Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Et tu, Julia Gillard? An Australian tragedy

"Et tu, Brute?", Caesar uttered as Brutus delivered the final blow to Julius Caesar.  Welcome to the Australian Labor Party's depiction of the Greek tragedy starring Kevin Rudd as Julius Caesar, Julia Gillard as Marcus Brutus and the "faceless men" of the Australian Labor Party.

As the Journal of Farcical Exuberance campaigned for Kevin Rudd's removal from office, it seems that Julia Gillard and the "faceless men" of the Labor Party were plotting Kevin Rudd's dismissal as well. At the time, the government faced criticisms on, amongst other things, immigration, the Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT), climate change and excessive government spending.  Unable to "stand idly by", Julia Gillard felt it necessary to get the government (and Labor Party) back on track.
"I came to the view that for the Australian nation I had a responsibility to step up, to take control and to make sure that this government got back on track ... I have taken control for that precise reason."
Ms Gillard and the rest of the Labor Party feigned their support for Kevin Rudd while they secretly conspired against the then Prime Minister, elected by the Australian people. In response to continued questioning about potential leadership changes, Ms Gillard responded that those rumours were "completely riduculous". Ironically, as the plot unfolded, Gillard emerged victorious as Rudd lay sick in hospital.

If information leaked to Laurie Oakes are to be believed, Ms Gillard's betrayal of Kevin Rudd may be more dramatic than that of Julius Caesar. Ms Gillard remains tight lipped as "an appropriate mark of respect between colleagues".  

The more pressing point, however, is whether Julia Gillard can be trusted to take Australia into the future.  

Recent events suggest that Julia Gillard may be the new queen of spin.  In attempts to seem real and for Australians to connect with the new Prime Minister, Ms Gillard stated that she would ensure the "real Julia" would be on display for the Australian people. 
"It's time for me to make sure the real Julia is well and truly on display, so I'm going to step up and take personal charge of what we do" (emphasis added)
A simple contextual analysis of Ms Gillard's words reveals several pertinent issues. "Real Julia" implies that there is more than one Julia Gillard persona.  "Display" suggests that Ms Gillard has been putting on a "face" or "show" to mask her true persona.  "Personal charge"  indicates that decision making and statements by Ms Gillard have been driven by other person(s) behind the scenes.  More bluntly, is Ms Gillard is a puppet for "faceless men" of the Australian Labor Party?
Labor's re-election bid may indeed be in "deep-trouble". Ms Gillard is up against a Coalition leader who has already claimed two scalps; Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd.  Tony Abbott's campaign against Kevin Rudd's "great big tax(es)" and the labelling of the Labor Party as being "more spin than substance" brought about the subsequent downfall of Kevin Rudd.  Mr Abbott opened the eyes of working families to the unfulfilled promises and excessive spending by the Labor Party, which as to be funded by two potential great big taxes on Australian people and businesses.

Kevin Rudd's ousting may not have changed much about the Labor Party.  As the new Mining Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) reveals, the Labor Party is content to purchase the support of Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata while disregarding the interests of emerging Australian mid-cap or small-cap resource companies.  Ms Gillard opposed paid parental leave and questioned increases in pension payments to the elderly as "elderly voters did not support Labor".  A recent Australian National Audit Office report revealed that the government's stimulus package spending had been skewed in favour of Labor electorates.

One can only quesiton whether this government is truly concerned about the well-being of working families.

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