27 Jun 2013

Rudd's Dirty Game Pays Off

By Ben Eltham

Kevin Rudd is PM once again - and there's no disguising the presidential nature of our politics. Ben Eltham on Rudd's return and an increasingly dysfunctional democracy

The dust has settled, the vanquished departed, and the victor is currently dividing his meagre spoils.

Kevin Rudd has replaced Julia Gillard as Australia's Prime Minister. For the second time in three years, the elected prime minister of the country has been torn down and replaced without the sanction of the ballot box. A democratic system that a century ago was considered a world leader is beginning to show its age. The scent is not one of decomposition, but there is a whiff of decay.

Last night, Julia Gillard resigned her commission from the Governor-General. So did many of her cabinet colleagues, including Treasurer and deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, and  Industry Minister Craig Emerson, as well as the Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. Kevin Rudd was sworn in as the new Prime Minister this morning, along with a new Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. A new cabinet will need to follow, perhaps tomorrow.

Of course, all of the key executive personnel also departed – the chiefs of staff, the spin doctors, the policy advisors, many of whom have far more say in the policies of the nation than any ordinary government backbencher – to be replaced by a new team. Depending on your definition of “reshuffle”, this will be the sixth or seventh cabinet reshuffle in this term of Parliament.

In other words, the Government changed overnight. Again. Constitutionally and as a matter of administrative personnel, the government of Australia was replaced this morning. It was replaced without an election. In 2013, that's not good enough. 

Australia's representative democratic system is based on parties, and parties can and do change their leaders. Even so, Australian election campaigns are increasingly presidential, and voters are primarily asked to lend their support to leaders, rather than parties, or, heaven forbid, policies.

The Kevin07 campaign, for instance, was based in many respects on Bill Clinton's 1992 playbook, and Rudd's presence was inescapable during the 2007 campaign. In 2010, Gillard's troubled campaign lurched from honeymoon to the “real Julia” in a matter of weeks. It wasn't pretty, but it wasn't particularly policy-focused either.

The televised remark that would so damage Gillard's prime ministership was unmistakeably anchored around a personal pronoun. “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead,” Gillard said, and the critical phrase might actually have been “government I lead” rather than “no carbon tax”.

There's no disguising the fundamentally presidential nature of our politics. Ask yourself who you want to vote for come the election. Is it Kevin Rudd, or the Australian Labor Party? Is it Tony Abbott, or the Liberal Party? Leaders matter – especially prime ministers. The opinion pollsters are convinced that prime ministerial satisfaction ratings translate directly to the two-party preferred vote.

The chart we show here is by respected Australian poll blogger Scott Steel, also known as Possum Comitatus. Using Newspoll data up until September 2012, it compares the net satisfaction ratings of Rudd and Gillard as prime ministers with the two-party preferred votes of the ALP. As you can see, Rudd nearly always polled better than Gillard in terms of his satisfaction ratings (the x-axis).

Steel argues that Gillard's leadership ratings can be shown, statistically, to be the cause of Labor's poor two-party preferred vote. “Whether it’s the government, or us, or the media environment (or some combination thereof) that has caused this dynamic, the one thing we do know is that leadership matters more today than it has at any time over the last 25 years,” he wrote last September. “The Prime Minister today doesn’t just lead the government – as far as voter perceptions and voting intentions go, they are the government.”

This helps to explain why Labor parliamentarians finally pulled the trigger on Julia Gillard last night. As the rictus-face of Bill Shorten when speaking to the media yesterday attested, many clearly hate themselves for betraying Gillard and returning to the man they deposed three years ago. Many in Labor have spent the last three years publicly attacking Rudd for his megalomania, his micro-management and his manifest lack of personal courtesy. When push finally came to shove, as Gillard herself admitted in her fine speech last night, the pressure finally told.

With Rudd back in the top job and Labor presumably finally ready to unify behind the victor of this vicious civil war, many voters will be left to wonder whether this is really the best way to decide who gets to run the country. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that voters hate this stuff.

Who can blame them? It's hardly good government when the party governing the country spends more than three years engaged in vicious internal warfare. It can't be good for schools policy when the schools minister resigns on the very afternoon that the key policy he has been negotiating with the states and territories passes the Senate.

So if leadership is so important – to voters, to parties, and obviously to the media – why don't ordinary voters get a say? It's a question that can only be answered with a lengthy civics lesson that refers to Australia's founding fathers (there were indeed largely male) and their antipodean hybrid of British and American democratic institutions. Many Australian voters no doubt realise that by voting for a party, they are delegating their say on who leads that party. But at election after election, they are asked to vote for a person, not a party, let alone a policy.

This uneasy power dynamic occurs in all representative democracies. As John Stuart Mill recognised in the 1860s, voters ultimately give their elected representatives a kind of “power of attorney” to do as they please. And that raises some concerns for voters, who can't be in Parliament every day to check on how their local MP is voting. Should representatives be bound by pledges they made during election campaigns? Mill says no: parliamentarians should be free to change their minds.

Even Mill admitted that this risks disillusioning voters. In his book Representative Democracy, Mill openly acknowledged that voters would largely be split between Tories and Liberals, the two main groupings of his day. Given this, the most democratic option is surely to give voters – or at the very least party members – a real say in who should be the leader.

Many other parties in many other countries do exactly that. Indeed, a comparison with the ALP's closest cousins in Britain and America reveals the increasingly antiquated nature of the Australian system. Neither the US Democratic Party nor the British Labour Party decide their leadership solely on the opinions of elected representatives. In the US, both the Republicans and the Democrats hold primaries, which are often more vigorous and intense campaigns than the final contest for president itself. In the UK, British Labour gives party members and trade unions a direct vote alongside parliamentarians, in a three-part system that is considerably more direct than the federal Australian Labor Party.

Three years ago, when writing about Julia Gillard's dramatic ascension to power, I argued that Labor's decision to change the prime minister was fundamentally disenfranchising for ordinary voters, and would only accelerate the cynicism many feel towards our democracy and Parliament. The events of last night – indeed, of the last three years – have surely shown as much.

Looking back over the three years and two days of Gillard's prime ministership, we can see many policy achievements, but much political failure. The towering pinnacle of Gillard's achievement will be the stunning example of her grace under extraordinary pressure as the first female PM.

Julia Gillard's speech last night was of the very highest quality, calm, collected, steely but also unexpectedly warm. The contrast with Rudd's bewildered and sooky effort three years ago is instructive. In due course, New Matilda will devote the appropriate attention to Gillard's policy legacy, which rivals only Bob Hawke and Gough Whitlam's in the scope of its reform.

But we can also see that Gillard's leadership was crippled by a number of factors,  almost from the start. Not least among them was a lurking distaste by many voters for the way in which she rose to the office. There was a vicious sexist undercurrent to many of the sentiments expressed about Gillard, but there was also a real unease with the undemocratic nature of the way she seized the top job, and with the Labor Party's incomprehensible internal hatreds and disunities.

The campaign mounted by Tony Abbot and conservative sections of the media against her leadership was also devastatingly effective, but one of the reasons for its potency was the sense of illegitimacy engendered (a word I use deliberately) by Gillard's rise to power, and by the minority nature of her government.

As the new Prime Minister and the restored leader of the federal parliamentary Labor Party, Kevin Rudd will have many pressing issues. In the longer term, Rudd is a symptom of the ALP's failures, not a saviour. He may believe, as he reportedly told his caucus colleagues, that he can do more than “save the furniture” in the forthcoming election, but genuinely contest for victory. Even so, a last-gasp Labor win this year will hardly heal the party's deep wounds, or the increasingly broken social contract of Australian democracy.

For me, the most telling aspect of the last 18 hours was the way in which politicians and journalists talked repeatedly about how Kevin Rudd would give Labor a better chance of communicating to ordinary voters. As seems to happen more and more often these days, voters were talked about in the third person, as though we weren't there. For the personalities in the media in front of the klieg lights, ordinary voters still count as the audience, not the participants, in our democracy –  the masses watching this tawdry spectacle from their living rooms.

The relentless self-referentiality of the current Parliament, wrapped up in its intricate power games, has surely disgusted many citizens, and not just those feminists and female voters who identify with Julia Gillard.

Those who wanted to vote for her won't get a chance to. Those who wanted to vote her out won't either. That can't be good for our democracy. Perhaps that's why a recent Lowy poll could not even find a majority of younger Australians in favour of the institution of democracy. More than a quarter said that “in some circumstances, a non-democratic government can be preferable”, while fully a fifth said that “it doesn't matter what sort of government we have.”

Amanda Lohrey had a recent article in The Monthly in which she discussed that poll. “Our political culture has never been more cynical,” she wrote. “It is fraying at the edges, mired in ignorance and negativity.” Lohrey surely speaks for many.

I got a text message from my mother last night along the same lines. “Politics is such a dirty game,” she wrote to me. “Sad for women, sad for intelligence … a victory for bastardry.”

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Evan
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 12:19

I want less dominance of leadership and more say by citizens.

And I think electing the leader would give more power to them.  It seems to diminish the power of citizens.

calyptorhynchus
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:26

I disagree, giving people the power to elect leaders in this environment would only lead to even worse people being elected.

The only solution is the cultivation of virtue in each citizen, so that those who go into politics aren't largely sociopaths, as they are now (yes Kevin and Tony, I mean you).

Cletus Purcell
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:31

Ben Eltham has penned an excellent article & food for thought here. May I be permitted to make one small but significant comment insofar as "the voter" being prevented from exercising any real power or influence in "leadership" issues?

Whilst it is the Caucus/Members of the House of any Party that selects & elects their "Leader" - therefore any strong or particularly relevant criticism of "coups & spills" is barely relevant or germane - it is also very true & valid to point-out extensive "voter frustration & dissatisfaction" with the present system as it stands.

Case in point: the latest polls/surveys showed that Malcolm Turnbull enjoyed a 62% "Preferred Coalition Leader" rating over Tony Abbott, whom, by direct & unequivocal comparison languished in the low 30's in % terms. My feeling is that this points-to & amplifies that it is not a unique thing to the ALP to suffer such disdain with the Electorate at large.

While Julia Gillard & the ALP has been subject to trenchant & unrelenting criticism - the very same people in the media do not apply the same standards of forensic examination nor comment  to either Tony Abbott or the Opposition - nor any critique of Coaition Policy - or lack of Policy - as the case often is to date.

This fact is self-apparent and an ongoing feature of political coverage over the past three years. Anyone care to comment?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:50

It may come back to haunt  him.

CanDoh
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:51

"Give me the job or I'll wreck the joint."

Seems Keating was describing Rudd just as much as Abbott with those words.

Rudd has been Abbott's greatest asset. Abbott would have been history in 2010 without Rudd's leaks during that campaign. And ever since Labor has never been able to get any clear air to 'sell' its message - a rank idea that seems more important to journalists than the public for some reason - while every interview began with a question about Kevin Rudd.

Incredibly, last night we had Barrie Cassidy admitting on 774 that Rudd's supporters had been lying for the past three years about his support, a lie that journalists were only too happy to print. And we also had Peter Beattie blithely stating on Lateline that Rudd was safe because Gillard's supporters wouldn't undermine him in the way that Rudd constantly undermined Gillard. Oh, well, that's ok then.

Rudd has spent three years destabilising a Labor government, doing his best to bring down a Labor PM, and is partly responsible for the very real threat of an Abbott government. Gillard has just resigned for the good of the Labor Party. I long ago realised that we can't expect politicians to be saints, but surely we can do better than this.

davidstephens
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 13:59

To calyptorhyncus above, I suspect the psychological category relevant is psychopath rather than sociopath, particularly as psychopathy merges into narcissism. But then Bob Hawke managed to be narcissistic without being a psychopath. The Lowy stuff about Gen Y attitudes is interesting: does this mean Gen Y would settle for government by the legendary man on a white horse (or, these days, a general or Air Chief Marshal, descending from a helicopter and shooting the lights out)?

This user is a New Matilda supporter. billgo
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 14:00

A good article as far as it goes, but it only mentions in passing a key factor behind "an increasingly dysfunctional democracy".  It is that international business - including crucially the international media - have both the will and the power to ensure that the political 'debate' focusses almost exclusively on failures of any non-conservative government and otherwise on malicious gossip.  It utterly avoids any questioning of the policies - or lack of announced policies - of the conservative party.  This phenomenon is not just true of Australia but of Western "democracies" in general.

Through publicity and money the ordinary voter becomes increasingly irrelevant except as the target of misinformation designed to promote the interests of international capital.

Gillard achieved a great deal but was unable to break through this bias and the relentless negativity of Abbott and his colleagues.  There is a chance that Rudd may expose the Liberals for what they are.

Another point worth making about the current Parliament is the the signally valuable contribution of the Independents and minor parties. They have been a continuing source of common sense and good judgement in a Parliament that has only too often descended to kindergarten name-calling.  We need more good Independents and minor parties.  Neither of the major parties is at all inspiring in either its processes or its behaviour.

 

Indochine
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 14:12

Perhaps the simple solution to the problem of parties disenfranchising voters by changing leaders while in government is to legislate so that once a party is elected to form government and it's leader becomes Prime Minister, the fortunes of that Prime Minister are now the "property" of the people and only the people can re-elect or UN-elect him or her (except in cases of resignation due to illness, corruption, crime etc).

This kind of discipline would also discourage a party from cynically using someone popular to get them into power assuming when the dust settles they can always change leaders to one who more suits the preferences of internal factions, coffer-supporting lobbyists or, as in this most recent instance, who may put them in a better position just before an election. We really can't allow the situation to continue where the office of the Prime Minister can be reduced to that of a political party-owned race-horse. This simple change would seem to prevent that.

Bazzio101
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 14:30

Gillard was "unexpectedly warm"? ~ What utter tripe. Gillard was the usual Talking Stone Gillard, whose "warmth" extended so far as her self-righteous, self-pitying pride, where she spoke only  "her" achievements, and that those in the party who supported her before had spine & guts, then insinuated that by supporting Rudd that they now didn't have any "spine or guts". She wallowed in her usual "I, Me, Mine" self-absorbed monologue. She spoke of being a "duly elected" PM, that contestants to her job traditionally spoke about their intent to take over, all the while ignoring her own backroom knifing of a "duly elected PM." Her referral to Kevin Rudd only as "Rudd" let the cat out of the bag regarding exactly who is playing the vitriolic personality smear campaign.

Kevin Rudd, on the other hand, spoke warmly of "Julia", her accomplishments, achievements, and gave credit for her positive contributions. No such from Ms Gillard, whose palpable hatred of Abbott & Rudd seemed only kept in check by the fact that every word was being recorded.

 Et tuJulia?

 

 

grahamc
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 15:14

"the elected prime minister of the country has been torn down and replaced..."

We don't elect the prime minister, the party in power decides it, and they do so entirely according to their own rules. The prime minister is therefore not necessarily elected.

the elected prime minister of the country has been torn down and replaced without the sanction of the ballot box - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/27/rudds-dirty-game-pays#comment-form

the elected prime minister of the country has been torn down - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/27/rudds-dirty-game-pays#sthash.77Sx9TGB.dpuf

the elected prime minister of the country has been torn down - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/06/27/rudds-dirty-game-pays#sthash.77Sx9TGB.dpuf

fightmumma
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 16:11

davidstephens - you might like "charismatic authority" described by Weber - where a leader's personal qualities are viewed as exceptional or extraordinary compared to other mere humans, leading to others following him/her with loyalty/obedience, but it occurs through relying on media, propaganda, bureaucratisation, and a cult of personality (false idealisation of a personality - which modern society is literate in/fluent in through movies, technology, virtual spaces).  This doesn't so much attribute Rudd with a psychoses as with situating him in a social environment that supports social processes that create peculiar affiliations, relationships and representations of someone's personality.  Mind you, people proficient in impression management such as image consultants and psychologist (oftne used in marketing an advertising for eg), have their piece of the action too...both to build-up an image or, in the case of Abbott's corner, to tear one down...

El Tel
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:11

Why the negativitiy? Kevin Rudd has long been Labor's best electoral chance, and the Caucus eventually - if reluctantly and belatedly - acknowledged that. Its now election game on time, and I would have thought that New Matilda readers would be ready to get on board, given the concerns frequently expressed here about an Abbott government. 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:36

 On 26 June 2013 the ABC Late Night Live program  had a discussion  entitled “Rudd’s resurrection”: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/party-petition/4782936 . I made the following comments under my name GMPolya (that may well be censored by the pro-Zionist-infested ABC which has an appalling record in this respect; see "Censorship by ABC Late Night Live": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/
).

“The 2 big advantages to Australia of the Rudd ascendancy are that (1) it puts Labor and the Coalition neck and neck (49.5% and 50.5% 2-party-preferred, respectively, according to the latest poll) and (2) it greatly weakens the militantly pro-Zionist Gillard faction within neoliberal Labor (Google “100 reasons why Australians must reject Gillard Labor”)."

For a damning analysis of pro-war, pro-Zionist, US lackey, anti-environment, human rights-abusing, neoliberal Gillard Labor see Gideon Polya, “100 reasons why Australians must reject Gillard Labor”, Countercurrents, 24 June: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya240613.htm .

Thus, for just one example: "19. Child rights. Under Gillard Labor about 2,000 refugee children are highly abusively imprisoned without charge or trial in gross violation of the Rights of the Child; most Australian children are disadvantaged by Educational Apartheid; and, as discussed in “Anti-education” above, children attending taxpayer-subsidized private schools are subject to appalling child intellectual abuse.  Labor-complicit under-5 infant deaths in the post-1990 Iraqi Holocaust and the post-2001 Afghan Holocaust total 2.0 million and 3.0 million, respectively, 90% avoidable and due to gross violation of the Geneva Convention by the US Alliance and Australia. The right of NT Indigenous children to a decent childhood and a decent education is denied by PC racist Labor."

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:38

  I mostly agree with billgo. its International interfearance.

Somebody needs a right wing politician in a left wing party to motivate the sheep.

Take America way back in 1913 the American working Classes, Men. Had to agree to Conscription for war in return for the right to Vote and what a Joke America is when it comes to Democracy. 2000 female Army Nurse were also given the right to vote and the wives of Men who fought and died. One year later all women got the right to vote.  So why was the right to vote dependent on Military service.

In other words give away the right to life so that they could Vote for something they can't, haven't and won't ever control. Remember how Bush Got in.

We are heading in the same direction, its just that Militarily we are a none event.We just lend our big mouths to the process to give the Yanks credibility.

All of this upheaval is Engineered, the Media is apart of it and has been since WW1.

Like I said America is Heading down the toilet, they killed 100 million last time on the way up and this time their on the way down.

Gillard's standing with India and China probably had a lot more to do with her axing, but who knows for sure, the Media ain't about to tell us.

So, wait and see. Read some of this Guys stuff.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/category/articles/

Dr. Roberts was awarded the Treasury Department’s Meritorious Service Award for “his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy.”

In 1987 the French government recognized him as “the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism” and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.

He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

James44
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:46

What else is new? Politics is war by other means. It was ever thus.  And yes I know there's a lot more to it but nevertheless one thing we have learned out of all this is that Australia is more sexist than most people realised. 

jackal012
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 17:50

DrGideonPolya is certainly on the Ball, hopefully he is right about Gillard having been the Trojan Horse rather then Rudd.

I wondered about Rudd's axing just after the Mosset scandal of the day.

I think they were stealing Australian and N.z Identities, something to do with disabled people.

So who knows.

Gillard was a Historical Incompetent who didn't know the difference between David and Goliath, can't tell one form the other.

She said stupid things infront of the Yank Congress and on Q&A  about the Yanks dropping the bombs and being the only Country to do so despite being a You Beaut Democracy.

Political Wars run deep, in this Country, Vietnam should have told us that.

kevin1
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 18:43

Thanks Ben for an erudite article - covering sexism, youth disillusionment, JS Mill, Lowy poll and Lowrey article, s/t versus l/t considerations etc. - and the reason why I subscribe to NM: other commentators don't think as broadly as this.

But I think your analysis is limited by assessing political change based on your prizing of "stability" and their deviation from current representative forms without consideration of those limitations - no recall of representatives, the ambiguous nature of voting (for a local rep, a party or a leader?). We need new models - the existing one is broken..

We also don't need silly personal judgements about Rudd's "sooky" responses versus Gillard's "dignified, steely" responses to demotion - a bourgeois MSM approach.

pararto
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 21:06

Ben,  when your mother says; 'sad for women, sad for intelligence' I have to think of all those women represented on the blue dots of the graph. Sad for intelligence? not really, Rudd has consistently displayed intelligence and conviction in his occasional writings for The Monthly, and it comes across in the media grabs too. Julia was a great networker but did not display the same conviction and vision that took him too far out in front of his Labor colleagues and much of the Western world.

Once he gets on a roll towards the election Rudd, Wong, Bowen and the others will be unstoppable.  Hopefully this time he will be able to take his colleagues with him. I'm one voter who felt cheated when he was removed and now excited about his return, even though Labor is not usually my first preference.

When Julia took office, I personally felt abused, the democracy of Kevin07 was trashed. Now I feel it is not only Rudd restored, but Australian politics. We have lived through 50 years of increasing disparity in wealth as Labor and the LNP adopted a similar form of neo-liberalism.  The new Rudd team are the best chance we have of closing the gap, and getting climate change, environment, food security and health back on the agenda.

TheEngineer
Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 23:09

I've had the same thoughts as Indochine for the last 3 years. Whoever a party nominates as their leader, if elected PM, should be legislated to stay in the job until the next election.  Our votes are heavily influenced by who the potential PMs are, therefore for a party to go and swap them out so they can save their own skins is against the wishes of the people.

Don't get me wrong, I cheered when Rudd was knifed in 2010, can't stand the bloke.  But he deserved to go to the polls and get kicked out by the nation who eventually realised what a sham he was as PM.  Hopefully we get that chance now.

fightmumma
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 08:44

engineer - well if Rudd is a sham, Abbott is 100 times worse than that...almost anything will be better than Abbott

jackal012
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 09:43

democracy is a sham.

Thats the problem, its world politics, because there is a Democracy out their who likes to control.

We admire this democracy, despite the fact that it is a lie.

The Americans once fought the war of Independence and Civil War as free Man. After the Civil war, an Economic War between the North and the South some figured out that they died to make others rich. So a small band of Brainy Men demanded the right to Vote and therefore control their own deaths. What happened American Man traded their souls to the devil by accepting the Draft/Conscription for a right to Vote. So Now look at Modern America..

How many of those man actualy Vote for the Government during elections, a Government that can and does send them to their deaths. Most dumbo's don't vote or are denied a vote as in G.W Bush's case. Yet atleast half of the Nations Voting block, (the other Half being Female and have not historicaly had to go and die for their right to vote), can't be bothered to vote and save their own lives, then these dumbo's complain because the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

407 thousand American's died to make the rich in America the richest and most powerful people in the world. Why because the Dumbo's can't even be bothered to vote just to save their lives, because the Draft Legislation sends them to their Deaths to make someone else rich.

What are the implications of this stupidity to us in a Global World Controlled by a Democracy in which a bunch  of Nut Jobs can't even be bothered to vote, to save their own lives, never mind yours and mine or our Democratic rights, freedoms.

So, who did we just Vote in and why. Why are we still in Afghanistan etc., Fighting for what.

US or American Elites, our masters. WHY, did we really go to Vietnam. Freedom and Democracy, what Democracy. America is full of Dumb asses who can't and don't even Vote to save their own asses, let alone their freedom, so how could it have been for Democracy, so why would they care about ours.

All of this is far deeper then the Tea Leaves in your cups. Everything is based on Greed, even Feminism. Rich Women are the Masters of the Feminist movement. The rich control our resources and our Government. The Miners spent 10 million to get rid of Rudd. Why?

 

Is it because the working class dumbo can't be bothered to vote or think. 

They sit in the Pub and Talk about Footy, Cars and Sex, then they go of and die, to be some kind of dumbo hero, and all that for what.

So that American's ???? who exactly in America ? can control what makes them rich.

Being supposedly Brainy has done nothing for Californians their broke, despite.

So why are the walls of our house of Democracy Cracking. Is it the walls, the foundation or the Land that the entire house is built on. Our house is built on an old Garbage Dump put here by the Poms and then added to by the Yanks and everyone else.

We are all living on their stench left by hundreds of years of their pathetic history, that they don't even understand. Historians and Economists you have a lot to answer for. If you see one in the street Punch them in the head.

 

 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 11:07

Missing in all the welter of dubious assertions about Julia Gillard being a female victim of male misogyny is that  her  Parliamentary conduct was hardly a good example for aspiring young female polticians - in Question Time Gillard  avoided the questions and routinely dished out un-parliamentary,  un-ladylike, crude, rude, ad hominem abuse  e.g. "sexist', "misogynist ", "mendacious", "gutless"  etc.

Pro-war, pro-Zionist, pro-coal, pro-gas, anti-education, anti-universities, anti-science, anti-environment, US lackey, neoliberal Julia Gillard must also be severely criticized on numerous policy failure grounds. Indeed I have published a detailed analysis of 100 ways in which Gillard Labor has failed Labor voters and values (see Gideon Polya, "100 Reasons Why Australians Must Reject Gillard Labor", Countercurrents, 24 June 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya240613.htm ).

Thus, just 4 examples out of 100 Gillard Labor failures:

#3. Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide, Afghan War. Pro-war, pro-Zionist, Islamophobic, US lackey Labor is complicit in a post-2001 Afghan Holocaust involving 4.2 million avoidable deaths from war-imposed deprivation, possibly 1.3 million violent deaths (based on Iraq War comparisons) and 3.0 million under-5 infant deaths, 90% avoidable and due Labor–complicit US Alliance war crimes in gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

#6. Anti-education. Notwithstanding false Labor rhetoric about an “Education Revolution”,  under Labor Australia's Education Apartheid system ensures that the majority of Australian children attending state schools are disproportionately excluded from a decent education, university, top universities, and top courses such as medicine and law; that 80% of NT Aboriginal children fail basic literacy and numeracy standards; and that children attending taxpayer-funded private schools are subject to religious brainwashing (intellectual child abuse) that variously teaches them to accept sexism, misogyny, sexual guilt, unsafe sex, creationism, intelligent design, anti-science miracles and the right to invade, occupy, devastate and ethnically cleanse other countries. Gillard Labor has ripped $4 billion from university funding while enabling increased enrolment of weaker students at dumbing-down universities. Labor has also emplaced a draconian threat to the academic freedom of university scientists through the US-linked Defence Trade Controls Bill (see “Science” and “Universities” below).

#19. Child rights. Under Gillard Labor about 2,000 refugee children are highly abusively imprisoned without charge or trial in gross violation of the Rights of the Child; most Australian children are disadvantaged by Educational Apartheid; and, as discussed in “Anti-education” above, children attending taxpayer-subsidized private schools are subject to appalling child intellectual abuse.  Labor-complicit under-5 infant deaths in the post-1990 Iraqi Holocaust and the post-2001 Afghan Holocaust total 2.0 million and 3.0 million, respectively, 90% avoidable and due to gross violation of the Geneva Convention by the US Alliance and Australia. The right of NT Indigenous children to a decent childhood and a decent education is denied by PC racist Labor.

#20. Child sexual abuse. Labor instituted a Royal Commission that is confined to investigating horrendous institutional child sexual abuse (up to 40,000 cases over the last 40 years by Catholic Church personnel). However Labor ignored the awful reality that 34% of Australian women and 16% of Australian men – 4.4 million Australians in all - have been subject to child sexual abuse i.e. Labor has ignored the huge non-institutional child sexual abuse.

 

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 11:28

I posted the following comment on the taxpayer-funded, 18-universities-backed web magazine The Conversation in response to an artilce about the demise of pro-war, pro-Zionist, anti-scence, anti-enviornment, US lackey Julia Gilllard - it survived for abn hour oir so byut was then CERNSORED by The Conversation which has an appalling record of censoring academic opinions  it  doens't like and in particular comments that might not sit well with traitrorous supporters of nuclear terrorist, genocidally racist, Australian human rights-abusing, democracy -by-genocide Apartheid Israel (see “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by ).

CENSORED COMMENTS: ''  Of 100 reasons I have outlined for dumping Gillard Labor and indeed pro-war, pro-Zionist, pro-coal, pro-gas, anti-environment, US lackey, human rights -abusing Labor in general if it doesn't  change to a more progressive position (see Gideon Polya, "100 Reasons Why Australians Must Reject Gillard Labor", Countercurrents, 24 June 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya240613.htm ), #1 and #100 are particularly instructive in dealing with the massive deception of Australians.

1. ABC. Despite repeated complaints about lying by omission, lying by commission, defamatory anti-Arab anti-Semitism, defamatory anti-Jewish anti-Semitism, censorship (notably of anti-racist Jewish opinion), genocide ignoring, holocaust ignoring, genocide denial and holocaust denial by an egregiously politically correct racist (PC racist),  Orwellian and Neocon American and Zionist Imperialist-subverted and-perverted  ABC (Australia's equivalent of the UK BBC), Labor has ignored the complaints and increased the ABC budget to over $1 billion per annum. Indeed most Australians are unaware of most of the serious matters outlined below because of cowardly, unethical and egregiously dishonest ABC lying and ABC censorship (e.g. see “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/ ). Indeed for ready documentation of the Elephant-in-the-room, Mainstream media-ignored matters below simple Google the relevant term e.g. “Aboriginal Genocide”, “Iraqi Genocide”, “Afghan Genocide', “Palestinian Genocide”,  “Climate Genocide”, “Preventable deaths” , “Avoidable deaths”, “Educational Apartheid” etc   with or without the word polya.

100. Zionist racism, genocide, perversion, subversion and mendacity. Pro-Zionist Gillard Labor has made most Australians complicit in the horrendous crimes of the racist Zionists – the invasion, occupation, devastation and ethnic cleaning of 90% of Palestine; the Palestinian Genocide involving 2.0 million Palestinian deaths since 1936 from violence (0.1 million) or from violently–imposed deprivation (1.9 million); Apartheid Israel's democracy-by-genocide whereby only 6.7% of 12 million Palestinians (the adults of 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis) are permitted to vote for the government  ruling all of Palestine,  6 million Palestinians are forbidden to even step foot in their own country, and over 4 million Occupied Palestinian are deprived of all human rights and highly abusively confined  to West Bank Bantustans or to what the Catholic Church has called the Gaza Concentration Camp. Traitorous Zionists have subverted and perverted both Labor and the Coalition, Australian Mainstream media, the Australian Government, the ABC and SBS. Zionism is genocidal racism in awful theory and appalling practice and the racist Zionists and their Labor supporters should be sidelined from public life as have been like racists such as the Nazis, .neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK." END CENSORED COMMENTS.

Of course The Conversation is not alone in its gutter censorship that is against the academic ethos and  the national Australian interest and which serves the interests of genocidally racist Apartheid Israel.

For details of media-derived  censorship  by the global Murdoch media empire, Australian Fairfax media, the Australian ABC, the UK BBC,  and the Australian universities-backed web magazine The Conversation in Neocon American- and Zionist Imperialist-perverted and subverted Murdochracy, Lobbyocracy and Corporatocracy Australia and elsewhere in the West see “Boycott Murdoch media”: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottmurdochmedia/  ; “Censorship by the BBC”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbythebbc/  ; “Censorship by The Conversation”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by  ; “Mainstream media censorship”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/home  ; “Mainstream media lying”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammedialying/  ; “Censorship by The Age”: https://sites.google.com/site/mainstreammediacensorship/censorship-by-the-age ; “Censorship by ABC Late Night Live”: https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/  and "Censorship by ABC Saturday Extra": https://sites.google.com/site/censorshipbyabclatenightlive/censorship-by-abc-sat .

Jolly Roger
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 17:55

I think Rudd will be seen as a fighter by many. A man who was entitled to fight back against the thieves in the night who took away from him what he had surely earned. The disturbing thing for me was how the media ( especially The Age etc ) openly waged a campaign to unseat Gillard. It seems in some ways like a media coup. That is far more disturbing to me than the ability of the parliamentary parties to switch leaders without input from the electorate. But then Ben works for them too so of course he will never mention it.

Allie
Posted Friday, June 28, 2013 - 18:24

So by hatred, division, by constant drubbing, by one sided reporting of personality and judgement, by propping up a pathetic excuse of an Opposition leader with his negative nonsense and blathering pronouncements and sexist intentions an Australian PM has been removed.
As has been constantly drummed into every commentary; "It is the party/Caucus' choice, not the voter who choses who leads the party."
 

To desire a leader for their religion, or colour or sex is just misguided. The fact we finally got our first female PM was admirable and important, but when it comes down to it, it is the way (for a progressive party) how the least of us are treated ( aka sole parents, women with babies, asylum seekers, disabled) in the end.

And so now it begins...the usual unsubstantiated broohaha of Rudd and his 'arrogance', Rudd and his 'narcissim', Rudd and his 'self importance', Rudd and his 'brooding revenge' ...on and on and on.

 

Abbott would be an embarrassment as our representative to any intelligent , caring Australian.

I don't have to like personally Mr Rudd, but the fact is I can HEAR him when he speaks and usually he speaks for me. He is a communicator of the first degree, even for this little black duck. He is highly intelligent, and listens to community and thinks things through.
I am not here to prop up or excuse or explain away any previous perceived failings the first time around. I am writing on NM to stand up and say this is what Labor needed to do and may help in holding Abbott back/down. He must not be unleashed upon the poor and needy of Australia.

Give me a PM who cares about the least of our citizens and who can speak up when it concerns those without a voice and you have me.

PM Rudd seems to be the 'bad boy' according to commentators, public service workers ( Please give ME their job...I only get a carers allowance), or disgruntled pressers. Blugh. Don't care. I am happy to have a leader who stands up and can speak to the policies, and to the needs of Australia/Australians and describe their vision.

Now can NM be one of those places where I can read substance and not have to wade through the personality assassination guff??? C'mon. You can do it.

Hardy
Posted Saturday, June 29, 2013 - 08:17

I wish the media would start taking stock and eliminate or at least seriously reduce "tabloid" journalism, starting here at NM. There are prime examples to be found. Although these issues of editorial integrity had been pointed out ad nauseum by contributors nothing was done to rectify this. In light of these revelations is NM willing to take action or is the status quo to be maintained? How much tolerance is given to authors as to NM's editorial standards?

Denis Muller on TC correctly pointed out the general media shortcomings:

The failure of impartiality, failure of contextual accuracy, and the willingness to exploit rather than challenge debased public discourse.

Are we ever going get a mea culpa. I doubt it!

Read Denis Muller's article below:

https://theconversation.com/ethical-lapses-by-journalists-contributed-to-gillards-demise-15595?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The+Weekend+Conversation&utm_content=The+Weekend+Conversation+CID_d06e012bf84b46d1116ca02f19ea6e9f&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Ethical%20lapses%20by%20journalists%20contributed%20to%20Gillards%20demise

 

Venise Alstergren
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 16:02

BEN ELTHAM: Congratulations on a powerful article. "

"For the personalities in the media in front of the klieg lights, ordinary voters still count as the audience, not the participants, in our democracy –  the masses watching this tawdry spectacle from their living rooms. " Being but one example.

 

But, do Australians deserve to get a leader they voted for? Look at the ease with which the MSM have turned the political process to suit themselves. We are indeed an apathetic lot who would rather be involved with footy than getting a better political system. If you put some of the points you mentioned into a referendum the public would knock it back.

 

And so are we left with the ultimate nightmare of the conservative catholic, middle-brow, ambitious, devoid of any depth, Tony Rabbott and his nightmare catholic confreres who are bullies or cane toads. Bullies like Chrissy Wissy crimp-wave Pyne, or cane-toads like Scott Morrison, Eric Abetz, George Brandis, Kevin Andrews AND Cory Bernardi, FFS?!

Between the above scenario and the hapless electorate stands one mendacious little runt whose sole contribution to Oz politics has been sabotage. Some choice, some chance, same usual  stage-set. Everyone will vote for the party which they perceive will do the least damage.

O. Puhleez
Posted Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 11:47

The Coalition has always stood for government of the people, by the richest, for the richest. The ALP used to be for a 'fair shares' distribution of wealth and income, but its politicians saw to it to make it something different. I think it was Clyde Cameron who famously said "when I joined the ALP as a young man, it was the cream of the working class. Now it is the scum of the middle class."

Government by the richest for the richest, or government by the middle class for the richest to the poorest, in descending order of priority. That is the choice before us.

Unless we vote Green: for ecological and environmental sanity, combined with open-borders lunacy.