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Rudd’s leadership push creates a dilemma for ambitious Shorten

A change to Kevin Rudd could be to Bill Shorten’s long term advantage AAP/Alan Porritt

Bill Shorten is a powerbroker caught on the horns of a dilemma. He is seen as a key figure in Labor’s leadership battle. There are calls for him to step in, which could only mean deserting Julia Gillard, because at the moment he is standing with her. One of the plotters who installed Gillard, if Shorten threw his weight behind Kevin Rudd, the game would be finished.

A former chief of the powerful Australian Workers' Union Shorten, who sees himself as a future prime minister, directly influences some caucus votes, although sources differ about the number, some say only three or four; others suggest a good many more. In Victoria he and Senate leader Stephen Conroy, a solid Gillard man, form the ShortCon group in the Right.

The importance of a change by Shorten would be its symbolism; it would have a domino effect.

So what course of action would be in Shorten’s own interests? To openly put the knife into Gillard would bring him a double problem. First, it would be an admission he had made a serious error of judgment in 2010 (something that is pretty obvious now). Second, and more important, to be part of assassinating a second prime minister would be bad for the reputation of a future leadership aspirant. It would seem to colleagues and public alike that he was not a loyal or trustworthy person. And “trust” has become a hot button with voters.

Yet a change to Rudd could well be to Shorten’s advantage. All indications are that Rudd would do better than Gillard in the election, although the expectation is that he would still lose. If Shorten became opposition leader after a Labor defeat, there would be a big difference between taking over a party that had been routed and one that had had a respectable loss. No leader would be likely to survive two or three terms of wilderness.

Shorten’s best option would probably be for Rudd to become leader without his being actively part of the push. One Labor wag says that in present circumstances Shorten “likes to be chased while still being chaste”. Whether that will be possible is another matter.

If there was a change to Rudd, it would be best for Shorten to avoid seeking advancement. Rudd is believed to have promised Treasury to Chris Bowen. Shorten for deputy leader? Not good for his prospects in the longer term, assuming a Rudd election loss.

Shorten ideally needs to enter Labor’s post election phase with clean hands and as a fresh face. Anyway, if he remained in the Workplace Relations portfolio under Rudd, he would have a high profile and plenty of opportunity to display his abilities. Industrial relations will be a key election fight.

The leadership tussle is at a standoff as caucus members wait for next week’s Newspoll and for the full parliament to resume on March 12 (next week only the Senate sits). Rudd pursues a multi-pronged strategy while he keeps himself in the public eye and hopes the polls will do their work on his colleagues. He is talking policy (as in his long Sunday Sky interview) and conceding past mistakes (up to a point). He attacks Tony Abbott at every available opportunity, to demonstrate he would be the best to take him on, and continues his visits to individual seats to display his appeal. This week he was at a Labor fund raiser in Bruce. Not that local MP Alan Griffin had to be convinced - he is one of Rudd’s numbers men.

Rudd is carrying his message to Mr and Mrs Average via his return to Seven’s Sunrise program and articles like the rather hokey one in the Sunday Telegraph which reported that the Rudd family had become “empty nesters”, referred to the dog Abby (immortalised a few years ago in a book by Rudd and Rhys Muldoon) and advised “guys”, in dealing with anniversaries and the like, how to follow the JDSU (“Just Don’t Screw Up”) principle. At the high end, in the Australian Financial Review the former PM, with 1.19 million Twitter followers, yesterday was handing out some social media advice, warning tweeters not to speak like robots. “I fight my Ruddbot instincts every day”, he confided.

Join the conversation

105 Comments sorted by

  1. Ronald Ostrowski

    logged in via Facebook

    Here is Michelle bringing even more of the MSM flavour of unsubstianted political soap opera specifically ignoring similar antics evident within Opposition ranks and targeting the Government, in particular the PM,and which blatantly ignores Parliamentary business and Government decisions/proposals on a range of policy platforms.

    I come to The Conservation for well thought out facts not more of the MSM vacuous mumbo jumbo blaring out of the Murdoch, Fairfax, ABC et al news outlets.

    As I watch…

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    1. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Unsubstantiated? Do you think Michelle just makes this stuff up without talking to members of the ALP caucus? It's real, it's happening, get over it.

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    2. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Simon Black

      High Michelle I haven’t read your comments for a week. Thought I would give you enough time to maybe have listened and taken in the negative comments on your comments. I take it that you are going to stick to your brand of commentary as opposed to reporting or analysis. Okay, but just on that there are a few questions remaining. Is it fair to your (potential) readers to fantasise, gossip, to use other commentators’ comments as ‘evidence’, suggest your own interpretation of other people’s motivations…

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    3. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Agree wholeheartedly. Well said! It was always excruciating listening to Grattan's drivel on the ABC Frantic Kelly show. Having her appear on this site was a shock, How could they! Time to reconsider? Please?

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    4. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Simon Black

      Keep on knocking!. But don't come whinging when your mates are in power and they do not live up to your expectations, going to be fooled again?

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    5. Riddley Walker

      .

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      "... his return to Seven’s Sunrise program and articles like the rather hokey one in the Sunday Telegraph which reported that..."

      Pot, kettle, black?

      This article is based on a simple premise: Shorten wants to be the Leader, but he can't until Gillard resigns, because he helped to put her there. Well, woop de doo.

      This is not news, it is not "insider expertise", and it certainly has nothing to do with journalism. I can get better analysis by watching "Australian Psychics" on the late night…

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    6. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Splendid comment. There is time enough before polling date for sensible policy comparisons as long as these shrill noises are drowned out by overwhelming common sense. Michelle you'll find a place in the deadwood print media for sure.

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    7. Steve Foy

      logged in via email @optusnet.com.au

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Couldn't have said it better myself Ronald.

      It seems many of us had hoped that Michelle's reduction in journalistic integrity was solely due to the constraints of her previous publisher, sadly she has now proven that not to be the case.

      What concerns me more is 'The Conversation' appears unwilling to address the situation despite an overwhelming number of complaints and outrage from readers of Grattan's most recent articles. It would appear foolish in the extreme to not intervene here as the…

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    8. PuffTheMagicDragon

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Simon Black

      I reckon it is a long time since Michelle had the ear of caucus. How much has she go correct in the last three years?

      How many big stories has she broken? None is the answer. How many big stories has she missed since 2007?

      All of them is the answer.

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  2. Gavin Moodie
    Gavin Moodie is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Adjunct professor at RMIT University

    If Gillard leads federal Labor to a loss in 2013 presumably she would resign the leadership to be assumed by . . . Rudd?

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    1. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      It is simply un-australian to have females in a positions of power, Yep, blokey Abbott for us all the way back to the dark ages!!

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    2. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      Utter nonsense, Hardy!
      Not all aussies are Abbott clones! Gillard has stuffed up egregiously, unforgivably and, if my suspicion that these weren't stuff ups but intently ideological manoeuvres, then, criminally, also.
      We expected quite a non-blokey thing and we got a hob-nailed boot marching thunderously into parliament. Where is the feminine sensitivity, the care, the nurturing, the consideration? Where are these traits in the policies about the refugees, the single mothers, the gays and lesbians…

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    3. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to george theodoridis

      Fair comment. Acknowledge your position. However the elephant in the room to use this unfortunate cliché is the imminent threat of a Abbott tea party ascendancy. Lets try not to waste our votes.
      NB: My previous comment was meant to be tongue in cheek as a response to a rather silly comment by another poster.

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    4. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      For a while there I thought Michelle Grattan was a candidate with all the comments re her and not a mention of the article.

      On one hand its just another election, number whatever it is since 1901. And then we will get either the current prime minister or a new one. And what's another PM when we've had 27 already - some good, some excellent, some not so good.

      I personally think the difference THIS time, is that the world is on the cusp. Not solely because of climate change (although CC is uno…

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  3. Simon Black

    logged in via Twitter

    Shorten has been touting himselfas a future PM since he was in the ACTU. Can't see it myself. The first thing he did when Kevin Rudd won the 2007 election was start plotting against him. The ALP would be a lot better of without Shorten and others of his ilk.

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    1. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Simon Black

      This site would indeed be a lot better of without posters of a certain ilk. I am sure many agree on that one!

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    2. PuffTheMagicDragon

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Simon Black

      Shorten is the ONLY minister in living memory who gave more than a tinker's curse for the disability sector.

      He came to it knowing nothing and became the sector's greatest political advocate.

      Now we have the NDIS - AND disability services as a major election issue. That is unbelievable.

      If they took up a collection to put up his statue, I and countless others put fund it.

      Bill Shorten is a hero to people with disabilities.

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    3. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to PuffTheMagicDragon

      But to the rest of Oz an unmitigated bastard!
      Puffy, they all do some good somewhere and we should thank them -though with the salaries they pull, I'd expect them to be trying their best. But if they do one good thing and reck it all for the rest of the country, then, they ought to be informed in no uncertain terms of their failures. By all means, praise them for their good work but curse them severely for their dastardly deeds.

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    4. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to PuffTheMagicDragon

      When Tony Abbott is Prime Minsiter, it will be thanks to Bill Shorten and his 2010 coup. He won't be much of a hero then, especially if there is no NDIS because of it.

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  4. Mark

    logged in via Twitter

    FFS!! ...I come to The Conversation for insightful analysis ...not more Ruddstoration Old Media beat-up bullshit!!....

    Grattan will have to lift her game to keep me interested ....not looking good so far...

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    1. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to Mark

      What's with the open season on Michelle Grattan? Why the aggression?

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  5. Fred Pribac

    logged in via email @internode.on.net

    How about some evidence to back up these assertions of alternative motivations and ambitions behind the actions and their stated objectives?

    Even quoting the teensiest bit of verifiable evidence would go a long way to elevating this from polemic to analysis.

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    1. Paul Pfluger

      retired

      In reply to Fred Pribac

      Well, she has started to provide links to evidence-free articles in The Australian. What a joke.

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  6. Daniel Wallace

    Student

    Honestly, the notion of Rudd becoming opposition leader after a Gillard election loss amazes me. The reality is that most of the caucus hate him enough that they would rather lose than make him leader again, and the other half still hate him, but want to be re-elected. I challange anyone to find maore than a half dozen MPs that say they want him to be leader because of his judgement. Once they go into opposition, it will be Shorten, Clare, Husic, or whoever, but never Rudd. They moment the LNP forms government, Rudd's numbers will move elsewhere.

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    1. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Daniel Wallace

      Daniel. Don't fall for it. This is a debate we do not need to have.. Just because some deluded churnalists think so. Personality politics is so much easier than doing some thorough police research or asking the important hard questions. Lazy buggers!.

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    2. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to george theodoridis

      I shall try to live up to your high expectations mate! Leaving synapses aside for a moment. Semantics alright for you? Messages coming across? Great!

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  7. Simon Black

    logged in via Twitter

    The funniest thing about this is the story that Shorten has been approached to be leader was leaked by Bill Shorten himself. The guy is absolutely shameless.

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  8. Sunil Badami

    Writer

    Sheesh. I'm not interested in conjecture or surmise – especially such outdated, self-conscious, trying-to-influence-the-agenda noise over actual reporting. Didn't the way you and other members of the Press Gallery so badly interpreting the impact of Gillard's misogyny speech teach you anything? How about some detailed analysis of policies or costings rather than spreading malicious gossip? And why no focus on the Opposition, especially Tony Abbott, given that thanks to the prevalence of such "opinion…

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    1. Riddley Walker

      .

      In reply to Sunil Badami

      Hey Sunil, I agree with your post, but try using paragraphs! Makes comprehension so much better!

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  9. Brian Boss

    Architect

    Oh here we go again...today we have news that the state of VIC have ripped $600M from health and the feds are kicking in an extra $120M

    Can we please have some expertise and facts to get to bottom of the blame game. The MSM seem to think its somehow Feds fault, but I don't understand why.

    ..and we have here Michelle writing a fictional hypothetical on hypothetical on hypothetical soap opera.

    To the editors Editors of the Conversation:

    WE DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THIS STUFF!!!!!!

    WE WANT POLICY DISCUSSION FROM THE EXPERTS!!!!!!!!

    WE WANT A POINT OF DIFFERENCE TO THE TRASHY MSM!!!!

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    1. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Brian Boss

      I find the Indepentaustralia.net website refreshing. Thorough research most of the time. Sorry to see someone like Grattan here.She really stands out like a sore thumb. Cheapens the usually high standard of the Conversation. Pity.

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    2. Steve Hindle

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Brian Boss

      "WE DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THIS STUFF!!!!!!"
      Then why read it?
      There is plenty of choice in The Conversation. As far as attracting comments, Michelle is highly successful. Perhaps she is a clever right wing plant designed to pull all the left wing commentary off the rest of The Conversation. Pull heaps of them all into one post where they can waste their energy complaining about her very popular posts.

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    3. Steve Hindle

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to Michael Shand

      That still doesn't explain why you would want to read something you don't want to know!

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  10. Tony Dummett

    Optical Engineer

    Grattan in this and her earlier columns for The Conversation show why the Mainstream Media, especially newspapers, have failed.

    For Grattan to be giving HR advice to the government, when she herself has lately been retrenched from a failing business, as have so many of her colleagues, 1900 of them, complete with editorial office holders, is comical.

    This week's Rudd Comeback push has sunk without trace in the public's eye, a pathetic failure, kept alive only in the fevered heads of the Fairfax diaspora who don't seem to be able to think of anything else to write about.

    That this rubbish is precisely why Fairfax is a shadow of its former self doesn't seem to trouble the great minds of the self-appointed political savants, the gurus in their own lunchtimes of Australian political media.

    And now she comes here to The Conversation to continue the failed model. It's pathetic, and will wreck this site.

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  11. Simon Black

    logged in via Twitter

    Gee. The hardcore Gillard apologists love bullying journos when they don't write stories they like, don't they? If you don't have a comment to make on the story, don't comment!!! Anyone who thinks the leadership of the government is not an issue at the moment is clearly delusional.

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    1. Brad McCoy

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Simon Black

      Oh please. Grattan is doing nothing but stating the obvious and speculating on the rest. Where is the insight and analysis? It's second-rate journalism regardless of what you think of Gillard, Rudd, Shorten.

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    2. Tony Dummett

      Optical Engineer

      In reply to Simon Black

      It's not that they write stories readers don't like.

      It's that they write the SAME story over and over again.

      They rarely write about policy or anything important to do with government. It's always "The Savvy" they dish up... THEIR savvy of course, being gurus one and all. It's as boring as it is annoying.

      Grattan continues her habit of delivering "wisdom from on-high", without engaging with her readers, who have practically begged her to leave the old "Gossip" model behind. In return she throws this muck in their faces and expects them to cop it sweet.

      Will she ever learn? This is what wrecked The Age and the SMH. Thousands have lost their jobs, real livliehoods, because of this arrogant "like it or lump it" attitude their senior colleagues have exhibited. While the juniors lose work, the senior ones who did the damage in the first place step daintily to sinecures at universities or yet another publication they can infect and wreck with their cynicism.

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    3. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Simon Black

      Keep on rubbing it in. The MSM/ABC LNP really are doing a terrific public snow job already. But if it makes you feel better, by all means!

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    4. Paul Pfluger

      retired

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      Hey, the comments are so much better than the articles. Most of the comments are actually worth reading, unlike MG's articles, which aren't worth reading at all.

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    5. Ian McLaren

      retired

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      yone considered the possibility that Ms Grattan is being fed only that which the PM wants her, and the rest of the msm, to be fed?

      This latest round of leadership speculation has been different in its spectacular failure. Apart from the usual platitudes there hasn't been the usual, smarmy, vicious, learnt by rote rejoinders from the opposition.

      If we were to consider the proposition that the Government has set up the media to fail, this being the successful trial run, what do the likes of Ms…

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    6. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Brad McCoy

      Well, at least you agree it's obvious that there is a problem.

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    7. Michael Shand
      Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Software Tester

      In reply to Simon Black

      Nice Orwellian Double Speak (To use a phrase from The Conversation) - I mean do you not recognise the irony here;

      why are you commenting on the comments? is it just because they wrote something you didnt like?

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    8. Yuri Pannikin

      Director

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      If you think leadership change stories are new to Australian politics, then you are a babe . . . babe.

      Grattan has seen it all, and is doing no more than has been done during similar conflicts in the past. You may not like it, but there it is.

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  12. Pat Moore

    gardener

    Missed opportunity for headline here MG...."SHORTEN his odds" in politics as horse race. Jostling is another good horse verb. "The leadership tussle is at a standstill (problems at the barrier/starting gates?) as caucus awaits next week's newspoll" (the trumpet fanfare)?

    Frustrated sports' reporter maybe?

    Wonder what is actually going on in politics though? We seem to have no political correspondents. There is an awful lot of nefarious business going down behind the scenes of which we are being denied illumination. How can electors make informed decisions if they do not know what is actually happening?

    Obfuscation is the name of the game as the actual power structure of the bodypolitic is further encrypted & privatised into the hands of Das Kapital. And the job of the MSM sports' reporters is to keep the punters entertained on the sidelines....."And they're racing!"

    When is The Guardian coming to shine his light in such darkened places?

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  13. Brad McCoy

    logged in via Twitter

    Michelle, in your first article here at the Conversation you promised to focus on policy. Yet you are writing about nothing but personality politics and idle speculation. Why is this?

    The Conversation is supposed to be an online academic publication informed by evidence, not a political gossip rag.

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    1. RJ Lohan

      Software Engineer and Father

      In reply to Brad McCoy

      My hypothesis for today is that this is a none-too-subtle form of subversion. Readers of this site have been identified as a group which have failed to be brainwashed (into completely ignoring any sort of evidence when it comes time to vote this year) by the MSM, so they've* sent MG in to pretend to be one of the thinking minority, and 'convert' us.

      It would probably be more effective if she served up something other than this repetitive drivel, and used sources besides her own fraternity** (9 links in this article - ALL to MSM sources).

      Here is an unrelated*** link as evidence of my postion: http://www.thevine.com.au/life/news/college-students-banned-from-citing-the-onion-and-fox-news/

      * I have no idea who 'they' are, but I could come up with some scenarios ranging from plausible to ridiculous. :-)

      ** Is that sexist? I don't think 'sorority' has quite the same connotations.

      ***Unrelated to my hypothesis at least, but not necessarily to the content of this piece.

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    2. Brad McCoy

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      It's one thing to be an academic (Professorial Fellow at University of Canberra apparently), but it's another to produce academic content. The editors should be a bit pickier. If you wrote anything like this for university assessment, you'd get a fail grade.

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    3. Michael Shand
      Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Software Tester

      In reply to RJ Lohan

      I had this same thought earlier on, to quote daniel dennet

      "Everytime you say, do or hear something you make another copy in your brain, Everytime you say, do or hear something you make another copy in your brain"

      that these articles from Michelle are an attempt at Manufacturing Consent

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  14. Comment removed by moderator.

  15. JL Broadstock

    logged in via email @bigpond.com

    This is the Conversation, the 'edu' in the URL should be the first indicator that this is not a forum for media drivel

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    1. Tony Dummett

      Optical Engineer

      In reply to JL Broadstock

      JL, Ms Grattan doesn't care what you think.

      Umpteen decades of dishing up her private opinion to avid readers (most of whom are now gone, which is why she's here) has set her in her ways.

      It's her way or the highway.

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    2. Brad McCoy

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      She might not care. But if enough people complain to the editors...

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    3. Brad McCoy

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to JL Broadstock

      Amen!

      (... which apparently is too short a comment to post without adding extra words at the end here)

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    4. Tony Dummett

      Optical Engineer

      In reply to Brad McCoy

      The editor is ex-The Age too, I hear.

      Old habits and the habits of the old die hard.

      There's an analogy between this site and, believe it or not, Bendigo Bank.

      Bendigo Bank started out as "The People's Bank", with branches in newsagents, garages, local stores etc, low fees and a community spirit.

      Now it's just another bank, charging higher interest rates than most, out to make a buck.

      The Conversation started out as a committed site servicing a community of readers who were sick of…

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  16. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    To all the Grattan detractors: you don't have to read her articles if you don't want to.

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    1. Tony Dummett

      Optical Engineer

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      That's a good point. It's the last time I will be doing so. I rarely read her pieces at The Age and Fairfax Media. It was a good habit.

      I have a feeling I'm not Robinson Crusoe either.

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    2. Brad McCoy

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      So nobody should ever criticise anything they could simply ignore?

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    3. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Brad McCoy

      No, you COULD read the article with an open mind but choose not to give it the credibility attached to a response, if that is your opinion of it. Unless, of course, you see something flagrantly wrong with it, in which case, the author has done his/her job.
      I admit, there are far better, more valuable, more nourishing articles on Conv'n but, one checks out how much time one has and prioritises...

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    4. Tony Dummett

      Optical Engineer

      In reply to george theodoridis

      "Flagrantly wrong" = "doing her job"?

      That's a strange definition, especially given this forum.

      As to reading this article with "an open mind": I have this or similar articles many times in the past.

      They all say the same thing: "leadership crisis." Just as most of the Gallery says the same thing. In fact, it's the only meme in town.

      Which would be alright if there WAS a leadership crisis.But there hasn't been one for 51 out of the last 52 weeks (yes, it's nearly the anniversary of the…

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    5. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      You are spot on. Most posters here apparently wouldn't listen to or read anything MG conjures up. But please let her not dump her outpourings here on this website, that's the vital point. It is a distraction from other worthwhile articles.

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    6. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      Settle down, Tony!
      By doing one's job when they are "flagrantly wrong" I mean, equally as the "obviously correct" they sprak off or encourage a conversation -with which you are free to engage or disengage, to treat with a nod or a curse, or simply turn your bum to it.
      You are right, MG is predictable but tell me one journo who is not, especially if they are to make a living by writing thousands of words per week.
      As for a "leadership crisis" how on earth you can be so sure there isn't one, given…

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    7. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      It's just outright bullying from the few Gillard apologists that remain. Someone writes an even mildly questioning story on their beloved hero and they attack the journo with all the fire and brimstone they can muster. I don't see many comments on the story, just borderline childish abuse at the journalist who wrote it. Be nice if they just put their counter argument forward thoughtfully without resorting to name calling and abuse.

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    8. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      So, you didn't read her articles when they were right their in front of you on the kitchen table while you had breakfast but now you seek out her work so you can complain on the internet. Interesting.

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    9. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Brad McCoy

      If you have your own theory on what's going to occur, put it forward and tell us why you think the story is wrong, rather than just shooting the messenger.

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    10. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Tony Dummett

      When you have polls as bad as Gillard, there is a leadership crisis. Any leader who has polls has bad as that would be under question, so why should Gillard be any different? Is she a special case? Is there some reason she gets a pass?

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    11. Michael Shand
      Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Software Tester

      In reply to Sean Lamb

      To all the Sean - you dont have to read the comments

      Honestly, the irony never catches people before they post such hypocritical comments

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  17. Peter Ormonde

    Farmer

    Pssst .... Have you heard? It's all over the gallery...must be true.... Shorten had a haircut last Tuesday pushing the AUD below below $1.04 US on the strength of this confirmed speculation from unnamed sources... Wall Street went into free-fall between 4.03 and 4.05pm until someone worked out where Australia was.

    And Simon Crean was seen sporting a new tie in an obvious signal to the Party Room that he's ready to rumble. Turns out the tie was a gift from someone - perhaps his Mrs or more likely…

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    1. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Ooops ...

      I've been contacted by a pedantic planning pal who points out that Woden would not lend itself to such activities under the ACT's iron heel of business regulation.

      He suggests that the gallery would be far more fitted to a fling in Fyshwyck with the floozies where local planning laws would be far more accommodating of the Gallery's activities. Who could argue?

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    2. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Ooops part two then Gavin.

      I can understand the Uni of Canberra doing it.

      Isn't there some sort of school or WEA in Queanbeyan somewhere?

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    3. Riddley Walker

      .

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      My sources have it on very good authority that Gillard was about to sneeze earlier today, but then she didn't. Waiting on confirmation that she did in fact blow her nose instead.

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    4. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Riddley Walker

      Sneezing, noseblowing hah - that's just Labor spin ...

      Sobbing she was - no doubt on hearing of Shorten's appointment for Monday at the manicurist. She knows the writing's on the wall now for all to see ... final nails in the coffin ... all ten of 'em.

      It's just pathetic to watch this desperate lonely woman clinging to power despite all the portents and omens we can dream up.

      Oooh look something shiny.

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    5. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Shorten sharpens and manicures his nails on the blackboard, in the rumpus room the call Caucus. Caucasians playing with chalk.
      Abbott, on the other hand -well, on both ands, actually, doesn't have any nails; just knuckles with which he peddles his push bike.

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    6. Hardy Gosch
      Hardy Gosch is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Mr.

      In reply to george theodoridis

      Sorry George, slightly condescending I know, but shouldn't it have been "they" call caucus and both "hands". Not too flashy as a Brain Constructor at Synapse Collapse". Should do better!!

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    7. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Hardy Gosch

      Thoroughly agree and touché.
      To my defence... I caught the "recalcitrant keyboard disease" from you! I shall speak most sternly to mine. Often it simply is not paying attention! In too much of a hurry to go out and play footy and consequently leaves half the words half baked!
      DETENTION!

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  18. Stephen Paul

    Community Worker

    The best part about Michelle moving from the Age to the Conversation is that now she doesn't even have to pretend that her articles have any facts in them.

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    1. Tony Dummett

      Optical Engineer

      In reply to Stephen Paul

      "... she doesn't even have to pretend that her articles have any facts in them."

      Which is ironic, when you think of it, given the mission statement of this publication.

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  19. Dave McRae

    logged in via Twitter

    I am so jealous.

    If I could earn >$100,000 pa to write about leadership speculation, I'd so be there.

    But how many before market saturation? That is the question.

    There are many more besides Ms Grattan. Most of Fairfax - and they're getting sacked and farmed out as we speak as the stock spears into the deck.

    News Ltd's employees are also committed to this line. And he ABC are reduced to following to whatever News/Fairfax reports. But all these markets are shrinking rapidly as .. well…

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    1. Kate Swanton

      retired cleaner

      In reply to Dave McRae

      Blimey Dave, I'll do it for 10% of what she's getting!

      Re the ABC blindly following Old Media models, couldn't agree more. On 7.30, Chris Uhlmann has reduced himself to the spectacle of doing monty python jokes at the expense of Gillard (you know, she's like the Black Night.. "it's just a flesh wound")

      Leigh Sales meanwhile is calling the Government 'toxic'

      LEIGH SALES: "But the subtext of what you're saying when you talk about relationships is you want people to understand that you don't…

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    2. Simon Black

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Kate Swanton

      so, you've never seen anything like this in 40 years? Does that tell you more about the state of the ABC or the state of the government? Most people would say they haven't seen a government in this much chaos in 40 years..

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    3. Steve Birdsall

      Retired

      In reply to Kate Swanton

      I agree about the ABC but that use of "toxic" may have just been lazy journalism, the way that the "Pink Batts" program is always described as the "Labor's failed Pink Batts program".

      In a similar vein I think that Karen Middleton at SBS seems to get considerable satisfaction out of any report that shows Julia Gillard in a bad light.

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  20. Yuri Pannikin

    Director

    If Shorten gets the leadership, I'm gonna draw an extra box on the ballot paper with a donkey beside it and tick that.

    (I flogged that idea from a ballot paper I saw some years ago when scrutineering.)

    Wow, could that person draw donkeys!

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    1. Stephen Ralph

      carer

      In reply to Yuri Pannikin

      I'm with you Yuri........................here's a man who wants to eat his cake, and have it too.

      Another glib career politician who waits to see which way the wind is blowing before he speaks his mind.

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  21. Florence Howarth

    Retired

    Why would it affect Shorten. He is a young man who has plenty of time to make his run.

    The PM would have been better to bide her time, followed her gut feelings and not accepted the poison chalice.

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    1. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Florence Howarth

      Florence, that chalice was sparkling before she snatched it.
      Alas, she doesn't have a clue what to do with sparkling utensils so she filled with the poison of hubris, ignorance and bloody mindedness... with the aid of dark conspirators, like Shorten, Howes, Arbib, Crean (what a joke, he is! After he stabs people in the back, he says, "enough, no more back stabbing!) and a few others.
      Now they're all shaking in their clammy boots and searching around for a new job! Fools!
      Still, the thought of Tea Party Tony taking the reins swells my puke mechanism!
      Go the Greens and the Indies! What a breath of fresh air!

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    2. wilma western

      logged in via email @bigpond.com

      In reply to george theodoridis

      George, Read pages 355 to 385 of laurie Oakes's On the Record". You might learn something.

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    3. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to wilma western

      Like what, Wilma?

      I neither have Oakes' book nor do I think I am in need to read his ramblings. I read an enormous amount of political blather and I am a very keen observer of it. I have been a member of the ALP for over twenty years until the Greens turned up and then dropped the bastards like one drops a foul Durian. Still voted for them as 2nd pref until now but now it'll be second last for them, no matter who's between the Greens and them.

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  22. foibles58

    logged in via Twitter

    imagine the excitement if Turnbull replaced Abbott - why such deafening silence - it was after all a narrow win

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    1. Gavin Moodie
      Gavin Moodie is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Adjunct professor at RMIT University

      In reply to foibles58

      But the Coalition led by Abbott is in such a strong position there is no need for the Liberal party room to consider changing leaders to one it already tried and didn't particularly like.

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    2. george theodoridis

      Brain Deconstructor at Synapse Collapse

      In reply to Gavin Moodie

      You're absolutely right, Gavin! Abbott is as good as Turnbull and they're both delightfully benevolent little creatures, with the good of all aussies at heart! They simply ooze, modernity, sensitivity, intelligence, sense of fairness, a spirit of egalitarianism.
      The miners and the Catholics think they're the new messiahs.
      God (the white, Christian one, of course) bless this pair!
      Bleh!

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  23. Raine S Ferdinands

    Education

    It took me some time to accept Abbott as I am a Turnbull fan. When Abbott becomes PM, he must first thank the fools in labor: Shorten, Arbib, Bitar and of course the equally treacherous Gillard. Shorten will ensure that Rudd takes on the poisoned chalice by enticing Rudd to accept the opposition leader role. When the dust settles, then Shorten's unbridled ambition will come to the fore. Shorten lost all credibility since the 2010 coup. Compared to the current Labor fools (who eat their own), Abbott is certainly standing tall, looking decent and honourable. His daughters are exceptionally smart (intellectuals) well mannered and a sight for sore eyes. And Gillard tried to paint Abbott as a "misogynist" (LOL) and it back-fired. Labor will be wiped out on polling day as predicted by G Richardson. Gillard destroyed Labor!!

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