20.6 C
Byron Shire
February 25, 2021

Gillard’s leadership intact, but her wrecked party is not

Latest News

Da mountain

Gisela Stieglitz, Wooyung There is a perfectly good bitumen road going up a rainforest gully; it doesn’t even have potholes!...

Other News

Ballina sludge a mixture of blue-green algae species

A reader has sent Echonetdaily some photos of what he described as 'something nasty and green coming down the Richmond River'.

Last minute water park unsuccessful as Jack Evans Boat Harbour PoM approved

A last minute attempt by Councillor Warren Polglase (conservative) to introduce a water park as part of the Jack Evans Boat Harbour Plan of Management (PoM)at last nights Tweed Shire Council saw yet another ‘workshop’ set up for councillors to discuss the implications.

Editorial – A personal take on politics and media

Since its inception in 1986 by a bunch of ratbag hippy locals, The Echo has championed the voice of the afflicted, not the comfortable. That should be the aim of every media organisation.

Mullum’s green spine

M Green, Myocum Regarding Council’s concept ideas for the Stuart Street ‘Green Spine Project’, I am strongly opposed to any...

TGA

Paul Brecht, Evans Head Why should we trust the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) who allowed genetically modified (GM) food onto...

Cut it down – Tweed Councillors at odds over future of forest red gum

‘We should be active and take the tree down,’ Cr Polglase told the Tweed Shire Council meeting last Thursday, referring to a significant forest red gum and koala food tree in Tweed Heads West.

gillard-swan-spill-wp

PM Julia Gillard and deputy Wayne Swan address the media after yesterday’s failed leadership coup. Photo AP /Rob Griffith

 

Comment by Bernard Keane

There are probably very few people left who still doubt Julia Gillard’s toughness. Yesterday, she was required to yet again demonstrate it, on a day in which she delivered a heartfelt and deeply moving apology for forced adoptions, faced a defection from one of her strongest supporters (and the man who first awarded her a shadow ministry), and walked into question time knowing her leadership would be on the line a couple of hours later.

But she has emerged unbloodied and certainly unbowed after her chief rival Kevin Rudd declined to bring it on. Time and again the media and her critics have thrown deadlines, challenges and demands at her and she has kept her head and her job as prime minister.

Labor’s problems, however, remain. Its vote remains at a level likely to see it wrecked at the forthcoming election. It remains divided between a hard core of Rudd supporters, a broader group of Gillard supporters and a group of undecideds deeply worried about their fate at the polls.

And most of all, the party now looks even more shambolic after Simon Crean sought to resolve the leadership dilemma by abandoning the prime minister, calling for a spill and urging Rudd to stand with himself as deputy leader. Rudd declined to do so. The result was a non-spill, and two former leaders now sitting on the backbench, and the impression of a party focused only on itself.

The adamantine Gillard may have survived more than comfortably, and declared that the leadership has now been resolved (again), but that is unlikely to quiet the leadership speculation from the press, which has relentlessly focused on the leadership and the party’s polling regardless of the fact that the Rudd camp has never had the numbers since Rudd so decisively lost the previous leadership ballot in February last year.

The ultimate beneficiaries, thus, are Tony Abbott and the media, who will continue to have a divided and weakened Labor to run against and speculate about. It is unlikely to prove the circuit breaker that Crean was desperate to create with his intervention.

MPs now take a long break between now and the budget in May, which is intended to shape Labor’s election strategy (in contrast to usual election year budgets) by identifying structural savings that will pay for the NDIS – which passed into law this week, if anyone was paying attention – and the Gonski school funding reforms. Likely, it will be again turned into a ‘crucial test for Gillard’ by the media and internal critics.

This commentary was first published in Crikey.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Council’s power

Matthew O’Reilly I refer to Ian Pickles’ letter, titled ‘Developers’ power’ (Letters, 10 February). Generally, I must agree with most of what Ian wrote in his...

Facebook fails

Adrian Gattenhof, Mullumbimby American spoilt brat Zuckerberg may have done adults around the world a great favour with his screamy kicky tanty. He’s laid bare...

Police confirm Main Arm drug operation

NSW Police have finally confirmed what pretty much every one in Main Arm already knows – they are conducting drug operations in the north of the Shire.

Call to protect oceans from plastic and pollution

A new sign has been installed at Main Beach, Byron Bay, calling for increased awareness and collective action on the issue of marine debris and pollution.