Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Julia Gillard's set-back: Is it the start of a fairy story?

Once upon a time there was a little red-headed 'pommie' princess who became Prime Minister of Australia.

For her sins in a previous life she was burdened with a hung parliament. And rather than being blessed with a handsome prince she was confronted with a pugnacious take-no-prisoners Opposition leader who had offered to sell his backside for her position. She, however, prevailed.

Hung parliaments are notoriously difficult to manage and so it proved for our princess.

In order to gain working support in the hung parliament from the Greens she had to break an election promise regarding a carbon tax.

Her popularity plummeted in the opinion polls.

The High Court then kicked her in the guts over asylum-seekers. But it was a blessing in disguise!

She had been kicked in the guts for the very last time.

Over the dispatch boxes in Parliament, in an about-to-be-aborted Question Time, the eyes of the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader locked for what seemed to be an eternity.

They had previously flirted. But not that day! And not ever again!

They say the eyes are the window to the soul and so it was that day.

She saw the anger in him, the burning rage of being pipped at the post, the ignominy of Opposition. The Mad monk was indeed mad!

As she witnessed the flames burning in him the images reflected on her soul like a magnifying glass.

They ignited an ember inside her.

“Stuff you”, she thought, “stuff you all!”

Like a butterfly from a cocoon the real , real Julia emerged for good . The authentic Julia. The one the true believers had hoped for. The one Bob Hawke would swoon over. The one Paul Keating would worship forever. The one who turned Graham Richardson from a Labor back-stabber to a renewed zealot and supporter of the working class .

Australia got their leader. The one they sorely needed. The one they so dearly deserved.

Cabinet meetings became rather robust as she became the defender of Labor values.
Onshore processing of asylum-seekers was resumed immediately.

Tony Abbott’s offer of bipartisanship was seen for what it really was-----an extension of the fertile, opportunistic mind of John Howard to win an election in a time when terrorism was in the hearts and minds of the populace. The number of refugees lifted from 12000 to 50000.

She told the Australian people that of the 6 billion people on the planet it was reasonable to expect that 500000 or so would be displaced annually and,after all, Australia had been built on post war migration---herself included! And the Opposition leader too!

She reminded them that in 1954, Sir Robert Menzies, the founder of the Liberal Party of Australia developed the notion that Australia had an obligation to accept its fair share of refugees.

She became the hero of the Labor Left. She welded in the support of the Greens for many parliaments to come.

And there were no more hung parliaments.

As she developed the differences Australian voters became blessed with choice.

We were again, in Donald Horne’s words, THE LUCKY COUNTRY.

And all because a Mad Monk got up a redhead’s nose!

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