Liberal diary: “Foolya Joolia” not all she seems
Note: Labor MP Richard Marles and Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella are among our favourite contributors to The Punch, and we have asked them to write a piece every Friday during this five-week election campaign giving their take on events.
There was one aspect of this final week of campaigning that really summed up Labor. Labor’s launch on Monday was cynically late for a start. But it was Julia Gillard’s address to the party faithful that really symbolised the depths to which Labor’s spin machine will go.
Her minders briefed assembled journalists that Julia would be speaking “off the cuff and from the heart”. They talked up the spontaneous nature of the address as evidence of their leaders drive and passion as well as her leadership ability. Julia raised her palms as she walked out – no notes in hand – and embraced Bob Hawke.
Many journalists happily lapped it up.
Labor minders even tried to point to Tony Abbott’s use of an auto-cue at his launch as some kind of deficiency, in a negative comparison with “off the cuff Julia”.
But it was all a lie.
It was later revealed that a staffer had slipped notes onto the lectern while the Bob-embrace took place. And a picture of the lectern taken afterwards showed those pages opened to the very last page, containing the words Julia had used to sum up her address.
It’s no big deal if Gillard uses notes for such an important address. So why try to deceive journalists and the public? Why affect some strange sleight of hand to create an image that just wasn’t true?
Why display such contempt for honesty and why take the Australian public for mugs?
What other false images have we been sold?
How can we now trust that the image we have of the Prime Minister is in any way authentic?
Julia herself already muddied the waters early in the campaign with her admission that we hadn’t seen the “real Julia” for the first 5 weeks of her Prime Ministership.
Australians are starting to get the sense that “Foolya Joolia” is what we have been getting all along – a very carefully confected image.
“Foolya Joolia” decries negative campaigning while personally attacking Tony Abbott at every opportunity.
“Foolya Joolia” declares Rudd had lost his way to justify knifing him, but then sings his praises and asks for his help.
“Foolya Joolia” finds time for fashion shoots and guest editing women’s magazines, but couldn’t be bothered attending meetings of the National Security Committee.
“Foolya Joolia” justifies her Government’s flagrant waste and overspending with the hollow argument that our economy isn’t a basket-case (yet), even as she racks up $100 million every day.
“Foolya Joolia” prays while at the same time declaring herself an atheist.
“Foolya Joolia” cries “Yes we will” when her Labor Government did so very little (and what they did do was badly botched) during their first term.
There’s a lot about Labor’s campaign that has been smokescreen and subterfuge. It may get them across the line and further entrench the ‘detested caste of ruthless robotic machine men’ who installed “Foolya Joolia”.
But the question is, if Labor is determined to lie on such a trifling detail as whether Julia used notes for a speech, how can we trust their big promises?
In contrast, with Tony Abbott - what you see is what you get. He has been setting out a clear plan, speaking freely like a normal human being instead of a wind up doll.
He doesn’t need to rely on tedious repetition of bland slogans. Tony has detailed clear priorities and has released significant, fully-costed policies (for a full details go to: www.liberal.org.au ).
The “risk” in this election is not Tony Abbott – an experienced Minister with an enviable track record, a clear direction, and a united competent team.
The very real risk in this election is that “Foolya Joolia” is not at all that she seems. Her image is as false as those air-brushed photos that smile at you from the magazine rack.
It’s an image created to help Labor desperately hold on to power – just as they’ve done at a State level. And if Labor is re-elected on Saturday we’ll be stuck with the same incompetent Government that brought us pink batts and BER rip-offs and now promises us laughable policies like the “cash for clunkers” scheme and the “people’s assembly”.
The real risk this Saturday is that the worst government in Australia’s history will get the second chance it does not deserve and we cannot afford.
Although we’ll be stuck with the “Foolya Joolia” sideshow, courtesy of Labor’s spin machine, for another 3 years, the damage caused will reverberate for years.
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