Julia Gillard positions herself on the right
- Julia Gillard positions herself as ideological leader
of a new right wing in the Labor Party
Her organisational proposals should be vigorously resisted throughout
the labour movement
By Bob Gould
Last night (March 7) a friend and I attended Gerard Henderson's
conservative Sydney Institute to hear Julia Gillard speak. I must
admit that for a while I have been in two minds about Julia Gillard as
a potential Labor leader. I've only encountered her in person on one
other occasion, when she came to address ALP members in South Sydney,
defending her reactionary policy on the refugee question.
At that meeting, the whole 30 or so speakers from the floor attacked
her refugee policy, and I led the attack, ending my short speech by
adapting the words of the Roman Senator Cato who ended every speech in
the Roman Senate "and Carthage must be destroyed" with my version,
that everyone making a speech in the ALP should end with the
peroration that "mandatory detention must be destroyed". That
suggestion was taken up by quite a few other speakers.
Talking about that event with others afterwards, I found that many
shared my view that despite sharply opposing her policy we were kind
of impressed by her vigorous and upfront demeanour in the face of a
very hostile meeting. Since that time, I have sensed that a lot Labor
leftists, particularly women, shared my grudging respect for her in
her vigorous public demeanour, and in particular the way she confronts
head-on the viciousness of the mass media, which always have a subtext
of slight hostility to her because she is an unmarried, childless
woman who doesn't conform to the bourgeouis cliches peddled by
official society about home and family.
It was in that mood of willing to be persuaded by her that I went
along to hear her at Henderson's right-wing think-tank. Her speech was
a salutary lesson to me against any kind of romantic naivete or
temptation to take my eyes off the core content of her political position.
- --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
Looks like the gremlins got into your computer, Bob.