Monday, 17 June 2013 

The Kevin Rudd threat has now gone.

Barrie Cassidy 24 March 2013

I’m now very strongly of the view that Julia Gillard will not lead Labor to the next election.

Barrie Cassidy 9 June 2013

The mechanism for leadership change remains unclear.

Dennis Shanahan

So here we are again. Three months after journalists were saying Rudd was finished and should resign for the good party, they are now saying that Gillard should hand over to him – for the good of the party. The contortions of political commentators over the last three months should give a clue that a transition from Gillard to Rudd will be no smoother than it has been in journalists’ heads. Nor, as it happens, necessarily electorally desirable.

The Labor Party is facing the potential of a historic internal rupture. Unsurprisingly, interested parties will be trying to obscure that rupture. They may be helped by some in the media who are still struggling to work out what’s going on.

Let’s start at the basics. Behind the Gillard v Rudd contest is an institutional conflict between the traditional power bases of the party and those around Rudd. The source of that conflict is the declining social relevance of the union movement on which Labor had organised itself for the last century. While unions have been marginal now for over 20 years, Rudd was a catalyst for bringing it out through his ability to make an electoral case for dissociating from the traditional power bases of the ALP and all the ‘argy-bargy’ of the old two-party politics. Rudd’s dumping was an attempt by the power brokers to recover control of the party that they were in danger of losing.

At the time it happened, despite a move that was generally well regarded by the public (both Gillard’s standing and Labor’s polling significantly improved, something we seem to have forgotten) this blog argued that the experiment would go wrong because the bankruptcy of the power brokers would eventually reassert themselves. It didn’t take long. By the end of the first week of the 2010 campaign, after the Climate Change Assembly, the botched Timor solution, all wrapped up under an inspiring slogan of “Moving Forward”, the polling honeymoon was already over – no matter how much Labor stalwarts like to pretend it was a result of the leaks in week two.

The problem was that having put Gillard in the top spot, the power brokers had no agenda to give her. As this agenda would have had to come from Labor’s historic mission that was long since over, Rudd had the same problem. The difference was in the response.

Whereas Rudd presented the problem as the old two party politics, for Gillard and the power brokers, the problem was the electorate. What we saw on the Gillard take-over was all the insecurities about the electorate come to the fore, which had been building up in both the left and right of the party to explain the defeats of the last twenty years.

The result was a cack-handed attempt to “relate” to some mythical view of the electorate. Anything mildly controversial was watered down, like the mining tax, or delayed, like the ETS. In its place Gillard upped the ante on asylum seekers by talking about a solution to asylum seekers when there wasn’t one. Gillard was careful to speak slowly and not use high falutin’ words like “specificity”. International trips were a bit of a bore, at an early visit to a NATO Summit in Brussels to get support for the Australian military presence in Afghanistan she was telling the cameras she would rather be home watching kids learning to read at school.

Unfortunately all this “relating” only exacerbated the real underlying problem – the erosion of authority from the lack of an agenda from a party whose historical mission was over. Rudd faced a similar problem that he tried to compensate for by making a virtue of it by throwing it open through events like the 2020 Summit, and then adding some moralising and climate change to fill the gap. In contrast Gillard’s attempt to stoop down to the electorate’s level only undermined her authority even more (for this blogger, one of the grisliest examples of this was the sight of one of the country’s smartest politicians being dressed up like a bimbo for the cover of the Women’s Weekly, a move that has a certain poignancy today).

This is why those who blame sexism for Gillard’s lack of authority today are reading things the wrong way round. Gillard hasn’t become more of a woman, nor Australia more sexist, since her popular start. Rather Gillard’s declining authority comes from the institution she represents; it’s just that as a woman it has taken a sexist form.

Their differing relations to political institutions also explain their differing popularity. Much has been made in the last few days of Rudd’s superior campaigning skills (Shanahan reported it “shocked” the Labor leadership). But Rudd is no better than Gillard at campaigning (in fact might be worse), it is simply that he is popular, and that popularity rests on his identification as outside the disliked mainstream political establishment, an attribute ironically helped by his party’s continued attacks on him. While Rudd tried to turn this into “People’s Power” in the 2012 challenge, in reality it more taps into the insecure relationship of the parties to the electorate than a groundswell of electorate support itself.

It is because this is ultimately about the redundant party institutions, and Rudd’s relationship to them, that calls by journalists for a “seamless transition” is probably the last thing he needs. For Rudd to be seen as representing just a more popular leader would recreate all the problems of legitimacy that Gillard had when she took over.

It is clear the party’s institutions are now in disarray. What was striking about the latest round of speculation is that it came from quarters that had previously dismissed Rudd’s chances due to their strong associations with the party’s unions that firmly backed Gillard. It was the admission from Barrie Cassidy, who has been a virtual mouthpiece for the party bosses for the last three years, that something had changed which kicked it off a week ago. But it was noteworthy too that Dennis Atkins, also not a fan of Rudd, and with close ties to Queensland unions, admitted this time something had changed.

But to translate this disarray in the party bases for a straightforward switch to Rudd is something else. The Australian is no doubt trying to make up for its poor links to Labor by talking up the AWU’s supposed distancing from Gillard. But Howes appears to be saying no more than what he always says, claiming not to direct MPs, when in reality, as he was reported to be doing last March, he always does.

For the unions to switch will not be easy because their main concern is not losing the next election. A Coalition government may make it more uncomfortable for them in the workplace, but then they were marginalised there already. Unless the Coalition closes down the super fund industry there is probably little else that the Coalition can do that will have any support from the employers, let alone electorate.

For the unions, and the power brokers, the main concern is the control of the party, something that has been breaking down even during Gillard’s time and that has been an unmentioned destabiliser of her leadership that has been exclusively focused on Rudd. If the unions switch to Rudd, it will be for the same reason they dumped him in the first place – whatever is best to retain control of the party. In this case the trigger will not be because they are concerned about electoral defeat, but to hold their dwindling control over the Parliamentary Party who are. If that happens, no doubt like Crean tried in March, they will bring in Rudd but try some way of restraining him. If it happens, watch who the deputy is.

Posted by The Piping Shrike on Monday, 17 June 2013.

Filed under State of the parties

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48 responses to “Seamless”

  1. Robert Smith on 17th June 2013 9:55 am

    Nice analysis. But it’s about more than people. As you show it’s about changing institutions in a changing society and economy. If it was just the ALP being slow learners it would not matter so much. But the coalition is in no better shape.

    Historically we have been pragmatic and astute about making big and necessary changes. But we now seem to have stage fright. The condition of the major political parties mirrors our collective uncertainty.

  2. freddo on 17th June 2013 10:22 am

    Excellent analysis – yet there are obviously a number of MPs in Canberra who are trying to take labor into a post-union progressive phase. The big question is whether those who have already made the union-politics jump are particularly concerned about looking after their union backers or more worried about their political futures (and that of the party). We shall see.
    I certainly can’t imagine Rudd becoming PM again and suddenly kow-towing to those who dumped him. Certainly, his strongest supporters wouldn’t be keen on that and he is smart enough to know that would de-legitimise him (hence his demand that he be drafted).. He might feel like quoting Whittaker Chambers: “I’ve been to hell, and I haven’t come back empty-handed.”

  3. Dave on 17th June 2013 10:40 am

    Great analysis. While there are moves for a change at the federal level, here in WA the unions have a ruthless hold over preselections for State MPs. One well-performing MLC lost her preselection before the last election because she refused to join a faction!

  4. Dare to Tread on 17th June 2013 10:44 am

    Excellent analysis

    What comes next

  5. Doug on 17th June 2013 11:52 am

    What I would love to see is some analysis of the other side of politics – I suspect there is another crisis slowly unfolding on the other side of politics of disconnect as evidenced by the declining party membership and the rumblings of discontent manifested in the emergence of would be challenges from Katter and Clive Palmer.

  6. J on 17th June 2013 12:02 pm

    This post seriously needs a proof read, it was basically unreadable…

    “despite a move that was regarded then generally well regarded by the public ”

    “a cack-handed to attempt to”

    “Gillard hasn’t become more of a women” – *women?

    “For Rudd to be seen as merely represent no more than just a more popular leader ” to be seen as merely represent no more.. huh?? *representing?

    “In this case the trigger will not because”.. *be because?

  7. The Piping Shrike on 17th June 2013 1:37 pm

    Ugh. Fixed. Thanks.

    On the other side I keep wanting to write a post, but Labor keeps seeking attention!

    Rudd’s insistence on being drafted for “legitimacy” has some downsides.

  8. Avalon Dave on 17th June 2013 2:09 pm

    Bill Shorten’s problems are many and it is Rudd who has time on his side.

    Rudd doesn’t have to do anything soon, except keep campaigning for his supporters in their own electorates. He’ll keep their seats safe, whilst the 30% primary vote in the other ALP seats will see his parliamentary enemies killed off. And the “faceless men” will cop the blame for it too.

    This is the power brokers major problem. If they don’t somehow deal with Rudd now, he will be in control after the election.

    The contents of his current conversations with the power brokers appear to be surfacing. They need to publicly sign their name to the dumping of Gillard if he is to return now. So there seems to be a no win situation for them.

    Rudd has them in a corner. And it’s their move next…

  9. F on 17th June 2013 7:10 pm

    Oh Avalon Dave. What you wrote is perhaps the sweetest thing I have read in a wee while!I’m particularly enjoying seeing Shorten squirm. Whoever said that man is PM material needs frontal lobotomy and nice lay down.

    I think a substantial amount of said power-brokers are not even considering a change, if the reports of MP’s receiving threats from “unionists” are anything to go by.

    What will be interesting is if there is a change is how this affects the Liberals. The reports in the News Ltd media about the “Kevin-O-Lemon” advertising campaign being ready to go shows that they really have little idea of how to handle a Rudd led Labor.

    Do they really think people can remember ALL the way back to 2007….at least enough to connect “0-Lemon” with “0-7”? I barely can, and I actually give a shit.

    Whether a change is enough to open the covered over wounds on the conservative side of politics remains to be seen. However, changing to Rudd would be removing Abbott’s greatest asset: Gillard.

  10. Dianne on 18th June 2013 6:37 am

    PS all the endless speculation about Rudd being reinstalled as leader never mentions potential constitutional difficulties. I have scant understanding but I would have thought that the G G would need to be assured that Rudd had the confidence of the House before he could become leader. Windsor has declared on many occasions that he would withdraw his support if the leadership changed. Who would the G G appoint as guardian PM if an election was called? Abbott would be in the same position. Am I on the wrong bus here?

  11. Dianne on 18th June 2013 6:57 am

    By the way I am on surer ground when I say JG has been subjected to the most appalling sexist abuse. Your chicken and egg theory is interesting but I do not care. As a female I am disgusted at the violence of the language and imagery. Cutting throats, tossing out to sea in chaff bags, obscene descriptions of her genitalia, the insolent questioning of her relationship with her partner has angered me. As a woman too I feel personally insulted. And all that came to a head with the revelation of yet another Army sex abuse scandal with females as the victims. And Gillard is to blame for it all apparently. Look at the headlines. She brought it all upon herself. The male vote has peeled away! I tell you what if the ALP puts Rudd back I suspect the female vote will desert too. I was despondent when I saw reports blaming Gillard. It reminded me of those cases in the Middle East where young female rape victims are imprisoned for having sex outside marriage. It’s still a man’s world in essential ways. I have woken up.

  12. The Piping Shrike on 18th June 2013 10:15 am

    You certainly wouldn’t need to be a woman to be disgusted by what has happened. The stuff that has emerged is revolting, precisely because it was always known to be there.

    However, that it has happened more to Gillard than say, Bligh (or any other female politician), and now, I would say is ultimately a result of the declining authority of the institutions Gillard represents. This is not to ascribe “fault”, but just to point out the factors that are important. To me the trouble in seeing that purely in terms of sexist behaviour is that it obscures the breakdown of the political system that has made Gillard a target of sexist abuse.

    Also as far as men peeling away, I wouldn’t make too much of one poll. Morgan showed a swing by both men and women to Labor, with women moving more, possibly responding better to Gillard from recent events. Nielsen might just be showing a further general decline in the vote, but with women less so for the same reason.

  13. Dianne on 18th June 2013 10:33 am

    PS I agree to a point. However I believe that what is happening is simply primitive. tony Abbott expressed it himself: she has a target on her head. She just won’t lie down and die. She drives them nuts. She stares them all down and they feel diminished. How dare she? After a lifetime of non consideration of gender issues I have been awakened. I think all the vitriol hurled at Gillard is resonating among men who are insecure in our increasingly fragmented society. Anger needs an outlet. Internal power plays increase her vulnerability but what we are seeing is old fashioned ugly sexism. It has burst into the open for all to see. PS what about the constitutional matter I raised. If you have a mo.

  14. The Piping Shrike on 18th June 2013 4:30 pm

    I wouldn’t see the independents supporting Abbott over Rudd, so if Rudd takes over they may force an election, but unlikely, in my view.

  15. dianne on 18th June 2013 5:40 pm

    thanks. most likely.

  16. Bill on 19th June 2013 1:52 am

    “Moving forward”? They are definitely ‘moving forward’ over the cliff face into the abyss (with Julia at the front !).

    As PM, I think she/her government have actually done VERY well under the circumstances of the hung parliament, and let’s face it, when she promised the ‘no carbon tax’ .. it was almost certainly not calculating what seemed to her/those supporting her at the time.. that we would end up with that hung parliament/having to compromise (which the Liberals have exploited for all they are not worth!). It seems to me that Abbott is allowed to be a ‘weather vane’/change his stance/promises from day to day, but not the reverse for Julia (even under that extraordinary election outcome!)

    Here’s that video(link) of Abbott being questioned by Mark Riley over a digger:

    I have to ask myself, how can this incompetent IDIOT become Australia’s PM … but then I suppose, if Ronald Reagan could do it …

    What that reveals, is that under pressure, he CRACKS! As election day draws closer, he/their policies will come under the microscope more. Tony Windsor said Abbott would sell his ass to become PM. This guy lives for that day/nothing else matters ……like Howard, he will say/do ANYTHING to get elected (including that ‘obscene’ amount (Wilkie?) that he offered to Tasmania at the time …

    In one on one debates/without his minders/troops to protect him, he is definitely vulnerable, and I reckon Gillard destroys him in that arena …

    This jerk has been ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ by his party/it’s a matter of time before he’s found out by everyone else.

    In a way, I admire Julia, even though I don’t like that she helped depose Rudd. Ultimately, if there was a way for her to win the next election, I’d be quite happy for her to remain, .. but in the end, since Rudd looks much more likely to give ‘us’ any chance, I would prefer to see him given that opportunity, but think it’s no better than a 20% chance?

  17. Bill on 19th June 2013 2:10 am

    Doh! Ignore the above link/THIS one is better:

    His ‘stunned mulletness’ revealed longer/in all it’s ‘glory’ (the way I remember it!).

  18. atomou on 19th June 2013 6:25 pm

    Great stuff, Shrike, many thanks.

    And there’s this other thing as well, which might well be a little thing but still, one that might well play on a freudian unconscious level; and it is the Whitlam dismissal. It was dismissal, once again from “within,” and though it was one inch removed from the cabinet, it was still quite arguably, “within.”
    And so, the Oz pop has said to its freudian unconscious that, we copped that quite sheepishly because it was just that one time but we’re not gonna cop this a second time and, though we’re not gonna smash things or send the army in, we’re still gonna destroy the joint and let them reflect upon such cesarian activities.
    We were stunned at the time; we’re not gonna be stunned this time. We’ve maintained the rage.
    We rolled over the last time; we’re gonna make them do the rolling over this time.
    The chiefs-in-the-shadows won last time; they’re not gonna win this time.
    And so on and so forth, in a freudian unconscious sort of way.

  19. Austin 3:16 on 20th June 2013 7:23 pm

    Hey Dianne,

    The ALP caucus can choose whomever leader they want. If as a result of that there is a motion of no-confidence in the house it’s a separate matter.

    Politics can be a rough and tumble game and unfortunately many participants forgo any sense of decency or decorum. Unflushable turd or mincing poodle aren’t the nicest of terms either, yet they’ve been used.

    If the PM wants to raise standards and take a stand against sexism that’s fantastic.

    If she then also wants to get all cosy with the likes of Sandilands and Schwarzenegger that’s incredibly hypocritical

  20. codger on 20th June 2013 10:06 pm

    So Shrike when we dispatch Bruce Wilson’s ex and tire of the the jumped up born again whatever and the shorten curlies faction is finally nobbled…after 10 years what then?

  21. Dianne on 21st June 2013 7:19 am

    Austin, taking your last point first …. Politicians deal with all manner of people out of self-interest and yes it is easy to condemn them as hypocrites. On the large scale the US are about to enter into negotiations with the formerly untouchable Taliban. Tony Abbott says he is no threat to women and get he goes on Alan Jones’ program regularly. This is the man who thought it was a great idea to drown the PM at sea in a chaff bag. The appallingly violent sexist language hurled at JG is something far beyond the rough and tumble of politics. I found my answer to the possible constitutional difficulties in any change to the ALP leadership in the Fairfax press a day after I raised the issue here. Interesting times.

  22. Austin 3:16 on 21st June 2013 4:16 pm

    Hey Dianne,

    From reading your last it seems as though “hypocritical” behaviour is ok with you. Fair enough – some might view it differently.

    You seem fairly new to following politics otherwise you might realise that, unfortunately, it’s the kind of field where many insults are exchanged. Has been for quite a long time it’s deplorable but nothing new.

  23. Makka on 21st June 2013 4:35 pm

    Give it a rest Dianne. Gillard is a victim alright, a victim of her own gutter mouth and tactics that have severely backfired on her.

    You speak of insulting women? A married man and father (Abbott) has to face down baseless vile accusations from Gillard of all women, while his wife and 3 daughters have to endure the disgusting taint of mysogeny levelled at their father/husband? Are you kidding? Gillard has wrecked at least 1 marraige along with her shall we say colourful history with Union identities. Yet you defend her, our glorious PM who is involved in a VicPol investigation? You are a hypocrit and only listening to what this deceitful incompetent and het Party is spinning for you. Open up your cloth ears or beter yet drop the female victim line.

  24. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 4:10 am

    Austin and Makka Thankyou for your elegant comments. They have been noted.

  25. Austin 3:16 on 22nd June 2013 7:56 am

    He Dianne,

    I had a little google of Alan Jones and the chaff bag comment. As I’ve never listened to Mr Jones it wasn’t something I was familiar with.

    Media watch though has a page devoted to the chaff bag

    they give the originating quote as
    “Alan Jones: It is absolutely laughable. The woman’s off her tree and quite frankly they should shove her and Bob Brown in a chaff bag and take them as far out to sea as they can and tell them to swim home.

    — 2GB, Alan Jones Breakfast Show, 6th July, 2012”

    Firstly I don’t see how the comment is inherently sexist since it applies to both Bob Brown and Julia Gillard (Jones has also suggested Rudd and Chris Hartcher be placed in said chaff bag)

    Secondly there’s a suggestion that the PM swim home, nothing about drowning, (although I suppose there may be an implication).

    It’s a comment that’s quite disrespectful but I can’t see how it’s either sexist or a violent threat to drown the PM.

  26. Austin 3:16 on 22nd June 2013 8:17 am

    In breaking news the Oppposition has ruled out any no-confidence motions should Labor change leadership

    Isn’t that “nice” of them to “help”

  27. F on 22nd June 2013 8:41 am

    I don’t doubt that there is sexism in Australian politics, and that Gillard has been on the receiving end of sexist abuse.

    However Gillards current predicament has very little to do with sexism. During her premiership She has managed to alienate huge swathes of the electorate, in one way or another.

    Perhaps this is partially due to minority government, and the loss of authority this brings. Only very partially, though.

    I think its mostly that people see in Gillard the hallmarks of ALP factional power-broking and back-room control they thought were dead and buried with the election of Rudd. She and her backers rolled a popular first term PM, the first ALP PM to win office in almost 20 years….for what? What did the Australian people get out of it?

    People aren’t stupid. They can see that Gillard’s position has NOTHING to do with what the Australian people want and EVERYTHING to do with what certain power-brokers in the ALP want.

    This isn’t a the ravings of right wing ideologues. This is what ALP(former) supporters are saying.

    What is galling is that the MEN behind Gillard are the first to claim criticism of the PM is sexist.

    This is what the MALE right-wing factional weirdo’s do in the ALP. The government starts to tank(usually because it is overly dominated by said union numb-skulls), so you shoe-horn a woman in (Kenneally, Bligh, Lawrence, Kirner) because in your reptilian pea sized brain criticising a female leader is somehow a no go or something, and voters will be less likely to go all out with their baseball bats.

    Clearly we now live in a more equal and emancipated society. Pundits and voters are now more than happy to extend their political hatred towards both sexes. Hurrah for feminism!

  28. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 10:27 am

    For those interested, Andrew Clark has written an interesting piece on JG’s Man Trouble (heading) in the Weekend AFR

  29. Brian on 22nd June 2013 10:39 am

    I just had to comment after reading both Makka and Austin, both males I presume, have the gall to tell Dianne that no, she’s wrong about misogyny. After all, what would a woman know about misogyny? She’s lucky to have men to tell her how things are. Guys are on the receiving of misogyny all the time, so they know what they’re talking about, don’t we fellas?

  30. atomou on 22nd June 2013 11:00 am

    A rather course syllogism, Brian.

    We all have our thresholds of insult tolerance and so we all view such things as misogyny and misandry on an individual basis; so we might well disagree on which is which. An insult about chaff bags to a woman might not, in itself be a sexist insult but the fact that it was directed to woman takes on the hues of sexism and uttered on top of many other insults to the same woman, or, indeed, to many women, it might well be interpreted as a hatred, or even disdain for women. It need not be women who see it as misogyny, just as it need not be men who see insults directed at them as misandry. But insults (and treatment) to be given the name “hatred for women or men” need to be sustained, otherwise, they are just insults, an equally distasteful disposition to hold.
    Both, men and women, are quite capable of seeing persistent hatred for what it is. They might differ in their interpretation of it but they are capable.
    Guys cannot be on the receiving end of misogyny but they can certainly be on the receiving end of misandry. Same thing, just a variation on a minor anatomical detail.

  31. Austin 3:16 on 22nd June 2013 11:17 am

    Hi Brian,

    I can’t see where Dianne mentioned misogyny – she did however talk about sexism.

    If you want to point out where I’m wrong, please feel free. If you want a vague ad hominem rant in my direction please don’t bother.

  32. Austin 3:16 on 22nd June 2013 12:38 pm

    PS Brian,

    Isn’t entering a debate on sexism with the notion that one gender can’t comment somewhat absurd ?

  33. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 2:03 pm

    Thanks Brian, the whole gender thing is tricky isn’t it. Looking back on life I can see clearly now how I was subjected to sexist behavior but like most women learnt to laugh it off, not to draw attention to it because it would be embarrassing and you were not quite sure if you were being overly sensitive. Many men really have no idea and yet they have wives, daughters, mothers and sisters. Would any of the gentlemen posting here really want to have the genitalia of their daughter put up for public ridicule?

  34. Austin 3:16 on 22nd June 2013 3:19 pm

    Hey Dianne,

    “Would any of the gentlemen posting here really want to have the genitalia of their daughter put up for public ridicule?”

    No more than you would want a son of yours publicly described as a mincing poodle or as a painted gigolo or a racist coward.

    All offensive surely?

  35. Austin 3:16 on 22nd June 2013 3:23 pm

    PS Dianne

    “Many men really have no idea”

    Wouldn’t this be an example of broad stereotype based on gender?

  36. F on 22nd June 2013 3:31 pm

    Our daughters?I don’t think anyone would like to see their child’s genitalia ridiculed in public……what are we talking about then?

    I don’t think anyone posting here lacks empathy towards Gillard (I don’t) but that is not the point, is it?

    We are talking about the effectiveness of a politician, the PM and leader of the Labor party. Has Gillard been effective? If she isn’t effective, why is she still leader?

    I think it is wrong to claim that the criticism of Gillard is purely sexist in manner. That allows the quite awful mistakes Gillard has made, in policy and politics, to be masked.

  37. nottrampis on 22nd June 2013 3:44 pm

    This is obviously in and could I ask your articles be more numerous please!

  38. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 4:26 pm

    I am starting to nod off Austin and F. I have stayed at the table too long. The rich food is sitting heavily. The conversation is becoming silly. Time to make my departure. Adios comrades.

  39. F on 22nd June 2013 4:48 pm

    Nice side-step there Dianne.

    Just so we are all clear your are the one who brought children’s genitalia into a discussion about Australian politics.


  40. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 5:08 pm

    Taxi stilled hasn’t arrived. Heard the last one. I DID not mention children. You have put your own spin on that one F.

  41. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 5:16 pm

    Actually I am quite cross about that misrepresentation F. A daughter can be any age. Julia Gillard is the daughter. Her father is dead but her mother is still very much alive. You are very careless with your words F.

  42. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 5:16 pm

    A daughter it should read

  43. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 5:47 pm

    Actually you have mentioned children TWICE F and then you claim I did. You should clarify your comments. Why in heavens name would YOU bring children into a discussion about Australian politics?

  44. F on 22nd June 2013 6:12 pm

    I thought you were tired, or something, and this conversation was “silly”? Way to get all riled up over something so irrelevant.

  45. Dianne on 22nd June 2013 7:27 pm

    F your first remark about children escaped my notice. You know as well as I do that linking children with the other word is disturbing. Let’s forget it.

  46. Glorfindel on 23rd June 2013 8:45 am


    You asked the audience to consider how they would feel if their daughters were so publicly mocked as Ms Gillard was.

    Upon reading that my first thought was of children as MY daughters are still children, young children at that. Thus when you ask me how I would feel about my daughter being so mocked you are asking how I would feel about a young child being publicly ridiculed.

    (Although they always will be my children, regardless of their age)

    This language of our this “poets rich resource” can allow many an interpretation or implication to arise from the written word. A good author should be aware of that.

  47. Makka on 23rd June 2013 9:05 am

    Really, all this sexist amd mysoginy palava over Gillard. This is politics and she is the PM. She knew full well what she was letting herself in for and decided to knife a popular sitting PM to get it. Then lied to the electorate to keep her job. So I would say she has used up all her trust credits and now is well in arrears.

    Brian, save me the lecture about your view on what is or not mysoginy. I was referring to ONE woman and how SHE perceives herself to be treated. You may recall , Gillard invoked the false mysoginy accusation and hysteria while she DEFENDED a known sexist and mysoginist- Slipper. Mysoginy exists alright, but the accusations coming from this discreditted PM with very dubious values I think it’s prudent to take it with a bucket of salt, no?

    So please Brian and Dianne, save the bleeding hearts and deal with the facts of the matter. You both may choose to be happily manipulated by this terrible PM of ours but you can get off your high horses if you think your gullibility gives you license to preach her venom to others.

  48. An incomplete revolution :The Piping Shrike on 27th June 2013 8:18 am

    […] Seamless […]

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