Do unto others …

Steve Walz writes: Forget Origin games, politics must be the toughest game of all. Polls turned against Rudd, Gillard punched him in the face and took his job.

Rudd undermined his own party at every opportunity. Abbott mastered the primary job of opposition — to oppose — and made fear and lies his stock in trade (“Whyalla will be wiped off the map”, “the economy is overloaded with massive debt”, “carbon tax will be a wrecking ball through the economy”, “we can stop the boats”). Facts became irrelevant in almost all of our public discourse. Great nation-changing policy (NDIS, NBN, Gonski, Murray Darling solution) didn’t seem to matter. Media establishment and the shock-jocks didn’t like a woman pulling the strings. Murdoch had spoken, and his editors fell into line. Gillard’s mistakes were costly (deals with the Greens, Peter Slipper, media reform, promising a surplus, mining tax).

Politics turned personal and nasty (“send those illegals back to where they came from”, “ditch the witch”, “put her in a chaff bag and take her our to sea”). Polls turned against Gillard, Rudd punched her in the face and took her job. Discussion of the actual reasons for all this is too complex for a few sentences.

I feel very sorry for Gillard — she deserved better. She’s earned great credit and will be treated well by history. However, she got what she gave Rudd. Everyone who works in politics knows that they live and die by the same sword.

More importantly, why would people of genuine capability want to put themselves through this and go into politics? There are other ways to make a contribution to your country.

Politics only if you’re willing to punch someone in the face, and cop the same treatment back.

Chai Nuestro writes: What lesson can our labor politicians learn from our ex-PM Gillard’s experience?  It has nothing to do with gender: it is the simple, universal golden rule: do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you.  So current PM Rudd, watch out!

A fond farewell

Elizabeth Tindle writes: I and many others are very sad at the loss of our great leader. She was nothing short of brilliant in the way she achieved major change for the less fortunate in Australian society, with scarcely a majority in parliament. Her final speech should be remembered and go down in history to rival that of Winston Churchill. Many of us feel a deep gratitude to this amazing person who was not appreciated.

Gold stars for Rundle

Tom Moloney writes: Re. “Rundle: love is tearing Labor apart” (yesterday). Rundle says it again. The low row of shops near the station is wonderful. The skivvies-and-guitars churches is B-, the tungsten mine is A-, but the shops is A+.

Whatever terms this man demands, you must keep him.