PM Julia Gillard not a social conservative
22nd March 2011
In the following, and on The Drum Unleashed, I argue that Gillard's new found love of the Bible is simply an example of political pragmatism and deceit. In an attempt to distance the ALP from the extreme-left Greens, Gillard is trying to paint herself as a cultural conservative.
Social conservative Julia: which is the real one now?There are moments with every politician when what they say is so
unbelievable and out of character that one can only stand back, gob
smacked at the degree of political opportunism and deceit involved.
Minister Julia Gillard’s recent foray into the culture wars by
attempting to paint herself as a social conservative, championing the
Bible and its impact on the Western literary canon, is simply the latest
example of a desperate politician trying to regain momentum and
On being interviewed yesterday on Sky News
and asked about her social values, the Prime Minister describes herself
as a “cultural traditionalist” who respects family values, the past
and, copying Tony Abbott’s criticism that the proposed national
curriculum ignores the place of Christianity, argues that all schools
should teach stories from the Bible.
After acknowledging the
cultural importance of the Bible, the PM goes on to say, "It's
impossible to understand Western literature without having that key of
understanding the Bible stories and how Western literature builds on
them and reflects them and deconstructs them and brings them back
Given that the proposed ALP-inspired national history
and English curriculum (compulsory for all Australian schools across the
years kindergarten to Year 10) fails to make any mention of the Bible
or its impact on Western literature, one has to wonder how fair dinkum
the Prime Minister is - after all, when minister for education she
appointed the national curriculum board, with Barry McGaw as chair, and
its terms of reference.
Is the PM’s new-won social conservatism
simply a cynical attempt to distance her ALP Government from the Greens
or is the ‘real’ Julia happy to be portrayed as a Tony Abbott mini-me
when it comes to teaching the Bible and the culture wars?
on her experience as a left-wing student activist with the Socialist
Forum and a number of speeches attacking John Howard when he was Prime
Minister, it’s clear that Gillard’s recent conversion to cultural
conservatism is as dodgy as her pre-election promise not to introduce a
Take her 2003 speech to the Sydney Institute and more
recent comments justifying why she joined the ALP. In the Sydney speech
Gillard attacks Howard’s neo-conservative views on social issues for
being fuelled by “bile and venom”.
Gillard, arguing that the left
is the only political philosophy capable of guaranteeing that
Australian society can be, “tolerant, outward-looking and egalitarian”,
goes on to argue that the left must mount the barricades and win back
the public debate.
In a speech to the Fabian Society, three years
after the Sydney Institute speech, Gillard revisits the topic of the
culture wars and, once again, condemns Howard for promoting ideas and
policies, supposedly, that are premised on “unfairness, division and
Fast forward to yesterday’s speech, where Gillard
argues that marriage must be between a man and a women and that
euthanasia is not feasible, and it’s clear that there are occasions when
the current Prime Minister wants to enforce the same kind of
discrimination she attacked Howard for pursuing.
In her recent
speech to the US Congress, Prime Minister Gillard turned more than a few
stomaches with her superficial and clichéd appeal to America’s
democratic tradition and her tearful rendition of the impact of the
moonwalk on her as a child.
Yesterday’s speech provides another
example of Gillard’s spin and appeal to romantic sentimentality when she
describes her experience of growing up in a “conservative family”,
championing “old-fashioned” values like “politeness and thrift and
fortitude and doing duty and diligence”.
Turning herself into an
antipodean Abe Lincoln, unfortunately, doesn’t quite ring true given
Gillard’s record of political pragmatism and her role in betraying Kevin
Rudd’s trust and helping to execute him as Prime Minister.
minister for education, it’s also the case that Julia Gillard spent
millions and enforced polices changing tertiary selection from one based
on ability, merit and hard work to one where there is positive
discrimination for so-called disadvantaged groups of students.
of tertiary entry relying on ability and effort, it’s now a matter of
being a member of what the cultural-left defines as a victim group.
no secret that the ALP, at the federal level and in states like NSW, is
facing political atrophy and, as highlighted by a number of internal
reviews, that the main cause is that Keating’s true believers continue
to desert the party given its lurch to the loony left.
into bed with the Greens after last year’s election may have won Gillard
government and brought short-term political survival but, at a cost.
Clearly, Gillard’s strategy is to reinvent herself and to paint the ALP
as socially conservative in an attempt to stake the middle ground.
strategy is doomed to failure. Not only do we no longer know who the
‘real’ Julia is but, as recent polling shows, voters are fed up with
good government and sound policy being subverted by opportunism and
Responses to this Post
> Tame the black dog
> Non-government school win the day
> National curriculum review
> Cultural-left rules education
> Fix rowdy classrooms
> Beware the black dog
> Meritocracy good - OK
> Overcoming depression
> Rudd government removing barnacles
> Purpose of education
> Judeo-Christian values ignored
> Myths, fables and legends
> No more victimhood
> Gillard wrong to copy Blair
> Media bias against non-government schools
> Direct Instruction best
> Cultural literacy rules
> UK curriculum back to basics
> Bonus pay for teachers - a bad idea
> Gonski Report released
> Non-government schools in danger
> Gonski a threst to school funding
> Gillard's education revolution a failure
> School choice good
> Why gays/lesbians should not marry
> Garrett endorses school choice
> Gonski research papers a danger to non-government schools
> School funding and politics of envy
> Wheeler Centre public/private school funding debate
> Julia Gillard fails as Prime Minister
> Mad as a cut snake as insulting as meow!
> Wheeler Centre school funding debate
> Gillard budget 'F' for education
> Non-government schools deserve funding
> Rude students destroy teaching
> My School 2.0 will be used to cut funding to non-government schools
> Gillard cannot be trusted on school funding
> 'F' for teaching standards
> Australia - celebrate Western heritage and Christian tradition
> Rudd/Gillard education revolution - fail!
> Non-government schools promote equity
> Non-government schools promote equity and success
> Faith based schools have the right to discriminate
> National curriculum should not be compulsory
> Gillard Government drops education revolution
> Gillard cannot hide her socialist past
> Gillard's funding promise cannot be believed
> Myths and lies about school funding
> Give all schools autonomy and promote school choice
> ALP can't be trusted on school funding
> Islamic curriculum one sided and biased
> Julia Gillard's Geography new-age and PC
> Julia Gillard left-wing and as guilty as Rudd
> Julia Gillard - political opportunist
> History wars
> ALP's education revolution flawed and counter-productive
> New York example has failed
> national testing educationally unsound
> High social mobility in OZ
> I often have doubts about..
> History curriculum PC and dumbed down
> national curriculum English C+
> Gillard refuses to support non-government schools
> testing and ranking schools is flawed
> Similar to Australia, where many..
> School league tables bad
> Published in Education Review..
> Is there an educationa..
> In the following article posted..
> The problem of badly behaved students..
> Extract from book in Weekend Australian..
> School autonomy the way to go
> Julia Gillard, the Commonwealth..
> Why I left the lefties
> Why I am a conservative
> Why the Bishop is wrong on faith and rights
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22nd March 2011
In the following, and on The Drum Unleashed, I argue that Gillard's new found love of the Bible is simply an example of political pragmatism and deceit. In an attempt to distance the ALP from ...
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