Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Don’t look good enough, you’re disparaged as unattractive. Don’t have a family, you’re deliberately barren. Have a family, you’re a career-obsessed harridan neglecting your kids. But it’s more than that. The Australian yesterday launched a series of personal attacks on the Prime Minister, with the clear aim of ridiculing her and delegitimising her as a political figure. It complements an effort by Liberal Party figures to attack Gillard over her childlessness and her de facto marital status. First was the already-notorious piece by Kate Legge on the Prime Minister’s ears, discussion of which, Legge assured us, “drowned out any serious post-debate analysis of her policies or performance” and which “could derail her ability to keep the electorate focused”. Well, indeed, Kate, that’s why you’re drawing attention to it. Mockery is an important tool in the political communications arsenal. The Right is particularly adept at using it. Frequently there need be no basis in reality for it; it’s enough to simply reiterate something so often that it becomes part of mainstream debate whether it has any reality or not
Julia Gillard has a good chance of holding on to Australia for Labor (spelled like this down under, boys). She appears to have said today that when the present Queen dies it will be time for Australia to be a republic. Probably, yes. Not clear what that will do to her standing in the polls. Nothing much, I should think, the issue is not particularly divisive these days.
I wish her and the party well.