February 26, 2012


Labor pains: Australia looks on aghast as vicious leadership struggle erupts: Party rivals Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd plot, sulk and tear each other apart in public as they fight in secret ballot to become PM (Paola Totaro, 2/24/12, guardian.co.uk)

It is one of the most vicious battles in world politics. In one corner stands a woman prime minister, well liked by her colleagues but unpopular with the public at large. Squaring up to her from across the ring is her predecessor, a man popular with voters but loathed by the majority of his fellow MPs.

On Monday, we will see who comes out on top when Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd take part in a ballot for the leadership of the Labor party, and thereby of Australia.

Gillard, the country's first woman prime minister, Welsh-born but more Aussie than her Mandarin-speaking arch-rival, ought to be coasting comfortably to win a second term in government.

Instead, the Australian electorate is watching aghast as Labor's two major political stars plot and sulk and tear each other apart in public - and fight to the death in a secret party ballot.

"Rightly or wrongly Julia has lost the trust of the Australian people," Rudd said on Friday. "On Monday I want to start restoring that trust and that's why I have decided to contest the leadership of the Australian Labor party."

"This is not an episode of Celebrity Big Brother," retorted Gillard. "This is about who can lead the nation, who can get things done."

Although, putting the two of them in a Big Brother house would be more amusing than our campaign has been.
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Posted by at February 26, 2012 7:36 AM

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