Thursday, June 27, 2013

farewell Julia

I got a girlcrush on Julia, way back before she was deputy PM, after reading a Good Weekend piece on her. It felt a little dirty because I’d long ceased believing in the ALP, even way back then.

But there was something about Julia. I found her forthrightness kind of sexy. I couldn’t help it.

When she ascended to the top political job in the country, a few of us snuck out to the pub and toasted her with champagne. None of us supported her party but finally the country had come of age, sexism was dead and that was well worth a drink.

How wrong we were.

In retrospect expecting maturity of a nation that still idolizes football thugs, Alan Jones and fart jokes, was naïve to say the least. Julia Gillard copped more flack than any Prime Minister before her. The sexism was blatant, relentless and just plain embarrassing.

She met each attack, from the opposition, the media and her own party with a kind of fortitude rarely seen in politics. She never faltered. Right to the end.

However I’m still mystified how she let us down so badly on equal marriage, the inhumane refugee policy, slicing and dicing the Single Parents Benefits, fortifying the school chaplaincy program, rendering the Resources Super Profits Tax impotent and dishing up a piss weak carbon tax.

It seriously killed the girlcrush!

But in the last year she began to redeem herself. Thanks for the NDIS, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Gonski, and the forced adoption apology. Protecting the preyed upon, the vulnerable and the young harked back to the Julia I’d once admired.

And in the midst of all this rhetoric, let’s not forget about her keeping the global recession from nipping too sharply at our heels

Julia Gillard will have a place in the history books as our first female Prime Minister. Let’s not forget how she shot to world fame with The Misogyny Speech. Now that’s the Real Julia we all wanted to see more of.

Can’t wait for her parliamentary valedictory swansong. Let’s hope the gloves stay well and truly off.

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