Rudd finally goes—the modern day Hannibal.


by Bertel Torsten in Canberra


Perhaps the greatest military strategist of the ancient world was Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who famously crossed the Alps—elephants and all—in 218 BC and invaded Italy routing Roman armies and never loosing one significant battle for fifteen years.

He was recalled to Carthage in 203 BC to defend the city state against the vengeful Romans but met with complete disaster and the ancient Mediterranean power was smashed to smithereens. It was said of Hannibal that he won the battles but lost the war.

Much of the same could be said of Kevin Rudd. His 2007 victory over John Howard, the most formidable conservative leader since Sir Robert Menzies, was a major triumph but when he was recalled to try and defend a tottering and shambolic regime, his previously sure touch deserted him. The ALP regime came crashing down as Carthage did—the vote nationally was the lowest in a century.

And when it came to quit Parliament, Kevin proved—for the final time—that he could be the utter bastard that so many of his former colleagues had said he was after the poll defeat. He gave his Leader Bill Shorten a scant ten minutes notice of his farewell speech because, it seems, he couldn’t trust him not to leak it.

Shorten was reportedly heard swearing and cursing Rudd as he left the Chamber and one Labor insider was quoted as saying, “He was furious.”

Yet Shorten has every reason to be thankful. It is Rudd’s own new leadership rules that he enforced during his brief return to the prime ministership that will ensure that Shorten cannot, in reality, be challenged before the next election. If Rudd ever entertained some fantasy about a third go as Leader, the realisation that his own rules made that impossible would be the supreme irony.

Predictably, there were the usual outpourings of affection and appreciation from both sides of politics, although many—including those from Labor ranks—sounded confected. His successor/predecessor Julia Gillard tweeted, “Best wishes to Kevin, Therese & their family as they embark on the next stage if their lives. JG” which wasn’t gushing affection or sincere best wishes. It wasn’t meant to be.

Most, if not all, public utterances from Labor people sounded like the sort of cursory comments people write on “Happy Retirement” cards for a colleague they hardly knew or didn’t like—things like, “Good luck Fred from Mary in Accounts Payable.” 

To the bitter end, Rudd tried to defend his legacy. It was he, according to himself, who saved the ALP from a cataclysmic defeat. It recalled his concession speech on election night in September—a self-justifying self-pitying rant that went on for twenty-two minutes, twice the time of Abbott’s victory speech.

PM Abbott said some nice things about his predecessor that, if not wholly sincere, did show good taste and a sense of occasion. However, when asked if his government would give Rudd ajob, he delivered a very quick and emphatic “NO”.

It is likely that the people of Griffith will have to trudge back to the polls for the by-election next February and the outcome is far from certain for the ALP.

The well-informed Chief Political Correspondent for The Age, Mark Kenny, has already written, “ALP hard-heads are conceding defeat is likely if the Liberal-National Party’s Bill Glasson runs again.”

And it is virtually certain that Glasson will run. On election night he said he would consider running again if Rudd quit and the LNP is praying that he will. An appeal for campaign donations has already been launched and the money is pouring in.

It was on election night that Rudd showed his natural arrogance by sneering, “It would be un- prime ministerial of me to say, ‘Bill Glasson, eat your heart out’ so I won’t.”  

The final result showed that Glasson scored 36,481 votes to Rudd’s 34,878—a margin of more than 1,600. A novice candidate against a sitting Prime Minister who managed to achieve a two-party preferred swing of 5.45%, Glasson is in a strong position for the by-election if he runs.

Front runners for ALP selection include left faction lawyer Terri Butler and former State MP Di Farmer who managed to lose her Bulimba seat which is in the very core of Griffith in the 2012 State election to an unknown LNP candidate. Previously Bulimba had been a rock-solid Labor seat since Adam was in shorts.

Rudd rides into the political sunset with an annual indexed pension of $155,000, an office, an official car and security arrangements.

It is a rather better fate that that of Hannibal who, driven into exile after the destruction of Carthage, finally took poison saying, “Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man’s death.”

Perhaps Kevin might reflect on those words before he tries a new career of being a commentator on the Labor Party or worse, more dead wood on the UN gravy train.

With friends like this no wonder Rudd resigned from Parliament


expect more to come.

And here they are…


Chairman Rudd video from 2007 still applies today…


The mock-up from the Chaser’s War on Everything is still on the money…


Here’s the latest from Liberal Party HQ…


Great quote from Tony Abbott, “In 2007 you voted for Kevin and got Julia. In 2010 you voted for Julia and got Kevin. If you vote for the Labor Party in 2013 who knows who you will end up with.”

And now Hitler finds out that Kevin Rudd is PM again…


Kevin, in Labor’s own words…


Rudd engaged in ‘jihad of revenge’: Latham




Follow Andy on Twitter 

Rudd was right



I never thought I would say it or even think it but, there it is, Kevin Rudd was right.

He said before the election that he could rely on the good sense of Australians to make the correct decision – and they did.

Former Labor Prime Ministers seem to have the gift of being right retrospectively. Bob Hawke memorably said after the election debacle that the ALP had consistently under-estimated Tony Abbott – and he is right.

Amid all of the activity of the incoming Coalition Government, it is vaguely surreal to remember that Rudd is still the PM and all of his Ministers are still Ministers and will be probably until next week. Not that anybody in the public service is taking their calls, even if they wanted to ring up and say goodbye.

Meanwhile, the ALP is busy at its very favourite blood sport – devouring each other as the fight over the spoils of defeat heats up.

One of Rudd’s senior Ministers Kim Carr has said he has spoken to Dear Leader since the election and believes that Rudd will stay on in Parliament. “He’s made it very clear to me that his intention is to get on with being the Member for Griffith and get on with representing his electors and I’ve no doubt that his intention is to stay,” Carr said.

That bit of news must really cheer up what remains of the caucus. Perhaps Rudd will hang around like Billy McMahon who, having been defeated as PM in 1972 by Gough Whitlam, stayed on in Parliament for another ten years. McMahon increasingly became an eccentric figure of fun to everybody so there is a very real chance Rudd will also – if he isn’t already.

There is no shortage of Labor folks who have gone public since the defeat and some of them – actually a lot of them – have been bitterly scathing of Rudd.

Retired ex Minister Craig Emerson who refused to serve under Rudd and quit Parliament has finally blown the whistle on who was responsible for the damaging leaks about Julia Gillard in the 2010 election – and, yes, he points his finger at Rudd. What a surprise!

He added, “Any one who does that, who is hell-bent on revenge, who is so destructive, as to depress the Labor vote in the 2010 election shouldn’t be rewarded for this sort of behaviour.”

Emerson said Rudd had been “deceitful” when he said repeatedly that he would not take the leadership from Gillard and, for good measure, added, “That was a lie at the time, it’s been proved to be a lie.”

“It’s always been about Kevin – always has been, always will be and as a consequence the new Opposition Leader would be stabilised by Kevin Rudd staying in Parliament,” said Emerson. No doubt he felt a good deal better having got that off his chest.

It should be remembered that the ALP vote when it won under Rudd in 2007 was 43.4% – in 2010 under Rudd it was 33.8%. It’s quite an achievement to loose that many votes in six years. Even when Howard was defeated in 2007, the Coalition vote was 42%.

Outgoing Minister Kate Lundy believes Rudd should quit Parliament even if it means risking a by-election in Rudd’s seat. She said “renewal” could not happen if Rudd hung about on the backbench adding, “I think that it is always better to rebuild in an environment free of the ghosts of past Leaders.”

MP Laurie Ferguson said he agreed with Emerson that Rudd had undermined former Leaders Kim Beazley, Mark Latham, Simon Crean and Julia Gillard. Just for good measure he might have added Gough Whitlam and Arthur Calwell to that list because it’s not impossible to conjecture that schoolboy Rudd would have been telling everybody who bothered to listen then that he would be infinitely better.

Ferguson even helpfully suggested a new career for Rudd “researching Qing dynasty porcelain or something like that.” Perhaps, subliminally, Ferguson was thinking about a bull in a china shop and all of that terrible destruction.

Retired MP Steve Gibbons said that Rudd was treacherous while the Victorian Labor Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews described his Federal colleagues as a “toxic soap opera.”

No doubt there will be more wanting to vent their spleen. It all will be hugely entertaining because if there is one thing the ALP is in, it is the world-class, gold-medal winning category of bitching about each other. 

Outgoing Education Minister Bill Shorten will be the candidate for Leader and there is speculation that outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also stand. Caucus meets on Friday and, no doubt, that will be the hot topic.

While Shorten from the Victoria Right faction has the numbers in caucus, Albanese is from the left and it seems would have the numbers in the more left-inclined grass roots.

Under the new rules, caucus gets 50% of the vote for Leader while the ALP membership gets 50%. There are allegedly about 44,000 ALP members but for some curiously unexplained reason, only about 30,000 would be eligible to vote.

But what we do know for sure that it is time for Rudd to finally, at long last and this time for good is to “zip”.



by Jim McCrudden

If ever there was proof that Kevin Rudd has a disconnect from reality it was his speech conceding the loss of government, conceding the loss of twenty or more seats, conceding the lowest primary vote for labor in over fifty years, and conceding the swing against him personally of over 5% – higher than the national average. He is in denial of the trenchant and bitter comments of ex-colleague heavies Steven Smith and Greg Combet that he should get out of politics entirely.

Wandering in la-la land, his rambling speech went on for 20 plus minutes and he delivered it with a goofy grin that epitomised his residence in a parallel universe. 

It was as though he had not just lost an election – he had lost his mind.

He wasn't entirely disconnected however. He knew full well he would be on his backside for the god-awful mess he made of the knifing of Julia Gillard, his thought-fart campaign with off-the-planet ideas of bribing New Guinea to take the  queue jumping well-off refugees, the plan to introduce tax havens inside the country, and the mindless parroting of criticisms of Abbott that had been explicitly disavowed by treasury officials.

Knowing the humiliation that was waiting for him in the leadership, he parlayed the kick in the guts handed out by the electorate into what appeared to be a bong driven notion that somehow he had saved the party from a worse fate. He was handing over the party he had saved to new leaders, handing it over in a position of strength.  He even rejoiced in the news that the ministers who had refused to serve with him had been re-elected. 

The Herald got caught up in this dream, a fantasy usually found at the bottom of a bottle of Old Kickapoo Joy Juice. Caught up? They snatched at it, and Jacqueline Maley sprang to the front of the choir singing that the Saviour Rudd had brought the ALP back from disaster and had bequeathed a powerful team to fight Tony Abbott with.  He saved Western Sydney, he saved Queensland, she blithered, ignoring all facts to the contrary; and thus began the Great Myth. 

The myth will live in the minds of the gullible, Fairfax and the ABC because it will be pushed in public by those in the Party who had a part in the knifing of Gillard; the Saviour Myth is the justification for their panic-stricken assassination of Julia in the first place.

Those with an attention span superior to a goldfish will remember that the self-decapitation of the Party was done to win the election, not to salvage something from it. It was only in the weeks following that historic farce that the question of a landslide began to hit home.  Even during the election night, the question was constantly put – was the electoral savaging worth it? Would Gillard have done worse? No one would answer directly. "Recriminations are of no use", was the scripted response.

The myth began to take shape while Rudd was revealing the voices singing in his head in his twenty minute Monty Python monologue.

It's not often that one actually sees the beginning of a myth. But there it is – set out for historians and social commentators and thesis hopefuls to mull over.

But the myth has no legs inside the Party.

Or with those who lost their seats.

Rudd – a deeply religious man?


by Jim McCrudden

Kevin Rudd outshone shabbiness last night when he attacked a pastor on Q&A for saying that homosexual marriage was wrong.

He had the trivial smartarse response ready that the Bible also approved slavery, so the Bible wasn't always a good guide.

That wisecrack has been around for yonks and persists in left, secular, and homosexual publications. 

The Tele reported the incident while saying that Rudd was a "deeply religious" man.

That sort of thing sits very uneasily with the public perception of Rudd over the knifing of Julia Gillard. It might be politics but it was not the actions of a "deeply religious"man. And it sits uneasily with the con job he pulled over Abbott's costings, it might be politics but promoting a bare-faced lie is not the action of a "deeply religious" man.

And it is not the action of a "deeply religious" man to take the issue of slavery, about which he either knows from nothing, or is fully aware that the Bible does not support slavery. So is he ignorant, or is he playing to the gallery – following Shakespeares warning to Bassanio "the devil can cite scripture for his own purpose."

It is a common sleazy point in debate when someone quotes the Bible for a position to come back with some superficial and deceitful remark, "The bible also says…" In fact gay marriage literature frequently comes back with the "slavery" argument which suggests that the "deeply religious" Rudd draws inspiration from that well.

One central plank of the Bible is that all men and women are created equal, and as the US constitution puts it are endowed with life and liberty.  That constitutional statement was taken from the Bible. It was a significant issue in the civil war there. It is a significant element in Christian Churches condemnation of "slavery" as we now know it. 

In  Exodus at the very beginning it states "And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." Slavery as we know it was punishable by death.

One of the apostles Timothy had this to say "law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, …for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers."

Furthermore, "slavery" within the Old Testament context is a very slippery concept. People would voluntarily sell themselves into slavery. A craftsman could use his skills in servitude to discharge a debt.  A convicted thief could make restitution by serving as a "slave" to pay off his debt. This form of "slavery" was still in existence until comparatively recently.  Benjamin Franklin worked for no charge to pay off his father's debts to a farmer.

In any case, reporting  and recognising is not the same thing as endorsing. 

The Prime Minister must have been salivating for someone to denounce same-sex marriage as not being in the Bible. A great chance for a trivial one-liner while enabling him to preach about tolerance and explain how he has twisted away from his earlier position.


The Big Picture – The Rudd Vision


Lars Gershenson, inside the campaign

In the dying days of the election campaign and, according to the polls the final days of the Rudd Government, our globe-trotting “big picture” PM has raised the possibility that he may attend the G20 summit in Russia on September 5 and 6.

Amazingly – well, perhaps he thinks boldly and courageously – Rudd said, “I said at the outset that our intention is that Australia would be represented by the Foreign Minister but I will continue to be in consultation with global leaders on this question.”

He solemnly vowed to keep in “close contact” with US President Obama and British PM Cameron on the matter of unfolding events in war-torn Syria. I bet they are both tremendously grateful.

We can all imagine Obama and Cameron on the phone to Rudd, tears streaming down their faces, imploring him to come to Russia to contribute his wise counsel to the gathering. Well, if you can’t imagine that, I’m sure Rudd can. Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to him that US and British diplomats here are sending home regular reports of how the election campaign is going.

The possibility of The Leader being out of the country for the two days before the 7 September election must have provoked some very mixed emotions at ALP Election HQ – honestly, they wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Developing his “big picture” strategy, Rudd – trying to sound more in sorrow than in anger – has questioned if Abbott could handle international events.

“I sometimes question, I really do question, having known Mr Abbott for a long, long time, whether he has the temperament for that sort of thing. You’ve got to sit back, think calmly, reflect and then work through what the best decision is. And temperament and experience are quite important,” he said.

We’ve seen lots and lots of examples of Rudd’s quiet, sober and considered reflection on major international issues.

When he was PM the first time and attending the Copenhagen Climate Change conference, he was asked if a deal was possible. He famously raged, “Depends if those rat-f**cking Chinese want to rat-f**ck us.” Remember climate change was for Kev the greatest moral challenge of our era until he decided it wasn’t.

In June 2008, he gave a grand “big picture” address to a domestic audience outlining his vision to redraw the regional diplomatic and strategic arrangements in our region through the establishment of his so-called “Asia – Pacific Community” which would include the US, Japan, China, Indonesia and others including us of course under his inspired and inspirational leadership.

The trouble is nobody in those countries knew one single thing about it – and neither did our very own Foreign Affairs Department. The Indonesian Government for one wasted no time dismissing it out of hand.

His grasp of international diplomacy, tact, discretion and simple old-fashioned politeness was shown by the disclosure that he referred to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as “spanky banky”. 

The list could go on.

However, there is a domestic “big picture” agenda also. Lucky us!

There is the plan to relocate Sydney’s Garden Island Naval Base north to Brisbane or other Queensland ports. Just when this might happen is unclear but a relocation cost of at least $6 billion has been bandied about at a time when the Navy is struggling to meet its obligations.

Vice-Admiral Crane, Navy Chief from 2008 – 2011, has flatly dismissed this Rudd thought bubble masquerading as policy. “I certainly would not be supporting a decision that said ‘let’s relocate the fleet base to another place and spend an exorbitant amount of money to do so’. It just doesn’t make any sense,” he said.

The Australian Defence Association laughed at the whole idea calling it “strategic lunacy.”

But the biggest, grandest, boldest and most visionary idea our far-sighted PM has had in recent days is the undertaking that a high-speed railway will be built between Sydney and Melbourne. The anticipated completion date is 2035 but I bet Kev would be unselfishly prepared to stay on as PM for another 22 years just to cut the ribbon. Nobody has really the slightest clue how much this will cost and, sadly and predictably for all government capital works, even the initial estimate is usually a fraction of the final cost. Just think about the National Broadband Network.

In what must come very close to being the understatement of the campaign, Transport Minister Albanese, coyly admitted, “We haven’t tried to suggest that this can be done tomorrow or next week.”

I wonder if the good people of western Sydney and in other vulnerable ALP electorates are now thinking about switching their votes back to Kev’s team – after all, it is possible that the G20 summit, the shifting of the naval base and the high speed Sydney to Melbourne train must be the three single topics of conversation at the Rooty Hill RSL.

I’m sure they are; well, Kev seems to think they are.






A Dud Deal & A Bullying Rudd Threat

A. Essery


by Allan Essery

I have written often on the inequaties of defence services superannuation and the shabby manner in which this government has treated ex-service personnel, but the latest in arrogant insensitive rudenessand bullying from Rudd takes the cake.

During a July meeting with Rudd to discuss his offer in regard to the indexation of deference superannuation ex-senior RAAF Officer Peter Crissand ex-senior Army Officer David Jamison rejected an offer from Rudd that was neither fair, transparent nor anywhere near being satisfactory.

When Peter Criss informed Rudd that he was representing some 57,000 ex-servicement and women and they would have to be told what a  shoddy deal they had been offered, Rudd's response was anger when he told them that, ''Don't bag us, otherwise we will pull up the drawbridge and you will get nothing.''

Listern to Peter Criss yourself and make up your own mind as to what sort of person the ex-service people are dealing with.

Listen here

Alan Essery is an ex-RAAF officer retired from active duty. He was a flight instructor and charter pilot. He also writes on matters political and is a staunch battler for ex-service superannuants. He is also rumoured to be a savvy fossicker for the yellow stuff.