QUIETUS: Top 5 reasons for Rudd's departure

macisback History will be unkind to Kevin Rudd’s leadership. Although not a Sir Billy McMahon, he will never be in the top ten Australian PMs.

VEXNEWS nominates five reasons for his political death.

Programmatic Specificity:

Hardheads in Queensland were aware of the perils of a Rudd premiership. As former departmental head of Premier and Cabinet and Chief of Staff, Rudd rolled out poor advice to the tragically short premiership of Wayne Goss. At the time legend has it that Rudd loved his reputation as Dr Death. Many banana benders blame Rudd for the loss because of the future PM’s judgment and style.

This carried into his leadership of the Federal Labor Party, especially when the GFC came around.  Rudd saw an historic opportunity to crash through neo-liberalism in favour of a Keynesian stimulus package. The trouble was the package was too big and too narrowly focused on too few portfolios.

Then there was Pink Bats scheme that actually killed four workers …. and it just rolled on and on.

Rudd the Outsider

Rudd never had real institutional support within the ALP and never loved in Queensland. After the Latham experiment – which came a lot closer to power than the commentariat remember – the parliamentary party went to Beazley – whose polling number were very strong.

Federal Labor tired of twice-beaten Beazley’s losing ways the Caucus went with Rudd despite the kind of hesitations unkindly expressed in The Latham Diaries. Rudd, not being a machine man, seemed like an asset: a mild mannered professional, a smartie-pants who portrayed himself as a considered and earnest Christian socialist.

The Latham Diaries had more than a grain of truth in it.

Rudd, a Media Frankenstein

Kochie and Mel created a familiarity for millions of Australians sipping their tea and nibbling their crumpets on their way out the door to pay off their mortgages. They liked Rudd and Kochie’s interviewing created the myth that Rudd was ‘one of us’.

The public has learnt the hard way through the Canberra Press Gallery that became angrier and angrier at what they say was shabby treatment from the PMO’s aggressive young men.

Rudd’s personal conduct with News Corp identities as high-ranking as Peter Blunden may have been fatal too; then Rudd broke the Fairfax heart who had been in denial about the PM’s shortcomings when he delayed the ETS.

What the media provides, it taketh away.

Rude Rudd

Rudd just did not get the importance of electoral allowances and yielding appropriately to the backbench. The outsider in Rudd was losing them in private and caucus meetings. Aloof, arrogant, inaccessible.

Worse was his Cabinet style. The most successful PMs in recent times – Hawke and Howard – were chairmen of the board types. Rudd’s behaviour included petulant tantrums and walk outs.

He was trying the patience of Cabinet ministers and backbenchers alike.

Alister Jordan

Sending pubescent Alister Jordan to canvass questions of loyalty towards the PM on the PM’s behalf understandably riled Julia Gillard. Sending a boy on a statesman’s mission is insulting and cowardly.

Linking all these reasons is one theme: Rudd’s character.



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40 responses to “QUIETUS: Top 5 reasons for Rudd's departure

  1. Rudd’s a worm. Good riddance.

  2. yawn

    you need | I’m So Ronery by Kim Jong
    playing in the background

  3. Ben

    Your points about the media are spot on.

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  5. Feeney fan

    Love your work, David.

  6. Peter Charman

    Like prime ministers before him, Rudd thought he knew best what the public wanted and what was good for them. He was wrong, and paid the price as howard did. Australia does not trust politicians with good reason. Rudd’s biggest error, and the Labor Party’s on an ongoing basis, is a plan for everything without actually doing anything. Rudd’s big weep about what he was proud of, amounts to nothing. Labor can be credited only with quick action during the financial cataclysm. The true cost is still to be revealed. Billions in tax plunder have gone down the drain. The rest is only socialist tub-thumping. Finally, this is a good moment for our media to stop being a branch of the Labor Party.

  7. joe

    ‘The electorate is being cheated out of the right to vote against Kevin Rudd.’

  8. Peter Dawson

    Rudd may be a worm, but he wan’t going to/couldn’t buckle on the mining tax. Thus Prime Minister Gillard.

  9. not conspiracy theories please

    The mining industry is not responsible for Rudd’s demise. He was a poor administrator and demonstrated faulty judgment.

    I always thought the Liberals had the monopoly on the Revenge of the Nerds Syndrome. Rudd obviously has proved that wrong.

    Amazingly, the mining industry stayed on message. I would be expecting that unity to collapse now.

  10. Adrian Jackson

    Aussies do not like Absolute PM’s (Howard and Rudd) as we do not like Absolute President (Bush and Obama). In the mid 1600’s we got rid of the Absolute Monarchy and replaced it with the very effective Constitutional Monarchy. Aussie leaders, and the media, please learn that we Aussies don’t want absolutists – period.

  11. For two years the Canberra Press Gallery was so far up Kevin Rudd’s backside they couldn’t see daylight unless he yawned. Even last week on Lateline, Annabel Crabb could only allow that the citizens were ‘disappointed’ with Rudd.
    Disappointed! HA!
    The man was a total disaster as PM. And Gillard is another one out of the same box. She’s been in the thick of it as Deputy PM – nothing new there.


    So Gillard gets riled and a PM gets wasted so who is truly the petulant one here
    JG who could have said no to deposing rudd but then again her mother said she has a temper
    ALP have made a big mistake better the devil they knew than backstapping man eating Julia
    First it was Beazley now Rudd
    Julia start watching your back you have guillotined Rudd and many people are very upset
    you never gave him a chance to come back
    you could have said NO, but you always want your way
    this may all back fire on you!

  13. what the!

    Adrian – Absolutism was never totalitarian, the ALP and the Liberals are neither, what the hell is your definition of parliamentary democracy if you think you don’t live in one? And actually, Aussies like strong leaders with strong executive powers.

  14. NO choice here!

    Ms GILLARD you are all for choice so long as its always your own choice so in other words impose your will on others
    well you threw a fit and now we have no choice that you are the PM
    well soon hopefully Australia will vote to rid you as PM! You didnt deserve PM it simple as that!
    you may well be a very shortlived PM well how many have you cut down on your way to the top two good men in Rudd and Beazley went out its just not good enough!

  15. Red

    This Alister Jordon story has been stretched. This was deliberately put about last night to ensure Julia was seen as the victim, not the agressor. Things didn’t go the way she liked in caucus earlier in the week. Her camp was expecting others in the back bench to initiate the spill.

  16. Anon

    Lindasy Tanner is not recontesting Melbourne.

  17. Poseidon Burke

    I agree with Red – the Alister Jordan story was a pretext for action. It gave legitimacy for the factions and union bosses to move after they learned of disasterous polling the PMs office wouldnt release.

    KRudd confused management with leadership in my view and tried to manage what he should have lead.

  18. Patriot 2

    Well, Gillard the reformed communist lover from her uni days is now the PM.

    It will be interesting to see whether the media continue to give her a dream run as she flips or spins her way through the mining tax, the school buildings program, the ETS and the blow out in Govt debt etc.

    It is also interesting that Rudd was dumped when the polls were not good but actually weren’t that bad either. The Liberals were no certainty.

    It all looks like panic has set in.

  19. Poseidon Burke

    Re Tanner – a win for the Greens in Melbourne looks good.

  20. Adrian Jackson

    what the (14.32pm) strong leaders are OK and Gillard and Abbott are that but one person cant do it all as Rudd tryed too. Our British cabinent style of government is best as it shares the duties and policy discussion.

  21. Poseidon Burke

    Rudd’s resignation speech is a beauty…

    “Can I just say this, that when it comes to the caucus vote, we will not sit idly by in the absence of programmatic specificity and wait for Julia to wave a magic wand, in due season we plan to take a course of action, decisive action, and do everything in our power to secure Labor’s election win. I mean fair shake of the source bottle mate we have a long way to go, and we are not out of the woods yet, but once our election campaign is fully implemented, we are confident it will be the best outcome for working families.”

  22. Adrian Jackson

    Poseidon Burke (17.30) I did not here Rudd say “gild the lilly” today.

    In 2007 Gillard called him “Kevin 07” but Rudd today was probably thinking in Mandarin “Girrard is No 10”

  23. Anonymous

    Watch your back Julia, Shorten, Feeney and Arbib will be after you next!

  24. mothdog

    Got two words for ya

    Bill Shorten…

  25. BS Detector

    “The Latham Diaries had more than a grain of truth in it.”

    Much more, it turns out.

    And the Liberals are screwed, facing Julia.

  26. The Truth

    Deck chairs. Titanic. Enjoy the icy waters…

    Rudd was a dud, shame it took the Australian people almost three years to realise it (in the polls). The frightening thing is Gillard may in fact be worse…

  27. Edmund Egg

    Lesson #1:
    Never swear at Dave Feeney.

  28. Edmund Egg

    By the way:

    Coming soon….

    Prime Minister Bill Shorten.

  29. Anonymous

    Feeney is a dishonourable rat. At least he is only going to get one term in the senate. Then he can do what he does best…be fat

  30. what the!


  31. Freddy

    We a return on our investment Feeney

  32. anon

    I’ve just wiped my behind with some ‘Feeney’ paper.

  33. celeste olssen

    No doubt about you Nick Mack, you are demonstrating your ability to participate in one of the popular Aussie sports these days, more suited to outside nightclubs usually. It takes a lot of courage to put the boots in, once the victim is in the street. You of course you were there every Cabinet meeting, I heard, with your trusty microphone recording all in the event of…..
    Kevin Rudd’s misdemeanours have assumed a ‘Speewah’ status (early Aussie hyperbole tales from bush poetry). Also your article TOTALLY ignores the ‘M’ word here-the ‘morality'(should be the immorality) of the action taken to oust the leader of the country. That is why so many of the population find the situation hard to stomach. There are obviously mixed feelings about the man himself, but the implications of what was done are the real issues. So while you are feasting on the ex-PMs entrails, spare a thought for the big picture and the effect of ugly coups on the wider Australian electorate, the concept of democracy, the meaning of the right to vote and whether that actually means anything at all. It’s a disturbing contemplation.

  34. Cherc

    Celeste: we don’t elect a king in this country. The parliamentary majority (generally) forms a government and one of them leads the parliamentary party. In what sense is this a coup? It was totally legal. I have sympathy for Rudd sitting on the backbench looking about 80 years old all of a sudden, but his leadership was a disaster and was seriously endangering the welfare of this country in many ways. Not that Julia was uninvolved, but anyway..

  35. Anonymous

    Linking all these reasons is one theme: Rudd’s character. I think the bigger question regarding character should be asked of Arbib Feeney, and Shorten

  36. zion

    The left-wing socialist philosophies that Gillard holds onto so dearly will be slowly expressed through her short-term rule over the Australian people. The Labour party will call a quick election soon to capitalise on the media obsession with red head smiling lefty whose voice preaches a desire to institute more suffering on the cheated voters of Australia. Why should we put up with Labour party musical chairs? I did not vote for her nor did you! What happen to our “democracy”? Instead we have a nation ruled by percentage points of Pollsters and early morning tabloid “news” shows which the political puppets clammer onto in attempt to spin their bullshit to you.
    Once reality sets into the mortgage laden masses that australia’s economy will be getting worse due to the over-spending of the Labour stimulus packages and another financial shock later this year, they will desert labour and fall for the security of conservative but boring values of the Liberal Party. The voters will see through Gillard and the party PR spin as seen today with a photo of Julia Gillards”family” having lunch. How corny is that? I am sure that Queensland conservative swing voters with high family values will have a laugh at this machiavellian female ego-driver that will attempt to show that she is “one of us” with her casual ozzie accent and deceiving smile.

  37. BS Detector

    You don’t tell Feeney to “fuck off” without impugnity, eh, Kevvie?

  38. Anonymous

    Feeney is a rat

  39. Medici

    Feeney, is an ugly fat rat with bad breath!! I would have told him to f*ck off as well.

  40. 2muchdust

    Zion, Patriot2 and others, anyone who has dealt with Ms Gillard as a Government Minister will know she is no longer a ‘lefty’. Sadly.

    Secondly, I did not (and I suspect neither did you) vote for Rudd, Gillard, Abbott or Howard. Our system sets that pleasure aside for their electorate, and then the elected members in their party, pressured by all and sundry.

    Thirdly, if you have friends in the US, ask them what life is like at the moment, houses lost to the banks, unemployed. This was the option that the ALP could have followed but bravely did not. It acted quickly and necessarily. But regrettably without the ‘safeguards’ against rorting.

    Finally, the loss of lives in the insulation industry was and is tragic. There are already very strong state laws policed by Workcover or its equivalent. What should the ALP have done – passed another law for these shonks to breach??

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