Monday, 27 February 2012

Statement to the Parliamentary Labor Party following the Re-Election of the Leader

I accept the will of the Caucus without qualification and without rancour. And I congratulate Julia on her strong win.

To each and every one of my supporters - I say thank you – it’s never easy being part of the minority.

And I have one simple request for you all, and that is to unite under Julia’s leadership to do everything we possibly can to prevent Abbott from prevailing.

To paraphrase the new poet of our age, Albo, we’re here to fight Tories, not ourselves.

To those of you who didn’t vote for me and with whom I’ve had great conversations in recent days, I thank you for your friendship and your civility.

To those of you who have been pretty free and willing in your character analysis of me in recent weeks, I say this:

I bear you no grudges.

I bear you no malice.

And if I have wronged any of you in what I have done and in what I have said, please accept my apology.

To Julia I would say this: leadership is hard – harder in this Parliament than in the last.

You will have my absolute support in your efforts to bring us to victory.

I will not under any circumstances mount a challenge against your leadership.

I go one step further. If anyone turns on Julia in the 18 months ahead, of the type I have seen reported in much of the press, Julia – you will find me in your corner against them.

And I am ready to help in anyway whatsoever in my capacity as Member for Griffith, as a former Labor Leader, as a former Labor Prime Minister, as a former Labor Foreign Minister, or in any other capacity.

I will continue as the Member for Griffith and with the support of my local community, through the next election as well.

And my final request of the leader – no retribution against my supporters.

They are good Labor people, every one of them.

They all have good Labor values.

As do I.

I’m proud of the Party I joined 30 years ago.

The great Neville Wran once said, we have our brawls, our bare knuckled fights, our squabbles (probably never as spectacular as this) then we take out the industrial hose and wash the blood off the walls, and go out together as a team.

Neville comes from that lesser known school of poetry called the ‘New South Wales Right’ school.

But he’s right. So I’d just say to my harshest critics, I’d suggest we have a cup of tea, a cup of coffee, or something harder (and I don’t mean an Iced Vovo) as we seek to put all of this behind us.

The acrimony of recent weeks cannot continue.

Not one bit.

Not for a moment longer.

Let’s go together to defeat Abbott and deliver Labor the victory.

I thank the Caucus.


  1. Do you feel easy about leaving your job? I've been thinking a lot about yourself, never mind the general parliamentary members. I am very sad, that you should be the sad one. Anyone in the general Australian public, who stood behind you could see you are a kind, caring sort of man. They saw your resolve,determination, to become inspired, to then be crippled in disappointment. It's made me sick. You know why? You, Mr. Kevin Rudd, have something that most people don't, decorum and integrity. This is Not for YOU! It's for Them, to be heard, cared about. Yesterday I felt totally devastated about the proceeding 'class room' practises. Your personal ideals of which you displayed at the Foreign Affairs roles, was something I had much admired. I watch the parliament antics in the House of Representative frequently these days. The Senate have it. I hope you like Queensland Mr.Rudd. I'll stick here in Tasmania. I was thinking of joining the Labour Government, but have now changed my mind! Bye.

  2. Goodbye Labor Government in 2013. Hello Tony Abbott. What a short-sighted voting behaviour by these MP's, who say they are here for us, the Australian public (and not just 'working families'). Apparently they just could not get over their personal feelings versus Kevin Rudd and thereby saddle us with an imminent Abbott government, winding back many real advances made. Shame! What a bunch of twits. Hang around Kevin. You're still needed.

  3. I withdraw my criticism of William Bowe's Honour.

    He is truly honourable and courageous.

    Cheers Kev, still rooting for you.


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