Machination is the perfect word to describe what ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his supporters in the Australian government have been doing for the last few weeks, culminating in the events of today, and those that will fill the newspapers next Monday.
You have to understand that Australians in general don’t take politics and government too seriously. We don’t like to vote, and the person who gets in is usually the least disliked one, not the most popular. In Australia you won’t see any of those well-attended love-ins politicians get in the US. The biggest reason people go to see their local member here is to have a shout at them and tell them what a crap job they are doing. We view politics a bit like a car race, our ears only really perk up when something goes wrong and one of the leaders crashes.
Kevin Rudd crashed and burned in spectacular style a few years ago when Julia Gillard performed an unexpected manoeuver, cutting him off and sending him plunging over a cliff. She took over the leadership herself in quite a nasty and personal attack on Kevin, and became our first female Prime Minister . Nobody really cared that unpopular, micro-managing, double-speak Kevin wasn’t in charge, but in overthrowing her boss, Julia proved the thing that we all know to be true. Politicians can’t be trusted. She never reached the level of popularity or respect a properly elected leader should have, even after an election kept her in power.
Kevin seemed to take the criticism and personal attacks to heart, spending his time as the new foreign minister making friends overseas and rolling up his trousers to help out flood victims in Queensland in an attempt to revamp his image and convince us he was really a good guy.
We didn’t believe it, and all suspected that he was spending his spare time in a dark lair formulating an evil plan to take Julia down. We were right. Yesterday we heard that Kevin was throwing in his job as the foreign minister and cutting short a junket in Washington. He was coming home to have a showdown with his arch-nemesis. Today we hear Julia has called for a leadership ballot on Monday morning. We are all a bit sick of Julia now, so Kevin and his efforts to undermine her have piqued our interest again. Really though, we all just wish they would shut up and get on with the job of running the country, or let someone else do it.
I laughed at this article from 1947, if this was the punishment for plotting against the government here there would be nobody left! I am sure that Julia would love to mete out the same kind of punishment to Kevin and his supporters. Death, with a side order of jail, heavy fines and revocation of citizenship.
Unfortunately, the loser of the showdown on Monday will get a job on the backbench and still collect a paycheck the size of which the rest of us would kill for. Any remaining shred of credibility either of them had is the only thing that has been sentenced to death.
Not much of a punishment for all the ridiculous media speculation we have been subjected to for weeks. For some time we expected that this leadership spill was nothing but a beat-up.
The media frenzy bought to mind the hilarious shows Frontline, an Australian comedy from the 90’s satirizing current affairs, and The Hollowmen a satirical look at what really goes on behind the scenes in a political department.
Have a look on youtube.
This Frontline clip is called Point Scoring and Emotional Manipulation http://youtu.be/Cwfne1aYA3g . The Ray Martin hairstyle on Mike always cracks me up and the fashions are dated. Nevertheless, the subject is just as fresh as ever and I bet those same conversations are going on in news rooms around the world right now.
The Hollowmen; http://youtu.be/7XeQin9abx4 and we just know that this is how politics really is.