tanya-plibersek

PLIBERSEK WRITES THE GILLARD YEARS

* SPONSORED POST

“We will never know how successful Julia Gillard could have been if she’d led a united party. That is one of the great sadnesses for me.”

Reflecting on Julia Gillard’s years as Prime Minister, Tanya Plibersek recalls many things. A magnificent speaker, a political operator with clear vision, generous charm, and a sense of humour. She recalls phenomenal dignity in adversity, and a PM who managed a hung parliament effectively.

tanya-plibersek

She also has some fascinating insights into what went wrong.

Writing in a new collection of essays Bewitched and Bedevilled – Women Write the Gillard Years (Hardie Grant, $24.95) the deputy Labor ...

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76 Comments

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Lorraine

    Gillard lost goodwill and undermined her time as PM because of the way she seized power. Supporters of Gillard refuse to acknowledge that labor supporters were horrified because they trusted Gillard when she said she was not going for the top job. She said something about her being more likely to be fullback for the Bulldogs etc. I actually truster her assertions of loyalty and nothing has changed my contempt for her action of deceit and plotting against Rudd. Gillard and co continued to undermine herself because her guilt made her suspicious and paranoid.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    lousia

    If Gillard had been a man and seized power the way the way she did, it would have been politics. As she is a woman, it she was labelled a bitch and a backstabber. Further, the ALP is a democratic organisation and Gillard couldn’t have done what she did without the support of over half of her colleagues. She was approached, or ‘tapped on the shoulder’ as they say; she didn’t organise a coup herself. When this happened to the NT Chief Minister and the Victorian Premier, no one blinked. It was men v men and as mentioned, “just politics”. When Keating replaced Hawke despite Hawke not wanting to go, it was “just politics”. Gillard has clearly been held to a different standard and I believe it was because she is a woman.

    • Reply December 6, 2013

      Lorrraine

      Gillard asserted that she was not going to roll Rudd. I don’t believe that if Gillard was a man I would think better of her. I actually met Gillard once and was far from impressed as her statements were too far right for me, but I was prepared to give her a go. I thought she was a great deputy PM and would have been a great PM, except that she read people like me wrong.

      Gillard failed to impress me as PM, particularly her girly flirty attitude. For goodness sakes she simpered at Obama. Her reaction to those outrageous nasty comments by shock jocks should have resulted in her reprimanding them, instead she giggled.

      I am afraid that I can only say how I felt about the way Gillard seized power – and that is that I was disgusted. At least Keating had a run up and was open about challenging for the leadership which I believe is the proper way of doing it.

      Most of all though, because I actually believed and trusted Gillard – I took her word because I believed she was an honorable person deceit was unforgivable to me.

      Now if you are happy with it simply because of Gillard’s gender that is up to you, but remember that she didn’t care too much about the sister-hood when she cut the single parent payment forcing many single mothers to the wall.

      I for one will not be reading Gillard’s supporters books or Gillard’s book.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    parradiddle

    Haha – excellent cover design!

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Christy

    So true Louisa. spot on.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Susan

    I agree with louisa, the party had a chance to put him back in as leader, when he first challenged, if they thought they had made the wrong decision asking Julia to take over as leader, but they didn’t. There was no coup, it couldn’t have happened without majority party support.
    He was only begrudgingly voted back in because they thought the public would vote for them, thinking that he was more popular with the public than Julia.
    It is politics and if you want to be a politian I guess you have to play the game, but it shouldn’t be the gender game.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    miranda

    Absolutely agree with you too lousia. Lorraine – you should have a look at The Stalking of Julia Gillard before getting stuck into Bewitched and Bedevilled (great title as well!)

    • Reply December 6, 2013

      Lorrraine

      I am astute enough to critically analyse political events without reading biased versions thank you.

      If Rudd had stalked Gillard as claimed, where is the proof? Allegations are easy to make, like the one that had Rudd’s daughter Jessica being parachuted into his seat, but they are hard to verify without proof.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Sheilah

    Australia was and is not ready for a woman PM. Even women could not get use to the idea that we had a woman as PM. If a man had come to power the way she did, it would have been different. It happened in the NT, my goodness the man was not even in the country, it happened in Victoria. Women still felt that the way she came to power was to “unwoman” like (my words), it was too man like.

    The media was to ensnared with itself and the view “it is not right and they played on that (suppose Murdoch was to scared that women would take over the joint forever ).

    Ms Gillard you are and were a Woman of Substance. Will Australia ever be ready for a Woman of Substance, I am not sure, it depends when we will mature as a nation to say we are truly partners in this country. A partnership of true equality in every and any sense and we have a media industry that is truly independent and fair. Shame on the media and the than Coalition for polluting the minds of Australians with fear and dare I say loathing just to gain power. Watch out here comes the women stand and fight. even to this day some still think it was wrong, not withstanding that it happened else where and will continue to happen, notwithstanding that the media short changed and manipulated her words “there will be no Carbon tax under a government I lead”. Shame on you.

    Thank you Ms Gillard for what you have achieved for us and in this country unfortunately Abbott and his crew now want to wipe it away, like it never happened just a Fraser did after Whitlam introduced Medicare. Costello and Howard wiped the slate clean on Commonwealth dental care just like it never happened. Australia on our head be it if we that happen. Stand up Australia and fight for Climate Change fairness in everything and anything, we owe it to this generation, the last and the next.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Lee-Anne

    Am so over analysing Julia Gillard’s seizing of power (like any good and competent man would have). Am so looking forward to reading ‘Bewitched and Bedevilled’ !!

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Johnsie

    Well done Helen Razer- a moment of Bravura nonsense. So true.

    The notion that part of her downfall was the manner in which she took power is indeed nonsense. The feeling at the time was almost of national euphoria that we had a women PM. there was goodwill all round.

    There are many reasons for her downfall, being selected by Paul Howes as the leader is not one of them.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Lorrraine

    Personally, I would like to see Penny Wong as a PM.

    At least she wasn’t so vile and nasty towards her colleagues.

    But I guess that Australia wouldn’t be ready for a gay female PM – but I do like Penny.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Rhoda

    Rudd ‘s egotism killed her ambition and his own. An awful man.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Carole/m

    Maybe you would have been more accepting of a female PM @ Lorraine if SHE was only paid 75% of the male wage for doing the job.

    The old fashioned idea that Women have no right to positions of power is laughable in the year 2013 . It’s about time we raised our Girls to expect to attain positions of power and applaud them when they do , the same as we do for males who achieve .

    I highly recommend you read ” The Stalking of Julia Gillard “. You might have a better insight into what really went on , you might also read Anne Summers , who documented much of the foul sexist abuse of Julia Gillard .

    Gillard was the best person for the job at the time her colleagues , the caucus , voted for her to be their leader . She’s still the best person for the job . IMO .

    • Reply December 7, 2013

      Lorrraine

      Carole, don’t be patronising. The PM job should be paid at a set rate, gender should not come into it.
      If you want to debate feminists theory, I doubt this thread is the right place or if they have the space.
      I am not some simpering female. My daughters are strong women, one of these is a tradie and she would never accept less wages because of her gender. In a management role, my son raised s*x harassment against his boss – not because he had the weights put on him but because of the way the boss treated the women on staff. The women were not in a position to bring the issue up.

      Your attempt to belittle me just points to the reality, we women don’t always agree – indeed sometimes women even exploit and bully other women. We are not homogenous. Feminism has many shades (bear in mind that Julie Bishop is probably a right winged feminist).

      I make my point that I am a woman and I dislike Gillard, I was appalled at her callousness. I couldn’t be bothered with her after her outright lie that she supported Rudd.

      I don’t need your approval, and your disdain will not change my dislike for Gillard.
      I do however expect that I have a right to express my opinion.

  • Reply December 6, 2013

    Annie Also

    Going to give a nod to Lorraine for being honest, clear and brave for expressing her opinion on here.
    Duck and cover for there is only one discussion tolerated on this subject and if any woman dares to show it was more complex then generally expressed here then you are a braver lady than I!

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    louisa

    On the changes to single parent payment (let me premise this by saying they were a bad move), the thing that was forgotten was the changes to the ‘tapering rules’. What the whole package meant was that single parents who work got to keep more of their income. As a single parent, it frustrated me to lose money from centrelink every time I worked extra hours… a big loss. Disproportionate. Gillard helped to ease thar, but as mentioned, shouldn’t have delivered the package as it was. Let’s not forget her massive commitment to fixing equal pay through the country’s first equal pay decision in fair work; increases of 20 – 40% to the minimum wage of hundreds of thousands of social and community service workers, largely made up of women.

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Chiquita

    Just to let you know, I bought this book and have started reading it, it is brilliant, buy it for your sisters and leave your copy open for your daughters. Talk!

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Jen

    Lorraine and Annie, how was the way in which Julie Gillard obtained the leadership of Federal ALP any different to the way any other politician has obtained the leader’s position? We don’t seem to punish others for approaching their leaders and saying “I’m challenging you”, which is what every single leader has done in the past, and which is what Gillard did. We didn’t even punish Paul Keating when he challenged a Prime Minister, no bleating on about “poor old Bob” etc etc. No we (I mean that term collectively) voted for the ALP to form government at the very next election. How was what Gillard did any more machiavellian than what Tony Abbott, Nick Minchin et al did to Malcolm Turnbull (I would actually say that it was a lot less, but that is my opinion)? Explain that to me and I might give some credence to your argument re: the manner of her ascension to the leadership. While you are entitled to disagree wholeheartedly, with her politics and the policies she championed, you must be prepared to be called out for applying different standards to Gillard’s conduct than you do to other politicians who have been in similar positions. Note, up till Gillard, they have been overwhelmingly male.

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Davu=id H

    As an Australian and as a man I fully support the rolling of Kevin Rudd by the Labor Party. He had shown himself to be an incompetent, micro managing tyrant, unfit to the lead the country, His colleagues in the Parliamentary party could see and it was they that rolled Mr Rudd. He was NOT knifed by Ms Gillard, she was the logical person to replace a failing PM.

    Yes, the change could have been better handled, particularly in a PR sense. However it had to happen.

    Looking back, I am certain history will recognise her as one of the greatest PM’s this country has had. She performed a difficult job in the most difficult of times. The abuse she received from the Liberal Party, particularly the current PM and Speaker, together with the Murdoch media maniacs and the loony right shock jocks would have destroyed a lesser person.

    She is a wonderful person and I miss her greatly. Particularly when you look at what we now have allegedly leading the country.

    I will buy the book and no doubt enjoy it.

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Susan

    Lorraine, don’t talk nonsense, as someone else said read the “Stalking of Julia Gillard”, it’s factual not a novel. Julia will be judged as one of Australia’s greatest PM’s. I agree fully with Davu=id H.

    • Reply December 8, 2013

      Lorrraine

      Susan, I find it fascinating that you believe the ‘Stalking of Julia Gillard’ is anything other than one side gilding the lily of their version of events.
      As far as nonsense goes, it is obvious that if someone like Gina Reinhardt writes a book it is going to promoter her interests. Simple editing of references, selective interpretation of information, can result in a very biased book that reads like it is the whole truth and not a heavily edited bit of propaganda. History is full of such guff.

      Proof is not just hearsay. Remember when a group of journalists told of Rudd supposedly chucking a tantrum, bad mouthing Gillard, at a bar just after Gillard nastily omitted Rudd’s name from the list of past Labor PMs. Of course this alleged tanty didn’t happen because there was no evidence. In this day and technological age it is simply not believable that someone didn’t record or film Rudd if he was out of control. When challenged, the media went quiet because they had no proof and it simply did not happen.

      Recently we were all told that Jessica Rudd was going to get preselection for Rudd’s seat. The media ran with it, but it was pure make-believe from the Gillard team who continue to try to depict Rudd as a villain.

      So Susan, please don’t talk nonsense to me.

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Lorrraine

    Davu et al, I am pleased that you acknowledge that the way Gillard came to power could have been handled much better. That is exactly the point I am making. There are a lot of good policies that Gillard introduced, however the way she ascended to power wrought terrible damage to Labor. Had there been a weeks of talk, and if Gillard had not been so emphatic that she would not challenge, the response to the ousting of Rudd would, I am sure, be handled much better.
    Gillard was white-anting Rudd early in the piece as is now common knowledge. Remember Gillard didn’t want the single aged pensioners to get a rise, she pushed to stop Rudd going to a DD on his ETS.
    Gillard and her scheming and plotting weakened the Labor party, that has now resulted in us having the worst PM ever in Abbottt.
    I refuse to ignore Gillard’s faults simply because she is a woman. I do acknowledge that there has only been 1 PM I have actually liked, and that was Rudd. Rudd knows what it is like to be poor and homeless – he has compassion as the Apology showed.
    As deputy PM I tried to see the best of Gillard, in the hope she would be our first female PM – but she blew any regard I had for her.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Ella Miller

    Lorraine, I must be missing something in my understanding.
    How did Abbott come to power? How many PMs bow out gracefully? They either loose their seat…like Howard or they come to power like Abbott or Gillard.
    What I can never understand is as a member of Parliament they go in to represent the wishes of their electorate…no?
    But then something happens …power hunger… like with Rudd.
    They forget who voted them into parliament , they forget whom they represent …and sometimes they even forget the party they belong to …like Rudd and sacrifice everything and everyone … even destroy their own party because of their hunger for the most powerful job.
    The values and the people become secondary.
    I believe Julia acted with dignity and decorum..she did not try to white ant Rudd or the party… she was strong enough in her belief of what she wanted for Australia to withstand the worst kind of onslaught a person could get.
    I think we lost a treasure in her …she had her values in the right place…the people of Australia came before all else.
    As for her mistakes …all PMs grow into a job…it takes longer than one term and all PMs make mistakes. Just look at Abbott.God help us … because Abbott won’t.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Carole/m

    Would you like a bigger shovel @ Lorrraine.

    Gillard did not seize power , she had the numbers in the caucus.

    ” The Stalking of Julia Gillard ” was not written by Gillard or anyone associated with the Labor Party . It was written by a seasoned reporter ,
    Kerry-Anne Walsh.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Carole/m

    And I quote from Kerry-Anne Walsh :

    ” It has been confirmed to me by impeccable sources who were at the centre of the action on the night of 23rd June that Gillard was deeply reluctant to take the job.”

    “She was a most reluctant draftee; despite the media perception to the contrary , no credible evidence has ever been offered to suggest otherwise “.

    • Reply December 8, 2013

      Lorrraine

      So Kerry-Anne says that Gillard was reluctant – and she had impeccable sources – that is just hearsay without proof. When the sources stand up and say it, I will consider their reliability but if it was the likes of Swan he is not credible to me.

      Have you not witnessed that the mainstream media like to play power politics. The media is not without bias as we have seen with the outrageous pre-election coverage with a pro-Abbott bias.

      If Gillard was so reluctant to take the job she had options. One of those would have been to hold off for a week or so to get the population up to speed. Instead Gillard sat on polling that showed that Rudd had bounced back and was regaining popularity.

      Gillard acted as she did, and people like me didn’t like it, which is why her polling was always so poor.

      Gillard is one of those folk that play the political game for her own ends. After meeting her and discussing policies and ideologies, I was convinced that she would do what ever it takes to progress her own status.

      Sure she is smart and can come across as nice, but when she got cranky with me it was clear that she is hard right in her thinking.

      In mentioning the policies you forget that there was many others in the Labor govt. Just as Rudd had. Now if you recall, Garrett and Arbib were heading up the insulation scheme – it was their responsibility – but they were too busy with the plotting against Rudd and did not do their job properly. Arbib of course went over to the gaming industry once he left politics – hard right wing. Bitar, another Labor Gillard power maker also left for a lucrative right wing position.

      I suggest you look at the facts, not just the popular media stance. Gillard chose to act as she did so she and her supporters should not be surprised that people like me didn’t like it.

      People of forums like this moan about Gillard not being respected/liked then attempt to crucify anyone who explains why they disliked her.

      I am not asking anyone’s permission and I have explained my reasoning well. If you and others are happy to like Gillard simply because she is a woman, Feminism has a long way to go.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Ella, Abbott came to power by going to an election. Quite different to Julia. Australians tend to prefer to elect their PM.

    Carole, you haven’t really swallowed the reluctant draftee meme surely. Despite the fact that she was writing her acceptance speech 2 weeks prior? Despite the fact that she spent an entire flight from Melb to Canberra trying to convince Crean to support her?

    There is nothing wrong with challenging mind you, but why does she perpetuate the lie that she reluctantly stepped forward to save the party. It just adds to the mistrust that the majority of the population hold for her. She had the same ambition and political wiles as all of her colleagues and she did whatever it took to seize power. Nothing wrong that. The problem is pretending otherwise.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Louisa

    Ruddy’s die hard fans are always the first to personalise this issue and make it all about Julia and her alleged ambition. Of course she wouldn’t have done what she did without knowing it was what the majority of the party wanted – politics 101 – don’t run if you don’t have the numbers. Hence Rudd’s failed coup before the real deal. For me the contrast between the 2010 and 2013 election campaigns speaks volumes about the two leaders – I think it best to leave it there. While we all have out opinions on that chapter of Aussie politics, I think it’s fair to say that both Kevin and Julia contributed massive amounts to Australia and gave their time and indeed lives over wholeheartedly. Labor or left leaning people need to show now that the things that bind us are stronger than the things that divide us. Lorraine, if you are a Labor/ left person, perhaps its time to embrace different opinions and (as Julia would have it) move forward, rather than attacking the many who disagree with you and disparaging a former Labor Prime Minister of this country because you disagree so strongly with a move the party made over three years ago. Unity is strength.

    • Reply December 8, 2013

      Lorrraine

      Personalising indeed. In this forum, Gillard supporters have been quick to attempt to personalise the issue with me.

      Unity really is strength, and because of Gillard I did not, would not, vote Labor. Her actions, and those right winged power brokers lost me.

      Rudd’s reforms of the Labor party, along the lines of the Faulkner review, has given me renewed hope for the party. I am wary though, as I believe that this was a condition Rudd placed on returning to try to salvage some votes in the election – which it did. However, the right winged power brokers will not cede their power willingly – so I will wait and see if these changes can really be embedded or if they will be discarded.

      However your mention to the ‘mooooovinggg fooorwaard’ chant of Gillard reminded me of how annoying that oft repeated statement was/is.

      I would certainly position myself towards the Left, but I retain my ability to critically analyse the goings on of the political sphere.

      Take Rudd’s challenge when he was foreign minister – that was crafted by the Gillard camp because they went on the most personal of attacks towards Rudd goading a spill knowing full well he was not planning one and had not prepared. Simple analysis of the timing etc would show that.

      Your advice is good Louisa, except that I have copped flack for voicing a different opinion and I note that you have not offered the same advice to those who are hyper-critical of Rudd – as Julia and co were. It is worth noting that Rudd has not publicly derided Gillard, even though he had lots of ammunition. Before someone jumps in about the leaks that many blame Rudd for, the journalist stated that it was not Rudd – end of story.

      I believe the best thing for unity is that the Labor power brokers and Gillard supporters actually admit that the way in which Gillard dispatched Rudd caused untold damage to the Labor brand.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    I have come to the conclusion that those who claim to be outraged by the dumping of Kevin Rudd use it to excuse their hostility to Julia Gillard.

    The hatred shown JG was/is/will be totally irrational. It says more about some men and women in this country than they realize.

    Abbott took over from Turnbull, Howard was a destabilizing presence for many years before he finally became PM, Rudd successfully circled Beazley, Keating tipped out Hawke and that is only in recent times.

    Rudd distinguished himself by behaving in an extraordinarily vengeful manner.

    But getting back to the actual dismissal. I was glad to see the back of Rudd. Or so I thought. Foolish woman that I am.

    So were many others. As Johnsie pointed out the polls reflected that.

    I suspect most people in this country are not too fussed by politicians competing for power. That is what they do.

    The nature of Julia Gillard’s ascension only became another club for those out there who wished to beat her about the head. And they are still at it!

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    Needless to say Lorraine I do not share your opinion of K Rudd.

    That said, I share your abhorrence for Moving Forward.

    They all move forward. Not only Julia Gillard.

    I think we would be all better off if they stood still for a while, went backwards sometimes or did a few loops around the block.

    Actually I am going to vote for the next person who says he/she is not going to do anything.

    It is the doing And undoing of things which seem to cause all the trouble.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    janes

    Lorraine, You obviously have a personal view, as we all do, that colours our memory or our interpretation of issues. But I suggest you look back at actual reports from the time – if you do not agree with how things are being spoken about now – and think these are revisionist.

    It is easy enough to find in this media age. (That was an era before News Limited hated Labor & before Abbott’s negative trashing strategy – so reporting was more balanced.)

    I have not read any of the books mentioned.

    If you look back over media reports over old Insiders & Meet the Press programs – you will see that Rudd was becoming less & less popular within his own Govt members – prior to the change of leadership in 2010. All this was widely reported.

    The Rudd Govt had a lot of major initiatives on the go – many coordinated from the PM’s office – and many of his Ministers in charge of those could not get a satisfactory level of response or support. (I am waiting to read Peter Garrett’s account of that time – because he was hung out & left without support & directly screwed over by Rudd.)

    Gillard as Rudd’s deputy ACTUALLY STOOD BY HIM – against internal criticism – and also held a lot of it together for longer than it probably should have lasted. At the time when Rudd was asked to step aside – it was the party heavyweights/faceless men who had organised his removal. That was also widely reported at the time.

    Julia Gillard had no part until agreeing to nominate for the leadership – when it was clear they were going to get rid of him anyway.

    No-one undermined Rudd. They didn’t have to. It was his own actions that led to concern.

    The “myth” of Julia Gillard “knifing” Kevin – only started afterward. It was perpetuated by Rudd supporters, Abbott & co, and the conservative cheer squad in the media.

    Once Rupert changed his allegiance to Coalition – News Limited perpetuated the myth.

    I don’t think Julia Gillard or her Govt was perfect by any measure. I had great hopes for Rudd when he was elected – and for many of the initiatives his Govt started.

    Rudd’s removal was not a coup. The majority of Rudd’s cabinet & MP’s supported his removal. (Again – this was widely reported at the time.)

    Rudd’s removal was really only a surprise to all the people who don’t pay attention to politics.

    Dianne & others are right. Rudd’s removal was just 1 in a long line of political changes of leadership. Turnbull was removed around the same time – but Abbott was never vilified for taking the leadership. (And Turnbull didn’t spend the next years seeking vengeance & undermining his leadership & his party.)

    I actually don’t think the “myth” is totally a sexism thing. Gillard just happened to be female – that added to the hype. It is just part of the whole negative campaigning & media frenzy that was going on over recent years. (Agree with Dianne – just another weapon.)

    It would probably have just all died down and be written off with history if Rudd & his supporters had not then proceeded to have the longest dummy spit in Aust. political history.

    Undermining your own party before an election, as Rudd did – so they almost lose an unlosable election in 2010 is an unforgivable act of political bastardry.

    Kevin Rudd made it personal with Julia Gillard – which is a shame because for his elected Prime Ministership – she was one of his staunchest supporters.

    Nicola Roxon gave a pretty good account of the time recently in a speech. She was there & lived it. She was the Attorney General & part of the leadership team. It reflects the description I have given above.

    • Reply December 8, 2013

      Lorrraine

      Dianne, I do follow politics. Your version is not what I witnessed.

      You totally lost credibility with me by talking positively about Nicola Roxon. I used to think she was ok until her final most unprofessional and particularly nasty outburst. For goodness sakes, if you can’t hold yourself together then shut up and don’t say anything.

      Nicola Roxon did untold damage to the Labor party and particularly to her own reputation.

      You say Rudd made it personal with Gillard – Gillard deliberately omitted Rudd from her address on previous Labor PMs and it doesn’t get more personal than that. Gillard’s cronies all lined up to give Rudd a spray and Rudd, to his credit, did not do a character assasination on them in retaliation.

      Look it is quite simple. Gillard supporters like Gillard, but it would be foolish for them to not question why others do not like her.

      Mentioning Peta Credlin with sisterhood sympathy belies the fact that she appears to be particularly manipulative and nasty – her gender shouldn’t come into it. Just look at Abbott, are people really so angry with him because he is male or because he is mean, tricky and a liar?

      If you want to vote along gender lines, that is your right, just don’t expect me or many like me to follow suit – that would make us sexist.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    Just to add …

    I have observed over recent days that another successful political woman appears to be destined for the stocks in the public square. A few rotten cabbages have already been lobbed at Peta Credlin.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Janes, it wasn’t just another in a long line of leadership changes. It was the ousting of a first term Prime Minister, only the second time in history.

    It is hugely unusual and not at all analogous to a change of leader in an opposition party.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    Lorraine – I did not mention Nicola Roxon.

    I do not have ‘sisterhood’ sympathy for anyone. I judge matters on their merit.

    I have little regard for P Credlin based on the campaign she conducted but I find it amazing that now she is being attacked for supposedly being too controlling. Only months ago that behaviour was being praised as being disciplined.

    All I can say if Credlin is now to be reviled as controlling then the PM is equally open to criticism for being too weak.

    You seem to have bought all the accusations about Credlin.

    You state that she seems to be ‘particularly manipulative and nasty’.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    After what happened to Julia Gillard I am not going to rush to join any mob hurling cabbages.

    The govt may bounce back in the next polls. If it doesn’t then people will be looking for someone to blame. Betcha it’s Peta.

    • Reply December 8, 2013

      Lorrraine

      Sorry Dianne, I mistook your post with Jane’s.

      I think that if Peta gets the blame it will be from Abbott mainly – he is sure to blame anyone else rather than accept that he is at fault.

      To be honest with you, I don’t particularly care or think too much about Credlin except to note that she is part of the extreme right wing sector of the political environment. I dislike her if she was the one, as Abbott asserts, that was instrumental in the success of the opposition and their subsequent gaining of power.

      If, as Abbott tells it, Credlin orchestrated the attacks on Labor and the underhanded and despicable sexist attacks on Gillard then I will gleefully dislike her. Nothing can justify the spiteful personal and gendered attacks on anyone, let alone a political opponent.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Lorrraine

    Louisa, would you think it is appropriate to refer to Julia Gillard as ‘Gilly’ or some other such play on her name?

    Surely a mature way would be to show a smidgeon of respect for both of the previous Labor PMs by referring to them by their name and not some squidgy bastardisation of their surnames.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    Johnsie – I agree it was unusual but then Rudd was an unusual leader.

    At least he got a bit of a go. The same cannot be said of Kim Beazley and Bill Hayden. Both those Opposition leaders may well have won elections.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    Lorraine – When something goes wrong invariably someone (Peta) has to be dragged out for a public pounding. Then others can say that they have turned the corner and are mooving forward.

    After what happened to Julia Gillard I would hate to see it happen all over again.

    • Reply December 8, 2013

      Sandy

      Dianne, if Credlin is made the patsy, Tony’s got to go down with her. It looks as though there are more than a few disgruntled LNP MP’s who are displeased with many of the decisions of the “control freak” Credlin, and therefore the Office of the Prime Minister. Could this be the beginning of a leadership spill? Gosh it has that deja vu feeling about it. How will President Murdoch deal with it? Fun times ahead.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Lorraine “her gender shouldn’t come into it. Just look at Abbott, are people really so angry with him because he is male or because he is mean, tricky and a liar?”

    Oh the irony is just glorious.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Dianne

    Sandy – yep I have that feeling too.

    Who knows though.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Sheilah

    Men and women o Australia (as Mr Whitlam would say), why are we arguing about who did what to whom. Some may agree that Gillard did great stuff (I am one of them), others may disagree, but what is amazing is that we are still so busy arguing with each other that we cannot see what is being done to us and our children and their children and those that gone before. We are stuck where the media want us to be (esp Murdoch). While we are trying to argue who knows better than the other things are being done in our name. It is energy wasted in trying to out score each other on points about what Ms Gillard did and not do. During the ALP civil war, my South African girlfriend would say “when two dogs fight over a bone the third walks away with it”, well the third dog walked away with it. Some of these South Africans has a way with words. We cannot afford the luxury of point scoring, we need to come together and fight what is happening under our very nose.

    Education, going to be dismantled. Mr Abbott may have said they will keep the education reform, but he is the only person who can honestly say “I misspoke” and the media believes him. He is the only person in living memory that can say “it is not my fault that people heard what they wanted to hear”, another one “The media miss reported me”. Wow and here we are arguing about what Ms Gillard did and not do. We cannot let our children be left behind. The NBN is just as important as the pencil and book was earlier years. If you did not have it and your parents could not afford it, you got left behind. You start life waiting at the fence of the school yard because class have already started without you. Do we want that for our children in this rapidly changing world. During the Howard years education went backwards, funding was gutted, our children were being left behind. Howard was clever, he over loaded us with personal debt, under the guise things are just great keep on spending and this at a time when money was pouring in with Mining boom mark one so that we could not notice it. The worst part of it was not one dime was spent on school building, school computers, hospitals building or increased funding for healthcare, or pension increase. we will never see that boom again. Thank you Rudd for opening the schools to computers for every one and thank you Ms Gillard for linking the pension to the CPI.

    Climate Change, wow not one person is talking about that and how we can go out and fight for the next generation. It is not only the next generation that will suffer but those that has gone before the aged. Climate Change is happening here and now and we are fighting on who said what to home.

    Whether Ms Gillard was too girly or not too girly. My goodness some are even suggesting that she flirted with others, how demeaning to her and the office. I mean just listening the the comments on Mr Mandela, (may his message live on for many many generations to come, thank you), the commentators keep saying he was a great flirt and the media takes it as a compliment. Have I missed something here.

    Healthcare is going to be dismantled slowly but surely. Healthcare is a right for all.

    A society that is fair and equal for all, not just for some. My girlfriend says South Africa had all the wealth the rich countries came calling during the Apartheid years cheap labor, second grade education so that families could not think too hard, keep them poor and bonded with debt, so that the only thing they could think about was putting food on the table and the candle for the night time study, so that the children could have some form of learning and education. Education was not free and equal

    For me Ms Gillard, as my friend would say, had marrow in her spine, against all that stood against her. Think back at the horrendous press coverage, the bile of Alan Jones, Steve Smith and the others, the revved up public by Jones and the Coalition than in Opposition, think of those awful placards, Greer and her comments on her jackets and than trying to justify it, Cox about applauding Abbott’s PPL, knowing full well the country could not afford it (women who should have known better or should I say who knew different) Abbott doing his Lady MacBeth in Parliament and than there was the enemy within. This at a time when she lost her father, someone whom she was very very close too. Now who of us can say we would have stood tall and not cave, whom of us would not have buckled under that pressure, who would not want o go and hid under a blanket and just stay the until maybe, hopefully a new dawn will arrive. How many of us would have had that marrow in our spine that she had. I think not many of us would, I for one must admit, I would not have had.

    Stand up men and women of Australia and look at what is happening in our name even though some of us did not vote for this government, but it is happening whether we like it or not. Before too much damage is done stand up and be counted. Waiting to say “I did not know” is not an excuse because you did know and but was willfully blind. Just as we tried to say we did not know the fear and misinformation that was spoon fed to us under than Howard Ministry many of whom are now in power again. The choice is ours now, not tomorrow but now time is marching on.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Lorrraine

    Well said Sheilah, but the conversation started on the book that the above article is promoting.

    What is done is done and each person lives with the consequences of their actions.

    There is a lot of healing to do within Labor but the constant idolising of Gillard or Rudd will not enable this.

    Surely people can agree to disagree – I dislike Gillard yet others like her. There is no problem unless we make them.

    However unless past events are honestly told without bias, we will be doomed to repeat them.

    From all accounts factional lords in the Labor, and Liberal, party are fearful of the democratic changes introduced in the Labor party. If these changes flounder it will be a return to bad days for Labor.

    This is my biggest worry, that those who orchestrated the Gillard/Rudd issue will continue to put their own power base ahead of Labor party values and supporters.

    Surely it is a small thing to recognise that many people did not like how Gillard took power and learn from that. I am sorry that for that one miscalculation of people’s acceptance of it Gillard was effectively denied the ability to demonstrate what she could have been as PM. (I still may not have liked her but I may have been able to respect her).

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Rhoda

    To be frank, when I look back, i”d have to say Julia Gillard got off on the wrong foot from the start. She grew into the role but seemed very uncomfortable for awhile. That she was reluctant to take Kevin Rudd’s place doesn’t surprise me.

    There were the inevitable shallow insults when she became leader and some of it really bit. Kevin’s downfall was just an excuse to hate her. Her drawl really got up people’s noses. It grated. And she showed some awkwardness as when she visited Brisbane during the floods. There was a comparison drawn then between her and Anna Bligh who was as down to earth as they came and getting plenty of kudos for doing a good job and not bunging it on.

    As for Rudd, can anyone tell me what side of the political divide he was on for I’ve never been able to tell. Whatever ideology he owned to it wasn’t Labor’s. And Bill Shorten should have known it.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Sheilah, do you have any evidence to support your opinion that Education and Healthcare are going to be dismantled?

    The rest of your essay is just simple opinions. But these terrifying assertions should be able to be supported.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Sheilah

    Jonsie

    This the the only time I am going to respond to your comment. I worked in the healthcare system when we went backwards. On healthcare I refer you to Abbott’s comment on Healthcare “Private health is in our DNA” . Private healthcare is a choice good on those that can afford it, however, healthcare for all is a right. On education you only have to talk to the teachers of than and now. Other than that, I will quote Mark twain “do not let your schooling get in the way of your education”. For me it is evident in your comments that you had a very very good schooling, probably went to uni. Good on you.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Sheilah

    Apologies meant Johnsie and not Jonsie

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Right, no evidence then, just scaremongering opinion. Thanks for clearing that up.

    One only need look to Abbott’s period as Health Minister which saw enormous growth to the health budget, to see that your concerns are misplaced. And please, before anyone sprouts the Labor lie that he stripped $1bn out of the Health budget, he didn’t. This is not a matter of opinion, but of fact borne out by the national accounts.

    Private Health is in the DNA of all sides of government, they own a Private Health fund as I’m sure you are aware. What makes our system the best in the world is the multi faceted, bi-partisan approach to health care.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    janes

    Johnsie – I agree with Dianne.
    Rudd was PM. But imagine how dire the circumstances must have been that would make the Labor party faceless men decide it was a better option to replace him while in office. (Their leadership were a lot of old heads & experience – and he was elected as one of the most popular PM’s in history!! So guessing they didn’t take the decision lightly.)

    No party is going to do that again soon. Obviously.

    Unfortunately – that means that, for a while, Govts are going to stick with people who’s incompetence shows up once they are in office. Rather than risk the backlash of replacing them.

    The Aust people are going to suffer for that.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Forgot to add Sheilah that your puerile attempt to insult me reflects very poorly on you.

    But personal attacks are the common choice from the extremes of any “side” who are guided by affiliation rather than facts.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Sheilah

    Laugh out loud, broke my rule of not responding to you again, apologies. Thank you, I don my cap to you my learned fellow writer

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Johnsie

    Why is that your rule I wonder . . . . .

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Sarah

    Maintaining her dignity, when it seemed like the majority of the country wanted to take it from her. I cannot wait to read this.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    ro.watson

    I am wary of any political tosser these days who can toss a glib response for capture and kill motives? Much like I once did about Labor warriors too keen on war. I don’t know if you can judge a book by its cover, but the cover on this book looks good, much like the safety matches’ pack, I have within arm’s reach…

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    ro.watson

    To clarify~ capture and kill the argument~ NOT people….

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    louisa

    Lorraine, seems bizarre to me that you’d say some of the things you have in this thread and then imply that my calling Mr Rudd ‘Ruddy’ amounts to a failure to “show a smidgeon of respect”. No, I would not be offended by Gillard being called Gilly. I have however been offended at other names she has been given that I will not repeat, names related to her voice, hair, marrigage status, lack of children, ear lobes, thighs and privates – sadly anything seemed fair game with her. Apologies if you feel the need to defend Rudd against the apparently heinous insult that I’ve hurled…. seems you are rather sensitive where Mr Rudd is concerned; I suggest you choose your battles and tone down the sanctimony.
    Johnsie, if I may make comment on the health portfolio…. In WA, the Liberal state government have a massive privatisation agenda which has resulted some pretty worrying outcomes. New hospitals committed by Labor in their last term and completed or nearing completion under the Liberal Barnett government, are now being privatised and we’re finding that contraception/sterilisation and termination of pregnancy services are either not being offered at all, or offered from small buildings isolated from the main where patients are easily identified as being there for a reproductive service. It is because private companies such as St John of God base the services they are prepared to offer on religious views. The concerns from many around Liberal governments in the area of health may not be based in absolute fact or based on well known commitments pre and post election, but rather what we know of previous conservative governments in the policy area more generally. Ideologically they do not support a large public health sector – we know this. It is not dissimilar to education and look at the inconsistent approach from the new government there!
    I don’t feel that the expression of legitimate worry is scaremongering. Especially not for those who live with Liberal state governments and deal with the day to day repercussions of shrinking health budgets, privatisation of services, large scale voluntary redundancies in health, timeline blowouts on construction of new hospitals, service cuts and stigmatised treatment of women requiring reproductive health services.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    Lorraine

    Louisa, i am also offended by the names Gillard was called. So what is your point.
    Don’t take your ire out on me for pointing out you were doing to Rudd what others, no proof that Rudd did, called Gillard.

  • Reply December 8, 2013

    louisa

    My point is that you’re being petty for having a go at my calling Rudd ‘Ruddy’; put it in perspective.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Sandy

    Is it Lorrraine or Lorraine? Or perhaps Loraine? Ruddy? Nothing offensive about that. I’m sure his school chums called him that as a term of endearment. Rudd. Gillard. Both of those leaders in the throes of a dysfunctional government would be preferable to the sorry excuse for this current government. Like Sheila says, it’s all over now. You say tomayto, I say tomarto. Let’s call the whole thing off?

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    ro.watson

    In the dim dark past, I remember people using the word “ruddy” to mean “bloody”, much like “sugar” became an expletive substitute for “shit” way back then for those who cowered at swearing as wrong~ or at least wrong in front of the children? Maybe, the reason why such words are expletives is because sometimes words fail us when we are passionately excited or excitedly passionate?

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    lousia

    Something to ponder Ro.Watson! Interestingly, my favourite Labor Party issued T-shirt from the 2013 election campaign had written across it’s front ‘IT’S OUR RUDDY FUTURE’. Perhaps that is what cost them the election!

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    lorraine

    Sandy thank you for pointing out my terrible typo’s. I can only blamemy aged eyes in the use of my use of the phone and rather than my normal computer for my woeful, but funny, inability to spell my own name. Thank you.

    The point I wanted to make, and thank you Ro.Watson for helping me make it, is that when someone is being critical of another it is easy to become offencive if their names are bastardised in some way.

    The calls for unity will fail while Rudd continues to be vilified and Gillard valorised. Outbursts like Roxon’s do not help. The same goes for this book if it continues to valorise Gillard with a notion of victimhood. Gillard is a politician, she made some mistakes, did some good, annoyed people, pleased people, but this kind of hero-worship will continue to hold Labor back from reconciling the schism within its ranks.

    Rudd did many things that should be praised, sure he made some mistakes, annoyed some people, pleased people, but continue to cast him as the archtypical villian at the Labor party’s risk.

    An interesting point to note is that Rudd has not written a tell all, or tried to paint his version of events as the sole truth. Rudd was very dignified in the face of the onslaught by the likes of Roxon, Swan etc.

    I wonder why no body tends to mention that. Could it be that people are afraid of confronting the truth and prefer MSM concepts to form their reality.

    • Reply December 9, 2013

      Lorraine

      Even more typo’s – I give up :)
      Please forgive my woeful grammar and spelling.
      I promise not to use my phone again in making posts. lol.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    ro.watson

    Lorraine~ Kevin Rudd smiled like a Cheshire cat for many dark years in the media,in foreign affairs but with a much wider, and perhaps too large a place in ambitious commentary, on behalf of the ALP,say on matters to do with asylum seekers. He had a vigorous pounce on any issue which could get him anywhere visibly, expediently. Once Ms. Gillard got the leadership,from what I can gather, Mr. Rudd went underground and tried to destabilise his own party, by leaks to a listening media, when his own party would not have him back. When he came back to power so quickly came this horrid little arrangement with Nauru and Manus Island to” deal with” asylum seekers arriving by boat so we are all supposed to wheeze a sigh of relief that there are fewer drownings but more people in detention. Hardly.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    ro.watson

    To clarify, thinking of Rudd as shadow foreign affairs minister during those many long years of the Howard government.

  • Reply December 9, 2013

    Rhoda

    Rudd took the leadership from Kim Beazley. Back in the dim dark past. And it ended up a joint ticket – ironically with Julia Gillard taking Jenny Macklin’s place.

    Perhaps Bill Shorten thought he could pull the rabbit out of the hat again. But alas.

  • Reply December 12, 2013

    Ella Miller

    Johnsie,I may have not phrased it very well, but, did not Abbot depose M.Turnbull to become the leader of the Liberal Party?
    So in fact he did what many others before him have done …deposed a leader and the was elected …hopefully a one term nightmare. How is this different to Gillard?

  • Reply December 13, 2013

    HelenSHO

    I cannot understand why people think of Rudd as a wonderful Person who lost his position as Prime Minister because of Julia and I quote from The Monthly
    “Just after 10 pm on 23 June 2010, on the so-called night of the long knives, he emerged from crisis meetings to announce that his deputy, Julia Gillard, had challenged him to a ballot. In his last hours as prime minister, Rudd learnt her numbers would crush him. Key unions had withdrawn their support. Powerbrokers inside the party had turned on him. Caucus members, it soon became clear, had never liked him. A psychopath, one backbencher called him. A narcissist, others said. He was a micro-manager and his office, by all accounts, was dysfunctional. “This crypto-fascist made no effort to build a base in the party,” a powerbroker told ABC TV’s Chris Uhlmann. “Now that his only faction – Newspoll – has deserted him, he is gone.”
    Kevin announced that Julia had challenged him to save face when in truth he had lost the support of every elected person in the party because they knew he was not good Prime Minister material. After his election he went very quiet and so did the Labor Party. We had no idea what was going on within the party or how the country was being run.
    Hmm this sounds like a familiar theme.
    This has ALWAYS been my understanding of what happened on the night of Kevin’s demise.

  • Reply December 13, 2013

    HelenSHO

    Below is connection the to the article I quoted from, sorry I forgot to include in my post.

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/may/1367364737/erik-jensen/kevin-rudd-s-unrelenting-campaign-regain-power

  • Reply December 13, 2013

    patriciawa

    I couldn’t compete in your competition. It was too hard to choose amongst all those reforms and so much legislation passed against so many odds in those few years! I had to join Emily Maguire and go for that misogyny speech! When I first heard it and read of women’s response to it from all around the world I was reminded of another Aussie red head, Helen Reddy, and her smash hit song, “I Am Woman!” way back in 1975, and I wrote some new verses……

    Women Near and Far Are Calling Julia!

    We are women! From near and far
    We are calling Julia,
    To let you know we’re with you to the end!
    We raise you a loud hurrah,
    Cos though PM and super-star
    You’ve been insulted once too often to pretend.

    Who’s this Abbott, the boy wonder,
    The misogynist Downunder?
    Making light of feminism
    Could prove his biggest blunder.
    Trying to steal your thunder
    Underlined his chauvinism.

    He called you liar, tried to frame you,
    Tried in many ways to shame you,
    But instead roused so much anger
    That once he had inflamed you
    Women everywhere acclaimed you!
    Another mighty Aussie ranga!

    We are women, how we’ve grown,
    Not always going it alone.
    There are men who know what’s fair and right.
    But for some it’s still a battle zone
    To keep the world their own.
    For that they’re ready any time to fight.

    In spite of them you have come far,
    You’re number one now, Julia!
    Thanks to Abbott and Alan Jones,
    The whole world knows who you are!
    Women and men have hit the phones
    Saying, “Misogynists Downunder, Au revoir!”

    • Reply December 13, 2013

      HelenSHO

      That poem is great it makes me feel good thank you patriciawa.

      • Reply December 13, 2013

        ro.watson

        Ha patriciawa. Thank you.xx

  • Reply December 16, 2013

    Panda

    I too couldn’t enter.

    Here it is:

    Julia’s greatest achievement was keeping her head while all around her were losing theirs.*

    (From the Kipling poem ‘If’. Absolutely fitting to the discussion that the final words are then “you’ll be a Man, my son!’)

    Having said that, I really like patriciawa’s submission!

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