Sunday, 5 February 2012

Labor's Leadership Woes

Will he, won't he? Australian media is full of speculation about whether Kevin Rudd will challenge Julia Gillard for the leadership of the Labor party (and the Prime Ministership).

My thoughts in brief:

1. I don't like Labor's habit of switching horses midstream every time an opinion poll shows them slipping. For goodness sake, grow a spine, people! As a voter, I want politicians to be sensitive to my opinions and all that, but I also respect a party that doesn't quiver every time I frown. [That's in the spirit of Groucho Marx ("I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member.")]

2. Greens Leader Bob Brown may have a point that Gillard is copping it extra hard because she's a woman. I've independently discovered, to my surprise, that there is a fair amount of sexism in Australia in spite of the country's superficial egalitarianism. I think Gillard needs a bit more time and bit more space simply because she deserves a fair go, quite apart from the need to avoid switching horses midstream.

3. On the other hand, maybe it's good for Gillard to learn that what goes around comes around. Poor opinion polls helped her oust Rudd in June 2010. Now we're back in a similar situation. So what's sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose, isn't it? How do you like your irony served, Madame Prime Minister?

4. Meanwhile, on the despicable side of the fence (on second thoughts, make that "utterly despicable"), Tony Abbott is crowing about Labor's leadership crisis. Now where is the Liberal leadership challenge when we need one? If Abbott is sent packing into the political wilderness, it won't be too soon for me. Malcolm Turnbull, step up please.

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