It is now common knowledge in Parliament that Kevin Rudd refers to the Lodge as “Bogan-ville”, ever since Julia Gillard and Tim Mathieson moved in. Yesterday Julie Bishop went all out to embarrass the government when she said “Will the Foreign Minister advise the House when he intends to return to Bogan-ville?” Her jibe had a double-edged meaning – she could have meant the Papua New Guinean province of Bougainville but she didn’t, she really meant Bogan-ville – a place where Bogans (yobbos) live. The opposition fell about laughing but Kevin Rudd refused to bite. Instead he said "The Australian Government remains deeply seized of the Bougainville peace process, the upcoming referendum on Bougainville's future, and therefore what we might do as a country to ensure that that peace process is brought to a proper conclusion.”
It will be 12 months tomorrow since Kevin Rudd was politically assassinated and his popularity far exceeds that of Julia Gillard. He was planning on having a party to celebrate but had second thoughts. It is truly a unique situation, a sitting Prime Minister who was told that Rudd had to go and that she would bring Labor ‘back on track’. Instead, this Labor government is hanging on by its fingernails and is the most unpopular in Labor Party history.
But there’s still a long way to go before the next election so what will they do about Kevin. They can’t be seen to demote him again and even if they did, he’d still be sitting there quietly in the back benches. I can still remember watching Paul Howes on Lateline the night before Rudd was axed – he seemed so sure of himself and obviously believed what they were about to do was the right decision. But Kevin is having the last laugh.