Rowan Dean's take on Julia Gillard's re-election speech
Julia Gillard returned to the Lodge last night following her election victory against Tony Abbott, “more determined and more inspired than ever before” to reach out and divide the nation. Promising to pick up the phone in the next few weeks and tell Mr Abbott he’s a vile woman-hating North Shore-dwelling wall-smasher, Ms Gillard pledged to do everything within her power to keep blaming the opposition for everything the government got wrong.
“Tonight, more than two years after a group of faceless men won the right to choose who gets the top job, the task of perfecting my grip on power moves forward.” In her rousing speech, Ms Gillard reaffirmed that the things that divided Australians were more important than the things they had in common.
“Let us all embrace the spirit of class envy, the lust for class warfare, and the burning sense of entitlement and victimhood that can only be understood by single, childless, atheist women in this great country of ours,” she said to rapturous applause.
After a lengthy and bitter campaign, the Prime Minister reached out to her opponent.“I just spoke with Tony Abbott and I congratulated him on losing the unlosable election.“In the weeks ahead, I look forward to sitting down opposite him and daring him to ever call me a ‘piece of work’ again.” Ms Gillard was also quick to recognise the efforts of her team.“I thank my friend and partner of the last four years, Canberra’s happy highlighter, the best hairdresser anybody could hope for.
“And I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without the man who agreed to step down for me three years ago, not that he had any choice.“Let me say this publicly: Kevin, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of Australia give you the finger once and for all.
I also want to say thank you to the best spin doctors in the history of politics. The best ever. Some of you were new, like Mr McTernan, and some of you have been by my side since the very beginning when I skedaddled from Slater and Gordon.”
Ms Gillard said she had triumphed by listening to ordinary people.“You hear the determination in the voice of a young Indonesian skipper navigating his way to Christmas Island.
“You hear the pride in the voice of a Treasury official who has just leaked some fabricated Coalition costings.
“You hear the deep gratitude in the voice of a roofing contractor charging a fortune for pink batts.
“You hear the whoosh of a union boss’s credit card being swiped at Tiffany’s. That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be.
“To the young union worker who works on the south side of Fitzroy and sees a house he wants to buy with somebody else’s money.
“To the mortgage broker who wants a deposit, so long as it’s in cash. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go – forward.
“Whether I earned your vote or got it by promising the independents stuff they’ll never get, I have learned from you.
Tonight you voted for politics as usual. “In the coming months, I will commission dozens more white papers promising loads more stuff we can’t afford.
“This country has more wealth than any other nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. Compensation packages do.
We have the biggest military cuts in history, but that’s not what keeps us strong. The Americans do.
We are the most isolated place on the planet, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. Our border protection policies do.
“Just the other day a father told the story of his eight-year-old daughter whose long battle with misogynists in her playground nearly ruined her lunch break.Every politician in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be Julia, or Tanya, or Nicola or Kate.
“Tonight, despite all I’ve been through as a single, childless, atheist woman, I’ve never been more hopeful about my future.“Hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence of slush funds, despite all the failed policies, despite all the broken promises and backflips and wasted billions, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep on calling misogyny wherever we see it.
“God bless the Labor Party. Not that He actually exists.”
Follow Rowan Dean on Twitter @rowandean