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…..