Julia Gillard makes a stand as a social conservative
Given her unorthodox personal arrangements with her male hairdresser, cynicism about this has to be expected. But she is taking stances that have real political meaning and legislative implications. Regardless of the motive, cultural conservatives must applaud what appears to be her legislative agenda or non-agenda. Rather amusing that the very Leftist "Green" party have pushed her to the Right, however
Julia Gillard has revealed herself to be a cultural traditionalist, indicating she will oppose moves by the Greens for euthanasia and gay marriage laws and that she believes it is important for people to understand the Bible- despite the fact she is an atheist.
Appearing on Sky News's Australian Agenda yesterday, the Prime Minister again distanced herself from the Greens, arguing they did not have an economic philosophy about "reform or about growth" and had voted against Kevin Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme because they "didn't sufficiently care about jobs", The Australian reports.
Ms Gillard's comments came as her deputy, Wayne Swan, announced the government's long-awaited tax summit would be held in early October. Ms Gillard said tax cuts were "a live option" from the revenue from the carbon tax and gave her strongest signal yet that petrol would be offset to ease cost-of-living pressures.
Her comments came as Trade Minister Craig Emerson attacked Tony Abbott's vow to repeal the carbon tax as a plan to repeal tax cuts and lower pensions.
But the Opposition Leader said no serious government would advocate introducing a new tax ahead of the October tax summit, which should consider the plan. He labelled the tax-cut recommendation "a tax bribe". "Real tax reform does not rob Peter to pay Paul," Mr Abbott said. "Real tax reform is not taking money out of one pocket to put it in the other pocket."
Ms Gillard, taking aim at the Greens for the second time in a week, described as "a load of old cobblers" commentary suggesting she had only recently discovered a difference between Labor and the minor party.
Asked about her attitudes on social issues, Ms Gillard harked back to her upbringing in Adelaide and agreed that she was a "cultural traditionalist". "I had a pro-union, pro-Labor upbringing in a quite conservative family, in a sense of personal values. I mean we believed in lots of things that are old fashioned in the modern age," she said. "We believed in politeness and thrift and fortitude and doing duty and diligence. These are things that were part of my upbringing. They're part of who I am."
On euthanasia, Ms Gillard said while she could personally understand that people in the end stage of life might want that choice, she had never been satisfied that policy proposals from pro-euthanasia advocates had enough safeguards. On gay marriage, Ms Gillard said: "I do find myself on the conservative side in this question."
Declaring there were "some important things from our past that need to continue to be part of our present and part of our future", Ms Gillard said her view was that the Marriage Act - and marriage being between a man and woman - "has a special status".
Ms Gillard said it was important for people to understand their Bible stories "not because I'm an advocate of religion - clearly I'm not - but once again, what comes from the Bible has formed such an important part of our culture".
"It's impossible to understand Western literature without having that key of understanding the Bible stories and how Western literature builds on them and reflects them and deconstructs them and brings them back together," she said.