Piers Akerman reports on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's use of James McAuley's poem 'The Ascent of Heracles' in the Federal Parliament on 19 October 2010. Gillard was speaking in the debate on Australia's involvement in the war in Afghanistan and used these lines from the poem: '... I never shrank with fear / But fought the monsters of the lower world / Clearing a little space, and time, and light, / For men to live in peace...'
Akerman notes John Kinsella's disapproval of Gillard's use of poetry in the debate. In response, Akerman writes, Kinsella's 'views illustrate the preposterous belief held by the chattering classes that the Left alone has some bizarre sole right to determine which side of politics may use literary references, even when those references are clearly at odds with the Left agenda.'
[Note: Akerman gives the title of the poem as 'The Ascent of Hades'.]