You know you’re in strife as a political leader when you must rely on the almost uniformly vacuous medium of Twitter to demonstrate that your leadership is safe. Yet so it was with Julia Gillard, who said she was satisfied with government whip Joel Fitzgibbon’s declaration (in 140 characters or less) that she had his support.
“I thank my colleagues for the publicity but no one does more to support the PM and the government than me!” Fitzgibbon wrote from his Twitter handle @fitzhunter to quell suggestions he was canvassing alternate leaders. It was schoolyard stuff – “hey JG we are still cool and UR awesome J Fitz xoxo” – made more so by the addition of a chirpy exclamation mark.
Setting the specifics of Julia Gillard’s leadership aside, the broader problem for the Government is that this latest flare-up goes to the one thing which threatens to kill it dead. And that is the perception that it is too busy focussing on its own survival to concentrate fully on issues which affect the day to day lives of Australians.
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