I feel really bad about what happened to our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
- Her colleagues (and predecessor/successor) white-anted her from the very beginning.
- The media led a breathtaking chorus of misogynist hate, largely because she dared not to be a married, church-going, middle-aged male.
- She was damned with unprecedented vehemence for standard political conduct in the big old parties – replacing the previous leader in a vote (shocking! See: Abbott v Turnbull, Keating v Hawke etc); being unable to stick to a (stupidly made, admittedly) pre-election promise when the post-election circumstances made it impossible (remember when the media dubbed the last LNP PM “Howardliar” after he invented “non-core” promises? Oh wait, no, they let it go.)
- She achieved some important things (NDIS, Gonski) in very difficult circumstances – but the media preferred to drown them out with leadership speculation bullshit instead.
And any fall from Prime Minister is a hard, painful one.
But I feel equally as bad for the marginalised and vulnerable people she abandoned and hurt:
- Asylum-seekers (including children), who she locked up indefinitely – and wanted to send to Malaysia where they’d have even fewer protections.
- Gays and lesbians, who she insisted should continue to be discriminated against by the law because of “tradition”.
- Poor Australians, as she left NewStart further and further behind subsistence and then shoved a whole bunch of single parent families onto it.
In short: my sympathy for our badly-treated first PM is real, but tempered by the lack of sympathy she showed for those even more deserving of it.
The whole thing is terribly sad.