Sunday, February 26, 2012

ABC News stuffs up again

If anyone needed evidence that the ABC's news is inept and biased against Rudd, their reporting of today's big event has delivered confirmation. ABC News reported by Twitter this morning that it was confirmed that Rudd got 29 votes in today's ALP leadership vote - WRONG! It was later confirmed that Rudd's share was 31 votes, and the ABC were forced to issue an embarrasing apology, following a few snide comments from others on Twitter.

P.S. Funny how on March 5th the ABC's Media Watch sarcastically criticised the Twitter misreporting of the leadership vote count by an individual press journalist with a Twitter account, but there was no similar reprimand to the ABC over their even worse misreporting of the wrong figure as confirmed. How biased is Media Watch?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Can Rudd change? History says he's done it before

Today one of the most live questions in Australia is the question of whether Kevin Rudd is capable of being a better PM than he was during his very eventful first term (in which he spared Australia's economy from the GFC), which was cut short in mid 2010 by "the coup". Can Rudd change? Has the bruising experience of being sacked at short notice given Rudd cause for reflection and transformation? I've read one commentator who seems to actually have a clue about political history (unlike myself) who claimed that in general party leaders do a better job second time around. I can't offer any opinion on this point, or on the question of whether Rudd has changed for the better since 2010 (clearly his appearance has changed and he's looking considerably older). On one point though, there is plenty of evidence which I'd like to point out. Is Rudd capable of major personal change? I'd argue that he has already undergone a striking self-created transformation in his transition from bureaucrat to politician, but it is debatable whether this was a deep or a superficial change.

As David Marr (has he been reading my ex-published piece about Rudd?) recently pointed out on ABCTV, Rudd had to undertake a major transformation in order to become a successful politician. Some people are born politicians, but it appears that Rudd is not one of these people. Perhaps this is the wellspring of his appeal with the Australian people. Rudd was a spectacularly successful politician in 2007, but don't forget that he was once an electoral loser. If there is a formula for "Politics for Dummies" Rudd surely discovered it, smart and persistent as he is, and perhaps following this winning formula with discipline is a more effective method of winning elections than a less conscious and planned approach.

Rudd's first attempt at politics was unsuccessful. In 1996 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the seat of Griffith in Queensland. It is an almost constant theme in the body of literature about successful role models in business and other fields that very successful people have failure in their past, and they bounce back and also learn from their failure or failures, and that learning is possibly of crucial importance. In 1998 Rudd managed to win the seat of Griffith, and it has been the base of his career ever since. Rudd is now widely acknowledged as a brilliant political campaigner. He has come a long way. Some time between 1996 and 1998 a self-initiated metamorphosis evidently happened. The best place that I know to find information about this is the book Inside Kevin 07 by Christine Jackman. This is a book completely lacking in objectivity, as Jackman was a friend of the Rudd's when it was written (and could still be for all I know), but the advantage to this is that it gives a much more intimate account of the personalities involved with Rudd's 2007 electoral triumph, and Jackman was able to source a lot of information about the time before Rudd was a politician, from people who were there at the time. Rudd's former boss ex-premier of Queensland Wayne Goss and Rudd's brother lobbyist Greg Rudd both described Kevin's metamorphosis in the book. He lost a lot of his illusions and naivety about what it takes to succeed in politics, and most importantly, he got out among the people at every opportunity, a crash course in personal charm and dealing with humans. It worked! It is one thing to read this in a book, but a picture tells a thousand words, they say. I knew if this personal transformation was really as dramatic as they say in the book, there should be a considerable difference between Rudd's appearance before and after. We've all seen the "after" shots of Rudd in unavoidable media saturation, but the "before" shots are rarely shown in media stories and are surprisingly hard to find on the internet. I'm sorry that I can't offer any link to a photo or video of Rudd before 1998. There was once one blurry amateur shot on one of the photo-sharing websites (could have been Flickr) of a young Rudd campaigning in 1996, but it appears that it has been withdrawn from publication. It was amazing. It was like a different person. THe iconic smile was absent. Rudd stood with a hunched posture looking like he had not a single shred of confidence. A woman looking like that would attract labels such as "wallflower" or "shrinking violet". I know, I've been there, done that! In my opinion this photo casts into doubt the unfortunately popular idea that Rudd has some kind of personality disorder associated with inflated self-image, such as narcississtic PD. It is my understanding that such disorders are inborn, but it appears that there was once a time in his adult years when Rudd manifested as quite a different personality.

I'm so sorry that I can't find anything like that shot to show you first hand, because seeing is believing. I know that Rudd is capable of change, and you can check the evidence yourself in the book. Rudd has changed dramatically in the past, by learning in response to failure. This is a hallmark of very high achievers. Whether or not he has tired of changing to meet the demands of others, or has the basic resources to again meet the needs of the top job in our nation while also leading a high-powered team, are questions that I can only guess at.

Inside Kevin 07
Jackman, Christine,%20Christine

Friday, February 24, 2012

John Mendoza still an a******e

Shame, John Mendoza, SHAME! Your psychiatric slur against Rudd is grossly unprofessional and clearly motivated by personal emnity, and says so much more about you than it says anything at all about Mr Rudd.

One reason why I find myself in the position of being a solid Rudd supporter, despite what I believe is a good understanding of his many personal flaws and political wrongs, is that so many of the people who speak out against Rudd and might gain more power in Rudd's absence from the leadership role, are a******es. Plain and simple. A******es. Sunshine Coast "Adjunct Professor" Mendoza included.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Smith issuing threats?

I was just watching the press conference with Defence Minister Stephen Smith and the Justice Minister Jason Clare on the ABC's news channel, and I caught some kind of threat issuing from Smith to the effect that someone will come down like a ton of bricks onto dissenters. Smith and Clare have declared their support for Gillard. I recall various media reports that there was some nasty threats and bullying within the ALP behind the scenes from the pro-Gillard camp in the lead-up to the 2010 ALP leadership spill. I wish I could locate a video of today's news conference in full to check Smith's exact words. Such ugliness.

A nod of the head still means "Yes" last time I checked - Gillard lies like a rug

I've just seen a video of an interview of PM Julia Gillard broadcast on ABC News 24 in which she was posed the loaded question of whether or not she was ever a disloyal deputy to Rudd. Her verbal reply was an insistent negative answer, while her head nodded like it might shake itself loose. I've already written about Gillard's odd habit of displaying body language that gives the opposite answer to her verbal communication when asked a loaded political question:

A nod of the head means yes.
by Lili Marlene
Blond Ambition.
September 3, 2011

Rudd and Rein urge voters to share their views on ALP leadership with local members

Now is certainly the time for Australian voters to call their local Labor MPs and senators to tell them who they prefer as Labor leader. One can only hope that someone might give a f***.

Therese Rein mobilises 'ordinary people' for Rudd
ABC News
Updated February 23, 2012

Don't get in Gillard's way....

you might end up crushed!

Is there an elephanty smell in the room?

Is there an important matter which most high-profile federal members of the ALP have been constantly failing to acknowledge? Kevin Rudd is popular with the voters, while the same cannot be said of much of the rest of the federal ALP team. Rudd at one time was extraordinarily, unprecedentedly popular with the world outside of the ALP. Simon Crean and Julia Gillard as leaders were just about as popular with voters as pork chops at a bar mitzvah. Rudd knows the secret of voter popularity. So many of his critical colleagues don't. Surely the envy and damaged egos of the has-beens and the never-weres who have witnessed spectacular electoral success must be a factor in Rudd's much-discussed unpopularity within his own party.

The Elephant in the Room

Source of this image:

I'd like to think that this lovely picture depicts Rudd's onging love affair with Australian voters, the big ugly animal in the room being the resentment of his ALP colleagues.

Monday, February 13, 2012

They are still talking about the Ruddocalypse, after all this time

Did Gillard and her colleagues believe that Rudd and the events of June 2010 would fade from the collective memory and fall back into the pages of history books? Dumb call.

I don't get why it is still such a live question as to when Gillard started planning her coup. Fowler unsuccessfully tried to get an answer out of the PM about some new evidence that she had planned well in advance, destroying the story that she was a party to the coup only as a last resort. It was reported by Patricia Karvelas on the front page of the Oz way back in December 2010 that months before the spill the "faceless man" Don Farrell told the US embassy that Gillard was campaigning for the leadership, according to a Wikileaks diplomatic cable release. I wrote about the lack of apparent impact of this story shortly after it was published. At the time it appeared that the ABC had not reported the story.

The Comeback Kid?
By Andrew Fowler and Peter Cronau
Four Corners
February 10th 2012

"Julia Gillard 'after top job a year before coup': WikiLeaks"
By Patricia Karvelas
The Australian
December 17, 2010

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Aussie psychiatrist Prof Ian Hickie at centre of controversy

Psychiatrist claims campaign to discredit him.
The World Today.
ABC Radio National
February 13th 2012

The drug Agomelatine and the medical journal The Lancet are mentioned in this report, subjects that I've written about before in connection with Prof. Hickie.

Also see this recent newspaper article:

Dunlevy, Sue
'Campaign' targets depression guru Ian Hickie.
The Australian.
February 13th 2012.

Quote from this article:

"West Australian Labor MP and anti-ADHD drug campaigner Martin Whitely called on Professor Hickie yesterday to step aside as a mental health commissioner over the row "and if he doesn't (Mental Health Minister) Mark Butler should remove him"."

I recommend the website Speed Up & Sit Still by Martin Whitely as a great place to get all the details of this controversy, which I have written about here in past posts: