COMMENT by Barry Tucker 19 March, 2013
Just over a week ago Liberal commentators began saying the PM, Julia Gillard, would be rolled on Wednesday, 20 March. It’s the eve of that fatal day, and the orchestra began on cue.
In an opinion piece in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald, Political and International Editor Peter Hartcher said senior ministers in the Gillard government are reconsidering their support for the PM, a sign of collapsing confidence at a critical moment. Ministers turn on PM
In an Analysis piece, also on the National Times website, Mr Hartcher writes: “These are the reasons a key Left faction cabinet minister, Mark Butler, and a key Right faction cabinet minister, Bob Carr, are openly telling colleagues they have lost confidence in Gillard. The dam of Gillard support has now been breached.”
In the first of the two stories above, Mr Hartcher writes:
“Both [Carr & Butler] are understood to have developed grave doubts about the Prime Minister’s political judgment and her ability to campaign.”
“A cabinet minister and a key figure in the Labor Left faction, Mark Butler, has told colleagues he is reconsidering his support for Julia Gillard.”
“Asked on Monday to comment on his position, Mr Butler did not deny he was reconsidering his support for the Prime Minister.”
[Note: he did not confirm it, either.]
“Senator Carr … becomes the most senior member of the NSW Right to switch support from Ms Gillard to Mr Rudd.”
Mr Hartcher is a senior political reporter and commentator in Canberra. It’s his business to know what politicians are saying to one another.
But, any reasonable person has the right to expect some proof of what Mr Hartcher has written. The quotes I have selected above are unsourced, unverified and, ultimately, off the mark.
Senator Carr has been busy today denying Mr Hartcher’s story and confirming his support for the PM, at a presser in the US, on ABC RN and elsewhere.
In a Tweet just before 8 am today, Mr Butler wrote: