An Open Letter to Mike Carlton

InUnityIsStrengthDear Mike Carlton

As is often the case when I write letters to people, I am writing to you as a representative of a greater group. I think you can guess who this group might be. The Ruddites.

It would be inaccurate for me to say I always read your column in the SMH because I very often don’t. But sometimes I do and I usually find it quite amusing and clever and refreshingly nut-free unlike many other opinion columnists printed frequently in the mainstream press. But the column you published yesterday, on the same topic as The Age’s editorial, was, I’m sorry to say, a shocker. Have you ever heard the phrase: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result? Many of your readers might have forgotten that you wrote on this very same subject – asking the Prime Minister to resign for the good of the country – almost a year ago. Here it is again in case you’ve forgotten. I guess sometimes it’s hard to come up with a new idea for an article every single week. But of all the articles to repeat, this probably had to be the worst subject you could choose, if you wanted to keep your dignity in tact.

The reason I remembered your article from July 2012 was because I wrote about it at the time in my post called ‘The Mobius Strip of Leadership Tensions’. Even then I could never have dreamt that this unrelenting campaign by some Ruddites would still be gnawing away at the stability of Julia Gillard’s Prime Ministership, undermining her at every turn. With only 13 weeks to go until the election, I would have wrongly assumed that Ruddites, deep down, just wanted to beat Tony Abbott and would do nothing to damage Gillard’s chances of doing this, even if it meant having to grit their teeth and support a Prime Minister they obviously don’t like. But that’s the thing that really upsets me about your articles Mike – it’s the fact that you think your opinion of Julia Gillard is more important than saving this country from Tony Abbott.

I’m sorry that your favourite Kevin Rudd turned out to be such a lemon. I really am. I liked him too! He saved us from another term of Howard, and his success in protecting the economy from the GFC should always be applauded. I’m sorry that you were unnerved by a change to the natural order of things when, instead of a blue tie, we got a female Prime Minister, our very first one. I’m sorry you have such trouble coming to terms with life under a female Prime Minister – yes she doesn’t ‘do TV’ quite the same as Rudd used to but I really feel her policy achievements are more important than her voice, and I’m sorry you don’t too. These policy achievements have just kept coming, despite the media mis-representing this success with constant tales of ‘chaos’ in the minority government. If Gillard had achieved less than Rudd, or even just the same amount, I could understand that you might be disappointed with her performance. But the only performance you seem to care about is her performance in a sound bite – which quite frankly is a juvenile way to judge the success of a politician.

What upsets me the most about your Ruddite campaign is that you are the ones fulfilling the mainstream media’s prophecy that instability in the Labor party will be their ultimate downfall. The instability is caused by you. Sure, it might be trumped up and over-reported in the mainstream press, but you’re fueling this campaign with evidence of the instability, at the same time as you’re saying you’re trying to save the party! No one has ever been saved by this sort of stupidity.

What if you and your Ruddite mates, including Rudd himself, had just sucked it up three years ago and got behind Julia Gillard, instead of white-anting her at every opportunity? What if you’d realised that every time you publically showed disunity in the party, you were contributing to the terrible polls that you then blamed Gillard for as being all her fault? What if you shut up for long enough to understand that your public slaying of our Prime Minister is a stick for every media outlet in the country to beat her with, and all the ammunition the Liberals need as evidence of ‘Labor chaos’, diluting the real facts behind the Prime Minister’s success. What if the electorate sees people who want a progressive government, like you say you do, bad mouthing our progressive Prime Minister, and this is all they hear. Julia bad. Tony good.

Sadly, we will never know what might have been if the Ruddites had got behind the Prime Minister, had been loyal supporters of her progressive government, had championed her cause, had stopped the rumours, stopped the calls for her to resign, stopped the leadership challenges that came to nothing and had stopped being the sideshow that the media so wanted them to be. I don’t think the press would have suddenly become experts on policy, and I know they would never have accurately reported Gillard’s success to their readers. Their vested interests in an Abbott victory would never have allowed this. But I do know one thing. Your behaviour hasn’t helped. And now blaming Gillard for the position the party is in now, sounds to me, very much like bully boys blaming their victim.

I know if we do end up with Abbott as Prime Minister, I will sleep well knowing I didn’t contribute to this end. How about you Mike? How will you live with yourself?


  1. I’m sorry but this is a silly article. And so is the attitude of many of Gillard’s supporters.

    The only reason there is support for Rudd is that Gillard is going to lose and lose badly.

    Gillard supporters can harp about white ants and all the rest of it but the average punters, those whose votes need to be changed turned off Gillard primarily because of how she got the job in the first place and they’ve never come back. Gillard has had plenty of time to turn this around and she just hasn’t been able to do it.

    The issue isn’t that Gillard has been an excellent PM, it isn’t that she’s been treated unfairly and it even isn’t that Rudd may or may not have been campaigning to get back a job he probably felt he earned at least a chance to complete one term in.

    The issue, the ONLY issue if the ALP is putting Australia and Australian’s first is who can get voters to support Labor to either:

    a) defeat Tony Abbott or
    b) minimise the damage of an Abbott government through a tight majority and/or ensuring he does not control both houses of parliament.

    I like many other progressives only support Rudd because Gillard cannot win. Even though I will still vote for Gillard (unlike it seems Gillard supporters) it’s not my vote that needs to change and it never has been.

    All Mike Carlton has done is pointed out the bleedin obvious and it’s disappointing that so many lefties have shot the messenger because they don’t like the message. We sound like the right wing trolls we so often sneer at when we do this and it really is disappointing. IMO lefties should be better than this.

    “I know if we do end up with Abbott as Prime Minister, I will sleep well knowing I didn’t contribute to this end. ”

    Well you shouldn’t because it is the Gillard supporters who have the choice of death riding Gillard to a landslide loss and a possible decade long Abbott government or accepting the fact that she has lost the punters and she can’t get them back.

    The real enemy is Tony Abbott and the real priority shouldn’t be personal preference for leader it should be protecting Gonski, Carbon Pricing, NDIS, the NBN etc and saving us from an Abbott austerity government.

    • Agreed if the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result” then you’d have to be questioning the sanity of a Gillard supporter about now.

    • When the ALP’s own internal polling says it’s a disaster waiting to happen on September I’d have to agree Austin.

      But then the viciousness of the response for pointing out the bleeding obvious makes me wonder as well.

    • No you have mate. Handing government over to a right wing extremist who will undo important and necessary reform because we are too pigheaded to see the writing on the wall is poor governance. It’s placing egos before people and policy. Neither Rudd, Gillard or their legacies matter anywhere near as much as Gonski, Carbon Pricing, NDIS and the NBN.

      If we’re going to spit the dummy and let all the good work Labor has done be trashed by Abbott because we can’t get our own way then Labor really should give up now.

  2. Sorry Super Dude, but the argument that people will not vote for Gillard this time because of the way she came to power just defies logic. People with the same argument as yours seem to conveniently forget 2010 election. If a person voted for ALP at 2010 election and didn’t feel that way then, why would they switch allegiance to Coalition now because Rudd was replaced by Gillard. If they want to they can choose whatever reason they want, but using Rudd replacement as an excuse is just a silly one in my honest opinion.

    As for who wins the next election, if people elect Abbott government, media and those people are the only ones to blame and not the majority of the ALP caucus. You switch from Gillard now all you do is you reinforce the instability meme being pushed by Murdoch and his lackeys in the media. I for one would not reward this kind of behaviour anymore and would vote informal at the next election (as Alan Griffin will only get my vote if ALP stays as is) and I can’t vote for Abbott and I can’t vote for the Greens either in their current format.

    As for the landslide loss, what do you have to prove that? Polls? The same polls that had ALP winning in 2007 in a landslide victory as well? Neilsen has ALP winning 57/43 the DAY BEFORE the 2007 election. They missed the result by 4.7% with ONE DAY TO GO. Why would I trust them now? Trust them enough to get rid of the Prime Minister that has actually done the hard yards of pushing some serious reforms through.

    If people want Abbott I will, like Victoria, sleep well knowing that in my humble way I fought for ALP under this PM and didn’t whinge and moan because Rudd was replaced before last election. Oh and BTW I was pissed off when it happened, although I have changed my opinion since then.

    On topic, Victoria very nice article :-).

    • Mate she turned a 16 seat majority into a hung parliament and required the support of the independents to form government. That is not winning that is a disaster.

      The Polls and not just one poll but all of them have consistently indicated a landslide loss for Gillard if you think she’s going to take her tenuous hold on government into an election facing those polls results and win then good on your for being an optimist.

      Unfortunately back in reality the LNP and a hostile MSM have punters convinced to vote for Abbott even though they will be voting against their own best interests.

      If you want to see what going to happen to Gillard and Labor have a look at what’s happened in NSW and QLD and get ready for a stack of Right Wingers making jokes about the Labor opposition meeting in a phone booth. Should be fun, not.

      PS. I don’t give a toss about Rudd, I care about Australia and who can save it from Tony Abbott.

      My personal preference and dearest wish would be for Gillard to win and start her victory speech off with “This is the sweetest victory of all”. But I’m a realist and that’s not going to happen.

      Time for pragmatism and a game change.

      • She had a bit of help with that 16 seat majority loss with the leaks to Oakes and Hartcher. Gillard got the policies up, and she is best placed to defend them, if they can ever break the MSM freeze on talking about policy. Here again, she has some ability to change the focus, such as with her address to women.

        The MSM narrative was this was an irrelevance, but the Richards dinner menu and the Slattery interview suggest that it wasn’t. They said the same about the Misogyny speech. Did you notice the debate between Shorten and Abetz? It was completely unreported because of the leadership bullshit. The whole point is that the media cannot go on hiding from a policy and ministerial contrast for another nearly 3 months. Sooner or later that will be noticed, and we’ll move on from this sideshow.

        It is, in any case a well-sold, if entirely false image of Lady MacBeth Gillard. The bubble can be burst on that because there is nothing to sustain it in fact. We have been blitzed by polls commissioned for precisely that purpose. Oh, I’m aware that there are people in the street who vent spiel about Gillard. You ask them why and you get nothing of substance, just “lying scheming bitch”. Like Lindy Chamberlain in a way. Unfortunately, Rudd’s undermining through media leaks and whispers has tended to reinforce that image

        A switch to Rudd would not help. More than half the cabinet wouldn’t work with him, even for the charade of an election campaign. Secondly, Rudd would do little to improve Labor’s standing. For a start it reinforces Abbott-Credlin’s lies that this has been an incompetent government lurching from one crisis to another, Most of all, Murdoch and the big money would cut him to pieces, as they seemed to be doing just before the mutiny. Look at what happened then. He ran away from pricing carbon even though he had enough goodwill to go to a double dissolution and win. He panicked on the batts thing and gave credibility to what had been a bullshit beatup by Abbott and News Ltd. And left Garrett out to dry in the process.

        Look at the contrast. Abbott didn’t want NDIS because of the cost. Gillard called him on it, and he folded. The spin-masters are trying to claim it as a ‘shared’ policy but that was exposed by the opposition’s non-attendance at the passing of the legislation. We’re in a similar position on Gonski. Maybe Abbott and Pyne can hold out and persuade some states to stay out, but it is a truckload of hard-to-find money for a vital bread-and-butter issue.

        She’ll win that one, too, because she’ll make it an election issue if they want to hold out. How many parents are going to vote against it? This leader has got a commitment to what she’s doing. She won’t let media show ponies stop her.

      • So the MSM narrative destroyed Gillard’s majority in 2010 but it’s not going to stop her now.

        Ah yeah ok…that makes complete sense.

      • She had more help with the 16 seat loss with ‘the real Julia’, the ‘Timor solution’, the people’s assembly on climate change, losing the debates to Abbott etc. The wheels had fallen off the campaign in week one and the leaks were in week two.

        Yeah Rudd ran away from carbon change – on Gillard’s advice. Ever since Medicare Gold she’s shown her political tin ear.

        As to the lying image – firstly publicly backing Rudd – then rolling him wouldn’t have helped. Secondly the “real Julia” what a great idea what was, tell the electorate that your two faced. Thirdly the no carbon tax promise so quickly broken.

        Rudd had nothing to do with that lot it was all down to Gillard.

  3. Thank you Victoria ….many of us share these thoughts . But are there enough of us ? Let’s hope so !

    • This is what I find so sad. Lefties attacking the person rather than the article. I always assumed we were better than “LNP troll”s. Apparently I was wrong.

      • That is more common with right wingers attacking the left wingers I think! Just look at Twitter!

      • Yes I think you were wrong Super Dude. In my opinion, changing leaders now would be an absolute disaster for the ALP. Your last sentence in your first response: “The real enemy is Tony Abbott ….. ” is correct. For that reason, you need to support Julia Gillard, and by so doing, you retain the support of the independents – which is essential.

    • David,

      After this week the support of the indies is largely irrelevant. My point is I’m on board with Gillard but that’s irrelevant, my vote wont matter she’s never lost my vote. It’s the votes she’s lost and failed to win back that matter. 16 seat majority to hung parliament to landslide loss that’s what we’re facing.

      There is no way that switching to Rudd now could make the situation any worse.


      I agree, this sort of personal attack is much more typical of conservatives. I’m sadden and maybe naively surprised to see so many lefties doing it too.

      • Suprt Dude – maybe, just maybe, you’re adding fuel to this fire? What makes you so sure Gillard cannot win? Do you have some sort of mystic powers?

        No, of course not, you’re only basing it on the latest poll. let me guess – Newspoll? the one owned by, let me guess, Rupert Murdoch?

        You’re playing right into his hands. and that’s what he wants. All power to Chairman Rupert!!

      • “Suprt Dude – maybe, just maybe, you’re adding fuel to this fire?”

        Paranoid bullshit.

        Gillard’s continued and on going disastrous poll results are what’s adding fuel to the fire.

        I like many progressives will vote for the ALP regardless of who’s leading because the alternative is Tony Abbott and disaster.

        None of this would have come up at all if Gillard had closed the gap but if anything it’s getting wider as people have decided.

        “No, of course not, you’re only basing it on the latest poll. let me guess – Newspoll? the one owned by, let me guess, Rupert Murdoch?”

        Oh good more crap. It’s not just one result it’s all of them and they’re all awful and have been for a long while.

        You can pretend that this is just a blip on the radar to a glorious Gillard victory but when the ALP’s own internal polling is predicting disaster it really is time to wake up.

      • Newspoll, Nielsen, Essential, Morgan, JWS, Galazy, ReachTel

        And none of em say Labor is winning.

  4. JG is leading Labor to a wipe-out. To do nothing is not an option. Mike wants the left to have a chance.

  5. Victoria…

    Thanks for your very clear and well reasoned analysis of what harm Rudd & his acolytes have done to a very good and progressive Govt ….and the role Old Media has played by colluding with them.

    Mike Carlton has demonstrated again that he really is incapable of accepting a female PM. One who has amply demonstrated her brilliant negotiating skills by successfully delivering several complex & socially progressive policies through a hostile minority parliament. At the same time she and Treasurer Swan have maintained and improved our economic position at a time when other developed nations have struggled to cope with the ongoing difficult global financial situation.

    These ought to be the achievements by which she is marked by the Australian people, and our media should be getting this message out so that voters can appreciate what this Govt has done …and can make an assessment of their suitability to be given a further term at the upcoming election.

    Instead, there has been a three year campaign of personal denigration of our PM …of talking down our economy …of exaggerating the Govt’s inevitable missteps and under reporting or even non-reporting of it’s many successes …of encouraging and cheering on disgraceful smear campaigns against the PM & the Speaker whilst ignoring real evidence of possible sedition by members of the LNP …of faithfully reporting Abbott’s daily stunts whilst he went around the country at taxpayers expense to spread fear about carbon-pricing …of allowing him to walk away from journos questions once his repetitive and ridiculous slogans had been spewed out …of interrogating & rudely interrupting Ministers and the PM during every interview they gave to various media outlets …of NOT condemning the innumerable disgusting & often violent episodes of personal sexual abuse hurled almost daily at a decent and gracious female PM by angry white conservative males …of not telling “unnamed sources” to piss off whenever they contacted them with the latest leadership nonsense …of failing to scrutinise an opposition devoid of any credible plans for the future of this great country …of doing the bidding of an ageing & evil American citizen who is not interested in the welfare of even ONE Australian citizen & who is only concerned to maintain & increase his business empire at the expense of the whole country …

    Worst of all though …is Mike Carlton’s unconscionable use of his privileged position as a respected and talented opinion writer for one of our once respected newspapers …to bully and browbeat our first female Prime Minister into standing aside. Not because she hasn’t done a good job of governing …no, because his mate Kevin Rudd is more popular according to the polls ….more F**KING POPULAR ACCORDING TO THE POLLS!!!

    Prime Minister selection as a popularity contest FFS!! …Mike Carlton in particular, and the Old Media generally have gone stark, staring, MAD!!

  6. Great article Victoria!
    The Ruddite campaign is only ‘fulfilling the mainstream media’s prophecy that instability in the Labor party will be their ultimate downfall’. Murdoch and the big money will cut Rudd to pieces…..Anyway I’d never vote for someone who has been undermining the PM.

    • A vote for anyone other than whomever is leading the ALP at the next election is a vote for Tony Abbott’s austerity government.

      It’s a vote against everything that Labor has achieved.

      10 years of Abbott. That’s what we’re facing.

  7. That’s not what I said, Dude. I said the leaks. Rudd hasn’t been in the cabinet for over a year – so there’s a lot less chance of that occurring this time.

    Whether the Press Gallery and the MSM are being deliberately obtuse (which I suspect is the owners’ positions) or is just plain dumb, by going for the horserace and the Rudd plotting, they’ve completely missed what has been going on in infrastructure investment and big program achievements.

    Te endgame is that there are a lot like you that want those programs to remain. In all probability, they’re not even engaged at present, but once they are, a lot will be asking what’s in it for me. And if you’re a parent, spending on schools and education does matter. Pyne and Abbott are opposing, which already gives a dividing line. Abbott will eventually have to explain how he can afford Labor’s tax cuts if he won’t have the carbon tax revenue. And I assume somebody will eventually have to call him for the Direct Action bullshit. Did I mention that a lot want the NBN?

    To give you some idea of the relevance of polling too far out, the Nationals set themselves the task of knocking off Windsor and Oakeshott and are spending a bundle to do it. Polling a year or so back had them both trailing and Oakeshott all but gone. More recent polling has them both in front. Country people get to know their member and gauge the local benefits a lot quicker than metropolitan people. But the urban ones will get to it. If it can turn around for those two, admittedly good local members, it can turn around for Labor once people start looking hard at it. You’re right on the media. They’ll be deteminded to beat Labor, but the 5th estate plus local interests gives us some chance to counter the propaganda.

    I’d point out, too, that the hate Gillard campaign is a conditioned response, not based on any real circumstances. Goebbels claims that they are stronger than rational responses and he might be right. We just have to have some faith that eventually they’ll look at their own best interests. Keating was convinced that worked.

      • You’re not listening, Dude. If you paid a little attention to the polling you’re so terrified about, you’d have noticed that she was comfortably ahead in the 2010 campaign (55-45) until that Laurie Oakes leak. Then the one a little later to Hartcher just to make sure her campaign was really stuffed. It was a woeful campaign anyway, led by the NSW Right (now long gone from her inner circle) and a PM not ready to lead but left with no choice. See

        She’s learned a lot since then. Howard seriously struggled in 98. Have a look at our history and tell me how many elections have been lost by a sitting government with all economic indicators favourable, popular programs, and an opposition offering us nothing but “trust us”?

      • No you’re not listening. I don’t care how we ended up here, I know it’s not fair but that’s life. What I care about is beating Abbott and that’s all any of us should care about.

        History is also irrelevant Gillard is well behind now and she has been for ages. She hasn’t looked like turning it around.

        I’ll be overjoyed if I’m wrong but their own internal polling is predicting disaster.

      • Newpoll might have had 55 – 45 to Labor but a Galaxy poll at about the same time had the 2pp at 50 – 50.

      • Rudd went to water last time the media and Abbott turned on him. Ran away from a showdown on climate change (I know, I know, he’s hinted a dozen times, Gillard and Swan made him do it – what sort of leader tries to shift the blame? ) He ran away from the home insulation thing just because of a media-Abbott beat-up, burying Garrett in the process. What makes you think he’d do any better today?

        He hasn’t even got the guts to stand in a spill. He just wants his lackeys and the media to do the work for him. A PM has to be able to face up to his opponents. Remember Peter Costello? He wouldn’t have saved the Liberals even if somebody had tried to draft him. You’ve got to have a bit of guts at that level.

        The current PM has more of that than Rudd and Abbott combined.

      • Hmm ever notice that Rudd won the election in 2007 – and he was up against one of the best politicians this country has ever seen. Compare his 2007 campaign coming from opposition and not putting a foot wrong (despite Scores and Burke and every bit of mud thrown at him) with Gillards 2010 campaign with all the advantages government brings and she still managed that quite poorly.

        Yeah he dumped climate change – on the advice of his deputy.

        He said he wouldn’t challenge and so far he’s keeping his word. Amazing thing for a politician to do isn’t it ? Personally I think there should be more of it not less.

        Woo hoo Gillard has guts, that’s great a gutsy loss coming up. I’d prefer a win myself.

  8. I’m sorry Victoria. I generally like and agree with what you say. But I am with Mike Carlton on this.

    I agree with you that Gillard, in the situation of a minority government, and with Murdoch’s majority chunk of our mainstream print media conducting an absolute campaign of negativity against her, has had some remarkable achievements. And were policy and principle the only metier she should certainly lead the party to the next election.

    However nothing horrifies me more that Tony Abbott being elected the PM of Australia. Except perhaps, Tony Abbott being elected the PM of Australia, with a senate majority as well! He will have the ability to enhance further the terrible skewing of our mainstream media, farm even more off to Murdoch, encourage Gina Rinehart in obtaining a megaphone for her self-interest, and drastically weaken any voice of relative balance eg ABC, SBS. And I’m absolutely sure that this is his agenda, especially given the huge debt he will owe Murdoch for any victory. it will change the political landscape for years to come and be virtually impossible to reverse.

    I am distrustful of polling but this many polls, by this many companies, over this length of time are singing the same song. And we have to listen. Gillard stands to lead the Labor Party to an unprecedented defeat. Rudd may not do much better but I am relatively confident he will do better. Forgetting about an overall victory, with even control of the senate in the balance, there is no choice for anyone interested in progressive politics. There is no room for sentimentality, Rudd must stand for Labor. And the best, most noble and self-sacrificing thing she can do for her party, and her country, is stand aside.

  9. Super Dude
    So let me get this right: we’re going to ditch possibly the best PM this country has ever had, and put in her place a narcissistic dithering bimbo, one we got rid off a few years ago because he was no good, but now he swears he’s learned from the experience. Just because he might win a popularity contest. So once we’ve reinstalled this guy, he’s going to save us (yet again!) from the spectre of an Abbott-led disaster. And there’s nothing Rupert Murdoch can do about it.

    Pull the other one.

    • I’m not sure why I’m bothering to reply to the stupidity of this comment, I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe I like talking to brick walls. Maybe I don’t like my arguments misrepresented with stupid ones so that you can pretend you have a point. Oh well here goes:

      1. Gillard’s performance is entirely irrelevant. Whilst I agree she’s been a good PM in tough times and hardly done by to call her the “best PM this country has ever had” considering the number of mistakes her government has made is a bit rich. You’re letting hero worship cloud your logic.

      Regardless, the average voter, not the ones committed to either party, but the ones who vote for the person they trust most to be PM don’t like her and they aren’t going to vote for her.

      2. Your hatred of Rudd is equally irrelevant and so is that of the caucus.

      3. Rudd may or may not win that’s true. What’s certain is the result wont be anywhere near the unmitigated disaster if we continue down the current path.

      4. If the ALP and Gillard are putting Australia and Australians rather than legacies and egos first than the person to lead the party to the election should be the person best placed to either beat Abbott or at least reduce his majority and make sure he doesn’t get the upper house.

      The priority and the only priority should be to defeat Abbott and save Gonski, NDIS, the NBN and carbon pricing as well as saving us from the economic vandalism of an Abbott austerity government.

      Gillard no longer has the support of the public to do that, if she ever did.

      • Absolutely Super Dude. Gillard has been an overall good leader who has made a few dumb political judgement calls. she has shown courage in the face of large obstacles (minority government, Murdoch led blitz of negativity), the policies she has stood for seem worthwhile. the Rudd/Gillard economic performance is close to best in world. It’s a good story. But, I’m sorry, Gillard isn’t cutting through, for whatever reason (give me an R, give me a U, give me a P…). the polling evidence is sustained and overwhelming. the anecdotal evidence is sustained and overwhelming.

        Now, in the face of a Turnbull-led opposition, it may well be worth marching in sync with Gillard over the cliff as a point of principle. Even in the face of a Hockey-led opposition it may be worth marching in sync with Gillard over the cliff as a point of principle. But, in the face of an Abbott-led opposition, and risking control of the senate…sorry I can’t go there. It’s a stand for my country.

        I wouldn’t argue for Rudd on policy grounds, leadership grounds or anything else. there may be an argument…but it’s too late for that. and the cause is too urgent. I don’t believe the polls optimism concerning Rudd’s electoral superiority, but I am very sure he will do better than Gillard. It may only be a sugar hit, but it may well be enough to save the senate. So I’ll take it!

      • Yes at least if they save the senate we can expect much of Labor’s reforms can be saved.

        Also I used to think Hockey might be OK if we were to be stuck with a conservative government but the way he’s bought into the Abbott tactic of saying incredibly stupid but scary stuff on the economy has me doubting that he’ll ever be more than a lap dog.

  10. Those advocating a return to K Rudd forget that among intending Labor voters,the Prime Minister is preferred by a sig majority.
    Many of these will be working pre polling and on polling day,not to mention donating.I will be doing none of this if the parliamentary party ignores the preferences of its supporters and rewards prolonged leaking and undermining.
    Furthermore JG has proved herself capable of withstanding ferocious media attacks,K Rudd
    folded under similiar pressure.

    • ” intending Labor voters” are not enough to win the election.

      If you really believe that pushing K Rudd is the right thing to do should he be elevated to the top job then why not vote for Tony Abbott. It’s the same result.

      I’m sure after a decade of his Abbott’s austerity government you’ll have a different opinion.

    • Currently intending Labor voters are about 30% of the voting population. A big majority of 30% is a minority of the total amount.

  11. Thank you Victoria for a very concise reason to vote for a most thoughtful and progressive and courageous woman and I applaud her.

  12. Each time there is a challenge against PM Julia Gillard from the Rudd the Dud camp, Julia’s ratings drop in the polls against Abbott. I think those narrow minded has-been Duds, should have a real close look at themselves, as they are doing more damage to the brand name than that little doorstop fib that Julia had ever done about the Carbon Tax! Then this little back flip Carbon Tax cannot be compared with the second Bloody War we had to have with Iraq. Now this was the worlds biggest lie of the century told to the Australian public by Howard. The other is that Malcolm Fraser has told Tony Abbott, stop telling lies about Stop the Boats and tell the truth that he Abbott cannot Stop the Boats ever.

    Another good letter to the MSM by you Victoria. This time to Mike Carlton who is another supporter for Abbott camp of terrorists. Keep up the barrage as someone has to tell the other side of the equation as it really is.

    Cheers Mate.

    • When it looks like there is a chance Rudd will lead the party support rises, when his challenges are unsuccessful and Gillard is confirmed as leader support then drops.

      And you see this as a reason to keep Gillard ??

      • Media fluff and manipulation of polliing, Austin. Funny how Rudd and ‘leadership tensions’ keep popping up just before Newspoll and Nielsen surveys, and coincidentally Rudd also becomes visible to the cameras. Always after such, the question, “who would you prefer… ”

        How reliable is it? The Finnigans did a count over the past two years. There were 81 stories of “Rudd support growing, Gillard Gone” … and 81 times they got it wrong. Not the most reliable finger on the pulse, I’d suggest. Somebody’s lying, whether it is Rudd lackeys or the MSM. After the last debacle earlier this year when the popular candidate failed to show, favourite leaks Hartcher and Oakes swore ‘never again’ – yet after a few weeks the white-anters are back at it again, mostly through Fitzgibbon, the only ex minister in either Labor government to be booted for impropriety. How the hell is she supposed to get support with that occurring every other week. And it goes back further than the period Finnigans counted.

        As to 2007,credit where it is due, he ran a good campaign. And a critical factor was that Howard’s Swiftboaters could get nothing on him, unlike with Latham. So fine. But don’t underestimate Workchoices and the big grass roots campaign against it by trades unions in every electorate.

        The Prime Ministership is about more than popularity. It is about getting the hard things done, even if that means running against a public backlash. Gillard has done that. Rudd hasn’t. Governance and delivery does count. Panic doesn’t.

      • “Always after such, the question, “who would you prefer… ”

        And always the same answer more to the point.

        “Howard’s Swiftboaters could get nothing on him, unlike with Latham”

        Not for lack of trying mind you there was certainly plenty of mud thrown his way in 2007, he just handled it exceptionally well.

        Woo hoo Gillard has got stuff done, well kinda sorta the vast majority of legislation has passed with opposition support. And the stuff that the opposition doesn’t support might well be gone after the next election. That’s why popularity counts.

      • You’re only seeing what you want to see James.

        What you are forgetting or ignoring is that Gillard lost the voters who gave Rudd a 16 seat majority when she allowed herself to be drafted into taking him out in his first term.

        She has never really recovered from that and likely never will especially with the number of gaffs her government has made.

        You can believe all the conspiracy theories you like but many of Gillard’s problems have been of her own making.

    • Spare me from the conspiracy theory, Saint Julia nonsense.

      I don’t think you really get the point that if Abbott wins in a landslide then all of the “hard things” Gillard has done will be for naught.

      That said it looks like it’s finally over and we’re going to death ride Gillard to oblivion.

      So be it, I’ll hop on board for the ride because the real enemy is Abbott. I’ll even volunteer and door knock because I like Gillard and think she deserves another term.

      I hope in September I and the ALP’s internal polling are wrong. But if not please don’t come out with more it’s “Rudd’s fault” rubbish because Gillard has had 3 years to turn around the 2010 result and at some point she and her supporters have to stop pretending that 2010 was a win and take ownership.

      • Yes I think I might just lend a hand to ALP too, as I cannot stand the sight of Abbott and those ridiculous budgie smugglers is enough to turn me off the Liberals for good. Moreover I don’t trust Abbott as far as I can kick him and that aren’t far either.

      • Austin
        She got no support from the opposition. Zilch! Why the hell do you think they got called Noalition! She got things passed with a majority, which required working with the indies in the House and one Green, and the Greens in the Senate,

        She’s probably the first PM anywhere to get a price on carbon when the opposition has campaigned against it. The only thing the opposition has agreed to has been NDIS, and that was a fold when she threatened to take it to the election. Gonski and NBN, they’re still fighting against them via tory states, which is good for boosting the vote. If you saw question time at all this week, you’d have seen a gulf between the two sides on policy. Abbott’s wasted three years trying to bring them down with barely a thought to what he’d do in office.

        See the Lateline interview with Alistair Campbell last night. He said the only reason Gillard is not ahead is leadership tensions. He’s satisfied she communicates well. That’s not the problem. If that is sorted, all that matters then is economic performance, where we’re the envy of the world, and policy achievement and vision, where we’re also ahead.

        Forget focus groups and pollsters. This is about program delivery.

      • “Forget focus groups and pollsters. This is about program delivery.”

        Sigh. No one as far as I can see is arguing that Gillard has done a good job.

        The argument has always been that she’s going to lose in a landslide unless something drastic happens and that if she does lose in said landslide Abbott will set about undoing as much of her good work as possible.

        It’s a bit hard to focus on “program delivery” when you’re facing armageddon.

      • I will agree that none of the MSM are supporting the ALP and are only focused on destroying Julia credibility ever chance they get. Just take Channel 10 National Political Editor Hugh Riminton who at ever chance runs Julia down into the gutter. Like producing a book on the next Prime Minister showing Abbott on the cover then the next night criticizing the Women Weekly having a photo of Julia using knitting as a stress relief aid. Like I could add a lot more. It is these people in the media that are keeping constant barrage up and turning the general public who hear and see this every night on TV and radio, who are unscrupulously dumb by taking all this negativity into their brain.

        Hence a good way to brainwash the brain into what you want them to think.

      • Hey gorgeousdunny1,

        Oh please the vast majority of the legislation through the house passed with support from both sides.

        As to the Cabon Tax, NBN and Gonski how much of an achievement will that be if an Abbott government gets in?

  13. Voters aren’t even engaged yet. When they finally get to thinking about it, the question won’t necessarily be “do I like or hate Gillard?”, it’ll be a lot simpler, like “what’s in it for me?” -then it’s about “what have I got, what will I get and who can best deliver?”

    Do you really think they’d consider buying “trust us, it’ll be just like it was with Howard.” which by and large is all Abbott is offering. There’s a bagful of first-time voters who probably don’t even remember Howard – it’s six years ago. People with schoolchildren are going to prefer money spent on schools to flagpoles, which brings me to the other problem for Abbott and Credlin. There’s not a single frontbencher from Abbott’s side that could match it against their government counterpart, and several, like Bronny, Andrews and Truss that are well past their use-by date. These things will matter closer to the date.

    Why do you imagine Fairfax and News Ltd are almost pleading for Gillard to step aside? Do you think they care about Labor and Labor voters? Why are they trying so hard to beat up the leadership thing after 81 failures? Don’t you think it might have something to do with providing a distraction? So Abbott and co can continue to hide from any policy commitment or detail?

    I know it’s just a shit rag that hardly anyone takes seriously, but why the hell do the Telegraph go after Gillard over her knitting hobby? If she’s such a liability to Labor popularity why would they even bother to try to find such a bullshit issue? Desperation, perhaps? Read Andrew Elder and get a bit of perspective.

    The best advice is to keep your nerve and keep focused.

    • OH FFS.

      “Why do you imagine Fairfax and News Ltd are almost pleading for Gillard to step aside?”

      Seriously mate tin foil hat time. There is no global conspiracy to get Gillard. Yes Murdoch directs sections of his media to attack Gillard. But Fairfax? Fairfax have been fair with Gillard, the reason the Age and Carlton have called for her to step aside is only because she can’t win not because there’s some orchestrated conspiracy. Time to grow up.

      News Ltd attack Gillard because Rupert wants her gone at the next election. If she is booted early instability in the party doesn’t exactly help the ALP. As already pointed out, Gillard wont win but likely neither will Kevin, particularly if she makes it bloody to the end.

      As pointed out previously and repeatedly all a change to Kevin offers is a chance of winning or of at least mitigating the damage. He’d have to play his cards very, very well. The big thing that he has in his favour other than not being Gillard is he’s not Abbott either and many people are looking for an excuse not to vote for that guy.

      “The best advice is to keep your nerve and keep focused.”

      The ALP’s internal polling, every other poll in the land has consistently and for a long time pointed to them being wiped out in a landslide and so have the bookies.

      So your advice based on the data we have at hand is best described as bullshit.

    • “Voters aren’t even engaged yet” – yep and most of em won’t ever be. What’s going to get more viewers tonight do you reckon the State of Origin or coverage of the leadership ?

  14. “Rudd is the man who got fired on a Monday and came back Tuesday to burn the place down.”

    Followed by a lynch mob of people who thought THEY did the hiring (and the firing).

  15. Well, looks like enough of caucus agreed with you, Dude.

    I think I and Andrew Elder were right: that we could have won regardless of the current polling. Programs has got to come into it. Stuffed if I know where it will all go from here. I can only hope you’re right.

    I’ll vote for them, but don’t expect me to campaign. I hope Hawker’s got some sort of plan. He’s going to need it just to get the party behind him after sabotaging it and her for so long.

    • All I will add is that, Now Tony Abbott can really lay into the instigator who shipwrecked Howards Pacific Solution and oh yes Stop the Boats while the Pink Batts designer cops the boot up in the ceiling while still tearing the Labor Party to pieces over their divided loyalties for the next 12 years to come. Labor had the chance to be loyal to each other but have failed.

    • Did you see Antony Green on 7:30 last night. No one ever has won from that position.

      I like Gillard, sorry to see her go but her supporters must really get a grip and realise a) She did NOT win in 2010, 2010 was a disaster. b) She was heading Labor to a wipe out in 2013.

      Pretty hard for anyone to win from here, but lets hope that Rudd can do it or at least do enough damage to Abbott to save Gonksi, CTS, NDIS and the NBN

      PS James, Gillard has been a disaster when it comes to people smuggling.
      Whilst her government made numerous gaffes that Abbott and a hostile Murdoch media were able to exploit it’s the adoption of Howard era policy that really let her, labor and the desperate people trying to get here down. She should have adopted onshore processing and Gay marriage for that matter and told Abbott and Murdoch to go screw themselves. It couldn’t have made things worse, but as someone pointed out earlier she has a tin ear for politics.

      • Have you read the findings from the legal contest that was handed down in the Hirse Jamaa and others Vs Italy by the European Court of Human Rights affirming that intercepting migrant refugee boats in the Mediterranean sea and returning them to Libya during the Gaddifi uprising was wrong.

        In short the 17 justices preceding found that Italy violated the 1951 Geneva Convention Status of Refugees and the 1982 United nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Yes Italy then had to send two passenger liners to that little island and pick up all those refugees fleeing the civil war in Libya and take them all back to the Italian mainland.

        Those same laws apply to Australia, while adding the fact that Indonesia will never take the boats back. The problem Australia faces is that our Navy and Customs are the extended arm of our sovereign flag. Which means when Australia takes control of those refugee boats who seek asylum, refugee static must be granted and be processed. If Australia doesn’t follow this convention then they are guilty of such an act.

        The other is, in these same circumstances on which the vast majority of boats intercepted by the our navy now make landfall at Christmas Island and other outcrops. However, if Australia decides to tow the boats from any of these zones back into the high seas or to the Indonesian exclusive economic zone, well exceeds Australia’s legal rights under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It also would expose Australia to in a breach of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention and other maritime conventions for rescue at sea.

        Boats carrying asylum seekers may be legally directed within Australia’s territorial sea and as far out as the 24 mile contiguous zone by our navy or customs which they can be escorted or towed to an Australian port. Then if intercepting boats beyond those limits within the Australian 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, such boats can be brought to Australia if a request for assistance had been made. No navy or customs have a right to interfere with any vessel on the High Seas and take command under the law of the sea and only may give assistance if asked for by the master of that vessel.

        On this bases nether Julia or Abbott could achieve towing back the boats to Indonesia and the stale mate will continue and that is why I say Abbott will never be able to Stop the Boats.

      • “On this bases nether Julia or Abbott could achieve towing back the boats to Indonesia and the stale mate will continue and that is why I say Abbott will never be able to Stop the Boats.”

        I’ve already pointed out that I support ON SHORE processing and that the ALP let us down by re-adopting many of the dire Howard issue policies on asylum seekers.

        And of course Abbott wont be able to stop the boats. Not only will Indonesia deny him but it’s it’s the push factors that are the reason people are coming here, not the myth of economic upgrades.

  16. Love your work Victoria, but a small correction: the expression is “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result”

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