These women in Labor are feeling no pain,
Find running the country’s no stress and no strain,
All were up-beat and their spirits were high
When at a Party event they explained to me why.
Working conditions have improved much of late
With their new boss who is efficient and straight.
Labor’s productive. It’s not at all hard
Conceiving new laws with PM Gillard.
Not just these women, but ALP men
Work well with her and if ever again
Rudd were to challenge and push came to shove
They’d vote for Julia. Working with her is a Labor of love!
The death of Julia Gillard’s father this weekend had me thinking how proud he would have been of all that she has achieved. I had the privelege just a few days ago of meeting the Prime Minister personally at a community cabinet here in W.A. in nearby Kwinana. I just wish I could have let him know of the conversations I had with some of her colleagues at the less crowded social event which followed the public forum. All of them, both men and women, expressed admiration for her as a leader of Labor Caucus and as Prime Minister. The women expressed much more – affection, love and appreciation for her strength and her support for themselves and other women struggling to achieve more both here in Australia and in other less developed parts of the world. Julia Gillard paid tribute to her Dad today and spoke of him as her inspiration. For me that means all she has achieved for us in Australia and for less priveleged people elsewhere is a legacy from him.
Readers of this blog will know that I’ve long been an admirer of Julia Gillard because of what I’ve read and seen in our media. I jumped at the opportunity to observe her up close and personal, as it were, at the Community Cabinet last Wednesday 05/09/12. Here are the notes I made and posted at The Political Sword about that evening and how my experiences confirmed that admiration.
……..I”ve just spent a happy half hour writing about the ’real’ Julia whom I met last night in Kwinana at the Community Cabinet. Astonishingly fresh after a solid day’s Prime Ministerial work with Barnett on Gonski she stood up for well over the allotted hour, managed the audience of hundreds in the hall and fielded questions from the floor to herself and her Ministers, all seated alongside her by the way. Suffering the odd fool gladly with great patience she answered everything that was thrown at her or referred some to her ministers where appropriate. There were some answers that were not popular e.g. re asylum seekers, or FIFO work permits for mining companies but there was no doublespeak or efforts to placate.
Still unable to drive myself I had been given a lift from Freo by an ALP insider on condition I stayed on afterwards for the special invite for drinks with the PM. First time I’ve blessed that woman who knocked me down! WOW! I talked at length about the great things they’ve achieved to Nicola Roxon, Tanya Plibersek and Kate Ellis. All were really happy to hear how popular the PM is out here in the big wide world and promised to pass on those sentiments to her from me, with all of them having something to say themselves about how sensational she is to work with! A staffer standing with us then suggested I should tell the PM myself how I felt! Which I was able to do! I had been reluctant to intrude on her time since she was being extraordinarily generous with the scores of people lining up to get autographs or photos with her. But I couldn’t l knock back the offer of a personal introduction, could I? Imagine being hugged by the PM herself! I found myself willingly hugging her back! What’s all this nonsense about her being cold and wooden?
By the way, she doesn’t hog the limelight and went to extraordinary lengths to draw in her team, give them credit and encourage general mingling before she exited at a very late EST hour. Which is how I came to spend quite a while talking to Chris Bowen who seemed something of a social recluse, but was interesting to listen to as he responded to more than one person joining us and commiserating with him about the lousy job he’d landed. Someone has to do it, he said. “We are all volunteers, after all.” And there are rewards with many of his clients. And yes, there are some who bring out the cynic in one. Nauru is almost ready to go by the way, but PNG is a bit slower and neither of them are just refurbishments of the old detention centres. The plan is for them to be quite different. All of SHY’s worst expectations won’t be realized.
Altogether a very cheering and uplifting experience. Hardly a mention of the Opposition, even when the LOTO came up by name – the almost uniform response was a raised eyebrow, wrinkling of the nose or just a grimace and then the subject was changed. As if they just don’t want their personal space polluted with all of TA’s toxic negativity.