This is an open letter to all Federal Labor parliamentarians.
Of all people, you must know that polls of voting intention this far from the scheduled election date of September 14 are not predictive of the election outcome. Even the pollsters themselves tell us that. They agree that trends over time are the only useful pointers.
Yet every time a poll comes out, you are out there, whether it's good or bad, responding to the inevitable questions of journalists, whom you know very well are more interested in leadership speculation, with all the conflict and entertainment that engenders, than the policy issues that matter to the people. Why do you do it? You know that what you say, whether positive, negative, or neutral, will be echoed on countless TV, radio, and current affairs programs, and in the print and online media, thereby escalating the drama that the media deliberately sets out to create, while blocking out the critically important messages you need to transmit. Why do you do it?
Why can’t you take Basil Fawlty’s line?
DON’T MENTION THE POLLS
The media is out there deliberately baiting you, yet so many of you take the bait – hook, line and sinker – time and again.
When you do, you add to the uncertainty that the media is deliberately creating, thereby undermining your leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, your own Party, and your chances of electoral success. Surely, you must know that!
What is even more destructive, SOME OF YOU seem to be intentionally white-anting PM Gillard’s authority, and the outstanding work she is doing under difficult circumstances, with your so-called ‘back-grounding’ of journalists, who, like the insatiable piranhas they are, devour every morsel you offer, piranhas who would devour the entire Labor Party if they could.
Labor supporters despair when they hear of this subversive behavior. Unless journalists are entirely making this up, there are SOME OF YOU, who knows how many, sabotaging your leader and the Party. That is reprehensible and unforgivable. In war, people like you are taken out and shot.
We know that some of you are Rudd supporters, and thereby Gillard antagonists, but we don’t get to know the names of those of you who are actively back-grounding journalists. If Labor supporters did know your names, you would be deluged with angry emails insisting that you desist. Paul Howes had some words to describe your despicable behaviour – ‘gutless’ was one of them.
While no one would deny you the right to support whom you prefer, that is a world away from sabotaging the leader, elected just twelve months ago by a two to one majority, the one who is in the process of preparing for an election where Labor is seeking another term, where you as a Labor parliamentarian would enjoy another period in power.
We know that some of you are fiercely loyal to Julia Gillard, and that you too despair of the corrosive behavior of your disloyal colleagues. We imagine you have spoken to those whom you know are disloyal, but it seems to no avail. They continue with what seems to be a deluded belief that returning Kevin Rudd to Prime Ministership would somehow reverse the current polls and lead the Party to a resounding victory, even after he has repeatedly denied that that is his intent. Presumably, that belief is predicated on the polls that ask people what Party they would vote for under Gillard and Rudd leadership, which always come out in favour of Rudd. Surely, these malcontents can’t be stupid enough to base their strategy on such unreliable polls, or on private polling and focus groups, the opinions of which could change in a flash, especially with News Limited on the case, leaving these hopefuls high and dry.
Please try to talk some sense into the heads of these speculative malcontents, insist they get behind their leader, and fight the awful prospect of an Abbott government, tooth and nail. There is the enemy.
Let them know that loyal Labor supporters are furious with their subversive, treacherous behavior, and demand they desist immediately.
There is a Newspoll out this coming week. If it is even mildly bad for Labor, you know the vicious cycle of leadership speculation will start all over again. You must stop the sabotage and the disruption it evokes, which boosts Tony Abbott in his fevered quest for power, while eroding support for your leader, Julia Gillard.
And even if the poll is more favourable to Labor than the last, don’t be sucked into comment – you know it will be perverted to feed the frenzied piranhas thrashing about in their media puddle.
DON’T MENTION THE POLLS.
If a piranha rings to bite you for leadership information, hang up. If a piranha bites you at a doorstop, do an Abbott: just walk away.
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