Over the last couple of weeks the Deputy Prime Minister has been plugging two developing holes in a massive dam wall.

Smarter than a fifth grader - but sharp enough to juggle two huge jobs?

The first has been caused by the waste and mismanagement associated with the Julia Gillard memorial halls debacle. A programme wasting so much money that a school in Sydney is going to refuse free money.

The second hole in the dam wall is growing quickly and relates to her changes to the industrial award system and her promise that neither workers nor small business would be worse off with her changes to the industrial award system.  A promise she knew couldn’t be kept.

A fortnight ago this trickle became a torrent when the Industrial Relations Commission said that the award modernisation process will lead to ‘potential disadvantage for employees’. 

The Prime Minister then attempted to mitigate this flood by suggesting that the ‘no worse off’ promise was an ‘objective’.

But it was Lindsay Tanner who called Julia Gillard’s promise for what it was - a fib.

On the Sky News Agenda programme last week, the Finance Minister said that the ‘no worker will be worse off’ promise was given for ‘comfort’ - not meant to be taken too seriously.

Comfort for whom exactly?  The worker? Or the Government? 

This is a Labor Party who spent three years screaming about workers rights, their political spin machine from New South Wales could hardly turn around and admit that their own changes were going to make many thousands of workers worse off.

After all these workers had believed Julia Gillard and even voted for Labor because of it.

The truth is that Julia Gillard’s modernising of Australian awards is bound to lead to some workers being worse off and employers facing higher labour costs.

A report conducted for the Federal Government in 2006 by a Senior Deputy President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission made exactly this point.  It said that you could not guarantee that both workers and employers would be better off after this process was completed.

In fact it said that if inappropriate industries were married together in the new award, the results would be disastrous.

But not according to our Julia. 

Flood, what flood?

Even her comrades in arms, the big union bosses are willing to admit that this is the case.

Union bosses don’t come much bigger than Joe de Bruyn who said last week that keeping this promise was impossible.

Paul Howes, the new Bill Shorten of the union movement, said that it was an open secret in the union movement that this promise could not be kept.

But the fact is that over the past fortnight the Deputy Prime Minister has been exposed as no better than the political class that has infected the New South Wales Labor Government.

Making promises that she knows couldn’t be kept.

Arrogantly dismissing criticisms of billions of dollars of waste as ‘nitpicking’.

Refusing to answer legitimate questions in the media or in Parliament and above all putting spin above substance.

The real problem here is that the flood that threatens to engulf Julia Gillard will not just sweep her away; it will wash away the hopes of thousands of working Australians through higher unemployment, higher interest rates and higher taxes.

A leading journalist Ross Fitzgerald recently described Julia Gillard as ‘all foam, no beer’.

He could very well be right – we should never forget her efforts with Medicare Gold.

However you describe it, the time for her to drop one of these vital portfolios is now.

You should expect that these important issues will get full time focus, not just a part time spinner.

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    • Old Clive says:

      07:39am | 14/09/09

      Watch your back fella, any who falls for a salesmanmust have some weaknesses somewhere, but this is one smart lady and ambitious for power and personal gain. Workers welfare has and is the way to power for the ALP who really don’t give any support to the workers, but it is a different story with the unions.

    • Joel B1 says:

      07:55am | 14/09/09

      Just a note to some Coalition members, not “sh*t-eating” try the more accurate “sly and smug”.

    • Lenny says:

      08:17am | 14/09/09

      It’s not only Gillards portfolios, but almost all promises of this Government.  It was good to spin their way into Government and be the new heros, but now they realise being in Government means tough decisions and substance. They’re now finding out it’s not all a bed of roses at the top!

    • Kelly says:

      08:47am | 14/09/09

      Gillard maybe a good speaker, very entertaining, have a nasty sting and female but that doesn’t mean she’s a smart Minister.

    • Macus says:

      08:53am | 14/09/09

      She needs to oncentrate on her job. When ever you see her under any scrutiny all she can do is turn it around and focus on the opposition and the previous Government. Isn’t it about time now she faces up to the scrutiny of her portfolios, admitt when she is wrong and do something about it…Julia stop all the spin, forget about the opposition and concentrate on your job/jobs.

    • Kane says:

      09:07am | 14/09/09

      Gillards protfolios are a disgrace and she needs to stop being a circus performer and do some serious work. People talk about her being our next PM, what a joke she would make of Australia.

    • steve says:

      09:10am | 14/09/09

      Fibs? Call it like it is please - broken promises and lies!

    • Matthew says:

      09:23am | 14/09/09

      The problem with this Government is they want to do whatever is popular and gets them votes. They still haven’t worked out that being in Government isn’t just about doing whats popular and remaining at the top of the Polls, but also making unpopular decisions for the sake of the country! If you wanted to be the most popular boss in business then your business would fail. We need more than tough talk! and thats all we seem to get!

    • Karen says:

      09:32am | 14/09/09

      People like to spend alot of time bagging Turnbull and the opposition, but hey you should start looking at the Rudd Government now. It’s only now all their hair brained ideas are starting to fall apart, wait another 12months and see what we all think of the Rudd Government and it’s warm and fuzzy ideas for Australia.

    • Susan Bolton says:

      09:58am | 14/09/09

      This Governments inexperience at Governing is starting to show. It;s not all about spin darling!

    • Mani says:

      10:01am | 14/09/09

      But Julia is so popular! so what if she can’t manage her work load!

    • Bob V says:

      10:23am | 14/09/09

      Aboriginal Hosing Minister Jenny Macklin stuffed up her portfolio, Roxon has stuffed the Health portfolio, Gillard has stuffed her portfolios. Are we really in good hands??????

    • Helen says:

      10:30am | 14/09/09

      Oh, Jamie, you’re a bit underemployed, aren’t you? What a shame. How galling it must be to see Julia in the role. This personal attack on Gillard is all sexist assumptions and no substance. There’s plenty I’d like to see her do differently but at least it’s better than having the talentless Liberals in power again.

    • RT says:

      10:40am | 14/09/09

      Rob V - I didn’t know that the government has a program of ‘Aboriginal Hosing’. I thought they were trying to build houses with bathrooms in them, instead. Hosing would be cheaper, for sure, but a bit inhumane, surely?

    • Jerald says:

      10:55am | 14/09/09

      Bob V- Hoses would be better than nothing I guess…...

    • GC says:

      11:00am | 14/09/09

      Goodness me. What a lot of petulant ant-government twaddle. And once again there is no notification anywhere on the article’s page that the author is an Opposition politician.

    • Kym Durance says:

      11:09am | 14/09/09

      will some one, please, perhaps and editor or somesuch, draw a redline through phrases like ” spin before substance” or even the word “spin”  - like “under the radar”  -  trite phrases for the brain dead - get rid of them.

      Spin is usually dragged up bby some one failing to find a cogent argument to attack a proposition they just dont like - “under the radar” is an excuse for being inattentive or trying to sound cool - but really it is a give away for an addict of Big BRother or Australian Idol

    • Kim C says:

      11:13am | 14/09/09

      Whats wrong GC don’t you like hearing the truth. All we normally get is anti opposition twaddle. Bout time we have some scrutiny of this Government. Who cares if the author is an Opposition Politician, he just wrote the truth!

    • Luke says:

      11:27am | 14/09/09

      Yes GC what part of Briggs story isn’t the truth?????

    • Bruce says:

      04:17pm | 14/09/09

      I am always concerned when any politician starts to over expose themselves in the media. Its usually done for reasons other than substance. Usually diversionary.

    • Shelley says:

      04:35pm | 14/09/09

      Gillard. Full time spinner. Part time worker.

      The s**tstorm that is hitting IR reform and the not so revolutionary education revolution stuff ups are tantamount to this.

      Much more attention to the details and less time spent practicing the circus routine in front of her mirror is needed.

    • AL says:

      04:40pm | 14/09/09

      When I think of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister, I now always think of integrity…....

    • Graham says:

      04:45pm | 14/09/09

      Wowee - an opposition Liberal MP criticises a Labour member of Government. Whatever next?

    • pc says:

      04:47pm | 14/09/09

      Julia is INVITED on television shows because people like her. This, no matter how those who dont like it try to hide it is THE REALITY. Another reality, sadly is that Tony Abbott, he writes books and tries to advocate ideas and then makes a complete idiot of himslef on T.V, gloating that Julia had “worn a shi* eating grin.”, will not get invited on TV shows because the little kids would be scared of what he would do if they won. Julia is here to stay, why the Libs think picking on the most formidable of the Ruddbotts front bench is going to work beats me. But then again it beats them. They dont know what they are doing or why.

    • Keith says:

      05:08pm | 14/09/09

      The PM must always have the right to appoint the best man for the job, regardless of sex. It is only totalitarian governments that suppress facts. In this country we simply take a democratic decision not to publish them. In the case of Julia Gillard ‘s waste and mismanagement in the schools debacle, and with her response in parliament that she did not carry around details of schools funding, she may well be reminded that Ministers must never go anywhere without their briefs, in case they get caught with their trousers down. Is there some similarity here with Ms Bligh and Ms Gillard with their respective commercial appearances, one with education skills, the other with cooking skills, and a perceived popularity crisis. Nah, can’t be.

    • Michael says:

      11:37pm | 14/09/09

      Mr Speaker, imagine how annoyed the Member for Mayo, the Honorable Mr Briggs, will be when the Deputy Prime Minister has 100 mates with her in parliament if current polling holds up.

      Of course, Mr Speaker, the Member for Mayo may have been replaced by a Green Party member by then. He’ll have plenty of time to write party political articles for The Punch then.

    • james scully says:

      01:19am | 15/09/09

      What a hack Briggs is. Ms Gillard is wiping the floor with the divided liberals. They only hate her because she shows up what a talentless bunch of ninnys they are. Just compare her to the two Bishops. What a pair of useless drongos.The libs only wish they had someone with half her talent on their of politics. She consistantly makes a fool of T. Abbot and he being an arrogant male hates her for it. His frequent disgusting comments only reinforces the impression.

    • jack gilbert says:

      08:33am | 15/09/09

      After reading all these comments you could all send me your address and I will send you a box a hankechiefs, this will help you get over your election loss.

    • Bazza says:

      08:55am | 15/09/09

      To you Gillard defenders - all you can say is don’t scrutinise Gillard or the Government, the issue in this story is about Gillards performance and handling of her portfolios. But as usual you have to ignore her mistakes and blame the opposition or the loss of the last fed election. That has nothing to do with her performance. If your a Gillard supporter then why don’t you defend some of the issues contained in this story?

    • delperro says:

      09:29am | 15/09/09

      “Waste and mismanagement” in schools funding? Get real. There’s thousands and thousands of perfectly happy schools. If the Liberals ever funded public education, then this wouldn’t even be necessary. The Liberals ignore something for a decade, and then get all hot under the collar when the Government of the day actually does the right thing.

      Stop picking through looking for something, no matter what you find, it only serves to remind people that the Liberals did nothing for public education while in power.

    • Jim says:

      09:38am | 15/09/09

      It’s just ashame Gillard doesn’t know what she is doing…lol

    • kelley P says:

      09:43am | 15/09/09

      delperro - you have just defended Baaaz’s comment. Try not to blame the opposition or the previous Government and defend Gillards portfolios for her, because she can’t.

    • RD says:

      10:50am | 15/09/09

      What is funny is that it would appear that Kevin Rudd thinks Julia Gillard can perform both jobs better herself than to assign her a single portfolio, and pass the other one to another member.

      This government is going to suffer greatly as it is relying on popularity to promote policy.

    • cat says:

      04:02pm | 20/09/09

      delperro, the liberal government had an annual grant that schools could apply for, for anything they wanted. When labour came into power they shut down this grant in order to pay for those laptops all school children were to receive. Where are those laptops now?


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