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Monday, September 26, 2011

Kevin Rudd tipped to return as leader

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has told his front bench they will be gearing up for a political war with Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister before Christmas. It seems that Pyne, Brandis, Hockey and Julie Bishop believe that Rudd will challenge for the leadership.

Surely the Labor Party can't be serious? They would be admitting they made a terrible mistake by getting rid of him in the first place and then when things get tough, they want him to forgive and forget and come back to bail them out. It sure wouldn't put the so-called backroom powerbrokers in a good light, in fact it would become abundantly clear that they couldn't run a chook raffle.

It's also fairly obvious that Tony Abbott would prefer to deal with Julia Gillard as PM, Kevin Rudd would be a whole new ballgame. He could delay the carbon tax, change asylum seeker policy, break the alliance with independents - who knows what he would do - and the Liberals are trying to work out strategies on how to proceed if he gets re-elected as leader.

The Labor Party are saying they still support the PM and all this speculation from the Opposition is rubbish. But Andrew Wilkie's poker machine legislation is causing some angst in the caucus and it's thought that they will eventually put pressure on Julia Gillard to dump him.

Yesterday the AFL said it would team up with the NRL and join the clubs to strongly campaign against the bill during Grand Final week. Wilkie's proposed plan to self-regulate poker machines to help problem gamblers, although a worthy ambition - is an unpopular one. Clubs need that revenue to survive, especially the smaller clubs and the hundreds of community bowling clubs all across the country.

But Wilkie is a tough nut to crack. Just before Australia became involved in the Iraq war, he resigned from the intelligence agency he was working for because he said the excuse to invade Iraq what a sham and as we now know, he was right. And he's a self-confessed bully-boy, he has admitted that as a senior cadet at Duntroon Military College in 1983, he was involved in "bastardization" and set "some sort of record" for dishing out punishments and giving junior cadets a hard time.

And he hasn't changed a bit, he's threatening to withdraw his support if he doesn't get his way and will continue to hold Julia Gillard to ransom over this issue. The question is, can she stop him from bringing down her government?