This is a
clear and unambiguous statement that Julia Gillard, Australia's Prime Minister, was lacking in most commonly
held ethical beliefs. But first, so that
I cannot be accused of bias, I need to assert that I am a near rusted-on Labor
supporter. In the first version of this particular blog, I wrote that that I would , with near certainty, vote for the Labor Party in the
coming election.. That was when Julia Gillard was Prime Minister. I did vote that way, although Julia Gillard herself, had been deposed
There is much evidence in support
of my assessment of Ms. Gillard’ ethical values. High on the list is her June 2010 deposing of Kevin Rudd, then current Prime Minister. If the institutions in a society are to sustain, economically
and politically, a primary value held by anyone who elects their leaders must be
loyalty to that leader. Chaos will reign otherwise. Ms Gillard does not possess this virtue. Of
course, any institution, and most of all the institutions that manage a
country, must find for themselves the most effective leader possible. We have
been told that there were many faults with Kevin Rudd - that he was a
chaotic micro-manager, and rude to his staff . . None of us ever
worked for Mr Rudd, nor did the
reporters who broadcast these accusations. We, as did the news media, relied on those
politicians who deposed him. The
politician who benefited most was Julia Gillard.
To sum up in a basic moral though: If the people vote for a political leader, no matter how impossible to work with does that leader turn out, then it is an undemocratic to depose that leader. It is the policies he has broadcast that the people vote for, and their judgement on his ability to deliver.
The most damming of indictments against Gillard came in Peter Hartcher's analysis of the Gillard coup, presented in the Sydney Morning Herald November 18 issue. Gillard has always maintained that it was a last minute decision on her part to issue the challenge , based onthe declining popularity of the Rudd government. Hartcher gives convincing evidence that Gillard instigated the coup well before that meeting. Gillard denial is an untruth.
Rudd was effective .It is
easy to demonstrate. He ended 14 years of conservative rule by John Howard. How many other Labor leaders had tried, but failed? Kevin Rudd then gave us a series of decisions that still
tell us why, in poll after poll, the Australian people prefer him as
First he gave us the apology to the aboriginal
people, a defining moment in Australian history. Second he brought this country
through the Global Financial Crisis in a better state of economic health than
most other countries. We have all benefited from Kevin Rudd’s decisions.
the mining tax.
It was supposed to raise $3 billion the first financial year
and $10 billion over four years. His argument has undeniable validity - that the
minerals under the ground belong to the Australian people, not the
mining companies. The money could be spent on many needed services of
government. In the face of fierce opposition by the mining industry, the
mining tax was cut by Julia Gillard soon after she took over the top job. It
has raised just $136 million.
been argued that even if she did come to power by unethical means , she has earned her position through
the election held a couple of months later - in August 2010, The
difficulty is that her subsequent
decisions exhibit the same dubious
values that brought her to power. She
first opposed voting for Palestine being given observer status in the United Nations
, only partially caving in when facing opposition in her Cabinet There
were 138 nations in favour to 9 against.
Australia in one of its less glorious moments, abstained. Regardless
of your position in this dispute, it needs to be noted that both sides accept a
two state solution. The observer position is a small step in that direction.
has never back tracked on calling Julian Assange‘s release of the Wikileaks
documents a criminal act, despite not being able to tell us what law he broke.
Nor has she ever retracted this accusation.
Then there was the
crackdown on 457 visas – this is the visa that
allows skilled immigrants into the country when there is a shortage of
Australian Labour. Andrew Bartlett of the Australian Democrats put it
neatly in a post on 20/3/2013 in On Line Opinion The Gillard and Hanson accord on 457 visas is a dangerous development
The cry that migrants are 'taking our jobs' is a myth with a long and ugly
history in Australian political rhetoric.
Her record on combating corruption leaves much to be
desired. Stephen Bartos, a former senior public servant,
argues that corruption in Australia in the public service is most likely on par
with that of other developed nations (Canberra
Times March 5, 2013) . He points to the
current inquiry into the former NSW government as evidence, and the failure of
the present Prime Minister- from the same political party, to commit to a
crackdown on corruption. Also that despite parliamentary
committee recommendations there is no overarching federal anti-corruption
investigative body; and that whistleblowing legislation had been inexplicably
delayed for years, Australia is the only country in the developed world that
provides no protection for its national government officials who expose corruption
On the list of unethical actions, but still not at the top of my was the PM inviting radio jock Kyle Sandilands to play the Easter
Bunny at an egg hunt at her Sydney residence .This despite many of the
offensive remarks that Sandilands has made .
Morning Herald (March 27, 2012) told us that Kyle Sandilands breaching decency standards. The
media authority, ACMA, has found the comments he made were deeply derogatory
and offensive. From now on Sandilands will be prevented from broadcasting any
material that is likely to demean women or girls or face a loss of licence. The egg hunt was for sick children, but the inviting of Sandilands
puts at question her earlier “mysogony” attack on the leader of the opposition.
opposition to gay marriage would appear to be
driven by poll opinions. The position is also at odds with very simple moral guidelines
of equal treatment and justice for all in our society.
top of my list, however is that Gillard describes herself as an atheist. As such she has
a special obligation to promote moral standards. In an era of declining church attendance and
increasing doubt about religious beliefs, atheists have a duty to endorse, even
build on the moral values of our society. They follow a long line of humanists, extending
back over the centuries.
Dawkins, in The God Delusion (2006) sets
out ten commandments , which he found on an atheist website . They are sound commandments, enjoining us principally not to harm others in any and all matters, but also to
think independently, questioning everything. They encapsulate the form
of the Golden Rule that tells us : “Do not do to others what you would not want
them to do to you.” He then adds five
more of his own, one of which asks us to leave unto others the freedom to enjoy
their own sex lives, without discrimination. Gillard would not appear to follow
Finally ( almost ) is the cutting off of the
Deductible Gift Recipient tax status for donations to our ethical classes in
schools See David Hill’s condemnation of
this decision in the
Sydney Morning Herald on March 11, 2013 . Although not ostensibly a Gillard
decision , she must be aware of the furore it has created and that has possibly resulted in
the termination of the ethics classes in our schools.
me, the issue at the top of the list is that she is a woman, - normally the guardians
and teachers of the moral values in our society. And that she is the first
woman prime minister of our country.
Julia Gillard has tackled head on her principal perceived
weakness among voters by framing the next federal election as being about trust. (SMH.
March 27 ,2012 ), asserting “I am the one you can trust” , Can we ?