Cartoon: Paul Zanetti
One disturbing aspect of Labor party politics at present is that it seem to be engaged in presidential style politics, where the party tend to speak with one voice, Kevin Rudd’s. The Liberals tend to over-rely on Tony Abbott but at least they sometimes bring Joe Hockey, or Julie Bishop out for a run.
Labor though, seems to grant Rudd a Messianic form of leadership role in which he seems to run the party as a one man band in much the same way as was done during his previous incarnation as Opposition Leader/Prime Minister. This remained the case until he became too big a poll liability and was replaced by Gillard who did the same until she became too big a poll liability and was replaced by Rudd #2.
This seems to indicate that either the party has no talent other than the leaders, or that the entire party-room is prepared to accept an authoritarian style leadership. The need to reinstate Rudd seems to back up the lack of talent argument although it is possible that anyone with any ability was unwilling to take on a leadership role with Rudd still in the party, white-anting them from under the floorboards.
Equally disturbing are the reports form last night’s state of origin match that indicate that the old Rudd overblown sense of entitlement is still there:
Mr Rudd and Ms Rein arrived at ANZ Stadium minutes before kick-off, forcing the NRL to scramble to find several tickets for his entourage at the sold-out match. …
… An NRL spokesman confirmed the Prime Minister's office had called on Tuesday asking for three extra tickets to the game but was unaware of any further requests. He said the tickets were for the PM's Australian Federal Police protection detail and another member of his staff. "We didn't think it was an extraordinary request," the spokesman said.
But The Daily Telegraph was told other corporate sponsors were asked to offer up any spare tickets they had to transfer to the PM's staff. A source who confirmed they had been asked for extra tickets said they had been told that the Prime Minister's office had also asked if the pre-game formalities could be delayed because Mr Rudd was running late to the game.
It is now understood that the later request was for an extra ten tickets to allow for Rudd’s entourage to attend the sold out match at the last minute. Ray Hadley at 2GB reports that other than a late request for extra tickets, and a delay in pre-game formalities, he also requested that lifts be held for him, both to arrive and depart.
It seems that the man who verbally abused an air force stewardess to the point of leaving her in tears over his lunch not being up to his exacting standards has not changed at all, despite all those stories of the new and improved Kevin Rudd.