SHORTEN COUNTING NUMBERS
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.
It appears Julia Gillard will not be Prime Minister in two weeks’ time according to more than one Labor backbencher and Kevin Rudd is desperately positioning himself to be one of the contenders to replace her.
Gillard supporters have flown the coop in droves, appalled at her latest divisive antics.
A move against Gillard will not be made next week but the week after, the last sitting week before the election, the date of which may now change.
Any change will decimate Labor’s front bench and the swearing in of a new Ministry must be left until the last minute, guarding it against a vicious coalition assault in a sitting Parliament.
It now seems almost certain that some Caucus members are expected to volunteer, in a spill, to limit an electoral massacre and Shorten himself is warily sniffing the poison chalice.
Over the past two weeks Shorten has been resisting immense union and backbench pressure to organise numbers against Gillard. But now the pressure has become unbearable and this wasn’t the way Bill wanted it.
A sacrificial lamb must be found because Shorten doesn’t want to risk permanent injury himself by leading Labor into the valley of electoral death.
He wants a clean start but he knows that sticking with Gillard will extend his time in Opposition by terms.
In Opposition shorten will need meaningful numbers he can build on... numbers Gillard is quite prepared to deprive him and her Party of.
No-one is prepared to guess who the new wood duck might be but one thing is certain, Gillard will not go quietly and Shorten must judge the public bloodletting against the possible retention of some seats if she goes. It’s a tough one.
Electing Rudd will split the Party in two and mean an immediate issuing of writs, with no time left to defend himself or his shattered Party.
His front bench will walk and he will be left with impotent newbies unable to defend their portfolios on the hustings.
There are others, Carr (they could get him a seat in the Reps later). Smith and a few lesser lights might be prepared to put Party ahead of self but Shorten’s excruciating decision is all about the interests of Shorten, as is Gillard’s all about Gillard.
No-one knows what option he will be forced to adopt, but everyone knows Gillard is becoming more of an electoral nightmare for Labor as each day passes.
Tighten your seat belts... the next two weeks are set to register prominently in the pages of political history books.