Julia Gillard As Opinion Columnist?

SHE WAS  a terrible Prime Minister who led a fractious, chaotic, incompetent rabble in government, that lashed out spitefully at selected divisive targets to try to cover its shortfalls and her own as PM. But could Gillard find her niche as an opinion writer? Quite possibly.

Just a short post for now, although I will be back a little later to talk about something else; I’ve been reading an opinion piece from The Guardian by Julia Gillard, and whilst I (clearly) disagree with some of her perspectives, I wonder if this will be the shape Gillard’s ongoing contribution to debate might take.

It’s probably a fitting subject for her to write about; drawing parallels with her own experience governing after the technical election loss of 2010, Gillard opines expansively about the recent shutdown of the US Congress and the deadlock between the Houses of Congress — one controlled by Republicans, the other by Democrats — over that country’s debt ceiling and other budgetary and legislative considerations.

It doesn’t alter one word of the legitimate criticism aimed at Gillard by this column or by the plethora of other commentators who have pilloried her since her ascension to the Prime Ministership.

But the position of this column has always been that all strands of opinion have a right to be heard and the case of those advancing them propounded — even if they are, factually or subjectively, deeply flawed.

It’s not the first piece Gillard has published in The Guardian, and having read a couple of them now I think it’s worth flagging what she has been doing with our readers.

For the record, I actually found this latest Gillard piece quite interesting, notwithstanding the fact — again — that I can never brook some of her ideas.

Certainly, it was far superior to the sycophantic drivel her communications minder John McTernan saw fit to commit to print when afforded the opportunity by the Murdoch press shortly after her removal as Prime Minister.

And it goes without saying that were Gillard to use her column in The Guardian to revisit “issues” such as “misogyny” or the class-based war her government attempted to ignite, then the good burghers at The Guardian (and the reading public, whose opportunity to boot Gillard from office was stolen by Kevin Rudd) would be best served cancelling her spot and denying her to forum to pursue them.

For now, however, we’ll keep an eye on how she goes. And in the interests of balance — if and when appropriate — I will happily provide links for readers to follow her, whether the subjects she covers are worthwhile in their own right, or as one side of an argument in which the other is covered by different material we feature.

The Guardian A Welcome Addition To Australia’s Mediascape

THE LAUNCH yesterday of British newspaper The Guardian‘s online Australian edition is welcome, timely, and deserving of support; it adds a refreshing third voice to mainstream media coverage in this country, and provides some much-needed diversity to coverage of the nation’s events.

In posting this afternoon, I simply wish to acknowledge The Guardian‘s presence on a computer screen (hopefully) near you; I am very pleased to see this long-mooted startup finally come to fruition.

I am a longtime reader of the original British Guardian site (and its newspaper when in England); I have always found its centrist approach to issues to be relevant, topical, and surprisingly balanced  when compared to other mass media enterprises either here or in the UK.

The Guardian will be published online only in Australia; it’s the way of the world, and in spite of being an old-style troglodyte still very happy to sit down with a newspaper proper, The Guardian‘s format is clear, simple to navigate, and easy to read.

Readers will find The Guardian Australia at www.guardian.co.uk/australia.

I wish The Guardian every possible success in its Australian venture, and urge all readers to get behind this exciting new media venture as well.