Monday, April 14, 2003
The people at Crikey will be disappointed to hear this.
All of Labor's top leadership contenders have ruled out a direct challenge to Simon Crean before the next election, but some party figures continue to push for a regime change.
Foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd yesterday gave a guarantee that he would not move to replace Mr Crean as leader. "As a member of his front bench, I will not be launching a challenge against him. I don't think I can be clearer than that," Mr Rudd told Channel Seven's Sunday Sunrise program.
Other leadership contenders - family services spokesman Wayne Swan, economic ownership spokesman Mark Latham and health spokesman Stephen Smith - have made the same pledge.
Former leader Kim Beazley, now on the backbench, has made it known he will not challenge Mr Crean, although many speculate he could be drafted into the leadership.
Mr Rudd said he agreed with the view of six senior cross-faction party powerbrokers who last week called for the ALP to unite behind Mr Crean.
"We need to unite around a common alternative policy vision for Australia's future under the leadership of Simon Crean," he said.
Then again, after failing to unseat Bob Hawke in mid-1991, Paul Keating said he wouldn't do that again, whereupon six months later he did do it again and succeeded that time. If I were Simon Crean, I wouldn't be too trusting of some of the people around me.