Montacrean and Capukim

A friend of mine has suggested that the ALP leadership contest is like the intrigues at your typical Italian renaissance court. The only response to that is something like, “I knew Cesare Borgia, and mate let me tell you, neither of these dudes is Cesare Borgia.” But my relative youth would make that assertion look less than credible. Pity….

In the meantime everyone from Simon Crean’s Mum – “it’s the worst thing that’s happened in ALP history” – to my friend has had something to say, but it doesn’t really matter. It all boils down to the considered – or even ill-considered – opinions of the 92 members of the Labor caucus on Monday.

The only thing standing between Crean and first ballot victory is the unqualified support of Margo Kingston. One photo-op in front of a picket line and Margo’s reinvented Crean as some sort of Carmen Lawrence in a Myer menswear cardy.

But even with this significant boost to his chances, Beazley won’t be getting within a bull’s roar of victory on Monday.

Interest now shifts to the aftermath.

There will be recriminations. Do feathered trainwreckers Swan and Smith join the backbench Beazle? Will there be continued epithets at 50 paces between Latham and whoever – and will Will Self ever sue the pants off Latham for lifting his conga-line quote without attribution?

What of Simon’s apparent claim of non-involvement in the formulation of ALP policy for 3 whole years – apart from privately telling his leader that it was all wrong – in private? What of Kim’s claim that far from too small a policy target he had actually too much of it? What of the shocking discovery that Barry Jones is still alive, relatively well and insouciantly unapologetic for Noodle Nation?
And how about Gough’s grumpy disapproval of Hawke’s support for Beazley whilst quietly feeding his own advocacy for Crean through Latham. Not to mention Keating’s public refusal to participate in the scrap whilst privately allowing that he would term the challenge the revenge of the blancmange were he to do so?

A re-bonding dinner is clearly called for – complete with plastic cutlery and food-tasters.

So on into a brave New World where the polls, popularity and personal unattractiveness count for nothing and it’s good, decent, light on the hill and cycling to the WEA policy all the way.

Can’t wait for Round Two as Cesare might say…..

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
cs
cs
2022 years ago

I’m finding I’m really one out on this, no matter where I go. But I gotta say, it’s been the best thing that could have happened to Simon. When this thing started, it wasn’t just that the polls were bad: the feel was also real bad. Forget the ‘poll-driven’ catch-cry; it’s the double-up that kills politicians. Hard-heads can spot a flakey poll a hundred mile-off, asleep, after a night on the turps. But when polls and the feel come together … it’s challenge time.

The funny thing is that Crean has now gathered a whole lotta love. Not bad, from below zero. This can only be good for Labor. The team is controlling the story. Not the best story, but they are cutting up the media … bringing the contenders into the foreground. Personally, I like Kimbo. He’s a good man to just hang around with … and, at times, when he hits a certain note, I’d follow him over the hill, and into battle. But I admit I don’t know Simon. Perhaps we’re all getting to know Simon … a good test of mettle I say.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

I agree Chris. He has “grown” as they say. The challenge, I guess, is maintaining that growth if a winter of poll-driven discontent, descends.

Norman
Norman
2022 years ago

I was never a Crean supporter, and although I was disgusted by Beazley’s play acting tantrum sitting on the backbench, I’d still have supported his right to challenge Crean. I always felt Labor’s misplaced drawn out loyalty to leaders in the distant past was one of our weaknesses. But Beazley didn’t mount his challenge in the Caucus, where it should have been. He showed complete indifference to any long term harm his tactics would do to the Party. He needed to damage the ALP if he was to have any chance of winning — and that, apparently, seemed far more important to him than anything else.

SP
SP
2022 years ago

I am not sure that this has done that much harm in the longer term.

On the one hand a lot of people decry the presidential style elections that we appear to have succumbed to, yet this challenge from Beazley, in the full blare of the public and all, is as Alan Ramsay points out today in the SMH unusual in the ALP, in that the Caucus actually gets to vote on their leader. I can’t see that as a bad thing.

The ALP has needed to debate its direction, and I think needed to debate that with the public. This challenge has allowed for that debate to occur to some degree.

While there has been some negative stuff, it would have been, and seen to have been, contrived it had not come out. I think that it will be healthy to have had an open debate. I definitely think it has been good for Crean, his media coverage has been so different from the dead-man walking stuff that we heard before. he has mangaged to present himself as focussing on policy which is a good message. The positive stuff in The Age today about his attitude to women will go down well in a lot of quarters (and not just with women).

A lot of the fall-out will depend on how well Swan takes defeat if Beazley loses. Hopefully, Beazley would take up shadow Defence, and they just get on with it.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

I agree SP, although I don’t think it’s necessarily over yet. Talk about Cleo’s nose, I remember one challenge (was it Keating versus Hawke?), when Tom Uren (I think) swung vital votes after thinking about the issue in the shower.

Norman
Norman
2022 years ago

Tommy was always ‘flexible’. He was a loyal right winger, excitedly congratulating Tony Luchetti for opposing Evatt, then suddenly he ‘saw the light’, switched to the left, and tried to use Evatt’s influence to replace Luchetti.
He couldn’t stand Hawke, then began the undermining of Hayden [allegedly because Hayden ‘wasn’t good’ on uranium] which opened the way for Richardson to finish Hayden off. Hayden’s attitude to uranium was so much closer to the left than Hawke’s that a dead wombat couldn’t have failed to realise it; but Tommy was desperate to be a Minister once more, hoping to be less ineffectual than he had been first time round I suppose.
Does he change his mind in the shower? Three times possibly; but reading his ‘memoirs’ shows little sign of him remembering anything clearly, so we’ll never know for sure.