“Incompetent and out of control.”
They were the words used by Julia Gillard in the email she sent former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd describing the public’s perception of the Labor government back in 2010.
The email, which was sent to Rudd and his chief of staff at 9.49am on Monday, June 21, 2010, came just two days before Gillard challenged Rudd for the leadership of the Labor party and has been released to the public in the lead up to its inclusion in a book being published next week.
According to The Australian, Gillard wrote:
“To state the obvious — our primary is in the mid-30s; we can’t win an election with a primary like that and the issue of asylum-seekers is an enormous reason why our primary is at that low level.
“It is an issue working on every level — loss of control of the borders feeding into a narrative of a government that is incompetent and out of control.
“As you know I have been raising this with a great deal of anxiety and I remain desperately concerned about lack of progress.”
“I do not normally email you directly Kevin and I don’t intend to make it a habit.”
On the same day the email was sent, the Labor party’s popularity dropped to just 35 per cent (although they continued to lead the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis.)
The email has now raised questions over whether Julia Gillard had planned to challenged the leadership earlier than June 23 – something she had previously denied doing.
The book – Rudd, Gillard and Beyond by political commentator Troy Bramston – will be released soon.