Attila the Pun
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Bring back Crean!

Gun. Fish. Barrel.

Howard now holds a 35% lead over Latham as preferred Prime Minister, and Labor's primary vote has fallen to 33%, lower that when Crean was axed.

Thats okay though, Phil Adams has the solution - Kevin Rudd:

Why Rudd? No, it's not a case of being king in the land of the blind -- or being the last man standing. Still standing are Wayne Swan and Stephen Smith, and it hardly matters which of that double act is on offer. Both are apparatchiks, machine men, pollster pollies. Hell will freeze over before either comes up with an interesting idea. The sort of political plodders who pore over demographic data, they're entirely identified with failed campaigns. But Rudd is different.

File those descriptions away - if either Swan or Smith are leading Labor into the next election, you will hear Adams sing their praises from the rooftops, until they lose. Don't believe me? Here is Adams pre-election:

And what of PM Latham? Without a doubt, he’ll combine the courage of Curtin with the decency of Chifley, the wit of Whitlam, the irreverence of Keating and the gravitas of Menzies, not to mention the dance moves of Fred Astaire and the table manners of Mike Tyson.

and post:

"He's one of those people who, it seems, doesn't like being grateful to those who've helped him over life's hurdles. Again and again, he cuts them off, refusing to be under any obligation. " ... "While holding himself in the highest regard, Latham is suspicious and dismissive of others" ... "Nonetheless, it's desirable to keep the worst excesses under control. I've never believed that Latham can control his. Or that anyone else can"

We can keep going if you like. In relation to Beazley, Andrew Bolt does the honours:

His Australian column on election day was typical. Beazley had "a heart the size of Phar Lap's", and might be "too big-hearted for the political profession".

He was a man of "intelligence" and "kindness", and likely to make "a great prime minister". True, he'd "soft-pedalled on too many issues" dear to the Left, but he'd reassured Adams over lunch that on, say, mandatory sentencing: "Don't worry. When I'm prime minister I'll fix it".
I found it odd that Adams could endorse a seeming trick -- Beazley allegedly promising Adams one thing but voters another.

But worse was how differently Adams wrote about Beazley just seven days later, with the election lost and no voters left to con.

NOW Adams revealed Beazley wasn't big-hearted at all. He was instead so "pusillanimous and insincere" that he tried to sneak "into power via the White Australia Policy Mark II". He'd led Labor to such a "dishonourable loss" that Adams said he "was glad to see him going" and had been "close to resigning from the party" in disgust.

He is still tucking into Beazley in today's column:

"Yet Beazley, to borrow from a memorable satire by John Clarke, insisted on another "go on the bike". And when he fell off, young Kevin was squashed beneath his bulk. "

"It wasn't the Bomber's family connections with Moral Rearmament that posed a problem -- more that Beazley wasn't sufficiently moral when it came to ethical issues such as refugees."

I love this logic - Beazley lost the election because his policies were too similar to the party who did win the election. What he (and later Latham) should have done, is propose policies radically different to those endorsed by the majority of Australians. Great thinking Phil.

But back to the boy wizard, Kevin Rudd. His main assets appear to be *shock*, that he is most like a Liberal candidate:

But hang on a minute. We might be looking at useful ingredients in electoral terms. Rudd can't be condemned as anti-American and, in a time of conservative triumphalism, particularly when religious reactionaries are on the warpath, being a High Anglican is no impediment.

Yeah, those religious crusades led by the Family First party are really starting to bug me. Oh wait, there haven't been any. As for Rudd, doesn't Phil think that Labor should differentiate themselves from the Coalition, not elect as leader the person who most resembles a Coalition member?

I am undecided on my thoughts of Rudd. He is obviously intelligent (speaking Chinese is no mean feat), is not knee-jerk anti-American, and is very good at Quidditch. Acting against him has been the need to spout the Labor line on Iraq. Given free rein to craft his own policy, who knows what he actually feels. One thing is for certain, he would not have pulled the Latham "troops home by Christmas" cock-up.

Before I break out in a cold sweat by discovering that I agree with Adams, it is comforting to know that he is merely parotting the much more sensible Greg Sheridan from last week:

Rudd, by contrast, is a mainstream person with good people skills, emotionally stable, who has completely mastered complex policy and translated it effectively in the media. His ability to generate newspaper headlines critical of the Government's Asian diplomacy this week, when we began negotiations for a free trade agreement with ASEAN, was a typical example ofhis political effectiveness. He achieves these results not through stunts and gimmicks, "triangulation" and "new politics", but by mastering an area, briefing journalists effectively, speaking cleverly in parliament, working indefatigably.

It will be interesting to see which way Labor stumbles.

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