IA editorial: Rudd returns

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Just three years and two days since Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd, in the lead-up to the 2010 election, Rudd has been returned to the top job.


This morning, Rudd will be sworn in by Governor-General Quetin Bryce – again – as Australian prime minister.

In toppling Gillard, the ALP continued its rich tradition of replacing party leaders while they are in power — as it did so many times in NSW before its cataclysmic 2011 election.

In the case of Gillard, she led a competent Government that initiated or implemented many serious and progressive reforms. Her prime ministership was by no means a failure.

Despite Gillard running a successful administration, she was not allowed space to govern. Rudd's backers in the Labor Party, ably supported by an influential media elite, agitated constantly for Rudd's return virtually since the first day of her reign.

In the end, perhaps she should have seen the writing on the wall and stood aside voluntarily — for no other reason than to acknowledge the inevitable and allow for a smooth transition.

But she did not and now Rudd walks back in to inherit what looks like a shambles.

Rudd returns, apparently, to save some furniture for the ALP in the Federal Parliament.

Will it succeed?

It is hard to look at last night's events as anything other than nervy, poll-induced, desperation. The Liberal Party attack ads about Labor chaos under Rudd in 2010 have no doubt been long prepared — they have certainly had enough warning.

It seems now to this site that the election of the extreme religious conservative Tony Abbott is now all but assured. We fear for where this may lead our nation.

As Rodney E. Lever has said on this site, Rupert Murdoch will be rubbing his hands together with glee.

But, on the other hand, maybe we are wrong; maybe Rudd has changed and, with leadership speculation finally behind us, will finally be able to unite a fractured Labor and reassure a sceptical nation.

Maybe he can win the election. It seems doubtful, but anything is possible.

We shall see.

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