Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 1, 2012

Monday, 27th February 2012 – Gillard trounces Rudd in ALP leadership vote!

Very heavy rain storms overnight, and that was continuing as I awoke this morning. Susie was intending to drive up to Bendigo this morning, but she seemed to be a bit slow in getting going. I must admit, I was a little concerned about her having to drive up the Calder Highway this morning – not a pleasant in poor weather like this. So it was with some feeling of relief, when she told me  thankfulness

A very ‘political’ day in Australia today, and I think all of the major television channels were broadcasting their programs this morning from the grounds of Parliament House in Canberra, all hoping to be first with the news of the outcome of the ballot between Kevin Rudd [former PM and Foreign Minister] and Julia Gillard [current PM]. I must admit, I watched quite a bit of all this while I was at home. The meeting of the ALP Caucas began at 10am, but the result of the ballot had not come out of the meeting room before I had to leave for my gymnasium session.

Not to worry, the TV sets were all operating in the gym complex  – obviously, someone from inside the Caucas  room texted out the result before it was official  – that was not permitted, but even politicians break the rules now and then!!  They got the result partly wrong anyway – the first score flashed on the screens said 73 to 29, Gillard’s way [as generally expected], but the official final result was Julia Gillard [71] Kevin Rudd [31]  – a total of 102 votes cast of the 103 Labor members in Parliament. One of the female MPS had just given birth to a baby, hence she was not able to be present!

In responding to her success, Julia Gillard assured Australians that her Party’s ‘political drama’ was over [can we really believe that?] and that she was ‘impatient’ to get back to delivering for the nation. As would be later reported, ‘embracing her solid mandate, as Mr Rudd pledged loyalty to her leadership, Ms Gillard was resolute as she admitted to errors [now!!] over the handling of her ousting of Mr Rudd from the Labor leadership in 2010, and vowed to beat the Coalition by refocusing on Labor values’.  Her victory this morning, ended months of leadership tension which was linked to lingering bitterness over Mr Rudd’s dumping as Prime Minister in 2010, a move led by Labor faction leaders. Although it would be some days before the PM reshuffled her cabinet, to replace Mr Rudd [who resigned as Foreign Minister last week] and Senate member, Mark Arbib who resigned later today, as Assistant Treasurer and as a Senator, Julia Gillard’s backers have been quick  to urge her to exercise her ‘heightened’ authority following the vote, by getting rid of the key ministers who led the campaign against her leadership, and thus clearing the way for her to create a cabinet of ‘supporters’.  Will be interesting to see how that all turns out. The Senate vacancy, created by Mark Arbib’s resignation will, by convention, be filled by another Labor person, and there is much interest in who that will be, generally considered to be someone of high enough status, to be considered for a ministerial position.

Anyway, after my session at the gymnasium, I returned home planning to spend most of the afternoon watching the washup of proceedings from Canberra, as well as Question Time, with Parliament having resumed after this morning’s drama.  However, a phone call from friend Ruth of Riddells Creek, suggesting coffee with her & hubby Barry, changed plans a little  – in fact, I left the video tape running, so that Question Time could be looked at a little later in the day!

Haven’t had an  afternoon tea/coffee break with Ruth & Barry for a while, so that was a pleasant little interlude, at one of the places we have frequented in the past for such occasions, although the name seem to change between every visit [located there, in the arcade between Evans & O’Shannassy Streets].  I even decided to be ‘wicked’ this afternoon, and have a slice of cake, as we used to do in the old days [before questions of diabetes spoilt all the fun], together with a cappucinio and  ‘then’, an iced coffee!!  Really downgraded my ‘health’ needs this afternoon, but but but, it was a rare occasion these days to meet with B & R, so made the most of it.  Barry had to go back to work after a while [problems to be solved], but Ruth & myself continued on for a while, chatting and getting up to date with all the usual points of conversation between us over the years. Needless to say, before Barry left, the question of the leadership  issue did get raised and discussed briefly, just a bit hard to avoid that today. Meanwhile, I discovered that Ruth was back doing locum work with the Vet practice, having put aside her studies this year, while daughter Sally completed her VCE year.

All good things come to an end  –  parted company, and I returned to some domestic duties [shopping] before returning home. An evening meal, and a few hours break before heading up to the radio station for tonight’s program. Outside, it was still raining, and had been doing so, off and on throughout the day. At one stage this afternoon, I tried to ‘clean’ up the mess that the rain had left my front driveway area in, but with further downpours occurring, it was a losing fight, whilst the weather remained as it was.    Our late summer rain continued as I drove up the hill to my radio studio that evening, and certainly, the heat and humidity of recent days had disappeared.

I tried to speak on air tonight with Melbourne soprano singer, Marilla Homes  – the young lady who had visited me during one of my Sunday afternoon programs a few years ago.  I was playing a couple of tracks from her Cd tonight, and thought it would be appropriate to get Marilla to talk to the listeners about that music, and the performances she had coming up ahead in the future weeks. Sadly [and annoyingly], the ‘talk back’ system would not work for this presenter tonight, so I had  with some embarrassment to apologise to Marilla for a change of plans. Nevertheless, my program continued [without feedback] as I continued to cover a wide range of musical genres as is my custom of a Monday night.   The importance of music in creating social and human cohesion can’t be emphasised enough, and I was reminded of this, after reading an article earlier today from one of the newspapers, and got to thinking how disappointing it was, that in world relations between nations, harmony is so difficult to achieve.

Headed ‘Sister cities torn over Nanjing Massacre’  –   ‘The wounds inflicted by Japan’s invasion of China are causing relations between the countries to take a lurch for the worse 75 years on, with Nanjing suspending its sister-city relationship with Nagoya. This follows an incident a week ago when Takashi Kawamura, the Mayor of Nagoya – Japan’s fourth-largest city with a population of two million – said only ‘conventional acts of combat’ had occurred during the seizure of Nanjing. This would have provoked a strong response from China at any time, but Mr Kawamura made his remarks to a delegation of officials from Nanjing itself, led by Liu Zhiwei, a member of the standing committee of the Communist Party in the city. More than 250,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were killed in what is usually described as the Nanjing Massacre. Several films have been made about the event, including City of Life and Death and Flowers of War, directed by Zhang Yimou.  One of Nanjing’s most visited tourist sites is a grim museum dedicated to what is described as China’s holocaust. Mr Kawamura refused to apologise for his statement, after Nanjing broke off exchanges. He said his father had been kindly treated by residents when he was based there in 1945 – something that would not have happened if Japanese troops had committed atrocities there in 1937. The outspoken, 78-year-old Tokyo Mayor, Shintaro Ishihara – who attributed last year’s devastating tsunami to ‘divine punishment’ for Japanese people’s egoism’ – backed his Nagoya counterpart. However, the 63-year-olk Kawamura found little support elsewhere. Both countries have worked to rebuild relations and younger Japanese had hoped the war was being left behind as an issue’ [written by Rowan Callick].  If I were a young Japanese, I would want the war to be left behind as an issue also – through shame at the way my people before and during the Second World War treated both civilians, their military opponents, and prisoners of war.  The well documented actions of the Japanese military in Nanjing in 1937 were repeated time and again through to 1945…………………….




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