How did Gillard become Prime Minister, anyway?

Professional journalist Leo Shanahan stands up for

…the Australian peoples [sic] right to know how [Gillard] became to be [sic] Prime Minister.

Leo is weighing that against the right of Gillard and Rudd to have the confidentiality of their private discussions respected. A real quandary!

Fortunately, however, I have a really simple answer to “the Australian people’s” apparent curiosity – one that doesn’t require us to get all excited about Laurie Oakes’ vacuous Canberra gossip.

Q: How did Gillard become Prime Minister?

A: The Labor MPs indicated that they were going to vote to make her their leader, and Kevin Rudd resigned.

Man, that was easy. I wonder why it’s taken some people almost a month to figure it out.

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24 responses to “How did Gillard become Prime Minister, anyway?

  1. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy, what is it with the ‘move along now, nothing to see here’ line? Are you genuinely incurious about the process of putting the new lipstick on the ALP pig? Surely this is a matter of interest, and surely there is nothing wrong with asking questions about the details of the discussions. It is not every day that a sitting PM is ousted by faceless faction-leaders. Sometimes people like to know who is really pulling the strings of power.

  2. It’s mildly interesting as a curiosity, but it’s completely irrelevant to the main, and much more important, issues it’s being used to obscure.

  3. Faceless? Really? http://www.theaustralian.com.au/politics/the-hit-squad-behind-julia-gillards-leadership-push/story-e6frgczf-1225883558444

    Feeney, Farrell, Shorten and Arbib. They’ve all got faces. And names too, which have been widely reported.

  4. jordanrastrick

    You clearly don’t get it. “Faceless” means “A significant portion of the electorate don’t even realise that the MPs decide who gets to be PM; of course most people wouldn’t bother to familiarize themselves with the names and faces of the most influential ones.”

  5. An excellent reason for better teaching of civics, but not a good reason to become obsessed with who is PM as if they were a President.

  6. Splatterbottom

    Oh my my my, the dealers of delusion are furiously pushing their narcoleptic spin.

    The fact that you can name a few faction leaders, but you forgot the union heavies to whom they are beholden.

    I wonder why Paul Howes was the goto man on the night, why he knew far more than the dazed doorstopped members who looked befuddled even as the axe was swinging?

    I wonder how many Labor pollies need to grovel to union bosses to get pre-selection, to whom they owe their office? That is why unionists knew more about what was going on than the people supposedly making the decision.

  7. It is not every day that a sitting PM is ousted by faceless faction-leaders.

    So all the members of caucus had no vote and no say in the matter?
    This was all decided by four blokes with no input from anybody else in the party?

    Get your hand off it, SB.
    For this spill to have happened, those “faceless four” needed the support of at least 38 other sitting members.
    Rumour has it they got a lot more than that.

    Cheers

  8. Splatterbottom

    Marek, you have muddled cause and effect. Most sitting members are the creatures of the unions they rely on for pre-selection. Given that they owe their political existence to union bosses and faction leaders, it is not hard to see who pulls the strings.

    This is precisely why the media were getting their insights from union leaders like Paul Howes when at the same time members of caucus didn’t know what was happening. In the end no vote was necessary.

  9. “Sometimes people like to know who is really pulling the strings of power.

    Like the multinational mining companies, or the Murdoch press?

    Faceless? Do a google image search on the names Shorten, Arbib etc if you don’t know what they look like, those of us who take an interest know who these people are, we know their names, we know what they look like, those that don’t probably don’t care and those that claim they are faceless are probably just ignorant.

  10. Splatterbottom

    RobJ, I’m sure a good course in civics would cover the control of the ALP by union bosses. We’ve just seen a classic example of the political execution of a serving PM in a coup organised by the faceless factions of the ALP. I have no doubt that the lackeys, underlings and areselickers which constitute the party faithful know their names. I would also like to understand the mechanics of their influence, for example where Howes got his information from and why he knew more than the most members of caucus, or who Shorten was talking to on his two mobile phones when he was lunching while the execution was in process.

    Apparently we should have no interest in such matters because, you know, it was just a vote of caucus. Except the knife went in so deep they didn’t even have to vote.

  11. Seriously, if you’re still voting for the ALP despite its policies, then the means through which it chooses its leaders oughtn’t bother you in the slightest.

  12. the ALP factions run the unions, not the other way around. less than 15% of Labor funding is union money

  13. Splatterbottom

    “if you’re still voting for the ALP despite its policies, then the means through which it chooses its leaders oughtn’t bother you in the slightest.”

    You seem awfully keen to shut down this discussion, but you are not going to vote Labor are you? Why are you so interested in telling other people what they should be interested in?

  14. I’m keen on the media attention being on the substance of the policy differences between the parties, not an irrelevant sideshow.

  15. Splatterbottom

    A coup by ALP power-brokers against a sitting PM is not an irrelevant sideshow.

    Last election, Gillard thought that likelihood that Howard would not serve out his term as PM was a very material question. Now, by her own bloodied hand, she has given prominence to that very issue, but she seems less willing to discuss it.

  16. Splatterbottom, how is Gillard having the numbers and Rudd stepping aside any different to the endless numbers game that went on when Howard was PM and Costello wanted the job but wouldn’t challenge? It’s not. It’s part of politics. You rule the party until the party decides they want someone else, regardless of whether you’re Opposition Leader or Prime Minister. Right or wrong, that’s just how it is.

  17. baldrickjones

    “You seem awfully keen to shut down this discussion, but you are not going to vote Labor are you? Why are you so interested in telling other people what they should be interested in?”

    SB, I think it’s got something to do with how much lefties believe that Labor in power, despite all it’s faults, is way better than the coallition. The coallition are the true boogeymen to the left and shows why just about everytime there is criticism of Labor as the actual Government, there is always more criticism of the coallition. It’s just the natural reaction. I believe that this whole episode shows just how the Labor party works, and how the replacement of the head (Rudd) is the tactic to show that they whole game has changed, despite the fact that the other members of the team are still currently there (some are going soon). Personally, I have no problems with the concept of a coallition election victory – it’s not the nightmare that most lefties think it would be. I know people (my uncle) who have had personal contact with Abbott in his capacity as Health minister during the Howard government and he has nothing but great things to say about his intelligence, reliability and forthrightness. He finds Roxon difficult to get in contact with but when he does he thinks that she is competent.

    Any way its a kicker of a political intrigue story, calls into question the integrity of the current prime minister, and is thus unlikely to go away during the election campaign. They should have completed the job and told Rudd that he would not get a ministry – instability awaits because of their decision to promise him something.

  18. “SB, I think it’s got something to do with how much lefties believe that Labor in power, despite all it’s faults, is way better than the coallition.”

    How astute! Lefties prefer a slightly right-wing party to a very right-wing party.

    Amazing analysis, Baldrick.

    “it’s not the nightmare that most lefties think it would be. “

    You’d have a better chance convincing people of that if it was more than three years since we got rid of Howard.

    “Any way its a kicker of a political intrigue story, calls into question the integrity of the current prime minister, and is thus unlikely to go away during the election campaign.”

    What rot. It’s one side of a private conversation, and even on Rudd’s version we’re talking minutes between her saying Uh, ok, and coming back and saying, actually, no.

    That’s nothing like Howard promising Costello something if he didn’t challenge, Costello not challenging, and Howard going back on his word.

    There’s plenty we can learn about Gillard’s integrity – such as the speed with which she turned on refugees and gay people – but this “deal” conversation is completely irrelevant.

  19. mhacdebhandia

    It should amaze me that people hasten to drip poison about the ALP ship’s being steered by “faceless union hacks”, but never have a word to say about the anonymous CEOs and churchmen who call the shots on the H.M.A.S. Liberal Party.

    It should amaze me, but it doesn’t. Can’t imagine why.

  20. Seems to me like SB’s already got a pretty good grip on what happened between Rudd and Gillard, and the party machinations that caused it. I think most who were paying attention have figured it out by now.

    Leo Shanahan’s petulant demands that it all be laid out on a platter for him will be ignored as the bleatings of a spoiled brat. As they should be.

  21. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, the whole point of the ‘moving forward’ spin, so eagerly adopted by some here, is precisely to stop people knowing and discussing what happened. Why not just let people talk about whatever interests them? We do not need the censorship of the rightly-guided latterati to control what are allowed to think about.

  22. You already know what happened SB – your motivations for picking it apart in public are as transparent as the ALP’s motivations for ‘moving forward’.

    You want to damage the ALP brand, the ALP wants to protect it, and Shanahan wants someone to feed him meaningless gossip to fuel his boring blog.

    You’re all free to pursue your own indulgences of course . . . .

  23. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, why do you want to stop people knowing the sordid details? Surely you are on the side of the free flow of information? This looks like being a boring campaign, as both sides stumble and blunder towards the ‘middle ground’.

    Gillard’s faux-bogan flat-vowelled delivery is interminably boring, and Abbott is on a slow-motion train to obscurity. At least Turnbull would be lively and coherent, and I do miss Keating’s lively invective. In their absence any hint of spice is welcome to alleviate the dull weeks of campaigning before us.

  24. Mondo, why do you want to stop people knowing the sordid details?

    I don’t – I just don’t think they’re likely to be particularly interesting or revealing.

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