Last Post for PM Julia Gillard

Photograph by Grant Matthews Australian Women’s Weekly July 1, 2013

This was the picture I planned to use this week for a pome and post about our lovely PM, Julia Gillard, or should I now say former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard?   I had intended to write a satirical comment on the never ending criticism she gets from some sections of the media, typified by a pompous Business Review Weekly  article  about an upcoming photoshoot in the AWW featuring her hobby of  knitting.    I thought too much had been made of it by the Australian newspaper and now the BRW writer was questioning the wisdom of it too.

Perhaps there is nothing that Gillard can do to save her prime ministership, a prime ministership conducted in the most toxic political climate experienced since the rancour of the Whitlam years. One suspects that history will remember Gillard and her achievements more kindly than current-day pundits and voters. And perhaps, when that time of kinder and more considered judgment comes, the photo of Julia Gillard knitting a toy for a new royal will be seen in an entirely different and more loving light.

Sadly that paragraph has proved shockingly prophetic.  By the end of the following day Kevin Rudd who had solemnly given his oath that he would not challenge her leadership  had done so and replaced her as Prime Minister.   I don’t propose to comment on any of that here.   For the past forty eight hours I have been lost for words, unlike hundreds of others who have poured out their grief in tributes to a woman they recognise as a great Labor leader.   We have not had to wait for history to cast a kinder judgement than that of shock jocks and gossip writers.

There are many thousands of compliments being paid to her and the achievements of her government in the face of overwhelming difficulties  both in mainstream media, on blogsites like Cafe Whispers and The Political Sword.  Even on little sites like mine here.

I leave you with this from Dedalus, writing at The Pub where tributes poured in throughout yesterday and today to “The Glory That Was Gillard.”

Julia, you are a diamond in the flotsam and jetsam of politics. You showed many people how it can be done with integrity and dignity and humour. You never went on about the bad treatment you received from every quarter, you just got on with the job. I’m so proud of you and so sad for the country. You are a legend. And I think history will prove this.

POSCRIPTS worth mentioning have been appearing all weekend.  I was very impressed with the view of Andrew Elder, a very fair and reliable analyst of our political scene,  in his overview of events since of events since Wednesday night –

I miss Julia Gillard and I still think she could have turned it around and beaten Abbott…….

We haven’t seen a policy wonk like her in the Prime Ministership since Deakin. Australian Labor is still playing catch-up since it failed to rethink its purpose to the extent that other social-democrat governments did in the 1930s and ’40s, but Julia Gillard has brought them almost up to date. I’m fairly unsentimental when it comes to Labor as a delivery mechanism for policy outcomes, but I stand in awe of the sheer love in this piece, and with it the notion that progress is meant to be made, set back, reassessed and moved forward again, whether at the general political and policy level or at the lives of particular little girls and their family.

I too had been moved by the love which so awed him in the video tribute  prepared by Nancy Cato as were hundreds of others like Lyn and Ad Astra at the P0litical Sword.   In a post today not intended as a tribute to Julia Gillard but rather an attack on opinion polls and the undue weight given to these ‘killing machines’ by politicians I thought Ad Astra’s  summing up of her character and performance was one many of us would agree with wholeheartedly.

Those of us who have supported Julia Gillard so fervently are appalled at the way she has been treated, and lament her fate. We have lost an outstanding politician, and a strong and steadfast female warrior. We commiserate her untimely exit from public life and hope she will reappear in another influential role that will engage her outstanding talent and her strength of character. We shall miss her bubbling personality, her strength, her courage, her resoluteness, her devotion, her graciousness, her capacity to get things done against the odds and bring about much needed traditional Labor reforms, and her determination to stand up for women’s rights.

Some testimonials that have since appeared in print  media and on the web………………….

http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/post/2013/07/07/An-accolade-for-Julia-Gillard-a-fine-prime-minister.aspx

Why was this intelligent, dedicated, conscientious, patriotic woman, loved by her staff, glowingly admired by the independent MPs who’d just helped her minority government pass the highest rate of legislation of any prime minister, why was she being killed off? One would have thought from the frenzied, almost primitive calls for her head that she’d brought the government or the country to its knees, not just proven herself to be the most capable person in the Labor party. 

http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2013/august/1375315200/chloe-hooper/road-julia-gillard

POST POST SCRIPT by Mary Delahunty

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/last-orders-20130805-2r9yj.html#ixzz2bZCtOieM

POST POST POST SCRIPT  by jaycee, over at the Pub, May 26, 2014 at 8:31 AM.

I thought this expressed so well how many of us still feel about FPM Julia Gillard.  Her constructive conduct in the months since K Rudd’s return last June and then ricochet back into retirement a poor loser after the election, is surely a great example to both boys and girls, men and women,  in how to live the political life if we want to make a contribution to our great Labor movement here downunder.

Patriciawa…I just visited your page on the web…and yes…I agree very much with your sadness and feeling of loss….as do we all…but loss may not be the correct word, for Julia Gillard still works for the principles she stood, as we have seen of her appointments of late…she still resides locally and her partner, Tim, is not shy about “mixing it” with the clowns in the govt’ side……so while we may still grieve on the blatant injustice and harbour an ache of sadness for the empty place in our parliament….I am holding that sadness in my heart NOT as a heart-breaking sadness, but as a beautiful sadness…..a beautiful reality of a beautiful and (still) inspiring Prime Minister.

Why was this intelligent, dedicated, conscientious, patriotic woman, loved by her staff, glowingly admired by the independent MPs who’d just helped her minority government pass the highest rate of legislation of any prime minister, why was she being killed off? One would have thought from the frenzied, almost primitive calls for her head that she’d brought the government or the country to its knees, not just proven herself to be the most capable person in the Labor party.
Why was this intelligent, dedicated, conscientious, patriotic woman, loved by her staff, glowingly admired by the independent MPs who’d just helped her minority government pass the highest rate of legislation of any prime minister, why was she being killed off? One would have thought from the frenzied, almost primitive calls for her head that she’d brought the government or the country to its knees, not just proven herself to be the most capable person in the Labor party.
Why was this intelligent, dedicated, conscientious, patriotic woman, loved by her staff, glowingly admired by the independent MPs who’d just helped her minority government pass the highest rate of legislation of any prime minister, why was she being killed off? One would have thought from the frenzied, almost primitive calls for her head that she’d brought the government or the country to its knees, not just proven herself to be the most capable person in the Labor party.
Why was this intelligent, dedicated, conscientious, patriotic woman, loved by her staff, glowingly admired by the independent MPs who’d just helped her minority government pass the highest rate of legislation of any prime minister, why was she being killed off? One would have thought from the frenzied, almost primitive calls for her head that she’d brought the government or the country to its knees, not just proven herself to be the most capable person in the Labor party.
Why was this intelligent, dedicated, conscientious, patriotic woman, loved by her staff, glowingly admired by the independent MPs who’d just helped her minority government pass the highest rate of legislation of any prime minister, why was she being killed off? One would have thought from the frenzied, almost primitive calls for her head that she’d brought the government or the country to its knees, not just proven herself to be the most capable person in the Labor party.

http://theaimn.com/wipe-brough-im-trouble/

Patriciawa, September 9, 2014. Julia Gillard’s appearance at the Royal Commission today was another reminder of what Australia has lost. I look forward to the launch of her memoirs in two weeks time. Meantime I’ve just revisited my last few posts on Julia, and Ive been re-reading all those lovely comments about her from commentatotrs I respect like Andrew Elder and bloggers like Gravel and other internet friends, particularly the one about her still standing!

https://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/julia-gillard-is-still-standing/

I don’t think that giving Julia Gillard the opportunity to again show her mettle was what Tony Abbott had in mind when he set up this Royal Commission. Old friends and lovers from way back came out to support her too! Did Tony Abbott really hope to nail her this time!

This Pope cartoon from last month was almost prescient!

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BxKQTVzIAAAQdhd.jpg:large

POST POST POST POST SCRIPT!   Patriciawa, June 16,2015.    Julia being interviewed on the BBC today  about her upcoming memoir.   Getting in there before tonight’s second program,  in The Killing Fields,

A p0me coming up here?   “I didn’t  crack!”    Made it clear she won’t be back!

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6 Responses to Last Post for PM Julia Gillard

  1. dedalus says:

    Patricia, thank you for mentioning my post. Of course, it’s not about me, or you, or any of us. Maybe it’s not even about Julia. It might be about something that goes a lot deeper.

    I think Rob Oakeshott said it best when he talked about ugly Australia, and the worst elements of the fringe invading the centre of our civic square. What he said will surely strike a chord with any of us who can listen.

    It is this terribly corrosive element in the culture that brought our wonderful leader down. It may take many generations for this disease to filch out of our national veins. That is sad, but I fear it is also true.

    As I tried to say in my little post, do not weep for Julia. Julia is strong. Noone who is not strong, or gracious either, could have endured so much, and conceded, finally, so nobly.

    – dedalus

  2. patriciawa says:

    Thanks, Dedalus, I also thought Rob Oakeshott’s personal tribute to the PM was particularly moving and I almost included it above, so I will link it here.

  3. 2gravel says:

    Patricia
    Simplicity says it all. My interest in politics has gone to zero now. I will still read my favourite blogs and twitter. We have been fortunate for the last three years to have been here for Australia’s greatest Prime Minister. I love Gough dearly, but Julia eclipsed him in my mind.

  4. Tigster says:

    Julia Gillard is an inspiration to all, and in time she will be one revered figure.
    Such grace and humility has never been shown by anyone holding the same office in Australia, and perhaps, never again.

  5. Claire Duffy says:

    Well put. She was class act, and a model – especially at the end. Going Down Gracefully: http://wp.me/p2k3hy-13b

  6. patriciawa says:

    Media “Insiders” today gave a lot of time paying due deference to PM Gillard’s achievements in office. What a pity they weren’t prepared to do this in the preceding three years.

    As discussed above we don’t have to wait for history to judge her. Tony Windsor’s praise again today and that of Rob Oakeshott too as in his valedictory were particularly impressive and touching. Similarly Mike Seccombe’s expressed bewilderment that the electorate could possibly prefer Rudd to Gillard. Camera shots showing the loyalty of those forty odd Caucus members who stayed right behind her to the end were also moving as she left that final meeting to be greeted by warm applause from heart broken staff. Even the clear conflict within those colleagues who tried to explain their switching sides said so much. Tears were even shed by a press gallery cameraman.

    At last there was acknowledgement of her ability and achievements by Insider journalists. There was also plenty of film footage demonstrating how much Julia Gillard was respected and loved by those who knew and worked with her. I did not feel, however, that Cassidy and his team really began to examine the forces within our body politic which combined to bring down such a potentially great leader. How can they do that, I wonder, if they can’t openly acknowledge what they are? No mention was made anywhere of the media mogul who while no longer a citizen of this country wields so much power.

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