It's a respect thing, not a physical thing you understand. And I realise he wouldn't be into it.
Anyway, this is quite a good thing, though, centre-of-left pinko scumbag that I am, I shall miss Tin Tin Rudd, who failed at every turn to be the Steel Rudd that we had hoped for. To the average Gen-Y'er who voted for him he became disappointing by not supporting the policies that seem no-brainers for us, like gay marriage, and advocating policies that Yahtzee Croshaw would call 'pants on head retarded' - the extremely under-trumpeted plan to censor all the internet to make sure no man, woman or child anywhere in Australia will be able to see a penis. Plus he never stood up for the Chaser, even if the ABC got some more cash.
He also lost most of the gains he got from his home state of Queensland, because while the policies above were at least pink-necked, his neck was never fully scarlet. He actually had views on the environment and climate change, and was willing to pursue them no matter how faded the curtains should get as a result.
Astonishingly, for a PM that seemed like a Julius Caesar of Web 2.0 in the lead up to the election, Rudd showed a dire misjudgement of the media and how to handle it throughout. Vitriol was drummed up about the ETS left, centre and especially right for the sake of selling newspapers and the facts were lost - the judgement was that people didn't care about this toss and a double dissolution would be a complete disaster. Bizarrely, he announced the idea was to be shelved until 2013. The shelving was questionable. Putting a date on it was downright suicidal.
The double dissolution is not a conservative strategy for sure, but that is why it was brilliant. Ironically a fine column in the equally fine Syndey Morning Herald described Rudd in the lead up to the election as reading up on George Washington's famous Valley Forge campaign, where the general crossed a near-frozen winter at the height of Winter to attack three near-impregnable forts and then march on the city the British held right afterwards. Surprise was his only weapon, but so powerful was it that the victory is among the finest in history. The writer summed up Rudd as learning from history and practising such bold tactics in his political campaigning.
Sadly, this sort of verve evaporated when he took the office. Apparently it is quite true that courage is much easier when you have nothing to lose.
The situation further proves how perverse indeed politics can become - the ETS did not even fail because of the mindless hatred of the Liberal party to planet Earth, but rather of Bob Brown to other politicians. The Greens crushed the bill utterly, and all credit should go to them for the fact that the Federal government has no climate change policy at the time of writing. They would not accept anything less than an absolte plan, and so got nothing, like that fucking dog trying to grab the bone in the water we keep hearing about. In spite of this, when Labor flagged, where was their vote going? The Greens. The most 'do nothing' party out there.
This would actually mean that Tony Abbot would become PM. If you recall his climate change plan, labelled 'Thunderbirds are Go! Direct Delta Action Team Act NOW!' is to pay the country's biggest polluters millions of dollars, creating a "Please don't pollute anymore" credit scheme which is a slush fund for the CEOs who donated the most money into the party. The Greens say they support this. Because it's better than Labor's now non-existent policy. The policy THE GREENS FUCKING DESTROYED!
Ahem, nevertheless, this issue fades into the oblivion of yesteryear's politics now. When it became clear that our erstwhile PM could not actually sell the no-brainer of taxing the most disgusting money-grubbing wastes of oxygen in the country of a few extra percent of the 4.9 billion dollars that they are making right now while tearing up our country, he was a shot bird. Rudd is gone.
In some terms this is a good thing, definitely for the labor party which is, after all, why it happened. He was only a wild card candidate, grudgingly accepted by the party because they could see the potential for some short-term voter appeal and that he offered them in spades. And most of the people I have talked to have wanted to see Julia Gillard as PM in the first place, a view I certaintly held, and were wondering if she would actually have the chance given that Rudd's position, prior to this year, looked quite unassailable.
After all, let's not forget the fact that Labor did lead Australia through (well... that's the current HIGHLY optimistic line laid down) the Global Economic Crisis as one of the only Western nations to not officially go into recession. Is that not worth anything? Not really. In an election year, after all, everything is the present.
The present would definitely seem to play into Gillard's hands as well - she is already a popular and charismatic politician with only a limited amount of the electorate even aware of the minor controversies she has undergone as Education Minister, especially this is but one of three (!) portfolios that she has held. She has a strong basis and will furthermore undergo a honeymoon period, against an opposition leader who is well into the broken-crockery-and-black-eyed-spouse period.
Ah, Tony Abbot. With an unarguable human being at the other end of the debating table I can only hope that people begin to look harder and realise that you are just a Terminator-style robot under a thin synthetic layer of skin sent back in time by the Catholic Church to battle the Atheist's time travelling robot. (Hint - he's one of the Mythbusters, and he's not in the Scooby Gang)
If we lose this election I may just cry tears of blood. However, Gillard could still have the Double Dissolution card in the sleeve, though nobody would dare advise that move at this stage. But clean leader, clean slate? Force the race as soon as possible and leave an opposition unsure of how to hit a girl in public unsure of how to find their feet? Insanity, but it could be worth a shot. Or it could be all the Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged I've watched on YouTube getting the better of my strategic understanding. (Throw the tortoise at the flying castle, damnit!)
What struck me as I drove home, though, was that no matter which way you cut it, Australia has a female head of state. Isn't that a wonderful thing? Oh, it's the head of the Royal family? Elizabeth II. No, the Governor-General? Ms Quentin Bryce. No, screw that you say? The PM has the real power? Well that's ME JULIE! It's Fem-TAS-tic!
As I was saying, I see this as evidence that the much-touted Glass Ceiling is no more. Yes, I know there are articles saying that it still exists, but these articles hinge on one or two things...
1) There are men who have high-ranking positions who hate women
Really? Isn't that bloody surprising! There are men shovelling shit who hate women, too. I'd go so far as to say there's no shortage of them, for various reasons, most too deep to go into but I'd dare say things aren't helped by some perceived inequalities around now and attitudes of many bratty young ladies around.
Put in its simplest possible and most justifiable sense, that there is active discrimination in the upper echelons against female employees this is the thousandth case of the obvious fact that you cannot change the perceptions of an entire population overnight. If it can be proven the bodies are out there now to address the issues on a case by case basis - as fair as anything else in life at least.
2) There aren't enough women in the top jobs!
Now... it may well depend on how you define 'enough'. As far as I'm concerned, more than one should be enough, as it will demonstrate that it can happen and not be a fluke. As it is we get dozens of stats that the average board of, say, 20 members will have 1 female member, the small number of female CEOs, figures on middle management positions. The key assumption being that women WANT these jobs, and I have seen little calls suggesting this. It's also focused on areas male-dominated, instead of say, the number of female library managers and principles around...
A suggestion I see worryingly often is for set numbers of women in positions. This is a system that was around in the 70s, often with very patchy results - my dad lost his position as a groundskeeper at a university to a paraplegic woman, because the staff hit on the genius idea that she was two minorities for the price of one. She was also completely incapable of actually doing any work, so my dad was re-hired as the asssistant groundskeeper. Basically he did the exact same work for a lot less pay. Good times.
All such a system results in is in so-called 'positive' discrimination, in which the best person most likely does not get the job as the actual highest priority becomes what minority is represented by the candidate, as this is something that now has actual legal representations.
I think the dark days are well and truly over for the movement, with the proof being in the pudding. I mean, right now we have a G-G, a PM and two premiers without a single testicle between them. And this wasn't true just six years ago. It's quite remarkable. And I think something to be proud of.
The only possible downside is some issues down the road with selecting the Prime Minister's XI...
Oh, fuck, I just read she was born in Wales. IT'S A SLITHEEN!