By MICHELLE GRATTAN
Julia Gillard’s hard hitting critique of Labor’s past problems and future challenges, posted on Guardian Australia at the weekend, has, among many messages, one central point.
(Editor’s Note: If you haven’t already you can read former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s article here.)
Labor, she argues, should be a party of purpose, rather than being driven by the polls.
Gillard is sending much advice to Labor. It should defend its legacy, and remind the public, and the new government, how much of Labor’s policy the conservatives have taken over.
It ought to promote a new internal culture, that eschews leaking and destabilisation. It needs to change Kevin Rudd’s recent party rules because they could entrench a bad leader. It should stand by its carbon pricing scheme even though “it will be uncomfortable in the short term to be seen to be denying the mandate of the people”.
Gillard provides a harsh critique of Rudd and seeks to justify much of her own past, neither of which is surprising.
She is right in some, but not all of what she argues.
As she says, “Kevin clearly felt constrained in running on those policies where Labor had won the national conversation because those policies were associated with me”.
It is true that Rudd could have made more of the disability scheme and even the Gonski school funding (although he and Bill Shorten worked hard to bed down that as much as they could).