I’ve had a few questions from people, both asking me to explain the current Labor leadership spill, and for my opinion on it. So here we go!
Yes, I think it’s damaging for the Labor party (even though I love political drama! I know most people are sick of it, but not me!). They are looking more and more like a group of in-fighting teenagers who can’t make up their mind and can’t get along, which leads to instability and bad governing. All Tony Abbott almost needs to do is sit back, Steven Bradbury style. The saying is true for a reason:
“Oppositions don’t win government, governments lose it.”
I think it’s possible for the Labor party to recover after the spill on Monday, but it will take lots of charisma, grace, strength and focus on policy and practicality. I honestly don’t believe Julia can pull that off, but Kevin perhaps could. And they MUST stop publicly bashing members of their own party.
The weird thing about this public in-fighting is that Julia and her supporters are violently going at Kevin in the media and his side hasn’t attacked her once. He is coming off much better in all this. He is talking about his achievements and her public record, not attacking her personally. It’s a bad, childish look.
Kevin looks more like a leader than Julia. Kevin has done more damage to Tony Abbott in the last few days than Julia has in the last 20 months. If only we had better speech writers that could have some consistency across the board, but Julia does not come off as a strong leader with vision in my opinion. I don’t hate her, but I certainly don’t think she’s a good leader. I know she has got some things done, but I still think with her as leader, Labor will lose the net election. Whenever that is!
The galaxy polls at the moment are strongly showing public favour for Kevin at the moment. But huge margins. This means that for the Labor party to win at the next election, they really need Kevin at the helm. It looks almost impossible for Julia to beat Tony Abbott at the next election. So the Labor caucus need to make a decision, how will they vote? Who they’d rather work under, or who will help them win the next election? Ideally you don’t want to have to make a choice like that at all, but it seems that Kevin has less support than Julia in the Labor caucus because of his leadership style. But if she can’t win, it’s a moot point.
Another significant point is that I honestly believe Kevin would not be challenging the leadership if he’d been treated properly. He truly loved his job as Foreign Minister. He loved it and he was good at it. If he’d been treated well by his party he would have stayed there forever. The problem is that he was being publicly attacked and Julia didn’t step up and defend him, or do anything but ignore it. Given the strong public attack on Kevin from the front bench lately, he had no choice but to resign and either leave, or challenge. He wasn’t really left with another political option!
A huge problem I have with Julia & Wayne’s attacks on Kevin is their disgusting attack on his character. They’re calling him an egotistical maniac who can’t work with anyone. So… you put him in charge of our relations with the rest of the world by making him Foreign Minister?! If you thought he was such an awful and impossible guy, why the hell did you put him on the front bench and send him to be our representative to the rest of the world?! This baffles me.
I also think the Kevin has learned from his past mistakes. I’m not saying he’s some sort of perfect leader, but the biggest criticism from his colleagues was his autocratic leadership style. He made all the decisions himself and didn’t work collaboratively. I like that he has promised (yes, actually promised) not to do that this time around if he is re-elected leader. He has promised to let the caucus choose the front bench. This is a huge thing, and I think it shows that he knows he must change, and that the government needs to be party led and more cohesive than it was under his pervious leadership.
There aren’t too many Labor members standing up for Kevin in public, however I understand that. If they declare their allegiance to Kevin (which a few have) and he loses the spill on Monday, they might lose their jobs! And they’ll be seen to be disloyal. This is why I agree with Kevin, that the spill on Monday needs to be by secret ballot so as to ensure people can vote for who they actually want to and not out of fear of losing their position.
Or we could just compromise and have this (photo) as our leader.