Right and defences of Julia Gillard against the ..
What follows is a series of chapters structured like diary entries, covering the period from 15 June 2011 to 18 June 2013 and focusing on the Prime Ministership of Julia Gillard as it was reported in the media and as it was, Walsh argues, systematically undermined by Kevin Rudd and his supporters in Parliament and in the press. Walsh leaves no doubt as to where her sympathies lie – ‘If ever the deck was stacked against someone, it was Gillard’ – but that does not invalidate the arguments of her book, which is crammed with direct quotations and verifiable facts that should leave any reasonable reader in no doubt as to the nature and purpose of Rudd’s campaign.
Yet when Julia Gillard's misogyny speech ..
Australia’s first female Prime Minister is the figure at the centre of this pile of books, and they were all produced during the last few months of her Prime Ministership. They came out in quick succession, published between April and July of this year; all of them had gone to press before the afternoon of June 26 when Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the leadership spill that saw the federal ALP caucus vote her out of office in favour of Kevin Rudd. All five publications, and the two anthologies in particular, range more widely, but that is where their hearts lie. Griffith Review editor Julianne Schultz is careful in her introduction to Women and Power to keep the discussion at an international level, but her final sentence resonates closer to home, and now seems more appropriate than ever: ‘Early in a transformative new century we need to hold our nerve, and transcend the “witch, liar, troll” backlash.’
There is an even more striking instance of Turnbull’s civil libertarianism. When Julia Gillard claimed that Julian Assange of WikiLeaks had broken Australian law by publishing 250,000 US State Department cables, of all parliamentarians it was Malcolm Turnbull, in a speech at the Law School of the University of Sydney, who most persuasively chastised her. As a young man, Turnbull had been involved in the Spycatcher case where the British government sought to prevent the memoir of a former MI5 agent being published in Australia. As he pointed out, in this case the High Court had ruled that it had no warrant “to protect the intelligence secrets” of even a friendly foreign government. But Turnbull went further. Assange had merely done what journalists do. If he had committed a crime, why was that not also true of the editors of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age? Even more seriously, Assange had been at least indirectly threatened with assassination by no less a figure than former American vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, with her call to treat him like a member of Al Qaeda. Gillard had remained silent. Turnbull was appalled: “When an Australian citizen is threatened in this way, an Australian prime minister should respond.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard had developed a ..
There will be mixed feelings about her dispatch of Kevin Rudd as prime minister. Rudd had irked the Chinese leadership initially with his cleverness, inserting human rights messages into the public dialogue, and his government's antagonistic defence white paper. But after three years in office, he might have become less unsettling. Chinese people were generally upset by the harsh removal of the West's first Chinese-speaking head of government - with a direct effect on the Labor Party vote among Chinese-Australians.
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Sometimes the result of the narrowest election truly matters. If a few hundred citizens of Florida had voted for Al Gore rather than George W Bush in 2000, there would have been no invasion of Iraq and the question of climate change action might still be on the US political agenda. Or, to move from the global to the local, if in December 2009 a couple of Liberal Party parliamentarians had voted for Malcolm Turnbull rather than Tony Abbott, Turnbull might still be leading the Liberal Party, he or Kevin Rudd might be prime minister, and the political culture of populist conservatism that overtook Australia during the Howard years might by now be losing its grip.
Filed under: ALP, Bob Brown, Featured, Greens, Julia Gillard, ..
Most of these contributors were presumably invited on the strength of their online presence and personae or their high profile as social commentators, often both. Leslie Cannold, Nina Funnell, Catherine Deveny and Clementine Ford are all familiar names to any Australian feminist who spends much time online, but others have multiple or highly specialised perspectives on what it means to be a woman in Australia with her head above any parapet within the sights of Alan Jones or any of the others that Kerry-Anne Walsh calls ‘Sydney’s graceless pissed-off old men of radio’. Senator Penny Wong was, at the time, the federal Finance Minister. Wendy Harmer, editor of the feminist website The Hoopla, is also a broadcaster and comedian. There are several fiction writers here: Tara Moss, Melissa Lucashenko, Emily Maguire, Jennifer Mills, Susan Johnson and Krissy Kneen. And while some of these contribute short stories, it is interesting to note that some of the most impressive non-fiction has been written by the fiction writers, particularly Maguire and Mills.
with Julia Gillard and then to replace Julia Gillard with Kevin ..
With these thoughts in mind, I emailed Malcolm Turnbull requesting an interview. He accepted within minutes, stipulating only that we did not discuss Tony Abbott. This suited me; I had no intention of pressing him pointlessly on whether he was satisfied with his present political lot – Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband – or whether he hoped once more to lead the Liberal Party. I wanted to speak with him because he was almost the only senior politician in Australia who seemed willing to go ‘off message’. Also, because since losing the Liberal Party leadership he had delivered a series of unusually interesting speeches on a wide variety of topics outside his portfolio, which were crucial to the future of the nation – the rise of China, the global politics of climate change, the need in Australia for a sovereign wealth fund, WikiLeaks and the rule of law, democracy and the decline of newspapers. Most importantly, it seemed to me that Turnbull was the principal inheritor of the noble but now threatened liberal tradition stretching from Alfred Deakin to Malcolm Fraser, and the principal obstacle to the Howard-inspired and Abbott-led transformation of the Liberal Party from small-l liberalism to populist conservatism.