Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Promise Rescinded: The End of Rudd as Told in Quotes

Kevin Rudd has just resigned from parliament, His most tulmultious years cover the life of this blog. They also cover the evolution of my feelings of antipathy toward the Labor Party, for which he is partially responsible. I feel the only accurate way to describe his legacy in the immediate aftermarth is to quote this blog.

On The 2007 Election:

I had followed every Federal election up until that point only for it to end in tears, quite literally. Then two days after my 23rd birthday that all changed, and finally the ALP under Kevin Rudd stormed into power. The four years of being a member of the party, volunteering on polling booths, the early morning meetings, the trips to Brisbane, and agonising through several leadership challenges all paid off at 7:20pm Queensland time when election analyst Antony Green called the election in the ALP’s favour.
 On the Stimulus Package 03/02/09:

The question is this: When will leaders recognise that economics is always a long term exercise? One must always plan for the future. The transformation in politics towards continual campaigning and generating short term political capital has come at the expense of overarching economic policy. While Hawke, Keating, Howard and Rudd learn this lesson in Australia, our citizens will suffer. No stimulus package will fix that.

On The 'Rudd Honeymoon' 04/04/09:
What is it in particular that draws the voters to Kevin Rudd?

Even as a Labor Party stalwart I acknowledge that Rudd is about as benign of a leader as the public can get. He does not have the ability to capture the public imagination like a Whitlam, the ability to mix with the public like a Hawke, or the turn of phrase of a Keating. What may propel him into stratosphere of popular opinion is his ordinariness. Except every time he is on television trying to look like a ‘man of the people’ I cringe because (at least to me) he comes across as pathetic try hard. The one thing that he has going for him is the Howardesque ability to read the public mood, something at which Turnbull and his Liberal colleagues have no clue how to do at the moment

However all of this doesn’t explain why the public feels sympathy for Rudd after he acted like a complete dickhead. Yes, he’s human and is entitled to make mistakes, but such luxuries are not normally afforded to your average politician.
The First Bump in the Road 30/05/09:
...Rudd has yet to prove he can actually govern. He can certainly give out money to bribe voters, he can certainly use rhetoric to his advantage, but the question still remains if he can actually turn it into reality.
The Media Backlash 12/06/10:
...the micromanaging, the almost insincere repour with the public, the need to obsessively claim all the power and all the responsibility within his own government... but for what? To explain that he’s a control freak, well again Marr plays the part of Captain Obvious here. All Prime Ministers need to be control freaks.
The Coup 23/06/10:
If Kevin Rudd managed to defeat the Liberal Party’s second longest serving leader (John Howard), and the opinion polls still had him winning the upcoming election by a reasonably comfortable margin, then where to for Gillard when she reaches inevitable crisis? And where to for future Prime Ministers who piss the wrong people off? That is something both Labor and Liberal members should fear. Maybe Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t so crazy after all?

Rudd Resigns as Foreign Minister 22/02/12:
The wider consequences for the ALP are brutal, whatever the outcome. Challenge or no, a former Prime Minister will be gone for good by Tuesday. Although it is of course easy to say and much harder to do, if both Gillard and Rudd worked together on policy and not undermined each other and worked cohesively just as they had promised in 2006, the ALP could have been staring down numerous election victories, a decade plus in power, and two bloody good Prime Ministers. What we have instead is a bitch fight on a national scale.
The First Challenge 24/02/12:
It has now been confirmed that Australia’s last two Prime Ministers will contest a leadership ballot on Monday to determine the leader of the ALP. Rarely has a political event carried more weight outside of a traditional electoral contest. Whether Gillard or Rudd emerges victorious, the wider implications for Australian democracy are indeed worrying.
The Second Challenge 21/03/13:
An ALP leadership challenge was brought on by former leader Simon Crean, hoping that Rudd would stand against Gillard, only for it not to happen. Confused? So is the rest of Australia.
The 2013 Election:
So the 2013 election is underway and while I'm interested in the scholarly aspects of life on the campaign trail, I'm nowhere near as invested as I used to be. Kevin Rudd and the ALP doesn't care about me, nor the people I care about.

The transformation is complete. Kevin lost the ALP. And the ALP lost me.

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