So, in true Australia larrikin style, our top public official and spinster, Kevin Rudd, has been rolled. Slung. boned. Sounds sexy, but the only threesome that’s been involved in Wayne Swan, John Faulkner and the entire Right Wing NSW Labor Faction. That’s one hairy, unsexy thought.
After all the excitement, and with no preparation and no time to organise any pretty banners, Australia has a new prime minister. A female, a red head, a believer in the liberating power of pants-suits (Hilary Clinton should truly get the credit though for breaking that glass ceiling).
Commentators have been writing and blogging furiously about this being a significant moment in Australian politics and Australian history, and indeed it is, but for many this is just another cynical political assasination which confirms that politics is a slick, dirty game. it’s the Wild Wild West with more cheesy grins, shopping mall expeditions and mining hard hats. Always the hard hats.
On the day that Gillard was signed in as our new Prime-minister, I happened to be at a gig on Brunswick street. The music was ‘indie-pop’ and the crowd was as scenester as it gets. As i looked at the crowd, all dressed in angular, alternative and androgynous garb, I remember thinking that despite the momentous leaderhsip change, it felt like nothing had really changed at all. At that very moment, either no one noticed or no one cared. Perhaps this was an indicator of the strength of our democracy, but i suspect it could be an indicator of our collective political apathy. At least on this side of town.
As i watched the first band pack up their gear and make way for the next, i noticed that both bands playing that evening had female musicians. One (a guitarist) was pretty average, and one (a drummer) was pretty awesome. For some reason, this seemed to be more significant to me than the political circus of the day. This was another final frontier in which women, red heads and pants-suits wearers could reach the highest of peaks (playing in a dingy pub) minus the barriers of the past.
Amongst all the Gillard-hysteria, i didn’t see any journalists from ‘the Australian’ quoting feminist tractates here. Just heaps of disinterested and attractive young people (men AND women) who don’t really care who is steering the ship…just as long as they don’t take away Austudy.