Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

The fault is in themselves

By Kevin Donnelly - posted Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Prime Minister Gillard and those surrounding her seek to blame Kevin Rudd for the ALP government's paralysis and failure to govern. They are wrong.

As in any tragedy/farce the fault lies not with destiny, fate or the actions of others – instead, the fault lies with Prime Minister Gillard's flawed character and thirst for power.

What motivates and inspires Prime Minister Julia Gillard? In June 2010 I wrote that Gillard was motivated by opportunism when arguing, "Based on her actions since becoming Deputy Leader and Minister for Education, it's clear that pragmatism has over ruled ideals and Julia Gillard is no different to many other politicians who put power before beliefs".


In March 2011 I revisited the topic and argued that the Australian public was fed up with "good government and sound policy being subverted by opportunism and pragmatism" represented by Gillard's willingness to compromise ideals in her quest for power for power's sake.

In the two years since nothing has changed my mind about what motivates the Prime Minister. Again and again, both in terms of policy decisions and political strategy Julia Gillard proves herself more akin to Machiavelli than Gandhi.

Whether her statement that there was more chance that she would be playing for the Western Bulldogs than challenging Kevin Rudd as PM, reversing her promise not to introduce a carbon tax or the promise to keep the budget in surplus, there's no doubt that Gillard has exhausted her credibility with voters.

The most recent example of putting power above ideals and beliefs is last week's on again, off again leadership challenge.

Forget the spin about the Prime Minister showing steely resolve and composure under pressure. The reality, unlike Simon Crean and Martin Ferguson who, in the best traditions of the Roman patricians fell on their swords for the greater good of the party, Gillard appears happy to destroy the government as long as she prevails.

Not for Gillard the example of Prime Minister Gorton who, on the vote for leadership being tied and his position secured, put the greater good of the party before self-interest with his words, ""Well, that is not a vote of confidence, so the party will have to elect a new leader".


The recent photo opportunity on the lawns of Kirribilli House involving the Prime Minister and the Sydney shock jock Kyle Sandilands represents another example of spin over substance.

After attacking Tony Abbott, supposedly, for being misogynist the PM, in order to garner votes, is happy to appear side by side with somebody whose past words and actions demean and humiliate women.

The ALP true believers must also be continually dismayed that their party, in order to serve Gillard's self-interest, now copies Howard government polices in areas like border protection and the treatment of refugees.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

12 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Catholic University and he recently co-chaired the review of the Australian national curriculum. He can be contacted at He is author of Australia’s Education Revolution: How Kevin Rudd Won and Lost the Education Wars available to purchase at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Kevin Donnelly

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Kevin Donnelly
Article Tools
Comment 12 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy