This is a guest post from an anonymous ALP member.
I first became involved in the Australian Labor Party in 2007 and winning that election elicits some of my fondest memories of my political life. I’ve been heavily involved in the ALP ever since.
Kevin Rudd’s press conference and decision to resign as Australian Foreign Minister is the beginning of the end for his career with Labor. To use a great phase: he’s done a Mark Latham.
Kevin Rudd is a very popular guy with the wider community. He has a great ability to make spin sound like straight talk (sadly contrasted by Julia Gillard’s unenvious ability to make straight talk sound like spin), but the message that comes out of Canberra is that he’s hated internally. As Prime Minister he was the School Principal that the parents loved, but the teachers couldn’t stand. Nothing has changed.
Kevin talked in his press conference today about his concern for the nation. Australia is a country that has coped with some of the most serious economic times that the world has seen in more than fifty years better than any other nation on earth. Our unemployment rate is phenomenally low. We’re officially the richest people in the world. Our government has made amazing progress that should warm the hearts of lefties everywhere: we’ve put a price on carbon, increased the wages of our lowest paid workers. We’ve introduced paid maternity leave and we’re rolling back middle class welfare. We are taxing our billionaire mining magnates who have become rich off resources we all own. We’re investing more in education and health
Kevin can proudly take some of the credit for our achievements of the last four years. So can Julia. Labor’s problem has been that we haven’t been able to sell our achievements. So when Kevin attacked the direction of the nation and the direction of Australia, he said exactly what the disillusioned wanted to hear and exactly the opposite of what the party faithful have been trying to get across since we took office.
It’s now increasingly clear that from the moment Kevin chose not to contest the leadership in 2010 he has been working to destabilise this government; working against Labor and for his own interests.
Aided by the media desperate for blood, Kevin and his tiny band of follows have done chipped away at Gillard. Not because of any policy difference, but purely in the quest for power. Hopefully now it comes to a head.
The feeling I get from my friends and colleges in the party is that he’s done. In an extremely anecdotal fashion the message I got today was almost universal dislike for Rudd’s resignation. Rudd might still be popular with the public, but his ego is too big and his quest for power too great for him ever to be an option again.
He wasn’t rolled in 2010 by “faceless men”. He was rolled by his work colleges, by the elected Labor members of the Australian Federal Parliament. He was rolled because he couldn’t work with them and he still can’t. He proved that today with his calculated dummy spit.
There is no longer a place at the Labor table for Kevin Rudd.