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HOW ROOD: Baillieu under attack by his fave newspaper

redteddead Current Victorian Liberal leader Ted Baillieu has been lashed by a front-page whipping from his favourite newspaper, The Age.

In an astonishing turn-around from The Age’s normal support of Baillieu, former PhD candidate David Rood has rounded together a few anti-Baillieu patriots from the Liberal party room and extracted from them damning assessments about his leadership.

Normal circumstances would have Baillieu chopped. But sadly the abnormal circumstances are these:

â–  Potential leaders Denis Napthine and Terry Mulder won’t challenge, with Mulder being particularly stubborn about it;

â–  Other potential leaders like Michael O’Brien and Matthew Guy are too young or in the wrong house;

â–  Baillieu still has the numbers, as things currently stand, despite the current pessimistic outlook as outlined reasonably well by David Rood.

The views of three MPs don’t count for much and indeed the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun has already reported their views this year. Slapping that up and presenting it as a front-page exclusive is certainly cheeky if not ethically dubious.

Rood has neatly summarised some of the Kroger aligned MPs views about the absurd nature of Baillieu’s leadership: the retention of retiring MPs on the front-bench, the isolation of his office from the party room, his low public profile and a sense of apathy and despair. It will be enough to have Baillieu spluttering into his organic muesli and soy this morning.

It will be interesting to see if it tests one of the strangest ‘Odd Couple’ relationship in Spring Street, the chumship between Red Ted and Rood’s boss the Age state political editor Paul Austin.

While Ted is more small ‘l’ liberal than most social theory professors or contemporary art curators, Austin is normally seen as a spear-thrower for the Socialist Left faction of the ALP. And yet Baillieu has regularly given him the “drop” on many stories, sometimes about internal party matters but often also about policy. He has seemingly quite deliberately shunned the Age’s rival, the Herald Sun.

Baillieu and his weird office with its Nixonian paranoia and North Korean style security arrangements have devised all sorts of justifications for the Hun-shun but none of them have made sense.

Perhaps today, they’ll consider coming to their senses.

Because it seems that Terry Mulder is never going to come to his. If he or his Colac chums are reading this, VEXNEWS begs him to answer the patriotic call.

Waiting around for Ted Baillieu to fall over might be good for Mulder but it’s not much good for the Liberal party nor is it much good for the democratic process. Voters would like a real choice.

Under the right leader Libs could surprise at the next state election.

They face a long-term government that has got many things right but could endure a another horror bushfire season, a chronic water shortage and major public transport problems during a long, hot summer. The government has its indulgences too, like allowing Rob Hulls to pretty much do whatever he wants, appointing lefty mates as judges and pushing a wide variety of measures not likely to play well in seats the government needs to defend to be re-elected. All of that has made the government much more vulnerable than it ought to be on law and order issues.

Smart Liberals know there is political opportunity everywhere they look. But they have struggled to execute well.

While most of his colleagues have been hopeless, Transport spokesman Terry Mulder has shown he can connect with people about the issues that matter to them. Ted Baillieu hasn’t and never will.


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  1. Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.

    Posted by Crasty | October 20, 2009, 9:31
  2. If Bailliieu is not prepated to get his hands dirty and get stuck into Brumby and some of his hidden Ministers [Cameron etc]may be its time he gives some of the old street fighters in his party a go at the Goverment. Baillieu and Davis may be nice people to ask to afternoon tea, but that wont get you the 6 seats you need this time around so that you can have a good go at it in 2014. As any person in the street and they will tell you where to attack this State Goverment.

    Posted by Batman | October 20, 2009, 9:39
  3. With the warmer weather coming, surely the speedos will make their appearance again and win those six seats. Brumby’s board shorts won’t knowwhat hit him

    Posted by speedos for ever | October 20, 2009, 9:57
  4. Alus, I fear thut Tud and the luberals are sure to lose the nuxt elucktion. Tud hus no gut up und go. He seems to be cuntent to stay un opposition where you don’y huv to uctually do unything uxcept to complain about stuff. Nuver before hus the luberals been in such a praducament. The Luberals need some major assustnace. Maybe I could call John Key and gut him to fly over from in Zid to hulp hum wuth his campaign.

    Posted by Murray from New Zealand | October 20, 2009, 10:07
  5. Baillieu’s incompetence is a fact amongst Liberals. Everyone knows he will never ever be Premier. But the lack of courage (and hunger) by the others is the most disappointing thing. Imagine a mid 30’s Howard in State Parliament? Do you think he would shy away? Step up or move on.

    Posted by Lib voter | October 20, 2009, 10:30
  6. Michael O’Brien is far from incompetent. He has the courage (and hunger) to one day be premier.

    Posted by monifa | October 20, 2009, 10:35
  7. Michael O’brien could be premier. Far from incompetent.

    Posted by monifa | October 20, 2009, 10:36
  8. Michael O’brien knows his stuff.

    Posted by monifa | October 20, 2009, 10:36
  9. If Denis had a nasty bone in his body, he would run for the leadership and probably win. Then he could win the election.

    Mulder may cut through on one discrete issue, but he won’t have a personal encyclopedia working for him on every issue like he does at the moment for transport.

    Posted by Steve Sensible | October 20, 2009, 10:38
  10. Ted is actually scared of some of brumby’s ministers like god help us rob hulls sucks oxygen. Time for ted to man up and muscle up a bit.

    Posted by god help us Rob Hulls sucks oxygen | October 20, 2009, 10:57
  11. Terry Mulder for Leader – you got to be kidding! Who couldnt have cut through on public transport last summer? Since when has he ever articulated a meaningful agenda for the Liberals?

    The Liberals are like generals – fighting the last war – tough on crime, economically responsible, managerial. They are going over the same ground and when they present policy it gets robbed – opening up new land for development / desal plant. Where Ted needs to go is where Labor in power cant – openness and transparency in government, accountability, standards, good governance, anti curruption, responsible use of public money – not easy to do given the Kennett period but aligned with the notion of Liberalism, small government and the rights of the individual.

    There has been no renewal of the parties Parliamentary stocks.

    Posted by Poseidon Burke | October 20, 2009, 11:05
  12. Tammy Lobato is going down.

    Posted by Berwick Liberal | October 20, 2009, 11:13
  13. Tammy will flay young Brad alive ( unfortunately)

    Posted by Bazza | October 20, 2009, 11:54
  14. In a further snub to his leadership the Baillieu faction had their candidate for Gembrook – Mr Paynter rejected on Friday night in favour of a fresh faced but vacuous young man. Gembrook will be a crucial seat if the Liberals are to regain power and it has gone to a cardboard cutout failed ex police officer with nary an original thought in his head.
    God help Victoria with Brumby in power for another 5 years. 5 more years of social engineering, spin and lie. Try getting a hospital bed after you’ve just been beaten half to death in a public street. We are all doomed.

    Posted by Bazza | October 20, 2009, 12:01
  15. Andrew Bolt for premier.

    Posted by Liberal Voter | October 20, 2009, 12:17
  16. Ted Bailleau is a thoroughly decent man let down by an insipid front bench.

    Posted by TedHead | October 20, 2009, 12:20
  17. TedHead…you are indeed observant, he actually selected the frontbench. Keeping a retiring shadow in a job is a grave mistake best approach is to work with the new incumbent passing on knowledge and work together to develop policy leading up to the election is much smarter. However some MPs can be precious about their positions and profile in spite of what is good for the party.

    Posted by whospick | October 20, 2009, 12:42
  18. what’s wrong with focusing on crime, economic managment, public transport & water? labor is patently fucking up big time on all of these. they are today’s issues, & ted is right to focus on them. the voting public knows labor has turned to shite, & the polls will reflect this closer to the 2010 election

    Posted by Astounded of Melbourne | October 20, 2009, 13:08
  19. Andrew Landeryou for premier.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 20, 2009, 13:42
  20. Craig Langdon for Premier.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 20, 2009, 13:43
  21. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can – CHOO CHOO off we go!!

    Posted by Choo Choo | October 20, 2009, 13:47
  22. Ken Jasper for Premier

    Posted by Orville | October 20, 2009, 14:16
  23. RDR for Premier.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 20, 2009, 14:25
  24. Inga for Premier!

    Posted by Anonymous | October 20, 2009, 14:30
  25. Sam Newman for premier.

    Posted by Trent Jackson | October 20, 2009, 15:20
  26. AC for premier (cause he will be there) unlike CL.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 20, 2009, 15:24
  27. Inga for Premier.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 20, 2009, 15:26
  28. The penis size of some journalists at The Age (David Rood) and Heralds Sun (Alan Howes) continues to get smaller and smaller.

    Roods leadership crap story today, with no supporting evidence for the detractors, was yet another case of lazy journalism; as they do to the ALP when they are in opposition incidentally. There are plenty of good political stories out there if these increasingly lazy little grubs want to do a real writing job.

    Howes piece on the Royal family on Sunday was the worst piece of trash journalism I have ever read in a mainstream Australian paper. It read like he had spent the afternoon at Jimmy Watson’s and then rushed 1000 words of crap out quickly to make the deadline.

    I wonder who will go out of business first; the newspapers or the two major parties due to membership decline because of bad journalism and party membership lack of interest.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 20, 2009, 15:27
  29. The Age is one of the most left-wing newspapers in Australia – hardly a Liberal’s “fave newspaper”.

    Even for Vexnews this is a little ridiculous.

    Posted by Alex | October 20, 2009, 15:49
  30. AC might never be an MP let alone Premier, when his ‘secrets’ are leaked.

    Posted by anon | October 20, 2009, 15:56
  31. Does anyone know who the leakers are?

    Posted by Anon | October 20, 2009, 16:30
  32. What’s the “goss” on AC? Is there still a chance for me?

    Posted by CL | October 20, 2009, 17:08
  33. Tim Wilson for Premier?

    Posted by Graeme What | October 20, 2009, 18:13
  34. The best candidate for Leader the Libs can find is Diane Anderson, Queen of Higgins, should she return from America. Suzy Carbone, who attended her Coronation, would be a very good campaign manager for her.

    Diane Anderson for Premier. Beats AC CL and Red Ted hands down.

    Posted by Mad Monk from Toorak | October 20, 2009, 18:28
  35. Brumby has overspent on every project.
    myki has spent cost $700 per traveller on the transport system.

    Water prices double, 10billion loss on state investments and

    Still nothing from TED.

    Ted is to the liberals what Clive was to the Labor Party.

    Promote him to Canberra to get rid of him and get a real leader.

    Is it no wonder the rumour is about that Cozzie is to recieve a plum job from Rudd to keep him away from VICTORIA

    Posted by candid | October 20, 2009, 19:40
  36. Oswald Ostrich for Premier

    Posted by Anon | October 20, 2009, 19:57
  37. Batman – you are right about Cameron.

    Why would shooters for example, want to support a government that has invisible and unhelpful Ministers? Bob Cameron is just that.

    They *could* support the opposition, but the Libs haven’t got themselves sorted out, so no decent lobby group could reasonably bring itself to supporting the opposition. Even the National Party have decided to get behind the Greens by calling for a ban on duck hunting.

    If Cameron did what he was paid to do, it could go a long way to mending bridges with groups that he should be helping.

    His party colleagues need to tell him to do his job otherwise it’ll cost them support they will need at sometime in the future.

    Posted by Rampant | October 20, 2009, 20:01
  38. We were wondering what had happened to Brains from the thunderbirds team after the last movie. He is now pretending to be a politician and posing as the liberal O’Brien. Oh please make him leader. From train wreck to disaster. yay!!

    Posted by Thunderbirds | October 20, 2009, 20:02
  39. Tedhead: I’m not sure whether to believe or disbelieve you.

    I guess he should be given the benefit of doubt but time is running out. He needs to give his party an ultimatum to tow his line, or find someone else.

    They can’t keep treading water the way they are now.

    Posted by Rampant | October 20, 2009, 20:38
  40. CL for Premier???

    It took him 13 years to get to the lofty position of Government Whip before his own Party shunted him for doing nothing.

    Roll on AC.

    Posted by AC | October 20, 2009, 23:16
  41. I’ll fall over backwards for someone to notice me

    Posted by CL | October 20, 2009, 23:17
  42. AC,
    The ALP didnt shunt CL out the door for doing nothing, the gave him the flick because of committing an abomination.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 21, 2009, 0:07
  43. Baillieu and his weird office with its Nixonian paranoia and North Korean style security arrangements have devised all sorts of justifications for the Hun-shun but none of them have made sense….indeed.

    Posted by monifa | October 21, 2009, 1:02
  44. I’d like to check under Ted’s hood anytime. Perhaps I could check his temperature with my blue veined dipstick.

    Posted by Pissy Chryne | October 21, 2009, 7:43
  45. I’d looove for you to txt me RDR.

    Posted by Chrissy Pine | October 21, 2009, 9:30
  46. I should lead the Liberals, I am big enough the fill the chair.

    Posted by Inga Binga | October 21, 2009, 10:26
  47. The Age article is pretty correct – though the reference to Shardy being respected was off the mark.

    Ted is the only leadership option and that fact has made him and his team very lazy. The party has lost interest in the next State election – witness the lack of preselection candidates challenging the dead wood.

    Fund raising for the election is also woeful – very little money has been raised or has been set aside in the electorates and at the State level. I’ve been told the new treasurer Andrew Burnes has refused to lift a finger to help the State team while Ted is leader and is instead focussed federally. Who can blame him?

    The rest of Admin is either lukewarm or cold with respect to Ted but it’s more apathy than direct action against him.

    The apparent support of the Nats is the only positive – Peter Ryan would make a better opposition leader but that isn’t going to happen.

    Posted by Brighton Liberal | October 21, 2009, 13:42
  48. Brighton Liberal, the lack of preselection candidates has more to do with preselection process changes than with the parliamentary leader.

    Local members have the power of patronage. They’ve romanced their branches very well, inhibiting the party organisation’s ability to promote better candidates.

    Posted by TedHead | October 21, 2009, 13:48
  49. I don’t feel apathy towards Ted. I have no luckwarm or cold feelings towards Ted. Just red hot rage!!!!!!!!

    Posted by No Mercy Moore | October 21, 2009, 13:49
  50. Ted actually has a grand plan to win in 2014. It goes like this.

    Lose a few seats in 2010 and have a massive renewal through retirements and some blood letting. New talent comes in with energy and ideas. Takes the fight to the ALP and presents a viable alternative government.

    Looking good for 2014. Maybe Ted will still be leader.

    Posted by Wish I could live in Brighton liberal | October 21, 2009, 13:50
  51. 2014 – dude if you can’t win with all the problematic issues a long serving Labor government has on its plate, you just aren’t trying.

    Posted by 15 years out of office, yeah that's going to harmonious party environment | October 21, 2009, 14:27
  52. Peter Ryan indeed would be a much better leader. They should bit the bullet and install him. They should have done this months ago.

    Posted by Do something to have a chance in 2010 | October 21, 2009, 14:46
  53. You can talk all you want about Opposition Leader Ryan, but it won’t happen unless he changes parties.

    Posted by Steve Sensible | October 21, 2009, 15:00
  54. The Party needs a leader who will uphold the Menzies Legacy and whose tiger will eat meat in the jungle (whilst at the same time denouncing the Law of the Jungle).

    Grrrrrrrrrr said the tiger.


    Posted by Dr Dean | October 21, 2009, 15:41
  55. The government has its indulgences too, like allowing Rob Hulls to pretty much do whatever he wants, appointing lefty mates as judges.

    Posted by monifa | October 21, 2009, 16:07
  56. The whole thing is very sad. I think there is no hope for us in Victoria.

    I recognise it is not too good federally either.

    Posted by sad man | October 21, 2009, 20:36
  57. Even if Ryan changed to the Libs, which was unheard of before Julian baby went to the other side, he’d never lead the party.

    There are people in the right place to make absolutely sure that doesn’t happen. Let me just say, that scenario was anticipated a long time ago and guarantees are in place. No-one trusts him.

    Posted by Rampant | October 21, 2009, 22:41
  58. Bob Cameron lacks ability!! – this is not news.

    The Libs need to decide what they represent and tell everyone. Anything would be an improvement on just moaning about the government. The swinging voters will not vote Lib without a reason.

    Posted by cattle farmer | October 21, 2009, 22:44
  59. Bill Tilley should be moved to the police spokesman role. As a former police officer he has the background to effectively take on Bob ( the invisible man) Cameron.
    Tilley is well connected into Victoria Police and will be able to cut through the spin and BS proffered up by Overland & co.

    Plus any visits by Tilley and Baillieu to police stations can be captioned ” Bill & Ted’s excellent adventure”. Now that’s a headline

    Posted by Brian | October 22, 2009, 0:49
  60. Ted is a useless wank. Ted’s strategy of hoping things get worse on transport, water and hospitals is not sufficient to win government. The message that Victoria is experiencing some teething problems as a consequence of population pressures, and the good “economic management” of Brumby (fucking luck) despite the global recession will resonate. The biggest threat facing the government-anger over public transport-will have dissipated significantly and I predict that by Nov’10 the new operator will have turned the system around, and the government will take credit. And people, will be focussed on the upcoming federal election circus.

    The problem is credibility. I can’t think of any state parliamentary liberal party member that could potentially replace ted as having BUILT UP the public credibility to represent the party. Unless it is someone of magnitude and credibility any well overdue leadership challenge to ted will always be looked at as the result of a panicked opposition desperate to avoid electoral disaster. O’Brian? While competent in gambling he has the personality of a constipated priest and hasn’t been able to translate HUGE problems in gambling into electoral traction. It’s not a core issue. Maybe if we actually had a recession it would have been easier.

    While not a huge fan, a by-election the launched Castello in would be the only chance the state liberals have. Get in, easily dump ted and become leader. We libs still might not win, but would look good-especially if spun to look like he’d rejected a multi zillion dollar board position somewhere to save the state from pending doom.

    Just one novel if completely loco solution.

    As Mr T says, the libs need to GET SOME NUTS!! This would redeem Castello to a large degree because he needs some too.

    Posted by Mr T | October 22, 2009, 9:16
  61. I agree. Victoria needs Castello.

    Firstly, though, we need to find out who Castello is.

    Posted by Steve Sensible | October 22, 2009, 16:22
  62. Castello is a Castrated Costello.

    Posted by anon | October 22, 2009, 17:24
  63. Bull Tulley for shuddow police munister

    Posted by Murray from New Zealand | October 23, 2009, 1:05
  64. Poor Tud. He huz no hope uvv wunning the nuxt ulection

    Posted by Murray from New Zealand | October 26, 2009, 1:30


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