UPDATE : IS IT REALLY OVER?
“Set me free why don’t you babe? Get out my life why don’t you babe?”
That song has been in my head all day.* It’s been my soundtrack to The Spill.
I’m imagining Julia Gillard… Ginger Diana Ross style afro, pleading to Kevin Rudd in song….
“Cause you don’t really love me. You just keep me hangin’ on.”
It’s fitting. Kevin Rudd has been the thorn in Gillard’s Prime Ministership since June 24, 2010. And even now that he’s been beaten – comprehensively – for the second time, no one can be sure that he’s ever going to set her free.
Julia Gillard acknowledged that questions about Kevin Rudd’s future influence on the party wouldn’t end today.
“I understand many people will have their doubts, but after this fight Labor will pull together in a united way.
We have come together before and we will do so now. I am absolutely confident of that because at the end of the day as Labor people we are driven by a common purpose,” she said. There was even a “moving forward” thrown in for good measure.
Kevin Rudd, in a humble concession speech, signalled that he did, in fact, intend to move on and turn his attention to the people of Australia.
“We must serve the people, not ourselves. And that is what I dedicate myself to doing.
To Julia, I would say the following: I accept fully the verdict of the caucus and I dedicate myself to working fully for her re-election as PM,” he said this afternoon, his family by his side.
He absolved his detractors of any guilt over the way they spoke about him over the past week.
“I bear no grudges, I bear no one any malice and if I’ve done wrong to anyone, in what I’ve said or in what I’ve done, to them I apologise.”
The ex-PM took to the Backbench in Question Time today. Smiling and joking with his teammates, like he hadn’t a care in the world.
But in an interview earlier today Kevin Rudd said that while he wouldn’t initiate a further challenge himself, he wouldn’t rule out another spill if someone else nominated him.
If the polls continue to slide and MPs and Senators start to get nervous about the 2013 election, we could see one of Rudd’s supporters take matters into their own hands.
Some MPs have quietly warned the media that the PM has 6 months to turn the polls around, or her own supporters will turn against her.
He may have only received 31 votes in caucus today, but that’s still roughly a third of the party that would prefer not to have Julia Gillard as leader.
The fall out of Labor’s instability continued this afternoon with the shock resignation of former faceless man and factional leader, Mark Arbib.
The NSW Senator and Assistant Treasurer said he was resigning for family reasons, but he also hoped it would help the party heal.