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PostSubject: The Red dragon transcript....   Wed 30 Jun 2010 - 4:59

She Who Waits - Transcript
PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT: Monday, 21 June , 2010

CAROLINE JONES, PRESENTER: Hello I’m Caroline Jones. Tonight, a look at the woman most likely to become the nation’s first female prime minister. With the sudden and dramatic decline in Kevin Rudd’s fortunes, there’s a lot of speculation on when, not if, Julia Gillard will succeed him. Our Australian Story profile on Julia Gillard in 2006, produced some unique insights from those closest to her. Insights even more relevant in the light of her situation today. While the people in that inner circle are now maintaining a discreet silence, there are others quite ready to speak for this updated profile of the woman well poised to make Australian history.

(Excerpt from Breakfast program, ABC2)
HOST: A new opinion poll has bad news for the prime minister, as MP's return to Canberra for the budget sitting of parliament.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Leading the news this morning the polls show that the Rudd government would lose an election if it was held today.
(End of excerpt)

(Excerpt from ‘Today’, Channel 9)
PRESENTER: Julia, no deputy PM has ever not eyed off the prime ministership and the polls for the prime minister at the moment are diabolical. Worse they've ever been. Surely you must be looking at that top seat?
JULIA GILLARD: I'm really passionate about what I'm doing now...
(End of excerpt)

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: This period is the most critical period for Julia Gillard with the run up to the Federal election, considering she’s been painted with this view that she is the Prime Minister in waiting.

GRAHAM RICHARDSON, FORMER LABOR MINISTER: She’s a very formidable political operator. Rudd seems to have lost a lot of his gloss very quickly. I hope that doesn’t happen to Gillard.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: I think Australia will only reach its full potential as a nation when we are able to say, we’ve had a woman as Prime Minister of our country.

(Excerpt from press conference)
REPORTER'S QUESTION TO KEVIN RUDD (at press conference): What we'd like to know from you is do you think she’ll be the next Prime Minister?
KEVIN RUDD: She’s a fantastic deputy Prime Minister and she’s going to make a fantastic Prime Minister as well, one day.
(End of excerpt)

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: Modern Australian politics has become so much more about spin and Rudd’s the champion, the grand champion of that. I never thought Julia would quite become that, I always thought she was too passionate about working people’s rights.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: She’s authentic, she’s real, and that level of communication enables an engagement with the Australian people.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: She’s been enormously successful at deflecting criticism against her. Whether voters will start looking at her differently and say she’s great, we wouldn't mind a female prime minister but, gosh, she has stuffed a few things up.

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: In politics people love you stand up for what you believe in. I think there’s a void of that in Australian politics.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: It’s really important that the community understand who the real Julia Gillard is.

(Excerpt from ‘Australian Story’ 2006)
MICHAEL O’CONNOR, FORESTRY AND FURNISHING UNION: Julia’s always been close to her family. They are really a unique family. I think they're probably the one huge influence on Julia and very decent people.

JULIA GILLARD: My family are Welsh, both mum and dad were born in Wales.

MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: We had Alison first and then Julia. Allison was a very robust child. Julia on the other hand was fine when she was born but she contracted a lung infection and was in an oxygen tent for about two weeks.

JOHN GILLARD, FATHER: The great fear was that she’d end up with irreparable lung problems.

MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: When she got to about three, I happened to say to the doctor 'will she be able to go to school' and he looked at me and said 'no' and I said 'why'? And he said 'because she won’t be able to go out in the very very cold weather' so I said 'what am I to do' and he said 'take her to warmer climate'. So we decided we’d go to Australia.

JULIA GILLARD: My sister Alison is three years older than me. She was seven when we migrated. I was four.

ALISON GILLARD, SISTER: I guess I was naughtier, I think, than Julia and not as timid.

JULIA GILLARD: Alison’s life has been very different to mine. I mean, I've been involved in student politics. I'd seen a lot of trade union politics as an industrial lawyer and ALISON GILLARD, SISTER left university, she didn't complete her degree. She met Paul, who is her lifetime partner and had Jenna and Tom quite young. That’s been the focus of her life. I'm comfortable with what I've done. She’s comfortable with she's done and I suspect if I’d been a boy and ALISON GILLARD, SISTER had been a girl, people would have said almost that’s the natural order of things.

ALISON GILLARD, SISTER: It's always sort of slightly surreal still when you see your sister talking on the television. It's still exciting and I still get a real buzz out of it. She comes across as being very feisty, pretty sharp and kind of nasty sometimes. She's not like that in her day to day life. So, obviously it's all part of the um, the show that they put on. It's all part of the game.

MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: Julia is very easy going but when something does upset her just look out. She gets into a temper just like a sleeping volcano.

JULIA GILLARD: One of the real reasons I got involved in politics at all is the sense of unfairness and lost opportunity, particularly to kids. It does make me burn with anger that someone like my father didn't get the opportunities he should have had.

JOHN GILLARD, FATHER: It was a very hard life. I was one of seven children. My father was a labourer. I had a very impoverished background. Poverty was real to me, it existed, it was my daily life.

JULIA GILLARD: He really was very good at school and actually got offered a scholarship.

JOHN GILLARD, FATHER: My father said get out to work, you're fourteen, get out to work and that severed my scholarship.

JULIA GILLARD: There is no way in the world that mum and dad could have afforded private school education for ALISON GILLARD, SISTER and I so I went to Unley High School.

MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: Julia could never understand why the girls should stay in class to tidy up the classroom while the boys were just running around having a good time. So she said to the teacher that was not fair. Why couldn’t the boys do it one week and they do it the next week. He said to her 'Are you into women’s liberation, Julia?' And she said, she looked at him with utter scorn and said 'I don’t need women’s liberation, I was born free'.

JOHN GILLARD, FATHER: Julia was a prefect in school and felt that if someone was getting hard lined, she’d take them under her wing, be very gentle, supportive and kind and often challenged authority.

JULIA GILLARD: And so I started mulling over this thought of being a lawyer and put it down on my preference sheet when it came time to filling all that in during the matriculation year.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR, FORESTRY AND FURNISHING UNION: Probably the first time I met Julia was in the early '80s when hundreds of students would come from around the country. She was representing Adelaide University Student Union. There's no doubt she was really articulate.

JULIA GILLARD: I don’t think there’s too much that’s more almost irrationally passionate than student politics.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR, FORESTRY AND FURNISHING UNION: You didn't really want to be arguing a point of view against her if you could avoid an argument with her. She was very serious about winning it.

JULIA GILLARD: Michael O’Connor had the most impact on my adult life in the sense that here we all are twenty odd years later and we’re both still involved politically in kind of, looking out for each other.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR, FORESTRY AND FURNISHING UNION: I think parliament changes everybody who goes there. Julia’s no exception to that.

JULIA GILLARD: I'm not naive, you know I'm not Doris Day who's, you know, just somehow parachuted into Canberra. I had to, I had to fight hard to get pre-selected, I had to play a factional game to do that, I had to count numbers, I had to make deals and I'd do all of that again tomorrow if I needed to.
(End of ‘Australian Story’, 2006 excerpt)

GRAHAM RICHARDSON, FORMER LABOR MINISTER: From where I come the answer to people like Julia becoming leader is always no. She’s a leftie, I'm not and so there's a natural suspicion.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: Julia Gillard’s from a breakaway faction of the Victorian left. She didn’t have the backing of the NSW right which has helped leaders, for instance Kevin Rudd, Kim Beazely, Paul Keating.

GRAHAM RICHARDSON, FORMER LABOR MINISTER: She rose gradually and then suddenly had this great growth spurt.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: One of the most important areas for any government, state or federal, is health. When Tony Abbott was health minister, Julia Gillard was the shadow minister for health.

(Excerpt from ‘Australian Story, 2006)
MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: When I think Julia is going to go on attack I feel rather sorry for Tony Abbott, in fact I feel rather sorry for anybody. When Julia makes up her mind usually she gets what she wants.

TONY ABBOTT: Julia is a very tough competitor. I think she obviously is one of those people who could well lead the Labor Party one day.

JULIA GILLARD: Personally what I think about Tony Abbott, he’s a likeable knock about Australian character but he’s a deeply eccentric human being and I think that shows in a lot of his public policy pronouncements. Somewhat ironically for someone who's ended up in the position I am now, I am a shy person. I think it probably does take me a bit of time to open up to people. Maybe politics puts an extra layer of, you know, kind of armour on the outside because you know what it can be like.

MICHAEL O’CONNOR, FORESTRY AND FURNISHING UNION: Like all frontbenchers, I think Julia lives a lot out of a suitcase. That's the impression I get. I think it puts a strain on their personal lives. It must be very difficult, I think. Julia doesn’t have children and I think it would be really hard to have a family and spend six months in Canberra. I've seen a lot of males who haven't juggled it very well.

MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: I never thought Julia would marry, neither of my children married. I think she was about 18, she said, 'I don't want children, Mum, I never want children.'

JULIA GILLARD: I suspect if I had made a different set of choices, I would have been a very conservative parent. I'm kind of full of admiration for women who can mix it together, working and having kids, but I'm not sure I could have. There's something in me that's focused and single-minded and if I was going to do that, I'm not sure I could have done this.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: There’s not a shadow of doubt that she has all the makings of a future leader but her problem is she’s a woman, she’s unmarried, she doesn’t have children and for some reason that is an issue in Australian politics.

JULIA GILLARD: Perhaps I am a little tougher than I was, um, that I guess is in a lot of ways the process of politics. You do see some of the worst aspects of human behaviour on display. I guess these things are always about power and position and who should be leader of the Labor party.
(End of ‘Australian Story’, 2006 excerpt)

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: There is no greater blood sport than Labor party politics. And Julia came through that. I think because she was extremely articulate, had a really good personality. Loyalty in politics is rare but I think it’s a quality. We always hoped that Julia would continue to be a very a loyal person.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: She’s always aspired to the leadership. She’s always understood that she could take it, it’s just about choosing that right moment for her. She certainly considered it in opposition after Mark Latham disappeared from the political landscape.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were not obvious partners or allies. But what happens in these circumstances is that people do get welded together out of the political necessities of the times that emerge.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: Kevin Rudd was constantly in the media, he’d never miss an opportunity to let everyone know he was talented and ambitious. Kevin Rudd was certainly getting a lot of points on the score board with his prosecution of the AWB scandal.

(Excerpt from Australian Story, 2006)
JULIA GILLARD: Kevin's been focussed on the wheat board scandal since it first broke. If you’re going to mount a parliamentary attack, you need the sort of line shadow minister to be absolutely the master of the detail and Kevin is. It is easy to get lost in the detail when you’ve spent endless hours late into the night studying it and Kevin has been. The more into the detail you get sometimes the harder it is to see the big picture.
(End of Excerpt)

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: We saw Kim Beazely as the Labor man and Rudd as someone who doesn’t quite get it, as different in his beliefs and as far away from the political beliefs that we believed Julia had as you can get.

KIM BEAZELY, FORMER LABOR OPPOSITION LEADER: I had some very loyal supporters for which I’m grateful when I was opposition leader. And I also had some very effective people who were not so supportive and she’s one of them.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: Kevin Rudd wanted the leadership. Julia wanted the leadership. Julia came to the conclusion that was not going to be possible, so their marriage was formed as a marriage of convenience. She was able to deliver him crucial votes. Julia knows it. Kevin Rudd knows it.

(Excerpt from Lateline, ABC TV, December 2006)
TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Federal Labor Party has again taken the plunge into the unknown electing Kevin Rudd as its new leader.
REPORTER VOICEOVER: Kevin Rudd emerged victorious with his new deputy, JULIA GILLARD Gillard, who was elected unopposed.
(End of excerpt)

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: Rudd was popular in the polls at that time and if you’ve got the numbers in politics you’re in, and perhaps that provided a better avenue for Julia Gillard to progress her political career, but I would have preferred Julia’s loyalty to have remained with the things that I’d always hoped that she believed in.

(Excerpt from 7.30 Report, ABC TV, May 2007)
DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: I didn't agree, for example, yesterday when Kevin from Queensland described John Howard as a clever politician. I describe him as an anti-union bastard of the last generation and a skid-mark of the bed sheet of Australian politics.
REPORTER VOICEOVER: Dean Mighell is not what Kevin Rudd's Labor wants to promote as the modern face of the Labor movement. And today the Labor leader moved quickly to limit the damage.
KEVIN RUDD: I've ah, earlier this morning directed the national secretary of the Australian Labor Party to obtain from Mr Mighell's his resignation.
(End of excerpt)

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: The real disappointment is that Julia Gillard followed that up with labelling me as thuggish when I thought I was a loyal friend to her and helped her out many times. That was probably the biggest blow of them all. I felt betrayed by that.

(Excerpt from ABC News, December 2007)
NEWSREADER: It's all changed in Australian politics. Kevin Rudd will lead the nation after a record win to Labor.
REPORTER VOICEOVER: Kevin Rudd can't wait to get going.
KEVIN RUDD: I will be a prime minister for all Australians.
JULIA GILLARD: I 'm feeling good but I'm going to be at work tomorrow, let me assure you.
(End of excerpt)

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: Julia’s not a wimp. When the Rudd government got elected she took on two major portfolios, education and industrial relations. Both of them are very difficult.

GRAHAM RICHARDSON, FORMER LABOR MINISTER: The only criticism that you’re going to get of Gillard, and this is what she has to watch, is this education revolution and all the school buildings. There’s a lot of money that’s gone up the spout that shouldn’t have gone up the spout.

(Excerpt from ABC News, June 2010)
PROTESTOR: This is borrowed money that our children and grandchildren will be paying back in years to come.
REPORTER: Trouble is emerging everywhere.
PROTESTOR: Minister Gillard has a lot to answer for. There should be checks and balances.
REPORTER: The deputy prime minister has another fight on her hands. The teachers union has voted to boycott national testing...
(End of excerpt)

DEAN MIGHELL, ELECTRICAL TRADES UNION: The last federal election was won and lost on workers’ rights. Julia had been a champion of workers’ rights. Julia started to change. It was more Kevin Rudd speak than Julia Gillard’s instinctive passionate speeches on workers’ rights. It had changed.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: I always love people who’ve got ideological purity. It means they can feel good in the morning, good at lunchtime and go to bed feeling satisfied they’ve lived an ideological dream all day. If you end up to far wacko on left field then you don’t get re-elected.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: Certainly she’s not afraid of dropping a principle to get to where she wants to get to. If Julia Gillard came to the view that Kevin Rudd's leadership was untenable, loyalty would not bog her down at all. I think she’d take it in a heartbeat. I think if she appears too loyal at the moment it's because she doesn’t think the leadership is tenable for her at the moment or she doesn’t think that Kevin Rudd’s leadership has disintegrated.

(Excerpt from ABC TV News, June 2010)
REPORTER: They say money talks. The miners took their campaign to the airwaves as well as the streets. Running ads suggesting the proposed tax is sending investment to Russia.
(End of excerpt)

(Excerpt from World News Australia, SBS TV)
REPORTER: But it's a polite Perth welcome for Julia Gillard, with cabinet heading west, she's the warm up act. The real vitriol is being reserved for her boss.
(End of excerpt)

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: Kevin Rudd I think needed to have someone who could support him and who could deal with, I guess, some of the issues that come as a result of his particular personality, by that I mean Kevin is very single minded.

GRAHAM RICHARDSON, FORMER LABOR MINISTER: Rudd can be seen as a bit cold a bit arrogant. He doesn’t have lots of mates.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: He’s never been the kind of person who’s been entrenched in the ALP culture. When the going gets tough it's those mates and it’s that factional support that you need more than anything.

GRAHAM RICHARDSON, FORMER LABOR MINISTER: Now alongside him you have Gillard and she’s somewhat the opposite. She’s always seen as warm. She never loses her temper. She has endless patience.

(Excerpt from Before the Game, Channel 10)
RYAN FITZGERALD, HOST: Who wouldn't you mind cooking breakfast for on a Sunday morning?
JULIA GILLARD: Ah well my partner Tim's right here so I think the diplomatic thing to say is they're all gorgeous.
RYAN FITZGERALD: Can I just get a hug from the future prime minister?
(End of excerpt)

(Excerpt from ABC News)
NEWSREADER: Another bad opinion poll has given Kevin Rudd a severe reality check and he's admitted Tony Abbott will beat him unless he can turn around Labor's fortunes.
TONY ABBOTT: I think there are lots of people in the labor party who are comparing Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and they’re thinking that Julia doesn’t look too bad.
(End of excerpt)

KIM BEAZELY, FORMER LABOR OPPOSITION LEADER: I would think that most people who’ve reached deputy prime minister status have aspirations to be prime minister, you’re looking at one of them.

PETER BEATTIE, FORMER LABOR PREMIER: Everyone will scuttle and run away when I say this because it's too difficult, but my view is that Kevin Rudd in the long term should pave the way for Julia to become the Prime Minister. I’m not trying to undermine Kevin Rudd at all. It’s the right thing to do for the country.

KIM BEAZLEY: I think she’d make a good Prime Minister, yes.

PATRICIA KARVELAS, THE AUSTRALIAN: The media is fairly obsessed with whether she should seize the leadership before or after the election and I think it’s real in the Labor party. It’s a real discussion. There’s nothing fanciful about it. It would be political suicide for Julia Gillard to look like she’s was actively promoting herself for the prime ministership. It’s not something you do when you’re the deputy prime minister, particularly in an election year. There’s no more stupid political decision she could make than to participate in a program like this. She would be immediately seen by people who don't like her as actively undermining the Prime Minister. Even people who do like her would think she's getting too big for her boots. Her job for the moment is to keep her head down and let other people do the talking for her.

(Excerpt from Australian Story, 2006)
JULIA GILLARD: If I were to end up leading the Labor party at some point that in and of itself would be a different perception by the nation of what leadership is. I think people are over the kind of really highly managed suited white bread style politicians, I think people are looking for more than that and different to that and, you know, I think I am different to that.

ALISON GILLARD, SISTER: I think being the leader of a party is a really scary prospect. You’re sort of in the firing line. You’re always open to criticism. You can never win.

MOIRA GILLARD, MOTHER: I remember when she first started in politics I said that I wanted to live at Kirribilli House, and she said to me, 'You'll be lucky, Mum.' And I said, 'Oh, but I'd like to.' I said, 'I'm going sit there in my wheelchair,' I said, 'waving a glass of gin and tonic.' And she looked at me and she said, 'Why gin and tonic?' I said, 'Well, I can't very well wave a bottle of beer, can I?'

JULIA GILLARD: I always joke I didn't spend my days in kindy trying to work out how I could be Prime Minister, and I suspect there's a range of people who probably did. So I don't have that sense in me. If the position were open at some point, I would make a decision then. That's the absolute honest answer.
(End of ‘Australian Story’, 2006 excerpt)

Australian Story approached Ms Gillard for an interview for tonight's program but she declined.

Family members interviewed for the 2006 profile also declined to participate.
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