Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Wayne Swan's words of wisdom

Some days ago, I called for an Ash Wednesday fast with a difference.  Oh well, that didn't get take up at all and, in fact, things got markedly worse when Kevin Rudd did his dummy spit and resignation from the Foreign Minister's role to-night in New York just in time for the early evening news bulletins in Australia ... and this has meant that I - and many others - have been fluttering and twittering for the last few hours.

However, in amongst all the mountains of verbage that have been broadcast, tweeted, phoned, emailed to-night has come the statement below from Wayne Swan.  Swanny does not grandstand.  He is not given to frills, flounces, and florid language.  He is in the mould of old time Labor leaders ... he even referenced Ted Theodore in Question Time recently.  When people don't grandstand, don't air their views regularly (as Miss Eagle does) we tend to value the moments when they do speak seriously, we do put store by their words.  I think this is the case with Swanny's statement to-night.  Make up your own minds.  I have lifted it from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Prime Minister Gillard and I and the overwhelming majority of our colleagues have been applying our Labor values to the policy challenges in front of us and we’re succeeding despite tremendous political obstacles. 
For the sake of the labour movement, the Government and the Australians which it represents, we have refrained from criticism to date. 
However for too long, Kevin Rudd has been putting his own self-interest ahead of the interests of the broader labour movement and the country as a whole, and that needs to stop.
The Party has given Kevin Rudd all the opportunities in the world and he wasted them with his dysfunctional decision making and his deeply demeaning attitude towards other people including our caucus colleagues.  He sought to tear down the 2010 campaign, deliberately risking an Abbott Prime Ministership, and now he undermines the Government at every turn.
He was the Party’s biggest beneficiary then its biggest critic; but never a loyal or selfless example of its values and objectives. 
For the interests of the labour movement and of working people, there is too much at stake in our economy and in the political debate for the interests of the labour movement and working people to be damaged by somebody who does not hold any Labor values. 
Julia has the overwhelming support of our colleagues. She is tough, determined, forward-looking, and has a good Labor heart.  She has a consultative, respectful relationship with caucus while Kevin Rudd demeaned them.  She’s cleaned up a lot of the mess he left her and has established a good, Labor agenda.  She’s delivering major reforms, and getting things done that her predecessor could not.  Colleagues are sick of Kevin Rudd driving the vote down by sabotaging policy announcements and undermining our substantial economic successes. 
The Labor Party is not about a person, it’s about a purpose.  That’s something Prime Minister Gillard has always known in her heart but something Kevin Rudd has never understood.

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