This week marks 12 months since Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister.
To mark the occasion, the 'Herald Sun' in Melbourne had a flash application on their website, which enabled people to rate Julia's performance from A to D in 17 categories, covering aspects of her leadership and performance. A virtual report card of sorts. I went through the exercise, distributing mainly C's, with a few A's and D's thrown in. The results, showing my score and compared with the average of the 'Hun's' readership are shown below:
You may not be shocked to see that they don't rate her very highly. I mean, 'D' in every category!
Now I know this is an exercise conducted by a Newscorp publication and so, as such, should be treated with caution. And the sort of person likely to have done it - 'The biggest crock of shit in the universe' declared 'Megan' of the PM, in an attached article - also needs to be taken into consideration. I mean, for anyone living in Melbourne it would be easy enough to imagine Andrew Bolt sitting in his office, hitting 'D-D-D-D-D-D-D' as he filled in the scorecard twenty thousand times and so skewing the whole exercise to match his own warped view of the universe.
But nevertheless, you can still derive a point from it (and other recent, related, media coverage): Julia Gillard is sinking fast.
In another story on the same day, The Hun had her predecessor and potential successor, Kevin Rudd, pulling a 60% approval rating in a poll they conducted in 12 marginal seats across the country. And easily leading Tony Abbott in a two party preferred contest in those same seats. Julia's comparative performance? Too depressing too consider... unless you are 'Megan' or Andrew Bolt.
The only thing now appearing to stand between Heavy Kevvy and a second coming to the leadership, then, is the extreme loathing that nearly all of his Labor colleagues feel towards him. If any polling were done of the ALP caucus, the likely result would be that they'd rather follow 'The Simpsons' lead:
and install anyone... anything... as leader before they'd consider going back to him again.
Julia, meanwhile, soldiers laboriously on, with everything she touches seemingly turning into a combination nightmare/fist fight. On top of the neverending battle over the Carbon Tax and the NBN and developing stalemate over live cattle exports, she now finds herself under attack from promising to cut taxes and raise family benefits. Normally about as close to a rock solid popular vote winner in this lazy ass country as you can get.
The ALP has indicated that, as part of the Carbon Tax package, they would be offering fairly generous tax cuts and a raise in benefits to offset expected cost increases. Nothing very concrete has been put out in public about what these benefits would entail but a few details are slowly starting to leak out.
Which undoubtedly was what prompted Tony 'Action Man' Abbott to get on the front foot by stating this week that the Liberals would be offering their own generous tax cut package at the next election as well. It probably doesn't need to be said that the Opposition leader also promised that his package would be bigger, more generous and would not be attached to any revenue raising efforts, particularly none that would help save the environment at the same time. And so was much, much better. Save money and do nothing to help the environment? That's gold out in the suburbs!
He said all this, of course, without naming any specific details of his plan, nor indicating how he would pay for it. It is indicative of the current debate, and Julia's troubles, that Abbott's plan was praised while hers was lambasted.
Until she is able to turn the debate back to Abbott, and highlight both the short sightedness and lack of detail in any of his proposals, her troubles look likely to continue. And Kevvy's annoying smirk will only get larger.