“Our national story is shaped by what endures from a government as well as what is rejected,” wrote Gillard for The Guardian.
The former PM goes on to list the features of “modern Australia”; Medicare (universal healthcare scheme) – which was introduced by the Whitlam government – which was revoked by the Coalition and then introduced by Labor again. This scheme can be seen as a significant part of Australia’s national story, that no candidate would be taken seriously if they dared oppose it.
Another feature being the way in which Labor, working with the trade union movement, was able to win the battle on workplace relations – even exceeding, in Julia’s opinion, the United States and the United Kingdom’s pro-worker national attitude.
Julia Gillard states that, “as Labor leader, nothing was more important to me than winning this education fight and creating opportunity for all our children, It is a source of pride to me… that we have prevailed so decisively and written this next chapter of our national story.”
Gillard’s education reforms fought for transparency, quality, national curriculum, national standards, and funding. Gillard strongly believes future parties who care about education – she hopes, will continue to back these ideas.
She goes on to also praise Australia’s revolutionary ideals on disability care – Gillard believes that “the Coalition has never proposed a social institution of this scale and in government it would never have committed to a national disability insurance scheme.
“It would have stymied the national conversation and prevented the nation getting to the moment of change.”
Gillard labels he ousting as a clear sign that the party “cared about nothing other than the prospects of survival of its members of parliament at the polls”.
She proceeds to argue that Labor, as a party, should focus on discussing their “purpose, not just your critique of the other side.”
She feels that as a party, Labor, should continue to back significant policies which may not be within the general political consensus – mainly carbon pricing. Gillard stresses that “Climate change is real. Carbon should be priced.”
“Labor is on the right side of the history on carbon pricing and must hold its course.”
She discusses her time during the global financial crisis and how she believes Labor made the right call on some of the larger economic problems, noting that throughout the past six years Australia was the envy of the advanced Western economies.
“Labor should fight for its economic reputation,” she concludes.
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