These women in Labor are feeling no pain,
Find running the country’s no stress and no strain,
All were up-beat and their spirits were high
When at a Party event they explained to me why.
Working conditions have improved much of late
With their new boss who is efficient and straight.
Labor’s productive. It’s not at all hard
Conceiving new laws with PM Gillard.
Not just these women, but ALP men
Work well with her and if ever again
Rudd were to challenge and push came to shove
They’d vote for Julia. Working with her is a Labor of love!
The death of Julia Gillard’s father this weekend had me thinking how proud he would have been of all that she has achieved. I had the privelege just a few days ago of meeting the Prime Minister personally at a community cabinet here in W.A. in nearby Kwinana. I just wish I could have let him know of the conversations I had with some of her colleagues at the less crowded social event which followed the public forum. All of them, both men and women, expressed admiration for her as a leader of Labor Caucus and as Prime Minister. The women expressed much more – affection, love and appreciation for her strength and her support for themselves and other women struggling to achieve more both here in Australia and in other less developed parts of the world. Thinking about the PM’s tribute to her father as the inspiration for what she strives to achieve in her work as I modified this post for Cafe Whispers I began to see that John Gillard had left us all a legacy, his daughter’s Labor of Love.
Readers of this blog will know that I’ve long been an admirer of Julia Gillard but particularly because of what I’ve read and seen of her response to our mainstream media which has aided and abetted in her demonisation by Tony Abbott and the Coalition since she became PM . I jumped at the opportunity to observe her up close and personal, as it were, at the Community Cabinet last Wednesday 05/09/12. Here are the notes I made and posted at The Political Sword about that evening and how my experience then confirmed that admiration. I had such an overwhelming response to them that I decided to write a pome and incorporate them here.
……..Just spent a happy half hour writing about the ‘real’ Julia whom I met last night in Kwinana at the Community Cabinet. Astonishingly fresh after a solid day’s Prime Ministerial work with Barnett on Gonski she stood up for well over the allotted hour, managed the audience of hundreds in the hall and fielded questions from the floor to herself and her Ministers, all seated alongside her by the way. Suffering the odd fool gladly with great patience she answered everything that was thrown at her or referred some to her ministers where appropriate. There were some answers that were not popular e.g. re asylum seekers, or FIFO work permits for mining companies but there was no doublespeak or efforts to placate. Amongst the fifteen members of cabinet seated on stage alongside the PM were five of Labor’s wonderful women ministers pictured above with my local Member, Melissa Parke.
Still unable to drive myself I had been given a lift from Freo by an ALP insider on condition I stayed on afterwards for the special invite for drinks with the PM. First time I’ve blessed that woman who knocked me down and broke my leg! WOW! . I talked at length about the great things they’ve achieved to Nicola Roxon, Tanya Plibersek and Kate Ellis. All were really happy to hear how popular the PM is out here in the big wide world and promised to pass on those sentiments to her from me, with all of them having something to say themselves about how sensational she is to work with! Someone suggested I should tell the PM myself how I felt! I had been reluctant to approach her since she was being extraordinarily generous with the scores of people lining up to get autographs or photos with her. But I couldn’t l knock back the offer of a personal introduction, from Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, could I? Busy signing autographs with one hand, she hugged me around the shoulders for a photo with her free arm. Imagine being hugged by the PM herself! I found myself willingly hugging her back! What’s all this nonsense about her being cold and wooden?
By the way, she doesn’t hog the limelight and went to extraordinary lengths to draw in her team, give them credit and encourage general mingling with her ministers before she exited at a very late EST hour. Which is how I came to spend quite a while talking to Chris Bowen who was interesting to listen to as he responded to more than one person joining us and commiserating with him about the lousy job he’d landed. Someone has to do it, he said. “We are all volunteers, after all.” And there are rewards with many of his clients. And yes, there are some who bring out the cynic in one. Nauru is almost ready to go by the way, but PNG is a bit slower and neither of them are just refurbishments of the old detention centres. The plan is for them to be quite different. All of SHY’s worst expectations won’t be realized.
Altogether a very cheering and uplifting experience. Hardly a mention of the Opposition, even when the LOTO came up by name – the almost uniform response was a raised eyebrow, wrinkling of the nose or just a grimace and then the subject was changed. As if they just don’t want their personal space polluted with all of TA’s toxic negativity.
Catching up, 08/09/12, A gallant woman who has been able to withstand all that the men have shot at her. One that will not laid down and die. A doer, builder, not a talker, demolisher.
2 Gravel, o9/09/12, Patricia, I knew you would come up with the goods, thank you. Julia’s father, and also her mother, can be very proud of their daughter. She may not be leaving human progeny to remember her when her time comes, but she has certainly already, and will in the near future, leave a great legacy for Australia. I hope that she can take some decent time off to mourn properly without the media harassing her and being negative.
Ad Astra, 09/09/12, That is a delightful pome. We all feel that way.
Lyn, 09/09/12, Patricia thankyou for your brilliant work, I think you must be feeling a whole lot better.
Nasking, 09/09/12, Top poem, Patricia.
Truth Seeker, 09/09/12, Patricia, nice one, many impressive women in the ALP.
NormanK, 09/09/12, Lovely pome! Now if only the WHOLE team could row in the same direction.
Dafid1, 09/09/12, Lovely article Patricia. I have extended my condolences to the PM by letter, however is nice to see the comments here and the countless number on Twitter.
Kevin Rennie, 09/09/12, Thanks, Patricia.
Sue, 09/09/12, Patricia, Another great poem,and what an inspiring night for you.
Mangrove Jack, 10/09/12, “Fathers and their Daughters.” http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/parenting-and-families/fathers-and-their-daughters-20120910-25mwm.html. An insightful and sensitive essay by one Sarah Macdonald, with some kind words for Julia.
Patriciawa, 10/09/12, What a beautiful article! Thank you, Mangrove Jack. The opening sentences expressed exactly how I reacted on hearing the PM’s sad news. The rest of the article rings equally true…….well worth setting aside for a second reading.
Sue, 12/09/12, Patricia, Just thought you would like to know this little gem. There is an election due in the ACT and the Liberals are running an attack ad which features the Labor Chief Minister Katy Gallagher with PM Julia Gillard. Katy Gallagher is tickled pink as she says it is great to be portrayed with the PM who cares about education and health and that she hopes the PM can come to an event during the election. Katy Gallagher also laughed and said the ALP had tried to find a photo of the Liberal leader Zed Seselja with Tony Abbott but there weren’t any. She wondered why this was so, was Zed worried about Abbott’s image in canberra? Zed has not asked Tony to do any press stunts with him.
Patriciawa, 12/09/12, Love it! Thanks, Sue. I’d seen something about Katie Gallagher and her admiration for the PM. But even some Labor men are like Zen Seselja. I’ve had words with State Labor people about their attitude to the Feds, particularly the PM. If they don’t come to their senses they’ll miss out on what looks like a groundswell of support for the PM from fair minded people, women and men, to whom it is obvious now that a woman in a close-knit family such as hers has been revealed to be cannot possibly be the monster whom Tony Abbott has painted.
Jenny Macklin MP, 13/09/12, Hi Patricia, Thank you for sharing your blog. Kind regards, Jenny
LeeAnne Willows, 13/09/12, Hi again Patricia, Melissa asked me to pass on her thanks for forwarding your poem and impressions to her. She is busy reading at her computer now!
spiral, 24/02/13, Even if julia does not lift another finger for this country,she has earned the respect of most Australians by being an excellent P.M. let alone the first woman to do so..Her hallowed place in history is secure…Well done Prime minister Julia Gillard.
June Cummings, 03/03/13, “Mockery is the new misogyny”. Anne Summers wrote a great column in The Age this week (March 2nd) – re the media’s treatment of Julia Gillard and cited many incidents of mockery on all sorts of issues. She asks is “mockery the new misogyny?” I would like to see a female television journalist (or print) interview the former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark, who was the second female PM of NZ, on the differences between her treatment by the media as PM in her country and the relentless persecution currently being dished out to Julia Gillard. It would also be enlightening if a journalist interviewed Nicola Roxon on why one of Australia’s most talented cabinet ministers was forced to resign her post citing family reason. Is this an indictment on the political process, that in 2013, despite the rhetoric, we are still being denied the talents in the highest office in the land of highly qualified female politicians, because the job cannot accommodate motherhood.
Patriciawa, 03/03/13, Hi June! I read the Anne Summers article too. I suspect it’s particularly virulent here, not so much because of misogyny per se, though Aussie men may be worse than Kiwis, but simply because Murdoch is so determined to get Gillard out and Abbott in so that the NBN doesn’t get away from him and ruin his business. With 70% print media ownership and other media influences he’s really gone at her good and proper. I think he’s overdone it and also left Abbott quite complacent and lazy.
PS I thought Nicola Roxon did a pretty good job of explaining her motives for resigning at https://www.themonthly.com.au/why-i-resigned-goodbye-all-nicola-roxon-7640
gorgeousdunny1, 23/05/13, Dear Patricia, Thank you for your timely reminder to visit your site. I did, of course, at the time you’d posted at The Pub about meeting the PM at the Community forum, because I was especially interested in the local reaction . I should have left a comment then.
I greatly admire your Pomes, even though I usually pick them up at other sites in my travels (and travails) around the blogs. You might have picked up that little bit with Bushfire Bill about your use of “Pomes”. I had no idea it started at LP (which is when I started reading you) over a mistype. I’d been more inclined to link it with Pam Ayres, who used to publish under a heading of “Me Poems”.
Like them, they are mighty and marvellous reflections on the oddities of life. Some pedants would shudder to regard them as poetry, but I don’t think the difference is worth dwelling on. Verse if you must, but I think that what Edmond Lear, Lewis Carroll and others write is much more than that, and that’s before we get to Pope and Byron.
Keep up the good work. I fear a lot of the fight to salvage this government against the massive propaganda is being left to us oldies. I’m 71, you’re in your seventies, and Nancy Cato is 73. It’s strange at our age, but worthy that we do. We have the experience of life to offer a greater perspective than the Orwellian impressions of the MSM. Warm regards Don
vehicle repair shops, 27/09/14, Excellent blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!