Rudd backs Gillard as Australian PM after prompting

Former Australian leader Kevin Rudd has thrown his support behind the woman who ousted him, Julia Gillard, to lead Labor at the next election, but only after repeated prompting.

In his first major interview since trying to unseat his arch foe in February, Rudd also made clear he "won't be silenced" from speaking out on major issues.

Now a backbencher, Rudd, also a former foreign minister, is widely believed to still harbour strong leadership ambitions and had to be pushed to mention Gillard's name.

"Of course the government can prevail against Mr (Tony) Abbott at the next election," he told ABC television late Wednesday, referring to the conservative opposition leader.

Asked if victory could be achieved in elections that are scheduled for next year with Gillard as leader, he replied "Under the prime minister's leadership."

It took two more attempts by the interviewer for Rudd to finally acknowledge: "Under Prime Minister Gillard's leadership."

The nation's first female prime minister retained office after crushing Rudd 71-31 in a secret ballot of the 103 Labor parliamentarians in February, although only 102 votes were cast with one member absent.

It was among the biggest-ever wins in a Labor leadership ballot after one of the most spiteful campaigns in recent history.

Gillard called the vote in a bid to end a bitter standoff with Rudd, whom she deposed as leader in 2010 in a shock party coup.

Rudd came to power in a 2007 election landslide that ended more than a decade of conservative rule, but a series of policy mis-steps saw him lose the confidence of party chiefs and he was axed for the more pragmatic Gillard.

Observers say he never forgave her.

Rudd remains popular and leadership speculation continues to simmer, but he insisted he simply wanted to help Labor defeat Abbott.

"My views won't be silenced in the public debate because the issues for Australia are so stark," he said.

Rudd likened himself to former British prime minister Gordon Brown, a member of the House of Commons who contributes to policy debate domestically and internationally.

"I think that's what is expected of us, to lend our contribution to the national public political debate," he said.

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 3 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 5 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 11 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.