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.