We need to talk about Kevin

Dear Mr Rudd

Like most people in this country, and no doubt quite a few around the world, I watched with utter disbelief on Thursday afternoon. I held my breath when you fronted the media and said you would not take another run at the ALP leadership. At least I think that’s what you said, you really have quite the round-about-way of speaking. I felt sick to the stomach watching yet another leadership spill, but nothing will describe how I felt watching you back down. The Prime Minister had had a magnificent day in Parliament, had shown the country the calibre of leader she is, but it all fell away to nothing, and once again, you were at the centre of it.

I am a proud Left winger. I am a progressive, feminist, reformist small l liberal, who believes the ALP are the only party with any vision for this country as a whole (and not just big business). The night you were elected, I sat in a pub in country NSW, and bawled with joy and disbelief. I couldn’t believe Howard had gone. I wandered around in what felt like a leftie dream in the first year of your Prime Ministership; I honestly had to pinch myself because I felt like I was dreaming. My vote is the most important thing I have; women died for my right to vote, and it’s something I do not take, nor give, lightly. I voted for you, Mr Rudd, because I thought you were a decent man, who was connected to something bigger than himself, who would restore this country and fix the damage of the Howard years. I was wrong, Kevin, and I want my vote back.

I don’t know why your colleagues dumped you; I wasn’t there, so perhaps will never know the truth. It was a terrible thing, and I can’t imagine how it felt. But in the years since, any compassion I had for you, has vanished simply because of the way you have behaved since. I have had the incredible fortune to work with journalists, which means I’ve been privy to things the general public have not. Your inability to go gracefully and your blatant unwillingness to be a team player, has made me see you for who you are; a man not fit for office, and a man not fit to be part of the ALP. A man who does not have what it takes to lead.

This week Simon Crean did one of the most extraordinary things; he put his own personal feelings, desires and relationships aside, and acted for the good of the party. I’m sad to see a man punished for an honourable, courageous and commendable act. But it’s a leaf from a book I think you need to take. For the good of the party, and for the good of the country, please resign. You are not a team player, so step away from the team. You appear to be a man driven solely by self-interest, and you only need to look to the current ICAC investigation to see where that leads. For the good of the party Kevin, resign. For the good of the Country Kevin, resign. I beg you.

Yours sincerely,

Francine Alison