As the burr of the vuvuzelas leaves the stadiums in South Africa and rings out from the TV into my living room, I feel all the excitement surrounding the World Cup, but also a sense that something is missing. There is one avid fan who isn’t watching this Cup: my father.
David Phoon, my father, was a football tragic. During the 2006 World Cup in Germany, my father was up in the early hours of the morning watching any and every game he could. I, who watched soccer occasionally but was no fanatic, sat at an amused distance, mystified by his deep love of the game.
Seventy-five years old, he would catch up on sleep during the day, often sitting in the same position on the couch where he had watched the soccer just hours beforehand. You could tell he was asleep because he emitted a loud snore that rivalled the din of any vuvuzela…
Eureka Street is well worth a visit for its own sake. I note a 31 May article there that is even more relevant this morning: Julia vs Kevin.
Gillard would have the confidence that stems from public popularity demonstrated by opinion polls. She had more support than Rudd among the anti-Beazley forces in 2006. She is regarded as a minister who has performed well in a super-sized portfolio. The strength of her parliamentary performances in the bear pit is widely applauded.
But would her colleagues destabilise a second term Labor government to install her? That is highly doubtful, especially given her place on the Left within the factions. Rudd, whatever the size of his victory, might have seen off yet another opposition leader and would have an impressive number of scalps to his credit. He could point to Howard who squeaked back into office in 1998 before embarking on a long career as prime minister.
Gillard is caught in the terrible position of knowing that her best chance of becoming prime minister might be from opposition. This would mean Labor losing in 2010 and rising from the ashes in 2013 under her leadership. That is a risky proposition.
Well, now we all await 9am with bated breath.