The term “moving forward” is employed by politicians when they’ve done something they don’t want to dwell on for any number of reasons, usually because they fear close examination will put them in a bad light. So they urge us not to live in the past, even if the past is only a matter of a couple of weeks ago, but rather to forget everything we ever knew about what they’ve just done, and “move forward” with them into a rosy and sustainable future.
Over the last 24 hours a vision has come to me unbidden whenever I’ve heard Julia Gillard’s voice. It is of a doll fashioned in her image with a key in its back. When you turn this key, the doll advances slowly on stiff legs, chanting: “Move forward! Move forward! The country must move forward!” in a voice that resembles that of a feminised dalek.
I take full responsibility for this psychic aberration. Nobody made me see it.
Gillard has made quite a lot of acknowledging that she isn’t the “elected Prime Minister”. She sees the coming election as an opportunity to remedy that and gain a mandate. The Australian people, she assures us with monotonous repetition, have the right to “choose” their Prime Minister.
What she won’t address, indeed, has stated she will never address, is the circumstances in which the Australian people did not have the right to decide whether or not we retained the Prime Minister Ms Gillard assures us we’d chosen.
What the Rudd downfall shows is that the people of Australia are not in control of who will be the Prime Minister, no matter how much Julia Gillard says we are. Though campaigns are blatantly run on the appeal of the party leader, though that leader is frequently better known than the local member, though many a vote is actually for the leader when the punters choose their local candidate, none of this means a thing, because the party can change the Prime Minister anytime it wants.
Rumour has it that Gillard agreed to Rudd staying on and working to turn the polls around. She then left the room for consultations with her backers, and on her return she reneged on that deal, and made her tilt for the leadership.
Nobody is denying or confirming these rumours, claiming the conversations were confidential and private.
I take issue with these claims. Conversations about the removal of the country’s PM ought not to be private and confidential. The punters have a right to know what went down that night. It’s in the public interest for those dealings to be revealed. After all, we are being asked to consider the usurper as our future leader, and this rumour certainly goes towards establishing her moral character.
There are many countries in which such unilateral action would have caused riots in the streets and bloodshed.
Ever since that event, Gillard has expended a great deal of energy earnestly reassuring us that she’s saved us, and is committed to continuing that merciful project if we’ll trust her and move forward with her.
But exactly what is it she’s saved us from? A coalition government led by the mad monk? The restraints of so-called political correctness? Death by boredom with Kevin Rudd?
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