Jun 27, 2013

The End of the Beginning.



The numbers game reared its ugly head in spectacular fashion again yesterday. Twitter exploded with live tweets from Parliament and wry commentary about what the whole nation hoped would be the last time PM Gillard and Mr Rudd fought for leadership of the ALP as they head into the September election facing landslide losses across the country. Kevin Rudd won 57 - 45, our treasurer resigned and Julia Gillard will retire from politics at the next election as she promised in the steely and poised interview she gave yesterday to announce the leadership ballot.


It's three years and two days since Julia Gillard was sworn in as both our first female and 27th Prime Minister. Her term was never going to be an 'easy' one, if such a term exists. Here was not a majority Government so passing bills was always going to be a an excruciatingly slow process. Then came the never ending personal dramas of her cabinet. Australian federal politics has pretty much been a soap opera since 2010. Only without the salacious tabloid exposes that makes foreign political scandals such a good train wreck read on sites like The Daily Mail.


The press have had more field days than hot dinners in their coverage of Canberra. In the absence of much significant political action, theirs has been a role of fanning speculation about ongoing leadership tensions in the ALP which seemed to be the only thing actually happening in Parliament. The changing global economic climate saw the much feted resources tax no longer being the cash cow it was promised to be. There has been so much talk about issues relevant to all of us - education and health reform, banks and their management of interest rate cuts, marriage equality and how best to care for asylum seekers but sadly no real progress except In the provision of disability health insurance.


It's not the above the has frustrated me the most about Julia Gillard's term as Prime Minister. What I'm most upset about is the way she has been treated by some areas of the media. The more respected outlets have focused their coverage on her political strengths and weaknesses. Interviews they conduct may have been harsh at times but strictly on topics relevant to her role. However, you can always count on the radio shock jocks to disappoint and humiliate with their slurs and blatantly inappropriate line of questioning. Matters they wouldn't dare bring up with married, religious male politicians. Accusations that are hypocritical coming from the mouths of people whose own lives are far from virtuous.


Julia Gillard, I have great admiration and respect for how you have conducted yourself throughout your time as Prime Minister. I know you will be retiring from politics in September but I look forward to reading about your next career move and wish you the best for a happy and peaceful life away from the intense media scrutiny.



  1. I was literally about to post the exact same thing about Gillard's treatment. Will try not to use the same words as you :)


  2. Thank you so much for a wonderful, concise description of what has happened here. I have admired Julia for a long time as she has continued to function as a working politician under the most unrelenting pressure and an almost inhuman attitude from a lot of people who should know better. I am sure that history will judge her very well as she has accomplished a lot against all odds. I also wish her all the very best for her future. She deserves it.
    Cindy F


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