OLD LEADERS NEVER DIE
... they simply hang around and create havoc
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
When Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd I advised her (for her own benefit) to display some magnanimity and give him back his beloved Foreign Affairs portfolio. Instead she used a casual Senate vacancy to humiliate him and gifted the juicy portfolio to an unelected Bob Carr.
Bob was part of the NSW Right faction instrumental in her gaining the top job.
I suggested to her that Kevin, if left in the House, would background, leak and relentlessly undermine her. It’s in Kevin’s nature to do that... and he did exactly that, until Caucus had no choice but to sack Gillard and re-elect Rudd to face the voters.
Foreign Affairs is Cabinet’s plum job, second only to Leader. It’s an ego-stroking post of first-class world travel and talking guff to world leaders who have to rush to Wikpedia to find out who the hell you are.
The Foreign Affairs post allows the Minister to mainly float above dirty day-to-day politics and, if Kevin had maintained it, he would have had no time or reason for vengeance. He would be far too engrossed in his own magnificence.
But Julia won no prizes for judgment or foresight and she paid the ultimate penalty.
When darling of the Left, Malcolm Turnbull was sacked as Leader of the Libs, he announced his retirement from politics. But bile burns deep in the gut of those spurned, particularly those who consider themselves intellectually superior to others, and he quickly changed his mind.
There were things yet to be redressed for Malcolm.
He flatly refuses to deny he still harbours leadership ambitions. He reads polls and has noticed that Tony Abbott, who wrested the leadership from him by one vote, is about as popular as a roast pig at Ramadan.
He is no threat to Abbott now, but the time will come when Abbott’s popularity will be the defining difference between winning and losing an election.
As is always the case, a Party will opt for winning an election and Abbott, although he is twice the man that Turnbull is, will not go quietly.
It’s been a half century since the Libs had a Leader who hung on by one tenuous vote... John Gorton, as PM, cast a vote against himself for the sake of Party unity. And that sort of self harm for the sake of others won’t occur again.
Turnbull has done magnificently in the Communications job untangling Conroy’s expensive mess, but to ignore that he covets the leadership is foolhardy.
Bolt and Jones are wrong! Of course the Libs love Abbott and despise Turnbull, but it’s wise to consult recent history, because it shows Uncle Malcolm is far from out of a future race.
Recent history shows Labor loved Gillard and despised Rudd before re-electing him to improve their chances at an election.
Abbott is due for a Cabinet mini-shuffle and he should plan for love having its limits.