The winter break is a good time to reflect: on disappointing results, forgotten friends, unattainable goals of a semester been and gone. Or perhaps that’s just us.
The winter recess, when our politicians escape the freezing bubble of Canberra and head home, is also a good time for reflection – hopefully on the country’s future. But too often their thoughts turn to the future of their party, or, with things this bad, the future of their own seats.
July was supposed to be the month when it all turned around for the Gillard government. The carbon tax would be in place, the compensation rolling out, the Coalition’s fear campaign busted, and the primary vote finally ascendant.
But the latest polls show that the government’s fortunes are stalled or in reverse. The mirage of a turn-around appears to have been just that. And now, on cue, the leadership chatter within the Labor Party is back at full gallop.
It is unfortunate. Julia Gillard did achieve – with enviable determination – what her predecessor couldn’t: she got the carbon price through. She also legislated the mining tax and the national disability insurance scheme, for which she deserves enormous R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Sock it to her.
But it is time the ALP cast its collective focus toward the fast-approaching reality that if things don’t change, all those valuable reforms will be wiped away by a spectacularly triumphant Abbott government.
In two weeks parliament will resume and the seasonal infestation of Canberra will begin, including – perhaps for the first time – the political groupies of Kevin Rudd. According to the Sun Herald, members of “Rudd Factor” and “Rudd Alliance” will descend on the capital in that first sitting week to voice their support for the former PM.
Can we expect raucous cheering in Question Time? Perhaps a giant effigy of the man himself? Maybe a hotted-up ute with the Ruddster’s cheshire grin emblazoned on the bonnet?
One thing is certain: the machinations are already in motion. Will Kevin Rudd be rethroned? We say he should be.