Rudd’s UN Failure Shows Again That the Delcons Won

Anyone who thinks that the supposedly deluded conservative base of the Liberal Party didn’t win – or achieve exactly what it set out to achieve from the 2016 federal election – needs to look at the Kevin Rudd’s failed UN campaign and think again.

The Liberal conservative base did not want the Liberals to lose

The idea that the Liberal conservative base (disrespectfully labelled as ‘delcons’) seriously wanted Malcolm Turnbull to lose to Bill Shorten is nonsense: it simply wanted Turnbull (the significantly lesser of two truly awful evils) to be denied any form of mandate for his ‘progressive’ agenda.

Naturally, there were some who wanted Turnbull gone at all costs. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that there were many of these people – let alone that they comprised any meaningful portion of the Liberal conservative base. Basic logic supports this: if the conservatives truly wanted Turnbull gone at the election and simply voted against the Liberals in the lower house, then Labor and Shorten would have won in a landslide.

Instead, the following two exhibits show that the conservatives were far more intelligent and targeted in their approach.

Exhibit A – the election result

The 2016 federal election provides the first of two exhibits (so far) which show that the conservatives won – achieving even more than I thought possible:

The ‘delcons’

Punishing Turnbull wasn’t enough.

The Liberal base wanted to deliver the strongest possible message that the party had moved too far to the left – and did so by delivering one of the most co-ordinated, intelligently crafted, ruthless and effective electoral campaigns of retribution I have ever seen.

It all started with the preselection process, with Turnbull plotters and backers such as Dennis Jensen and Chopper Bishop being denied their safe seats. Then came the resignations of Mal Brough, Phil Ruddock, Sharman Stone and Teresa Gambaro. For good measure, David Johnston was relegated to no. 6 on the Liberal’s WA Senate ticket.

Before you knew it, Andrew Bolt’s dart board was starting to take shape with the plotters, backstabbers and bed wetters being picked off one by one.

Then came the election.

Full credit must go to stopturnbull.com and its recommended voting strategy:

Eliminating left-faction leaders in the Liberal Party

In the normal course of events, you should give the Liberal Party your second preference, below a reputable conservative minor party, but if you’re in a seat with a notorious and influential leftist-‘progressive’ Liberal, who uses their party room influence to push the party to the left, you should put them LAST in your preference list, below Labor.

You need not be squeamish about this. Replacing an influential Liberal leftist-‘progressive’ with a Labor leftist-‘progressive’ is a net gain for conservatives because ‘progressives’ lose influence in the Liberal party room.

I was of the view that it would be too much to expect widespread take up of this strategy. I was wrong. Like an owl plucking a rat out of the snow, conservative voters skilfully picked off and ate plotters such as Wyatt Roy, Fiona Scott and Peter Hendy. As I write this, Luke Simpkins also looks like losing his seat in Cowan.

Adding to the retribution were countless lifelong Liberal volunteers who boycotted candidates like Hendy during the campaign and on election day. Now, I’m no Mark Textor, but if a candidate in a marginal seat like Eden-Monaro barely has anyone handing out how-to-vote cards or sizzling sausages for them on election day, then they’re going to struggle.

NB: Luke Simpkins did indeed lose.

In the end, Shorten was kept out of the lodge and Turnbull was put on a well earned razor’s edge. It was only a matter of time before this was reinforced when it came to decision making and policy. In this respect, it’s entirely fitting that I repeat the above objective from stopturnbull.com:

… if you’re in a seat with a notorious and influential leftist-‘progressive’ Liberal, who uses their party room influence to push the party to the left, you should put them LAST in your preference list, below Labor.

You need not be squeamish about this. Replacing an influential Liberal leftist-‘progressive’ with a Labor leftist-‘progressive’ is a net gain for conservatives because ‘progressives’ lose influence in the Liberal party room.

Let’s keep that underlined bit in mind as we move on to Exhibit B.

Exhibit B – Rudd’s UN candidacy

In rejecting Rudd’s candidacy for the UN position, Turnbull stated the bleeding obvious:

“When the Australian Government nominates a person for a job, particularly an international job like this, the threshold question is, ‘do we believe the person, the nominee, the would-be nominee is well suited for that position?'” he asked.

“My judgement is that Mr Rudd is not, and I’ve explained to him the reasons why.”

(NB: there’s plenty more on Rudd’s ‘suitability’ coming up).

However, as we know, Turnbull’s public comments – correct as they were – belied his (and Julie Bishop’s) true inner position:

Letters leaked after Malcolm Turnbull’s brutal decision to end Kevin Rudd’s two-year campaign to become UN secretary-general claim the Prime Minister told the former Labor leader the Coalition would be “mad” not to back him for the job.

The claims Mr Turnbull agreed with Julie Bishop to support Mr Rudd’s nomination but changed his mind have sparked a row over the Prime Minister’s judgment and revealed deep divisions within the Liberal Party leadership.

Three letters from the former Labor prime minister to Mr Turnbull in April, May and this week contain explosive claims that Mr Turnbull had encouraged Mr Rudd to approach other nations, had been “as one” with the Foreign Minister in his support, had secret meetings in New York and Sydney to discuss the nomination and had communicated through Mr Turnbull’s “preferred” social media platform of Wickr….

Now, you tell me: if conservatives didn’t win anything following the 2016 federal election, then how is it possible that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister weren’t able to shoehorn Rudd in for the UN secretary-general nomination? How?

This then brings us to the next question: if Turnbull and Bishop can’t get a non-core (read: pathetically trivial) matter such as Rudd’s UN candidacy through their cabinet, then where does that leave them? And Australia?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I just can’t see Turnbull making it through another year, let alone a full term. If so, then good riddance.

Rudd’s suitability and Shorten’s disgraceful hypocrisy

It defies belief that Rudd was seriously being considered for the Australian nomination for UN secretary-general. This deserves its own dedicated section to remind us of just how far into outer space our political class has launched itself – and the sheer contempt with which they treat the public’s intelligence.

Firstly, Bill Shorten incredibly managed to say the the following regarding Turnbull’s decision – with a straight face:

‘Malcolm Turnbull’s actions are pathetic, they’re disappointing.’

A former prime minister of Australia, a distinguished Australian, has been treated in a very shabby fashion for nothing more than what I think is petty politics.’ 

The only thing more ridiculous than Shorten’s comments was the fact that the media let him make them without any challenge whatsoever. In this respect, it is disgraceful that not one lousy journalist asked Shorten how he would:

  • using the words ‘shabby’ and ‘pathetic’ as a base, label his own role and treatment of Rudd in the 2010 knifing of Rudd (which Shorten recently admitted was a mistake by the way); and
  • reconcile his above comments on Rudd being a ‘distinguished Australian’ with those of his own party (NB: grab yourself a coffee, there’s plenty here):

Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett has become the latest politician to pick at the scab of politics past, labelling Kevin Rudd a “megalomaniac” and saying the former Prime Minister put the safety of Australia in jeopardy in a lengthy interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night program.

Another of his criticisms is that Mr Rudd jeopardised the safety of Australia.

“It’s a big call, but I stand by it,” Garrett said. He added Mr Rudd treated people with “an enormous amount of contempt” and made “the business of the country almost ungovernable”.

When pushed on what danger he feared Mr Rudd posed, Garrett said the former PM was “unpredictable” and he didn’t know what he “could or would do”.

Nicola Roxon

Former attorney-general Nicola Roxon has delivered a scathing character assessment of Kevin Rudd, describing him as a “bastard” and calling on him to quit Parliament.

“I did, however, see how terribly he treated some brilliant staff and public servants.

“Good people were burnt through like wildfire – losing senior people like chiefs of staff and deputies or contemptuously ignoring their advice left the government weaker.

“Removing Kevin was an act of political bastardry, for sure, but this act of political bastardry was made possible only because Kevin had been such a bastard himself to too many people already.

Wayne Swan in 2012

Treasurer Wayne Swan has labelled Kevin Rudd a man of “great weaknesses” and says that Labor needs to put an end to the Labor leadership question.

“For too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop,” Mr Swan said.

“He sought to tear down the 2010 campaign, deliberately risking an Abbott prime ministership, and now he undermines the government at every turn,” he said.

This morning, Mr Swan said that Mr Rudd’s behaviour became “increasingly erratic” when he was prime minister.

Wayne Swan in 2014

It was Mr Swan, for example, who triggered a carpet bombing of Mr Rudd’s reputation by senior ministers before the 2012 leadership challenge to Julia Gillard when he said the then-foreign minister ”does not hold any Labor values”.

Mr Swan cites examples of what he calls Mr Rudd’s ”unstable personality”, including the latter breaking a pen in a fit of anger in a hotel room, spraying ink everywhere and causing thousands of dollars of damage to the decor.

”Kevin’s treatment of people was extraordinarily vindictive and juvenile, and it was frequently on display,” Mr Swan writes.

… he burnt through staff like a child flicking matches from a box.”

Craig Emerson

But Dr Emerson, who quit the ministry and parliament when Mr Rudd returned as prime minister in June, says the former leader has committed “treachery” against every Labor leader he has worked with and should leave.

He has squarely blamed Mr Rudd for the damaging leaks against former prime minister Julia Gillard, which emerged during the 2010 campaign.

It is the first time a senior Labor figure has directly pointed the finger at Mr Rudd over the leaks.

“Kevin Rudd destabilised by making claims about Julia Gillard’s attitude towards the aged pension, towards paid parental leave,” Dr Emerson told 7.30.

Kevin Rudd’s continuing presence in the parliamentary Labor Party will see him do what he has always done, and that is willingly, wilfully, recklessly, destabilise Labor leaders.

How much longer will we have to put up with this circus? When will we be finally spared of having to repeatedly hear the names of Shorten, Gillard, Rudd, Turnbull and Bishop on matters such as this? When will they stop this nonsense and get on with things like fixing the federal budget – which would actually do something to improve everyday lives?

This generation of politicians is easily the worst we have ever been subjected to – and the bar just keeps getting lowered. I’m not surprised that conservatives used every bit of influence they had to put the whole shemozzle on hold. Sometimes, the only option is to limit the damage.

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5 thoughts on “Rudd’s UN Failure Shows Again That the Delcons Won”

  1. If Turnbull had nominated Rudd for this position it would have been poitical suicide – that being said why on earth did Bishop support Rudd – It is outrageous and cause for great concern considering the position she holds!

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  2. Excellent reminders, Marcus, thanks. The truly depressing things, as you note, are that our political class could even think of such a preposterous nomination, and that our media class could not call them out on it!

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    1. Thanks Tezza – it’s becoming much more apparent that our political class is completely detached from the people they are supposed to serve. Nobody with any common sense would be running the country like this. In days past, while I might have disagreed with Hawke, I never doubted that he gave a damn. Same for Howard (despite his excessive welfare policies). As for the rest of the current crop, it’s all turned into a cynical joke with them. The only recent leader I could safely say cared enough was Abbott.

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      1. Too many of the current MP’s in the Liberal Party are ex-staffers who are essentially public servants with no grasp of how the economy or society actually functions. They claim to hold dear “Liberal Principles” but if you ask them to explain what those are they are like rabbits in the spotlight. No idea!

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