The incredible gutlessness and stupidity of Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd has said he will never again challenge for the leadership of the Labor Party. But he barely challenged the last two times such is his gutlessness.

This time round he pushed Simon Crean out in front to take the bullets and as a result Crean is now a political corpse lying at his feet, gunned down by the lack of spine in Kevin Rudd.

Sacked minister Simon Crean, who sparked Labor’s leadership crisis this week, says Kevin Rudd’s camp had fully endorsed his intervention to demand the Prime Minister call a spill.

His account directly contradicts the version of Mr Rudd, who on Friday said he had ”not expected the spontaneous combustion of Mr Crean’s” demand for a ballot, and promised he would never again seek the leadership.

Mr Rudd’s last-minute decision to back out of a challenge has led to bitter recriminations among his supporters, with Mr Crean describing Mr Rudd’s key support group as ”disorganised, unbelievable and shameless”.

“He reneged on our deal, it was gutless,” Mr Crean said. “At no stage did they say to me that Rudd wouldn’t run if he didn’t have the numbers.

”He would have been better to stand and lose; that’s what Paul Keating did,” in his first and failed challenge to Bob Hawke before succeeding in his second.

The bloodletting came as three more senior government figures, tertiary education minister Chris Bowen, resources and energy minister Martin Ferguson and human services minister Kim Carr, quit Ms Gillard’s team on Friday, joining Mr Crean on the backbench.

Accused of failing to deliver the numbers for Mr Rudd, Mr Crean said: “I’m not going to put up with their attempt to rewrite the record.”

He said Mr Bowen, who led the key pro-Rudd tactical group, had told him on Thursday morning to ”bring it on” before he fronted the media to demand a ballot.

Mr Bowen had reassured Mr Crean that a Labor figure of his standing would precipitate a ”stampede” of votes for a Rudd challenge.

Mr Crean openly attacked Mr Rudd, saying his refusal to stand had exposed so many people to derision and political harm that he would never again be able to win support for a tilt at the leadership.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.