Friday, March 22, 2013

Did Crean collude with Gillard to try and fatally discredit Rudd?

Simon Crean, leadership spill, Labor, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd
Did Simon Crean collude with Julia Gillard in yesterday's phantom leadership spill?

If there is one place conspiracy theories may actually have some credence, it's the Labor Party in 2013.

On a day when we should have been sitting down to headlines of a national apology for those harmed by forced adoptions, we were overtaken by absurd political machinations or, perhaps, absurdist political theatre with B grade actors.

Watching Simon Crean's media conference early afternoon yesterday, in which he explained how he was urging Julia Gillard to call a leadership spill, he articulated two assumptions:
  • Having asked the Prime Minister to call the spill, he assumed she wouldn't.
  • Having not asked Kevin Rudd to run for leader in the spill, he assumed he would.
As it unfolded, Gillard did call a spill and Rudd didn't stand as a candidate. The only one to find themselves in changed circumstances was Simon Crean - sacked as a Minister.

But even more interesting was the way Crean spoke about Gillard and Rudd.

Julia Gillard, leadership spill, Simon Crean, Kevin Rudd
When explaining his motives, Crean spoke quietly and tenderly about Gillard, saying everyone knew the length and depth of his relationship with Julia and that this was not personal.

When asked about Rudd, he spoke harshly, almost spitting out the words, saying Kevin had to run, that he had to stop playing games on the sideline, that he was sick of the games.

If you forget the words Crean actually spoke, and think of how he said them, then he was clearly a friend to Julia Gillard and an adversary of Kevin Rudd. And this would be in keeping with his previous words about Rudd in which he described him as 'treacherous'.

Which is why it is not crazy-conspiracy to ask, did Crean fall on his sword for Gillard in an attempt to flush out and once-and-for-all fatally discredit Rudd, knowing that he didn't ever have the numbers to win?

Another argument in favour of this theory is that Crean's tactics yesterday match the style of 'policy by ambush' that seems to be gripping Labor leadership in these frantic days. Think media law...

If there was no collusion, and Crean acted alone, believing he could single-handedly redirect the fortunes of Labor, then it was one of the strangest political miscalculations we will see... until the next one.

Perhaps the only thing stranger about yesterday was Bob Katter wandering the corridors of Parliament when a division was on that nearly led to a no confidence vote in the Prime Minister. Reading from the same script, was he hedging his bets (and his vote) as to whether it was better politically, or not, to be a part of bringing down the government...

The Biblical obligation to pray for those in authority, never seemed more apt and more needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment