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An insight into being Prime Minister


old man emu
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I picked up the Julia Gillard's book, My Story, from the library recently. It is an interesting exposition of the life of a Prime Minister, and although Julia was a Labor Party leader, I'm sure that her story reflects he trials and tribulations of all Prime Ministers, especially those operating in an environment of factional politics, increasing numbers of cross-benchers and the eternal spotlight of the various media.

 

Julia became Prime Minister after the Party ousted Rudd, but Rudd was not gracious in defeat and did his best to scuttle Julia's Prime Ministership. Happily, the book mentions that matter, but does not dwell on it, nor cry, "woe is me!", when Rudd toppled her. What is interesting is the description of the various projects that were her goals when she entered parliament and how they were progressed. She explains her philosophy towards the role of a parliamentarian in implementing those goals.

 

The implementation involved much background work and the book is not ego-centric. Basically she says that any project might arise from her philosophy of governance, but the hard yakka was done by teams made up of people who knew what was needed and how to get things done in an environment of a minority government.

 

Where she snaps back is in dealing with the misogyny of the Opposition and its Media mates. For a long time there had been women in Ministerial posts in government. In fact, Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister in Rudd's first government. However, as soon as she became Prime Minister she was subjected to ridicule. It was a rehash of the "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen" image of pre-WWII Australia. This rehash had to be swept into the chook bin before the Media would examine any of her government's programmes.

 

This is a 15 minute video of Gillard's famous Misogyny Speech in Parliament. Grab a cuppa and watch it.

 

 

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Brought down by the relentlessly negative Tony Abbott.  Who can forget the "Ju-LIAR" and "Ditch the witch" posters waving behind him.  One backflip (a necessary one) as compared to the coalition's countless ones, and they made a mountain out of it.  Some frothing radio retard made disgusting comments about how she should be drowned at sea or something.

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5 hours ago, Marty_d said:

Brought down by the relentlessly negative Tony Abbott.  Who can forget the "Ju-LIAR" and "Ditch the witch" posters waving behind him.  One backflip (a necessary one) as compared to the coalition's countless ones, and they made a mountain out of it.  Some frothing radio retard made disgusting comments about how she should be drowned at sea or something.

 

Sadly, Trumpism seems to have started in Australia.... Just made famous in the USA.

 

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Point of order accepted, OME..

 

When I was a young scallywag and a member of one of Aus's main parties, I observed the factional conflict even at the humble suburban branch level. I was appointed to the regional committee to select electoral candidates, where the factional infighting intensified. Although I never considered myself a member of this party's young-L's, I did attend one of their conferences and the factional and ideological views were more entrenched than the selection committee.. this probably because they were not yet having to earn an income to support a family.. I guess..

 

Apart from that, the main difference seemed to be that there were enforcers when selecting candidates... All trying to "cosy" up to those of us whose voting intentions were not known.

 

I can only surmise, the factional wars intensify as one climbs the ladder. I decided out.. not long after the Young-L's conference.. and a dinner where a more senior but still volunteer of the party was very proud of achieving a narrow-interest aim without concern of the carnage it caused others. Although it was about 38 years ago, I still have vivid memories of that conversation.

 

On both sides of politics, there are decent people who ultimately want similar outcomes but believe the road there is different. Sadly, western politics is moving into the space of corruption and self-interest over everything else. Believe it or not, the fact that SFM has negotiated up the greasy pole and has won an election and at this stage still has power and the personal support of not much less of the population than his main opponent, shows that he is adept, cunning, and a fighter, no doubt staving off internal challenges before they become public challenges. Sadly, he can't put the same effort into being fair, and visionary for the country.

 

Even if his party topples him tomorrow, he has personally done well to last well beyond his use-by date.

 

 

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At least you weren't a young-C.

 

It may be apocryphal, but I've heard a story set back when the Nationals were the Country party.  Apparently someone said to a Country Party member "Liberal's got the Young Libs, Labor's got the Young Labs.... what are yours called again?" 

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I resent that . I'm a Country member. Yeah. We haven't forgotten.                                                                                                                      Nev

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4 hours ago, Marty_d said:

At least you weren't a young-C.

 

It may be apocryphal, but I've heard a story set back when the Nationals were the Country party.  Apparently someone said to a Country Party member "Liberal's got the Young Libs, Labor's got the Young Labs.... what are yours called again?" 

Oh... some.. or even many would have called me a young-C.. Now an old one... 🙂

 

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