By M. Ulric Killion
Photo Source: Former foreign minister Kevin Rudd arrives for the Labor leadership ballot, February 27, 2012; Hilary Whiteman, Q&A: Is this end for Australia's Kevin Rudd?, CNN, February 27, 2012.
On Monday, February 27, 2012, in one of the most watched political contests in the world, as CCN news (February 27, 2012) reported, Prime Minster Julia Gillard “won the ballot with 71 votes to 31 for Kevin Rudd, the former foreign minister who mounted a bold bid to win back the job he was voted to do in a general election in 2007.”
In light of Gillard’s victory and her path to victory, which was by the hand of Rudd himself and his reasons for doing so, it seems appropriate to quote an old saying, “The fox guards the hen house” or “Like a fox guarding the henhouse.”
A point of political intrigue on the part of Rudd is that “before the vote, Rudd vowed to abandon his leadership ambitions if his colleagues returned Gillard as prime minister” (CNN news, February 27, 2012).
The earlier mentioned saying derives from an older nursery rhyme, which reads, “Sleep, my little one, sleep. Thy father guards the sheep,” (Gregory Y. Titelman, Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, (New York, 1996)).
The same saying also variously translates as, “A Fox in the hen house”, and an earlier rendition that says, “To set a wolf to guard sheep” (Latin: Ovem lupo commitere).
Photo Source: “On Monday, members of Australia's Labor Party will be asked to choose between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard”; Hilary Whiteman, Behind the scenes of Australia's political ‘soap opera’, CCN news, February 23, 2012.
With that being said, whether one approves or disapproves of what just occurred, especially Rudd’s seeming “political”-sleight of hand, he arguably now appears as the fox in the hen house.
What does this mean for the people or good citizens of Australia, well, it all depends.
If Rudd did so for the “greater good” (i.e., Latin: summun bonum), then who really should squawk?
As CCN news (February 27, 2012) rightly observed, “He wanted to demonstrate that he is the people’s choice. His clever publicity campaign and messaging has certainly made that clear to the nation.”
If, however, he is masterfully weaving a web of political machination and intrigue, then perhaps the good citizens ought to concern themselves with what just occurred.
This is because we might also be witnessing the beginning of the unfolding of a story about a wily old fox, who will eventually stroll unchallenged from the hen house, with his arms full of squawking bags.
One suspects answers to all of these questions will be forthcoming either before, or during the time, the good citizens of Australia head to the polls on November 30, 2013.
For Gillard, in 2013, she will face a new challenge, because she will be facing a challenge from Tony Abbott, who is the leader of the opposition, which is a coalition of both the Liberal Party and the National Party of Australia.
Indeed, from now, until November 30, 2013, we will probably witness the unfolding of many truths in Australian politics, especially about Rudd’s “political”-sleight of hand.
Copyright protected: All Rights Reserved by M. Ulric Killion, 2012.