This week’s leadership crisis in the Australian Labor party has further revealed the political disgrace masquerading as sound management by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her colleagues.

“I want to thank everyone for their continuing support of me, as just demonstrated in our Labor Party meeting. I accept their continuing support of me as Prime Minister and Labor leader with a sense of deep humility and a sense of resolve.

“I never sought office for its own sake. I have only ever sought office in the interests of the nation and to assist the nation to prepare to meet the challenges of the future. It is in that spirit that I intend to continue to govern. Today the leadership of our political party – the Labor Party – has been settled and settled in the most conclusive fashion possible. The whole business is completely at an end. It has ended now” said Julia Gillard. 

Really? Julia Gillard may be many things including a survivor, however let’s not confuse survival with leadership.

Australia’s international standing not to mention the political parties being diminished by politicians that have limited real world experience and even less from a business perspective.

Australian’s business leaders are now openly commenting in the media on the damage inflicted on the economy by the loss of confidence.

Business Council of Australia spokesman Scott Thompson said Labor’s leadership turmoil was bad for business confidence. “The events of the past week and today in particular are bad for business confidence and bad for the confidence in the community generally.” Mr Thompson said.

Ragtrade tycoon Solomon Lew said “Asia is a more attractive investment destination’ for his group because of Australia’s political infighting.”

Departing BC Iron chief executive Mike Young watched evens unfold from a conference in Hong Kong and said: “It’s so bizarre that I can’t be bothered commenting on it.”

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said retailers and small business needed a stable government during tough times. “We know from previous experience instability in government is related to a sharp decline in consumer confidence and spending, which is the last thing retailers need at a time of already suppressed sales and sentiment,” he said.

If that wasn’t enough major retailing head of Myer, Bernie Brookes said “it was time for an early election. My view is surely it is time for the public to have a say in who governs our country.” 

Harvey Norman chief Gerry Harvey said business wanted clear leadership from government and the current situation in Canberra was as bad as he had seen it. “The last time I say something like this was with Whitlam,” he said.

Master Builders Association of Victoria chief Brian Welch joined a host of business leaders calling for an early election. “I’m sure most people would like to see an election sooner rather than later,’ he said.

The warnings come as the Australian Industry Group released the results of a broad business poll showing employers were struggling to recruit staff with adequate skills – stifling productivity and competitiveness.

Separately, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s closely-watched index on the health of manufacturing, compiled with Westpac, slumped to the lowest level in almost three years.

Melbourne businessman and Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker said “the civil war with the federal Labor party was hurting the country’s image as  stable and this is curtailing investment at the moment”.

Fortescue deputy chairman Herb Elliot said “the leadership crisis had been a concern for the business community and damaged confidence for investors.”

Harold Mitchell, executive chairman of Aegis Media Pacific said “Australia needed a clear leader with the strong support of their own party. Anything less than that will of course have an impact on confidence and affect everyone.”

Labor party caucus triumphantly marching on. 

I repeat Australia’s image has been trashed by a leader who apparently considers that anything that helps herself,  also helps Labor and the country. She has followed an arrogant path of self survival by displaying the type of toxic behaviour that no leader would survive in the non-political world.