In the fuzzy hallway footage, Gillard strolled along with that same measured, slightly ungainly walk, as instantly recognisable as Sting's voice, almost wandering through the door to drive the blade into the back that carried her into power.
Blood is all over the carpet. I've been a politics addict since around the time Hawke had just made PM, I can't recall an act of such cold, political ruthlessness to match this.
I don't know if it's a good thing or a massive case of blinking too hard, too soon. I have no personal love left for Rudd, it started draining away when I heard what an appalling hypocrite he was in the treatment of his advisers and senior public servants. I can't help saying in schadenfreude:
THAT'S WHAT YOU DAMN WELL GET for brutalising your people, effectively ruling any people who have families they care about from your team, anyone over 30, for relying on controlling spin doctors rather than policy experts.
And the love of course was pretty much gone by the time I'd digested the great asylum betrayal. But still...
It didn't take them long to dump him, did it? He may have blinked in the face of Abbott, but he's not the only one, clearly.
And was Julia Gillard really unconnected to all the crappy policy decisions over the past few months or so?
And in her core area, education, we've had, what, hardarse fighting with teachers and principals, a few buildings, a few laptops, some lost in the mail or something? Where's the huge injection of funds needed in poorer schools, where's the genuine revolution in the nature of the teaching profession? Where's the drive to get all kids receiving the analytical and critical skills needed to find their way through the glut of information and garbage they will be swimming in by the time they turn 21?
It'll be nice to point to her on the screen and tell Bear that the top job has at last gone to a woman.
It'll be good to see Gillard head-to-head with Abbott. To date she's tended to eat him for breakfast (but noting Keating used to do exactly the same to bumbling Howard...).
It'll be fascinating to see if the chance is taken to recalibrate any of the policy positions, if (at the most possibly optimistic) the Labor Party starts standing for things again.
It'll be fascinating to see what they do with the mine tax (needs a sensible recalibration to remove it from the issues list), the ETS, refugees (if as Rudd has suggested there is a move to take it to the right, I think I really will walk out and donate my kidney to the Greens- but I trust this won't, CAN'T happen...).
But I have to say, with all this, with all my disappointment in him, it is still tragic to watch a man who was Labor's Caesar, who beat Howard, who gave us the apology, signed Kyoto and at least had a good crack at the ETS, who has worked so hard for the Labor Party, hobble out of his office on his knees, blood streaming from his back, to face probable death in what appears to be a wholesale rejection by everyone around him.
Rudd, you've pissed me off on so many levels. But all the best tomorrow, wherever it, and life, takes you. And you know what, I reckon history, poring back over the sheer size of the financial crisis and the way it would have hobbled your better spending plans, the way we came through that, some of the things you've done or had a go at, history may not end up liking you but I'll wager it will look more kindly on you than the polls do right now.
A tribute to Fred Gruen - A few weeks ago, I gave the FH Gruen lecture, on the topic After reform: the economic policy agenda in the 21st century. Thanks to sound editor Simon Kravi...
1 day ago