Saturday, 7 September 2013

Aussie election blah blah blah

First of all, let me say I profoundly don't care which of the scumbags gets to be Prime Minister of Australia.  They are both loathsome human beings, in a way that even John Key isn't.

But the machinations of politics does fascinate me, and as the psychodrama of the NZ Labour leadership toddles tediously along, the show across the Tasman provides a welcome bit of Grand Goignol.

The Guardian is calling the election for the Coalition, Abbot for PM, and proclaiming the demise of Kevin Rudd.  This seems to me to be a very superficial reading of events.

Rudd was not brought back to win the election but to minimise the defeat.  It's a measure of how much of a (shortlived) impact his return had that this was immediately forgotten and replaced with a 'Who will win?' narrative.  But it was never a win/lose proposition, no matter how much Sunny Kev might try to make out he expects to be PM on Monday.  He was brought back because an awful lot of marginal Labour MPs were worried they might lose their jobs. 

If he can save them, they'll save him.

Whether or not he has made a difference to the scale of Labour's defeat remains to be seen.  I suspect he may do well enough to hold on to have another tilt next time, if he wants to - he seems to be the only person who wants to be leader of the Australian Labour Party, and who can blame the others for shirking a slurp from that poisoned chalice?

Abbot is already unpopular and he hasn't even won the election yet, far less started doing anything to really annoy people.  Wait a few months and see the real hating start.  Whoever is in charge of Labour for the next election will have a good chance of condemning Abbot (assuming he isn't rolled, as happened to Rudd and then Gillard) to the ignominy of being a one term wonder.

Something Rudd hasn't actually achieved, of course, as he got booted out before the 2010 election.

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