A rum rebellion

Elections Australia

PERHAPS the most admirable admission about Labor’s unhappy election campaign was made late last month at the National Press Club, when George Wright said that he, as the party’s campaign director, took full responsibility for the defeat. Just a few days later, Bruce Hawker published The Rudd Rebellion and showed just how much he disagrees with that apparently straightforward pronouncement.

Hawker’s “campaign diaries” reveal little to suggest that he ever accepted Wright as the director of the Labor campaign – and much to suggest that he regarded himself as the campaign’s primary strategic decision-maker, second only to Kevin Rudd himself. The “rebellion” in his title refers to Rudd’s three-year destabilisation against Julia Gillard and her colleagues – but by extension it also refers to Hawker’s rejection of the centralised authority of Wright’s head office…

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