Julia Gillard's inner sanctum hasn't had much to smile about lately, but on Tuesday her advisers were giving each other high-fives in the Prime Minister's office. The catalyst? A very brief call from Christine Milne to Gillard that ended less than two minutes before the Greens leader delivered her televised National Press Club address, and announced the end of her party's alliance with Labor.Lets just run through that again, shall we:
Gillard's response, as she recalled it the following day, indicated that the news was neither unexpected nor disturbing. ''Thanks, righto,'' she recalls telling Milne.
The sense of excitement, after the PM relayed the news to her office, was two-fold: Labor was now free to launch an all-out assault on the party that invaded its territory, safe in the knowledge that the minor party would continue to vote with the government in the event of no-confidence motions, support supply and ensure that the Parliament runs its full term.
The good news improved when Milne threatened to vote with the Coalition against the removal of $1 billion in tax concessions for the nation's biggest companies - a measure that is intended to pay for the ''game-changing'' jobs package Gillard announced last Sunday.
Here, the Labor argument went, was all the evidence you need of the Greens' hypocrisy. On the one hand, they say the miners aren't paying enough tax; on the other, they threaten to oppose something that prevents the same companies from receiving massive handouts to fund their research and development.
- Labor was now free to launch an all-out assault on the party that invaded its territory
- safe in the knowledge that the minor party would continue to vote with the government
- all the evidence you need of the Greens' hypocrisy
- miners aren't paying enough tax; on the other, they threaten to oppose something that prevents the same companies from receiving massive handouts.
And let's just remember our history lessons, shall we:
- in 2010 Julia Gillard sold her soul (she called it "negotiating") to sign a deal with the Greens, to make herself Prime Minister
- the Greens would never have voted with anyone other than Labor, the deal itself was never needed, the selling of souls was superfluous five minutes after the votes had been counted
- then and subsequently, including in relation to the "not on my watch" carbon tax, Julia Gillard was a puppet to every Green whim, which she justified as showing leadership and getting the job done
- the Greens, under Bob Brown, have a long recorded parliamentary history of hypocrisy, including blocking or refusing to even turn up to vote for major environmental legislation of great value to the country; this isn't a news flash, they've done it with astonishing regularity.
High fives around PM reveal faulty grasp of Labor's reality