Dear Kevin Rudd, Revenge for redemption’s sake is doomed. PS Enjoy your hollow victory!

“Whoever emerges ... as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That's no longer possible.”
“Whoever emerges … as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That’s no longer possible.”

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27 June 2013

Now that Kevin Rudd has got his old job back, let’s hark back to Monday’s Q&A program (24 June 2013) where Graeme Richardson had plenty to say about the dysfunction of the ALP.

Referring to Gillard and Rudd, he said, “The hatred for both of them in the caucus is now so great that you can’t imagine either of them in any way, shape or form being able to unify the party, which is an awfully sad thing for me to say but I have never seen division like this.”

Makes Kevin Rudd’s victory seem rather hollow, doesn’t it?

Here is the pertinent transcript:

GRAHAM CRAIG: My question is to the panel as a whole. Would it not be the height of ruthless self survival and arrogant disdain of the public’s choice if the Labor Party now went to Kevin Rudd, who they declared as a failed PM incapable of getting things done and then going back to their replacement, who we did not vote for, for no other reason than self-survival and therefore hence, yet again, denying the Australian people the opportunity and their democratic right to appraise a PM’s full term at the ballot box?

TONY JONES: Graham Richardson?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Well, thank you very much. Look, this arrogant disdain for the will of the Australian people, it seems to me that the Australian people’s will is clear: they want to get rid of Julia Gillard and they are desperate to. And they got pretty angry with Labor for getting rid of Rudd when they wanted to get rid of Rudd themselves. So I’d look upon it as giving them an opportunity to get rid of Rudd again, the one they missed out on three years ago. I think that, at the moment, I have never seen, never witnessed a hatred for a Prime Minister like I am seeing, even among Labor voters. It’s appalling and I think something has got to be done about it. I may be in a minority on that but that’s my view and I’m not even sure if the Labor Party will do it this week. I just hope so. I have never seen a situation like it. If they don’t get rid of Julia Gillard this week then I fear that the future of the Labor Party itself may well be danger.

TONY JONES: Let me quickly go back to our questioner. Are you saying this because you want the chance to vote Julia Gillard out of office?

GRAHAM CRAIG: I haven’t really decided yet on that.

TONY JONES: Okay.

GRAHAM CRAIG: If you’d like me to answer questions, I will swap with someone on the panel if you like.

TONY JONES: No. No.

GRAHAM CRAIG: But I just feel…

TONY JONES: I was just interested where your question was coming from, that’s all.

GRAHAM CRAIG: But this will be the second time that the Labor Party has not given the Australian people the opportunity to give their opinion at the ballot box on a PM’s full term.

TONY JONES: Yeah, Richo, just address this issue: the big problem with going back to Kevin Rudd is the intense hatred of him in some quarters of the ALP and I’m wondering is that unique to the Labor Party?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Look, all I know is whoever emerges on Thursday night as the leader of the Labor Party and the Prime Minister will not lead a united party. That’s no longer possible.

TONY JONES: Why not Thursday night? Why not Friday morning?

GRAHAM RICHARDSON: Well, it could be Friday morning. But I suspect it will be Thursday night. That’s a suspicion only because no-one knows what’s going to happen. So I think it’s impossible now to see unity under any circumstance. The hatred for both of them in the caucus is now so great that you can’t imagine either of them in any way, shape or form being able to unify the party, which is an awfully sad thing for me to say but I have never seen division like this. You know, when Hawke and Keating were having their times and troubles, everyone was still talking to each other. It was still a relatively pleasant place to be. There is nothing pleasant about it now.

Click here for this Q&A program with full transcripts, tweets and video.

 

 

 

 

Julia Gillard – trial by gender. Verdict – exile!

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1000 times more scrutinising of women.

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1,000 times more scrutinising of women — indeed, less critical of men. If Julia Gillard had bat ears, it is unlikely she would have made it to the prime ministership in the first place.

A word of caution: If you happen to be a highly intelligent woman with deep philosophical convictions and passion for the future of Australia, and have aspirations to become prime minister, go for it. But only if you do not have any physical imperfections that make you lesser in appearance to Elle McPherson. But then again, if you are blond, the media will destroy you anyway.

As if looking back on the demise of Julia Gillard, Marilyn Lake wrote a piece for The Age, just one day before Australia’s first female prime minister was ousted by the Labor caucus, in favour of a … you guessed it … a male … who will, odds on, not be sexualised by Australia’s media and wider culture. By Bruce Keogh

An excerpt from Marilyn Lake’s article 25 June 2013:

How could we have foreseen what would befall her? The relentless persecution by senior male journalists, the vilification, the sexist mockery, the personal abuse and the contempt with which she would be treated. Between 2010 and 2013, the full force of Australia’s masculinist political culture would be brought to bear on this path-breaking woman.

It is now a truism that history will prove more sympathetic to Gillard’s prime ministership – and the policies she introduced – than contemporary commentators have been.

What will mostly attract historians’ attention, however, will be how she was treated, the rabid misogyny, the hysteria of men who could not abide the spectacle of a woman in power, who labelled her a bitch, a witch, a liar, a usurper, an illegitimate claimant who refused to bow down before her male rivals.

She has been sexualised in a way no previous prime minister has been sexualised.

In the past three years, obscenity has become a favourite mode of prime ministerial denigration.

Full column by Marilyn Lake who is Professor in History at the University of Melbourne researching the international history of Australian democracy.

Penny Wong’s Q&A gay marriage watershed moment

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In retrospect: Q&A 14 May 2012 – gay marriage watershed moment

Joe Hockey verbatim: I must confess my views have changed since I’ve had children. I think in this life we’ve got to aspire to give our children what I believe is the very best circumstances, and that’s to have a mother and a father.

Penny Wong acknowledged that comments like Hockey’s were hurtful, and concluded by calmy saying: ”I know what my family is worth.”

Sydney Morning Herald – source, video and full article