Discussion of Julia Gillard’s harrowing escape from restaurant

In this entry are posted comments responding to the two entries on the embarrassing but iconic (iconically liberal, that is) incident in Australia’s capital city on Thursday, in which the prime minister and her entourage fled in disarray and with very little dignity from pro-Aborigine protesters who were not pursuing them.

Comments on entry, “What is means to have a woman … as the leader of a country”

Roger G. writes:

They do play rugby there (both kinds). Maybe she was unsuccessfully trying to make a tackle?


LA replies:

That’s funny.

Matthew C. writes:

I think Brandon F. has misunderstood the point about these photos. The point is not so much that women make weak political leaders as that men make strong protectors. Yes, a man in the same position as Prime Minister Gillard may have responded in the same way that she did. But the more appropriate question to ask is would Prime Minister Gillard have had the same reaction if her bodyguard had been female instead of male?

In other words, the claim is not that men don’t seek protection. Instead the claim is that all people, men and women alike, seek protection from men.

Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:

It is a really sad photo (image).

The female Prime Minister of a prominent country is cowering like a small girl, enveloped by the man closest to her. He could have been anyone, although he looks like a bodyguard.

This cannot be what people want for their countries; leaders who simply will not be able to lead in moments of duress, and who crumble at some ghost of a danger (as you write, there is no one to run away from!).

It is sad because it is pathetic, and not inevitable. People seem to will this, and they therefore get it. I think this is the curse of feminism. Eve seems ever present, even in her ghost-like absence, and the snake of liberalism is always in the sidelines, luring everyone along.

It is also sad because women (modern women) underestimate and undervalue their strength, and throw it all away for a chimera.

Laurence B. writes:

On a related note to the ridiculous (and hilariously unnecessary) exposure of Gillard’s physical limitations, I only want to add that it is the very same PM who is advocating and pushing for Australian women in the military to be granted front-line combat opportunities.

“I think it’s right … that men and women should have an equal right to fight and die for their country.” What a perverted notion of combat and rights.

Larry T. writes:

You may be interested in the report of Australian journalist and blogger Tim Blair. In addition to the link below, he made several other posts on the same topic:

It was “Australia Day,” commemorating the arrival of the first European settlers to Australia. Observation of this day is considered an affront by some of the “aboriginal people” of Australia, who have had a “tent embassy” in Canberra for several decades, protesting their treatment by white people.

PM Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott gave speeches in commemoration of Australia Day. Abbott’s speech is described as follows:

Tensions boiled over on Thursday afternoon following comments Mr Abbott made in Sydney earlier in the day.

Mr Abbott said he understood why the tent embassy was set up “all those years ago”.

“I think a lot has changed for the better since then,” he told reporters.

“I think the indigenous people of Australia can be very proud of the respect in which they are held by every Australian.

“I think a lot has changed since then, and I think it probably is time to move on from that.”

What happened is an aide of the prime minister notified people in the “tent embassy” that Abbott had advocated dismantling the tent embassy:

UPDATE. They’re stupider than I thought. Here we go:

Tony Hodges, who has been on Julia Gillard’s staff since July 2009, admitted making a phone call alerting a person to the Opposition Leader’s comments. A senior media adviser within the Prime Minister’s staff has been forced to resign after tipping off protesters about Tony Abbott’s remarks over the Canberra tent embassy.

So this whole kerfuffle was based on a lie told to the aboriginal protestors by a member of PM Gillard’s staff.

BTW, reports are that the protestors threw plastic bottles and banged on the cars Gillard and Abbott were riding in.

Comments on entry, “Follow-up on the embarrassing Australian incident”:

Ken Hechtman writes:

You asked:

But if he is dragging her against her will, which is certainly not helping her escape any more quickly or safely, why did she not take command of the situation and stop him and insist on walking under her own power, as everyone else in the scene was doing?

That’s not how it works. Julia Gillard isn’t everyone else in the scene. She’s the head of government and principal protectee. Her bodyguards are the Australian equivalent of the Secret Service. If they decide she needs to be evacuated, they don’t stand around discussing it with her. They just grab her and throw her in the car and drive away.

Watch the scenes at 2:12 and 2:38 of this clip.

The agent playing the protectee in these drills is a six foot tall man and you can see how little that matters. The other agents grab him and throw or shove him in whatever direction they need him to go.

LA replies:

But she wasn’t in that kind of danger, and, as I’ve discussed, the way he is hustling and dragging her along is not making her any safer from the non-existent threats that are not chasing them. She is no safer being dragged along than the others are walking and jogging along.

You can break this down into its logical, pragmatic pieces and say that the incident was just a security event with security men following set procedures, You can say that the incident does not have any meaning, does not express anything about the nature of the liberal/feminist order under which we live. But there is a gestalt here, something is happening here that would not have happened, even with a female head of government, say, 30 years ago. First, the decision to run away from the restaurant, instead of calling in police to clear out the protesters. Then the disarray in which they headed for the cars. (I still haven’t seen or read any evidence in any article indicating that they prime minister’s party was actually in danger as they ran to their cars.) Then there is the odd disjunction between Gillard’s nonchalant response in the restaurant when she is told of the protesters and is told that she should leave, and the distraught look on her face once she leaves and is led by the security agent. She went from looking arrogantly indifferent to the situation, to looking broken down by it. Which reminds me of how feminist women go around acting as though nothing can bother them, and then when something does bother them, they break like a little girl. Think of NBC’s Lara Logan going from superwoman reporter in the Mideast to vulnerable, helpless victim hiding out for several months and saying nothing about what happened to her in Tahrir Square.

- end of initial entry -

Alexis Zarkov writes:

While fleeing an almost non-existent threat, Julia Gillard shows the world her grimace of terror. Frightened little children will look like this when startled, as we can see here. Gillard shows us that underneath her exterior facade lies a frightened little girl. Every political leader lives with the possibility of assassination—it comes with the job. Anyone who crumbles under pressure, especially when the threat is minor, is unfit for a high position. Compare Gillard to Ronald Reagan who took a potentially fatal bullet to the chest, and yet while bleeding he held up by maintaining his composure and good humor.

Gillard ran for PM promising not to implement a carbon tax, and then after getting elected promptly reversed herself. Adding insult to injury she claimed that “pricing carbon” is not a carbon tax. After watching a number of interviews with her where she got challenged for her perfidy with the voters, I noticed a bit of a bully in her. Now we see what’s under that arrogance and bullying.

As a side note, I see the that carbon tax escalates with inflation, introducing the possibility of positive feedback. Higher energy costs increasing prices which in turn increases the carbon, and so forth. Australia presents us with another example of white suicide. If anything, they have it worse than we do.

Paul K. writes:

It’s entirely possible that an American leader could find himself in the embarrassing situation of being dragged along under the protective arm of a female Secret Service agent, as they are now employed for this task. Last year, VFR published this photograph of Timothy Geithner with his lithesome blond guardian.

I’m attaching a photograph of Obama and Biden with a female Secret Service agent walking just behind them. Perhaps in the event of angry aboriginal protestors she would step aside and let a man handle the job.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 28, 2012 02:56 PM | Send

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