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Back-watching time for the PM?

Posted by: Derryn Hinch | 2 February, 2012 - 4:50 PM

I was watching Premier Anna Bligh fronting a press conference today at the start of the re-convened inquiry into the Queensland floods and I thought how frank and straightforward she came across on TV. Like she did during the flood crisis itself.

And then a journo asked a question of the bloke next to her: Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan. A question about Julia Gillard's leadership and the state of the union.

Swan, as seems to happen a lot these days, looked like a rabbit trapped in the headlights, and went into his now familiar spiel about how wonderful everything is.

He actually mentioned Kevin Rudd, the man whom he says is doing a great job as Foreign Minister and he himself, out and about and very busy, and he stressed [again] what a tight and competent team they all were. United behind the leader.

Of course, this comes on the heels of former leader Simon Crean on the Mitchell program, attacking Rudd for being a prima donna and not being a team player and vowing he'll never darken the PM's office again.

And within hours of an unnamed factional heavy supposedly leaking that a lot of Gillard backers – presumably in the New South Wales Right – have either jumped ship or are about to.

You had Monday's stories about 'Gillard's people' - I presume that's Bill Shorten - counting numbers. Both Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop have predictably jumped on this like seagulls on a hot chip. They are enjoying this speculation as much as Obama is enjoying watching Romney and Gingrich emasculate each other in the lead up to the presidential election.

The fact that Abbott is not exactly poster boy for a hungry and disillusioned electorate either is conveniently ignored.

The Opposition leader ventured into the Twitterverse today to personally answer a few tweets. One he ignored wanted to know why Kevin Rudd had more followers on Twitter than Abbott and Gillard combined.

A lot of this of course is media smoke but there are growing signs of a fire. This is Howard-Peacock, Hawke-Keating back and forth all over again.

The only way it will be solved will be a leadership challenge and that seems to be coming 'as night follows day' to quote Andrew Peacock. But what will it solve?

If Rudd challenges and loses, will he retire to the backbench? Will Gillard sack him for insubordination and break another agreement? The one she apparently made with John Falconer to keep the Ruddster on as Foreign Minister after the coup.

Would Rudd then retire to the back bench having fired the 'one shot in the locker'? The way Keating did while he brooded and plotted and counted the numbers until he rolled Bob Hawke.

No wonder the Gillard camp is jittery. Kevin Rudd just won't go away and a by-election in his seat could mean curtains for the lot of them.


PLAY: Peter Van Onselen speaks to Hinch about 'what is next?'

'Kevin Rudd no team player'

unity VIDEO: Simon Crean has taken a swipe at former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, saying one of the reasons he lost the leadership is that he was not a team player. Watch Neil Mitchell's hard-hitting editorial and listen to Simon Crean.


Tony Abbott not 'up for it'?

Tony Abbot doesn't inspire, but does he need to? HINCH BLOG: "At one stage he said 'we're up for it'. I can't honestly remember what they were up for but who cares? He didn't sound like he was up for anything. Could have been reading the phone book." Click on the image on the right for Hinch's analysis of Tony Abbott.


What did the Prime Minister know?

Julia Gillard HINCH BLOG: T"here was a political question raised 40 years ago by an American senator that is totally relevant today when you are discussing Julia Gillard and the Australia Day riot in Canberra. What did the Prime Minister know and when did she know it?"

Blog comments Your Say

  • The labour debacle - an oldie but a goodie and very apt. This country already had one red headed clown (Ronald McDonald) now we have 2. Its time Julia to put up or shut up. Stop having the Labour elders fighting your battles.

    Peter Thursday 23 February, 2012 - 10:08 AM

    Cheryl Friday 3 February, 2012 - 10:18 PM
  • @IAN BARKER. Nope my radio dial is glued to MTR 24/7 :p

    Mylene Friday 3 February, 2012 - 8:15 PM
  • Mylene .Do you ever listen to the biase of the "ABC", paid for by the Aussie taxpayers. Get your BLINKERS OFF.???

    IAN BARKER Friday 3 February, 2012 - 12:58 PM
  • Rising unemployment will destroy the government

    Mark Friday 3 February, 2012 - 12:52 PM
  • Good name the "LIEBOUR PARTY"

    IAN BARKER Friday 3 February, 2012 - 11:58 AM

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