blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
So, this morning, your PM was Julia Gillard, right?
Correct.

And, this evening, it's Kevin Rudd?
Sort of. He is the new leader of the parliamentary Australian Labor Party and Julia Gillard has resigned the Prime Ministership in his favour, but he is only the Prime Minister designate at the moment.

So might he not be in the morning?
Eh, there are some complicated constitutional thingies that could see that happen, but they're not likely to take place, so I can't be arsed looking them up to make sure I get them right. He probably will be.

And this is the same Prime Minister you Aussies elected in 2007?
I'm only a part-Aussie, don't blame me! But yes.

And deposed in 2010?
Oh, that wasn't us, that was the ALP, his party, who turned on him because he had terrible polling figures and installed Gillard.

And now they've turned on Gillard and re-installed Rudd?
Yes.

Because?
Because Gillard had even worse polling figures than Rudd had in 2010.

Not because parliament and the mainstream media are a pack of sexist twats who couldn't stand being governed by a woman?
Well, a bit … but also because Gillard is a frustrating politician who is actually very very good at driving policy and designing legislation and building the coalitions to get it through a hung parliament full of gibbons, but who then can't seem to manage to communicate any of her plans or successes to the general public. So while she did an amazing job at passing legislation, she did a terrible job at conveying any of her messages to the voting public.

And then she turns around and gives a concession speech that is full of wit, personality, compassion and fortitude. Dammit, Gillard, where was that last week?

So those misogyny wars she started were just bollocks?
Oh, she SO did not start those! The coverage of her leadership in some quarters was staggeringly sexist from day one, and the Opposition's disrespect for her has been astonishing and appalling. There is no question that her misogyny speech was born out of anything other than genuine outrage and exasperation, and is one that most women in the Western world have felt like making at some point.

Never forget that while Julia Gillard was trying to shore up her numbers against Kevin, a woman named Wendy Davis spent 11 hours on her feet trying to prevent the state of Texas from legislating to control women's bodies. If you doubt that sexism is still entrenched in much of Australia, as it is in the UK and US, then you're Julie Bishop lying, or an idiot.

But what about what Tony Abbott says about it being outrageous the way she was rolled?
The way Kevin Rudd was rolled? The way Tony Abbott rolled Malcolm Turnbull? The way Turnbull rolled Brendon Neilsen? The way Kevin rolled Kim Beazley? Need I go on? Rolling leaders is an Australian sport. If only there were Test Matches in leader rolling, the upcoming Ashes wouldn't be such a dire prospect for everyone out here. (Except me, and all the other British expats who are wandering around cackling wildly at the prospect.)

But this is a terrible government, yes?
Not in terms of actual governing, they've actually been bloody amazing and Australia is in strong economic form and with wonderful new legislation regarding schools and disability insurance. In terms of PR, I admit they're a bit shitful.

What about the other leadership team changes, should we care?
No. Garrett is a much better rockstar than politician, Stephen Conroy tried to censor the internet and Wayne Swan is nearly as bad at mathematics as Joe Hockey. Although you can care that Penny Wong is now leader of the Senate, because that's BRILLIANT!

So what will Rudd do now he is back?
Be the dorky Ruddbot we all once loved. Travel all over the countryside shaking hands, saying 'programmatic specificity' and carrying suitcases through floods. Try to defeat Tony Abbott and win the next election then hopefuly get gay marriage legislation through. Sit up in bed at night looking at his business card, stroking the raised typeface where it says "K Rudd, PM", lovingly.

And will there be a Harry Potter version of this for the weekend?
Probably! I am very pleased that Mark Simkin, chief political correspondant for the ABC reported that Gillard and Rudd were like the Deathly Hallows, 'Neither can live while the other survives.' 
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Ah Australian politics … It's been too long since my last update, mostly because I am focussing on good health this year and commenting on the situation is rubbish for my blood pressure. However, you may have seen some of the news coverage regarding Prime Minister Julia Gillard's recent speech in parliament where she called out the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott for his pervasive sexism and misogyny. In case you missed it, here's a link (it's 15 minutes, but there's some fabulous fury):


And here's the transcript for those who dislike video. Now, you might wonder why she's so very cross. To begin with, let's start with a recap of this image from last year:


Yes, kids, that's the Leader of the Opposition standing in front of signs both depicting the female Prime Minister as Bob Brown's Bitch (Brown being the then-leader of the Greens) and demanding we Ditch the Witch. Abbott won an award for sexist behaviour for that one, known as an Ernie (one of nine he's collected over the years).

Those two women standing beside him are senior members of his own party, too. Shame. See the one on the left? That's Bronwyn Bishop, who today said that Gillard was 'pathetic', and had 'demeaned every woman in parliament' by 'playing the gender card', adding that if she couldn't 'stand the heat, she should get out of the kitchen'. Nice.

And no, 'Juliar' isn't from the same stable of ungrammatical commentary as the missed possessive apostrophe in Browns, it's a 'clever nickname' dreamt up by this man (himself an Ernie winner):

This is Alan Jones. Let's talk about him for a minute.


Oh, this goes on. And on. )
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Previously, in the second-most sparsely populated continent on Earth, this happened.

If you can't be bothered reading through all of that, then the short version is: Harry Potter was elected PM, defeating Voldemort. Draco Malfoy was rolled as leader of the Opposition in favour of Vincent Crabbe, and there was much wailing in the land because Draco looks like this: , while Crabbe looks like this: . Worse, Crabbe believes that Climate Change is a cunning trick from all those extremely well-paid scientists trying to oppress the poor, struggling oil companies, and that it would be folly to hope for equality for women in 'a large number of areas', simply because chicks 'lack aptitude'.

Inspired to at least equal the lunacy of the Opposition, the Government decided to boot out Harry in favour of Hermione  for a long and complicated set of reasons that can best be summed up with Harry can be a bit of a twat to his colleagues, plus, drugs and politics do not mix. In the space of one long-knifed night, she took over as Australia's first female Prime Minister, leaving a sizable portion of the country saying, 'Hang on a minute …'

It just gets wackier from here ... )


(And after all that, everything will have changed by 10am tomorrow!)
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
There's a federal election coming up here. For those in the rest of the world, Australian politics can be hard to follow. No one outside the country is really sure who the members of the Opposition are. In fact, a lot of people are no longer sure who our Prime Minister is, since he was so swiftly bumped off by his own party. In order to fill you all in, I have prepared this useful guide, in terms my flist can follow.

Until recently, the Australian Prime Minister was Harry Potter. He was elected to the position back in 2007 when the Australian Labor Party took victory, displacing the eleven-year-long Liberal (Conservative) reign of Voldemort . Voldemort had been convinced that he would be returned to power by an electorate only concerned with the economy, but misread the situation, as it turned out that many Australians were also concerned with Climate Change, Decent Treatment of Refugees, and Economic Policies that were more sustainable than Growth At All Costs.

So much for being the Chosen One ... )


ETA: Some non-Australians have asked for a 'cast list', you can find it here, but life is probably too short unless you are actually studying politics.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
There's a federal election coming up here. For those in the rest of the world, Australian politics can be hard to follow. No one outside the country is really sure who the members of the Opposition are. In fact, a lot of people are no longer sure who our Prime Minister is, since he was so swiftly bumped off by his own party. In order to fill you all in, I have prepared this useful guide, in terms my flist can follow.

Until recently, the Australian Prime Minister was Harry Potter. He was elected to the position back in 2007 when the Australian Labor Party took victory, displacing the eleven-year-long Liberal (Conservative) reign of Voldemort . Voldemort had been convinced that he would be returned to power by an electorate only concerned with the economy, but misread the situation, as it turned out that many Australians were also concerned with Climate Change, Decent Treatment of Refugees, and Economic Policies that were more sustainable than Growth At All Costs.

So much for being the Chosen One ... )


ETA: Some non-Australians have asked for a 'cast list', you can find it here, but life is probably too short unless you are actually studying politics.
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Nick Griffin is the head of the BNP, a loathsome British political party that basically legitimises racism. He is also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), which only goes to show that people should be far more conscientious when it comes to voting because I think I could have swung at least as many votes as he did without resorting to bastardry.

Nevertheless, thanks to his position, he attracted an automatic invitation to a tea party at Buckingham Palace, with the Queen in attendance. Last year he was invited to accompany another guest to the 2009 party, but after a great many people asked that he stay away, he made this into a large political statement about The Establishment Not Caring For the Little Man and Working Against Him.

This year he took his invitation and turned to the media, declaring that it both legitimised him as a politician and struck a blow for all those BNP members who had stood up against all the hate (no, seriously, he said that with a straight face).

Last night, I was reading my flist and found that [livejournal.com profile] shocolate  had reported the invitation had been revoked, after Griffin emailed supporters asking them for questions to ask the Queen. The Palace decreed that he had politicised the event, which is against protocol, and withdrew his invitation (nicely done, Ma'am!)

That had already put me in a good mood, as I think he is a nasty little man. But then tonight, it became even better as I watched the SBS coverage of the incident, which included vox popping people who were attending the party. One of the couples who spoke on camera included a vaguely familiar-looking man with large teeth: 'Despicable as his politics might be ...' he began.

His companion, presumably his wife, an also vaguely familiar-looking Lady in Green, drew in her breath and frowned discreetly.

He went on: '... he had been democratically elected as an MEP and I think, therefore, has a right to come.'

There was a thinning out of mouth from the Lady, accompanied by a small head shake.

The gentleman was not finished: 'But if he then exploited that position, then yes, I think the Palace is correct.'

The Lady's face told the story: her frown disappeared, a restrained but sincere smile appeared, and the tension left her shoulders.

He will not need to sleep on the sofa tonight! 
blamebrampton: 15th century woodcut of a hound (Default)
Nick Griffin is the head of the BNP, a loathsome British political party that basically legitimises racism. He is also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), which only goes to show that people should be far more conscientious when it comes to voting because I think I could have swung at least as many votes as he did without resorting to bastardry.

Nevertheless, thanks to his position, he attracted an automatic invitation to a tea party at Buckingham Palace, with the Queen in attendance. Last year he was invited to accompany another guest to the 2009 party, but after a great many people asked that he stay away, he made this into a large political statement about The Establishment Not Caring For the Little Man and Working Against Him.

This year he took his invitation and turned to the media, declaring that it both legitimised him as a politician and struck a blow for all those BNP members who had stood up against all the hate (no, seriously, he said that with a straight face).

Last night, I was reading my flist and found that [livejournal.com profile] shocolate  had reported the invitation had been revoked, after Griffin emailed supporters asking them for questions to ask the Queen. The Palace decreed that he had politicised the event, which is against protocol, and withdrew his invitation (nicely done, Ma'am!)

That had already put me in a good mood, as I think he is a nasty little man. But then tonight, it became even better as I watched the SBS coverage of the incident, which included vox popping people who were attending the party. One of the couples who spoke on camera included a vaguely familiar-looking man with large teeth: 'Despicable as his politics might be ...' he began.

His companion, presumably his wife, an also vaguely familiar-looking Lady in Green, drew in her breath and frowned discreetly.

He went on: '... he had been democratically elected as an MEP and I think, therefore, has a right to come.'

There was a thinning out of mouth from the Lady, accompanied by a small head shake.

The gentleman was not finished: 'But if he then exploited that position, then yes, I think the Palace is correct.'

The Lady's face told the story: her frown disappeared, a restrained but sincere smile appeared, and the tension left her shoulders.

He will not need to sleep on the sofa tonight! 

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