Julia Gillard

Australian social media flexes its muscle and plays a part in taking down former Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard Prime Ministership ended on Wednesday (26/6/13)  and it worth looking at the role social media played in her down fall as a lot of people underestimate the power of social media. Looking at all of the evidence there is a strong argument to say that social media played the biggest part in forcing the Labor Party to remove Ms Gillard from office.

If you have heard the quote from Julia Gillard “I was young and naïve” in relation to her involvement in the AWU fraud it is because of social media and if you use social media you would have heard “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” to the point of driving you insane. I raise these two examples because one started on this site and they are sound bites that have been used on Twitter, Facebook and the comment sections of Blogs non-stop over the last 2 years.

The mainstream media have found it hard to explain why Julia Gillard’s personal unpopularity dragged down the Labor Party vote so much. The answer is social media and its rise and rise in power.

It was not just the mistakes that Julia Gillard made and promises that she back tracked on or lied about. It was the fact that every mistake or lie, real or not, was pounded and pounded on social media 24hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year for the entire term of her prime ministership on social media.

What is social media?

Wikipedia describes it as “Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks” and “Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, social networks, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking” (Click here to read more) It includes everything from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Blogs.

Julia Gillard dancing 1998 - Joan Kirner's 60th Birthday - Picture found on Twitter

Julia Gillard dancing 1998 – Joan Kirner’s 60th Birthday – Picture found on Twitter

Young and Naïve

Two weeks before the 2007 election Julia Gillard did an interview with News Ltd journalist Glenn Milne in relation to her involvement with her then in the AWU fraud in the 1990’s. One thing she said was that she was “young and naïve”. That is where it stopped until I published a post on the 7th August 2011 and wrote:

Julia Gillard said: “These matters happened between 12 and 15 years ago,” “I was young and naive.” Well Julia Gillard was a partner at the law firm Slater and Gordon and in her mid thirties. Slater and Gordon are not in the habit of appointing young and naive people as partners and being in her mid thirties hardly made her young. (Click here to read the post)

From there social media starting driving the post and quotes from it until the mainstream media picked up on it. One example is a site called Election Now which did a post on the 26/8/11 “Julia Gillard ‘young and naive’ when involved in $1 Million Union fraud case in 2007”. and “UPDATE: Michael Smith of 2UE and Andrew Bolt appear to run with the kangaroocourtofaustralia.” (Click here to read)

The point is for some 4 years from 2007 to 2011 the mainstream media said nothing. It did not take off until I wrote the post and it was driven by people on social media. Because of social media millions of people now know of her “young and naïve” excuse which was ridiculous as well as the broader AWB scandal. It is sound bites like “young and naïve” that can do the most damage to a reputation and drive an issue. Political Parties use sound bites or slogans all the time for good reason.

The above is just one example of the numerous amounts of information on Julia Gillard’s failings that are driven home on social media whether or not the mainstream media do. Only a few years ago there were very few Blogs and no Facebook or Twitter but now they are here they are growing at a rapid pace and there reach and influence is unmatched when enough unite. And unite they did against Julia Gillard.


There are dozens if not hundreds of websites/blogs that specialise in areas such as climate change (Joanne Nova), finance (Barnaby is Right) and this site for example which is judicial corruption. A lot united to some degree in deciding that Julia Gillard and/or the federal Labor Government were a failure. Blogs linked back to each other and picked up on each other’s stories even if the mainstream media did not. It was like a loose coalition with the same cause of holding the government and Julia Gillard to account just in different areas of expertise.

Combine the traffic of all the non-mainstream media Blogs that write about politics and it would be millions of page views per month and then add Facebook and Twitter etc. and you are looking at 20 to 30 million views a month. It is a powerful force when exposing a corrupt government and Prime Minister.

It does not matter who wins the next election whether that be Kevin Rudd or Tony Abbott. They will be getting the same treatment as Julia Gillard on social media and will become very unpopular very quickly. One lie here and one failure there and the social media will unload unrelentingly. The problem for someone like Tony Abbott if he becomes Prime Minister is that there is so much entrenched corruption when he takes over he have to deal with it. If Tony Abbott fails to deal with the corruption then he owns it and will be held accountable accordingly on social media.

Julia Gillard has only been gone a few days and it is almost like she was never there as far as the media is concerned and that is because there are bigger issues confronting this country than Ms Gillard now she has gone. If the political parties do not learn from her downfall and the role social media played in it then they will also suffer. There is a new level of accountability driven by social media which grows by the day and the political parties need to get with the picture. Just sending trolls out to dump their political spin in the comment sections of political websites and blogs will not do.

Individually social media users have no power, but combined they have tremendous power that I believe now outweighs the mainstream media. It is as Paul said in the comment section of a recent post about this site “This is the real media, right here. Its time everyone accepted this and stopped looking to the dailys, and the TV News to be informed. Make this site known far and wide. That is how new media works.”

A few posts back someone said in the comment section words to the effect “what are we going to do just sit around and whinge on this site and do nothing” which is a fair comment. But this site and its supporters have played a part in holding Julia Gillard and the government to account which collectively with other social media has helped in Julia Gillard’s downfall, so we have done more than just whinge.

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33 replies »

    • I think you are spot-on Shane. I have been on KCA for about 2 years and have sent many of your posts to many friends and acquaintances over that time. They in turn have done the same,so the multiplication effect is amazing. The early news about Rolf Harris was not known by my mates in UK for example and most did not believe the early advice as usual but it was correct and now they all look at KCA posts.
      Just keep up the great work Shane particularly reporting on the status of the AWU /Gillard scandal and its progress via VicPol……Thanks mate!

  1. As in all things in life there are good and bad points to social media. A good thing can lead to a bad thing. eg, It is good that the average person has an outlet for their views to be published to a wider group than just friends, it is a bad thing when that leads to the destruction of another persons integrity because that view is based on a lie. Social media is littered with examples of that. Personally, I can’t believe people, young and old, are prepared to expose their personal stuff to such a wide audience and not expect to suffer in some way for doing it. I guess that says that being young or old does not stop you from being naive. (Lawyers are not expected to be naive)
    As for the MSM, they are the instigators of their own downfall. They are doing themselves out of a profession because they are prepared to let their biases overrule the peoples right to be informed of important facts that may sway the way we make judgements, particularly on our leaders. Gillard’s involvement in the AWU-WRA fraud is a classic example of that. Besides the bias of certain journalists and their organisations the Tabloids have also allowed themselves to be bullied into keeping a lid on it. One can only sit in wonderment that so many in the media can be so naive as to think that what they are trying so hard to kept hidden will not eventually become known.
    Watch those same media expose the foibles of a right wing Government.
    Ms Gillard was fortunate that the photo above never got a run in the MSM during her reign. The internet sexist nutjobs would have had a field day.

  2. Morning Shane
    There is no doubt that social media influenced Gillard’s downfall but in my view the greater influences by far were the choices she made. Without these choices social media would not have been empowered to any extent.

    A classic example is the climate bandwagon which drove Rudd’s ETS agenda. Gillard chose to run with the Greens to gain power and this choice determined to a large extent her destiny from the day she posed with Milne and Brown and agreed on a carbon tax. Run down the list quickly and it’s immediately evident that choices and consequences determined what happened to Gillard.

    One issue that stuck in my craw was the Real Julia! Gillard quickly became all about seeming rather than doing, and we the voters were taken for fools on a scale not seen since the Whitlam era!

    It was her decision to rant on with the misogyny speech and her decision to appoint John Mcternan as her advisor and spin doctor. Indeed Mcternan wrote yesterday that “Gillard has faced serial abuse as a woman on a scale I believe is unprecedented in modern politics,” and claimed that “her downfall as Prime Minister was due to a misogynistic culture in Australia that is 30 years behind the UK”

    Sure social media played a role but without Mcternan’s poor assessment of the Australian psyche, Gillard’s choice to appoint him and endless patronising of the voter on a never seen before scale. there would have been much less ammunition. Indeed Gillard and co like Butterfingers Irving have to a large extent gunned themselves down!

  3. Shane, I should add that Gillard and co really pioneered the use of social media in the political arena. Sure the conservative have to some extent caught up but the old adage of dying by the sword surely applies to Gillard and her choice to use social media spin to such an extent. It begs the question what will happen to the real Twitter prima donna as Australia chooses?

    Keep up the good work Shane, you have undoubtedly made a difference!

  4. This is a great site Shane (I send it on also) and my comments are observations that I hope are accepted as on topic! I agree with your Social Media analysis. It is village ‘charivari’ writ large on the planet! The collective ‘we’ are enraged at being treated like idiots; ironic the better educated we become the greater the rage.

  5. Julia bought upon her own demise – the final nail in the coffin was her blue tie speech (inter alia) followed up by the ridiculous knitting pose – we all know Rudd has been reading all our blogs and sites because he has said everything he thinks people want to hear – but he is a liar and failure too

  6. If the social media brought down Gillard it will undo Krudd his cabinet is rotten to the core but the press at the moment are so glossed over that back stabber kev is back they are overlooking his faults and back flips and want to be his best mate. I for one know he’s an opportunist and a bulldust artist if the social media don’t do their job where done for.

  7. This is your chance again Shane. Please expose Kevin Rudd before he takes us further down the road of ‘open borders’ and ‘debt escalation’

  8. There is no doubt that social media contributed to highlighting Ms Gillard’s many ill advised and oft illegal actions. The knitting photo shoot and article by Women’s Weekly the latest and last set of lies/spin to be exposed with Mr 457 saying he was not present at the photo shoot and that it was the magazine’s decision to include the knitting. The evidence showing the lie to his story was the group photo of the day with Mr 457 in the pic. and the journalist who wrote the story contradicting Mr 457’s spin and it was in fact the PMO’s office who decided to include Julia knitting a kangaroo for the royal baby. The words used I believe was that it was a “No Brainer”. Those 2 words say it all. I am sure that poor journo received a very abusive phone call, as many others have, for having the gall to expose the truth. Moderator: Rest deleted as off topic.

  9. The social media in today’s society could allow the general population to almost turn the planet backwards. In days gone by, people were unable to ‘see behind the scenes’ because there was only TV news and newspapers. Sites like this and comment ‘boxes’ for articles in newspapers, etc; allow people to have their say, and get to the nitty-gritty of politics, judiciary et al.
    The pen was always mightier than the sword, now we have ‘electronic’ pens.
    Good work, Shane, much appreciated.

  10. I agree with you Shane that the social media played a part in Julia Gillard’s demise as prime minister. Your posts on Gillard & others close to her destroyed any little credibility she ever had as a person and as the prime minister. Social media is the most powerful media outlet in Australia today, the mainstream media has fallen into a hole where they are controlled by self interest, political interest, idiological interest etc. I agree with you Shane as well that Rudd or Abbott will definetly face the same scrutiny whoever wins the next election. Social media tells the truth on politicans, business people, law people, sports etc. Thank you Shane for exposing Julia Gillard in your posts including the August 7th 2011 post which has started a chain of events which may lead to Gillard’s arrest by the Victorian police and a likely Royal commission in the corruption of unions.

  11. I enjoy reading your posts and absolutely appreciate the research you produce to support your views. So, thankyou. I too circulate your Page to my contacts.
    I do have one comment about the present situation though – what is that old saying “out of the frying pan and into the fire”? I just hope the right one is heading for the fire and not the very gullible public!

  12. Well, all I can say, Ms Julia Gillard had to go. Lets hope the inappropriate behaviour in Parliament, which is a very bad example to our future generation ceases. Let’s have our say, but in a manner acceptable to all. RESPECT.

  13. Hi Shane; being able to blog is my only social contact here in the bush. Your site plus others feed off comments made by some who should simply keep their hands busy elsewhere. We most times glean knowledge because of someones ineptness on twitter etc. I don’t have time for that rubbish having run a successful business for 30+ years.

  14. I think Shane that one thing that has been achieved through the use of Social and other new media is the preservation of political moments that have traditionally been forgotten within weeks (the “Short Memory of the Australian Electorate” syndrome). “Young and Naive” stands as a prime example of a meme that has persisted through reminder and repetition, that would otherwise have fallen down the memory hole. The Game is changing fast and the old Gatekeepers are losing their hold.

  15. Hi Shane, congratulations are certainly in order for your part in the demise of our most crooked PM although you and your colleagues had some valuable assistance from the victim. Your slogan derived from her words of mitigation,”young and naive” ring loud in the ears and digging up all that AWU corruption certainly planted seeds of doubt in he deplorable behaviour. Yes of all the colunms written over her term in the top job yours was the most researched and the most endearing to the reader, affecting me for one to the extent of feeling sick that she seems to be getting away with all her crimes. Just because she has gone from government and can do no more damage to the country,you must not give up your persistant resolve in seeing justice done. Allan from Myalup WA.

  16. I always thought that her social media profile was badly managed by McTernan and the “kids” in her office. Trying to boost her public profile via social media just made her a bigger target to have all her gaffs dredged up off youtube and re-broadcast again and again.
    “failure is not an option”, “there will be no carbon tax” + about 1 billion AWU vids…..
    Life was easier for them when the people did not know as much about them.

    • Shane. It is more apparent now why the Federal Government wanted to sanction and sensor sites on the Internet. They would have taken the Chinese Communist action and closed down any site which in any way what so ever condemned or discolored the Government, Parliamentary Members, or any Laws or Government Actions which this Bunch of no hoppers would have brought in. Free Speech would have been out the window and those who use the social media would have been hog tied.
      It might be a bit of an exaggeration, but how long before the mid night calls at the front door from their henchmen would it be if they had have got away with it?
      The Social Media will remain alert and will bring to the fore any discoloration to the truth, past, present and future which any of these Pollies attempt to bring in.
      There are fare to many from all sides of the Political Spectrum to stop any of it now, and the sooner the Pollies wake up to it the sooner this country will get back on it’s feet. The Great Australian Dream, is now to have an Honest and Truthful Parliament / Government in each state, as well as Federal.
      Is that a Dream or is it an Hallucination? The Law’s that people should be pushing for, is Zero Tolerance across the board, and Secret Ballots amongst all Unions. I feel that these two acts would stop a lot of corruption amongst organizations.

    • Its true. One thing that sets the ‘Net apart from all past media is the capacity for real-time archiving of data in every home that is simply accessed through a Net connection. I often revisit past articles here (and elsewhere), which leads to Engine searches, Youtube etc. We have the capacity to be the most politically aware generation ever if we use new media to its potential, and, I would suggest, we have a responsibility to the future to do so.

  17. I for one am very happy to have been a supporter of your site Shane and am proud of what small part I may have played in Gillard’s downfall. I hope I can be an ever bigger part in Rudd’s downfall and that we can bring it about even quicker. Three years more of Rudd is a horror too frightening to contemplate.

  18. Gillard got herself into the situation where she was more or less hunted. There was an anticipation of “drama” with every passing moment. Much like Kites (raptors) will head towards a forest fire to pick off the escaping wildlife, the media and paramedia, ensured she would eventually meet her end as Prime Minister……..of course there is no discounting the effect of her “poor” relationship with Kevin Rudd.

    Abbott similarly suffers at the hands of the media but he is a more hypothetical proposition (the alternative government), he makes himself a small target by only amplifying that which the media have already targeted. By making himself a small target though, he doesn’t make any use of the positive aspects that one might gain from it’s usage.

    This pack phenomenon also occurred with John Howard to a certain extent but has grown exponentially since. Politicians are adapting and seem to fear the recorded word more than anything else. Now leaders utter outright ambiguity as gospel.

    • Not sure what you mean. To me it is straight forward. . . The MSM let JG get away with lies and deceit until the social media and Albabese’s people of ‘no consequents’ (I am one.. been to every protest) gathered strength. Shane, you have illustrated the wrongs and strengthened our resolve with the research I cannot do. Together we all have a huge scalp.

  19. now we just have to do the same to get rid of Rudd thanks Shane you have done a great job.It makes a big difference when you have something like social media to air your opinion.

    • I’m going to correct you here Lindsay…

      Sites like this and other social media often air the FILTHY TRUTH and not just mere OPINIONS – if they were not backed up by irrefutable facts then the criminals’ lawyers would be all over this site and anyone who posts anything against them. Even innocent mistakes like this are grabbed by them and used to their advantage. And don’t forget that those who are (innocently) ignorant of the truth may never wake up to the despicable reality if this vital information is presented to them as just “opinions”.

  20. Hello Shane I hope all is well with you.I made a small donation to your NAB acct recently.
    Thank You for educational info you share unselfishly.I appreciate* it.
    All the very best to you and your loved ones.

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