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The Challenge


The fascinating aspect of this leadership challenge is the insight into why the ALP caucus decided to get rid of a Prime Minister in his first term after that man had lead the party from an 11 year period in opposition into a 24 seat majority. Why the hell would you do that?

The cone of silence on the incident the ALP adopt on internal issues only made it look worse. Also no one knew what the numbers were. Just that Julia Gillard had appeared to have them that day in June 2010.

Now we are told that this was no ordinary challenge.

What do you mean Ash? I’m glad you asked! See when Tony Abbott had gotten what he thought were close numbers for a challenge to Malcolm Turnbull, he resigned and two weeks later launched his attack. He succeeded by one vote. But hey. That is democracy. That is why minority government is not, as Abbott likes to call it, an experiment.

But this coup as Rudd likes to call it had different numbers. According to Michael Danby MP, those willing to vote against Rudd numbered 100. Think about this.

Abbott had launched his numbers search well before he resigned from Turnbull’s ministry. It took him months of dissent before he resigned and then challenged. And then he won by one vote.

Here we have 100 caucus members lining up to dismiss Rudd. This was not so much a challenge but the spill of growing anger and resentment in Kevin Rudd. The fact that Julia Gillard was able to keep the dissent in the ranks at bay for months is evident in these numbers. Rudd claims that Julia Gillard was plotting for months. I put it to you with numbers of 100 to 20 odd against she could have challenged Rudd any time 2009/2010. At any time. The fact that she did not indicates she remained loyal for a very long time.

And the strength in the number also indicate how badly Rudd had destroyed relationships with his caucus. This was not a leadership challenge. It was a full blown revolt. This was not a victory of one vote, but a resounding vote by a majority. I would even contest that the deal the PM made with Rudd and took back to the caucus was instantly rejected not by her, but by 100 angry caucus members. Even up to the end, Gillard was attempting to give Rudd an out. But it was too late. The caucus had had enough. Faced with what would have been a humiliating loss if he stood against her, Rudd elected to not stand.

Twenty months on, the party is finally dealing with the vote they had to have in June 2010. They should have forced Rudd to stand against Gillard back then and let the numbers of that be shown to the public. It would immediately be seen as no confidence in Rudd and he would have been finished.

They chose to let him go gracefully in 2010. Not so in 2012

A. Ghebranious 2012

  1. Rasa permalink

    Caucus is not a democratic organisation. It is a bunch of unionists that feed off the workers of Australia. It has no morals. Follow the money trail. it is all about gorging on the union dues extorted from the workers.

  2. In response to @Rasa I would like to say that the caucus is a direct reflection of our society and its wishes, why you ask.. because under democratic procedure each region elected these people in various ways to be their voice of reprease ntation in our Government arena.
    Thats democratic process in action, you not liking it doesnt mean millions of others dont.
    Lynn a good solid article, and yes this should have happened when the Party decided Rudd was more harmful than helpful.
    My one wish is they now attack him fully and expose the full spectrum of his arrogance, conciet and folly that led to loss of confidence, those of us with functioning memories are well aware of his acations that bought him down and the public must and should already have been told.
    Better be quick as they have under 48 hours to do so.

  3. Apologies Ash, dont know why I typed Lynn in there, bad day at the console im thinking…

  4. Pip permalink

    Tak no notice of Rasa Ash., he/she would never back Labor anyway…

    I agree, that Rudd shoiuld have manned up for the ballot on 2010 instead of leaking to the media and undermining his own government.

    His underhanded tactics almost handed government to the most right-wing tea party bunch of buffons in our history.

    The stories of Rudd’s temper and snubs are legendary but this one is a bottler. I gave up reading Michelle Grattan long ago, but picked this up via Twitter

    A-G Nicola Roxon gave a damning indictment of Rudd’s Cabinet processes.

    Lid’s off and it’s ugly February 25, 2012.

    An extraordinary collective vomit is expelling the secrets of cabinet and the 2010 coup. As he countered ministers’ vitriol about his shambolic cabinet procedures, Rudd accused Gillard of bypassing proper process when her government took over his health reforms.

    Roxon, former health minister, angrily declared this a ”complete joke” – it was his process that was disastrous.

    ”He wanted with four days’ notice … to take over the entire health system. Didn’t have any materials for cabinet, didn’t have legal advice, thought – I think it was on the Wednesday or Thursday – that we could prepare something that he’d take to cabinet on Monday to announce on Tuesday.”

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