14 June 2010
Once it starts, leadership speculation is very difficult to stop.
Just ask Simon Crean, Kim Beazley, Brendan Nelson or Malcolm Turnbull.
All were chopped down mid-term by their parties in opposition.
The stakes are of course much higher in government.
It takes a lot more effort and risk to knock off a sitting Prime Minister.
Which is why Labor hard-heads are publicly scoffing at suggestions of a leadership change before the election and privately urging discipline.
There's still little chance of any leadership change.
But that doesn't mean they're all happy campers in the Labor Party.
Senior figures and junior backbenchers are nervous and angry and they blame Kevin Rudd.
They blame him for bad decisions and bad management.
In the words of one cabinet minister, "voters have turned on Rudd in the most devastating way. They no longer trust him."
Most agree Julia Gillard could take the leadership if she wants it.
There is no number counting. Senior figures say none is needed. If the Deputy PM made a move, what's left of Kevin Rudd's authority would vanish.
But Julia Gillard has been a loyal deputy and is expected to remain so. No one thinks she will challenge.
There are different views in Labor on what should happen if the polls worsen. Most say it's too late, but some are keeping open the option of a leadership change if necessary.
There's agreement on one thing though: the Prime Minister has to give some ground on his mining tax and end his damaging brawl with the industry.
It won't be easy for the PM to backdown on such a key policy, when voters' main complaint is they don't think he has the guts to stand and fight for anything.
But a quick resolution would at least give Labor a chance of finding some clear air to promote its achievements in office and turn the heat back onto Tony Abbott.
Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been approved.
Amalia V, Canberra (14 September 2010 6:49PM) wrote:
For all those who don't like Kevin Rudd, please tell me this: Why is Australia's economic condition currently one of the healthiest in world ? Surely it cannot be all related to the surplus left by the libs. Many other countries had surplus' too but their economies are up the creek without a paddle so to speak. Lindsay Tanner, Wayne Swan and in particular Kevin Rudd have saved the Australian economy from collapsing. Please be fair and give credit where it is due !
Brad Hames, Perth (29 July 2010 12:53PM) wrote:
Hi David, loved the interview with Barnaby Joyce. The Labour in the cockpit was classic. Can you please ask Labour next time you see them who is actually paying for the extra 3% Superannuation Guarantee for employers?, isn't this another "tax" on industry?
Les Parry, Brisbane (16 July 2010 1:10PM) wrote:
Your ALP bias is very transparent and boring, the interviews and panels I have watched you chair show this. Please try to be more professional.
David O'KEEFE, Sunshine Coast, Qld. (16 July 2010 1:10PM) wrote:
Having enjoyed the Speers / Gilbert reports on all things political over the past few months, it was with bitter disappointment to see one B. Neal invited to the 'round table' discussion on Sky this week. One would hope that future discussions would not see people like Neal being offered the time of day, let alone to be considered for her opinion on anything. The public who pay for this service do NOT deserve to see the likes of this woman on any program, on any Television station, at anytime. History has plainly shown that as far as ethics and decency are concerned, they do not exist in the mind and soul of B.Neal. Please refrain from inviting people who are despised by all, onto this great program in the future. Thank you Gentlemen. Regards, David O'KEEFE Baby Boomer & Casual Traffic Controller
Greg, Seaham (11 July 2010 9:34PM) wrote:
Watching Australian Agenda today, nice grilling of Brendan O'Connor, but everyone showed their true colours when discussing towing of boats. It was stated that "it never happened" . I hate being treated as stupid. Swannie is doing that, Julia is doing that, you are also doing it. It happened, no-one was drowned by our Navy (don't insult our service people), and the seven times they did it was effective.
Peter , Coffs Harbour (11 July 2010 1:06PM) wrote:
I thought the ABC was biased to the Left of politics but Sky news is even worse. Your new program is a blatant propaganda machine for the Labor party and your quality of news is pathetic. You can listen to the radio during the day and you get news but when you turn on Sky news we are fed BS. Maybe you are not even aware of how pathetic you have become for example Julia Gillard was in charge of the biggest scam and rip off in Australia's history costing taxpayers thousands of millions of dollars and just about nothing is said from you pack of incompetent and pathetic excuses for journalist. Maybe you also have a huge amount of contempt for hard working taxpayer dollars. Sky news is beyond a disgrace just like this disgraceful Government but you are so busy pushing the Labor lies and spin you do not have time for facts or reality. Maybe you are blind and deaf because lets face it you have a huge amount of egg on your face.
Leeann James, Broken Hill, NSW (10 July 2010 6:24AM) wrote:
Who do they think they are kidding?
Mike Voitl , Canberra Australia (7 July 2010 8:48PM) wrote:
I enjoyed reading your Blog Mr Speers. Polics in the fed level is pritty ruthless, I guess thats the nature of the beast, & thats a shame. It seems to me, if you don't like or disagree with your boss you simply challenge his authority & if you get a enough peaple behide you that agree with you Bob's your uncle, you have a new leader. in this case we have a New PM in Julia Gillard. She might be the first female PM in Australia, & the polls show thats a good thing at the moment, the challenge for the PM now is to keep the love affair going to election day & beyond the election, if Labor wins the next election. I enjoy your shows Agenda pm, the Nation & your new show On sunday nights Australian Agenda. thank you for taking the time in reading my little blurb. from Mike Voitl from Camberra.
CARMEN, SYDNEY (5 July 2010 9:05AM) wrote:
About time you and your political colleagues woke up to the fact that Julia Gillard and her cohorts are continuing in Kevin Rudd's footsteps - more lies, SPIN etc.. Nothing will ever change the fact that Julia, Wayne (DOOPY), Tanner and very obviously, Martin Ferguson were ALL part of Kevin Rudd's DISHONESTY. Please do not be manipulated by such unbelieveable people - WAKE UP TO THEIR SPIN and do not be part in the terrible mismangement and damage they are doing to our country. YOU HAVE TO EXPOSE THEIR DISHONESTY rather than protect them. A vote for Julia would also be entry to the lodge for her partner who does not deserve such a compliment by the Australian taxpayer, especially after reading his beautiful c.v..
K Loukas, Brisbane (29 June 2010 2:19PM) wrote:
what i find interesting is how i listen frequently to sky news and the polls say Ms Gillard is the preferred PM and Labour would win the next election however even on your site today the Poll say Tony Abbott by far 68% to 32%. am i reading something wrong!!! because nearly everyone i talk too does not seem too like labour and cant wait to vote the unions out as all they do is tend too destroy hard working families, who have small businesses.
Peter, Brisbane (28 June 2010 5:42PM) wrote:
David, it must be obvious to you by the Sky News online polling that 70% of your viewers are Liberal inclined. I can tell you that the way you are fawning over Ms Gillard is making us sick. A bit of objective analysis would be great. You should have a chat to Peter Van O as well.
carl d, sydney (28 June 2010 2:08PM) wrote:
There was a fellow citizen trying to be heard at a shopping centre in Queanbeyan this morning because of failed policies of the Federal Govt., according to him. Will I see that reported and put to the Govt. Ministers by you as you will inevitably interview someone? Cynicaly, I suppose you will provide the Govt. Ministers a forum to sprout their 'spin'. That says to me as much about the presenter as it does about the person being interviewed because theirs is to be expected but you guys owe the audience much more, particularly wrt. to objectivity.
Marc Bez, Queensland (27 June 2010 9:25AM) wrote:
Good morning David Please could I ask you to make a point that nobody seems to be considering, regarding the mining tax. The Labour government repeatedly claims that we need the tax in order to give all Australians a 'fairer' share of the resources that they own. While it is indeed true that we collectively own the resources, aren't we conveniently forgetting that Australian mining companies have been (and continue to do so) mining the resources of other countries - resources owned by the citizens of those nations - for the last 100 years? There are, of course, taxes imposed on Australian mining companies abroad, but Labour's proposed new tax will be higher than all of these. It must seem to the World that we not only want our own resources, but also have some 'God-given' right to every other country's resources too. It does not matter who owns which mine in which country: as long as the mine follows the rule of law and pays its (fair, not exorbitent) taxes. I believe that companies should pay less tax on a sliding scale in proportion to how many people they employ. That is the very best way to create millions of jobs. Kind regards Marc Bez
turn it up, Sydney (25 June 2010 6:24PM) wrote:
Its amazing how suddenly this is a 'good govt' that couldnt find the bustop. If that was the problem Kevin Rudd would still be PM. This govt has failed repeatedly to deliver on its promises. THAT is the problem. National Broadband Network - Fail Health Reform - Fail Tax Policy - Fail Climate Change - Fail Eduction spending - Fail A new leader wont fix it. There will be just more promises.
PetervL, Rooty Hill, NSW (24 June 2010 1:59PM) wrote:
Great, the factions in control of the country not the Prime Minister. A bit like NSW.
Dianne, Sydney (24 June 2010 1:52PM) wrote:
Kevin Rudd was a great Prime Minister I don't believe Kevin needed to defend himself from your media bias. As journalist, it was your job to inform the Australian peolpe what his achievements were. So why the shock from your team, when he told us the good he did. Lets face it you guys did the wrong thing for the nation, with the lack of understand of what we want. I will not be voting for Julia Gillard or the union freaks. Lets hope we have a balanced media in the future
Michael O'Brien, Brisbane (24 June 2010 1:41PM) wrote:
Dressed in black... how apt for "THE BLACK WIDOW"
Peter, Hobart (24 June 2010 12:13PM) wrote:
I have always been a Labor supporter and voter, but I will no longer be voting for Labor while ever Julia Eileen Gillard is leader. Why? Because I can NOT trust anyone that said just days before, that she unconditionally supports the PM, obviously a blatant lie. How can you trust anything she says in the future. This is a sad day for TRUST in the Labor party. Now a Green Voter.
Mary, Tas (24 June 2010 9:08AM) wrote:
Mining companies aren't happy - Lets get rid of the PM. Now who do we pay off with our billions of dollars? Julia better have balls of steel.
Neville Carnegie, Chermside Qld (24 June 2010 8:20AM) wrote:
Judas Gillard as Prime Minister? Labor must go.
Ron, Melbourne (24 June 2010 8:08AM) wrote:
There is no way Julia Gillard has not been planning this challenge for at least all of this Parliament sitting week or longer. My reason is I have watched her closely in question time and body language and her actions have shown she was not talking about the BER to people like Steven Smith whom two days ago she had a very long and expressive conversation with. She actually left the parliament talking to him. She was deep in thought and quite jovial in her discussions. Steven Smith is not aperson she regularly talks to in Question Time.
Bob Brooks, Streaky Bay (24 June 2010 2:05AM) wrote:
Little chance of a leadership change eh David?! I've always rated your opinion as neglible and I've always rated you an amateur. You won't post this though just like my other comments. You epitomise media malpractice and journalistic ineptitude.
Kenneth, Perth (19 June 2010 2:50PM) wrote:
Dear David and Skynews I was listening to the nation programe hosted by David Speers on Saturday 19/06,to discuss PM Rudd decline in support thru polls.I was not impressed by the make up of the panelist.I feel what Mr Speers was trying to do was increase the pressure on the PM,by bringing on TV people obviously opposed to the PM.The programe is supposed to be fair and truely "the nation"Having Banrnaby Joyce on the panel was meant to bring the opposition view and to ask such a person to assess PM will be the worst kind of journalism.If you wanted why didnt you bring someone from the government to represent their point of view.If at all you wanted to have a fair discussion remove the opposition and then government and have your experts on their own assess the downful of the PM.The language that Mr Speers was using was very biased against the PM of which I think is not good journalism.We want fairness not a way to create news were there is no news,otherwise the nation programe will soon lose is credibility.Be fair please
grant watt, glenning valley (18 June 2010 6:30PM) wrote:
Nice try (tries) to get Barnaby to commit to Coalition applying additional taxes for mining industry today.might have worked a few months ago but not now. I would suggest that Labor doesn't really want "clear air" at this time with the baggage it is carrying on BER overpayments, the insulation fiasco, the egotistical Rudd ETS failure.
Billy, Canberra (18 June 2010 1:14PM) wrote:
Your program The Nation on Friday PM could have done better without the village idiot - how can that cretin who made a complete idiot of himself when he was let near anything to do with monies comment on Rudd's shortcomings - all I can say that God help any clients who went to his little bush town accountancy firm!
JENIFER ELLIS, upper hunter valley (17 June 2010 12:57PM) wrote:
We enjoy watching your Agenda programme. I have one comment to make - when you have Bruce Hawker and Graham Morris as guests, do you ever time their responses to you? If you did, you would find that Hawker is allowed far more time to spruik his views than is Morris.(I have timed this) Of course, Morris is far more succint in his replies, and isn't desparate as is Hawker, but in the interest of fairness, how about letting Morris have more of a say?
John Martin, Tweed Heads (15 June 2010 9:40AM) wrote:
I am 58 years old have been an active member of the labor Party and never voted anything else. We celebrated when Gough came to power as well as Hawke and Keating all thes had vision. This Rudd government is the most incompetent Government Australia has ever had, the only reason for this tax grab on the mining industry is to cover the incompetent spending this Governmentb has had in their short term. What about people my age who have their superannuation invested in the mining area, we have worked all our life and saved and this bloke is going to send us into poverty. We put him in we will take him out.
kenneth, Sydney (14 June 2010 6:19PM) wrote:
Gee I think they are all happy campers in the Labor party, it's just media talk.