FRIDAY: Kevin Rudd has announced he will contest the leadership on Monday at 10am and given a commitment that he will leave the issue for good if he should lose.
“Today in Australia we face some serious challenges.
All indications are we are heading for the rocks at the next election, leaving the country to ravages of Abbott, the most conservative, most right wing Government in Australian history.
That’s why I am here today … things need to change.
Rightly or wrongly, Julia has lost the trust of the Australian people and starting on Monday I have decided to restore that trust. I have decided to contest ballot on Monday.
I want to finish job the Australian people elected me to do when I was elected by them to become PM.
Many of my colleagues have encouraged me to do just that. I was elected in 2007 to govern for all Australians and that is what we did. The record is a good record.
I’ve spoken up for democracy everywhere in the world, but it’s most important we have one at home, in my party. Australia’s are sick and tired of outside forces calling the shots. Our greatest gift of democracy and to democracy is the secret ballot. And we should have that on Monday. We should have freedom of intimidation from factions. Their pre-selections should not be threatened by how they vote.
No one should live in fear. I call for a secret ballot. A truly, secret ballot. I would call on the PM to ensure that candidates, and perhaps their might be more, have the opportunity to speak and address the party before the ballot is taken so people can make an informed choice.
Let me tell you about one of number of things I got wrong. We removed the right of the party to elect the cabinet. I think I made the wrong call. If elected as PM, I will return that power to the party!
We want the power of the factions to be transferred to each and every individual member of the parliamentary party. That’s the Australian way. I’m not prepared to stand idly by … if we don’t change, the Labor Party is going to end up in opposition.
We will all end up on the Opposition backbench. That’s the cold, stark reality for everybody.
Mr Abbott is a man who has proved he has neither temperament, the vision of the experience to lead.
He has both feet planted firmly in the past.
His view on climate change is from the 1960s. His view of the NBN from the 1990s.
Then there is his attitude on women which goes back to 1950s.