Meanwhile, the United States is still involved in three foreign conflicts, it is facing an unprecedented debt crisis which could plunge the world into a deep recession, racial and income equality is at an all time low, the education system is falling apart, thousands die each year because they can’t afford health insurance, and nobody can fix any of it because both sides of politics are too busy talking about Michelle Bachmann’s gaffes, Newt Gingrichs’ expense tab at Tiffany’s, or the President and Speaker playing a game of golf together.
This is the title of an excellent read from New Matilda which considers the case of Brian Maloney who is facing dismissal as a Magistrate on the basis of his mental illness (an investigation apparently concluded that he was unfit in that role for that reason). I am not privy to all of the details and so I won’t pass judgement on whether or not he should face removal; however, the article presents a compelling insight into why we should as a community seek to remove the stigma that is associated with mental illness. On a personal level, I one day hope that the idea of suffering from bipolar (et al.) won’t be one that people feel the need to hide, and more broadly, I hope that the community will be able to accept that it is more than just “being sad.”
I won’t quote the article here because reading it in anything less than its entirety doesn’t do it justice. Read it here.
I believe that we will have a new Prime Minister before the end of the year. Julia Gillard’s position is completely untenable as the public has stopped listening to her Government and regards it as dishonest, ineffective, and without any policy principles. We like a Prime Minister who stands for something – e.g., the “Howard Battlers” were able to identify with Prime Minister Howard at a time when Paul Keating was regarded as aloof and arrogant. “Appeasing the Greens and Independents to cling to power” just doesn’t cut it, and that is why the Gillard Government is facing record lows in the poll numbers, it is why the Labor Party will be moved to replace Julia Gillard, and it is why the ALP will probably lose the next election (irrespective of who is the leader).
I think the polls will stabilise. They won’t remain at the levels that we have seen recently (27pc primary to Labor, according to Nielsen). But it won’t be enough to save them, and rightly so. There will be no recovery of any magnitude that will allow them to continue in Government after the next election. The Labor Party that was elected with such promise in 2007 – “New Leadership” and “Education Revolution” certainly sounded good against a tired old Government – is now facing an unprecedented defeat at the polls and it has only itself to blame.
I liked Julia as Deputy Prime Minister. I once told somebody that I would vote for her. But the Julia as Deputy and the Julia as PM are by no measure analogous. Julia as Deputy seemed, on the surface, to have principles and to be willing to fight for them. The Julia as PM has demonstrated that she is spineless and completely lacking in conviction. While the Labor Party will inevitably recover and reimage itself in the future, her legacy will be one of shame and disappointment. I see a parallel with Mark Latham, except he was never given the opportunity to govern. Soon, they will both be regarded as unspeakable names within the ALP.
It is my prediction that Julia will be replaced as leader before the year ends. I further predict that such a move will not save the Labor Party.
Who are you?