It was utter madness on the streets of Melbourne this evening, as literally tens of people listening to Huggy on the Gold FM, drive time, Bread back-to-back retrospective were thrust rudely into the new millennium by the shocking but welcome news that Shadow Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd was attempting to unseat Labor leador Kim Beazley from the top job.
The excitement was enough to send some listeners swerving across lanes as they put their head and shoulders out the driver’s side window and shouted to the world, “Game on, Game on”, in that defiant but essentially meaningless way that ALP types often do.
This challenge has certainly been building for long enough The need was obvious to all. The bomber has never really gained momentum, and as every one knows, momentum = mass x velocity. Mr. Beazley definitely had the mass to begin with, but as he shed the kilos with the help of Jenny Craig, he needed a corresponding increase in velocity just to maintain the same momentum, not to mention increase it.
Mr. Beazley’s inability to go from nought to 100, let alone do it within an acceptable time, was a taboo topic in the long months since he assumed the mantle from the entertaining, but erratic Mark Latham. The Party was silent about his non-performance. Caught in a torpor of inaction and indecisiveness. In that time Mr. Beazley’s most memorable message was that he wanted the ALP to stop navel gazing. “Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it”, was the resounding response from the grass roots ALP membership, and if he wins the ballot on Monday we can only hope that Mr. Beazley’s recently reduced proportions allow him at least to give it a go.
But it’s all power to Mr. Rudd and Ms Gillard as they go for the big one. A job made infinitely harder by Mr. Beazleys’ spoiling tactic. Spilling all front bench positions and making Monday’s contest a multi-dimensional maelstrom of misguided megalomania, as the ALP wannabees try and unseat the has beens, and the leadership aspirants are forced to accommodate those with the numbers rather than those with the talent. At this rate we might even see the almost mute Communications Spokesman, Senator Stephen Conroy, downgrading the profile of yet more important portfolios than ever before.
Mr. Rudd and Ms Gillard have a big battle ahead. To defeat the stodgy, play-it-safe, chicken-shittedness that has marked the Beazley reign and almost condemned Australia to yet another term of the Rodent, (Ever wondered why the Conservative columnists support Beazley?), requires guts and a more than a bit of derring-do.
It’s time for the Bomber and his factionally acceptable, but electorally invisible deputy Ms Maklin, to depart the stage, and give the reigns to the fiery carrot tops. We need a real contest in 2007, and Mr. Beazley is not up to the job. He says he’s got experience. Well he has. The experience of losing twice before. In fact he’s so practised at it, he’s a cert to pull it off again.
Time to let the blood-nuts get blooded. And if Mr. Rudd loses? No matter! His reputation won’t be tarnished as claimed by Conservative crotchety crock-o Gerard Henderson today . It’ll just get that fashionable distressed look. Still very popular in the aspirational suburbs I hear.
(Cross posted at LF)