The Weekend Australian, June 26, 2010:
PETER Beattie: But like the overwhelming majority of caucus, I knew there was a fatal political flaw. It was poor political judgment on key issues. For me, Rudd’s lack of political judgment was demonstrated in the introduction of the mining tax without proper consultation, the backflip on timing of the emissions trading scheme and the bungled home insulation program. His failure to listen to a broad range of advice, particularly on issues in which he had little expertise, also demonstrated poor judgment…
The Weekend Australian, July 31, 2010:
BEATTIE: At the moment, the party faithful know they are being betrayed … There can also be no greater act of treachery … . Media reports are now suggesting Rudd himself is possibly the source of the leak…
Paul Howes, Confessions of a Faceless Man, page 20:
(PETER Beattie) told me plainly that “that bloke stuffed up the Goss government, stuffed up his own government and during the election did his best to stuff up Julia’s government. No one should ever forget the damage that he has done.
But Beattie now wants to help this same man be Prime Minister of the country for another three years. Power above principle:
WE have had our differences but it takes a bit of strength and a bit of guts from the Prime Minister to rise above that and say ‘what’s good for the campaign, what’s good for Queensland’.
I agree Peter Beattie improves Labor’s chances in Forde, but I suspect Fairfax’s Mark Kenny assumes too much:
Beattie will now secure the seat of Forde for Labor, held by the LNP’s Bert van Manen, on a margin of 1.6 per cent…
But perhaps most telling is that it reveals Beattie’s own assessment of Rudd’s chances. A nine-year premier, with an unrivalled sense of the electoral mood, Beattie is not in this to wind up on the left side of the Speaker in Canberra.
After week one, I’d put Labor’s chances of winning the election much lower than I did at the start, and Beattie is no shoo-in.
There is now a real chance that Labor’s campaign could go off the rails. Much depends on Sunday’s debate, but I doubt it will prove decisive – unless Rudd crashes.
Now another Murdoch paper cuts loose, calling this latest stunt for what it is.
What Rudd is most vulnerable to is ridicule. And this latest move of his is plainly ridiculous.
I just hope some papers do not now overplay their hand.
The only interest Beattie could have in running for an LNP seat would be to replace Rudd as leader when the time comes post-election.
And in this endeavour he will have support. The Australian Workers Union in Queensland, namely its un-retiring spiritual leader Bill Ludwig, is still mightily pissed off with their boy Bill Shorten for putting the knife to Julia Gillard. Ludwig wanted to strip Shorten of his lifetime membership of the AWU.
This of course would be good for Shorten. Beattie in the federal Labor caucus, however, wouldn’t be. He is now the Queensland AWU’s new leadership candidate.
Kevin Rudd admits Labor was behind in the Coalition’s second most marginal seat in Queensland – one of half a dozen Queensland seats it must win to offest the expected losses in NSW and Tasmania:
That is a big admission. If the Rudd factor couldn’t deliver even a 1.6 per cent swing in his home state, Rudd is finished.
A MEETING on Tuesday morning in Kevin Rudd’s electorate office, in the southside Brisbane suburb of Morningside, was the first whiff many Labor officials in Queensland had that something big was up.
Called to discuss campaign financing, Bruce Hawker – the Prime Minister’s closest political adviser – dropped a bombshell when he began discussing secret polling across the battleground state. Jaws dropped that Hawker, who had helped run state campaigns for years in Queensland, had gone behind their backs to poll Coalition-held seats up and down the coast.
Hawker methodically took them through the numbers, showing Rudd could win five to seven seats in his home state. Then he leaned on ALP state secretary Anthony Chisholm, state president Dick Williams and the board of Labor Holdings, the party’s investment arm, for financing to deliver the wins.
As the political mercenary took the group, which included Rudd, through the seats – Brisbane, Longman, Bonner, Leichhardt, Herbert and Hinkler – there was one electorate that had been polled that he failed to mention; Forde. It had been a different type of poll because in Forde, south of Brisbane, the voters had been asked to make a choice between Labor candidates; the endorsed local radiologist Des Hardman and former premier Peter Beattie.
The story contradicts my information that former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Jim Soorley would be the next to be parachuted in – replacing the candidate for Longman:
Former Labor mayor Jim Soorley was also polled as an alternate to Labor’s current candidate in Longman, union official Michael Caisley.
Soorley, now a lobbyist, told The Australian yesterday he was never approached and would never have run, even though he is a longtime supporter of Rudd.
”I have no interest in running for politics again – I said that when I left the city council and I haven’t changed my mind,” he said. “I have not been asked to run, and if I was, I would say no.”
Soorley said he had been kept in the dark about the polling. “Until today, I was unaware of any polling whatsoever and I think it is inappropriate my name would be used without any reference to me,” he said.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.