Veteran political reporter Barrie Cassidy dropped a bombshell on his "Insiders" television program yesterday. He said that Julia Gillard won't be leader of the Labor Party at the upcoming federal election in September. She will be removed, he said, either by her own hand or by others. So why should we believe him? Because Barrie Cassidy is a Labor Party insider.
It comes as a shock because another Labor Party insider and former federal front-bencher Graham Richardson, said that the party would rather "go over a cliff with Julia than take Kevin back as leader."
We, the electorate, are left wondering how this bizarre situation came about. Kevin Rudd led the Labor Party to victory, yet suddenly one night, union leaders and the Labor inner circle decided he had to go, and next morning, Julia Gillard was the new Prime Minister.
But Kevin is having the last laugh and the feeling of revenge must be sweet. He's as popular as ever with his electorate in Queensland and tipped to be one of the few Labor MPs likely to be re-elected in September. Panic has set in as Labor MPs now know from the polls, that a bloodbath is coming.
One Labor MP told the ABC "It's like the Titanic - we're in the final scenes, third class has realised the doors are locked and they're not getting out and first class are running around looking for a dress to put on." Two long-serving MPs have already packed up their Canberra offices.
The question is, why is Kevin Rudd so popular with everyone except his own party? For some reason, his colleagues can't stand him and when a second leadership spill was called to stop ongoing speculation about who should be leader, again they chose not to bring him back. Caucus was divided and the vote was close but again, they proved they didn't want him, and he promised never to challenge again. There must be something terribly wrong with Kevin for this to happen and we would all love to know what it is.
We've heard rumours that he's a demanding boss, a control freak who keeps his people working into the early hours most of the time, but surely that's not enough reason, there must be something else.
It will be an interesting day in Australian politics today. We have a Prime Minister who has no credibility left, an ousted leader who has promised never to return, and panicked Labor MPs desperate to hold onto their jobs. We watch and wait with interest.