Yes, it's offical. Kevin Rudd is now Labor leader, defeating Kim Beazley 49 votes to 39. As Tony Abbott memorably put it, Labor has chosen the potential disaster over the proven failure. Or even more cruelly, as a wag commenting at News Ltd wrote, "Ladies and gentlemen, the deck chairs have been rearranged, and Ms Dion will now sing."
I don't think it's as bad as all that, but I'm surely not the only one with a very bad feeling about this (see my previous post for why. In fact, while you're at it, see the posts from October 2004). All the talk of Newspoll results fails to impress me; after all, Labor's standing in the polls improved dramatically during the early months of the Latham leadership. There's only one poll that counts - the one that Labor always loses.
It's hard not to feel sorry for Kim Beazley. All those years of work, all that effort and it repeatedly gets taken away from him as he's on the verge of...losing another election.
Okay, I'm going to shake this pessimism. I'm going to rally behind the new Labor leadership, and hope we can focus on the most important task: defeating the Liberals. And I'm going to offer this advice to Rudd and Gillard, the best and only advice I have right now: For the love of God, please, don't fuck this up.