Now listen, mates. Iíve told you once what youíve got to do about Julia. So Iím not going to repeat myself. Whatís the point, anyway? Too many of you are too scared of Rudd Re-dux and you just donít know where else to turn.
As one of you put it to me the other day (in reply to my blog Bring back Rudd now).
ďIíd rather eat my arm!Ē
Now that really got to me. Hit me right here in the bowels of compassion, it did.
Look, I just want to help. If you wonít let me, youíre all going to die Ö poor Labor coots Ö all going to die Ö fighting for Julia.
That I do not understand. Die, by all means, if thatís the way you want it. But with Julia? The PM who reckons she wasnít in the loop? The PM who runs away from her Ministers when the union faeces hit the fan? But then expects her desertion to be repaid with loyalty? Címon, fellas (and Labor shielas too) you have to do better than that.
OK. You would rather eat your arms. Alright. Alright. But I wish you wouldnít do that. Just think. You do have alternatives to death with Julia or making a meal of yourselves.
As I look around, I see some Labor stars among you. I see Chris Bowen. I see Martin Ferguson. I see Gary Gray.
Maybe I also see Bill Shorten. But Iím not sure about that right now. His performances in the House and media are too wooden and hesitant. His public stick-by-Julia posture looks so goofy. I suspect an uncomfortable insincerity. Sure, got some great ideas. Loved the speech he gave to the conference of the union deaf and blind the other day. Could be another Hawkie in the making. But he ainít there yet. Anyway, you canít have a Prime Minister whose mum-in-law is the Governor General. That wouldnít do at all. No, too immature and the timingís all wrong. Man for another day, maybe.
So I am thinking of Bowen, Ferguson, and Gray. Enterprise Migration Agreements, fantastic. Manifestly, these fellas can generate new ideas and co-ordinate policy development. Obviously, they can think through to what is in the national interest. And, for my money, they are more than smart enough to hitch what they have done for the good of Australia to the advantage of the ALP.
So, Iíll give you a scenario alternative to Rudd Re-dux. Make Martin Ferguson Prime Minister, Chris Bowen Treasurer, and Gary Gray Resources Minister.
Julia should get nothing. Send her to the back bench. Sheís been getting it wrong ever since 2004 when she was sold that pup Medicare Gold. She lost you the election over that. It wasnít the Tassie loggers what did it. It was Juliaís mighty Medicare stuff up that was the turning point. In the post- election wash up you shouldíve taken the stick to her. But you didnít. Didnít have what it took, did you? Uppity girls donít get smacked down in the ALP, do they? They just get more prizes. So youíve brought it all on yourselves, havenít you?
Still, mates, thereís always hope: never a cloud that doesnít have a silver lining. Itís always possible to be different, you know; to do better. The past neednít predestine the future. History is only fate for those too afraid to read in it where we went wrong. We can think outside the box. We can strike out in a new direction. We can break the rules.
Hey, isnít that what Labor is all about, anyway: breaking with conventions?
Ferguson, will steady the Labor ship and heíll make a good Prime Minister. He might only get a year in the top job, but the people will come to like him Ė like him a lot, I predict. Yep, I reckon - especially if he got rid of that albatross around your neck by putting right Juliaís big fib about No Carbon Tax. And, what with being a real bloke, he might even win you the next Federal Election.
Question for you is: is the Federal Labor caucus just a bunch of girls?
*Gary Scarrabelotti is Managing Director of the Canberra-based consulting firm Aequum: Political & Business Strategies.