:23am | 05/08/10

      Hi jb,    I love your comment , you are so right on. ” As crazy as a hatfull of monkeys “, so right .
      Joolia did not knife him , an electoral win with him was unwinable, so kick boot him out , not that one should feel sorry for him though.
      This thing would have gladly put Australia into bondage for ever, and for so little gain.
      The whole ALP , is there anybody smart in their ranks ?

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      09:40am | 05/08/10

      Kevin is reported as pollie-speaking “The good governance of Australia is more important than bearing grudges” or somesuch twaddle. It is what he did NOT say that is important! Sure, that Australia should have a good government is far more important than him & his personal feelings. At no stage did he say, claim, intimate or in any other way that “I do NOT bear a grudge against Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan & John Faulkner all of whom stabbed me in the back” He says he is not bitter! Why then has he removed all references to the ALP &, in particular, St. Jooolya of the ALP in his election campaign?
      Just because a person is not bitter does not mean they do not bear a massive grudge against others.!!
      The grudge is there & for all his claims otherwise deep down in his heart he must be hoping that St.Jooolya will get her comeupance which if the polls, unwhich the ALP so relies, as they stand at the moment are accurate will happen on 21st August 2010.

    • jg says:

      09:48am | 05/08/10

      Apparently Gillard ‘cited Mr Rudd’s passion for public policy in many areas including ending indigenous disadvantage.’

      Wow! Rudd ended indigenous disadvantage! That one must have slipped by the media.

    • bf says:

      10:22am | 05/08/10

      I’m a Queenslander (of many many generations) - but I’m actually an Australian.  All this nonsensical stuff about ‘dudding’, it’s ignorant rubbish.  Shouldn’t we be focused on what will serve our country best - labour or liberal or the nationals or the greens or combo of these?  And once we think we’ve worked that our cast our vote in that way? If labour was going to lose under Rudd, and the ALP is your party of choice, isn’t it better to try for a leader who might be able to keep them in power?  That is if you think that Labour is a better prospect for our country. We didn’t vote for ‘Kevin Rudd’ or ‘John Howard’ during the last election.  We voted for a party. I thought Paul Pisasale was right (Radio National AM yesterday) - we need parties which have long term vision, a sense of where the country should be going, with due emphasis on infrastructure, education, health etc.  I’m not voting for ‘Julia Gillard’ or ‘Tony Abbott’ this election, I’m going to try for what I think might bring us the best results to make a fairer and more equitable and better functioning society.

    • Gregg says:

      11:41am | 05/08/10

      Just remember if you vote for the looney greens you’ll be voting Labor anyway in most places and for your sense of where we ought to be headed, think about how it can be to have all those nice personal touches but if you overuse the credit card and have to be paying more interest, all that’ll mean is you eventually have to do without something else.
      No different with government spending!
      Yep, both parties promise/indicate getting budget baklance again within a few years and only the Libs have the score on the board in doing that and yep it means having to pull the belt in and let infrastructure grow with us and not push it wildly ahead.
      Labor have the runs on the board for just spending more so believe their promises at your peril.
      Their $40+B for NBN program for example another trust us, it’ll work out but no business plan and no feasibility study.
      The Greens have no runs on the board and no idea of economics but they sound all warm and fuzzy.
      If you believe on living within your means you ought to be able to work out who to vote for.

    • MickyD says:

      10:27am | 05/08/10

      WA, NSW, QLD are all planning to dump the ALP, lets hope the rest of the country have an ounce of understanding of why the ALP has and always will be bad government.

    • gil4d says:

      11:26am | 05/08/10

      the alp should stick to what they do best opposition and leave the running of the country to the experts

    • Old Clive says:

      10:33am | 05/08/10

      I was suckered in on the foil batts and the government contribution has enabled me to contribute $2100 of my savings toward helping this country get back on its feet. Will I be voting for Labor?. Can anybody please tell me of any thing that they have done successfully since they were elected.Sure enough Rudd will get back in Griffiths, but surely the same principle applies , if John Howard had been in office for too long and Rudd has been in for the same amount of time, where are the principles of the labor voters. The aircraft are still making a lot of noise.

    • Ted says:

      10:47am | 05/08/10

      “...Abbott winning by default…”

      Hey Kev you were getting hammered before the execution and TA would be PM if you stayed so lose the ego.

      At least now Kev can tell us what JG said about pensions, maternity leave, the “leaker(Tanner)”, BER rorts, insualtion deaths, the UN job and his candidacy? The list is endless.

      So looking forward to the “show” at the ALP launch…..Hawke/Keating, Kev/Julia, will Latham show? Talk about disfunctional.

    • ted says:

      11:00am | 05/08/10

      BF - Read “Battlelines” ...............there is your long term vision for Australia acording to Tony Abbott…..terrific vision.

      Alternatively you can follow Julia Gillard’s vision which has never been articulated so it is better to look at her views of the past:

      Introduced to politics in her second year at the University of Adelaide by the daughter of a State Labor Minister, Gillard joined the Labor Club and became involved in a campaign to fight federal education budget cuts.[8][9]

      After moving to Melbourne, in 1983 Gillard became the second woman to lead the Australian Union of Students. She was also formerly the secretary of the left-wing organisation, Socialist Forum.[15]

      From 1996 to 1998, Gillard served as Chief of Staff to John Brumby, at that time the Victorian opposition leader.[3] She was responsible for drafting the affirmative action rules within the Labor Party in Victoria that set the target of preselecting women for 35 per cent of ‘winnable seats’.[16][17] She also played a role in the foundation of EMILY’s List, the pro-choice fund-raising and support network for Labor women.[18]

    • bf says:

      12:10pm | 05/08/10

      thanks Ted - I haven’t read it but I’m happy to track it down.  At the same time I think we should be talking about party vision, not leader vision - as we should be aiming at getting a consensus style government, not just the one-man-band we’ve had for the last so many years.And while we’re at it let’s try for a proper separation of powers with High Court appointments made independently of the government of the day.

    • Kevin says:

      02:14pm | 05/08/10

      In the late 70s Peter Costello was leader of the Centre Left (ALP) party at Monash University and president of the Student Union.  The point being that pollies do change their spots over time.

    • Martina says:

      11:05am | 05/08/10

      I didn’t vote for Kevin, he is in my electorate (or am I in his?) But I will say that what happened to him as wrong on many fronts. They can justify it and make it “legal” by saying that we vote for the Party not the Leader, they know better than that. Or they would not have put him out there. They used his youth, charisma (for want of a better word) and his slick way with words to get him elected and get the party in, - and then they stabbed him in the back. Didn’t seem to do them much good though. Julia in her own right might have actually been elected one day to be Prime Minister. If she now loses this election, the public will never have her back. The same applied for Kevin. I know many people who said (before he stood for election) that Kevin should one day stand for prime Minister, he showed much promise and that they would vote for Kevin as PM one day, but the time was not right, he had much to learn. In that respect, what happened to him was almost predictable. But it was wrong. It’s one thing to change leaders when in Opposition, but another, un-acceptable thing to stab a SERVING PM in the back and get rid of him without giving us a say. That nullified our vote, that said that what we wanted did not matter. (Not that it ever does, really) That can not be rewarded with a second term in leadership.

    • gigifischer says:

      11:08am | 05/08/10

      The Labor party deserves to lose comprehensively. Not because of their policies (most of which I like),  but because they are stupid. Arbib destroyed NSW Labor and then the party thought - let him lose on the feds - surprisingly with the same results!. Gillard better watch out- the “machine” has no loyalty. She will be on the scrap heap with Iemma and Rees and all the other poor namaeless bastards that Labor have destroyed in the pursuit of power.
      Kick the bastards out

    • Undecided says:

      01:16pm | 05/08/10

      Well said.  If Labor can’t get their act together and got rid of Rudd who united them in 07, then they deserve it if Libs win the election.

    • J.B. says:

      11:39am | 05/08/10

      This bloke is as thick as a brick.  It still hasn’t dawned on him that Gillard & Swan had been setting him up for months.  Look at the history of the gang of 4 when it came to different programs, look at their position now & you will soon realise what was occurring.

    • Adam Diver says:

      11:42am | 05/08/10

      The drama teacher and the public servant were big labor fans. Imagine my surprise.

    • T.Chong says:

      12:41pm | 05/08/10

      Yes Adam a drama teacher (obviosly someone in the yartz MUST be a Lefty, and someone who works for a govt must be a commie paper pusher ).
      What better possible examples to stereotype and project all yur own little prejudices onto.
      Why would that surprise anyone else, either?

    • Tails says:

      01:24pm | 05/08/10

      How about the stereotype about all Collingwood supporters being toothless morons?
      See, not all stereotypes are true. Some are half-true.

    • Adam says:

      01:46pm | 05/08/10

      Well T Chong, tell us where all these Liberal-voting teachers and public servants are!

      By the way Penbo, lovely turn of phrase here:

      “The factions subjected the voters to three premiers in three years and can now reflect on the fruits of their efforts in the form of a 25 per cent primary vote.”

    • T.Chong says:

      02:50pm | 05/08/10

      Tails, all my teeth are my own .
      Serios issue bagging The ‘Pies, specially after their magnificence over the last few games.
      Just remember those stirring words “Hooray for Collingwood…,”

    • Charles dawkins says:

      01:18pm | 05/08/10

      The biggest mistake is that Labor should have stood a proper candidate in the seat of Griffith- one who identifies himself as Labor and not in it for his own self advancement.

    • hwka says:

      01:58pm | 05/08/10

      David Penberthy had finally had his epiphany.
      I agree with all the comments from ordinary workers quoted above.
      But wait, whilst the faceless, unelected men did the dirty deed the media prepared the murder scene.
      Reflect on that for a lot more than a moment.

    • Marilyn Shepherd says:

      03:30pm | 05/08/10

      Nice to see Tony’s staff all out today but none of you are living in the real world.

      Howard started two frigging illegal wars you morons.

      Downer sat on his hands while AWB gave $300 million straight to a mass murderer.

      Ruddock tortured babies and small children for a decade.

      There was not much wrong with the insulation program except in the feeble brains of the Murdoch hacks who didn’t read Alan Hawke’s report.

      There is not much wrong with the BER except as above.

      Honest to god, the lieberals did nothing in 12 frigging years and you morons want the mad Monk who abuses dying heroes as PM.

      Rudd is not arrogant, he is not crude, he is a decent man and the interview with Philip last night shows he is a better man than any of you bastards.

    • jg says:

      07:30pm | 05/08/10

      ah marilyn, good to see you are still a bastion of politeness, humility and tolerance. Go back to writing marxist rubbish to the canberra times as you did many years ago.

      It’s sad that someone can be so bitter and twisted, You must be a lonely old woman.

    • Paul Mason says:

      12:19am | 06/08/10

      Marilyn Shepherd for Prime Minister.

    • Duz says:

      04:56pm | 05/08/10

      Pretty bloody ordinary eh…... that sums up labor 100%

    • Edward James says:

      07:09pm | 05/08/10

      The blame for the low standard of work product from Labor politicians Local Stare and Federal is owned by the rank and file labor party members. They have always been responcible. They out number their Labor politicians,  yet ignore their preselected leaders short comings. Edward James

    • Timmo says:

      01:03am | 06/08/10

      They looked like they loved here in Townsville today. Queensland voters aren’t dumb enough to vote of Abbott. That’s for sure and also Kevin’s been out on the hustings getting some votes for them.

    • Brissy says:

      10:05am | 06/08/10

      An incompetent prime minister should be voted out by the people, not by faceless, faction leaders.  I will never vote labour again. Julia Gillard is not a real woman prime minister.  She is a puppet, a little bit like the 9 days Queen.  But, she will be voted out, because we didn’t vote her in.  This election will be about democracy not faceless, faction leaders.

 

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