Australia has its first female Prime Minister
June 23, 2010 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female Prime Minister in stunning fashion, after toppling Kevin Rudd as leader of the ruling Labor Party.

Gillard is unmarried, which is also believed to be a first for an Australian prime minister. Her marital status and the fact she has no children has controversially been made an issue in the past.

Rudd was himself a first-term prime minister who won an historic election victory less than three years ago.

The next federal election is due early next year at the latest, so the leadership switch is aimed at giving the Labor Party the best chance of winning.
posted by puffl (151 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nice post, but might be better as a comment in this one from earlier today.
posted by box at 4:43 PM on June 23, 2010


I don't know. The change of leadership in a not-entirely-insignificant country is worth its own post. Otherwise, I might have missed it.
posted by bicyclefish at 4:50 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Julia, I hope you do better than Kim Campbell. Congratulations on your victory.
posted by GuyZero at 4:50 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


wow, you guys move fast.
posted by Think_Long at 4:52 PM on June 23, 2010


Could someone provide a for-dummies version of what happened to Rudd? Last I saw him in the international news, he was apologizing to the aboriginal community and being widely lauded across the country. What happened since then?
posted by bicyclefish at 4:54 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


He put the price of cigarettes up.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:56 PM on June 23, 2010 [11 favorites]


Can someone put this in context with Australia's current battle against online censorship?
posted by dum2007 at 4:57 PM on June 23, 2010



posted by tzikeh at 5:02 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck the Labor party for this for cheapening what should have been a great victory for gender equality in politics.
posted by Talez at 5:06 PM on June 23, 2010


What do you mean, Talez? How was she supposed to win?
posted by GeckoDundee at 5:11 PM on June 23, 2010


Llongyfarchiadau !
posted by sien at 5:13 PM on June 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Can someone put this in context with Australia's current battle against online censorship?"
posted by dum2007 at 10:57 AM on June 24

The political faction of the Labor Party who toppled the Prime Minister are the same people who are for the censorship. So status quo there, most likely.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:13 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, an athiest.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Definitely interesting and exciting stuff.
posted by gomichild at 5:15 PM on June 23, 2010


Okay, I know everyone is predicting doom and gloom but I'm just going to take a minute or two to enjoy that we now have our first female Prime Minister. Time for a celebratory drink! (I realise it's 10 in the morning.)
posted by liquorice at 5:18 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I kinda like Gillard, I hope she does okay.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:18 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


*tops up liquorice's glass*

Yes we should celebrate that too. A nice break from all the old men telling us what to do and how to live just before lying in their graves.
posted by gomichild at 5:23 PM on June 23, 2010


"I don't know. The change of leadership in a not-entirely-insignificant country is worth its own post. Otherwise, I might have missed it."

This not-entirely-insignificant country is only sixteen years and three hundred and sixty three days behind yours, mate.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 5:25 PM on June 23, 2010


What do you mean, Talez? How was she supposed to win?

One would assume by becoming leader of the opposition, winning the respect and admiration of the Australian public and being swept to power rather than being installed as the most convenient option.

This is a victory don't get me wrong but the fact that she's an installed PM makes it hollow.
posted by Talez at 5:25 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


>Could someone provide a for-dummies version of what happened to Rudd?

I'll have a go. Rudd is seen as having over-promised and under-delivered.

During the last election campaign, he promised to take over and fix the public health system (which is seen as being poorly administered by the states), but hasn't.

A number of other policies were caught up in administrative bungles and ultimately dumped (eg. a roof insulation scheme that supposedly led to some workers' deaths).

Before the last election, Rudd called climate change the "greatest moral challenge" of our generation. After winning the election, he tried to get an emissions trading scheme through Parliament. However, he didn't have the numbers to get it passed in the Senate, and it was rejected twice. Rudd could have called what's known as a "double dissolution" election on the issue, but instead basically put off any serious action on climate change for the foreseeable future.

It's widely considered that this decision left Australians questioning what Rudd stood for, along with what he had really delivered as prime minister.

He was increasingly seen as "all spin and no substance".

Most recently, he has tried to introduce a new "super profits tax" on the mining industry, which has fought tooth and nail against the proposal and run a high-profile scare campaign in the media saying that the tax will cripple the mining industry and as a result damage the economy and costs thousands of jobs.

If you want more detail than this, try this article in the Australian newspaper.
posted by puffl at 5:25 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's not how the office works. Anyway, she'll have a chance soon enough to get a "mandate" or whatever it is you think she's lacking.
posted by GeckoDundee at 5:33 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is also about the ongoing struggle in the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to change the power structure.

Rudd and Gillard originally formed an alliance which was based on breaking down the factional power bases within the ALP. Rudd was always detatched from the union bosses who have traditionally held sway within the ALP, both he and Gillard stopped attending faction meetings from the time they became leader and deputy leader. Rudd was the first Labor prime minister to pick his own cabinet rather than having the factions cut deals and nominate candidates for the ministerial portfolios. This was reinforced by the 'gang of four' (Rudd the PM, Gillard the deputy PM, Swan the treasurer and Tanner the finance minister) who acted as a defacto cabinet and took many of the decisions of government.

This spill started in two of the traditional ALP centres of power, the NSW Right faction and the Victorian Right faction. Gillard was from the Victorian Left, but has been put in place by the Right. Ironically, the Left were voting for Rudd.

So Gillard's in an interesting position. Her power base may not be that secure, given that her own faciton may not be behind her and she's from teh traditionally weaker faction anyway. There will be a reshuffle because she was holding three portfolios which will need to be reassigned. There are likely to be deals that she will need to honour, though by not going to a vote, she doesn't need to 'punish' anyone for voting against her.

And there's an election due before April next year, and the Senate is still hostile. We live in interesting times.
posted by girlgenius at 5:33 PM on June 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


All morning I've been catching myself grinning like an idiot. A female prime minister! It's actually happened! All politics aside, I will always remember how good this feels and that has been a huge suprise. I'm with Talez that in this is, in some ways, a hollow victory but the part of my brain that isn't intellect or logic is having a party today.
posted by Wantok at 5:40 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm not feeling as excited as I thought I would be feeling. The first comment I saw (on fb of all places) last night after the announcement of the spill was "ginger commie lezzo". The pessimistic part of me is saying we're in for a period of unadulterated misogyny in the lead up to the election at which point Abbott's elected and, well, it's not going to get mcuh better is it?
posted by prettypretty at 5:44 PM on June 23, 2010


Kim Campbell taught me 2nd year Poli Sci. She gave me the only A++ mark I ever received. And we all know how that turned out.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:45 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, an athiest.

Meh. I've seen athier.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:45 PM on June 23, 2010 [12 favorites]


This not-entirely-insignificant country is only sixteen years and three hundred and sixty three days behind yours, mate...

And around a quarter billion people. You've got the land mass of Brazil, and the population of Holland.

Recognize - the US is third in total population, after China and India. Canada has the population of a large European country like Poland - it's only an "insignificant" nation because it's next door to the US. In real terms, it's got as much or more economic and geopolitical clout than any single EU member.

In terms of "People Affected" and "Geopolitical Implications", the recent election in Colombia was way more important. We're only pretending to care because Australians speak English and live in a first world nation, and this is by and large an English speaking, first world kind of site.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:48 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well that was quite a remarkable 24 hours in politics wasn’t it? I didn’t feel any personal opprobrium of Rudd, his government has been a mild disappointment in some areas, but has done pretty well elsewhere.

I think he’s been taken down by the Murdoch press more than anything else. If you look at the facts behind the insulation ‘debacle’ and BER, they’re quite different to the media bullshit put about. Climate change has been woeful, but sadly he’s had to deal with the Senate he’s got (thanks Steve Fielding). On immigration, and on trying to control the media cycle, slimy pricks like Mark Arbib haven’t gone anywhere, in fact they’ve probably been strengthened. The mining tax is excellent policy, but I wonder if it’ll be ditched in the name of expediency.

Still, Gillard is definitely a strong performer and a good communicator, and a fighter, she’ll really outmuscle Abbott, and I predict a reasonable win for the ALP in the forthcoming election. Greens votes will subside, back to 11 or 12 percent, but that’ll be enough for the BoP after the election. Then, climate policy will have to be addressed, and it will be clearly a matter of dealing with the greens, or dealing with the increasingly loony coalition.
posted by wilful at 5:56 PM on June 23, 2010


I'm with Talez that in this is, in some ways, a hollow victory

Pffft. If Labor had put Wayne Swan in Rudd's place, you'd be yelling "What about Gillard!?!!" and crying foul.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:57 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


As girlgenius says, this is far more about Labor factional power plays than what us poor plebs think about Rudd, although certainly his waning popularity gave them the opening they needed.
posted by markr at 5:57 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Slap*Happy,

I recognize the importance of the U.S. quite readily, however, I was actually referring to Canada. Have you had a female head of state yet?
posted by Silverdragonanon at 5:59 PM on June 23, 2010


>this is far more about Labor factional power plays than what us poor plebs think about Rudd

Factional power plays are obviously important, but if Rudd had remained popular and the best chance to keep Labor in power, the factions wouldn't have moved. Thus, I feel the popular dissatisfaction was more important in leading to the change. The factions were the blunt implement that brought it about so swiftly.
posted by puffl at 6:01 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought last night's thread was fine, but if this is where we're talking now I guess that's ok too.

Gillard: from zero to Labor party hero

I'd take anything written in Murdoch's papers with a grain of salt or three. They've been talking Gillard up recently, but now that she's in charge they'll get the knives out. Just wait for the slurs on her being childless and godless and a puppet of the unions.

I believe the last time a party leader took their party from opposition to government but got ousted before they'd finished serving their first term was back in 1904. It seems like a pretty strong reaction to the party not liking Rudd's personal style.

The personal polls for Rudd weren't great, but the two-party-preferred still had Labor winning, and they hadn't even begun to campaign yet.

Slap*Happy, it's kind of rude to come into a thread where all the Australians are hanging out and be all snide about our insignificance. Go have a coffee or a lolly or something and get the stick out of your arse.
posted by harriet vane at 6:14 PM on June 23, 2010 [6 favorites]


Here's the always entertaining Guy Rundle, from last night, on Ruddism. First draft of history and all that. Suggest you may want to read it.
posted by wilful at 6:18 PM on June 23, 2010


Slap*happy, what is this "we" that you are talking about??

Oh, did you think that MetaFilter was a USian* website?




* used quite consciously.
posted by wilful at 6:20 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Silverdragonanon: Yes, in fact we have the same one as Australia has. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, ably represented by the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean as Governor General.

Since I know that's not what you meant, we've also had a female head of government, Kim Campbell short term as PM, held it mostly due to party infighting, lost the subsequent election, but yes we have had a female PM.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:33 PM on June 23, 2010


Hi folks, how are you? The two powerbrokers that brought about the Gillard coup are Senator Feeney who gave us Steve Fielding and Senator Farrell who along with Feeney was much put out at the idea of paring back MPs' entitlements. Nice.

Shit! Rudd can barely keep it together in his 'proud of the fact' speech.
posted by unliteral at 6:36 PM on June 23, 2010




a USian* website?

* used quite consciously.


Is it ever not used with extreme self-consciousness?
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:38 PM on June 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Kim Campbell, who also came to power not via a general election but when the existing PM stepped down mid-term. The parallels so far are fairly surprising, and for Gillard I hope they stop there.
posted by GuyZero at 6:39 PM on June 23, 2010


Grimgrin,

I actually wasn't referring to you with that comment, but thank you for correcting me on my error. The "sixteen years, three hundred and sixty three days" part was referring to Campbell, of course. Reading about her short term was fascinating, as party politics generally is to me.

Apologies for the mangled first comment!
posted by Silverdragonanon at 6:42 PM on June 23, 2010


Oh man, that final K.Rudd press conference was heart wrenching. Poor bastard.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:46 PM on June 23, 2010


As for Australia, it has about the population of New York State. If New York elected its first female governor, this news would surely be worthy of an FPP. Of course, there are more Mefites in NY than Australia, but then again, Australia is a whole country. It's a player on the world stage; some people on this site live there/care about it; and significant moments in any country's history are inherently worth noting.

In terms of "People Affected" and "Geopolitical Implications", the recent election in Colombia was way more important. We're only pretending to care because Australians speak English and live in a first world nation, and this is by and large an English speaking, first world kind of site.

OK, but this is a double-edged sword: maybe we should care less about "first world" countries ... or maybe we should care more about "third world" countries. Instead of criticizing a post on Australia, let's have more posts about Colombia.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:48 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


It bothers me that it's a big deal that she's a woman but I don't think I'll be able to articulate that further for a while.
posted by doublehappy at 6:50 PM on June 23, 2010


There has been a remarkable turn around in the betting odds:

The Coalition are now favourites to win the election.

But presumably with such wild swings it will swing back again. Perhaps people were assuming that Rudd would run.
posted by sien at 6:52 PM on June 23, 2010


It will be interesting now to see what Kevin Rudd's role within the labour party will be relegated too. He made a pretty eloquent speech (without verbally salting and burning the earth like Whitlam did), so it might reflect very graciously on the new Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her new cabinet if they can play their cards shrewdly.

Then again, It'll also be particularly interesting to note how the Coalition alters their strategies against her. It seems to be the common opinion that Tony Abbott, the leader of the opposition, will be a very clumsy fighter against an opponent of the opposite sex. My guess is that they'll continue to demonize Rudd, and paint Gillard as intrinsically linked to every bad decision that Rudd made, which might make it understandable if they want to keep Rudd out of sight instead.

Interesting times indeed.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 6:53 PM on June 23, 2010


Hey i'd just ignore the dickheads who think that this isn't news. It's up to them to read something that's more interesting to them, rather than threadshitting.
posted by wilful at 6:56 PM on June 23, 2010


It bothers me that it's a big deal that she's a woman but I don't think I'll be able to articulate that further for a while.

It's not a big deal that she's a woman. It's a big deal because there has never been a female Prime Minister of Australia before. I know it seems like a fine line...

It would be nice if she could get on with the job of governing tomorrow without having to prove herself any more than she already has but that's unlikely since A) she was handed power by default when Rudd stepped down without a vote and B) at the next election she's facing a pretty dyed-in-the-wool misogynist conservative.
posted by crossoverman at 6:59 PM on June 23, 2010


What is her stance on internet filtering?
posted by ioerror at 7:02 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


That really was very quick. When the Labor Party eats one of their own they don't fuck around...
posted by awfurby at 7:06 PM on June 23, 2010


Actually, Grimgrin, it's rather possible that our current political climate may end up being a mirror-image of Canada in 1993. Gillard has stated that she'll be asking the Governer General to call an election in the next few months, and if she doesn't consolidate her power base the the party, she'll be too weak to win it.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:06 PM on June 23, 2010


That's the problem - no-one really knows what her stance is. We can guess, based on who we think is supporting her. If Conroy gets the boot in a cabinet reshuffle that would be a good sign, but I heard that he's part of the faction that put her in power so who knows.
posted by harriet vane at 7:06 PM on June 23, 2010


Sorry, that was about the filter, not her overall chances.
posted by harriet vane at 7:07 PM on June 23, 2010


I hope that Conroy is reshuffled. I'd like to think there's a good chance of it happening, given that the filter has been particularly unpopular and they've been flip-flopping on it... but then again, if it's true that Conroy was a strong supporter of Gillard's rise, she'd owe him a favour.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:13 PM on June 23, 2010


It's not a big deal that she's a woman.

Nah, the bigger issue is that she's a ginger.

Serious question: has the US ever had a ginger president since Thomas Jefferson? So many of them wore wigs that it might be hard to tell, but I'm honestly curious. I would hate to think we're biased.
posted by Asparagirl at 7:20 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey i'd just ignore the dickheads who think that this isn't news. It's up to them to read something that's more interesting to them, rather than threadshitting.

Don't worry - by my estimation it can't be more than 17 minutes until the next thread about the Tea Party, so they'll probably move on.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:36 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


There is some speculation that Kate Lundy might replace Conroy as communications minister, and she has traditionally had a somewhat more realistic view of technology and its limitations (something Conroy seems to lack). Lundy came out early (via Twitter) as supporting Gillard, suggesting she may be owed a favour. Still, it's hard to tell which way this one will go. There seemed to be hints for a while that the whole filter issue was going to be more trouble to the government than it was worth.

The more problematic issue is likely to be the treatment of asylum seekers. Gillard's statements on this in the last few minutes seem to indicate she's going to continue to take a hard line. Rudd's plea last night regarding not lurching to the right on asylum seekers tends to suggest that this is a position Gillard has held for some time.

Still, one can always be hopeful that sense will prevail, I guess.
posted by damonism at 7:37 PM on June 23, 2010


First you legalize witchcraft and now you have a female 'Atheist' PM. I think we can all see what's going on here!
posted by delmoi at 7:48 PM on June 23, 2010


First you legalize witchcraft and now you have a female 'Atheist' PM. I think we can all see what's going on here!

A democracy?
posted by Silverdragonanon at 7:50 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Silverdragonanon: Aaaaah... Sorry. Yes I see how I could parse that differently. Thanks for being gracious about it, as rereading my comment could be a little snarky.

From what I recall Campbell was in an impossible situation, even more than the Wiki page mentions. Jean Charest had run an insurgent candidacy for leadership, and she only narrowly won. She didn't have the full backing of the party, and really didn't have enough time to put daylight between herself and Mulroney.

It's also probably going to be hard times for the left in Australia, if the parallel with '93 holds. Chretien was in power for 10 years after that, and Martin for another 3. It took endless failed mergers and reshuffling for the current Conservative party to emerge (who here remembers the Conservative Reforam Alliance Party?) and a series of high profile scandals to finally break the Liberal hold on power.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:57 PM on June 23, 2010


And the ALP are back as strong favourites to win the next election.

That was quick.
posted by sien at 8:00 PM on June 23, 2010


Clearly what we have here is a victory for "glow" over "chunder".
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:02 PM on June 23, 2010 [5 favorites]


A democracy?
Sssssh! You'll scare the USians!

In other predictions: I predict the coalition will move R. Daneel Olivaw Julie Bishop up a notch, planting her firmly alongside Abbot rather than keeping her a step behind and to stage left. Together, they'll tag-team Gillard - Abbot on the important manly issues of The Economy, mining, boat-people and the Importance of Subtle Adherence to Godliness (While Not Appearing Overtly Christian), with Bishop facing her on the more womanly concerns of education, health, and Why is a 48 Year Old Woman Still Unmarried and Childless.

(In readying this, I looked at Julie Bishop's wikipedia entry [mainly to see if her place of manufacture was listed as "Aurora"]. Those photos are the closest I've ever seen her to smiling. "Rictus" is a good word, and not used nearly enough…)
posted by Pinback at 8:15 PM on June 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Kim Campbell taught me 2nd year Poli Sci. She gave me the only A++ mark I ever received. And we all know how that turned out.

She taught me International Relations, and I was proud to get a B in that class. She was tough, but I learned a hell of a lot. I was sorry to watch her political career crash and burn, but she's had a not too bad second act, anyway.
posted by jokeefe at 8:22 PM on June 23, 2010


I thought Aussie men thundered. In the song at least. In real life, I imagine they hurl chunder a fair bit.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on June 23, 2010


Serious question: has the US ever had a ginger president since Thomas Jefferson? So many of them wore wigs that it might be hard to tell, but I'm honestly curious. I would hate to think we're biased.

Surely this mystery can be solved simply enough by merely digging up the presidential corpses and a) checking their presidential pubes, or, in inevitable gray-hairs and/or Brazilians, just make some clones. And, I mean, you'd only have to gestate the clones until the hair developed, and then you could just chuck 'em in a dumpster. I see no reason why Congress couldn't get this plan enacted in a jiffy.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:26 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


...in the inevitable cases of...
posted by Sys Rq at 8:27 PM on June 23, 2010


Pinback - R. Daneel Olivaw was largely benevolent
posted by bystander at 8:30 PM on June 23, 2010


My suggestion isn't really sci-fi but I was reminded of it by Day of the Triffids - How I live now. It's a YA novel but when I read it recently I could not put it down. What would make it interesting is that it was adapted for radio in 2007, which gives you the option of listening to it or even getting your students to act it out themselves.
posted by Wantok at 8:44 PM on June 23, 2010


Sorry! Getting my links confused...
posted by Wantok at 8:44 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish> Also, an athiest.

Do you have any citation for that. I haven't been able find anywhere outside the echo chamber of social networking that says it's so. I really want it to be true but...
posted by adamt at 8:48 PM on June 23, 2010


Julia Gillard has become Australia's first female Prime Minister in stunning fashion

It's probably worth clarifying that there have been eleven prior female Prime Ministers of Australia, but they were all unremittingly drab in their choice of dress HUNGRY JACK'S HAMBURGER
posted by Sys Rq at 8:53 PM on June 23, 2010


Several Labor politicians said they were ''non-practising'', including the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who said through a spokeswoman that she was a ''non-practising Baptist'' and ''not religious''.
- SMH Dec 2009
posted by bystander at 8:55 PM on June 23, 2010


At a time when Australia needed to be strong, peoples insecurities gave way. I doubt she'll do a better job, she just made the ALP look weak. I'll miss you Rudd :(
posted by Bacillus at 9:03 PM on June 23, 2010


Where did you get the nerve to take his leadership....

Backstabber
posted by Bacillus at 9:06 PM on June 23, 2010


Rudd looks like he's had a couple of pints of blood drained from him (understandably). Bizarre that he's in attendance at Question time. A little embarrassing even.
JG may well be the first Welsh-born PM as well.
What will Tim be called? First Man? First Partner?
posted by peacay at 9:07 PM on June 23, 2010


This reflects badly on everyone: Rudd, for alienating his party so badly; Gillard, for making a Faustian deal with the right; caucus, for dumping an historically popular pm <12 months before election; the media, for fuelling this hysteria in contrast to staid polling; the right, for urging Rudd to dump the CPRS, punishing him for it, giving us more NSW bullshit, and caring more about themselves anything else.

They didn't vote him out on polls - only an idiot would view those polls and conclude the govt would lose.

They didn't vote him out on policy - the NSW right and Gillard were the ones who urged him to flip on the CPRS.

They voted him out because they didn't like him. It fucking shits me to tears when regular voters do that, and it shits me when MPs do it.
posted by smoke at 9:08 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bacillus: "Where did you get the nerve to take his leadership.... Backstabber"

Well, there was the whole thing about the party choosing her ...
posted by barnacles at 9:11 PM on June 23, 2010


She is WEAK to have done this.

Now the ALP looks like the Liberals who have been having problems getting it together.

I'll tell you Obama is not pleased right now either, he really likes Rudd.
posted by Bacillus at 9:12 PM on June 23, 2010


What Obama thinks of Rudd...
posted by Bacillus at 9:16 PM on June 23, 2010


I'll tell you Obama is not pleased right now either, he really likes Rudd.

Obama doesn't care who's in charge of Australia. He'll work whoever the incumbent is. I'm sure he'll like Julia just fine.

She is WEAK to have done this.

Rudd is weak to have just stepped down without a vote.
posted by crossoverman at 9:38 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you what, nobody cares what Obama thinks.
posted by wilful at 9:38 PM on June 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now the ALP looks like the Liberals who have been having problems getting it together.

Or really really decisive.

Frankly I think we needed the changed - Rudd had failed at the policy level and at the communicative level. Too many media moments. I'm glad he's gone and to read the articles in the Age, it's clear he brought the challenge on himself.
posted by awfurby at 9:41 PM on June 23, 2010


Oh so this is where we're all hanging out now?

Cool. My shout.
posted by Jimbob at 10:12 PM on June 23, 2010


(Chicks Rule)
posted by Jimbob at 10:13 PM on June 23, 2010


Oh, talking of Lindsay Tanner... he just quit.
posted by Jimbob at 10:17 PM on June 23, 2010


From what I recall Campbell was in an impossible situation, even more than the Wiki page mentions. Jean Charest had run an insurgent candidacy for leadership, and she only narrowly won. She didn't have the full backing of the party, and really didn't have enough time to put daylight between herself and Mulroney.

The Campbell parallel is interesting and a bit frightening. It's not just that she inherited a difficult situation, but there was a theory with wide currency at the time that she was set up to fail. Campbell was appointed when Brian Mulroney stepped down as head of the conservative party, amidst freakishly low popularity (11% in a Gallup poll) and a general prediction that the conservatives would lose the upcoming election hard. The party elders, recognizing this, made sure to install one of Mulroney's chief lieutenants (Campbell was defence minister) to clearly identify the conservatives with Mulroney in the next election, let the electorate take out their anger on them, and then rebuild with Charest.

Along the way, a prominent female politician would get kneecapped, suiting the sexist predisposition of a lot of conservatives and actually delaying a real female prime minister by taking the "first" off the table and providing an example of a female party leader destroying one of the two major parties in Canadian politics.

In the 1993 election, the conservatives went from a majority government with 151 seats, to 2 seats: Elsie Wayne and Jean Charest. Having "official party status" (and thus qualifying for things like government money and the right to ask questions during Question Period) requires twelve seats--as of that election, the Progressive Conservative party basically ceased to exist (replaced at that time mainly by the Reform Party as the right wing party in Parliament).

So yes, the parallel is interesting and scary when a female ascends to the PMship by resignation rather than election, and under dubious political fortunes for the party she now heads.
posted by fatbird at 10:17 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


"They voted him out because they didn't like him. It fucking shits me to tears when regular voters do that, and it shits me when MPs do it." posted by smoke

I agree, this is what has happened, and it doesn't say anything good about how the party operates. But it might not turn out too badly for Labor... they'll win the election and those NSW Right powerbrokers will feel vindicated.

prettypretty - Yeah I saw some pretty awful thoughtless comments on FB as well today. Strangely, most of them were from women? wtf?
posted by joz at 10:19 PM on June 23, 2010


bystander - Yeah, but so's Bishop. The worst you can say about her is that's she's obeyed orders, except where they conflicted with the First Law.

On a more serious note, Conroy's position is an interesting one. Through the factions he's almost assured of an important portfolio. He's proved he's almost a natural for the Communications position - you can't argue that his performance in that aspect of his portfolio was lacking; he ruled the Senate committee in opposition, played a sensible game against the Murdochs and Packers, and stood up to Telstra in government. Out of that came a revived DTV conversion scheule (although still with quite a few failings), and a NBN proposal that both (a) seems reasonably feasible and well-costed, and (b) effectively creates the structural separation between providers and customer access that should have been a feature of the Telstra privatisation from the start.

Where he's failed miserably is in two main points. Firstly, he back-pedalled hard on the SBS funding / advertising issue and, as mentioned above, failed to stand up to some of the more idiotic choices allowed by the Howard government in the DTV realm; that cost him a lot of goodwill in public. Secondly, his / Rudd's post-election backflip on the internet filtering issue, his hard-core adherence to a mandatory filter, and the way they handled the whole thing in both the public sphere and private negotiations with ISPs, has cost even more.

Kate Lundy, on the other hand, has been grooming herself for Communications / IT for a while now - well before the last election, in fact - and has a fairly good, if low-key, record. I suspect that, as has happened in the past, any re-shuffles will be fairly minor and aimed at distancing the 'new' government from the less-popular aspects of the old. In that case I can see Conroy's current portfolio being split, with Conroy holding onto Communications and IT going to Lundy. That'll allow the government to drop an unpopular proposal, give Conroy a public rap across the knuckles while allowing him to do what he's best at, and provide a place for a Gillard supporter and one of Labor's rising stars.

(No particular comment on Rudd; I've said it all in the past in other threads here. Suffice to say that his tactics, techniques, methods, and abilities don't seem to have grown much in the time since he sidled in to a backroom position in state government here. I don't think he was voted out because they didn't like him; I think he was voted out because he wasn't any bloody good at the job of PM. Too much of a diplomat; not enough of a politician. Remember, he was fairly low-key until he was elected to the Labor leadership.

As my father said to me a few nights ago: "Y'know, I never understood why you thought he was crap - but you were right. What has he actually done, apart from beating that arsehole Howard?")

posted by Pinback at 10:34 PM on June 23, 2010


Yes, but when you spell out that Campbell narrative it makes it less like the situation experienced in Australia today.

Rudd was never widely embraced by his own party and had such a limited and disparate support base in his own party when his popularity went so did they. He was pretty much disposed of because his only party didn't like him AND (and this is the key thing) the party thought they had an equal or better chance of winning the next election with JG as PM.

Since Day 1 Gillard has been seen as PM in waiting. People just expected it later rather than sooner. Gillard didn't win it narrowly. She was going to win with such a big majority that the incumbent stood aside. There was also no real traditional (Australian) leadership turmoil or speculation. 24 hours ago I don't think the general public or the media really believed they would wake up today to a new PM. It was about as clean a leadership roll as you could ever get. In addition despite the "poor" polling of the labor party they were still ahead on a 2PP basis and were still in with a very real chance in the next election, particularly if they could put the mining super profits tax to rest. So I think the circumstances are very different and in all likelyhood Julia will win the next election.
posted by NeatBeat at 10:36 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Chicks Rule)

I wonder how much the t-shirts are worth now.
posted by GeckoDundee at 10:41 PM on June 23, 2010


they'll win the election and those NSW Right powerbrokers will feel vindicated.
Don Farrell is from South Australia and David Feeney is from Victoria.
posted by unliteral at 10:41 PM on June 23, 2010


But it might not turn out too badly for Labor... they'll win the election and those NSW Right powerbrokers will feel vindicated.

Joz, the second does not follow from the first: vindicating this shallow, craven approach to politics is the last thing Labor, or the country needs.

And now Tanner's quit. I hope those dickheads are happy. On the bright side, the greens will undoubtedly get his seat, on the down side, they're just lost one of their smartest, most formidable, most competent ministers.
posted by smoke at 10:42 PM on June 23, 2010


Who's an empty fruit bowl now!? (Apparently the reference was both literal and horrifically metaphorical.)
posted by dhens at 11:11 PM on June 23, 2010


I remember my (now) wife pointing out Gillard at function in 1989 and saying it was widely accepted that she would be Australia's first woman PM. Her comment this morning: "Bill [Shorten] will start knifing her in about February" .

Tanner quitting is a huge blow, but perhaps Gillard's ex-boyfriend Emerson will get a better job.
posted by hawthorne at 11:13 PM on June 23, 2010


Tanner's quit? WTF? I wonder what would happen if he ran as an Independent in his seat...
posted by harriet vane at 11:16 PM on June 23, 2010


Tanner says he said he was going to quit weeks ago, and today had nothing to do with it.

If true, well it doesn't matter, he was going, and the Greens will have their lower house seat. So that'll be interesting.
posted by wilful at 11:17 PM on June 23, 2010


Meanwhile, Western Australia resoundingly doesn't give a crap about the whole affair.

It swells my pride to see my state caring more about Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz being caught screwing each other than the future of our country.
posted by Talez at 11:27 PM on June 23, 2010


When I was ten years old, I told my parents I wanted to become Australia's first female Prime Minister. Damn you, Julia Gillard, for beating me to it.

No, really, it's fantastic news. When I first heard I was, like Talez, a bit meh about the whole thing, but the more I've thought about it today, the more pleased I am. It's not as good as an election win, but it's a start, and it's been a bloody long time coming.

I like Gillard and hope she does good things. Then again, I also liked Rudd and he turned out to be a pretty mediocre PM. Even if Gillard ends up being a footnote in the long run, today is a nice day.
posted by Georgina at 11:50 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


unliteral, thanks for that. I had heard earlier that it was Mark Arbib and his mates behind this. I don't know who said what to who and when...

The ABC was talking about Gillard having 75% of the party votes this morning, which is pretty impressive and certainly crosses party faction boundaries. A case of "love the one you're with"? Pragmatism or disloyalty? In any case I don't think Rudd had many friends to begin with, and certainly didn't make any more while he was PM.
posted by joz at 12:08 AM on June 24, 2010


Reading the FOXNews summary, I find it really odd when they translate stuff into Americanese.
posted by wilful at 12:22 AM on June 24, 2010


You're not wrong...

...challenged him for the top spot in the governing center-left Labor Party, a post that carries with it the premiership.

My first thought on reading that was that the grand finals aren't until September...
posted by harriet vane at 12:49 AM on June 24, 2010


Meanwhile, Western Australia resoundingly doesn't give a crap about the whole affair.

Aaaaand, the rest of Australia doesn't give a crap about anything west of Eucla.
posted by Jimbob at 12:53 AM on June 24, 2010




24-hour media cycle does no favours for our democracy:
In the United States, the United Kingdom, and in this Commonwealth of Australia, disillusion with politics as usual has been the abiding sentiment of the electorate over recent years. We should stop to consider whether the culture of constant obsolescence and the relentless drumbeat of narratives of the eternal now we've just seen make history, almost without knowing what it was doing, is good for any of us.

Will any future Prime Minister take the time to reflect, or have the courage to lead, knowing that a few marginal seat polls and a media firestorm can dissolve their legitimacy in the flick of an eyelid?...

...we must now ask ourselves whether politics as usual allows any leader to wrestle with the great moral challenges of our time. Because those challenges are not going away, even as the timescale of the Twitterverse and the 24-hour news machine rolls relentlessly on to another moment of the present.
posted by harriet vane at 1:15 AM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


"What do you mean, Talez? How was she supposed to win?

One would assume by becoming leader of the opposition, winning the respect and admiration of the Australian public and being swept to power rather than being installed as the most convenient option."

Yeah, but this is politics.
posted by Gamien Boffenburg at 1:40 AM on June 24, 2010


Yeah the idea that Labor would have to lose an election, have Rudd fall on his sword, and we'd have to endure a whole cycle of Abbott before Gillard would get a chance stinks a little bit as well.

We have a right to expect our leaders to be the best possible - now Rudd wasn't that bad, and Gillard might not be that good, and this clearly smacks of an internal factional war rather than something primarily in the public interest, but still, I think the ability to throw out a poorly performing leader and replace them with a better one is a useful thing to have.

Hey, at least the Governor General didn't do it, am I right?
posted by Jimbob at 1:50 AM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually make that two cycles of Abbott, since we know the first Leader of the Opposition after an election always meets a grisly demise as well.
posted by Jimbob at 1:51 AM on June 24, 2010


bystander> Julia Gillard, who said through a spokeswoman that she was a ''non-practising Baptist'' and ''not religious''.

From "not religious" to "atheist" seems a bit of a stretch. :/
posted by adamt at 1:57 AM on June 24, 2010


Yeah the idea that Labor would have to lose an election, have Rudd fall on his sword, and we'd have to endure a whole cycle of Abbott before Gillard would get a chance stinks a little bit as well.

True, Jimbob, but the idea we were headed for a Labor loss under Rudd was improbable with the data we had to hand.
posted by smoke at 2:05 AM on June 24, 2010


From "not religious" to "atheist" seems a bit of a stretch. :/

Why?

Someone might not be running around writing books and getting in people's faces like Richard Dawkins, but "not religious", as far as I can tell, means "not religious".
posted by Jimbob at 2:08 AM on June 24, 2010


True, Jimbob, but the idea we were headed for a Labor loss under Rudd was improbable with the data we had to hand.

I agree, so Labor would have won anyway. When does Gillard get her chance under that scenario, if the Labor party are never allowed to select a new leader while in government?

I do, obviously, have a horse in this race, since I always felt Gillard should have knocked Beazley off instead of Rudd.
posted by Jimbob at 2:10 AM on June 24, 2010


I saw some pretty awful thoughtless comments on FB as well today. Strangely, most of them were from women? wtf?

Yeah Carrie whatserface off the 7pm project just asked Gillard's biographer if people will be able to relate to her because she's not married. wtf? indeed
posted by prettypretty at 2:25 AM on June 24, 2010


I wouldn't get *all* that hot and bothered about having a female PM.

We tried that one time. It didn't work out all that well and she was, quite frankly, barking mad mental by the time the men in grey suits handed her the revolver.
posted by littleredspiders at 2:27 AM on June 24, 2010


jimbob> but "not religious", as far as I can tell, means "not religious".

... which is not really same as atheist is it? It could mean that, but it could equally be anything else in the spectrum from apathetic to agnostic to atheist. Like I said earlier, I want it to be true, but if that's all there is, then people seem to be making more of it than there is to be had.
posted by adamt at 2:34 AM on June 24, 2010


That's fair enough. I guess I'm just personally not that concerned about whether or not a political leader is a strict, card-carrying philosophical atheist. Apathetic works just fine for me.
posted by Jimbob at 2:38 AM on June 24, 2010


Interesting article.
posted by pompomtom at 2:39 AM on June 24, 2010


You know what ... despite the perhaps dubious nature of her ascension, despite the media storm, I'm still sticking by my first reaction to this news:

A female PM! Hell yes!
posted by Xany at 3:05 AM on June 24, 2010


JG may well be the first Welsh-born PM as well.

Apparently she is... even Lloyd George was born in Manchester
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:02 AM on June 24, 2010


I'm not sure that Gillard has ever come out and said, "I'm an atheist", but she took an affirmation instead of swearing an oath today, if that satisfies your need for proof.
posted by robcorr at 4:23 AM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aaaaand, the rest of Australia doesn't give a crap about anything west of Eucla.

I've never heard of Eucla, but that's probably because it must be somewhere west of Strathfield.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:03 AM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


What is there to be had about her being an atheist? Australia is not America, I really (hopefully) don't think it's that big of a deal.

But anyway, I'm positive that Julia Gillard will be a good PM, or at least play the part of one well. She is the quintessential politican. She loves the game of it and is very good at it. Her gender doesn't really come into it. Anna Bligh is competently playing the game and she's a girl too! Now the media, on the other hand, are going to be appalling and I'm going to have to read it because I've been ignoring the news recently but I've become intrigued by all this, so I guess I'll have to subject myself to the onslaught.

I'm sorry for the way Rudd was ejected. I was extremely happy when Labor won the last election and I actually did like Rudd. The way he's been treated is kind of shocking to me, really, just because I'm still a bit of a naif when it comes to the merciless treatment of perfectly capable people because of personality issues, but that happens quite often apparently.

And of course I'm glad she's a redhead.
posted by h00py at 5:04 AM on June 24, 2010


And now Lateline is on, so I'll get a quick overview of what's going on.
posted by h00py at 5:26 AM on June 24, 2010


All of the portfolios that she held are so important. Education, Employment and Social Inclusion. It will be interesting to see who she appoints as minister for those. Hopefully she'll remember that they are some of the most important things that the government should be looking after (along with Health, of course) and won't consider them to be the first port of call for budget cutbacks.

I don't like the way that this happened; I really think that Rudd should have been allowed to continue his leadership. But I think Julia Gillard will be a good PM.

I think that this leadership change will shine more of a spotlight on the machinations of politics and I think that's a good thing. We all need to know that being a leader is not straight-forward.There are all kinds of things going on in the background and not everything is personal. (I know what I said before, I'm still processing all this, okay?)

I think that Rudd is a good man and his determination to remain a working part of the Labor Party despite all of this confirms my opinion of him.
posted by h00py at 5:50 AM on June 24, 2010


Did I kill the thread?
posted by h00py at 6:54 AM on June 24, 2010


So this is what happens when they fire a straggler in the ALPS.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:45 AM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Also, an athiest."

Huh?

I saw a Family First* senator debating Richard Dawkins on TV not long ago where Dawkins put him on the spot and asked him directly if he was a Young Earth Creationist. He dodged the question with some waffle about there being multiple points of view and certain unanswered questions, before stating that just like Kevin Rudd he believed the bible to be true, and he supported Intelligent Design teaching in schools.

Rudd rarely spoke publicly of religion, it being a divisive topic whereas he wanted to be all things to all people, but unless the Family First senator was outright lying I got from that discussion that Rudd was a closet creationist.

* A minor conservative Christian party whose policies are pro-censorship, anti-gay etc, economic liberals. They are a very small party who often wield great power in parliament due to our generally close elections resulting in very narrow government majorities that mean a few swing votes from minor parties often decide legislation outcomes.
posted by Mokusatsu at 9:52 AM on June 24, 2010


Oh, you meant Gillard... I don't think she's ever really clarified her views on religion.
posted by Mokusatsu at 9:59 AM on June 24, 2010


I'm not sure that Gillard has ever come out and said, "I'm an atheist", but she took an affirmation instead of swearing an oath today, if that satisfies your need for proof.

Maybe she's a Muslim.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:22 AM on June 24, 2010


The she'll get along perfectly with Obama!
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:27 PM on June 24, 2010


Rudd rarely spoke publicly of religion

Rare, perhaps, compared to a US politician. But he positively dribbled religion compared to what we've been used to in Australia. I should note that if you saw "a" Family First senator, then you must have seen the Family First senator, Steve Fielding, who, if even if we completely forgive and ignore his religious insanity, is still the stupidest, most loose-mouthed member of Parliament we have. And I say that in complete acknowledgment that parliament is also blessed by the presence of Wilson Tuckey and Bob Katter.

Interesting point - one of the "shadowy Labor figures" who allegedly organized Gillard's elevation was also responsible for the preferences deal that gave us Steve Fielding. Just trying to remember his name, I can't find the article I read on this yesterday...
posted by Jimbob at 4:27 PM on June 24, 2010


>I've never heard of Eucla, but that's probably because it must be somewhere west of Strathfield.

Strathfield? That must be somewhere beyond Norton St?
posted by girlgenius at 5:01 PM on June 24, 2010


Jimbob: Feeney.
posted by unliteral at 5:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Strathfield? That must be somewhere beyond Norton St?

From what I've been told, yes. Way out west.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:45 PM on June 24, 2010


Strathfield represent! Safe Labor seat of Lowe so my vote will make sfa difference whoever I vote for.
posted by smoke at 7:35 PM on June 24, 2010


An interesting but shallow thought just occured to me. I'm going to wager that, in the coming months, for every knifing Gillard gets by the likes of Shanahan or Ackerman or Devine deep within a national broadsheet, there are going to be three front-cover features articles on Our Fantastic Julia in New Idea or Womens Weekly, staring out from every checkout aisle in the nation. We'll see how that plays out.
posted by Jimbob at 1:56 AM on June 25, 2010


I wouldn't believe anything Fielding implied about Rudd. It's not like they're mates, and it's not like Fielding is a reliable source on anything. I saw that bit on Q and A, and it seemed to me more like he was trying to deflect attention from his own beliefs and imply that if it's ok for the PM to be an Anglican, then it's ok for himself to be a misogynist, climate-change-denying member of a fringe religion.

Rudd is more religious than I'd like in a PM, but he's no Tony Abbott and he's no Steve Fielding.
posted by harriet vane at 2:47 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jimbob: ...for every knifing Gillard gets by the likes of Shanahan or Ackerman or Devine deep within a national broadsheet, there are going to be three front-cover features articles on Our Fantastic Julia in New Idea or Womens Weekly, staring out from every checkout aisle in the nation.

Interesting point, Jimbob. I'm reminded of Maxine McKew's interview with the Women's Weekly when she was running for Bennelong, which was done specifically to give her a sympathetic place to share that she would've loved to have had children but her husband is infertile. Bill Heffernan, that lovely joy of a man, had just slammed Julia Gillard for being "deliberately barren", and McKew was wanting to avoid a similar fate.

I thought at the time that it was an interesting use of the women's media, and made a nice change from the typical "PM's wife at The Lodge!" articles that they tend to publish. Or as we saw about a year ago with Therese Rein, "Look, she's lost weight!"

(Really, women's magazines? Is that the only time a smart, successful woman married to our nation's PM is worth your attention, when she's slimming down?)

Now that Gillard's PM, I look forward to watching the women's magazines deal with it. It'll be interesting if they keep the polite and somewhat revered tone they usually use for politicians' wives, or if Gillard, being a polly herself, will be held to a different standard.

I do rather like the sound of Our Julia, to go along with Our Kylie and Our Nicole.
posted by Georgina at 3:58 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we all know there's going to be all kinds of shite written about her dress sense, her teeth, her hair colour, her hairdresser boyfriend, her barreness, her atheism and her silly robot voice.

What really matters though is how she's going to govern the country, and I really believe that she'll be quite good at that. She's been tackling this whole politics thing for some time and unless something absolutely catastrophic happens between now and the election the Labor party will easily win.

I have faith in my fellow Australians not to be so revoltingly sexist as to not vote for their local member just because their leader is a lady.

Still feel sorry for Rudd though.
posted by h00py at 5:34 AM on June 25, 2010


I can't recall where I read it, but someone made the point that the ALP only gives women a chance after the men have truly fucked things up. Joan Kirner in Victoria, Carmen Lawrence in W.A., and now Gillard ...
posted by bright cold day at 12:37 PM on June 25, 2010


What confuses me, to be honest, is why so many people are saying she's going to be a great PM when the only thing I can remember her for -- other than being yet another nodding dog behind KRudd -- is the Education Revolution debacle. The way that was handled ("LALALALALA THERE'S NOTHING WRONG LALALALALA" *wham handbrake-turn*) really irked me, although it was rather reflective of the way various other KRuddian issues have been. I certainly hope she'll be an improvement, but I have a feeling a lot of the "wow she'll be amazingly amazing" sentiment is just wishful thinking, or assuming that she must be able to do a better job because she's a woman.

Also, h00py, I'm sorry to disagree with you but Anna isn't doing a wonderful job up here, at least not as far as I can see. Ruling by dictat and refusing to listen to the people (asset sales, anyone? Mary River?), reactive governing a la the FedLabs... yeah, not a fan I'm afraid.

Of course, this leaves me in the lovely position of disliking federal and state labor parties, not really being a fan of the Liberal/LibNats, and.. not really having much of an option elsewise. Huzzah two party system :/
posted by coriolisdave at 4:29 PM on June 26, 2010


the ALP only gives women a chance after the men have truly fucked things up. Joan Kirner in Victoria, Carmen Lawrence in W.A., and now Gillard ...

You forgot Kristina Keneally in NSW.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 PM on June 26, 2010


adamt: Does this ABC radio interview help any? Cue to about 8:19 if you're only interested in the "Do you believe in God?" question.
posted by MarchHare at 10:01 PM on June 28, 2010


Thanks MarchHare. I saw articles quoting this interview earlier today, but I hadn't heard the full thing.
posted by adamt at 3:43 AM on June 29, 2010


Confirmed atheist:
This morning during a radio interview on 774 ABC Melbourne, the new Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard was asked point blank:

“Do you believe in God?”

Her reply:

“No I don’t, John”
posted by Pants! at 10:11 AM on June 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


An interesting but shallow thought just occured to me. I'm going to wager that, in the coming months, for every knifing Gillard gets by the likes of Shanahan or Ackerman or Devine deep within a national broadsheet, there are going to be three front-cover features articles on Our Fantastic Julia in New Idea or Womens Weekly, staring out from every checkout aisle in the nation. We'll see how that plays out.

Jimbob, I have the plan for the 2013 election completely sewn up for Gillard. It's so simple, only a genius could think of it.

Tim Mathiesen, the boyfriend (is that his name?), asks her to marry him, about 12 months before the polls. Three months before, it's ALL about the wedding.

remember, you heard it here first.
posted by wilful at 7:30 PM on June 29, 2010


Julia Gillard won't be appearing on the July cover of The Australian Women's Weekly ("Think I should clarify. July cover out next week so missed Gillard. Ouch. But we are up to something," tweeted editor Helen McCabe).

But stablemate Woman's Day, headed by Fiona Connolly (a fellow former News Limited colleague of McCabe) has pipped the other glossies at the post.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:34 AM on June 30, 2010


Quote from an septigenarian I know:

"Julia Gillard will have to get married, because if she's sleeping with someone...well, that would just be an insult to the Queen!"
posted by Jimbob at 6:05 PM on June 30, 2010


I call her Julia Lizard. Pronounced as you would her surname: liz-ARD.

Not for any reason other than it sounds funny. I Googled to check if anyone else had thought of this most witty of witticisms.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:16 PM on June 30, 2010


"no news... only just started..."

I await the updates with bated breath.
posted by smoke at 12:38 AM on July 1, 2010




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