On 24 June 2010, ‘loyal’ Labor deputy, Julia Gillard, knifed the leadership of sitting Labor PM, Kevin Rudd, during a quiet, cold Canberra winter deep in the catacombs of Australia’s Parliament House.
After dumping Labor’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS, or Carbon Tax 1.0) two months earlier – despite it supposedly addressing “the great moral challenge of our generation” – PM Rudd and his loyal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, proposed a great big new Resources Super-Profits Tax (RSPT, or Mining Tax 1.0) as the centerpiece of their May 2010 Budget.
And this is where things really started going pear-shaped.
With good economists and the mining lobby (led by the sensible Minerals Council of Australia) poking massive holes in its design, the proposed tax began sinking like a stone, and taking its chief proponents - and Labor - with it.
The “faceless men” (or factional warlords) of the Labor party – members of parliament including Bill Shorten – got restless and began “counting the numbers”. On 23 June (the day before the official end), these men informed loyal deputy Gillard that so much confidence had been lost in Rudd that:
- she had the numbers to topple him as sitting PM, and
- they were convinced Labor would not win the next election (due later that year) with Rudd still at the helm.
Armed with such advice, and in agreeance, Gillard informed Rudd that night that he should either resign or call a leadership ballot. After working the phones that night, and sleeping on it, Rudd realised he had lost the numbers (big time) and tearfully resigned the next morning.
Gillard went on to effectively tie the next election (21 August 2010), forming a controversial minority government.
Rudd was given the consolation prize of Foreign Minister in the new Gillard government. He set about plotting revenge, fulfilled on a similarly cold Canberra day in those same catacombs on 26 June 2013 – essentially three years to the day. Perhaps “revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Mark the knifing of PM Rudd by loyal deputy Gillard by:
- watching the ABC’s “The Killing Season” – a three-part series on the trials and tribulations of the chaotic Rudd-Gillard-Rudd governments, including the initial knifing and revenge attacks
- watching a film on the classic Shakespearian tragedy, “MacBeth”
- reading about the key characters in that Shakespearian tragedy
- recalling some of the anti-RSPT ads by the mining lobby so pivotal in weakening PM Rudd’s leadership
- reflecting on the chaos and dysfunction that bad governments and flaky characters have wreaked on our body politic over the last decade, and why we need to “Burst the Canberra bubble”, and/or
- sharing this Action Plan post on social media with family, friends and those wanting principle, civility and common sense to return to Australian politics.