One more mention of faceless faction figures and I will explode

As Tim Dunlop points out in today’s Unleashed, just ask Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson about the faceless figures crunching numbers in the Liberal Party, and what about those faceless character assassins who run our major media outlets?

Faceless power brokers pulling the levers behind the scenes is not unique to the Labor party. It’s a much broader phenomenon than that, and one worth examining, so painting it as purely a Labor-in-thrall-to-union-heavies narrative is (surprise surprise) yet another example of pushing genuine debate aside for partisan point-scoring.

As usual with Tim, that’s not the only spot-on observation in his column on Rudd’s demise:

[Rudd] was an odd mixture of a control-freak centraliser of decision making within the party, and someone who let policy matters drift out of his control in public. It was a set of characteristics that finally could not be reconciled.

UPDATE: More sagacity from the plethora of op-eds around the #spillard:

Charles Richardson in Crikey

Except that I don’t think I really was mistaken. The fact that a beat-up was successful doesn’t alter the fact that it was a beat-up. I still believe there was no basis for a challenge when News Ltd told us there was, that the polls did not say what it told us they did, and that Gillard was not plotting against Rudd but only moved when she judged (whether rightly or not is now academic) that the media hysteria had damaged him beyond recovery.

Helen Razer in Unleashed

That they have now elevated her to the country’s top job is, of course, testament not only to her tenacity but to feminism’s gains. But, this doesn’t give us ladies license to bang on like the epilogue to Sex and the City.

First, it’s just unseemly. Second, as any sensible woman should know, it’s perilous to declare one’s self satisfied. As Hussein writes today, Gillard’s ascension may be easily seen as evidence that women have, “no further reason to complain”.

I plan to whinge for several decades yet.

Addendum 2010-06-26:
* A great outline of how Gillard is a game changer for just about everything in Oz politics from Begin Rant – too many good bits to excerpt just one!
* Grog’s Gamut decides he got it wrong earlier this week in announcing the spill as a huge, election-losing error – Half of what I say is meaningless

I have long been a Julia fan ( a huge fan) – as readers will know she is the only one of whom I’ve ever transcribed whole answers from Question Time. I didn’t think the polls showed any need to change leaders, but if the internal polls are for real, then they really had no choice, and the ALP should just be thankful that in changing leaders they really are upgrading.

No disrespect to Kevin Rudd – he did some excellent things, and he outplayed Howard, Costello, Nelson and Turnbull (pretty bloody amazing that) – but Julia is a once in a generation figure. He is a one slam wonder; Julia is Steffi Graf.

Categories: media, parties and factions

Tags: , ,

8 replies

  1. Wait a minute. I can’t work out if Julie is supposed to be a stooge of the unions or of big business. It is so confusing.

  2. Perhaps the unions are also supposed to be stooges for big business now? It’s not an indefensible argument, sadly.

  3. The reason the whole “OMG IT WAS THE GANG OF FOUR” meme is bugging me (Y’know, aside from the whole ‘whee, let’s scare people by bringing the Cultural Revolution metaphors into it’ which makes me want to hit a whole bunch of whiteboys with a fucking cluebat) is that it seems to try and hopstep over the fact that there’s a whole ALP caucus, here. I mean, it’s not like these are actual puppets made of, like, styrofoam or whatever. They’re people with, y’know, enough clout to get themselves elected. I mean sure, there’s conversations to be had about the level of influence, but the sheer explosion of it with THIS spill, and THIS challenge, is something that’s leaving a pretty nasty taste in my mouth.
    Not to mention that I sincerely want to know what all the folks who’ve been saying “Julia shouldn’t have been elevated this way” think that the “right way” would’ve been? Because I’m seeing four options, of which one is what happened, one (reminiscient of Beattie-Bligh in Qld) which I think was highly unlikely, and two (spill post-election-ALP-win, and spill post-election-loss-and-we’re-stuck-with-Tony-for-however-long) which strike me as likely resulting in WORSE outcomes.

  4. It’s also bugging me that the ‘gang of four’ also keeps being referred to as ‘the NSW right’. Only one of the four is from NSW; there were two Victorians and a South Australian. How is that the NSW right??

  5. @Rebekka : Looking a bit more into it; the Gang of Four thing seems also to be riffing of a tendency to refer to Kevin’s inner circle cabinet (Rudd, Gillard, Wong, Tanner – as far as I can tell?) as the Gang of Four – which also makes me want to punch things, being clear.

  6. At the risk of making Tigtog explode, “faceless faction figures” sounds like a great marketing opportunity for Christmas.
    “Faceless faction figures!
    They bend! They jump!
    Dress them up in all their different outfits.
    Collect the whole set!
    Now in Km*rt while stocks last!”

  7. @ Helen
    Heh, of course the biggest selling point being that you could never be sure that you had them all…

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