Julia Gillard reveals her disconnect from reality

Julia Gillard reveals her disconnect from reality, by Chris Kenny.

You would be forgiven for thinking that political leaders in western liberal democracies had somehow lost their fundamental grasp of how democracy is supposed to work. Rather than accept the principle that a governing class is put in place at the behest of the people and dispensed with by voters depending on its performance, they seem to think the governing class has been let down by the hoi polloi.

Julia Gillard accidentally brought all this clearly into focus again yesterday in her Bob Hawke lecture. Her intention was to talk about anxiety and stresses in modern society but her appropriation of political turmoil to demonstrate her point only served to reveal her own disconnect from reality.

She is not alone. Her misdiagnosis is rampant around the world with vast swathes of politicians, journalists, academics and others in the media/political class — mainly but not exclusively of the Left — who have been shocked by Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump. Instead of comprehending how the political class has been brought to heel by mainstream voters, they patronisingly explain how those poor little people have got it all wrong.

“Certainly, events like Brexit and the election of Trump show there is a backlash, those hit and hurt by change want to lash out,” Ms Gillard said. “Think of the circumstances of unskilled or semi-skilled Western white men. Challenged by economic change, the gender revolution and the migration of people, culture and ideas, every reality they thought they could rely on has given way beneath them. Anxiety is an understandable response.”

Well someone has it wrong — either the poor little people or the elite has got no idea. Hmmm, PC fantasies or reality?

New Labor is not like the old Labor:

To think this sanctimony could come from a former Labor politician is revealing. Instead of flattering and championing working people (as Bob Hawke always did), Gillard demeans them. …

The global elite is on the nose:

The reaction of voters in [in the US, UK, and Australia] to governments and political classes oblivious to their concerns about border security, immigration stewardship and economic management is not one of anxiety or confusion but of common sense. They pulled the reins on a media/political class that was losing sight of the fundamental values of the nation state.

For their trouble, Hillary Clinton called them “deplorables” who were Islamophobic, racist and sexist. In the UK similar abuse was thrown at the Brexiters, and in our country the tendency has long been to sneer at “western Sydney” as if it is a brutish foreign country and talk about border security policies as some kind of evil “dog-whistling” campaign that harnesses the innate racism of the mainstream. What patronising rot.

Gillard and her co-accused Kevin Rudd lost control of the nation’s borders — in other words they broke one of the crucial building blocks of our modern nation, destroying the integrity of Australia’s immigration system. They also lost control of the budget and broke faith with the electorate over climate policy. …

What Trump has found, for all his faults and misstatements, is that exposing the dishonesty and hidden leftist agenda of much of the media actually appeals to mainstream voters. They get it. They see through the blame-shifting of people like Gillard. …

Voters don’t need patronising lectures from the media/political class; rather, they need those so-called elites to listen. The voters tend not to give speeches, write blogs, make pronouncements or even tweet their views. They know the power of their voice is in the ballot.

Yet instead of listening, the political elites play the victim card. … It is self-delusion on a grand scale.

Read it all.