Wednesday, May 25, 2011


There are times you can tell that the fates are conspiring against you.

For example, if you're me, and you're on your way to work, and the tram that takes you to the train is late and then, when you get to the train station, you find that the train is cancelled anyway, and then, when you go to get a plain sausage McMuffin from McDonalds while you kill time waiting for the next one and they give you that horrible, plastic egg in your muffin as well as a sausage patty... well, you can tell that fate is out to get you (This scenario happens to me most days, actually, so it's lucky I'm stoic.

Or, to take another example, if you're the Prime Minister, and you're leading a flimsy minoirty Government, and your populist opponent is getting a free ride form the press, and all of your policies are about as popular as Hitler with plague, and you're facing rock bottom jump out the window, numbers in the polls and then... and then!... the way you put your footy tips in for a newspaper comp generates controversy, then you probably know the fates are against you too.

And this is what happened to our own hapless PM, Julia Gillard, last weekend .

Ms Gillard, as most people would know, is a pretty keen footy fan and the number one ticket holder of the club that shall be known here as Footscray. Here's a picture of the PM with out on the ground with the Doggies full forward Barry Hall (in a happier moment for both):

Now like a lot of footy fans, the PM is in a few tipping comps, at least two of which are in large daily newspapers; the 'Herald Sun' in Melbourne and the 'West Australian' in Perth. The mini scandal - 'TipGate!' - that enveloped her today sprung out of the fact that, when Footscray played West Coast in the last round of the AFL, the PM appeared to tip the Dogs in the Victorian paper, while tipping the Eagles, the home team, in the 'West Aussie,' and so appeared to be trying to curry favour with fans of both clubs:

Her opponents had a field day.

'Loyalty to your team even in bad times is a test of character,' Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop hooted, scarcely able to contain her glee. 'With Julia Gillard, self interest trumps loyalty every time.'

Sadly for all of us interested in politics, worn out as we are by months of bickering about the blasted carbon tax, no sooner had this mini scandal reared it's head, then it was quashed again. For someone in the PM's office immediately let it be known that Julia had forgotten to put her tips in to the 'West Australian.' The paper then confirmed that when this happens, as sometimes does with busy celebrity tipsters, the paper automatically puts that person down for the favourite in each game (West Coast in the game in question).

Scandal averted.

Nevertheless, the situation did place the PM in a situation, castigated as she often is by Tony 'Action Man' Abbott as being out of touch with the regular punters, that many of them could relate to. That is, who do you tip when you barrack for a team that's a bit shit and who are playing a good side? Put this question any follower of a team that's a bit shit and you'll probably get the following response:

'Fuck off, you back your boys in!'

Which is a mentality that the PM, castigated as she often is by the Action Man for being a bit wishy washy as well, would do well to adopt.

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