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Gillard’s Coup

November 24, 2011

Julia Gillard and the Labor Government have just delivered a coup to end the political year on an even higher plateau than described below. By recruiting Peter Slipper as the new Speaker, they’ve shored themselves up in Parliament. They’ve sent a message to media and business that they will see out a full term: we are here, get used to us. The opposition will not achieve a transfer of power in this parliament. And today’s announcement ensures continuing media attention on Tony Abbott and the absence of a coalition economic program.

Julia Gillard ends the year with a burst of euphoria.

The barbecue commentary over the holidays will shift. “She’s a tough operator” and “She’s a survivor” are likely to echo one another. And “She outsmarted Abbott” – expect to hear a bit of that. In media and business she will bask in a new respect.

Success feeds success.

In the New Year the nagging, neuralgic issue of poker machines will be subjected to a compromise and the anxiety of backbench Labor members, especially in NSW, will dissipate.

Discipline in the government will tighten.

Look at the poll figures. The electorate has deep reservations about Tony Abbott. Any election will be determined in the context of a contest between two sides and an appraisal of the opposition alternative. It will be more than a vote of disaffection with the current government. It will be a vote that, sure, assesses the government but assesses the alternative as well.

24 Comments
  1. John Green permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:19 pm

    Well that’s one, unsurprising view Bob. Another view is that Gillard is so rattled and desperate to cling onto the tenuous power that she holds, both inside and outside the party that she will sell her soul to the likes of Slipper. Smacks of desperation in my view

    • Bob Carr permalink
      November 24, 2011 12:36 pm

      Oh yess, and the alternative ? Let an undeserving Abbott slide into power?

    • Le blogeur gai permalink
      November 24, 2011 3:01 pm

      I believe that this scenario plays out worse for Abbott than anyone else.

      Abbott is finished.

      Listening to his presser this morning, he sounds increasingly desperate and worried.

      His failures are mounting and it is only a matter of time before his colleagues knife him, just as they did Turnbull and Nelson before him.

      He failed to submit election policy costings under their own Charter of Budget Honesty and blatantly lied about the reasons why; failed to win a winnable election; failed to negotiate power with the Independents AND pissed them off in the process; failed to honour the Parliamentary Reform deal he signed; failed to stop the Carbon Tax and in the process left himself and his party exposed as a policy free zone; and has failed to stop the Mining Tax passing the HoR.

      Add to this a $91 billion black hole made up of an $11 billion black hole from his election costings, a $70 billion budget black hole AND a $10 billion Direct Action black hole, together with internal rumblings showing discontent with him not consulting wider with his parliamentary colleagues on policy decisions, it is very clear that his position as Leader has become untenable.

      The polls already show his preferred PM rating falling despite the party being ahead. Come election time, Abbott would only drive voters away from the Coalition. They’re certainly not going to vote for the party if they can’t stand the leader!

      Abbott will become the biggest loser from this. He is leading his party nowhere, and once they wake up, his days as Leader will be at an end.

      It’s now just a matter of timing!

  2. November 24, 2011 12:22 pm

    So happy and sad that I cannot watch question time.

  3. David Armstrong permalink
    November 24, 2011 12:23 pm

    Hmmm. Good luck to Ms Gillard. However, offering inducements – higher status and higher pay – to politicians effectively to switch sides reminds me of practices in certain south-east Asian countries. In those countries it is accepted but, even so, it is recognised as corruption.

    • Stephen permalink
      November 24, 2011 1:27 pm

      He hasn’t switched sides, but the speaker is expected to be an impartial chair.

    • Darren Ferrari permalink
      November 24, 2011 2:53 pm

      Some memories seem to block out Howard’s giving Mal Colston the Deputy Presidency of the Senate in 1996.

      South-East Asian countries’ practices indeed.

      • David Armstrong permalink
        November 25, 2011 5:56 pm

        If you think the Colston deal was wrong, and it was, then you should oppose deal with Slipper.

    • Joel permalink
      November 24, 2011 3:00 pm

      …and has a history in this country (as with elsewhere) stretching back decades on both sides. You’re slighting Mr Howard there you realise?

    • Le blogeur gai permalink
      November 24, 2011 3:05 pm

      There is nothing dishonest or corrupt with what she did.

      And besides, they couldn’t assure him of the job. They could only nominate him for the position.

      The position is decided by a secret ballot of the Parliament, except in the case such as today where no-one stood against him so he was elected unopposed.

  4. john lord permalink
    November 24, 2011 1:02 pm

    A remarkable piece of political strategy by Gillard. That’s really putting the slipper in.

  5. Ford Prefect permalink
    November 24, 2011 2:45 pm

    Up to today, I have never been an admirer of the Prim Minister, even though I do acknowledge an impressive body legislative work. But today, I have to hand it to Julia, she has finally won me over as someone to go into bat for. Go, go, Gillard…

  6. Ford Prefect permalink
    November 24, 2011 2:46 pm

    Up to today, I have never been an admirer of the Prime Minister, even though I do acknowledge her impressive body of legislative work. But today, I have to hand it to Julia, she has finally won me over as someone to go into bat for. Go, go, Gillard…

  7. Paul J permalink
    November 24, 2011 2:55 pm

    Abbott would have jumped at a deal like this so I agree with Bob Carr on this one. In order to get re elected in 2013 they need to be stable so again Bob was correct , business needs certainty. The ETS is here to stay so people can now plan for it.

    Gillard will go down as A great Labor leader

  8. A Conservative permalink
    November 24, 2011 3:02 pm

    Yes, look at the the poll figures – Coalition 57-43 at last count. I can’t remember the commentariat ever being so disconnected from the public. You honestly think that these Speaker shenanigans will play well in voterland?

  9. November 24, 2011 3:54 pm

    Contemporary politics: every day is an election day.

  10. November 24, 2011 5:11 pm

    If I may add, this new Speaker arrangement changes things dramatically (and I wonder how long it has been on the cards, given Ms Gillard has strengthened her agenda very recently), because Mr Abbott’s entire strategy was based on pushing the Government over the edge by sheer impact of his negative focus. Surely now Ms Gillard can start to solidify the public discourse in terms of policy, not just politicking, and lay down the gauntlet for Mr Abbott to show his true colours as an alternative in the same way. Even if she doesn’t or can’t, pulled back from the edge, the stronger Government now by its very existence must surely raise public discourse – Mr Abbott will have to change his game, and lift it, no doubt.

  11. Darrin Eager permalink
    November 24, 2011 5:57 pm

    I disagree with Paul J, I don’t think she will go down in history as a great Labor leader. I think she has done a good job with what she has had to deal with but Bob Brown will come out of the parliamentary term with more cudos as a leader, unfortunately. I believe that until Labor stops changing policies every time a poll shows that it is unpopular we will not have another great Labor leader. Flip flopping and pandering are not traits of a great leader

  12. November 24, 2011 6:15 pm

    Bob, it’s brilliant in it’s execution. Was something in the air, why all the publicity during the week about Slipper being under pressure re pre-selection from Mal Brough. The thing that Abbott didn’t see coming was that Jenkins was prepared to give up the Speakership and his reason given is interesting too..to do with the poker machine legislation.

    Now who has threatened to bring the government down? Wilkie of course and if the government couldn’t deliver absolutely on his demands, which again of course was unreasonable as any threat of Fieldings. Just a coincidence, well maybe…

  13. Michael permalink
    November 24, 2011 8:40 pm

    Bob you’re having the same delusions you did as Premier. The BBQ conversations are all about when the government will go. When was the last time you went to a BBQ anyway?

  14. November 26, 2011 9:02 am

    Great move by our Prime Minister. I’m smiling like a cheshire cat to see Tony Abbott spitting chips.
    Wasn’t surprised to see from day one when Peter Slipper took the Speaker’s Chair that the radio shock jock Liberal Party apologists were predictably going into attack Peter Slipper mode. I smiled again and switched within a minute across to ABC radio and back to 2CH for the nice and easy music.

    As a Labor supporter and voter, I am looking forward to a secured full term by our ALP Government.

  15. November 26, 2011 1:04 pm

    I think the bit I enjoyed most is the hate media commentators going completely hysterical. The whole episode demonstrated yet again that they do not have a clue what is going on, their only role is to run an ongoing campaign against progressive politics of every sort. Equally enjoyable is the teeth gnashing of sad fantasists who think they can somehow whine this government out of existence with endless sniveling blog comments as above.

    • Bob Carr permalink
      November 26, 2011 9:39 pm

      Ha! Ha! So am I. Love it.

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