It was organised as a celebration of Australian car makers but the 250 people in the Great Hall of Parliament House found themselves witnessing a reunion of Veterans of Labor Leadership Wars.

Making himself at home

A big chunk of the event became what one attendee called “a festival of Kevin”. Kevin Rudd that is, of course.

What was designed as a rousing salute to the automotive industry had to share the focus with anti-Gillard comrades-in-arms uniting on a stage, and in videos.

And the partial takeover of the event underlined that Kevin Rudd has not been completely dismissed as the next leader of the parliamentary Labor Party, and that this is a view which exists – possibly even thrives – in some areas of business.

The usual round of deadlines said to have been imposed on Prime Minister Gillard before she is bumped from the leadership is starting again.

Latest betting is three Newspolls, and probably will be just as accurate as all the other deadlines set over the past 12 months.

However, there is a growing feeling within the ALP that the Government needs more than Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s personal unpopularity and the Coalition’s fragmented – and often inconsistent – economic policy to maintain dignity at the next election.

It might need a change of leadership. What no one can say is who or how this could be done. As long as that grey area exists, the stronger the pulse in Kevin Rudd’s leadership ambitions.

There are, in some Labor nooks, fond memories of his time as PM and they are being enhanced as they linger. Just as old soldiers block out the horrors of war and recall the good times of service.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers held their annual dinner last Monday night, on the eve of Wayne Swan’s 5th Budget.

Prime Minister Gillard couldn’t stay for the full program but agreed to give a speech and then apologise as she returned to Budget preparations. The organisers appreciated her turning up and understood the circumstances.

Industry Minister Greg Combet gave a speech as well.

But the evening was dedicated to one minister in particular, Kim Carr, now in charge of the Human Services port folio. Senator Carr had been a champion of the car industry.

He had wanted to continue to be that champion but his clashes with Ms Gillard and his support for Mr Rudd ended his chances. He was demoted.

Still, the industry wanted to show its gratitude.

He was asked who he would like to attend the dinner with him. Senator Carr nominated Kevin Rudd and Fairfax reporter Lenore Taylor, and they both accepted.

The evening’s program included two videos. Both featured Senator Carr. Equally conspicuous was Kevin Rudd. Julia Gillard was by comparison an extra in these movies.

One Labor figure, noting Mr Rudd’s Mandarin skills and the senator’s North Korean punning nickname, said: “So there was an Asian-language speaking despot, AND Kim Il Carr.”

Then Senator Carr gave an emotional speech in which he went over the policies he had attempted to deliver for the car industry, and the support he had received from one Prime Minister in particular.

“I want to make particular mention of Kevin Rudd, whose role in establishing the New Car Plan was critical,” he said, as reported by Ms Taylor in the Sydney Morning Herald the next day.

She also pointed out that the plan had included money for a green car innovation fund, but that Ms Gillard had taken its last $400 million to help pay for repair of flood damage in Queensland and elsewhere.

At the end of formal proceedings Mr Rudd and Senator Carr posed on stage, beaming for photographs as they inspected a cartoonist’s likeness.

Then this small Carr coterie left the event together into the night.

Ms Taylor reported, “It was the [former] Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd who stayed until the end…”

There is no doubt that Kevin Rudd is a stayer. 

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Most commented


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    • Onlooker says:

      06:20am | 14/05/12

      Kevin Rudd is the only who can save them, the only people who are to caught up in themselves to see this is the Labor caucus, unfortunately they are probably going to bring the Labor Party to its knees and maybe even come close to obliterating it before they even realize what they have done. The way they have treated Kevin Rudd is shameful and a good enough reason for many Australians not to vote for them, that compounded with everything else. They need wake up and smell the roses..Gillard is disliked and nothing will change that now. Kevin Rudd may not even be willing to step in now and who could blame the man?

    • Andy says:

      08:11am | 14/05/12

      I’m sure he is more likely to sit back and watch his executioner Gillard go down with the sinking ship. How sweet it is!

    • Hank says:

      08:13am | 14/05/12

      Who cares?  Rudd got what he deserved as he was an arrogant fool nobody wanted to work with and Gillard will get what she deserves at the next election.

    • Rosie says:

      08:31am | 14/05/12

      Top post Onlooker!

      I have always said that before the Labor Party begin the path to any kind of resurrection they must give back to Rudd what Gillard foolishly agreed to taking away from him to become the nation’s first female PM. Gillard’s ambitions were much bigger than the Labor Party! It is that simple, the woman must redeem herself, step down and give back to Rudd what is rightly his!

      It is journalists like Lenora Taylor, Malcolm Farr etc that are delaying the inevitable when they try and defend or excuse the indefensible. Insiders this week was pathetic and frustrating! Even the host Barry Cassidy asked; “Why is it that all the ABC stories about this Govt are somehow considered a beat up?”

    • Dissident says:

      10:19am | 14/05/12

      I don’t know, Andy. I think that if they really, really begged Ruddy hard enough, he would take the top job again and lead them to the next election.

      Inevitably if he takes over he will call an election in short order to hopefully act before the Australian people remember what an unmitigated disaster he was. Also, the party would likely compel him to go to an election early because the righteous vengence that he would wreak on Swan and Gillard over a longer term would be too damaging to internal party structures and power blocks.

      If Rudd were to take over, here’s my tip for the way it will go down.

      February 2012: The caucus pleading, begging, cajoaling, laying prostrate at his feet, erecting gold plated statues finally convinces Kev to take over again, Gillard stepping down “for the good of the party” to try and polish the turd that is her leadership.

      March 2012: Kevin Rudd offers the olive branch to Swan, Gillard et al to create the pretence of a working government and create the impression that Rudd is a changed, reconciliatory man. They pretend to have a functioning government until…

      April 2012: Rudd calls an election blaming the independents for the unworkable parliament, conveniently prior to the current ‘budget surplus’ being revealed as another deficit. ALP loses but not the Queensland style arse kicking that they are currently staring down. Kevin Rudd gets to be a martyr for the rest of his life, and doesn’t he already play the role well.

      Shorten, Combet, etc are too smart to take this poisoned chalice. It is either Rudd, Gillard or a fall guy.

    • Bruce says:

      11:28am | 14/05/12

      Onlooker: Agree. However, not much point Kevin Rudd taking the leadership before the next election as there are many, such Swan, Gillard etc, that have publicly damed Kevin Rudd as evil and useless. He could not form a real cabinet of loyal supporters. If he were to loose the next election his political career would definately be over. Rudd would be best to take control after the next election when most of his labor enemies have lost their seats, and the greens will have no further influence on ALP policy.

    • Leo says:

      11:43am | 14/05/12

      Save them from who - the voters ?

      Rudd was all about speeches and summits, his time produced nothing of substance. When he did propose anything that was not popular it resulted in a backflip. The LNP were in power for a long, long, time and Labor should have been looking at a comfortable two or three terms in office. But Rudd’s Labor faced an unprecedented backlash after a spectacularly short period in government. Rudd may still have hung on at the 2010 poll but it was going to be a knife edge. In the end the knife was used by his own party. Yes the polls show him as the most popular Labor option by a significant margin, but its hardly a ringing endorsement. Voters don’t want Gillard and the other potential Labor leaders have all been stained by publicly supporting and promoting the unpopular policies that are her agenda. Rudd is seen as the best of a truly awful bunch but he is hardly Labor’s savior.

      Abbott is not a widely popular leader as is clearly shown with the polls on preferred PM. Yet the polls still show Abbott would beat Labor’s best candidate - Rudd - easily.

      According to Labor its agenda proffers policies that while unpalatable, are good for us and the planet. Any criticism is seen as coming from the wealthy or gullible people stirred up by shock jocks. Its a spectacularly arrogant position to take. Labor have at both state and federal level consistently proffered governments that have ignored or dismissed the anger of the public. It beggars belief that after seeing the results play out in NSW and QLD elections, that Labor continue to do so.

      Its vital that Australia have a range of stable political options from which to choose. It says a lot that the Green’s are seen by many as the third party or a safety vote. These are dark days indeed.

    • Steve says:

      12:21pm | 14/05/12

      Strange Dissident it is May 2012 and nothing you “predict” has happened.  So what is the point of your posting?

    • Dissident says:

      01:14pm | 14/05/12

      Ooops! That was meant to be 2013 Steve.

      What are your thoughts on the way it will play out?

    • QLD says:

      01:49pm | 14/05/12

      Great posts dissident and onlooker.

      Kevin has that certain Je ne sais quoi or ‘x-factor’ that true labor greats have. Keating had it in spades, Latham and Hawke also. I liked Beasley but he was completely devoid.

      Kevin is an all round good bloke and always puts the party, and other people generally, first. It may be sickening to jaded insiders but the voters can sense its authenticity. Kevin’s leadership challenge was too hamfisted to be believable. He deliberately lost and lost badly. He has since maintained a low profile just as he promised. But, if the party were to come to him on bended knee and beg….. A self effacing humanitarian would know his duty to lead the party to get the best election result possible.

      What a great bloke

    • nihonin says:

      02:17pm | 14/05/12

      ’  QLD says:

        01:49pm | 14/05/12

        Great posts dissident and onlooker.

        Kevin has that certain Je ne sais quoi or ‘x-factor’ that true labor greats have. Keating had it in spades, Latham and Hawke also. I liked Beasley but he was completely devoid.

        Kevin is an all round good bloke and always puts the party, and other people generally, first. It may be sickening to jaded insiders but the voters can sense its authenticity. Kevin’s leadership challenge was too hamfisted to be believable. He deliberately lost and lost badly. He has since maintained a low profile just as he promised. But, if the party were to come to him on bended knee and beg….. A self effacing humanitarian would know his duty to lead the party to get the best election result possible.

        What a great bloke’

      I had to take a whole pack of Quick Eze after reading that.

    • Steve says:

      05:38pm | 14/05/12

      Frankly Dissident, I am not sure of the whole point of Mr Farr’s comments.  I don’t think we can go back to the future.  Mr Rudd’s time has come and gone and going back to him will not solve the problems that the ALP have got at present - in fact I believe it will make things worse given the tone of the last leadership challenge.  I do believe, however, that an election now will clear things up as the voter never gets it wrong (according to most politicians) therefore they should not be afraid to face the electors.  I think the ALP needs time in opposition to help resolve the problems they face.  And I think that it would be good for the party as it will give it time to put these problems behind them.  I am not rusted onto any side of politics but I think damage is being don to the ALP in the current political climate.  Also I am not a believer that having Mr Abbott as PM will be the end of the world that many people claim.  Some of the problems that the ALP have are of their own making, some not.  But damage is being done and it would be a pity if one side of politics gets total control of our government which could result if things continue they way they are.  We need balance and currently I feel that our political system is out of balance.

    • Christian Real says:

      04:57am | 15/05/12

      Knowing Kevin Rudd as I do, I wouldn’t describe him as arrogant, he is far from being arrogant.
      Now if you had said Tony Abbott is arrogant, I most certainly would have agreed with you.

    • Brad says:

      09:47am | 15/05/12

      If it comes down to Kevin v Tony. I’m nervous.

      Now, Julia v Tony…I haven’t a care in the world.

    • San Simeon says:

      06:42am | 14/05/12

      Labor sycophant observes self indulgent wank…..fabulous journalism Mal.

    • Hank says:

      08:00am | 14/05/12

      Hear hear San.  The guy needs to learn the meaning of impartial journalism, especially when considering he is the cheif political editor.  His bias is staggering.

    • Tony of Poorakistan says:

      08:06am | 14/05/12

      Gotta give him credit - in an article about KRudd and some car manufacturers dinner, he still manages to have a go at the Libs. Most people would have been happy with a puff piece on Kevin, but not Mal.

    • hummmph says:

      04:18pm | 14/05/12

      So was Mal saying that no matter how bad/terrible HE thinks Abbott and co are, Gillard and co are much, much, much worse?

    • Against the Man says:

      06:47am | 14/05/12

      Kevin knows how to sell the ALP. He projects a hard working family man in line with the people. He wasn’t the smartest cookie around and he had a temper of legends but he was the one the people wanted. Now look at the very opposite Gillard. Gillard needs to stay the course, her destruction of the ALP for free is the best thing to happen to Australian politics.

    • Hank says:

      08:05am | 14/05/12

      You’re being sarcastic now are’nt you ATM.  Both are as bad as eachother.  Rudd started the rot and Gillard continued the legacy.  At the end of the day its better for the Libs is she stays in power as the annihilation of Labor will be so much more profound come election time.

    • Charles W says:

      08:20am | 14/05/12

      Rudd was terrible but he did a better public relation job compared to Gillard. They both are useless waste of space as far as I’m concerened. I do agree AtM that Gillard needs to stay on as leader to endsure the finish of the ALP. She is what it will take to reduce it to a minority party before it becomes extinct!

    • Rosie says:

      09:05am | 14/05/12

      @ Charles

      Rudd gave us the rot - give us a break, he was the leader of a Labor Govt. Surely the Labor people could have given him the 3 year serving term which he earned fair and square. But no they thought they were smarter than the people and in an overnight coup ousted the people’s PM for the one that was trouble from the start and never ending trouble today!

    • nihonin says:

      09:24am | 14/05/12

      ‘Rudd gave us the rot - give us a break, he was the leader of a Labor Govt. Surely the Labor people could have given him the 3 year serving term which he earned fair and square’

      Kevin Rudd was only put up as leader, as Labor didn’t want to lose yet another election.

    • Against the Man says:

      05:18pm | 14/05/12

      Kevin? Gillard? Shorten? Who cares? This isn’t about losing an election, it is about the extinction/destruction of a political party called the ALP!

    • Carol says:

      05:51am | 15/05/12

      A t M,
      Says “it is about the extinction/destruction of a political party called the ALP”’.  Sadly, he is wrong, the Australian Labor Party (ALP), died at least thirty years ago, I’d suggest even earlier.
      I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat myself this country needs a new political party to replace what has died. It must have new ideas, new people and the courage to tell the truth.

    • lucyg says:

      06:15am | 15/05/12

      So that’s what you want is it - the destruction of the ALP? Have you thought beyond the next election? Do you really want Tony Abbott let loose without any opposition?  History should teach us the dangers of such an outcome.

    • Garry says:

      09:02am | 15/05/12

      LucyG…. Gillard will go down in history as the worst PM Australia has ever seen, she will be credited with destroying our economy and building massive debt, but above all the other failures, she will be the one Labor PM that through her obsessive socialist ideologies could be the end of your beloved ALP. So apart from bleating like the other sheep, can you tell me why Abbott is such the evil person you claim, and why he could be any where near as bad as Gillard ?

    • Rocksteady says:

      06:58am | 14/05/12

      Our manufacturing industry is the victim of the global currency war, the mining sector would be too, were it not for high commodity prices.
      When the economically rational Swiss openly admit they are willing to print cash ad infinitum to stop the scourge of being a safe haven currency, you know there are serious problems in global forex markets.
      The AUD is hugely overvalued and is looking to stay that way for a while yet because (we rightly so) refuse to participate in this race to the bottom.

    • Jo says:

      07:09am | 14/05/12

      Kevin Rudd needs to be reinstated to his legitimate role of PM, This is the only way Labor can undo the wrong they did by seating an elected by the people PM.    Is it any wonder that Kevin Rudd lost his temper, with the likes of the Pollies in Labor, that are not listening to its voters,....... and used their sneaky and underhanded backroom deals to unseat him as PM…...  Also Mark Arbid suggested to America that Julia Gillard would be more complient as PM,  back then before his sacking.  I don’t mind if they sack an unelected PM, but I do mind if they unseat an elected PM. I voted for Kevin Rudd,  and am not happy about my vote being taken away from me

    • marley says:

      08:25am | 14/05/12

      @Jo - umm, perhaps you missed the 2010 election?  The one that Gillard, not Rudd, won (albeit barely).  How would replacing Gillard with Rudd mid-term be any different in principle from replacing Rudd with Gillard mid-term?

    • Gravelly says:

      07:16am | 14/05/12

      Just call an election Gillard! Both houses. NOW!

    • Tracker says:

      07:16am | 14/05/12

      Kevin can only dream because it won’t happen until after the election. Gillard is a master of the knife and she knows all their secrets so they will do what the little dictator says.

    • Old Voter. says:

      07:27am | 14/05/12

      The Australian Dollar is over rated and so is the capability of this present mismatch of a government. The number of unskilled people who are coming in by the droves are putting too much pressure on our social structure and welfare systems and they have not paid any money towards those systems. We old age pensioners paid out taxes in the belief that we would get our old age pension and a decent standard of living in retirement.  Only the migrants who have taken out sole Australian Citizenship should receive social security payments, Of course this will mean hardship for the migrants but they can always go back to where they came from at their own expense.

    • Bananabender56 says:

      11:25am | 14/05/12

      I agree with most of what you’ve said but some of us are dual citizens - mainly because we paid into a pension overseas and if we renounce citizenship would not be able to access that pension. As the Australian pension is means tested it benefits Australia to keep the foreign pensions coming in.

    • andye says:

      01:13pm | 14/05/12

      @Old Voter - How come old people are very concerned about who gets their fair share of the pension pie when it comes to migrants, but seemingly unconcerned that younger generations are paying more into the social net than previous generations and likely to get less when their time rolls around?

    • nihonin says:

      07:28am | 14/05/12

      Kevin Rudd, keeping the dream alive.

      I truly believe Julia Gillard should stay on as PM and have her finish the job she started on the credibility of Labor and the quality of its MP’s.  Let the people decide at the next election if Labor led by Julia Gillard should be given another term.

    • Marco says:

      07:59am | 14/05/12

      I agree.  Gillard is destroying Labor forever, and she’s not quite finished just yet.  Let her complete that task successfully, then her work for the coalition is done grin

    • nossy says:

      08:12am | 14/05/12

      @nihonin   agreed nihonin - let Gillard take the SS Labor to the bottom - after all she instigated the mutiny that saw her throw Captain Rudd overboard - only fair she sails on till the end!  Well said. P.S. suspect though as Malcolm said Rudd is trying to get back onbaord - sneeky bugger!

    • Hank says:

      08:27am | 14/05/12

      Absolutely.  Let her see through the rot right to the bitter end….

    • nihonin says:

      08:38am | 14/05/12

      Ol Kevin, is keeping himself busy twittering away, still loved by the young’ins who know no better.

    • Mouse says:

      01:01pm | 14/05/12

      nihonin, you have my vote for that as well.
      Her plan, her vision, her government, her cock-ups (or is that Thomson’s malaise??)  Let it be her that sinks her beloved party.
      And yes nossy, how sweet it is!!  lol :o)

    • nihonin says:

      03:03pm | 14/05/12

      ‘Mouse says:

      01:01pm | 14/05/12

      nihonin, you have my vote for that as well.
      Her plan, her vision, her government, her cock-ups (or is that Thomson’s malaise??)  Let it be her that sinks her beloved party.’

      Maybe the whole front bench of the government could do an ad on TV for Coles, they can even sing the Coles song too.  wink

    • Mouse says:

      05:17pm | 14/05/12

      nihonin, wouldn’t that be great!! You’d just want to sing along with ‘em wouldn’t you?  LOL :o)

    • Charlie says:

      07:33am | 14/05/12

      Zzzzzz, so boring how often this little chestnut is trotted out.

    • Bonnie says:

      11:38am | 14/05/12

      I know Charlie

      It only took the Telegraph 5 months to get the last Rudd challenge up. Let’s see how long they can bore us all this time.

    • nossy says:

      07:36am | 14/05/12

      If this was a play we were attending Malcolm we, the audience , would be throwing eggs at the stage and demanding our money back. However its not and its real life and you now tout Rudd for another comeback! Strewth! I am off to get some eggs just in case. P.S. a good name for this “play” would be “Horrible and Horiblier” a study in political farce starring Joolya and Kevin Gillrudd!  hahhhaah

    • nihonin says:

      07:52am | 14/05/12

      Will the eggs be hard or soft boiled nossy?  Soft boiled hurt, yet they’re runny on breaking and stick to everything.  wink

    • nossy says:

      08:09am | 14/05/12

      @nihonin I bow to your “egging” wisdom nihonin so soft boiled it is> The thing is the Gillrudds are so messy as is will anyone notice? If Tones cant beat this pair he needs an Atomic wedgie.

    • Hank says:

      08:10am | 14/05/12

      Sounds like a good thing you’re onto there Nossy.  Maybe you could write the script.  It would be the ultimate black comedy.  Put me down for a front row seat mate and I’ll bring some eggs that are 3 months out of date!

    • nossy says:

      08:22am | 14/05/12

      @Hank   your on Hank - some booooing will help the atmosphere too.

    • nihonin says:

      08:35am | 14/05/12

      ‘If Tones cant beat this pair he needs an Atomic wedgie.’

      My my eyes water at the thought nossy.

    • Black Swan says:

      07:42am | 14/05/12

      Lazarus Rudd is on the rise again, or so they say. The reality of the situation is if Rudd was by some miracle to be reinstated as the leader of the ALP, Roxon, Burke, Conroy, Emerson et al, would all be compelled to walk out the door to a new DLP. The ALP is a zombie, staggering around with no direction. Face facts it’s not going to end well.

    • mike says:

      08:49am | 14/05/12

      yes the labor party is a staggering zombie and we all know how to deal with a zombie,,shoot it in the head,burn the remains and move on and forget about it because it is something putrid and less than human,i cant wait to read julias name in the obituary columns

    • Suzanne says:

      07:51am | 14/05/12

      Yes I hope Gillard is there at the next election, as the results will be clear.

      Labor won’t chance it however.  Love to see how they explain / spin that.

    • Flexo says:

      02:27pm | 14/05/12

      What choice does the ALP left? Gillard will not go, there is no one of quality to take her place. The party is a mess. There has to be a rule that politicians have to have a minimum intelligence, moral and ethical standard. If not you end up with the ALP!

    • sir ronald bradnam says:

      08:01am | 14/05/12

      You are right its not over yet but man I wish it was. We need Rudd Mk11 like we need Craig Thomson to be elevated to the leaders position.

    • Another Oldie says:

      08:03am | 14/05/12

      Off the subject, but OLD VOTER is correct.

      First and main decider question to anyone seeking to live here MUST be. ‘WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR AUSTRALIA?’

      We don’t need any more bludgers, taxi drivers or camel handlers.

      Those that work eat. Those that don’t, shove off home.

    • andye says:

      01:50pm | 14/05/12

      @Another Oldie - “We don’t need any more bludgers” I agree. The old age pension should be cut. Previous generations did not pay enough into this trough and the system will not survive to pay back the current generations that are paying for your retirement. The current retirees are bludging more than their share.

    • Samantha says:

      08:05am | 14/05/12

      The people want Rudd back. Gillard can deny all she wants but she and her government have lost their way in a way that is beyond all hope and excuse. Labor can change leaders now and hope for the best or hang on to Gillard and see the end in the most humiliating way possible!

    • Di Pearton says:

      08:07am | 14/05/12

      If only Kevin could work with people!? Respect his caucus.
      Yes, because the electorate must have blood, Gillard must go, and the electorate can have Kevin back. Not because of the nature of the spill, or anything that Gillard has done, but simply to save us all from the disaster that would be Tony Abbott, PM.

    • Inky says:

      10:40am | 14/05/12

      Alas, it is too late for salvation.

      I, for one, will have to get used to receiving my internet through a can and string system.

    • nihonin says:

      11:03am | 14/05/12

      Inky says:

        10:40am | 14/05/12

        Alas, it is too late for salvation.

        I, for one, will have to get used to receiving my internet through a can and string system.

      Seems to be working, your comment was posted wink

    • Dwellow says:

      11:20am | 14/05/12

      Di, not only are the ALP finished (whether Rudd/Gillard is at hand), people like you would realise Tony and the Coalition are the only choice this country has and a great choice they are! Gillard killed the ALP, something no Coalition person could ever do.

    • NightStalker says:

      08:15am | 14/05/12

      Yes and the only ammunition labor has got is to tell how the big bad bogeyman Tony Abbott will get us all!  labor is a party devoid of well…You figure it out!  Stay there jooliar and the next federal election will be the route of federal labor not even the likes of the last Queensland State election saw of labor.  How could anyone in their right mind consider a krudd return, what we go from Australia’s worst ever Prime Minister to Australia’s second worst Primer Minister, wow, a real step up.

    • Mouse says:

      01:12pm | 14/05/12

      Nightstalker, that type of ammo didn’t work for Anna Bligh against Campbell Newman did it?
      But gillard, not quite having any understanding of the voter’s feelings, will probably use it full force. Pity she can’t see that it only makes her and her ministers seem petty and bitter. It didn’t work for Bligh and she was fairly well liked in Qld! 
      Lotsa luck with the campaign gillard!! lol :o)

    • Cat says:

      08:22am | 14/05/12

      Labor’s fortunes would almost certainly rise under Rudd. Would they rise far enough to win the next election? Possibly not. The problem would then be that Rudd might again have to relinquish power to someone else. Even if he did not he might not be prepared to sit on the Opposition benches.
      If Gillard retains the leadership and then loses the election she will be ousted. Rudd may take over then (being one of those likely to retain his seat) and pull the party back. Whether he is prepared to do this however is another question. Why would he bother to work that hard for the party that dumped him?
      If Gillard retains the leadership and loses the election will she stay in parliament or will she resign and force a by-election?  I doubt she would be very interested in being “just the local member” however important she might say that job is.
      No, I do not expect answers - am just musing the possibilities.

    • Arthur says:

      08:23am | 14/05/12

      KR might be a stayer, but he’s the second worst PM we’ve ever had. He started the damage and Gillard’s perfected it.

      We don’t want a return. We want an election.

    • AUssie Wazza says:

      08:31am | 14/05/12

      Kevin, reclaiming the throne now would be like a skilled admiral taking over as captain of the Titanic just as the masts slip beneath the waves.

      Too late now to start bailing and being seen as the captain who lost will only damage his reputation.

      Best personal bet for him and Australia is to stay back and quite until after the election then rebuild. Kevin will keep his electorate.

      The ALP has lost it’s way. The party was started with a agenda to benefit and advance Australians but .....???? Unfortunately smart mouth lawyers, completely oblivious to real life in the swamp have taken over.

      We need guts, not mouths.

      ALP. Get back to representing the voters and the voters will get behind you.

    • IJ says:

      08:39am | 14/05/12

      Have a friend who went to the footy in Brisbane on Sat, there was Kevin, working the crowd and was getting a great reception from the crowd, I’d say that Kev wants to be there after the next election.

    • Fred says:

      08:56am | 14/05/12

      The only people who like Rudd are Queenslanders and Rudd’s family. If Rudd is going to give us his “Big Australia” you may as well vote for Abbott.

    • Lee says:

      09:14am | 14/05/12

      OK, I will.

    • splash says:

      09:43am | 14/05/12

      Albanese likes Rudd too,  plus another 29 of his mates

    • Gerry says:

      08:57am | 14/05/12

      Give us the chance to rub Gillards nose in it first Kev!

    • marley says:

      09:03am | 14/05/12

      Why would Kevin even want the leadership now?  He’s a smart bloke and he knows full well that the ALP is going to be smashed at the next election. He won’t want the result against his name in the history books. 

      This article just seems to me to be a desperate effort to push the idea that the ALP has some sort of realistic possibility of recovering from the debacles of the last few years.  It’s wishful thinking, and nothing more.

    • Arthur says:

      01:14pm | 14/05/12

      smart5 bloke?

      I don’t think so.

    • Andrew says:

      09:35am | 14/05/12

      I think the whole Kevin Rudd thing kind of shows where we are personally in politics. Kevin Rudd, lets face it, got bugger all done except have summits (and he had a full majority in the house of reps).

      Now Australia wants to get rid of Julia GIllard who has been getting things done and replace her with Tony Abbot who seems to not want to do anything except rescind the things Julia Gillard got done.

      There is a political lessons for any aspirants. If you want to be a popular and continually elected leader of Australian politics than do nothing. Just pretend you are, the swinging votes won’t know anyway as long as they get more money in their pocket.

    • ApplePie says:

      10:50am | 14/05/12

      You are right of course. For eg Henry devised some brilliant tax reform that would have addressed mixed speed economy and other issues., albeit flawed, which Rudd could not sell in diluted form called RSPT after miners whipped up fear and loathing. Again a bit flawed but fix the flaw, do not throw out the entire policy. However Gillard diluted further to MRRT to appease the masses. Now with recent budget it is diluted further to buy votes. Abbott will reverse all together. I think Oakshott the only politicians to demand debate on the Henry Tax reform which we sorely needed, however the press turned the talks into a farce by making it about some mythical congestion tax. So yes the voters seem to be leading the politicians into a race to the bottom. Recent QLD election so many that opted for silence got voted in.  Us and them politics works best without any reality.

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      10:06am | 14/05/12

      Well, anyone would be better than Julia Gillard, wouldn’t they?
      But nothing will change - even if we get a complete change of Government. The same greedy, self-engrossed, selfish people will all still be there.
      Say Kevvy does get re-cycled what will happen?
      Swan: Out
      Gillard will be out, sit on the back-bench & undermine Kevvy
      Roxon - Out
      Plibersek: Out
      Garrett: Out
      Emerson: Out
      Albanese: Out
      Shorten: Thankfully - Out
      Smith: Out
      Macklin: Out
      The lost goes on & on.
      One thing we can be sure of is not one of them will resign from Parliament for if thye do they will lose out on the inevitable pay rises & improved perks they will tell the politician-owned & operated Remuneration Tribunal to award them - for doing nothing.
      Kevvy will then appoint a brand new Cabinet from out of all the dead wood siting on the backbenches constantly noddig their heads like those silly toys people put in the rear windows of their cars - and they are all just about as useful.
      Kevvy will get a boost in the polls for a while - if only because people actually like him - that is one thing Gillard cannot take away from him & something which Gillard cannot claim. This realisation must really stick in her guts. Despite her best efforts, people still like & prefer Kevvy but, increasingly, loathe & despise her.
      Kevvy will probably hang on till June or July 2013 & then he will bring on a Federal Election.
      If only because it would really get up Gillard & her sycophantic mates, Shorten, Roxon, Plibersek etc, noses I would love to see Kevvy lead the ALP, if not into an unlikely victory, but to within a few seats!
      Gillard’s dismemberment would be complete.
      Now that would be Poetic Justice!

    • Wilma J Craig says:

      12:51pm | 14/05/12

      Bring back Paul Keating for a bit of economic sanity.
      Bring back Richo so he can do a bit of head-kicking of these incompetents.
      Whilst they are at it they could dig up Artie Calwell with his old-style commie politburo pals he would knock’em into shape or disappear them into some Soviet Style Gulag.
      Ooooops1 can’t bring Artie back for he would just reintroduce the White Australia Policy so beloved by the ALP & toss all those “Not-Quite-White” beautiful people who have arrived here since 1974/5 out.

    • Bomb78 says:

      04:16pm | 14/05/12

      Albanese won’t be out - do you forget his tearful admission supporting Kevin? He’d be a leading candidate to be Defense, Education, Industry and Health Minister. He’d be the swinging vote in a cabinet of three.

    • Christian Real says:

      07:08am | 15/05/12

      Wilma J Craig
      This is what I found on the net which dispels your theory of the “White Australia Policy” being a Labor Policy.
      It would appear that Australia’s first Prime Minister Edmund Barton(protectionist Party) introduced the “White Australia Policy in 1901
      Edmond Barton,23 Dec 1901
      dictating a ‘White Australia’
      The enactment of the immigration restriction act meant a dictation test became an effective way of excluding people from Australia. it enabled the government to create a predominantly european population. The White Australia policy was finally dismantled in 1966 by the Holt Government.
      Wilma J Craig, It also appears that the protectionist party was the foundation or the roots of the current Liberal party as we now know it.
      This is from Wikipedia
      Party Foundation:
      The Liberals immediate predecessor was the United Australia Party (UAP) More broadly,the Liberal Party’s idealogical ancestry stretched back to the anti-Labor groupings in the first Commonwealth Parliament..
      The Commonwealth Liberal party was a fusion of the “Free Trade Party” and the “Protectionist Party” in 1909,by the second Prime Minister Alfred Deakin,in response to Labor’s growing electoral prominence.
      “The Commonwealth Liberal Party’ merged with several Labor dissidents (including Billy Hughes) to form the Nationalist Party of Australia in 1917.
      That party in turn, merged with Labor dissidents to form the UAP in 1931

    • Up the Workers! says:

      10:12am | 14/05/12

      I nominate Craig Thomson as A.L.P. Leader, with Milton Orkopoulos (or possibly Brian Burke?) as his Deputy.

      Thomson is as clean as a union slush-fund.  The A.L.P.‘s “Fair Work Australia” investigated him thoroughly for a generation or three and neither they, their seeing-eye dogs, nor THEIR seeing-eye dogs could see anything wrong with him.

      Thomson and Orkopoulos (or Thomson and Burke) are fine, upstanding examples of what the A.L.P. is all about these days.  With Slippery Pete looking after appropriate behaviour and maintaining an appropriate sense of decorum and transvestitism in the Speaker’s robes, where can they go wrong?

      Slippery Pete.  He puts the “ass” in “Gravitas”.

    • David M says:

      10:25am | 14/05/12

      Great pity that Rex Jackson is no longer with us, he was a real enforcer and would have made a great labor deputy!

    • Jon says:

      10:16am | 14/05/12

      I don’t get why anyone thinks Rudd is somebody, he was not a very good PM. He helped bring down his party at the last election, he’s an ego mantic with delusion of UN grandeur and a born again Christian with a mean streak. None of these traits are good.

      But for some reason large chunks of the populace think he deserves a second go! Like the T-shirt says “I see dumb people”.

    • Andrew says:

      10:32am | 14/05/12

      I agree Jon, just as i said above, the guy had the goodwill of the nation and a mjority in the house of reps and still couldn’t get anything done except hang out with hollywood celebrities to try and make himself feel special. Then as soon as he started getting unpopular he started throwing tantrums like a child (hair dryer etc) and lost the plot.

    • jg says:

      10:21am | 14/05/12


      Is this the best the ALP can do?

      A PM that was deposed by his own party for being not good enough and now they are seriously thinking of bringing him back?

      What does this say about Gillard?

      And what does it say about the ALP?

      They truly do treat the public as mugs.

    • Cedric says:

      10:33am | 14/05/12

      Kevin Rudd is not the only one with Mandarin skills. I can down 5 in 3 minutes, seedless.

    • Up the Workers! says:

      11:17am | 14/05/12

      Yep.  The A.L.P. spin machine loudly trumpeted the advantages of Australia having as its’ Prime Minister, a former ‘diplomat’ who was fluent in Mandarin.

      Once he became Prime Minister, he put both of those skills to prominent use when he referred to the Chinese - our principal trading partner - as: “...a bunch of rat f**kers…”.

      I wonder why he isn’t still Prime Minister?  It seems he knows about as much about diplomacy as Juliar Blowhard does about honesty; Wayne Swan does about finance; Pathologically Wong does about “settled science”; Peter Garrett does about fitting pink and silver batts; Chris Bowen does about border protection; Stephen Conjob does about fair tendering; and the Australian LABOR Party does about how to spell the word “LABOUR” correctly.

    • Cedric says:

      12:00pm | 14/05/12

      Up The Workers!

      Mate, take a break. Get some rest.

    • Anjuli says:

      10:59am | 14/05/12

      Every time Rudd used to speak on TV I pressed the mute he was a disaster , I do believe however he should have served his time out. They will bring him back he will call an election just to ride in on the honeymoon ,as people have very short memories.

    • demon says:

      11:00am | 14/05/12

      Just to be clear it was not the automotive industry—it was the manufacturing industry that put on a dinner.
      The retail automotive industry receives a big fat nothing from the government yet it employs 4 times+  the number of workers. People should at least ask why taxpayers money is subsidising people on $100K wages and benefits such as income insurance that go straight to a union controlled entity— its great that Government subsidies are at work…..but either way better reporting please as its not the whole industry that gets the cash, just a small part!!

    • Monque of Sydney says:

      11:06am | 14/05/12

      Di Pearton says, if only ...ha ha - well, dream on - as Tony Abbott takes the reigns.

    • Zaf says:

      11:14am | 14/05/12

      KevFest 2013!!  Kevinpaloosa 2014!!  etc.

      Say what you like about the man, he didn’t lack policies (looking at you T Abbott) or programmatic specificity.

    • PaxUs says:

      11:30am | 14/05/12

      Short memory syndrome heh?  Kevin Rudd is a little dictator. No different than the rest of the current ALP rabble.  They can keep passing the buck, but the political inflation is so high it’s worthless.

    • Christian Real says:

      05:28am | 15/05/12

      Pax Us
      Kevin Rudd a little Dictator, I don’t think so, typical Liberal sympathisers who judge someone without even knowing them.
      As I know Kevin Rudd on numerous occassions,I would not agree with your disrespect of disregard for him.
      The rabble is not in the ALP, it is in the Liberal National party led by Tony Abbott,his negativity,and what appears to be an orchestrated smear campaign against Thompson, Slipper.and possibly now Bill Shorten as well
      It would appear that Abbott’s smear campaigns is an attempt to make up for his obvious lack of being real Leader material.

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      11:55am | 14/05/12

      Maybe—- No, I mean absolutely it’s time for a whole trash cleanout in parliment house.

      The entire thing has gone wrong with people not devoted to causes but smartmouths who are interested only in themselves.

      Like barristers, one prosecuting another defending.  Decisions hang to a high degree on which representative has the smartest mouth. Guilt or innocents plays a secondary part. Thats why you rent the QC instead of the public defendant.

      That’s why so many wealthy scruff are still walking amongst us.

      The barrister is not concerned with the facts, truth and justice. Only on winning for his cashcow.

      Likewise most politicians today are interested only in maximising their own welfare right through to death and will maneuver and manipulate in any necessary manner to stay in their seats to retirement. Words, not deeds. And the higher the post, the higher the pay and pension.

      What percentage of the words thrown about by any of them are related with advancing Australia and what are just clever dick derision of whoever opposes them?

      Let’s get on with building the country and not waste time on who has the shiniest shoes or who stood in dog poo.

    • Red says:

      11:56am | 14/05/12

      Kevin is the only reason I’d stick with Labor. I don’t think much of our Adelaide federal member and I wouldn’t vote for Gillard in a fit.

      For me it’s Kev, independent or donkey vote.

    • Andrew says:

      12:30pm | 14/05/12

      Why kevin? I am not trying to be smart, i am really interested in why you would like Kevin.

    • Red says:

      02:00pm | 14/05/12

      @Andrew, much of the reason is because of how he’s handled things since he was ousted by backstabbers. He could have gone Latham’s direction, didn’t. He could have done the passive aggressive thing and done a piss poor job of foreign minister, didn’t. He could have sulked and quit parliament, didn’t. He responded with how he honestly felt to the media when they came to him, he didn’t fake cheerfulness, he was open about feeling betrayed and angry, but he didn’t seek out opportunities to sulk. In fact after a remarkably short time he diverted media interviews to positive subjects. He got on with his job as foreign minister, but he also started taking the time to get to know people. Have you watched his tweets? He has a better idea of who the average Aussie is than most pollies, because he chats with them on all sorts of subjects.

      Most of us can see that the leadership challenge was brought on by the media. Yet he handled that well too.

      Anyone can flourish when they’re in a winning position and surrounded by support, it’s hard to take the measure of a person in that position. Few make the most of being in a not so fortunate position. I admire how he’s handled himself. I think he’s learned more in the last few years than most of us have to in a lifetime and bettered himself for it. I like who he has become as a person.

      We’re judged who we choose as our leader. I don’t see any qualities in Gillard or Abbott, admirable enough to want them representing me and my country. Kevin isn’t perfect, but I’d be proud to be represented by him.

    • Aussie Born and Bred says:

      12:08pm | 14/05/12

      Please, please, PLEASE let Julia ride the train all the way to the station.

      I can’t wait to see the cataclysmic ending to her political career.

      She and Anna can take their guide dogs on a walk and swap sob stories about how they never saw it coming.

    • Lino says:

      01:02pm | 14/05/12

      Julia is the worst PM this country has ever had and ever will.

    • Carl Palmer says:

      12:10pm | 14/05/12

      You must be kidding. K Rudd couldn’t organise a pink bat install, has a death on his hands and you are sprouting this rubbish and talking up his leadership.
      As already noted – quite a few have already stated they won’t work for the guy, which means his front bench will either be smaller with ministers having multiple portfolios or a full front bench with far less talent – if that’s at all possible…..  or Rudd sitting on the front bench by himself with all of his mates wearing all of the hats – quite possible. Whatever the scenario, it won’t be good for the country.

    • Brian Taylor says:

      12:48pm | 14/05/12

      Barack Obama is not gay…I read a fair bit of US news and I’m sure I read a report that someone ( male)  has said that he and Obama had sex, could be wrong about that, will double check but to be honest, wouldn’t surprise me if he is gay or Bi as they say
      even if he is, who the hell really cares?

    • Farken says:

      01:13pm | 14/05/12

      “A big chunk of the event became what one attendee called “a festival of Kevin”. Kevin Rudd that is, of course.” you you are basing this column on hearsay oh well done its good to see you are showing your LNP colours

    • Esteban says:

      01:30pm | 14/05/12

      It was inspired genius of Gillard to bring on the leadership battle with Rudd before the Queensland election.

      Rudd was the only fire escape from the ALP caucus and it was welded shut when they exposed him as being dysfunctional and chaotic.

      Had Gillard delayed on Rudd until after the Queensland election the fire escape option would be looking pretty good right now for the ALP.

      Firing up the gas axe to cut through the fire escape to get the furniture out will have to be contemplated if the post budget polls don’t get the ALP primary vote above 30%.

      There must be a lot of “I told you so ” stuff in the Rudd camp.

    • labor buster says:

      02:15pm | 14/05/12

      I just don’t get it. Why does this man dither around on the back bench for $185K per year ? Gillard will get belted at the next election and Kev just may end up opposition leader. Whoopee, 10 years in opposition Kev? With a wealthy wife and your health intact, you need to get and do something else mate.

    • Jamie O says:

      02:55pm | 14/05/12

      You know the ALP are screwed when even acotrel has fled to the hills!

    • Lance says:

      03:20pm | 14/05/12

      Yes yes we get it.  It’s all Tony Abbott’s fault.

    • stephen says:

      05:12pm | 14/05/12

      I’m sure he’s a very nice chap but his obsession with the UN does him no favours.
      We should, if anything, remain distant from this troupe.
      There are too few permanent members, and the amount of squabbling amongst member states to conclude anything at all is a waste of contributor’s donations.
      For instance, Syria has been practically in Civil War for 10 months and the UN can only gasp out further insipid resolutions that are laughable.
      Rudd has wasted our time with the UN, and he has wasted our money on a so-called recession that no-one believes was as bad as soothsayers tell us.
      He’d make a nice Banker, therefore.
      Signing cheques for young couples, with a smile, would suit him.

    • Kate says:

      05:50am | 15/05/12

      The best Rudd can hope for now is leader of the Opposition. He will be an old man before Labor is given another chance to stuff up the country.


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