I certainly can’t let the momentous changes that swept through the Australian political landscape today go by without comment.
It happened very fast, the first intimations of change being mooted last night on the 7.00 o’clock news of a bid by disaffected members of the ruling Labor party to oust incumbent PM Kevin Rudd from the top seat.
This morning he went without a fight and handed the reins of power to his Deputy Julia Gillard. So we now have our first female Prime Minister. And what's more she is not a conventional female politician. She is unmarried, lives in a de facto relationship and is childless.
As far as I am concerned this is a good thing, as Julia Gillard has been admirable as Deputy PM and is an intelligent and astute politician. Also, what with the polls recently indicating a loss for Labor in the next elections, there’s now a chance we won’t have to put up with a government by the monk (Tony Abbott) and the bishop (Julie Bishop), a prospect too ghastly to imagine.
What a far cry it is from three years ago when Kevin Rudd assumed leadership of the Labor Party! He was seen as the great white hope to dislodge the Howard government, which indeed he did.
However, he has been disappointing of late and even a person such as myself, who has always supported Labor, was contemplating in the next elections, simply marking my ballot paper “none of the above”.
Here’s hoping Julia Gillard can affect a change in public opinion and policy. Even news of Kevin Rudd’s likely dethronement positively affected the British Stock Market last night (Australian time).