The political suicide of Australia’s Labor party

Sian-Claire Owen contacted me in June of 2013, and asked if I would be interested in submitting an article for a new World Review feature, called Have Your Say. A forum where individuals readers could submit their work.

This was the very first of my articles, published on July 15, 2013. Besides having followed geopolitics for many years, I also had the benefit of Australian colleagues with whom I’ve kept in touch. One of whom, was personally acquainted with then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

As I predicted, Mr. Rudd’s Labor Party was soundly defeated. The debacle was blamed on Labor Party infighting. But, Australia’s Carbon Tax was the cause of the defeat, from which Labor as yet to recover.

THE OUSTING of Julia Gillard by Kevin Rudd is a last-ditch attempt by the Labor Party to avoid an electoral meltdown in Australia’s next national election, writes Kevin Brent.

However, those who backed Mr Rudd to unseat Ms Gillard are ignoring the same problem they ignored when, in 2010, they backed Gillard to unseat Mr Rudd.

In a stunning turn of events, the Australian Labor Party, on June 26, 2013, voted to unseat Julia Gillard as Labor Leader and re-install former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The following 36 hours saw the cream of Labor’s Front Bench resigning and senior Labor members announcing they would not stand for the next election originally set for September 14, 2013 – a date likely to change at the discretion of newly sworn in Prime Minister Rudd.

The saga began in 2007 when Kevin Rudd led Labor to victory. He was hugely popular, especially after issuing the first official apology by any Australian leader for the unfair treatment of Australia’s indigenous peoples, known as Aborigines, and for placing priorities dear to the common citizen at the forefront of his agenda.

However, there was one issue on the Labor Party and Mr Rudd’s agenda that was a banana peel waiting to be slipped on – the Carbon Emissions Scheme.

Tailored to the Kyoto Accord on climate change which Mr Rudd was among the very few to sign, he began the push for it in parliament. Therein lay the root of his troubles.

Public polling showed that Mr Rudd’s support among Australians was rapidly eroding due to the Emissions Scheme. However, there was no hint at all of dissension in the Labor benches until Mr Rudd announced he was shelving the Emissions Scheme.

The Labor Party elite are an ideological lot, more concerned with the ends than the means or consequences of meeting those ends. Unbeknown to Mr Rudd or anyone else, a small putsch commenced to oust Mr Rudd led by then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

They succeeded late on the night of June 23, 2010, and Gillard was named Labor leader and sworn in as Prime Minister the next day.

After the fallout, Ms Gillard barely managed to hold on to power in the subsequent election in 2010, losing a number of Labor seats in Parliament and had to form a coalition with Australia’s Greens and Independent cross benchers to form a government.

What followed in the aftermath was ‘soap opera’ of backroom dealing, internal Labor backbiting, publicly aired infighting between Labor, Greens, and Independents, along with plots led from the shadows by the embittered Kevin Rudd.

Ms Gillard however, seemed to weather these storms. But, then Ms Gillard found the same banana peel of the Carbon Emissions Scheme and walked straight towards it.

Though re-branded ‘Carbon Pricing’ it was the same plan as before and the Australian public saw it as that.

Polls reflected disillusionment. Australians demonstrated against Carbon Pricing and the most devastating result was the 2012 Queensland state elections where Labor was effectively destroyed as a political factor in one of the worst election defeats in Australian history.

However, Ms Gillard forged on with Carbon Pricing and pushed it through parliament into law. Polls reflected the consequences with projections showing an election meltdown on a national scale; thus the panic within Labor resulted in Ms Gillard’s sacking and reappointment of Mr Rudd.

It was said in 2010 that Kevin Rudd was sacked due to his leadership style, overworking his cabinet ministers and his condescending belligerence toward fellow party MPs that the public did not always see. Now that Ms Gillard has been sacked, it’s being said that she just ‘made mistakes’ and allowed ‘sexist’ remarks to get under her skin too much and too often.

But, the kangaroo in the conference room that no one in Labor wants to publicly admit to is the folly of passing Carbon Pricing.

Since becoming law that ‘roo’ has begun to kick down Australia’s industrial base with several franchises and businesses announcing massive downsizing or closing shop altogether, including automobile manufacturer Ford which has made vehicles in Australia since the 1920’s.

The coming election meltdown for Labor will be the consequences of passing Carbon Pricing.

Labor Party power-brokers realize this and since Julia Gillard is now the face of Carbon Pricing, they are effectively trying to say to the Australian voter ‘sorry’, by sacking Ms Gillard and bringing Mr Rudd back; hoping they all will have forgotten that Mr Rudd was just as committed to Carbon Pricing when he proposed it as the Emissions Scheme.

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