What a day!

West Australian June 2010From mid-morning until now (9:00pm) I have been captivated by the unfolding of yet another leadership challenge in the Australian political system. It went to a vote and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defeated the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in a ballot for the leadership. The vote was 57 to 45.

I have never seen so much political analysis and speculation as the experts tried to fill in the time while the politicians were changing the landscape. I know many people will be pleased with the outcome and yet others will be very disappointed. I am inspired by the strength and courage of Julia Gillard and I believe she will be remembered as one of our greatest performers in Australian politics. I know some will disagree with me and I respect their right to do so.

I am grateful that I live in a democracy where these debates and differences can be dealt with without blood shed. I hope we can now reflect on the positive achievements of the past three years and move forward with strength.

cheers

Lorraine

 

Weekly writing challenge: The State of the Nation

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

WordPress is encouraging bloggers to take on a divisive issue so I have decided to swim with the sharks on this one!

 

Our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is doing it tough but I still support her government. Many don’t. Her opponents think she should resign and go away quietly. Julia is our first female Prime Minister. She challenged the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, in a leadership ballot three years ago and she won. She has faced two more leadership ballots, the latest one being Thursday 21 March 13. A national election will be held later this year.

 

Julia has taken on some enormous challenges and I believe, has implemented significant legislation such as: a carbon pricing system; a new tax on the “Super” profits of mining companies; her team have managed to keep Australia out of recession and employment has increased under their leadership.

 

Criticism directed at our Prime Minister is very personal and her crimes include:

 

  • she has a “twang” in her voice made fun of by the media
  • she has a big nose
  • she is an atheist living in a de facto relationship (she doesn’t push her personal beliefs on to others)
  • some say she has a big bum (I am sure mine is probably bigger but we won’t go there!)

 

Why are these issues important? If she was a man, would these issues get any air play in Australia? I don’t think so.

 

I confess I don’t support her policy on asylum seekers and the decision to process them off shore. I have great compassion for people escaping their repressive and dangerous  countries and wanting a better life.

 

One cannot help but admire her inner strength against such incredible pressure and criticism. She is an inspiration along the lines of Maggie Thatcher but the other side of the political spectrum.

 

It is not my intention here to build a defense for Julia Gillard or to give an account of her government’s performance. I am trying to express my opinion and hopefully stimulate some debate about our Prime Minister and perhaps about women in leadership generally.

 

So, what do you think?

 

Lorraine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should Alan Jones be taken off air at radio 2GB

 

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alan Jones, talk back radio host, has greatly offended many people in Australia today in a Mitt Romney style blunder. He was speaking to a group of  young Liberals (conservatives) and attacked our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard not knowing his speech was secretly being recorded. Many of you will know that her parents were hard working people who moved to Australia from Wales for a better life for their children. Their daughter, Julia, won the highest office in Australia by becoming our first female Prime Minister.

Have your say in this poll

thanks

Lorraine

 

Alan Jones – a bridge too far

English: Julia Gillard

English: Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alan Jones, talk back radio host, has greatly offended many people in Australia today in a Mitt Romney style blunder. He was speaking to a group of  young Liberals (conservatives) and attacked our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard not knowing his speech was secretly being recorded. Many of you will know that her parents were hard working people who moved to Australia from Wales for a better life for their children. Their daughter, Julia, won the highest office in Australia by becoming our first female Prime Minister.

Alan Jones used the recent death of Mr Gillard, a gentle, lovable soul who is his daughter’s inspiration, for a political purpose by stating that the Prime Minister’s father died of shame of his daughter. Jones has been controversial in the past but this time he has really gone too far. Most of us have experienced the loss of someone we love. We grieve for them in our own personal way and get on with life as best as we can. For Jones’ to use his death to gain political points n(or whatever perverse reason) is really below the belt.

I for one, will not support any company that sponsors Jones – who works for 2GB radio in Sydney. Some sponsors  have already withdrawn their sponsorship and I will be watching to see which ones don’t and I will be happy to provide the company names on my blog and anywhere else I can get a hearing.

It is not about whether we support Julia Gillard or not as our Prime Minister (I do). She has copped it from misogynists from day one – her dress style, her voice, her humble beginnings. It is time that women and men stood up for fairness in this country that is supposedly about giving everyone “a fair go”.

Lorraine

Australia Day 2012

A 19th century engraving showing Australian &q...

Image via Wikipedia

Each year on the 26th January there is a Public Holiday to celebrate Australia Day.

The journey of the First Fleet (eleven ships) commenced on 13 May 1787. The ships were sent by the British Admiralty from England to Australia. The fleet’s goal was to set up a penal colony on Botony Bay in New South Wales (where it had been explored  and claimed earlier in 1770 by James Cook). The Fleet, with the leadership of Arthur Phillip, arrived between 18 and 20 January 1788, but found Botony Bay was not suitable.

An alternative site was found and named Sydney Cove. According to Wikipedia “On 26 January, early in the morning, Phillip along with a few dozen marines, officers and oarsmen, rowed ashore and took possession of the land in the name of King George III. The remainder of the ship’s company and the convicts watched from on board the Supply.” Some contact was made with local aborigines.

Australia Day is sometimes called Invasion Day by many of the country’s Indigenous people. There is a concerted effort to communicate issues on reconciliation, communication and cooperation over land rights and the wider needs of the Indigenous Australians. In January 1988, a highly visible Tent Embassy was established and became of focal point for the aims of many of the the local Indigenous people. “One of the aims of the embassy was to be seen by the many thousands of Sydneysiders whom the organisers claimed did not know, and rarely even saw, any Aboriginal people “(Wikipedia).

The Tent Embassy still stands today and a comment (misquoted, but thoughtless) by the Leader of the Opposition set off a chain of events on this year’s Australia Day. The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were trapped in a building surrounded by angry Indigenous people and their supporters. People heard that the Opposition Leader  said on radio, he wanted to remove the

Memorial in St Nicholas Church to Arthur Phill...

Image via Wikipedia

Tent Embassy. Tempers flared as protesters banged on the glass walls of the building where the function was being held. Security people were called in to rescue the PM and Opposition Leader as they feared for their safety.

There was a lot of coverage of the incident in our local media and I believe it had a few seconds of air time around the world. It has rekindled a range of negative feelings and attitudes and set us all back to some degree. Personally I didn’t condone the violence and fear of the protest, however I believe the Indigenous people have a valid right to be recognised as the original inhabitants of this land. They were here for 30-40 thousand years before the First Fleet arrived and they have not been recognised as the original custodians of the land. It is time this is dealt with, sensitively and appropriately.

That’s my thoughts on the matter 🙂

Cheers for now

Lorraine