Rudd's dire warning to Labor
KEVIN RUDD has called for sweeping reform of the Labor Party to prevent it becoming a ''marginalised third party'' in a move that attempts to hijack Prime Minister Julia Gillard's own agenda for change.
''There is a real danger that we simply fade away as other progressive parties around the world have done, becoming a shadow of their former selves against the aggressive conservative onslaught of a resurgent right,'' Mr Rudd said at the launch of a book written by a former Labor staffer in Brisbane yesterday.
He warned: ''We are fools if we do not understand that the public has had a gutful of what currently passes for much of our national political debate.''
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A spokeswoman for Ms Gillard declined to comment on the speech, saying the Prime Minister had made a point of not commenting on anyone's offerings before next weekend's national conference.
But senior Labor sources said Mr Rudd's ideas were entirely his own and he had not drawn from a post election review of the party conducted by the elder statesmen John Faulkner, Steve Bracks and Bob Carr.
The Foreign Affairs Minister called for wide-ranging reform of party structures, including the direct election of all delegates to the national conference and the executive body, a more radical suggestion than Ms Gillard's reform agenda.