A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nanna Rudd: Scones, Jam and Simon Crean

Simon Crean’s precipitation of a leadership spill within the Australian Labor Party paves the way for Kevin Rudd – somewhat affectionately known as Nanna Rudd around these parts – to essentially ‘challenge’ without actually having to challenge.  

All bets are off or open, depending on which way you look at it.

There’s a possibility, given that leadership of the party and the role of PM is now ‘open’, that Nanna Rudd can slip back into the role without having to compromise his oft-stated intention to NOT challenge Prime Minister Julia Gillard.  In other words, unlike the events around his own demise as PM, there’s a possibility that he could re-emerge in the role without any sense of illegitimacy or mistrust  - issues that Prime Minister Gillard has never quite shaken off – because he won’t have to compromise his stated intentions. 

Good for Nanna Rudd – he might be able to get cracking with government (and probably an earlier election) without the sort of baggage that Gillard has had to face since she first took charge. But will he?

Perhaps more interesting to us is why the term ‘nanna’ seems to fit Kevin Rudd so snuggly, like a fluffy mohair throw or hand-knitted tea cosy?  In archetypal terms, we think of nannas’ as wise, sage-like, shining beacons of comfort and nurturing: Mother Goose comes to mind. Yet here lies a paradox – and we all know how powerful paradoxes are.  The opposite side of this archetype is that of ‘the Crone’ – the often slightly mad, usually angry, sometimes destructive and shrivelled old woman who’s the opposite of nurturing: think Hansel & Gretel’s encounter in the woods. 

We think we love our nannas’ but often we’re a little afraid of them – a powerful contradictory force.

The question is, will people see the possibility of re-electing Nanna Rudd as a return to a more comforting, less volatile, and nurturing, positive force; or does something dark still lie at the centre of the woods?

Perhaps we should ask Grandpa Turnbull what he thinks, as he’s the more likely rival for our electoral affections than Nasty Aunt Tony.  Grandpa’s are often less contradictory – they can be stern; they can even be remote; but their shiny silver hair and sensible advice and shoes tend to mark them clearly and unambiguously as a force for good.

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