Bleats

The Winner Out Of Malcolm Turnbull’s Salty Book Is Julia Gillard, Again

Her head is held high.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man ousted as Prime Minister, must be in want of a book deal to spill his tea. Every guy booted from the top job seems to think it is their duty to unload all their thoughts in a memoir. And this time around that grand gesture belongs to one Malcolm Turnbull.

Even before his book hits shelves, we know that Malc doesn’t hold back in his rather colourful takes on former colleagues and foes. He unloads on those who orchestrated his dismissal, with some special mentions for Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison, as well as detailing the toll it took on his mental health. Turnbull even declares who truly deserved to win the 2019 election – an election he wasn’t even a part of.

It’s not all that surprising, really. There’s a common theme here.

Every time a bloke gets evicted from The Lodge he promises to behave himself, carry on with an air of grace, and not go after the party that got him elected in the first place. And then it all falls apart. Pretty damn quick.

Remember when former-PM Tony Abbott famously said:

“There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.”

That lasted about two seconds.

It’s not just limited to the Liberal Party. Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd wrote not one, but two memoirs about his political career. I mean, just have a look at the synopsis:

“The betrayal of June 2010 is the most significant Australian political event of the century.”

He is, of course, talking about Julia Gillard. And she, friends, is the real winner out of every one of these salty, salty books from both sides of politics.

Because when Julia Gillard was ousted as Prime Minister, by Kevin Rudd & Co no less, she left the politics to Parliament. She went off and poured her energy into leadership opportunities for other women, mental health support for all Australians, and becoming BFFs with Rihanna in the fight for education for girls around the world.

Now I am by no means saying Gillard was a perfect Prime Minister – no one ever is. Personally, her stance on marriage equality still disappoints me. But to walk out of the Prime Minister’s office and not look back (publicly) in anger takes guts and a whole lot of grace.

Women will always be held to a higher standard. That, sadly, is the reality of the patriarchy we live in. I remember watching Gillard’s speech after the party room vote that ended her career and thinking: how long will it take for Australians to remember her fondly? Will it ever happen?

For survivors of child sexual abuse, that moment came in October 2018 when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse resulted in a national apology in Parliament House. Gillard was hailed a hero, because ordering that Royal Commission, which went on for five years in horrific detail, was her final act as Prime Minister. That is how to leave a legacy.

Just because a Prime Minister has left office doesn’t mean they’re done for. Australia has six living former-PMs now, and they all have incredibly powerful connections and opportunities to do some good in this world. Why waste time casting shade on the past?

‘Kissed On The Dick By A Fairy’ – The ABC’s Most Honest TV Show

‘You Can’t Ask That’ will crack you up and break your heart all at once.

How good is smashing taboos? That’s exactly the point of You Can’t Ask That, the ABC’s most raw and honest TV show.

It’s back with a new season of curly questions, kicking off with firefighters. Best have some tissues handy because a lot of these heroes (even though they don’t call themselves that) are dealing with the trauma of the Black Summer fires that devastated much of Australia.

While the bushfires may seem like a lifetime ago because of Coronavirus, the gutted communities are still trying to rebuild, and there’s a lot we can learn from just 30 minutes of YCAT.

The Diversity Of Firefighters

They range in age, size, gender, heritage – basically, anyone of them could be your best friend, your mum, dad, cheeky uncle at family get-togethers. What unites them is their dedication to community, and we all benefit from that.

They Get Excited About The Big Red Trucks Too

“As soon as you have the red and blue lights on the top you’re like a little kid again. You’re like, haha you’re stuck in traffic, here I go past,” RFS Volunteer Jackson Brown confesses.

CFA Volunteer Michelle Kampen opens up on ‘You Can’t Ask That’.

They Get Stuck Into Climate Change And ScoMo

Yeah, so they’re just as annoyed at the political football, and Scott Morrison’s forced handshakes, as the rest of us are. These people – largely volunteers – are literally on the frontlines, so maybe we should listen to them, hey? “Politicians are people who plan for the next election. Statesmen are the people who plan for the next generation. Where are all our statesmen?” Well said, CFA Volunteer Mark Guerin.

Firefighters Get Scared Too

Their descriptions of facing a wall of fire will send shivers down your spine.

“The fire from December, she’s a nasty bitch,” CFA Volunteer Michelle Kampen says.

They Can Hear The Animals Screaming

And that’s what breaks their hearts. Let’s just leave that at that. Need more tissues.

Firefighters Harriet Foard and Mark Carter on ‘You Can’t Ask That’.

They Know They’re Facing Death

Every day. That’s their job. Just let that sink in. But man they are calm about it, even when describing the most horrific situations, albeit while choking back tears.

“I thought I’d been kissed on the dick by a fairy. Yeah, I did have a moment. I snuck around the corner, let a bit of it out. Cause it was bloody close” – your new Aussie hero, RSF Volunteer Darryl Chadwick.

There’s A Reason They Tell You To Get Out

Those warnings to leave early are no joke. The fire sucks the oxygen out of the air, and that not only stops you from breathing, but also stops cars from working, and that is not the way you want to go. “Fire can do whatever it wants,” warns Advanced Firefighter Rachael Cavanagh. The least we can do in return is support our firefighters by showing them some respect.

Season 5 of You Can’t Ask That starts March 18 at 9pm on ABC and iview with Firefighters, and continues with Nudist, Gold Medallists, Kids, living on the Autism Spectrum, HIV, Public Housing, and those who have Killed Someone.

What If The 'Sports Rorts' Scandal Happened To The Arts Community?

Would we even care?

Try as you might to ignore the mess that is Australian politics, you’ve no doubt seen the headlines about the “sports rorts” and Scott Morrison’s inability to sack the minister at the centre of it.

tl;dr the Nationals’ Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie is accused of using her position as Minister for Sport to over-rule Sport Australia’s grading system for $100 million dollars in government grants in order to favour Coalition seats ahead of the 2019 Federal Election.

To make matters worse, it was later revealed that McKenzie is a member of a shooting club that received one of the grants.

The prime minister ended up assigning Philip Gaetjens to investigate if McKenzie broke the rules. But it’s going to take a lot for her to resign, let’s be honest.

Keep in mind that a lot of community sporting clubs are run by volunteers, so naturally they’re pissed at this situation, and rightly so.

But what if this whole mess happened in the arts community? A sector that also relies heavily on government grants. Would we even care?

Apart from being synonymous with the Aussie spirit, sport has very strict rules and standards. Sure there are a handful of subjective sports like figure skating or boxing, but most sporting competitions have a clear winner.

But when it comes to the arts, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s so open to interpretation that for many it just becomes overwhelming and “elitist”.

Fine art or experiment plays may not be your thing, but the broad arts sector turns the lens on ourselves and society and encourages us to do better. Just like sport motivates us.

We need both to truly succeed as a society. And this idea that people are either sports mad or arty farties can get in the bin.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to participate in a range of sports and study dance and learn to play musical instruments. They all taught me vital life skills.

At the heart of this “rort” is fairness. Community groups poured out their heart and souls to pretty much beg the government for money. And sadly for many, their efforts were for nothing, all because of an unfair judging system.

Perhaps this scandal will sharpen our focus onto the goings on in Parliament and government agencies. We should all question where our hard-earned money is going, and whether it’s fair. Especially when we have a Prime Minister spruiking a “fair go for those who have a go”. Ultimately, I hope the sports rorts also unites Australians in the fairness and equal respect for athletes and artists. Then we all win.

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