May 30, 2007

selling the farm

rg has given a lot of thought to the should she/shouldn't she debate surrounding therese rein's decision to sell the australian arm of her successful job placement business. there are several points of irritation surrounding the whole affair i'd like to briefly explore.

1) 'clever' headlines, such as "too early to rein on parade", "sacrifice by wife keeps grip firm on rudder", "rudd's wife tries to rein in damage" and a slew of others rg can't be bothered mentioning. note to editors: get over it...please.

2) rein's "kevin comes first" comment. pardon? if rg had an international business worth $170 mil that had been built over 18 years, RG would be coming first, the business second and anyone else could take a deli number, spouse included. a lot of insightful, even-handed and graceful comments have been made by rein over the last week; "kevin comes first" is not one of them.

3) why is this even an issue? rein and rudd have been open about the business, its government involvement insofar as contracts are concerned and the proposition of selling or stepping down should rudd take the mantle of pm. when a problem or an error presents itself, as it has recently in the form of employee contracts, the most successful approach is no doubt to be candid, honest and speedy in rectifying it, as has been evidenced by both rudd and rein - nip it in the bud. rg thinks there's been an extreme overreaction to an 'embarrassing' stuff-up.

4) rg is in a quandary over seeing the actions of therese rein as borderline heroic, and therefore elevating her status as a role model for women, or as detrimental to women and their status in personal and professional roles. the absolute grace with which she has carried and conducted herself - and yes, rg firmly believes this is the best description - is inspiring. but bottom line is, she's given up something precious, valuable and hard-won because of her spouse and what other people might think of her, and him. perhaps rg has a skewed view of australian voters, but my money is on there being a lot of people - especially that 50>% of the population - that would have great respect had she fought to retain on principal.

all that aside, it's early in the campaign and voters have more important things to think about than rein's business affairs. climate change, workchoices, superannuation, health, education...find rg one person who thinks rein's company's auditor's stuff-ups are more important than these and you may have a lollipop.


Legal Eagle said...

Mum reckons she gave up her business too early - Mum said darkly, "I'd really be thinking about my marriage if I were her."

I am stuck in the same quandary as you.

RG - parental politico said...

rudd and rein have been praised for being the modern australian couple - how much more modern can you be than divorced? it's just a sign of the times...

rg wonders how the australian public would react to a pm whose marriage had seen better days.