Longtime Labor Party insider Bob Ellis endorses Bill Shorten in his quest to become the next Opposition Leader.
I don’t fully understand why insurance, for instance, should not be more punished for swindling flooded shopkeepers out of their money, but there you go. He understands world finance post-meltdown ‒ or I hope he does ‒ and I do not. Like Hawke, he has steeped himself in the immensity and the difficulty of the subject and come out wise, and torn, and visibly thinking, minute by minute, on what is required.
His best speech ‒ and it was self-composed ‒ was at the Labor Party Conference two years ago. Imagine a walled city the size of Perth, he said. A walled city of the disabled — and they can’t get out of it. A prison that size. With that many people.
It thunderstruck that audience and was, Bruce Hawker beside me said:
"...the best audition for prime minister I’ve heard."
Bill stuck with Gillard for two testing years, even after he was offered the job of Treasurer, tomorrow, if he defected. As with Beazley, he was loyal, to his own cost.
He could, I believe, himself have displaced Julia by merely putting up his hand, and then intriguing for a while, but he chose not to. He chose not to for a year, perhaps, and I wish he had.
I actually thought on the dreadful day when he, at last, for the party’s sake, went across to Rudd, that we’d end up with only twenty-five seats if he did not. The pain showed in his face, that he was putting his hand up then, for himself, but of course he was not. In his office, an hour before, no-one knew what he would do
It was his call and he was in pain. And, as always, the party came first.
And we are where we are.
And I hope he gets up this time.
Read also Lionel Grant's endorsement of Shorten's leadership rival Anthony Albanese by clicking here.