Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Killing Season part 2

Early this morning I watched episode episode 2 of the ABC drama, the Killing Season. It was quite gripping.
I am not in a position to make a judgment about the overall accuracy of the program, in part because I was commenting on many of those events as they occurred and am biased, in part because I am too far from the main players to form an independent view. However, two very brief observations.

The first was a degree of pleasure in the way I got some things right and very early in terms of problems with Mr Rudd's style and the workings of that Government. The second was a more despairing conclusion, the way in which Canberra pressures, including the need to respond to short term polling events, forced the Rudd Government off course.

I am not in a position to judge Mr Rudd's psychological state during the period. I am sure that he was over-tired and stressed, in part because he tried to do too much. It was clear that the whole Government was taking on too many issues at the one time. And yet, it seems to me that the Government lost its policy compass and that was the reason it finally failed.

In the discussions that took place over toppling Mr Rudd, there seems to have been nothing about policy or indeed values, it was all about style and winning. Whatever the faults may have been in Mr Rudd's style, he did have views about the direction the country should go, about the things that were important. I may not agree, but I can recognise that.

I'll be blowed if I know what those who overthrew him believed beyond the need to stay in power.


I see that Neil Whitfield has also written on this. Includes a reference to my past writing.

Postscript 2

In writing  this piece, I focused on the past. Obviously it plays into current politics. In this sense, it's manna from heaven for Mr Abbott at a time when the Government is struggling with multiple messes that, arguably, reflect its own Ruddian/Gillard failings.        


Anonymous said...

Please go to the spot on the view at 1:.09:03 and see the contradiction in what Tony Burke said and how Julia Gillard twisted his words and placed the onus of her decision choices on Tony Burke, she sounds a bit Pious. John Howard was in a similar situation and he turned it around with unity. Labor party destroyed itself, yet Rudd was the executive who demanded performance but Gillard and Swan did not want the legacy of anything being attached to Rudd. Shorten is a snake of the armpit he played them for his own interest which he knew no one will stand in his way, Paul Howe was a mate.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Anon. You didn't have the time quite right, so it took me a little while to find the exact spot. You are right. I checked it twice. He said she said, she said he said. I can't say who was right in their recollections, but it was clearly said since they both agree on the fundamentals. Well spotted. i noticed the contradiction at the time. but then the rest of the doco submerged the point.

Winton Bates said...

Regarding Kevin Rudd's state of mind, it seems to me to be significant that he recalls asking Julia Gillard why she was challenging with words something like: You are a good person Julia, why are you doing this? The way Kevin saw things it seems that a good person would not challenge his leadership.
I think it would be more normal for someone in that situation to refer to past friendship and loyalty rather than to claim that a good person would not challenge. Rudd's words suggest to me that he may have thought that God had annointed him to be prime minister of Australia and that anyone who challenged him could not therefore be a good person.

Jim Belshaw said...

It did carry that flavour, Winton, though I think that he was referring to what he saw as betrayal, his perceptions of Julia Gillard, rather than a divine right to rule. I suspect that we will be picking over the entrails of this for a little while. Meantime, it's manna for heaven from Mr Abbott.

Winton Bates said...

This description seems to me to apply rather well to our Kevin during his first term as prime minister:

Jim Belshaw said...

Nice link, Winton. Perhaps something that I should come back too!

Anonymous said...

Re 1:.09:03 (1.10 in my version) it could also be the editing, because both of them might have said it, though I agree that the first account from Burke as edited suggests that he walked in, there she was with the paper in front of her and she came out with this statement unprompted(when remember, they hadn't explicitly talked about the subject ever before apart from the nudge nudge at 39.55).

If they really had only had the nudge nudge before then more likely in my opinion is that Tony said it and Julia agreed.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi M. Really liked your last post. You could well be right.