To my mind, Kevin Rudd is a manipulative control freak who should have retired from politics – and politicking – 18 months ago. While Julia Gillard has disappointed me in a number of ways, I broadly agree with her policy agenda. However, I don’t intend this post to be about my views; rather than pontificate, I thought I’d share some of the better pieces I’ve seen online this week.
Twitter is always at its best in political crises and the #respill hashtag often moved too fast for me to retweet some of the better messages. So I’m not sure who sent this tweet soon after Rudd resigned – “And this little Abbott went wheee all the way home!” – but it made me laugh aloud. More recently @KarenBevan4 tweeted “Thanks #respill for the return of truly excellent political insults. Now it only needs Keating”.
Like the Twitterverse, political journalists have been working overtime. Among the better articles I’ve read recently are The resurrection of Saint Kevin by Andrew Probyn, which demolishes any claim Kevin Rudd has to the high moral ground, and Labor faces tough battle against Rudd drift in which Barrie Cassidy blames Rudd for the leaks which lead to a hung parliament, and takes political journalists to task. Michael Gawenda tackles a similar theme in It’s time to let the facts get in the way of the story, while in Looking back …. in anger Peter Hartcher offers the intriguing suggestion that Rudd’s key problem was political timidity rather than anger. Finally, former journalist and one-time member for Bennelong Maxine McKew takes aim at Julia Gillard in Divided they stand while James Button, a former speech writer for Rudd, offers a defence of her actions and a critique of his old boss in We need to talk about Kevin.
Hartcher was also on Radio National’s Drive program discussing the leadership turmoil, along with Nick Bryant of the BBC and political cartoonist Fiona Kataukas. It was an interesting discussion, well worth checking out online, as was another feature about speaking truth to power involving Dr Simon Longstaff, Wendy McCarthy, John Sevior and Geraldine Doogue. It’s also available online.
There are also many images circulating online. Here are two of my favourites, a Kevin Rudd version of the ‘what I do’ meme currently doing the rounds on social media, and a mock movie poster featuring a mournful Julia Gillard:
And while I’m no fan of John Howard, I should also include this:
What’s your pick of the political commentary from this week?
A bad week in – and for – politics
Political shits and shit storms
When he was good he was very, very good
Pollies with problematic pasts
A plague on both their houses
Thoughts of a swinging voter