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How Gillard and Crean colluded to fool Australia as they snuffed out Rudd finally

March 24, 2013

A year after seeing off Kevin Rudd in a leadership challenge, your polling numbers are still tanking, there’s media speculation about a leadership change, party members are leaking information about disunity, so what do you do? Oh, we also need to bury the same day’s failure of Steve Conroy’s ill-conceived so-called media reforms to even reach a parliamentary vote. Your strategy of calling an election 7 months in advance in an attempt to block any leadership instability has also failed. With Rudd still lurking, it’s time to play the final card. Let’s flush him out with a faux leadership challenge that Rudd never commissioned. He sticks by his word of never challenging, the PM remains leader, and suddenly Rudd is all the news rather than the two people responsible for this leadership stunt.

Let’s remember, Crean is Rudd’s greatest enemy. He led the vitriol against Rudd during the earlier crisis, calling him disloyal and to “put up or shut up” and that he should accept that he’ll never be PM again. The day before the challenge he said about Gillard that she’s “absolutely the right person” to lead the party, and on the very morning of the challenge reinforced that by saying the party should unite behind her. A few hours later he’s calling for a spill and urging Rudd to put his name forward with Crean as deputy. Immediately the stunt failed to goad Rudd, Crean is back being Gillard’s flunky saying Rudd “didn’t turn up to the fight”, while endorsing her as “she’s a fighter”.  Devious strategist yes, brave fighter no. Crean would then say Rudd “should have done the right thing… there’s a right way and a wrong way. He took the wrong way”, the right way being that Rudd be snuffed out totally. That would have been the case had he actually challenged. Since he didn’t, he’s still very much within the party. The only issue resolved is that he definitely won’t be leader come the next election. That exactly was the point of the day’s exercise.

What of Crean “sacked” from his front bench role? Collateral damage. It was worth the sacrifice to snuff out the final Rudd embers. So, too, collateral damage was the mass resignation of other front bench ministers and senior whips. We’re talking just a active few months left of this government. After the May budget, it’s ostensibly full on election campaign mode, and many of these members – Crean included – might actually benefit from being divorced from Gillard’s duplicitous, maniacal sinking ship. Especially Crean, if Gillard does fall before the election, he’s positioned as the candidate to take over. Chris Bowen has a bright future and after already being shifted from the difficult Immigration portfolio, his status now on the back-bench sees him totally clean. All that Gillard is left with his her motley crew of partisan hacks like Swan, Conroy, Emerson, Combet, Shorten and Smith. While Shorten has youth on his side, they rest are expendable in the oncoming inferno.

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