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The Past | The Previous

A Messy Suicide

Yesterday, in the midst of yet another leadership challenge (the one that didn't happen), I said to N., "This is kind of like watching someone cut their wrists by going across the veins, rather than with the veins."

Yesterday was another day of bad politics. I saw a number of people link it to Julia Gillard and an anti female take, but while the media and, to an extent, the Opposition Party, have made a lot of mileage out attacking Gillard, and women in general, the Labor Party leadership speculation has always had a different place of origin, at least in my mind. There is no doubt that days like yesterday feed into the narrative of misogyny, but to accept that as the reason for it is to ignore the deep divisions in the Labor Party, and the lingering resentment over how Kevin Rudd was originally removed. In a certain way, if Labor had replaced Gillard with Rudd over the fear of media reform laws and the power of the press, there would have been a certain sense of coming full circle, given that it was the changes to mining taxes that finally tipped people into changing Rudd. That he was deserving of his loss is not in question: his actions since then in the forms of his media presence, the undermining, and such, have only served to demonstrate the destructive influence he was having within his own Party. I add that because I don't want people to think that I actually think Rudd would be a good choice as Prime Minster, though I do like it when suicide is done properly, and without this lingering mess and stitches to hold the skin in place.

Yesterday was a farce. Whether Simon Crean thought a leadership change was on the cards, or if he was just sinking Rudd for his own, and his party's benefit, will be decided later. In an interview he gave to Leigh Sales later, Crean certainly didn't look as if he had regrets, or that he thought he'd done something wrong, though he should have. Calling for a spill while a national apology to people of enforced adoption was taking place was a particularly unpleasant thing to witness, with the selfishness and self centreness of the politics in general on display. It was hard, afterwards, to hear much complaint about how the political farce being played was ruining a day that was important for a lot of Australians, and there was certainly no attempt to give them a voice to be angry about it. Instead, Abbott looked as if he had been given a gift, and took it, and the rest of us watched the media and the Labor Party try to talk up Kevin Rudd, none of them mentioning how it would be nothing short of political suicide to change their leader, now. Never mind what polls say: the fallout would be a disaster in terms of front benches, the independents would drop support for the government like sun hot change, and there would be an election called almost immediately. If you believed for a moment that the majority of Australians would turn to Rudd with open arms after all that, you're probably running that knife the wrong way across your wrists as well.

As they say, no one respects a messy suicide.

I can't imagine Labor winning, or even doing well, in September. I doubt many others can--and lets face it, it isn't just yesterday. The list of examples to be disenchanted by are huge and massive. If you're a left leaning individual who has always seen Labor as the lesser of two evils, your lesser is turning into something else, it is probably time to begin looking for a new lesser. The Greens, for example.