The knifing of Rudd by his Labor Party confreres was totally unnecessary and an act of panic in the face of opinion poll figures that were not as overwhelmingly supportive as before.
"Australia supports Israel's right to self defence and its right to self determination. We understand that it is hard to feel confident in a peaceful future when your people are coming under daily rocket attack. We acknowledge that there are nations and forces in your region that are committed to Israel's destruction. Australia's Government was a champion for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Our commitment to Israel's security has not wavered since that time. It's why we opposed the referral of the Goldstone Report to the UN General Assembly."
What an incredible, hilarious waste of time this week has been in the House of Representatives. Has there a more ridiculous non-scandal than Utegate - a stupid, absurdly Australian moniker that befits the stupidity of the whole saga. Here's my Player Ratings on the winners and losers among the Utegate Dramatis Personae:
It still hurts. Seventeen days later, and the re-election of John Winston Howard for a fourth term of government is still unbelievable. Despite his government's appalling track record on humanitarian issues, on foreign policy, on trade relations and industrial development, despite its under-publicised shortcomings in economic management, the Liberals and Nationals are back with an increased majority. Worse still, they will hold at least half of the senate seats from 1 July 2005, and might just (for we still do not know for sure) gain an absolute majority.
When I read yesterday that Mark Latham was promising to raise Townsville's profile as a defence base, I thought he was planning a special assignment for the North Queensland Cowboys. As it happens, it's a promise to establish an infantry battalion and a parachute battalion in the city, which is situated - fancy - in the marginal Liberal seat of Herbert.