Politics: Macbeth style
“Out, damned spot! out” moaned the sleepwalking Lady Macbeth after the murders committed to ensure that Kingship came to Macbeth. “What will these hands never be clean”.
“Here’s the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand”.
And yet the “spot” seemed to be worn as a badge of honour on Sunday morning TV with the newly anointed Prime Minister choosing Joan Kirner giant polka dot jacket to begin her reign.
The execution of Kevin Rudd was brutal and swift. Clearly the plan to remove him was only possible if the then Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was committed to the cause as the determined beneficiary.
Failure could not be contemplated. In the language of Lady Macbeth “But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we’ll not fail”.
And fail they did not just as the corpse of King Duncan delivered Kingship the political corpse of Prime minister Rudd delivered the Prime Ministership to Julia Gillard.
“Come, come, come, come – give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone”.
The Shakespeare analogies are irresistible – be it Lady Macbeth for Julia or Julius Caesar for the rest – Treasurer Wayne Swan, Australian Workers Union National Secretary Paul Howes, former union heavies now members of Parliament.
The AWU’s withdrawal of support for Prime Minister Rudd seems to have been the catalyst – but the key players seem to have been ready.
Was Parliamentary Secretary Shorten “Yon Cassius with a lean and hungry look” Who was Casca, who was Trebonius, Ligarius, Metellus Cimber? Who Decius Brutus, Cinna? And which in particular was Marcus Brutus – the close and trusted friend of Caesar?
Were opinion polls favouring Julia Gillard, rejected by Kevin Rudd, the equivalent of the petition of Metellus Cimber rejected by Caesar. The petition was the instrument as the motive for the assassination.
The Roman conspirators claimed they acted for the good of Rome. “Did not great Julius bleed for justice sake”.
“What villain touched his body, that did stab, and not for justice”
The Labor conspirators claim they did it because in the words of Prime Minister Julia “a good government had lost it’s way” or in the words of Paul Howes, in the Sunday Telegraph
“But it was a very good week for Australia, for, as we saw on Thursday, we have a new Prime Minister who understands the concerns and needs of working people.
By the end of this year we will all have a choice about the direction of our nation – a choice made easier with a new Prime Minister”.
Mr Howes no doubt covets and will receive a spot in the Senate.
The dispensing of a serving Prime Minister is a rarity.
In modern times leaders of political parties who take their party to an election win always become the Prime Minister.
Yes, the Westminster system requires the members elected to Parliament to choose a leader who can go forward to the Governor General and state with confidence that he or she has sufficient support to have the Appropriation Bills (to have money to run the country) through the Parliament.
But in modern times that person is always the person who leads the party to victory.
Thus the people who voted Labor in 2007 believed they elected Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister even though there was a formal vote in the Labor party room to confirm him as leader.
The corollary of this belief is that only the people should have the right to topple that Prime Minister.
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