He's such a misogynist.
International readers, please excuse this diversion into the past week in Australian politics. What follows may make little sense to you. Unless perhaps you read the UK Huffington Post.
Fellow Australians, what do we think of the role of gender in the deposing of Julia Gillard?
I think gender played a big part in the shabby treatment and lack of respect she was given by radio shock jocks and some of the public. It took people a long time to get used to having a female PM, and sadly I felt we had just about reached the point of accepting it as 'business as usual' when she was removed.
But I don't think gender had much of a hand in forcing her out.
I certainly don't agree with this kind of opinion that implies female MPs should all have voted to keep Gillard because she's a woman. Wouldn't that be making it all about gender?
What about loyalty?
Politicians have never been loyal against numbers. It's always about winning the next election or jockeying for personal position. Always has been.
What about the role of the media?
Unlike many on Twitter and in the letters pages of the newspapers, I don't think the mainstream media, the ABC, The Age, the Murdoch press or the Canberra press gallery are to blame. They might have overdone the coverage of the Labor leadership issues, but that's how news works. As a journalist I once saw tweet to a critic who told him to write about 'the real story' and not the politicking responded: "It may not be what you WISH the story to be, but it IS the story today."
Oh, you expected the papers to ignore all the internal division and upheavals and talk up the government's achievements? You're annoyed they eulogized the achievements only after Gillard was gone?
Wouldn't you be a bit suspicious if journalists ignored real problems within government and started talking up government achievements while governments were in power? I think I would. Thankfully, I've never seen it happen.
No one could have governed well in the circumstances Gillard had to work with. The combination of global financial crisis, minority government and relentless undermining by the previously deposed PM made it impossible.
Gillard gets everyone's respect for her strength, her resolve and her hard work, for "getting on with it" and "getting things done." In my opinion she did well under impossible circumstances and delivered some good things for the country. But we also do need our leaders to be communicators, and charismatic to some degree. And one's not enough without the other.
Paul Strangio in The Age summed the whole thing up quite nicely in this piece, which reminds us:
the highwire act of public life almost inevitably ends in failure and defeatPaul obviously got that idea from my blog post from 2010 where I said CEOs and other public leaders are paid so well as compensation for the fact that some day they will suddenly (and maybe unfairly) be judged as having failed and will be fired.
So Julia Gillard's turn came this week.
It made international news. Here it is in the UK Huffington Post:
And here is a selection of my favourite tweets from the night.
Young people in the office aghast at bloodletting. 'When was politics ever so ruthless'? Oh, Gorton/Fraser, Hawke/Hayden, Howard/Peacock...
— Mr Denmore (@MrDenmore) June 26, 2013
I don’t care what you think, it’s fun having a new prime minister
— Ben Pobjie (@benpobjie) June 26, 2013
Playing Pin the Tail on the PM in there? #spill
— Kim Yeomans (@kimyeo) June 26, 2013
Can I become PM of Oz as I have policies? #1 No Xmas decorations before Dec 1 #2 No hot cross buns on Jan 1 #3 Academic gown for teachers
— Adam Byatt (@revhappiness) June 26, 2013
Rudd: I will never again contest the leadership under any circumstances (unless I can become PM next time, obviously) #auspol #spill #liar
— Sam Jeffries (@SamJeffries) June 26, 2013
All these people lamenting the #spill seem to forget the sight of weeping politicians is hilarious.
— Leigh Milward (@leighmilward) June 26, 2013
This is like watching your parents fight over who's going to drive while the car fills with lake water. #spill
— Alice Wild Williams (@shutupalice) June 26, 2013
Looks like many folk are still at "anger". Give me a hoy when we reach stage five.
— our man in Canberra (@ourmancanberra) June 26, 2013
Kev’s first appearance and I’m already wanting Jules back.
— Bolt Comments (@boltcomments) June 26, 2013
Politics. Makes me glad I work in a gentle, nurturing industry like finance really.