Unholy Alliances

Under Julia Gillard the new factions of the ALP are the greens and the independents. Graham Richardson's marginal seats strategy has become a permanent party institution. It all looks smart politics until the next election.

Julia Gillard and her supporters are off their rockers. Like the ALP of the 1950s they are already preparing  those who come after them for a decade or more of opposition. Sometimes this is a preferable option for a professional politician or party official. The work is easier. The pay is only marginally lower. Life is more predictable and secure. You can spend all your time securing your tenure and position within the party, and so there are no threats.

But it means the end of the Labor Party as a real force for change. If all is not to be lost the Labor caucus has to lift its gaze beyond its collective navel.

The attacks on Kevin Rudd over the past few days have been, as Michelle Grattan reported this morning, vicious and unthinking. They are grist for the Tony Abbott mill. It is hard to see how anybody could emerge with integrity after the vitriole ceases.

I am no fan of Martin Ferguson. But he had his finest hour yesterday when he came out in a principled way for Kevin Rudd. He showed that it is possible to support a candidate in a Labor leadership ballot and not burn down ALP headquarters. It was an exemplary performance.

However Rome is very much on fire. The nature of the attacks on Rudd are an indicator of how out of touch Federal cabinet is from public opinion. Gillard and her supporters have successfully confirmed every suspicion the general public had about Rudd’s knifing and the way ALP insiders conspired to bring him down.'