Sunday, 1 April 2007

Julia Gillard would be the next prime minister if I had my druthers. No other politician thinks on her/his feet as fast as the shadow minister for industrial relations. Her reputation is enviable and she puts fear into the hearts of government MPs.

But she's a politician and there's an election due in six months or so. The Australian Womens Weekly is the top-selling magazine in this mag-mad country, with a circulation over 600,000. Gillard would be mad to pass up a chance to feature in its pages.

And because she's not, she hasn't. The Sunday Telegraph columnist Sandra Lee has a few digs at Gillard today, listing the three outfit changes Gillard undertakes for an 'exclusive' feature in the AWW.

There she is wearing a Sussan top and Jan Logan earrings on one page; a Perri Cutten jacket, top and jeans with different earrings on another; and a third look featuring yet another fetching Sussan top — this one in a crisp white — in a beachside tableau with a rowboat, rope and boyfriend for props.

Boyfriend Tim Mathieson's outfits are also elencated.

For his part, Tim has three outfit changes, too, swapping from a sharp Paul Smith shirt to one by Ted Baker and a third from Country Road, all teamed with a snappy pair of Diesel jeans.

No wonder Gillard complains. But you can't expect anything else from The Telegraph, which is devoutly tabloid.

Also in the news is Maxine McKew, erstwhile telejournalist who is now facing a preselection battle for a chance to represent the voters of Bennelong as a Labor MP. She's interviewed by Caroline Overington for a five-page feature in this weekend's The Weekend Australian Magazine.

McKew was brought into the Labor fold recently, having worked for decades at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where she was very popular as an interviewer. She also wrote a column for The Bulletin, the struggling but serious weekly magazine.

Bennelong is the prime minister's seat. He has held it since the mid-70s. But recent boundary changes have reduced his margin to just over four per cent.

Because preselection has yet to take place, McKew has not appeared in the press much.

McKew agrees to be interviewed provided it is made clear that she has not yet won preselection; she would hate anybody in Bennelong or the Labor Party to think she simply presumes she will get it. There is a proper process to go through, and McKew — the kind of person who would not serve a cup of tea without a matching saucer — intends to go through it.

Like Gillard, McKew has no children, which is an indication of the kinds of sacrifices that women routinely make if they do. She says she wants to be "involved in the significant national debates".

This feature, in a weekend supplement mag that caters to both genders, is less compromising than Gillard's, which is in a mag devoted to the female sex. There are no surprises, just background about her childhood, her current partner (she's also not married), and her realisation of the changes that public scrutiny brings.

1 comment:

Meredith Jones said...

I'm with you on Gillard, she's strong and fabulous. Love that she wore Sussan rather than Collette Dinnigan (obviously a smart political choice, but still...) And gee, if McKew ousted Howard she'd just be my heroine for ever and ever. I dare not even contemplate it, actually - too exciting!