As a former Hawke government minister, the prospect of a Labor wipeout in September is concentrating Barry Cohen's mind wonderfully. Now an occasional scribbler for the Australian, Barry's convinced that if only Labor would dump Julia Gillard for Bill Shorten, it might at least be back in business in 2016. You see, according to Barry, Bill's got that certain something no Labor leader can possibly do without.
Now I'm sure you can guess what it is, but here, let Barry spell it out for us:
"As avid readers of this column will be aware, I have for a long time been an enthusiast for Bill Shorten to lead Labor at the next election. My conversion to the Shorten cause occurred when I was invited to listen to a group of aspiring politicians who had just returned from a study tour of Israel. I was open-mouthed that he had grasped the complexities of the conflict so quickly. It was incredible for a newcomer to the subject. A year later I dined with him in Canberra when he was the new member for Maribyrnong. He rose quickly to become Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation. At age 45 he is perfect to lead Labor in its fightback. He has the intelligence, ideas, passion, charisma and drive to inspire Australians to once again put their faith in Labor." (How Labor can shorten the poll odds, 13/5/13)