Sunday, June 27, 2010

Coup schmoup

I think Tracy at Adelaide From Adelaide will excuse me for quoting her at such length: this is a paragraph that needs to be disseminated as widely as possible.
And another thing: don’t use the word ‘coup’, just don’t. It’s completely inaccurate and it’s bloody disrespectful. We live in a democracy, and we get to vote without fearing for our lives, and no tanks rolled up to the steps of Parliament House, and Kevin Rudd got the opportunity to make a dignified farewell speech and no one got locked up, and no one has disappeared, and actually caucus voted on it, and whether you like it or not that is the way Australian politics works. And you know what? If you don’t like it, you can bang on about it as much as you like. You can write about it on your blog, you can ring talkback radio, you can start your own ‘I’d never backstab anyone’ party, you can even meet Kevin Rudd for a drink and discuss it with him if you like. You can do all those things because it wasn’t a coup.

Tracy is currently, though not permanently, living in Abu Dhabi.


tigtog said...

Abso-blooming-lutely. I'm over the outragefest, I really am.

Could there be lessons learnt from how suddenly this all happened and how some voters view that as a huge negative, that could perhaps lead to better procedures for the caucus to follow in the future> Maybe. But this still WAS NOT A COUP.

Liam said...

I disagree, PC.

Coup d'etat it wasn't, certainly. Coup de main, the original phrase, it definitely was. "Coup" is a perfectly good word to describe an attack based on suprise and overwhelming force of numbers. And if the lack of persecution of drinks nights is a marker for good governance then Australian politics is in a worse state than I thought it was.

Don't get me wrong, I think JG is a much better leader of the country (and my Party) than Rudd ever was or could have been, and I'm glad that she's Prime Minister, but it's a mistake to ignore the pernicious consequences of a bunch of operatives being able simply to remove a sitting leader because they can.

actually caucus voted on it

Rudd stood down and Gillard was elected unanimously. Caucus didn't vote.

M L Jassy said...

I'm for that impassioned defense of our democracy in describing the tankless, almost thankless shoving aside of the former PM.

Folks have been decrying JG as a 'puppet' - I don't mind if her rise to the top spot was engineered, as long as the alleged puppeteers allow JG a Pinnocchio story - I think she will breathe life back into politics.

ThirdCat said...

Yes, I am wrong, there wasn't a vote. I didn't read the details all carefully enough. Actually, I knew he didn't stand, but I forgot.

I think plenty of people will agree with Liam and say that you can call it a coup, but on this point, I will continue to agree with myself.

I completely agree that the ALP needs to take a good hard look at itself, but in my opinion, so do people using the word 'coup'.

Mindy said...

It certainly opened my eyes to people who I thought were feminist allies not being quite so feminist ally-ish as I thought (that's not aimed at you Liam, btw.)

Bernice said...

"Coup" is a perfectly good word to describe an attack based on suprise and overwhelming force of numbers."

The problem is, it wasn't an attack based on surprise, other than Rudd completely misreading the mood of caucus and therefore being surprised when what had been threatened came to pass. The bloke's a bureaucrat, can't negotiate to save his life or anyone else's. He's been ignoring the changing mood in the party room for months, working harder and harder, desperate to do the impossible job of governing by micro-managing (and I think Marr is wrong wrong wrong about anger as his motivator - it's grief and survivor guilt - not the point here though). The numbers part of Liam's equation is correct - the problem for Rudd was that he had stopped being able to listen to anyone, anyone at all. No one silently stalked him; they've been wailing like scalded cats for months.

Link said...

It's a fair but dramatic descriptor in an age of unprecendented boredom thresholds. Of course it be more correctly used had Abbott been installed. But that would be riotous.

coup d’état (plural coups d’état)

1. The sudden overthrow of a government, differing from a revolution by being carried out by a small group of people who replace only the leading figures.

I wonder how much involvement BPB Biliton and Rio Tinto had in the small group of overthrowers. Which is not to detract from Ms Gillard's ability to perform. She's undoubtedly a pragmatic kinda girl.

Helen said...

"Putsch" would almost fit due to the suddenness of it all, but that's still referring to a change of government, not a change of head of the existing government.

I thought you might enjoy this from the wonderful and always knowledgeable Pants:

"And she can verbally string whole sentences together the old-fashioned way - you know with a verb and a subject and an implied full stop at the end. And she confines herself to words that actually exist. That makes a nice change."

Eric Sykes said...

coup schmoo.

From the lion's mouth said...

I am rolling my eyes every time I read the "but the caucus didn't vote" comments. The only reason they didn't have an actual vote was because Rudd's numbers were going to be an embarassment. He was down to about 30 votes in caucus. That's why he stood aside.

What ever way people want to spin it, it certainly wasn't a coup, it wasn't undemocratic (quite the opposite) and as for calling JG a puppet - pffffftttt is all I can say to that. They don't know who they're dealing with.

Helen said...

One less important but pleasing thing is that it's really, really pissed Sophie Mirabella and other Liberals off. Wah! A Labor woman got there first! Yes, rather juvenile of me but I can't help enjoying the spectacle. *Chortle*

Mindy said...

@ Helen, what were they thinking. Labor, IMHO, was always the party most likey to. I'd be very surprised if Julie Bishop, or indeed any of the current Liberal women, ever gets closer than Deputy Opposition leader. As soon as there is a sniff of power the blokes will be elbowing them aside.

Anonymous said...

To the ridiculous "coup" talk, add Barnaby Joyce's assertion (on at least two occasions) last night on QandA that Rudd was "assassinated".

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Yes, and since when did Barnaby Joyce give a rat's about Rudd's welfare? It's like watching the concern feminists come out in force about how the burqa limits women's freedom, like they've ever cared about women's freedom in their lives before.

thacky said...

Late to this thread, but it's still going on...and Tony Abbott keeps talking about Rudd's "execution", which I find offensive and annoying - it's another example of the use of really violent imagery applied to completely non-violent acts, leaving no words to use with impact when actual violence happens.