IT WAS just like old times. Despite the solace of a church service to get the parliamentary year started, the “love one another” Christian message was quickly lost when question time arrived a few hours later.
The old combatants, with renewed vigour courtesy of an election date, were at it again.
Like a prize fight they exchanged blows, hoping for that knockout punch which never arrives.
With rumblings within the Labor ranks that the election could deliver the party one of its worst defeats, and only a day after the Prime Minister warned her caucus to be loyal or watch out, there was plenty to talk about.
With a fresh poll indicating the Coalition is in line for a momentous victory, no time was lost in the attempt to draw first blood.
The Coalition, armed with wads of paper documenting how many times Treasurer Wayne Swan had reiterated Labor’s pledge to deliver a budget surplus in the 2012-13 fiscal year, was wasting time trying to discredit the government.
The Gillard government will be judged on its own actions and the electorate is smart enough to know when a government has lost its way.
Kevin Rudd, the rejected leader with hope still on board, missed the caucus meeting but responded to reports yesterday that some Labor backbenchers were restless about Julia Gillard’s ability to lift the government’s fortunes from a quagmire of broken promises and unfulfilled policies.
“Have a long, cold shower,” was Mr Rudd’s response to speculation he might have another tilt at the Labor leadership.
But Kevin Rudd does not need to show any interest in Labor’s top job, because he knows, if the polls continue to show the party will be routed at the September 14 election, Julia Gillard’s grip on power will be significantly weakened.
If the crisis worsens and the outlook is bad enough, Labor will seek him out, some predict.
The reality, however, is that any change in leadership leading up to the election will not work in Labor’s favour.
It would confirm to the voting public that Labor has no real leadership and no ability to govern with authority.
Tony Abbott might not win the election – he may be delivered victory by a party in disarray. Time will tell.
In the meantime, the mean-spirited shenanigans which are part and parcel of parliamentary life will continue.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.