Not only am I going to care considerably if Julia Gillard gets deposed this week, but I’m also going to be pretty pissed off.
The Gillard Government’s fucked up on like, multiple fronts. I know that. Asylum seeker policy, same-sex marriage, education, arguably (I don’t know enough about Gonski to hazard a guess, but apparently it’s arguable); I get that both the Prime Minister personally and the Government as a whole have fucked up. I get that, and I know there’s like, eons of room for improvement. But every Government fucks up. There is no governing body in history with a perfectly glittering track record. Generally, if it’s something Jed Bartlet couldn’t do, then you can’t do it either, and this isn’t any different.
But Julia Gillard is their leader, and a pretty decent one at that. She’s a good leader. She’s strong and disciplined and – at least to the camera – upbeat when she needs to be, sombre when called for. She’s fucking tough. And okay, what would I know, but I kind of genuinely believe she’s in it for the right reasons. Her student politics record is interesting, and she’s passionate and smart and cool, or at least I think she would be all of those things if she was allowed to, like, speak once in a while.
You know who I don’t think encompasses those character traits? Kevin Rudd. He was interesting, I suppose, in 2007. Again, what would I know, I was about six seconds old. But on the 2013 side of the fence, he seems like little more than a manipulating, power hungry douchebag very thinly disguising himself as a guy with a bleeding heart for his beloved party. It pisses me off that Julia Gillard is going to be deposed for him. I’m aware that it happened the other way round, and the whole issue of just hacking leaders off like branches is one I’m kinda interested in, but, post for another day. The point is (is there even a point to this anymore? We just don’t know) that people expected some miracle from Julia Gillard. Some ridiculous, largely untenable miracle; to reignite a love of Labor after an almost total disillusionment, and when they scraped in by the skin of their teeth, it was only expected with more intensity. And – shockingly enough – now that she hasn’t achieved it, the automatic course of action is to get rid of her.
I don’t feel like she was ever given a chance to lead properly. From the start, taking the position with really no room to say no, to her apparently half-fucking-dead communications team, to her almost unbelievably undisciplined party room, to the nonexistent cohesion thrust upon her, I don’t think she was ever given the opportunity to lead the way she would’ve liked, and the way she was capable of. And now the same people that asked (begged) her to take the job are ready to give her the flick after being less than fucking agreeable colleagues. I get that that’s politics. That its cut-throat-rough-and-tumble-eye-for-an eye-tooth-for-a- tooth-mentality is its lifeblood, or whatever the fuck. That doesn’t stop it from being intrinsically unfair, and it doesn’t stop it from pissing me off. Her Government has fucked up, sure. Every Government does. But a lot of it wasn’t on her, and unpalatable as it may be to some, she’s the best bet they’ve got, one hundred per cent. So it’ll piss me off if she’s stood down in the frankly horrifyingly childish and cavalier way that’s being suggested because she can’t deliver a landslide victory in a tough election year with frankly none of the resources on her side that she needs, and you know what, ever has it been thus.
I’ll be pissed off if Julia Gillard is removed from power because it sets a really, really unhealthy precedent of simply deposing leaders instead of growing the fuck up, staying behind your leader, and if you’re going down, going down with dignity. I know they did it once, and mistake or not, it’s done. But that shit needs to end, because it breeds instability and a disrespect for the position nationwide. Don’t fucking throw your prep notes around like a four year old. Don’t get lazy and snide and resentful and start packing up your office, throwing a hissy fit, leaking to the press. Grow the fuck up. Get in line with your leader, retain a semblance of discipline, and go out there and sell your (generally) above average message to your constituents like your job depends on it. Because it does.
And, you know what, I know this has been unbearably wordy and confused and probably so full of dumbass contradictions that I should’ve hit that delete button on like, five seconds ago. But on a personal level, yeah, it shits me off. I know she’s fucked up on numerous fronts, I’m not glossing over that, and you know, there’s a good chance that I probably wouldn’t vote for her party come September 14. But shit, or something, because maybe it’s a little naïve and quaint but I really love having a female leader who’s not a representative of the goddamned monarchy (a post for another day) or in the largely eye-rollingly defunct role of State Premier. I like it a lot. She’s the motherfucking leader of the country and it makes me Really Happy that there’s a woman behind that desk. Possibly, it makes me even happier considering her opponent is Tony Abbott (a post for another day). This is rambly at best and utterly and intolerably flawed at worst, I know that. But her misogyny speech made me intensely fucking proud last year, despite the cries, valid or not, of hypocrisy and other nice big vague words of that ilk. And I’m not even going to start on the frankly appalling way she’s treated colloquially and in the media – take a shot every time someone makes a joke about her clothes, her hair, her partner, her childlessness, her legs, her voice, blah blah fuckity blah – but I like that she ignores all of that and goes and fucking leads my country. It makes me proud and it makes me smile and it gives me something to shove up my family’s ass when they question why I’m a politics major despite the fact that I’m a girl.
And it’s just kind of disappointing, really, that hey, what a surprise, a bunch of straight white men are going to – with surgical precision, if they see fit – shut her up and step her down and put a man, who in my view is not only just horrendous but a much weaker leader, back in power. It sucks, a lot, that people are going to equate our first female leader with failure. It sucks a lot, because in and amongst the clusterfuck of the minority government she’s done some cool stuff. Carbon pricing, the NBN, Gonski (possibly, oh my God, can you tell I know nothing about Gonski yet), the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We have an economy that is miraculously doing Okay. She’s been at the helm of some really good things, and that’s not what people are going to remember. And man, does that piss me off.
Here’s the newsflash, ALP: you’re gonna lose. Short of framing the entire Coalition for first-degree murder, this isn’t going to be your year. I’m sorry, really, because I don’t like you a lot but you’re about seven galaxies ahead of an Abbott-led Coalition in my book. But it’s going to happen. You want to pick up a few scraps in Queensland? Okay. Be my guest, take Kevin Rudd back, whatever. I can’t even vote. Maybe you’re right, what the fuck would I know.
But dude(s). You could also not take him back. You could also pull yourselves into line for another hundred-odd days, put your heads down, and go and tell people what you have to offer. Go and tell people why they should listen to your leader – The Prime Minister, Ms Gillard; not ‘Julia’. Because y’all have got some good things to say. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve got some pretty bad stuff too. But go down with some dignity. Let her lead and respect her leadership, because she’s good. Set an example. How you expect the general public to vote for you if you publicly scoff the leader of your goddamned party is beyond me. She’s good at her job. She’s a good leader, she’s an innovative and strong and (if you’d let her talk candidly for five fucking seconds) passionate leader, and I think she’s a much more positive influence on the ALP and Federal politics in general than Kevin Rudd, at least in the long term.
If nothing else, she makes young girls like me riled up enough to smack down a thousand-odd incoherent words of political navel-gazing, and I think that’s a pretty good thing.
*screams bella’s name repeatedly and flies into the sun w/ love*