BY KATE HUNTER
The way Julia Gillard tells it, she had no idea she would become Prime Minister on June 24, 2010. The opportunity came up and apparently she thought, ‘Well, it hadn’t crossed my mind, but I’ll give it crack.’
Well of course she did. It was the Prime Ministership, not the last Tim Tam in the staff fridge. Wouldn’t you grab it with both hands?
Maybe, maybe not. I’m no political expert. Most of the time, I’m not even an enthusiast. But this disturbs me, mainly because I don’t believe it. The Prime Minister inexplicably granted an interview to ABC’s Four Corners which aired on Monday night, reliving the months leading up to the spill which claimed the scalp of then PM Kevin Rudd. It was mostly unremarkable television until the squirm-worthy moment when the PM was put on the spot.
Did she know about the impending coup? Did she see the damaging polling that showed her popularity as PM ahead of Rudd?
She dodged, skipped and ducked the repeated questioning. It was uncomfortable. And that moment set in motion a chain of events that would, like a picked thread, begin to unravel her leadership credibility. There were claims she personally lobbied for Rudd’s removal. Personally handed around that damaging polling. Personally helped draft that speech she delivered when he was rolled.
And still she stood firm and said she never intended to take the job until the day it happened.
As Annabel Crabb tweeted so eloquently during the game-changing 4 Corners program on Monday night:
And not believing is the crux of my problem. I wanted to believe Julia Gillard was different. That she would try new ways of solving gnarly old problems. I’d hoped having a shacked up atheist in The Lodge would loosen things up. I know it hasn’t been easy for her, what with a hung parliament at all, but I feel let down and confused.
So what happens next? The Labor party seems to be unlikely to sponsor Kevin, The Comeback Tour. Even the most daring bookie wouldn’t take a bet on Gillard, so that leaves me looking at … Tony Abbott.
Let me say here that I’m the ultimate swinging voter. I’ll be voting for my local member (Labor) in the Queensland state election because I think she does a good job and because I’ve seen her at Woollies at 8pm. Not campaigning, shopping. I think she’s the real deal.