Gillard falls on her knitting needle

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Tess Lawrence says Wednesday's end for Julia Gillard was long overdue.

by contributing-editor-at-large Tess Lawrence

IT WAS AN ignominious end for Julia Gillard, who on Wednesday fell on her knitting needle.

She had little alternative, given Bill Shorten's defection to her nemesis blunted the dagger he gifted her three years ago, after it was extricated still bloody, from Kevin Rudd's back.

What happened was a victory for the people and the culmination of the palpable growing disaffection of an electorate that failed to warm to Australia's 27th Prime Minister, despite the fact she was our first female PM.

The electorate has never quite forgiven Gillard for her betrayal of Rudd when she was Deputy Prime Minister (another female first) and he was on his first tour of duty as Prime Minister.

Since June 24, 2010 when the group of then 'faceless men' colluded to install Gillard in place of Rudd, that act has indelibly stained her reputation and  facilitated Rudd to wear his backwound like stigmata to gain political traction and popular leverage.

Those faceless men, that have since removed their burqas,, include disempower broker Bill Shorten, David Feeney, and former Senator and the CIA's man in Oz, Mark Arbib, Senator Don Farrell, and a man not elected by the people, union boss Paul Howes, National Secretary of the Australian Workers' Union.

The Gillard Government and the Labor Party deployed clumsy, defective and negative media campaigns and strategies.

They failed to see the irony in targeting Coalition Leader Tony Abbott for being 'negative.'

Such inept spin pirouetted on demonising Abbott, affording him the opportunity to ameliorate and exorcise his 'demons' in public well before the Federal election.

The more the Gillard Government pilloried Abbott, the more his stocks in the opinion polls increased.

On June 13, in Independent Australia, under the headline 'Tony and Malcolm and terminal narcissism', I wrote:
Forever, it seems, the Gillard Government’s self-defeating and delusionary campaigning has been predicated almost solely on the demonising of Coalition Leader Tony Abbott. Bad move.

Stripped naked, it goes like this. Vote for Labor on September 14 because Tony Abbott is a dangerous misogynist Catholic who wants to get his rosaries on your ovaries.

This tiresome mantra, like the electorate’s patience with Gillard, has long worn denier thin.

(Image courtesy Bruce Keogh / keoghcartoons.com.au)

The media — the Murdoch media in particular (followed by Fairfax and the ABC) has been singled out in histrionic fashion for the most blame for Gillard's unpopularity.

Yet Gillard's media advisers and their at times breathtaking collective incompetence should also be held  accountable for failing to counteract Gillard's inability to connect with the public.

Have we forgotten Gillard's influence over Rupert Murdoch's then main man in Oz, John Hartigan? One phone call from Gillard resulted in Hartigan killing Glenn Milne's article in The Australian.

I wrote about it for IA at the time:
On Monday, an histrionic eruption took place when John Hartigan intervened at the behest of a furious Prime Minister Julia Gillard and ‘pulled’ an article about Bruce Wilson and Julia Gillard, written by Glenn Milne.

It is Julia’s birthday next month and Hartigan couldn’t have given her a better present than acceding to her demands in a very public backdown.

After killing the story, The Australian published an apology and retraction.

And was Julia Gillard forced to make a personal pilgrimage to Rupert Murdoch in New York on his 80th birthday in 2011?

Or was she simply sucking up to him and joining him in the sly hypocrisy between media and politics? Did her media minders think she could mount a charm offensive? If so, they again goofed.

Madame Defarge (Image courtesy Wikipedia)

There have been many what were they thinking? moments, including the inevitable Madame Defarge comparisons in the photos of her knitting, published this week in the Australian Women's Weekly

If the Gillard Government felt it was under siege, it was right.

As a body, it made a beautiful corpse; its innards a cesspit infested with political parasites.

For some time, the tea leaves have maintained that Gillard was a dead woman walking.

It was the enemy within that finally brought it undone; an enemy of its own creation.

It is time for the Labor Party to cease drowning its sorrows in denial and to stop blaming everyone else for its demise instead of assuming responsibility for its errors and irrelevance.

It is the Gillard Government and the Labor Party that have brought themselves undone.

The awfulness of our political landscape is troubling and a great danger to our national security.

We of The Great Unwashed have had a gutful of bad government and bad governance, the lack of transparency and public accountability.

Democracy like Justice, is best served when its contesting advocates, like the people they purport to represent, are the first among equals.

On this day, the contesting advocates are both the last among equals.

Sadly, neither of the old parties is worthy of the people. Or our vote.

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