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The Stalking of Julia Gillard

by Kerry-Anne Walsh

‘Don’t write crap. Can’t be that hard. And when you have written complete crap, then I think you should correct it.’ Julia Gillard

When Julia Gillard took the reins of the Australian Labor Party on 24 June 2010 she did so with the goodwill of the majority of her party and a fawning Canberra press gallery. The man she had supplanted, Kevin Rudd, led an isolated band of angry Labor voices at this surprising turn of events. The collective political and media verdict was that his time, short though it had been, was up. But when Gillard announced in February 2011 that her government would introduce a carbon pricing scheme, Rudd and his small team of malcontents were already in lock-step with key Canberra and interstate journalists in a drive to push her out of the prime ministerial chair.

Never has a prime minister been so assiduously stalked. Cast as a political liar and policy charlatan, Julia Gillard was also mercilessly and relentlessly lampooned for her hair, clothes, accent, her arse, even the way she walks and talks. Rudd, on the other hand, could barely do any wrong. His antics were afforded benign, unquestioning prime-time media coverage.

This is the story about one of the most extraordinary episodes in recent Australian political history. It focuses on Team Rudd and the media’s treatment of its slow-death campaign of destabilisation, with its disastrous effect on Gillard and the government’s functioning. It is about a politician who was never given a fair go; not in the media, not by Rudd, not by some in caucus.


01 August, 2013

About Kerry-Anne Walsh

Kerry-Anne Walsh worked as a press secretary in the Hawke government before joining the Daily Telegraph’s Canberra bureau.  Known as ‘KA’, Kerry-Anne remained in the federal parliamentary press gallery for the next quarter of a century,occupying senior posts in print, radio and TV: as national affairs writer for seven years for the Bulletin magazine,for the Sun-Herald for just shy of seven years and for News Limited’s Sunday Telegraph. KA also worked for the Daybreak program on ABC Radio National and Channel Ten’s Face to Face.  She wrote for the Irish Times, the South China Morning Post, the Singapore Straights Times and other international publications, and was a regular on ABC TV’s Insiders program and a string of radio programs.  KA left the press gallery in August 2009 to establish KA Communications.  She remains in Canberra and is a political commentator on Sky Agenda, and on radio programs.


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