Thursday, March 10, 2011

Voice of the People

I was reading the newspapers online this morning and had to chuckle at the reaction to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's speech in the US Congress.
And I don't mean the reaction of the politicians, but rather the readers of today's newspapers.

I haven't been keeping up with the recent political happenings here in Oz as much as I would have liked.  (Been a little too absorbed with uni, papers, and being sick - gross).

I have heard about the Carbon Tax, the wrestling with the Greens, drops in the polls
- and now Julia's 'historic speech' which apparently marks the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance.

Oh, and if like me you have no idea what 'ANZUS' is, it stands for The Australia, New Zealand, United States Treaty.  Nice.

The Australian was not very impressed:

"Julia Gillard’s speech to the US Congress in Washington early today (Australian time) was perfectly designed - drenched in overblown rhetoric, even corniness, but expertly tailored to tug US heart strings."

The whole article is pretty scathing:

'Describing Americans as loyal mates Ms Gillard wowed the legislators with the simple declaration: “You have a true friend Down Under’’.While such a comment might have passed with little comment in an Australia pub, it scored an emotional bullseye in Washington - sending an audience including former presidential candidates John Kerry and John McCain into a state of rapture.
And this was just the first of a giddy series of over-the-top responses.'

You can read the rest of it for yourself [an amusing read].

The Herald Sun was a little kinder to our Prime Minister since they don't mention any overbearing flattery or emotional scenes.

'Ms Gillard today offered up Australia to the US as an "anchor of regional stability" in the Asia-Pacific to counter the rise of  China.
Political pundits, US politicians and the American electorate have been quick to praise the prime minister’s speech that has already been described as the highlight of her political career.'

I would have loved to have been there.  I could have joined the 'enraptured' crowd at the end and gotten her autograph too.  [Question:  Have any Australians ever asked for Julia Gillard's autograph?]

Someone looks popular

So anyway, putting aside whatever the newspapers think, check out some of these comments to the articles.  

I have no idea what sort of demographic these represent, but they do tell a story of a disgruntled Australian public.  And disgruntled Australians can be pretty funny.

Sherro of Templestowe Posted at 12:59 AM Today
Why didnt she take her wonderfull Carbon Dioxide Tax she is giving us to the US Congress and tell them they should adopt it there? Come on Juliar, isnt this the greatest moral and economic challenge of our lifetime? Why talk about ANZUS treaties when you have such a good thing with your new tax?
Comment 1 of 482

Not a very promising beginning

BRIAN WOOD of SUNBURY Posted at 2:36 AM Today
Comment 8 of 482

Woah, Julia's inciting war with China.  Wow.

Jason of TOORAK Posted at 2:44 AM Today
Julia Gillard takes on the simple task of producing a self glorifying speech to the corridors of American power after spending a lifetime of secret participation of anti-Americanism with her political mates. This pathetic act of self aggrandisement is the hallmark of this the worst Prime Minister in Australia's history. The ALP has elevated Australian women way past their entitlement to hold high office in the name of female affirmation in Australian society to the point where it will cause this country immense damage. Gillard openly demonstrates that she does not care what most Australians may think about her time as Prime Minister she just wants to serve out her term and gloating about the fact that she is Australia's first female Prime Minister. When she gets tossed out of office she will not give a stuff and will put down to the alleged fear tactics of the coalition and continue to insult the intelligence of mainstream Australia.
Comment 9 of 482

Oh, ouch.  I think Jason of Toorak votes Liberal.

steve of melb Posted at 2:46 AM Today
why worry about China if we are all going to burn to death from golbal warming. She should be telling America they need to pay carbon taxes to save Asia and the rest of the world. She wouldnt do that because she dont believe it herself what a embarrassment of a leader
Comment 10 of 482

You tell them, Steve.  We're all going to burn and die.

GC Posted at 3:52 AM Today
Is it just me or are other people really embarassed as our so called leader gives the US president a football and an aussie music ipod? No wonder we are not really credible on the world stage, this is cringeworthy.
Comment 14 of 482

I have wondered about our credibility on the world stage.

Paula of Melbourne Posted at 4:54 AM Today
These criticisms of the PM are ridiculous and only promoted by rusted-on Labor haters. They add nothing to the debate. They should be proud that Australia was singularly honoured in this way, irrespective of who the PM is and leave domestic concerns out of foreign affairs. Basically, this puerile hatred illustrates what hicks we actually are.
Comment 20 of 482

I'm not a hick, but it's nice to turn the spotlight off Julia onto Australia.  After all she is supposed to be representing us (I don't know if that is a good thing)

Alan of Dandenong Posted at 5:10 AM Today
I would not have handed out public antagonism to our biggest customer like that. What a dumb thing to do. The Chinese are very astute people, and wouldn't have missed it, although I suppose they would be pragmatic enough to know we've got a right one here, and just sit back and have a laugh
Comment 22 of 482 of Melbourne Posted at 5:12 AM Today
Is this the real Jooyla. You know the left wing real Jooyla. If this is what the left wing of the ALP is then they should just change their name to Liberal lite so real people can fill the ALP.
Comment 23 of 482

Liberal lite?  

Greg of South Yarra Posted at 6:10 AM Today
Ill bet the American Congress havent heard English spoken like Juliar does before!
Comment 29 of 482

Hear hear!

Dave of South Melbourne Posted at 6:43 AM Today
What does deputy Prime Minister Bob Brown think of this "close relationship' with the US. Last time John Howard went to Washington and addressed the US Congress Brown called him a American sycophant.
Comment 37 of 482


Sarah of Melbourne Posted at 6:44 AM Today
Try impress the Australian people not the American ones
Comment 39 of 482

Chris of Melbourne Posted at 7:14 AM Today
Fair dinkum we have no pride....just back the Prime Minister...back the office,she deserves that no matter what political persuasion you are.Our country was shown great respect today in Washington.We should be proud of that.
Comment 58 of 482

George Posted at 5:40 AM Today
At least she was dressed better on this trip 
Comment 26 of 482

David of Brunswick Posted at 7:19 AM Today
So Joolya has made a speech in Congress. It wont take the Americans too long, that is if they dont already know her boring, monotone words cannot be trusted. And another thing, a bright orange jacket with that shock of red hair !!!!!!!! sack your wardrobe assistant.
Comment 63 of 482

dmac of Melb Posted at 7:38 AM Today
Good job Julia! Regardless of political affiliations this was a proud moment.
Comment 79 of 482

Marco of Melbourne Posted at 7:39 AM Today
Congress, meet Kath & Kim.
Comment 81 of 482

ohnW of Mulgrave Posted at 7:43 AM Today
An excellent speech that was perfect for these times. The fact is the bonds between the US and OZ are now, and always have been very strong. To reinforce those bonds is smart politics
Comment 88 of 482

Gotta love smart politics.

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  1. Haha, did you watch Gillard's actual speech?

    After reading the articles, I thought the newspapers were over-reacting, so I actually watched the video of her speech with a bias for her, but it truly was cringe-worthy. I started it with a straight face, but after her soppy comments (which I would have overlooked) were met with such warm applause and excitement, I started feeling slightly sick.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but did she have to go that far?

  2. You found me!! Welcome to the Mouse Files :P

    Nope, I have to confess that I never watched the speech. To be honest, I didn't really want to after reading everyone's reactions!
    I will go on your very trusted opinion and say it was better not to attempt to sit through it.
    Did you get through the whole thing?

    I hope this post didn't come across as an evaluation on the speech by me? It probably did. All well... :P

  3. oh no, you should watch it! It's quite funny...

    I got about halfway and when she showed no signs of talking about anything more interesting, I gave up :)

    At least the Americans liked it, I guess.


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