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Is Gillard's support designed to win theirs?
Steve Hitstirrer
13:00 AEST Thu Aug 5 2010

Steve Hitstirrer is a well-travelled, sports-hardened, armchair expert, prepared to tear the scab off a whole range of sporting wounds. Love him or hate him, you’ll find indifference is not an option.
Steve Hitstirrer
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  Have your say on politicians and sport.

I felt uncomfortable watching Australia's first female Prime Minister embedded in the Western Bulldogs inner circle, deep in the bowels of Etihad Stadium on the weekend, as the club celebrated a huge victory by belting out their club song. Julia Gillard is the Bulldogs' No1 ticket holder and if she kept her word she'd be playing full forward for them, but I had reason to feel uneasy about the whole situation.

My question is; which came first, Julia's love of the Bulldogs or her western suburbs electorate? And if not for the latter would there be the former?

Not that I am suggesting that Ms Gillard would be the first and only politician to adopt a sporting passion purely because it suited their political ambitions. You only have to go back as far as the recently deposed Kevin Rudd to find a man who discovered a love of sport when it best suited his agenda. K-Rudd claimed to be a diehard Broncos/Lions/Reds/Maroons fan who loved his cricket in the summer when in reality he had never heard of any of those things until his spin machine suggested it might win him a few votes.

Before any of us knew what was going on, we had K-Rudd rugged up in maroon scarves at everything from Lions matches to State of Origin clashes. He nervously giggled his way through matches until his charade was finally torn down when he was seen applauding the excellent flagmenship of goal umpires at the Gabba. I'm willing to bet that you wont see K-Rudd at another footy match this season.

Little Johnny Howard was a well-known sports tragic. One look at his authentic Wallabies tracksuit told you he was 100 per cent legitimate in his love of sport. Johnny was a diehard St George Illawarra Dragons fan even though his electorate was in the heart of Tigers country.

Johnny's downfall was that he believed he could still play sport. The nation has never been as embarrassed on the world stage as the day Johnny lined up on a dusty park somewhere in Pakistan and proceeded to bowl a cricket ball directly into his left sock.

Paul Keating was clearly the greatest treasurer and Prime Minister this country has ever seen. You need only ask him to have that claim confirmed. A lanky, bookish man, Keating looked more like an undertaker's accountant than the average bloke at a football match. When pushed he once claimed a firm love of all things Collingwood, obviously hoping to look more like a man of the people by aligning himself with the AFL's most supported club. Any thought of Keating sitting at the MCG in a black and white scarf with a pie in his hand was blown away when he said that he hoped to see Collingwood "kick a try".

Politicians trying to gain an advantage by putting on a face they believe to be more attractive to voters. It has been happening since Laurie Oakes was a boy and it won't stop any time soon.

I just hope that our first female Prime Minister has a real love of the Western Bulldogs that goes deeper than a spin doctor's recommendation. I'd like to think she at least fell in love with them after seeing a scarf, beanie and moccasin wearing constituent who promised her his vote in exchange for a hearty "carn 'Dogs!!"

Now you can follow the Hitstirrer on Twitter - http://twitter.com/SteveHitstirrer

Take a stroll back through Hitstirrer's greatest hits

Is Julia Gillard's passion for the Western Bulldogs a marriage of convenience?
Is it just good to see her sharing the common man's passion?
Can you really believe anything a politician does?

User comments
Julia Gillard is compared to water. She will take the path of least resistance. She bowed to the unions and look what happened to poor old Kev..shafted. She will be next if Labour get in. Looking at all the antics of the Three Stooges I am afraid we are going to be stuck with her until she gets "Shortened". I cant believe the Australian people can be so stupid as to make the same mistake twice. Time to put your money under the mattress. Wait til the Labourites make a move on your super when they run oput of money.Watch them.
If Julia is true to say she supports the Dogs and footy then there would also be a history going back to South Australia. Would the AFL Doggies be a 'loyal' switch from the SAFL Central Districts Doggies ie red white and blue - truely as best as one can be loyal? Any genuine footy links would have a barrackers trail of evidence wouldn't - so journos' go find.
This sudden passion she supposedly has for football and "moving Australia forward" is as phony as her support and admiration for her Prime Minister KRUDD, it was only the afternoon before she slipped him the Knife that she swore that there was no challenge and he had her loyalty and was behind him(RUDD) 100%. Guess 100% wasn't coming from the REAL JULIA. Australia unfortunatly will rue the day she becomes elected.
Julia is told what she likes and attends events she is told to attend by the Labor puppetmasters. The whole labor party smells of fakeness and Ms.Gillard is the face of it all. Ms.Gillard and the Labor party are trying to swoon voters by trying to show they are really in touch with the Australian public. Fortunately, the Australian public is not that gullible. God help this country if Labor get in again, we will be in it deep.
Sadly the people get the govt they deserve, and you can be almost sure Gillard will fall over the line. Ask the people of NSW what it is like to live under the people who run Gillard. Our state is a basketcase and soon so will our country. They will go on just the same as they are now, fighting, backstabing, the unions trying to muscle in on running the country, and you can almost be sure of a another change of leadership as Shorten makes his run, meanwhile the loony greens will be running the senate. Go look up their websight if you really want to scare yourself.
Political leaders going to sporting matches is nothing out of the ordinary in this country. So not out of the norm I don't even see how it is newsworthy. I am far more concerned with their policy than their sport affiliations. I wish people would stop listening to slogans and 5 second sound bites and do some actual research. Don't just take the sound bites as the gospel. I have looked at lots of comments for the worlds leading economists, the ones who have no affiliation to any of our political sides and nothing to gain by presenting the information in any way other than factual. Any moron can say I will do it better, but the reality is can they and how will they. Along with good financial management should come social responsibility. We don't just pay taxes so that govenment can tell us how much of our money they have squirrelled away.
I am confused. Gillard admits being an atheist, that's her prerogative, however when Rudd was in hospital she said (on TV)that she was praying for his recovery. Since she doesn't believe in God, who was she praying to? Was she trying to gain a few votes from those who do believe, or was this just another of her shallow comments?
Did anyone see Abbotts speech today? I must say he has really surprised me. Is it me or does he seem to be getting better and better with each day of this campaign. If he keeps going this way Julia may well line up at full forward next year with Barry Hall in one pocket and Aker(back by Julia's clout) in the other forward pocket. Now wouldn't that be a sight.
Julia in the team circle is no different to John Howard in the dressing room after any test match at the cricket. Yes the vast majority of Australians love their sport, but this is all a part of the circus that is the publicity machine. Take it with a pinch of salt.
What I thought about JULIA at the Western Bulldogs match was MATHEW RICHARDSON asking the players who they were going to vote for in the election. Obviously his leftie mates at channel 7 asked him to do so. Sport and politics should not mix. She pranced around like a raving idiot singing the song. HOPEFULLY SHE AND HER LEFTWING MATES WILL BE GONE SOON.
Are people stupid... She is a fraud. She follows what is good for her, NOT AFL.... she is the modern day politician and has nothing in common with the average person. Not married No Kids A Pom Supports mainly minority groups The hairdresser boyfriend, or is he??? She is also run by the same people who run NSW... How could any sensible family person vote for someone who has not been married or had kids, without at least one of them you have not lived, regardless of what sex you are.
Leave her alone. She has been a Doggies supporter for a long time. Go slam the libs - they deserve it more than than labour. Julia you have my vote!
She said on before the game that back in the early 1980s she was working for slater and gordon who at the time took a major part in the Footscray fightback. Ever since then she has been a doggie. You may call it political gain, but I think it is just plain common sense. Why would you go for Collingwood or something when your seat is in the middle of bulldog land?
phoney tony gets in , the world and the labors voters will have the last laugh, (watch him in G20). no nation building, no risk , no defeicit and plenty of pork barreling. money to miners and murdouch. off shore. good luck.
Gillard's association with the Western Bulldogs is purely for show. She only became a member because Slater & Gordon 'encouraged' all their staff to join when Peter Gordon was president of the club in the mid 80s early 90s. This is old news and most dogs fans know this already.
Julia support!!!! She supports nothing!!! She does as she is told by the left wing commos that now run this country. They have stuffed NSW & QLD about to do the same to this great country of our, and it will be all mainly thanks to you people from down south. Did you not know she also follows the new western Sydney team where there is a very marginal seat out Campbelltown way. Hello.....
Here we go again,all lies and a con artist.Julia Gillard is fake,she and Kevin was buddies and made this failed decisions,to come out and say its no me,my voice was never heard,that's all lies
Jeez, lighten up. JG - just another footy fan who follows a team. Leave the fanatacism to others.
No it's as fake as she is.
Its a damning sign that the spin Dr's keep thinking that to be a politician is be popular at any cost. Are the australian public really that guillable?Appearing here and there like vapourware at any function and kissing babies is surely not a vote winning exercise. Is there anyone dumb enough to believe anything that any of them say? What about running the country. Dont talk about surplus which is meaningless while we are in debt up to our eyeballs, and how can you pay for welfare if business and taxpayers are dis incented to work hard and pay tax or worse move offshore where hard workers and entrenpreneurs are rewarded? Left wing socialist vs those who work hard get rewarded for it, with support for the TRULY vulnerable not the scum who scam welfare. The liberals are responsible for getting Australia through the GFC not the labour party who smugly took the credit. Ask yourself where the money came from and whre is it now? Not a cent on any menaingful infrastructure, a stupid waste.
clearly, any pollie who declares themself to be a die hard fan of Collingwood is one of either two things. A one eyed magpies supporter, or, oblivious. While we may be the biggest club with the biggest and strongest following, we are also the most hated. the latter is because of the former, and the former is due to the latter. No, i tink pollies should stay well clear of sports, unless genuinely a tragic, like poor johnny. (and even tony, i guess) Anna Bligh (qld premier) announced today that because the AFL may have to move the grand final due to a clash with cricket, that they are welcome to hold it at the GABBA, a clearly unsuitable ground to hold such an event. proving that she hasnt a clue about sport.
She didn't know the words to the theme song.
You're a ***. What a lame article
If anyone can tell me Gillard is an honest polly I would send them to the nearest hospital. She has no interest in any sport it is a common ruse that labour has always used . She was prepared to lie and cheat to remove Rudd so I do not have to think twice whether she would be honest to any other Australian especially if you are not a labour member or a unionist. Please vote out labour.
Bulldog of nsw, what fairyland do you live in. Who gives a toss about a teams song. the only people that sing them are the nuffies with no friends who spend all week making those pathetic banners that the players despise. Seriously, if i am a player would i prefer to run thru a wall of toilet paper or a group of cheerleaders waving their pom poms at me..... Anyway, I think Gillard is perfectly suited to the Bulldogs - the way Brad Johnson knifed Akermanis in the back showed all the skill of a federal politician!
I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANYTHING GENUINE ABOUT ANY POLITICIAN
I think her passion is real. I know people who have long supported clubs but dont sing the club song as its not there thing the game is. Also if she wanted to win votes she could have picked team with a massive following like Collingwood, Carlton or Essendon not the Bulldogs LOL
I am a very devoted Bulldog Fan and I know the song very well all Ms Gillard could sing was the last line, if you are a devoted bulldogs or any other team fan you would know their whole team song so as far as I am concerned she is a fake as a $3 bill and she was trying it on as a vote catcher. Won't work as devoted bulldog fans can see through that facade. Go Doggies for all the true devoted bulldog fans
Oi Andy in Adelaide, do your research Example Labor in Queensland, Bligh made Huge mess over Traveston Dam, trying sell off Assets and again labor got Queensland in Huge Debt, and they always talking about trying fix hospitals and schools in every election time, does nothing Again Action Speaks Louder then Words, and to top it off Peter Garrett and the whole of Labor party Knows about the Insulation Buggle and school Halls pay attention what they did with allthat money You Labor voters wake up we are paying for there mistakes and Children in long run
who cares?


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