Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Incomparable, Unstoppable Julia Gillard

A BEAUTIFUL day has dawned in Melbourne. Gentle sunshine, magpies singing, fluffy white puffballs in a cerulean sky – it is such a lovely and so gentle a morning the only complaint might be that the English language contains no adequate word to describe it. This is our PM’s fault, of course. When she endorsed Bob Brown’s proposal to examine means by which the press might be overseen and regulated, she needed to go further and also reform the dictionary. Yes, efforts have been underway to do that, but they are piecemeal and entirely unsatisfactory. Judge Mordy, for example, has done sterling work to redefine white as black, but there is only one of him and the dictionary is replete with other words in urgent need of fixing.

So here is a small suggestion: Let us from now call days such as this “gordonian”, which should be taken to mean the boundless optimism of those whose team spirit blinds them to all but the bluest of blue, blue skies. Its inspiration, The Age’s Michael Gordon, is putting the case for the word in this morning’s paper: 

“Suddenly,” he writes, “the Prime Minister appears to be building momentum and, finally, her opponent is under pressure.”

Is Gordon correct? If not now, the chances are that he will be sooner or later, because the “imminent” Gillard revival has been the staple of his political commentaries at least since last year’s election:

AUGUST 11, 2010: Has Tony peaked? ….Julia Gillard's strongest 48 hours since she called the election has left her where Paul Keating used to say he wanted to be 10 days out from polling day: one out, one back and, finally, with a hint of momentum.

After that, a series of unvaryingly cheerful updates on the gathering Gillard revival: 

March 14: Labor has lost the first round of the carbon tax debate comprehensively. But is it the knockout defeat some have already called, or has Gillard simply been shaken by the ferocity of Tony Abbott's ''bad-policy-based-on-a-lie'' assault? My instinct says it’s the latter.

June 18: if the sky doesn't fall in and the boats stop coming, Gillard will be given a level of kudos for having the courage of her convictions 

July 8: Why is Gillard privately buoyant? And why is Combet positively upbeat? Because, after more than four months of bleeding in the face of Tony Abbott's unrelenting assault, they now have something besides slogans to sell. 
July 18: If Gillard can demonstrate I'm-not-for-changing tenacity and grit in the grim months ahead, voters might be inclined to afford her respect

September 12: Julia Gillard has her best, and perhaps her last, chance to turn the tables on Tony Abbott in the asylum seeker debate today.

October 17: Tony Abbott forces Gillard into an embarrassing retreat on her plan to process asylum seekers who come by boat offshore, and he records his lowest net approval and highest disapproval since becoming Opposition Leader. (Gerard Henderson has more on this innovative interpretation of the polls). 

Very shortly the Professor will be off to the tackle shop, because the urge to teach the trout another lesson is rising, and then it will be on to the golf course. There are more important matters that really do need attention – a rickety back fence in need of bracing, a sink of dirty dishes and the blocked drain that is keeping them that way. But on such a day what claim has grim reality on optimism? Let Gordonian principles prevail!

Who needs reality when, after a week of storms and torrential rain, there is finally an indication of salad days ahead? So let us embrace Michael Gordon’s blue sky fixation and wear smiles wider than a dying broadsheet -- at least until Judge Mordy redefines that colour as well.


  1. "the “imminent” Gillard revival has been the staple of his political commentaries"

    It's the consistency of a broken watch - eventually he'll seem correct, even for only a short period...

  2. What I like about Michael Gordon is that he is prepared to move forward in the national interest. If Mr Abbott was writing these articles we'd just be getting negativity and lame slogans and personal attacks on women, like Liberal Party sponsored Cat Calls. When those big polluters start paying you'll be able to enjoy much more predictable weather for your fishing weekends. Julia Gillard stands for working families enjoying good weather, and being compensated when the big polluters pay.
    Julia Gillard had the courage to stand for good weather for all fisherman; Tony Abbott only offered smog and polluted rivers, and more frequent tsunamis. Watch out for those Abbott flat tyres as well - it is the shock jock budgie smuggler connection that made the Prius fail.

  3. A look through the journals of the esteemed Laurie Oakes would be a goldmine for the Professor. He has picked 973 of her last 0 "turning points".

  4. Ooooh Phil, those Cat Calls really hurt don't they? You must be an S and M sort of guy, you're there at the Cat so much getting whipped with the nine-tails and begging for more.

    So good of you to correct the Bunyip's musings. Perhaps though you need to consider that Ms. Gillard's re-assuring little friend Bobby hates fishermen, family outings in the family's National Parks, the family car, international holiday travel, air-conditioning, supermarkets and any fat in the family wallet. He's a bundle of family fun. Vote for Labor again 'cos he and Ms. Gillard are truly sisters under the skin.

    Oh, and thank you for confirming it, I just knew Abbott caused Tsunamis just as he causes everything else that goes wrong for you, he being against global warming and all that. Gaia is really quaking due those negative vibes feeding back to her deepest innards.

    Yep, our current muddling meddlers are all for the sheerly quixotic task of improving weather for nature poets like the Bunyip, no matter what it costs. Thanks to your help Phil,the love medja should soon cotton on to a new election slogan: "Julia and Bobby, your family's fair-weather friends". Works for me.

  5. Just heard the PM's voice on TV. Was not able to hit the mute button in time to avoid hearing her extol Australians for their "sportspersonship".
    That has to be the ugliest PC word inflicted on us so far.
    No doubt its esteemed provenance will make it a dead cert for the next edition of the Macquarie Dictionary.

  6. PhillipGeorge(c)2011November 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Quite right Elizabeth R,
    the trouble with the Australian economy is that it is so carbon focused. Carbon gets in to just about everywhere - no nook or cranny of the socio-economic tapestry is excluded. We have a completely carbo-centric world view and outlook on life. This is, of course, the height of biological arrogance.
    To play catch up, or even just to keep up with the rest of the world, we need to invest heavily now into Silicon based life forms. Securing a place in the world and giving our children the future they deserve, free from shackles of carbon means we need to diversify now and invest heavily.

    What I am proposing is a big picture vision for women, tough as nails, leaders. The Julia Gillard-Elena Ceausescu foundation for research into sustainable silicon based children will be a not for profit research centre of excellence; totally tax payer funded with a 15 percent annual freewill contribution from Australia's major polluters to offset their own compulsory requirements for research into maintaining good government industry peak body relations.

    Together women of all persuasions, naturally born or gender reassigned surgically augmented and hormone supplemented, or simply identity ambiguous female sympathetic self identifiers, can look forward, and move forward together, into a future of silicon siblings in a completely carbon neutral way.

    If Tony Abbott will let them.

  7. Skeeter, did she really say "sportspersonship"? You're having a lend of us aren't you??

  8. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.November 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Go Phil, great idea, take it straight to Jules, she has a demonstrated talent for picking knock-out (or is that burn-out?) winners. I believe she has a very informed scientific understanding of all things carbon garnered from her outstanding new scientific adviser/s. She is possibly well up on things silicone too - what is that smoothness in the visage?

    Elizabeth R. Now why didn't I think of that?

  9. I'm not sure whats funnier. The good professor's musings or the comments that come after them...