"Like an emissary of the man himself, someone in a giant dog suit comes past, and breaking ranks presents her with a doll that has Raggedy Ann hair and a Pinocchio nose. The media lurch forward, cameras flashing, and Gillard has to laugh and thank the dog-man for his kindness.
The crowd’s murmurs don’t bode well. The locals agree she doesn’t have their votes, some with more politeness than others: “They should fucking drown the bitch!” shouts an older man with withered DIY tattoos. “I wouldn’t give her 50 cents!” He’s just shambled out of the local TAB, which is directly opposite the dais."
The article was more poignant with post-publication hindsight of knowing that, after her tour of Queensland and then PNG, Gillard flew home and straight into her night of the long knives.
Today, in 'correspondence' section of September's Monthly:
In her account of Julia Gillard's last months as Prime Minister ('Diary of a Convert, August'), Cloe Hooper mentions a junior staffer. "If everyone could spend a week with her, she'd have their vote," he'd said, voice catching, "because she's ... bloody lovely." Is he crying, I had wondered, holding the phone from my ear, slightly repelled?
I wasn't crying. I had something in my throat. I don't cry. I just give a thousand yard stare and stand very still.
Brunswick North, VIC
The Monthly, Spetember 2013, p. 57.