A young friend of mine who works for a Minister tells me there is a lot of sense in a Rudd return and it will not lead to members resigning their seats and bringing down the government. He says it is the only thing to do. A third leader in six years would look too much like New South Wales and result in disaster. We have to go back to the original one. To Rudd. To Kevin ’07.
I tell him he is wrong. In the sixties there were four Prime Ministers (Menzies, Holt, McEwen, Gorton) in two years and nine months and the last one retained office, narrowly, at the next election. There were three Prime Ministers (Lyons, Page, Menzies) in a month in 1939 and the latter narrowly retained office in 1940. There were four Liberal leaders (Howard, Nelson, Turnbull, Abbott) in two years flat and the latter, Abbott, is now leading in the polls. But no. The young fool has taken on board a new theology unconnected with anything that is real and that is that.
I told him that in Queensland there were two leaders in seventeen years and the greatest electoral wipeout in the Party’s history. In 1983 in Canberra two leaders in five weeks and the greatest victory. I told him in New South Wales it wasn’t leadership change but the American accent of the leader and the privatisation of the one thing everyone didn’t want privatised were the crucial factors and Rees would have won if left alone.
But no; he’s bought the package, and Rudd is coming back.
What a stupid, stupid idea.
If he does Clive Palmer with his boundless millions will keep running ads in which Crean, Roxon and Howes bag Rudd in vision and a deep voice asks, ‘What REALLY happened at Scores? None of us know. But THIS girl knows’, and a pixillated strumpet recalls his nose in her cleavage, and the rest of it.
The man they threw out after two years as Prime Minister. Why do they trust him now?
There are candidates for Prime Minister — Albo, Clare, Carr, Crean, Combet, Plibersek, Roxon, Shorten, to put them in alphabetical order, or Beazley, Beattie, Bracks, Gallop, Hawke, Rann, Rees and Wedderburn if he were found a seat — who would do better in an election than Gillard and be less risky than Rudd. Polls should be done asking who would go well against Abbott and the results looked at. It’s not that hard to work out what to do. A little numerate imagination is needed, not much more.
Rudd is the panic button, and he looks like the panic button.
Why not just count the numbers? Out there? Among the people?
They will show, I’m sure, Labor on 48 under any other leader.
And we can win from there.