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How Julia Gillard is going to be a sure-fire winner*


The more traditional game for the politically involved is Chess but as a cipher for modern democratic politics it is not really the best fit, the game is after all analogous to conflicting monarchies. Democracies have a very different dynamic. All of this is a rambling way of getting around to my view of politics as a game. Now I can just imagine that the howls of objection will begin and suggest that to see politics as a game is to not take it seriously, however as any committed sports fan will tell you there is nothing more serious than sport.

On one side of the field we have team Gillard who should have the home ground advantage except that they have done a really good job of upsetting their own fans and of course they have had to make up for the lack of a full team by bringing in some blow-ins who have their own ideas about how the team should play and its those blow-ins who have been the beginning  of Team Gillard’s   woes and led to them beginning their first quarter with a  very spectacular own goal that has haunted them ever since. Now even if you believe in climate change this betrayal of a  undertaking made just prior to the 2010 poll was very bad politics and evidence of a contempt for the voters.  It was bad politics because it destroyed what little good will Gillard had left after Knifing Rudd to become team Capitan. It was also bad politics because it showed just how desperate Gillard was to get a team together.  A better negotiator  would have walked away when the asking price was too high. That Gillard did not do so speaks volumes about her deal making ability and none of it is good.

Impulsiveness is often cited as one of Tony Abbott‘s failings  there is many a critic from the left who will insist that he is prone to “brain-farts” but there can be no better examples of flatulent thinking than the coniptions that has passed for the Gillard’s ever changing pattern of denial about the folly of changing the asylum seeker regime after winning the 2007 election. Really I don’t know if we should  classify this as one own Goal or many.  In the first instance there was an unbelievable denial that there was even a problem, the fans did not buy it for a minute,  then there was the Timor solution that not even the Timorese knew about even though it had been announced by Gillard, then came the “Malaysian solution” which failed at the first legal  hurdle, finally after some furious instance that she would not have overseas processing  that is what she has created. By my count that has to be about half a dozen own goals on that issue alone.

In the more recent period of play we have seen even more own goals. The spirited defence of Craig Thompson has not been her finest hour and had she not been in such a precarious position on the numbers in the parliament  Thompson would have long since been forced to resign form the house and the Government would have been truly distanced  from the stench of corruption. However if Thompson is the “try” then appointing appointing Peter Slipper as Speaker of the house would have to qualify as a “conversion”  because the whole point was to shore up her numbers on the field and it has turned out to be a disaster from start  to finish. Firstly to make a place for Slipper in the speaker’s chair she had to give the well respected incumbent, Harry Jenkins the old heave ho and then Slipper invited derision and disdain for that high office with his instance upon reviving old out dated and pretentious ceremonial processions. Add to that the simple fact that he was dodgy on his attitude to his expense accounts and the sexual harassment claims against him and the whole business easily earns Gillard six demerit points.

But Gillard is not the only member of her team who is prone to making “Own goalsWayne Swan has scored more than his fair share it starts with the simple fact that not one of his five budgets have ever  turned out even close  to his predictions , well I suspect that has been the case for many treasurers but few have been made to look as much a fool as Wayne Swan has over his instance that the promised surplus would be delivered even though this claim was widely denounced by our most knowledgeable financial commentators. When it could not be denied any longer Swan did finally admit the obvious but by this time he was well over his own goal line and the touchdown was just a formality.

Of course there is no better example of Swan’s ability to score against Labor than the MRRT which has been so unreasonably celebrated  since its inception as away of clawing back a bigger  return to the Australian people for the mineral riches that fuels our economy. Quite a laudable aim in many ways but the own goal lays in the design of the tax and the way that it has been spent many times over before even one cent was collected. The revelations in Fairfax press about how Swan “negotiated” the deal should stand forever as an example of the way not to get the best outcome fro the Australian people .

Its not just been the front row of team Labor who have   been scoring goals for the other team the NBN has been a political disaster for Labor as well. Now as much as we all want a bigger brighter broadband network  the fact that the business case for such a grand scheme can possibly be excused in the name of nation building but the cost blow-outs and endless delays are far less forgivable,  likewise the minister Stephen Conroy has been less than scintillating in convincing the Australian people that the project will be worth the billions this is costing us to build it. Maybe not a own goal touchdown but it does move the ball very much into the scoring contention against their own interests .

But the biggest own goal score maker has to be the ever present Kevin  Rudd, this ghost of Christmas past has been haunting Team Labor since he was so ingloriously dispatched in the 2010 Coup. He is definitely not a team Gillard player even though he wears the team jersey. He clearly wants the Captaincy again but but like Marley’s Ghost he is burdened by the chains of his past sins and they may well be to heavy a burden for him to rise cream like to the top of the Labor pail. Then again if Labor is in losing big time they may just try to use him as a final all in bet.

On the other side of the field  Team Abbott have played a far more disciplined game , managing to largely stay on message and focused on the prize of ultimate victory when the final whistle blows . There have been a few stumbles but overall they have managed to maintain the momentum of play in their favour. Of course many of those who are dyed in the wool Labor Fans have been trying to get the game commentary onto the topic of next season’s  plays but Abbott is faced with a team who keep scoring goals for him rather than against him  so he does not have to work very hard to get that winning score. Sports fans  get easily bored by a  game which is too one sided  and they start to drift off to the beer tent well before the final whistle. They are drifting ale-wards  now and unless something truly extraordinary happens between now and September 14 we can expect Team Abbott to be crowned as champions on September 15.

Cheers Comrades

origin 2

*for team Abbott 😉


  1. GD says:

    Some wonderful analogies there, Iain. I particularly liked this one

    Swan did finally admit the obvious but by this time he was well over his own goal line and the touchdown was just a formality.

    As you state “Own Goals” Wayne has scored more than his fair share. While Joolia is now reduced to doing only what will be remembered as her ‘legacy’, ie installing Nova Peris as NT Senate candidate, Swanny has already cooked his goose. He can either be remembered as the treasurer who took Australia’s debt to the highest level ever, or he can be remembered for being a fumbling, bumbling disgrace on the face of Australian politics.

  2. […] How Julia Gillard is going to be a sure-fire winner* (iainhall.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] How Julia Gillard is going to be a sure-fire winner* (iainhall.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Michael Taylor has been kind enough to repost this piece over at AIMN so find below my response to comments made there overnight.

    Fed up

    Could go through it, clause by clause, but I have answered the issues raised on so many occasions, that I do not have the energy to do it once again.

    Maybe you have made a big effort to find excuses for the plays made by Gillard but you can’t escape the fact that she keeps making bad plays that give the opposition plenty of opportunities to score goals.

    Now I get it. Iain has written a work of fiction. Now I understand.

    No I have written a piece of sarcastic humour that takes a sporting analogy and runs with it.


    Fed up, I can’t say I agree with it either, but it can’t be said that we don’t allow posts from those with opposing views.

    Thanks for that

    At least it was civil. 🙂

    Of course 🙂


    I had to go and buy a new keyboard, the old one had vomit all over it after reading that.

    Fed up

    paul, it was not that bad.,

    Thanks 😉

    Really, now we have to read everything as he tries and defends his article.

    You don’t have to read anything I write Paul but you chose to anyway

    And its Thomson, not Thompson, You should try reading the news more Hall.

    Like who, apart from the postman cares?

    Maybe Hall could tells about the Oppositions policy on Asylum Seekers, the NBN and there tin can and string broadband policy, there climate change policy which is going to cost us $1,300.00 per person and no compensation, the Murray darling plan, the list is endless, he should write an article on the LNP Policies or lack there off.

    That is not the topic here and I am not a spokesman for the opposition, so either check out the liberal party website or email Scott Morrison for an answer to your question.

    He truly makes me sick.

    Well if something , or someone makes you sick the best advice is to avoid the stimulus of unwellness.


    “Team Abbott —– managing to largely stay on message”…..[<—-I agree with this bit. I think Tony has managed to stay perpetually on message about his tantrum and having nothing whatsoever to offer Australia or Australians]. Embarrassingly 'on message'. Meanwhile…..

    Its tenacious consistency that wins the game mate
    Fed up

    paul, have to agree. Not that interested in people once again telling us how bad the PM and Labor is. I, for one know it off by heart.

    You may not be interested in Gillard’s mistakes and own goals but they will determine how the country votes on Sept 14

    More interested in what we would gain, by not voting for Labor.

    That was not the point of my piece.

    I would also like to know why I should vote for the coalition. Once more disappointed.that no one is willing to tell us why.

    I have been telling you precisely that for ages, but we both know that you don’t want to listen.

    Truth Seeker

    Sorry Migs, but by the time that I got to the end of your preamble, and read the first line my natural compulsion took over and I did what I always do with Iain’s ramblings, I scrolled through to the comments. 😀

    Well to be honest I feel the same about your Vogon poetry 😉

    Sad, really sad 😦

    Yes, you missed out on enjoying my fine prose 😉


    There are a few big overlooks going on here, the main `game` is media appearances, and the messages delivered. Kevin07 got it right, he did the tough interviews, which then flowed thru the networks. That means answering properly, as truthfully as possible and providing a vision. This was usually done on 730report, qandaland helped, and the interview snippets were then re-echoed thru network news and shows like Kochie-Mel.

    Don’t disagree with that, however I will say that Rudd’s performances we not matched by his team management or actual play ion the field


    It bores me that those of the ‘right’ play over and over again the video that Iain has provided for our viewing displeasure.

    Can they provide any evidence that we have a carbon tax?

    Bore you it might Michael but the recent split from the Greens has revealed what I have been saying for ages, namely that Gillard did not need to give the Greens the carbon tax and had she not done so I reckon that her government would be travelling far better now than it is. Its simple gamesmanship and Gillard sucks at it.

    Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    I decided try to read Ian’s article. Because I have in the past a swinging voter, I would, like Fed Up like some reason to change my vote from Labor back to Liberal.

    Well thanks for the effort

    Ian, your article was really hard to read. It looked like you were trying to write an academic essay, but I’m sorry you failed bit time.

    No its not an academic essay its Humour and an exercise in taking a sporting metaphor as the template for criticism of the government.

    Migs, I still think that it is very fair of you to let people of the right persuasion post their articles. This time it showed to me that the reason I am going to do everything I can to support Julia Gillard and the ALP win the next election.

    Ah that must mean that you are one of those sporting tragics who barrack for their team even though they are perpetual holders of the wooden spoon.


    I’m getting bored with this site.

    Not enough Groupthink for you eh?


    Don’t worry Silky, posts such as this will not necessarily be a regular feature.

    😦 😦 😦


    Sorry i do not agree with your article. For a start the video you show is missing all of the message. It was not there will be no carbon tax under the government i lead, the rest of the message is missing. There will be no carbon tax under the government i lead but i do not wipe out a carbon emission scheme or a price on carbon.

    Politics is all about perceptions, and the backflip on this issue was unnecessary, in the first instance (the greens and Indies would never have supported Abbott over Labor)and bad form even for a AGW true believer to impose that which you promised not to do.

    It was a hung parliament, Ms. Gillard had to compromise with the Greens and broke the carbon tax promise.

    She was under no obligation to break her promise, and in fact had she been a better negotiator she would have kept her word and still got government.

    If you remember Howard said never ever ever would he bring in a GTS.

    He took it to an election and got a mandate for the GST

    As for Rudd he was not stabbed in the back. If you had read our advertiser a few days ago, the truth came out as to why Rudd was dismissed.Also there is a video out, that tells the complete truth as to why Rudd was replaced by Gillard. Ms. Gillard does not bully her co-workers. After what Abbott, Smith, Bolt and co have falsely been accusing Gillard of over the last six months she is still up there standing strong and full of passion for her country.

    You keep believing that if you like but you can bet that there are ever more members of the caucus who regret the switch to Gillard and the blood on their hands.


    The same author has written up a lot of Wilders speech what does that tell you ?

    Its more telling that you have probably not read the speech or what Wilders is saying and that you think that he is evil anyway.

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