Panic mode engaged. Aaargh!

Paul Kryten of the GG is afraid, very afraid:

ANY survey of Kevin Rudd’s policies leads to an inescapable conclusion: that he wants a sustained increase in the executive power of the prime minister across the spectrum of government…

Remember the most important signal Rudd has sent about office is his plan to select the ministry as well as allocate the portfolios. “Let me be clear about this,” Rudd said on September 27. “I’ll be determining the composition of the Labor ministry should we be elected to form the next government of the country.”

This is a direct strike for greater prime ministerial power over the factions and the caucus. Rudd’s bid for this power is unqualified and courageous. It sounds Whitlamesque in its “crash through or crash” intent. It is a break from tradition and reflects Rudd’s distrust of factional influence. It is inconsistent with the caucus rules and requires caucus consent.

Rudd has chosen to confirm only three ministers, Julia Gillard in industrial relations, Wayne Swan as treasurer and Lindsay Tanner in finance.

The rest of the ministry is open…

Nonetheless, Kelly predicts:

Once this paper is received Rudd intends, among other things, to “write a more comprehensive national security statement”. Such formalisation of a national security strategy has been resisted by Howard.

Such initiatives must be seen in context. Rudd would be the most security aware incoming PM since Malcolm Fraser in 1975. He will have in Robert McClelland as foreign minister and Joel Fitzgibbon as defence minister, deeply inexperienced incumbents. It will be a situation with a PM versed in security policy, equipped with an advisory apparatus that exceeds anything Howard built, and with novice ministers…

Well, he can’t have it both ways – either Rudd is frightening because beyond the three confirmed ministers we don’t know who’ll be in the Labor cabinet, or we do know that Robert McLelland and Joel Fitzgibbon will be in the cabinet and they’ll help Rudd make some scary arrangements for national security.

On second thoughts, he can. That’s what panic mode is all about.

Posted in elections
14 comments on “Panic mode engaged. Aaargh!
  1. mharrison says:

    Yeah, but Kelly is right though about Rudd’s ambitions.

  2. mbahnisch says:

    Yeah he is. There are two things Rudd is genuinely passionate about – foreign policy and machinery of gov’t stuff.

    Though I think Gummo’s point is not just the obvious contradiction he points out in the quote, but also the wheeling out of this stuff as a “scare” at this stage of the campaign.

    Incidentally, there’s no convention in Britain that the shadow ministry you go to an election with (or the Cabinet if you’re in government) is automatically who people get after the election. Even less so in the US where the Cabinet are just presidential appointees.

  3. Amanda says:

    I was pleased to see Gaita’s rebuttal of Kelly’s dronings in the ALR today.

    Great pic.

  4. mbahnisch says:

    Kelly passed his use by date a long time ago. One thing that struck me in Gaita’s piece was how sloppy Kelly had been with the truth.

  5. Andyc says:

    In any case, the compromise-to-meet-the-factions’-quotas system can result in bozo hacks having to be appointed, and real talent passed over.

    Moving away from it is potentially a step forward for the ALP, provided Rudd or his successors refrain from blind rightist bias.

    This piece of reason-defying Schrödinger’s Op-Ed from Kelly is typical of the GG’s glove puppets at the moment.

  6. Darryl Rosin says:

    I’m perplexed by the description of McClelland and Fitzgibbon as “deeply inexperienced incumbents”. Inexperience has depth? And if they’re incumbents, what are Downer and Nelson?

  7. the munz says:

    After JWH it is hard to imagine KR being more of a ” control freak”.

  8. gummotrotsky says:

    I was thinking of grafting Kelly’s head on Chicken Little, but there was one problem with that – for Kelly and his ilk the sky has already fallen, despite their stalwart attempts to prop it up by spinning every minor, statistically insignificant shift in the polls as a gain for Howard.

  9. gummotrotsky says:


    Downer and Nelson are pre-incumbents, of course.

  10. anthony says:

    “And if they’re incumbents, what are Downer and Nelson?”

    Deeply recumbent I’d hope.

  11. melaleuca says:

    This post doesn’t make any sense, but that isn’t unusual for Gummo. Why would you expect Kelly and Kryten to express the same opinion. But more importantly, who cares what the ill-read Australian says?

  12. Droo says:

    But if you actually read the article, all its says is that Rudd will exercise more control and more power as ALP leader, not as PM. All that is talked about is about Rudd adopting the JWH style of making all the decisions for the party. Its typical GG crap.

  13. Hal9000 says:

    You have to admire the chutzpah of the GG: urging panic that the ALP are really a bunch of unreconstructed commos, and, at one and the same time, lamenting their abandonment of ye olde labour movement traditions.

  14. clarencegirl says:

    “The Australian” can waffle on all it likes about scary Labor and even scarier Kevin Rudd.
    A re-elected John Howard & Co. are the stuff nightmares are really made of.
    A big thanks to Larvatus Prodeo for battling on through the prolonged spam attack.

Comments are closed.

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: