What a joke. Consider this madness.
Simon Crean pulled the trigger for a leadership spill.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd choked on the doorstep of the caucus room before the meeting and declared he would not challenge.
Julia Gillard saw off another lunge from the Ruddites and remains Prime Minister.
Julia Gillard at a press conference after the unopposed leadership ballot
Senior Labor members managed to trash the brand even further. Crean was sacked from Cabinet immediately.
A party with a formidable history has become an ill-disciplined rabble and Tony Abbott seems assured of getting the keys to the Lodge.
After a spill, in which Julia Gillard was the only nomination for leader, chief whip Joel Fitzgibbon had the temerity to say it was “a time for healing”.
This is the same bloke who set the dogs barking, talking about the leadership rumblings, urging, urging, running press conferences down the hallways of the press gallery. Chaos appeared to reign.
At the same time one of the great moments in politics, the apology on forced adoptions, was derailed. Effectively the leadership plotters told 250,000 victims of this “brutal and often illegal” policy – as Gillard called it – that they were less important than personal ambitions.
Late yesterday, Julia Gillard spoke to the media. You couldn’t even say she looked relieved. She simply carried on as she has done for the past three years. Hard nosed. Not giving much away. She kept it short because, she said, there was much work to be done.
“I am grateful to colleagues for their continuing support of me,” she said. “I accept their support with a sense of deep humility and resolve.
“I have only ever sought office in the interests of the nation. It is in that spirit I intend to govern.”
She said she would get on with Labor’s agenda on jobs, national broadband, disability care, helping families through stresses and strains and ensuring every child gets a world class education.
“This is the purpose for which we govern. Today the leadership has been settled in conclusive fashion. It has ended now.”
At his press conference, Tony Abbott begged to differ.
“Nothing is resolved. The civil war goes on.”
He said Australians were being let down by a bad government getting worse.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be as bad as this. I am saying to the Australian people, you deserve a government that is focused on you, not on itself. The Coalition is ready.”
Labor has made sure of that.
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*Gabrielle Chan is The Hoopla’s political correspondent. She is a journalist and author with more than 25 years experience, having worked most recently as a regular columnist with The Australian. She has previously worked for The Daily Telegraph, the ABC and the South China Morning Post. Gabrielle has written and edited Flickers of History, War On Our Doorstep and FEAST and is a member of the NSW Anzac Advisory Council. She blogs at www.gabriellechan.com and you can follow her on Twitter: @gabriellechan.