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5 things to like about Julia Gillard

Its fashionable to dismiss Julia Gillard’s Government as a failure – the opinion polls provide some (largely uninformed) backing for this view but I am more sympathetic than most to her. Gillard is an intelligent woman and that is a positive in the face of widespread misogyny in at least the Australian male electorate. She is also a much more intelligent and able politician than Kevin Rudd who remains a posturing, hyperactive dill. It amazes me that people have such poor short-term memories about the administrative failures of Rudd. Gillard is also a preferred alternative to the amoral Tony Abbott who has a single objective in politics – to be elected.  His total hypocrisy is revealed today by his rejection of the Bill to authorise offshore processing of  illegal migrants.  The Malaysia solution might well prove successful and this would close a successful line of attack on the government to this foolish man.

Gillard has done many good things:

  • Most importantly, Gillard has introduced a carbon tax which helps Australians deal with their carbon pollution in a cost effective way. This is a major reform and quibbles about its precise form are just that, quibbles.
  • She has pushed through a weakened revised mining tax reform which provides a somewhat better tax revenue outcome for Australians from the resource sector.  The clown Abbott doesn’t even offer this limited reform. Clearly Mark 1 Henry would have been an even better reform.
  • The prior expenditure commitment reform on the poker machines will limit the social tragedy of problem gambling.
  • Plain packaging legislation will reduce deaths and disability from cigarette smoking and is a reform that might trigger more effective global responses to the legal carcinogen suppliers.
  • The fiscal stimulus probably helped secure a muted Australian response to the GFC. The Coalition attack this policy but in government my guess is they would have done much the same.
Gillard isn’t a great PM and I would prefer a Coalition Government led by Malcolm Turnbull to the Gillard Government. However the sexist tripe being delivered as criticism of her by the far right and the tasteless lack of respect shown towards our PM by the ABC skit on her life – her diction and choice of partner getting centre of attention in the way no male PM would – get my wick up.  I’ll certainly vote for her in preference to a Coalition Government led by Abbott.  But that doesn’t say much.

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18 comments to 5 things to like about Julia Gillard

  • conrad

    I agree, on all accounts, except I don’t think Rudd was as bad as you are making him out to be (and why anyone cares about Gillard’s partner is beyond me). Looking at the latest surveys, I note the vast majority of people now support a mining tax, and I would suspect that if we had really dry weather rather than a La Nina, climate policy would not have degenerated into what it has also.

    I also think a big problem from Gillard is that she is about as charismatic as brick. That can’t be the whole story, however, as Howard managed to stay in for years, and he wasn’t exactly Mr Charisma (Perhaps that really is a gender bias in expectations). I also think that Gillard’s cabinet are pretty average (any great stars you can think of? None of them seem to be able to capitalize on any success they have), whereas Howard always had a few people who were politically good (Peter Reith, for example, comes to mind).

  • It’s weird: public opinion on issues individually is very much at odds with public approval of Gillard and support for Labor. Polling indicates quite strong support for mining tax, but also pokies controls on problem gambling, plain packaging for cigarettes, and even a majority for on shore processing. Does the poor support for carbon pricing over-rule all of this in terms of the terrible primary vote for Labor now? If so, it’s a terrible indictment of the success of the misinformation populist campaign of Bolt, Jones, Watts Up With That, and the IPA.

    On migration issues, public opinion is a complete mess, with strong views that Coalition handles it better combined with a majority preference for on shore processing!

    As I said, Australia is currently in a very weird place at the moment, and the best you can hope for is that good policy but in by an undeservedly unpopular Gillard is structured such that it is too hard for a populist flake like Abbott to undo.

  • Sorry : last line should be “good policy put in by an undeservedly unpopular …etc”

  • via collins

    Really well-considered post Harry, well done.

    Agree with you there’s a really bizarre level of hysteria out there at present. And the tit-for-tat between Gillard and Abbott is looking particularly naff.

    It amazes me as a life-long labour voter that I too would take a Turnbull led government over any choices out there at present.

  • bianconieri

    “her diction and choice of partner getting centre of attention in the way no male PM would”

    Give me a break

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/labor-stripped-bare-as-defender-of-womens-rights/story-e6frfhqf-1225813974721

  • observa

    Sweet Jesus Harry, where have you been?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/20/new-peer-reviewed-paper-clouds-have-large-negative-feedback-cooling-effect-on-earths-radiation-budget/
    ‘Iron Lady’ Gillard’s carbon tax stance on the great moral imperative shows impeccable timing now. This AGW/IPCC/CRU computer printout belief system is going to make feministm and False Memory Syndrome look entirely rational by comparison. I can only conclude its unravelling has completely unhinged the usual suspects at Aunty to the point they’re now seeking refuge in their earlier undergrad machinations. Abbott and Co must be gobsmacked as to why they just have to stand there and keep breathing for the punters now.

  • rog

    Observa is referring to the now discredited Spencer paper

    http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2002/pdf

  • observa

    Raise you a Nobel physicist rog-
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/14/nobel-prize-winning-physicist-resigns-from-top-physics-group-over-global/
    and if our Euro world’s greatest Treasurer had any smarts at all and still believed in the computer printout mob and their perpetually massaged gross oversimplification of Gaia, he should have scooped up all the carbon credits on the CCX for under a dime. He could frame the account and stick it alongside his Euro money men Award in his office.

  • observa

    No nails, strictly stick on hooks please ;)

  • observa

    Hey rog, can you believe a man of science wrote this as a justification for resigning as editor of Remote Sensing?

    “The political views of the authors and the thematic goal of their study did, of course, alone not
    disqualify the paper from entering the review process in the journal Remote Sensing. As I stated in my
    editorial at the launch of this new open access journal [6] one of the premier goals of remote sensing as
    a discipline is to better understand physical and biological processes on our planet Earth. The use of
    satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important
    part of our work. [WAIT FOR IT] But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists.
    Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of
    where and why models deviate from satellite data. Only through this close cooperation the complex
    aspects involved in the satellite retrievals and the modeling processes can be properly taken into
    account.”

    Incontrovertible dear Wagner, incontrovertible! And they wonder why they’re called The Team?

  • Liv

    I like her too, even though everyone else in my household always vote Liberal, I admire Julia for her tenancity to get up and do her job every day. It takes a lot of guts to do what she does and not run away from it even though she cops an enormous amount of flak simply for being who she is!

  • shasha

    there are many more things to like about her like she is australias first woman gov

  • Mary Morris

    Nicely written Harry, though I have to say I do like her as Prime Minister. My husband,a Liberal voter, voted for Labor last election because of his dislike for Tony Abbot. I really like Turnbull , however I really wish he had joined Labor (as, I think, does he.

  • Den

    With the elections just around the corner, I am now trying to make my mind up on who to vote for. You all have to remember that politicians are liars and theives and when they’re not kissing little babies, they’re stealing their lollipops. What I have been doing is NOT getting the information about bad things Tony Abbot and Julia Gillard has done but what GOOD things they have done. There can be no comment on Tony Abbot as he hasn’t been elected yet and hence has not had the opportunity to show his worth. As with previous leaders, they can be held accountable for good things and bad things which brings me to this question. We can say ten bad things about Julia Gillard. Can someone assist me and telling ten good things that Julia Gillard has done?

  • Amy Jacob

    5:30pm Thursday March 2013.

    Kevin Rudd appeared to the public by keeping his word for not running as prime minister as he has done so for the last year. When the public was asked on the Kevin or Julia debate the words out of selfcentered and uneducated public polls muttered “I dont know…I dont know…Id choose Kevin Rudd” Understand – Kevin does not want to be prime minister.

    Much to many’s surprise the caucus elected Julia and Wayne into their current positions with no opposition. Were is the division there???

    Julia is a wonderful prime minister – she would say herself that in politics they are ruthless dogs. If the Australian population isnt happy with our govenment we should send them to serve in Afganistan to realise how much better we are off here.

    Kevin Rudd himself said tonight; “DONT LET TONY ABBOTT WALK AROUND IN HERE LIKE HE OWNS THE PLACE”. This shows overall that Kevin supports Julia wholly as prime minister for the 2013 federal election.

  • John Street

    Nicely prescient Harry,

    Looks like Julia is the one with the punches when it counts (to use an unfortunate boxing analogy).

  • [...] is a reposted (conditional) tribute to Julia. [...]

  • jacob

    ofcourse liv, shasha and mary would agree… bloody females

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