MODERN DAY AUSTRALIA 

A public leader is elected to Office with a more than 5% swing at the federal election. Hail Kevin Rudd, ye glorious leader!

Lauded as a saviour from Liberal tyranny, Rudd enjoys public support during his honeymoon period, but soon, rumours abound of his own tyranny – a bulky ego and dictatorial flair.

Hovering beyond is a group of faceless men; party men turned conspirators, including his long-time friend and ally Wayne Swan. Julia Gillard, 2IC to Rudd, is elevated to even greater heights by the party, accepting the poisoned chalice and becoming Prime Minister.

The people are outraged. They had voted for the party who now saw fit to disregard their will by anointing a new leader.

Rudd exits stage left.

AGE OF JULIUS CAESAR

Julius Caesar is believed by his party – his Senate – to be wishing to turn the republic into a monarchy with Caesar as monarch. 

Evil Cassius turns the Senate into conspirators, including Caesar’s best friend and ally, Brutus. In the Theatre of Pompey, Caesar is confronted by the conspirators and killed.

Et tu Brute, Rudd (errr, emmm, I mean Caesar) whispers as Brutus is identified as one of his murderers.

Mark Antony, absent during this condemnation, arrives to find Caesar dead. Antony turns public opinion against the conspirators. The public cries foul – Brutus and Cassius have murdered their generous and brave leader.

Caesar exists stage left.

MODERN DAY AUSTRALIA

A year of torment where the hunters become the hunted.

Leaks to the media damage the Labor Party in the lead up to the election, resulting in a bumbling group of independents and Greens holding undue power.

Following on from the election, leaks and rumours destabilise the Government. The conspirators are aware of the Ghost of Rudd Past but are reluctant to publicly denounce him for fear they will further martyr the former leader.

While the Ghost of Rudd Past may not directly approach Gillard for a duel, she is only too aware that they shall battle again.

The band of merry Liberals, led by Tony Abbott, need only stand by and watch. Little effort is made and yet they reap the benefits of a turning tide of public opinion.

AGE OF JULIUS CAESAR

Determined to drive the conspirators from Rome, Antony aligns with Caesar’s son Octavius and declares battle on Cassius and Brutus.

The Ghost of Caesar appears to Brutus claiming that shall meet on the battlefield.

MODERN DAY AUSTRALIA

The Cabinet members become restless and publicly reproach Rudd, telling him to cease his attempts to destroy the party.

From far afield in Washington, Rudd plays the victim, a role he has perfected. Clandestine meetings over, Rudd calls for the waiting media at midnight. He announces that he will resign his role so that he may war from the trenches. He does not concede, however, what he is accused of – some 12 months of guerilla warfare.

The stage is set for the showdown. Each member is declaring his hand.

AGE OF JULIUS CAESAR

Suffering much at the hands of Antony’s and Octavius’ armies, Cassius and Brutus are both assisted in taking their own lives. Caesar’s death has been avenged and his conspirators defeated.

Over Brutus’ body, Mark Antony declares that Brutus was the truly noble man, only seeking the safeguarding and glory of Rome. But nonetheless, Brutus and the conspirators are defeated and Mark Anthony and Octavius celebrate.

MODERN DAY AUSTRALIA

Monday will see political blood spilled. The loss of whose political life we do not know, although the murmurs of the waiting media suggest it shall be that of the Ghost of Rudd Past.

In either case, toll the death knell! The Labor Party is imploding while Tony Abbot and his colleagues are celebrating.

The characters in modern day Australia do not quite mimic those in Shakespeare’s tragedy – they are neither as dastardly nor as heroic.

Rudd, certainly no Caesar, appears to have sought personal gain over party success. Gillard is no noble Brutus. The faceless men (Caesar’s Senate led by Cassius) may well face defeat at the next election – or sooner if the slippery hold the Labor Party has on power is finally lost.

One thing is for certain, no character in this modern day story appears to seek the safeguarding and glory of Australia.

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