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Julia Gillard had some hard words for her critics

Calm, confident and reasoned, Julia Gillard had some hard words for her critics in an exclusive interview with Ray Martin on the Nine Network to publicise her book My Story. They were directed at Alan Jones, the Canberra Press Gallery, the harshness of the public critique and those who chose to judge her on personal issues not political ones.

Julia Gillard. Photography by Grant Matthews. Styling by Judith Cook. © The Australian Women's Weekly.
For talkback king Alan Jones who joked that the then PM’s father had “died of shame”, Julia had nothing but derision. "There’s nothing I can say that would be kind about Mr Jones. He intruded on my family’s grief when we lost my father. I had to ring my sister to go and speak to mum because I knew it was going to be a huge public issue. It was a disgraceful thing. Unforgivable.” Of Jones’s eventual apology, Gillard said: “It was mealy-mouthed in the extreme [and made] only after he’d been put under commercial pressure because so many people were disgusted."
About leaving political life she told Ray Martin, "I miss some of it dreadfully… It’s the end of the hardest thing you’ll ever do and the end of the best thing you’ll ever do all rolled into one." But she also admitted she felt "relief in being free of some of the more stressing parts of the job" and the weight and responsibilities of the Prime Ministership.
Julia Gillard was emphatic about the strength of her relationship with partner Tim Mathieson. "There was always Tim in the mornings. It was Tim I would turn to and Tim I would have the first conversations with and it’s still like that." And while life in The Lodge with its servants and staff felt strange, Julia said she and Tim made a clear choice about their behaviour. "You could pretend you were poncing around in Downton Abbey or you could make it an extended family and Tim and I did that."
She underlined that as an atheist, marriage has not been the right option for her and that while she believed in marriage for those of faith she still didn’t believe in same sex marriage. That said: "I accept that the course of human history now is that we are going to see same sex marriage here and in most parts of the developed world," she said.
On her decision to stand by politician Craig Thompson in his claims of innocence facing an enquiry into his misappropriation of funds to pay for prostitutes, the former Prime Minister sounded a little naïve. "Whenever I talked to Mr Thompson he would give you clear denials. Not one flicker in any part of his body showed anything but a passionate sense of his innocence."
And while underling that the tape of Kevin Rudd’s expletive filled tirade did not come from her office she admitted: "I saw him conduct himself like that towards others."
Julia Gillard cried when she realised she was going to stand against Mr Rudd but her steely determination and support from colleagues carried her through.
She stands by her famous misogyny speech and says of Prime Minister Tony Abbott today that he is "Clive Palmer’s slave".
It was a predictably controlled interview showing both the strength and the vulnerability of Julia Gillard… and a pretty good marketing tool for her book.

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