The Warrior Who Won’t Lie Down And Die.

Tony Abbott who said those words,
Is always looking for a fight.
Now he’s at war with a woman
He thinks has what is his by right.
Hell bent on having that top job,
He said,  ‘cos she lives by a lie,
He would win by hook or by crook,
And she’d soon lie down and die.
Whatever dirty tricks he’s tried
On this woman, Julia Gillard,
She has outwitted him, stood firm,
As he attacks with no holds barred.
It’s been no use, his verbal abuse,
The insults and lie upon lie.
She stays calm, makes jokes, and she smiles,
Refusing to lie down and die.

Both have their troops to support them,
Their armies with banners unfurled.
Hers have their plans battle ready,
Drawn up by the best in the world.
He has relied on powerful friends,
But some are now starting to sigh
And ask if he has it in him
To force her to lie down and die.

Tony too often loses it.
That banging on the Chamber door,
Mad run and all,  reminding of
Smashed plate glass panels years before.
Old mining mates are wondering if
Julia’s a more likely ally.
They have heard her and assessed her
Not the type to lie down and die.

Public opinion’s changing too.
There are reports that is because
Folk see the life and fight in her
And how she shares their love for Oz.
Her war’s for them; his for himself.
Good things she’s done he will decry,
Not caring if that harms them too.
“Thank God!” they’re saying, “She won’t lie down and die!”


Julia Gillard has a “fire in her belly coupled with a reasoned, quietly angry determination.”    Source:  The Australian, 31/03/2012. 

NOTES:     I was interested in Tony Abbott’s choice of words in his pep talk the other day to his Coalition colleagues.   Had he really thought them through, or was he smarting so much from all the bad press about his undignified dash from the House of Reps that he didn’t realize their implication? (Erratum here – it seems I have these two events in the wrong order.  See Sue’s comment below!  So if he was smarting it was about his ratings drop in the Newspoll published the day before)   Was he aware that he was ackowledging Julia Gillard to be a warrior?  Not only that,  but one who would not lie down and die?  As a former shadow spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs and with his personal interest in Aborginal advancement,  he must know of Richard Trudgen’s groundbreaking work,  “Why Warriors Lie Down And Die” now in its sixth printing. 

It would be nice to think that phrase came to mind  because he was considering joining Nicola Roxon, Tony Windsor and the Greens in discussions about ways to improve the Mabo legislation whose passage twenty years ago was being celebrated this week.  It is possible,  I suppose,  that matters indigenous were pre-occupying him.  After all,  it’s the perfect opportunity for him to shift gear into positive mode and begin to say,  “Yes.”   That seems unlikely, however, since he made no mention of it when addressing his troops in the Coalition party room when it could have been a credible circuit breaker for him in the current media hype over his leadership ratings in the polls.  No, I think it was a subliminal awareness that in Julia Gillard he has a  formidable opponent.  One who has plenty of life and fight left in her………….a warrior?   Well, he didn’t actually use that word, did he?    But the association of ideas is pretty obvious.

As Ad Astra of the Political Sword pointed out in the Pugilistic Politician  fighting is Abbott’s essential metaphor.  His threat to give Julia Gillard’s government the ‘fright of its life’  was typical of the aggressive and combative Abbott renowned for his boxing and sporting exploits.   Eighteen months on and Ad Astra is able to assess what a failure Abbott has been in frightening either Gillard or her government.  He has proved a poor performer in comparison to the Prime Minister in the parliamentary arena.  He has had no wins at all in blocking significant and reformist legislation in spite of his venomous rhetoric and obstructive tactics.   The recent running from the House of Reps and banging on the closed chamber door in an effort to negate Craig Thomson’s unexpected vote of support for the Coalition is a symptom of his growing frustrated rage.  Supporters fear it threatens to explode as it did in his student days when he kicked in a glass panel door after losing a student union election.  

Julia Gillard meanwhile has performed all the duties of Prime Minister with aplomb and shows no signs of wilting in the face of Abbott’s continuous onslaughts.  Even The Australian has given rare and  grudging acknowledgement of her courage.  The very prime ministerial photograph above appeared in The Australian with the article by Nikki Gemmell  about the admiration being expressed for her out in the community, particularly amongst women.  This seemed to give the lie to all the news reports and polls demonstrating how personally unpopular she is.  Yes, there is a climate of hate which has been promoted by extremist shock jocks and encouraged by main stream media.  Together with right wing vested interests they have been anticipating,  hoping and no doubt planning for regime change since the hung parliament was first returned and Julia Gillard so surprisingly formed her minority Labor government.  The odds seemed against her from the start.   Tony Abbott’s confidence that the he would soon be hosting drinks at the lodge  were well founded,  given the massive support he’s been able to depend on from media and big business. 

But Julia Gillard still occupies The Lodge.  Abbott’s belligerence and media stunts are beginning to pall with the public and he seems increasingly compulsive and erratic.  Who knows if he will even survive as Liberal Party leader?   With or without him,  what will the Coalition and their supporters try next in their campaign against the Labor minority government and its reformist agenda?  One thing we do know, and so does he.   Julia Gillard will be no pushover.   She has strong support within ALP Caucus and among ministerial colleagues.  One of them,  Nicola Roxon,  today described her as “incredibly strong, incredibly decent.”  

Julia Gillard has plenty of enemies and detractors, as would any national leader prepared to develop progressive policies and make unpopular decisions.    That in itself confirms she has the courage and conviction which she has told Caucus Labor will need if they are to win the next election.  I have quoted above a colleague’s description of her and another from The Australian newspaper.  So reliable sources tell us she is incredibly strong, incredibly decent and a woman with fire in her belly coupled with a reasoned, quietly angry determination.  No wonder Tony Abbott has admitted  to himself, unconsciously at least, that Julia Gillard is a warrior who will not lie down and die.


Ad Astra,     05/06/12,   Patriciawa, your pome was delightful, so apt, so clever. Thank you.

Patriciawa,     05/06/12,  Hello Ad Astra.  Thank you for that compliment.  I hope you had time to read my notes too, which explain how I reached the title of my post which Lyn so kindly linked to.

Ad Astra,    05/06/12,   Yes, I did read your narrative, and fully agree with it and your conclusion.    Thank you for your kind comment and your stirring pome.  That is one of JG’s greatest attributes: “She won’t lie down and die’.

Catching up,    05/06/12,  Julia Gillard is a warrior who will not lie down and die.” Yes indeed she is. What she is not, is an amazon. This lady does not treat politics as a pugilist battle but as the means to hold society together, while governing to for the good of all.   This PM is carrying out the role in a calm and considerate manner. This PM can dish it out, if it becomes necessary. This PM can take all that is dished out to her. Take it with a smile and grace.  This PM does not brown nose to the polls or the media chiefs as her opponent does.  The PM is a buildr, not a demolisher.

I believe it will be her singing at the end of the day, “I did it my way”, not Abbott as many think.    Well done Patricia.

Victoria,    05/06/12,    Wonderful. Perhaps it should be forwarded to the PM. She might enjoy it!

Janice,      05/06/12,     Love it. And I agree with Victoria, send it off to the PM and make her day :)

Patriciawa,    05/06/12,    Thanks guys, I’ll follow up on your suggestion.

Sue,    05/06/12,    the dash from the house was on the wednesday, the pep talk happened on the tuesday. so my thinking was that abbott was just reacting to the newspoll that had him falling from preferred PM. with all the rubbish he had dished out the previous week i feel his ego got a massive hit by the rejection from the electorate to him saying he was “human” about thomson.

thanks for writing such a wonderful pome about the PM and i bet Nicola’s comments will be food for thought on another pome.

On Nicola, what a fight she took on with the cigarette companies, i hope she suceeds in the High Court .

Patriciawa,    05/06/12.   Thanks, Sue.  I’ll need to sort that ASAP.

Fiona,   05/06/12.     Patricia, a wonderful pome as always, and I completely endorse the sentiments in your notes.    DEFINITELY send it to JGPM!

Victoria, 24/11/12/ Thanks Patricia. Very enjoyable

C@atmomma, 24/11/12, PatriciaWA, Absolutely beautiful pome. Could you please send it to the PM’s office? I’m sure they’d love to read it.

BH, 24/11/12, Patricia,Just read your thoroughly enjoyable and pertinent poem. xx

briefly, 24/11/12, Great work, Patricia.


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