Julia Gillard v the neanderthals

June 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm (Australia, Jim D, misogyny, Pilger, reformism, sexism, women)

In most respects it’s difficult to feel much sympathy for deposed Aussie PM Julia Gillard. After all, she knifed Kevin Rudd in 2010, and now he’s returned the favour.

Above: opposition leader Abbott in front of semi-literate anti Gillard banners

It’s also true that, despite some minor progressive reforms on disability and education, her record was not one to inspire great enthusiasm from the radical left.

Nevertheless, her arrival as Australia’s first female prime minister was a milestone for gender equality, and it’s beyond doubt that sexism and misogyny played a big part in bringing her down.  She was subjected to personal comments, jokes and cartoons about her appearance and private life that no male politician would have been subjected to.

In a dignified valedictory speech, Gillard probably got it right when she said negative reaction to her gender “doesn’t explain everything about my prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing.”

Unfortunately, the right wing neanderthal Tony Abbott of the so-called “Liberal” opposition is the gainer from Labour’s civil war, and looks like winning the September elections with ease. Look at that picture of him (above) and note the banners. that he seems happy to be pictured standing in front of.

Gillard was not a great prime minister and certainly no great socialist. But (despite the bleatings of poor, mad Pilger) she deserves to be remembered for That Speech if for nothing else. If you missed it at the time, or just want to see and hear it again, here is that virtuoso performance:

6 Comments

  1. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Is there really no political substance to this change?

    My vague recollection was that Rudd was deposed as being too left-wing (whatever that means these days) and for being a Gordon Brown-esque control freak and that Gillard’s was a right-wing coup.

    (And lets face it had Alan Johnson or David Miliband done what Rudd has just done we might now be in the third year of a Labour led coalition government).

    That she’s been treated like shit by Australian rightist scumbags who increasingly seem to copy their politics from the US Republicans is surely rather less important than the actual policy differences between her and Rudd (assuming there are any).

    And come to think of it what part of:

    Nevertheless, her arrival as Australia’s first female prime minister was a milestone for gender equality, and it’s beyond doubt that sexism and misogyny played a big part in bringing her down. She was subjected to personal comments, jokes and cartoons about her appearance and private life that no male politician would have been subjected to.

    Did not also apply to Thatcher whose demise we were recently urged to celebrate?

    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      Actually fourth year – hate lack of an edit function here…

    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      ‘semi-literate anti Gillard banners’

      No idea who Bob Brown is but the bitch reference is surely to this ancient speech by Gough Whitlam :

      Well may we say “God save the Queen”, because nothing will save the Governor-General! The Proclamation which you have just heard read by the Governor-General’s Official Secretary was countersigned Malcolm Fraser, who will undoubtedly go down in Australian history from Remembrance Day 1975 as Kerr’s cur. They won’t silence the outskirts of Parliament House, even if the inside has been silenced for a few weeks … Maintain your rage and enthusiasm for the campaign for the election now to be held and until polling day.

      (Kerr was the governor-general who brought down Whitlam’s minority government and proclaimed Fraser caretaker PM).

      While they were clearly asleep in class when they did apostrophes you can’t fault Australian Tories for lack of historical memory….

  2. Red Skippy said,

    I am banned, therefore could not possibly offer insight ir opinion.

  3. Red Skippy said,

    Besides, NZ is close to Australia — near enough is good enough.

  4. Red Skippy said,

    Where to start? Roger is mistaken when he credits the Poujadists with a degree of intelligence, wit or memory.

    Julia Gillard is/was widely hated because she is a woman and women — with the exception of the sainted Margaret — are not fit to lead. Gillard is unmarried and childless — she’s not a ‘real’ woman. She is *living* with a man who is a hairdresser. Gillard is an atheist. Oddly in this non-church-going country, actual atheism is viewed with suspicion: I might be a non-believer but it’s proper that pollies are god-fearing (and therefore moral) people. Even the fact Gillard has red hair is, for people of a certain generation, at best ‘unfortunate’ and at worst marks her out as a ‘harlot’.

    Part of the agreement for the electoral alliance with the Greens to prop up the minority government, was to institute a carbon pricing system. This triggered a shit storm of scaremongering, lies and whining: just because we are (per capita) the world’s biggest polluters, why should we lead the way? Former Tory leader Malcolm Turnbull was rolled in 2009 over his support for an Emissions Trading Scheme.

    The carbon pricing scheme was contrary to ALP stated policy before the election, hence ‘Juliar’. Senator Bob Brown was at that time the leader of the Greens. He is also a gay man.

    So if we look at the banner in the photo, the ‘unnatural’ woman is the sexual play thing of the ‘unnatural’ man, and the man who would be next PM of Australia is photographed standing in front of it.

    Abbott appeared alongside Alan ‘cash for comment’ Jones, a vile piece of shit, who has said Gillard should be tied up in a sack and dumped at sea, that her recently deceased father ‘died of shame’, and ‘she said that we know societies only reach their full potential if women are politically participating. Women are destroying the joint – Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here. Honestly.’

    Also swirling around this vortex of swivel-eyed Tea Party lunacy, we have former Liberal senator Nick Minchin (climate change science is ‘part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to deindustrialise the world’, cigarettes are not addictive and don’t cause cancer), Christopher Monckton and Brenadan O’Bollox and the leading LNP ‘think tank’ the IPA, with its 75 point plan for the Abbott government.

    To top it all off, just days before the Julia Gillard lost the leadership, she was ambushed in a radio interview in the redneck state of Western Australia, when the interviewer put it to her three times that her partner (see paragraph 2), is a hairdresser and therefore must be homosexual — ‘are you in a herterosexual relationship?’ To add further insult, yet another far right attack dog repeated the slander on the ABC’s Sunday current affairs panel show.

    Whenenever Gillard picked the scum up on their misogyny, she was waging ‘gender war’. The Coalition, after years of screaming misogynist abuse at her are crying crocodile tears over the sacking of Australia’s first woman PM.

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