WE DON’T NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
EXCLUSIVE: TIM MATHIESON STANDS BY HIS WOMAN!
In conversation with The Hoopla this week, Tim Mathieson, the First Bloke, broke his silence over renewed leadership speculation.
“Julia is working hard to make things better,” he insisted, running his fingers through his tawny-flecked short locks. “We just want to serve the Australian people.”
Hairdresser Mathieson, PM Gillard’s partner, told The Hoopla during a private BBQ, that what drove his partner to stay on in the leadership was a dedication to “public service”.
Mr Mathieson brandished his tongs with passion as he declared that he never discussed policy with his partner, but that he understood what motivated the woman he calls Julia (because that is, actually, her name) to attain the office of Australian Prime Minister was that “things need to be better”.
“More tomato sauce?” he asked, his concern belied by the flippant slogan on his eye-catching aqua BBQ apron which he admits was given to him by Bob Katter: “Kill a Cow. Start the Fire. The Magic Begins.”
He averted his eyes when The Hoopla asked what was his primary motivation to retain the honorific of “First Bloke”? As such, the first in the nation’s history.
Would he want to continue in the role he has made his own, through all the slings and arrows? Is that why he stands by his woman?
“I don’t know,” he said. “But if I ever agreed to do that, it would be on the proviso that it was completely about the country, the national good, Australia’s place in the world and the people who have, over many years now, told me, ‘Look, we’re vulnerable on this or we’re hurting on that, and things need to be better’. Who’s for another sausage?”
This is an account you will never read. Why?
Therese Rein “in eye-catching purple” at lunch with Deborah Snow for The Sydney Morning Herald. Photograph by Paul Harris.
Because men are not expected, nor seen, to back their partners the way women are.
On the weekend, Kevin Rudd’s wife Therese Rein gave an exclusive interview to Fairfax newspapers.
Greens leader Christine Milne excoriated her for “standing by her man”.
Ms Rein responded by tweeting, “Is she saying that as an individual and as a woman I’m not speaking my own mind? Or that what I say has Kevin’s consent. She obviously doesn’t know me very well.”
It got me thinking: why do male leaders need women to fight their battles, but not the other way around?
To call Therese Rein a smart woman is like saying James Magnussen is a pretty good swimmer. Her international employment agency Ingeus is worth $210 million. When Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, they were pitched as a power couple.
During the leadership challenge, their daughter Jessica mounted an effective a social media campaign. “Let’s own this spill, people,” she blogged.
I like these women very much. It’s a close and loving family. There’s nothing wrong with supporting each other.
But to say that’s not what you’re doing is disingenuous.
Therese Rein is her own woman. But she knew what questions to expect when she agreed to a lunchtime interview with a senior newspaper journalist.
Sure, she pretended to be reticent when questions were raised about her husband’s leadership ambitions. But her answers were well rehearsed.
In the words of Christine Milne, “This is Team Rudd letting everybody know that Kevin is ready to be begged to take it on”.
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