A triumph/defeat

It’s never seemed more like there are two completely different Australias than today, with right-wingers declaring that yesterday’s speech by Julia Gillard was a “disaster” for the PM (the far-right Australian calls it an “embarrassing finale” and declares that the “PM will rue bad call”); and, for their part, the broad left declaring it a “triumph” cheering Gillard for an “inspiring” speech that finally makes them proud of the PM.

It’s like a Rorschach test. Apparently you see what you want to see.

That’s either a devastatingly powerful speech or her “acting like some cheap fish-wife”, depending on who’s in your twitter feed.

Which interpretation will sink in with swinging voters, and which will turn out to be hopeful self-delusion, we’ll have to see in a fortnight.

Meanwhile, the Liberals and Labor voted together to slash the pension for the poorest families in the country. The national media barely noticed.

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45 responses to “A triumph/defeat

  1. The comments yesterday on Gillard’s speech left me feeling schizophrenic.
    Today’s MSM seem to be routinely against Gillard although this post in The Punch was a surprise:

    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/gillard-wins-a-verbal-stoush-and-maybe-an-election-too/

  2. It appears that Gillard’s speech has become worldwide news:

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/gillards-misogynist-abbott-blast-echoes-around-world/story-fncynkc6-1226492464967?fb_action_ids=410801018975511&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map={%22410801018975511%22%3A238293052963140}&action_type_map={%22410801018975511%22%3A%22og.recommends%22}&action_ref_map=[]

  3. narcoticmusing

    Good on her – it’s good to see her showing up Abbot for the sexist pig he is.

  4. I can’t believe she left out the “women don’t have an absolute right to refuse sex” thing.

  5. Go Julia! More of that please!

  6. I can’t believe she left out the “women don’t have an absolute right to refuse sex” thing.

    Mr Rabbit actually said something like that!? :o

  7. Splatterbottom

    This is certainly a tale of two narratives.

    The Jezebel crowd and their ilk – EDIT – are beside themselves with joy, as are the Australian media toadies gleefully spruiking Gillard’s international notice in such an august American publication. Apparently the pinnacle of prime-ministerial perfection is to ascend to the status of “badass motherfucker”.

    The idiot end of the leftist spectrum celebrated the PM’s infantile rant, whooping it up, hooting and hollering in an orgy of EDIT, they lapped up the PM’s righteous anger (EDIT).

    Meanwhile those with the capacity for thought and analysis, including journalists with an independent (not to say leftist) cast of mind, people like Hartcher, Albereci and Sales saw the speech in context. Here was a PM faced with a choice to support or oppose a Speaker of the House revealed through his own words as a rancid misogynist. The PM’s reaction was to support this rotten compromised individual and to do so by making a vicious personal attack on her political opponent. Not only that, the basis of her attack was Abbott’s alleged sexism. She flaunted her stinking hypocrisy in the most flagrant manner imaginable.

    Unable to commend her for taking a principled position, the idiocracy celebrated her gangsta cred – a badass motherfucker indeed. Meanwhile back in the real world Hartcher observed:

    JULIA GILLARD confronted a stark choice yesterday – the political defence of her parliamentary numbers, or the defence of the principle of respect for women.

    She chose to defend her numbers. She chose power over principle. It was the wrong choice. It was an unprincipled decision and it turned out not to be pragmatic either. The Prime Minister gained nothing and lost a great deal…

    The moment Gillard rose to defend Slipper and keep him in office, she chose to defend the indefensible, to excuse the inexcusable.

    This is an accurate and clear-headed analysis of what happened and this is what independent observers will take from this. Even the Jezebel crowd may, EDIT, come to understand that this is just another example of Gillard choosing power over principle. They may even see Gillard’s rant for what it is – another example of the only card she has left to play – the vindictive personal attack, the character assassination of her opponent.

    EDIT: SB, there’s only so much filth I’m prepared to tolerate in my comment threads. Keep it reasonable.

  8. narcoticmusing

    Mr Rabbit actually said something like tha
    Yes, it was the same night he also said of homosexauls that we should adopt a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy for people who want to attend church.

    What he said:
    this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak
    While he attempted to ‘balance’ it with sex not being a right for men to demand, it is completely male-centric view that says the woman is passive with no sexual desire and her consent is not important; similarly it complements the offensive view that women should cover up because it men have some uncontrollable urge for sex. It is a prehistoric view that is consistent with victim blaming mentality.

    It is these sorts of views that say ‘she asked for it’ or that there is a ‘letigitmate’ form of rape that requires massive injuries and fighting back – this whole old school idea of ‘protecting one’s chastity’. It is not consistent with our current understanding or laws on rape and its impact on the victim. Rape is about denying the person choice as to their sexual activity. And quite frankly, these sort of standards would never be applied to a man.

    If a man went to a bar looking for sex and even dressed for it; no one would say ‘he was asking for it’ if he was then raped. Imagine, if it were a man bent over a car being gang raped by the rugby team? Noting that most rapes of both men and women are still committed by men (not at all suggesting men are rapists btw) if this guy at the pub was raped by a man, the rapist could not defend himself with “well you were going to the pub looking for sex”. That would be an outrageous defence, yet we see it all the time for women – if she goes to the pub looking for sex, apparently that suddenly undermines her ability to choice who/if/when she has sex at all. If a man was asleep and/or so drunk he was unable to consent, no one would say that wasn’t ‘legitimate’ if some guy penetrated him while he slept. Yet, if it is a woman a thousand and one excuses come up.

    Utterly repugnant for a Minister for Health and leader of Opposition.

    Source: See the transcripts on: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2514401.htm

  9. “people like Hartcher, Albereci and Sales saw the speech in context”

    In THEIR narrow scope of context. Bernard Keane sums it up here:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/10/11/is-the-social-media-fury-at-the-press-gallery-misplaced/

  10. Splatterbottom

    Ronson, I am not in doubt that the Jezebel crowd are a significant number, but that noisy mindless minority were never going to vote for Abbott anyway. It is mostly those who ignore the context, particularly Gillard’s monumental hypocrisy, who think she has improved her standing.

    The only people likely to change their opinion in her favour are those who hear the Gillard soundbite without realising that she was at that very time in the act of supporting the rancid sexist Peter Slipper.

    Hartcher got it right. She chose power over principle. No one has advanced a rational argument to the contrary.

  11. What are you talking about, Sb? You’re defending Abbott’s public pronouncements by demanding someone be sacked for private remarks.

    And frankly Slipper was doing a lot less damage as a Speaker than as a voting MP.

  12. Splatterbottom

    Slipper appeared to be reasonably impartial as a speaker, Jeremy. But you seem to think that rank sexism and grotesque misogyny are OK as long as they are confined to personal messages which are part of a process of grooming a subordinate. And I’m not commenting on Abbott’s pronouncements, but Gillard’s stinking hypocrisy.

    Clearly Slipper cannot carry on once his attitude to women becomes public. How can any female member of parliament have confidence in him?

  13. It is mostly those who ignore the context, particularly Gillard’s monumental hypocrisy, who think she has improved her standing.

    And it’s mostly those who ignore Abbott’s monumental hypocrisy who think the opposite. But they were never going to vote for Gillard anyway.

  14. But you seem to think that rank sexism and grotesque misogyny are OK

    Define “ok”. I wouldn’t vote for him. I’d rather he wasn’t an MP. I certainly don’t think he’s a decent person. I wouldn’t be his mate.

    But, thanks to the Coalition, he has a vote in the HoR. Putting him in the Speaker’s chair is the most effective way of stopping him using it, of preventing his anti-women views from actually affecting legislation.

    Nobody voted that he was an OK bloke, someone they liked. They voted to stop him being forced back into the voting benches where his vote could do damage.

  15. PS, SB – pretty lame to take content from a sex advice column and pretend that the sexual questions asked by random readers give you a reasonable description of anyone writing at Jezebel.

  16. Good god above. SB, how can you flaunt Hartcher’s article – which by the way had to be edited because it contained phrases so blatantly misogynistic they wouldn’t even repeat it and just referred to it as – “a reference to the Prime Minister” – as clear-headed analysis?

    Not only that, but the Prime Minister was responding to Tony Abbott lecturing the government on sexism and misogyny. Because of text messages Peter Slipper sent whilst he was a member of the LNP

    And while we’re on the subject, you’ll need to point out where Gillard defended Slipper., Because she didn’t. She got angry because Tony Abbott – who is a rancid misogynist with a history of sexist, belittling remarks about women who’s reputation amongst the women of Australia is so bad the best he can do is trot his wife out to tell us how he’s really not all that bad – was presuming to lecture ANYONE about sexism and misogyny! Because of text messages that the Speaker of the House made when he was a member of Tony’s own party, and Tony considered him a close friend!

    There’s plenty of hypocrisy on both sides, SB, but I know plenty of women – politically disengaged, conservative people, left wingers, people who couldn’t care less about politics- who FOR ONCE felt actually represented. Because plenty of women look at parliament and the sexism, abuse and misogyny the Prime Minister of Australia cops and re-assess their ambitions as a result. Why would women go into parliament or any position of leadership if they know that’s what they’re going to cop? Why would they put themselves out there if no-one stands up and says it’s not okay? Someone needed to stand up long ago. Julia cracked, and as a result, a lot of women actually felt like someone was defending them. Do you think every woman in Australia doesn’t cop the same kind of thing Julia does? We do. And it is heartening to see someone draw the line and say “enough”.

    It might not be important to you, but it IS important to 55% of the country who do NOT get the representation we deserve, and who know that every sexist attack against our PM could just as easily be levelled at them for no other reason than we don’t have a penis. But you know what’s telling? The fact that every person who’s saying it doesn’t matter is a white, middle-aged male. Sales didn’t go so far as to dismiss it out of hand, but she did base an entire interview around one narrow, incorrect definition of the word misogyny.

    I’ll leave alone the fact that women discussing their sexuality and sex lives is so obviously threatening to you, because frankly I don’t want to repeat what you said, but someone having an opinion about sex or a robust sex life that you don’t happen to like does not make their opinion invalid. All it does when you try and use that as a weapon against them when they are talking about something COMPLETELY UNRELATED is show just how deeply sexism and misogyny runs in this country, and how deeply rooted it is in your own heart.

  17. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy, that is certainly a novel defence of Gillard – that Slipper is so bad that the best thing to do is keep him in charge of the House as Speaker where he can lord over all those “botches” in parliament!

    And all I did was add a bit of colour and context, highlighting the interests of the publishers and readers of Jezebel, not that there is anything wrong with any of that.

  18. Splatterbottom

    Hi Keri.
    “And while we’re on the subject, you’ll need to point out where Gillard defended Slipper.”

    She voted for him to remain in control of the House, responsible for order and decorum with full knowledge of his truly rancid views on women.

    “There’s plenty of hypocrisy on both sides”

    Does this mean that you actually realise Gillard in fact sacrificed her principles for power in voting to retain Slipper?

    That is the main reason I can’t take her seriously. At every turn in her prime ministership she has chosen power over principle, starting with her knifing of Rudd. I have the same sort of contempt for her as I had for John Howard and for much the same reasons – the willingness to do absolutely anything to retain power.

    “Why would women go into parliament or any position of leadership if they know that’s what they’re going to cop?”

    Having a vile misogynist like Slipper in charge of the House can’t help with that decision.

    Julia cracked, and as a result, a lot of women actually felt like someone was defending them.

    She attacked Abbott as a distraction from the fact that she was voting for Slipper to retain control of the House as Speaker. It was a cynical rant, nothing more.

    every person who’s saying it doesn’t matter is a white, middle-aged male”

    That statement is a hideously sexist and highly inaccurate generalisation.
    The fact is that many women are embarrassed, not to say angry, that Gillard played the sexism card as cover for her naked political opportunism in voting to retain Slipper as Speaker.

    I’ll leave alone the fact that women discussing their sexuality and sex lives is so obviously threatening to you”

    You must be joking! You know that over the years I have used sexual imagery in a non-judgmental way to add humour and spice. It is a great prop for humour precisely because it is something we all have in common.

    All it does when you try and use that as a weapon against them when they are talking about something COMPLETELY UNRELATED is show just how deeply sexism and misogyny runs in this country, and how deeply rooted it is in your own heart.”

    That is harsh and unwarranted. The weapon I used was the logic which is clearly there in the redacted remnants of my comment. In fact it is probably stronger with the humour removed.

    The reason I am not going to be drawn into a discussion of Abbott’s sins is because that is not the issue here. Gillard used that as cover for her own hypocritical sacrifice of principle for power. And sadly, everyone here seems fine with that.

  19. Splatterbottom

    how can you flaunt Hartcher’s article – which by the way had to be edited because it contained phrases so blatantly misogynistic they wouldn’t even repeat it and just referred to it as – “a reference to the Prime Minister” – as clear-headed analysis?”

    I quoted a passage from Hartcher’s article and described it as clear-headed analysis, which it is. I didn’t make any reference to the article as a whole, or to any bits that were edited out. No one can seriously suggest that he is wrong in what he said in that passage.

  20. zaratoothbrush

    You know that over the years I have used sexual imagery in a non-judgmental way to add humour and spice.

    Sure you have! Like this:

    I have this image of being sucked into her gargantuan twat. The more I struggle to get out, the more stimulated she becomes until finally I am expelled by the devastating force of her climactic explosion, covered in the rancid slime of her diseased secretions.

    spicy! non-judgemental!

    Or:

    an expression of venom by a vituperative bitch … Maybe a clitorectomy [sic] would help

    See what he did there? Laugh, did I…

  21. Splatterbottom

    Context Zara – they both concerned Deveney, and they aren’t a patch on EDIT OH COME ON SB. And no doubt you recall that I noted at the time that the first description was a pleasant fantasy. The second was a well deserved response in kind to someone who richly deserved it. You, on the other hand spent your time making excuses for Deveney.

  22. Another great example of the obsession with the ‘game’ of politics, rather than any interest in the substance of policies.

  23. narcoticmusing

    The reason I am not going to be drawn into a discussion of Abbott’s sins is because that is not the issue here

    I completely disagree. The entire speech was a direct response to Abbott’s motion in parliament, not a response to Slipper’s actions. The reason you won’t be drawn into Abbott’s sins is because it would undermine your attack on Gillard. In case you missed it: Abbott put up a motion regarding Slipper on the grounds of sexism bringing Parliament into disrepute. That was the grounds. Gillard’s speech agreed that Slipper’s words were offensive – she did not dispute that. What she disputed was that if sexism were grounds to sack Slipper than half the Liberal party should step down too – that was why her speech was powerful. It called Abbot and co out for what they were.

    Further, Abbott’s sins are relevant because Abbott could have easily just fired Slipper from the Liberal party at any point, he could have sacked Slipper when it all happened or at any time after.

    Gillard also stated in her speech that Slipper’s comments offended her and that it was inappropriate for Parliament to pre-empt court proceedings, which is also correct. She wasn’t supporting Slipper per se, she was rejecting the rationale of Abbott’s motion. While I agree that Slipper is not a great example of Parliamentary material (lets face it, who is?), and I agree that BOTH sides were trying to play the numbers game, that does not make Abbot’s sins irrelevant.

    You are currently advocating against free speech when you want Gillard to sack someone for PRIVATE comments – which would be a Parliamentary sanction on something that was a private matter subject to proceedings – rather than his actual employer the Liberal party.who have far better grounds (particularly as the Liberals advocate sacking people without grounds at all). The point being, it is Abbot’s place to sack Slipper not the PMs. You constantly talk about people not having a right to not be offended and that free speech should not be moderated by other’s offence, and yet you are here today saying that private comments should be grounds for public sacking because it suits your attack on Gillard to do so – hypocrisy much?

    So if Parliament (via the PM) was obliged to eject Slipper on the grounds of very offensive albeit private comments, then the PM should also eject Abbott on the grounds of just as offensive PUBLIC comments. Abbott’s comments (and other comments from the liberal party) that are on the record bring Parliament into much greater disrepute than Slipper.

  24. Splatterbottom

    White middle-aged male* Grahame Richardson gets it:

    The hypocrisy of defending Slipper while attacking Abbott for not respecting women is breathtaking. Abbott should be criticised for standing in front of signs calling the PM “Brown’s bitch”, but that in no way alters the words of Slipper’s texts……
    The PM seems to believe that the best way to protect herself from sunburn is to cover herself in excrement. It may stop the burn, but the smell is permeating every corner of our land. There can be no excuse for the long list of serious errors of judgment. When the crunch comes, she is just not good enough for the office she holds.

    * A stupid racist ageist sexist generalisation if ever there was, but hey, abuse is cheap and quite useful if you don’t have logic on your side.

  25. I trawled through all 265 pages of the text messages.
    I found nothing remotely misogynist in all the texts.

    I presume people are up in arms about about the mollusk simile, but that is downright tame compared to what you’d hear in the average schoolyard or coming from SB’s keyboard.
    Vulgar and juvenile, yes. Misogynist? Not even near.

    As for Peter Slipper calling Sophie Mirabella a “botch”.
    Well he didn’t.
    Item 10249 has James Ashby trying to call Mirabella a bitch and mistyping it as botch.
    Item 10250 has Slipper replying that he thinks Mirabella is intelligent but prone to losing the plot at times. He then uses Ashby’s ‘botch’ line as a pun.
    Nothing misogynist here.

    The rest of the messages concern political strategy, strawberry chutney, Ashby’s love life and Slipper getting pissed and trying to crack on to Ashby.
    At 14242 there begins an interesting exchange that sees Slipper wondering if Ashby is trying to undermine him.

    I suggest you take the time to read the messages.
    Keep in mind that these are messages from James Ashby’s phone so, anything in yellow with the word ‘read’ in the mailbox column is written by Slipper and, obviously, ‘sent’ is written by Ashby.

    Meanwhile, SB lets slip his totalitarian tendencies by agreeing with Slipper’s attempted extra-judicial lynching by parliamentary fiat.
    Where’s that much vaunted commitment to freedom of speech that you keep banging on about?
    Surely, some women would have been offended by Slipper’s mollusk simile, but honestly, he was a conservative politician when he made that private statement so, he probably couldn’t help himself.
    And, anyway, as you say, being offended isn’t a good excuse to limit speech.

    Abbott got wind that Albanese and Windsor were working on Slipper to get him to resign the speakership and go to the cross benches.
    Abbott couldn’t let a wedge opportunity pass, so he moved a motion without notice to have Slipper sacked before he could resign. That motion had the added benefit of letting Abbott be seen to be standing up for women. What a brave little man he is.

    All this rubbish about the Prime Minister wanting to shore up the numbers is just that; rubbish.
    Slipper was never leaving the Parliament. He was simply going to the cross benches where his visceral hatred of the LNP would ensure that he always voted with the Government.
    There were no numbers that needed shoring up!

    Cheers.

  26. So I guess Gillard’s attack on Abbott in parliament is justifiable as long as she believes it to be “a well deserved response in kind to someone who richly deserved it”.

    Similarly, Abbott standing in front of the “Ditch the Bitch” sign should be seen in context – the context being that Gillard is a bitch. Because obviously it can’t be misogynistic abuse to call a woman a “bitch” if she actually is one. Thanks for clearing that up, SB.

  27. abuse is cheap and quite useful if you don’t have logic on your side

    Too funny coming from you!

  28. Thanks Marek,

    I hadn’t got around to seeing any of the SMSs yet, and was beginning to wonder if there where any, given mosy news reports studious avoidance of reproducing them.

    I was beginning to think that they were so terrible that they couldn’t be printed.

  29. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “The entire speech was a direct response to Abbott’s motion in parliament, not a response to Slipper’s actions. “

    The attack on Abbott was not relevant to the Slipper motion. It was merely to distract from her hypocrisy. If Gillard had wanted to attack Abbott she should have moved a censure motion.

    “So if Parliament (via the PM) was obliged to eject Slipper on the grounds of very offensive albeit private comments, then the PM should also eject Abbott on the grounds of just as offensive PUBLIC comments.”

    You know that this is nonsense, right? The motion was not to ‘eject’ Slipper. It was to vote him out as speaker, something which the house can do. The House cannot vote Abbott out of his seat or his position as leader of the opposition. Further, no such motion was before the House. Gillards attack on Abbott was all about camouflaging Gillard’s hypocrisy and nothing more.

    Marek, you do have half a point. The messages were a bit less offensive than I thought they would be, but I do think Slipper was actually agreeing Mirabella was a “botch” (because she was prone to lose the plot). He said:

    Bright though she loses the plot! Perhaps as
    you say “an ignorant botch”

    Even though I have also been hung drawn and quartered for my puns, I still think that Slipper should not be speaker, whether the comments were private or public.

    As to the free speech point (which Narcotic also made) there is no suggestion here that Slipper or anyone else be prevented from saying stuff, just that it has consequences, particularly when it concerns an office which requires the respect of all members of the House.

  30. “The messages were a bit less offensive than I thought they would be….”

    That’s a hoot coming from SB.

  31. Marek, you do have half a point.

    Well, that’s better than a kick in the Kransky (or bearded mussel, as the case may be).

    there is no suggestion here that Slipper or anyone else be prevented from saying stuff, just that it has consequences, particularly when it concerns an office which requires the respect of all members of the House.

    I agree 100%.
    My problem with Abbott’s motion was that it was predicated on untested evidence offered by James Ashby’s prosecution team.
    The list has many missing texts and a running commentary by Ashby’s legal team.
    Presumably, Slipper’s team will subpoena the actual phone records and cross reference them and, I have no doubt, they will be found to be accurate.

    Nevertheless, the idea that Abbott would preempt that process and seek to get somebody sacked based on untested evidence in a court case is a travesty of the parliamentary process.

    Perhaps the Liberals should adopt the Mahatir model of dispensing with inconvenient political rivals.
    Just as he did with Anwar Ibrahim.
    You know, get some Quisling to help trump up charges of sodomy in an attempt discredit…. oh! Wait a minute!

    Cheers.

  32. narcoticmusing

    Nevertheless, the idea that Abbott would preempt that process and seek to get somebody sacked based on untested evidence in a court case is a travesty of the parliamentary process.
    Exactly.

    You know that this is nonsense, right? The motion was not to ‘eject’ Slipper. It was to vote him out as speaker, something which the house can do.
    And my point, if you read my remarks in context rather than in isolation, was that Abbott and LibCo could have sacked Slipper at any time. There was no need to involve Parliament and have Parliament pre-empt legal proceedings and act as a judge, jury and executioner regarding one-sided untested evidence of conduct that was not even as poor as Abbott’s day to day conduct. Ergo, if we were to accept Abbott’s rationale for removing Slipper via motion, we should do the same to Abbott for the same reasons. Gillard was saying she would not lodge a motion to do the latter (where there is actual public record grounds) and thus should not support the former (where there are no public grounds only untested evidence subject to proceedings)..

  33. The messages were a bit less offensive than I thought they would be

    As if actually reading the text messages should have preceded your lecturing everyone on the appropriate way to react to them. Any reason why anyone should ever take you seriously again?

  34. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “Abbott and LibCo could have sacked Slipper at any time.”

    Anytime after the tweets became public?

    When Slipper was appointed Speaker he was bought and paid for by Labor to keep them in power once they betrayed Wilkie, as they planned. He is their creature now.

    “There was no need to involve Parliament and have Parliament pre-empt legal proceedings and act as a judge, jury and executioner “

    What on earth are you on about here? The Speaker serves at the pleasure of the House. They can be judge jury and executioner any time they like. Ask Harry Jenkins – a good man sacrificed on the alter of Gillard’s lust for power.

    The House’s job is to ensure that the Speaker is a fit person for the job. Slipper admitted the texts were genuine – what more do you need.

    The fact that Slipper resigned shows that, despite his shortcomings, he has more decency than Gillard and here moral cretin caucus.

    Ah Buns, you are so quick to damn others yet so slow to think. Of course I read the offending quotes before I commented. It was pretty hard to miss them in the press reports.

  35. narcoticmusing

    Narcotic: “Abbott and LibCo could have sacked Slipper at any time.”

    Anytime after the tweets became public?

    Oh please, are you honestly suggesting that this is the first time Slipper made such comments in private? Really? It is merely the first time he was caught. Lots of people make really vulgar comments in private all the time, that he believed it was private and would stay that way allowed him to show his true self. The same true self that Abbott would’ve seen all the time as Slipper’s mate.

    The text messages also became known only after Slipper was apointed as Speaker, and at that point they were subject to legal proceedings. You are saying that private comments should be treated as criminal offences. That private, confidential information should be treated the same as public comments. Men say worse things to women as they walk past a building site than what Slipper said. Hating female genitalia is an opinion he is free to have privately. I’ve certainly heard a lot worse about femal and male than the comments Slipper said. They were vulgar, yes, but they aren’t informing public policy. THIS is where the difference is. Wanting to institutionalise sexism in all policy is discrimination Abbott publically pursues and people like you let him (or worse, Jones who cheers it on).

    Abbott and his front bench have clear views that are sexist and inform their policy positions. The statements they have made publically are worse than anything Slipper said in the texts. If Slipper should resign for private, confidential comments – even vulgar ones – then Abbott should resign for FAR worse comments that he made in his position as Minister and Opposition leader.

    Listen to Gillard’s speech without the Bolt et al commentary in your head. The lack of any objectivity by the heavily biased, sexist media is all too apparent in the complete dissonance between it and the rest of mankind. Gillard’s speech is a response to the rationale provided by Abbott, NOT a defence of Slipper. She rejected the rationale of the motion and the credibility of the person seeking it. At no point does she condone Slipper’s txts, indeed, she points out that they are offensive. And, she rightly points out that Abbott’s comments have been far worse.

    Even the response to her speech, “handbag” warriors etc – wtf? That right there is an example of sexism used to silence poeple for calling someone out on being sexist?

  36. narcoticmusing

    Nevermind that Abbott wanted Slipper’s vote in the same breath as seeking him to be removed as Speaker…

  37. Wisdom Like Silence

    His deep breathing excercises are backfiring.

  38. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “Oh please, are you honestly suggesting that this is the first time Slipper made such comments in private? Really?”

    Got any evidence for that? Or is it just another slimy assertion.

    “You are saying that private comments should be treated as criminal offences.”

    That is not what I said at all! Nothing like it. The fact of the court case is a separate issue. The fact is that we now know what Slipper said. He resigned because his position had become untenable. Parliament can ditch him at any time. No criminal offence required! The fact that he referred to a female politician as a bitch is certainly enough to warrant his dismissal.

    You would think that a person as concerned with sexism and misogyny as the PM pretends to be (when she gains political advantage from that stance) would understand that Slipper could no longer maintain his position after having called Mirabella a bitch.

    But you would be wrong. Gillard prefers power to principle every time.

    So she launched a silly overwrought attack on Abbott. It was carefully scripted to distract from the fact that she was voting for Slipper. It was a puerile rant, nothing more. While obviously appealing to the Jezebel set, to anyone with the capacity for rational thought it was just more contemptible personal abuse from someone who has not a shred of integrity about her, someone who long ago sold out her principles and is now a hollowed out shell of a human being who will do anything, absolutely anything to stay in power.

  39. narcoticmusing

    Or is it just another slimy assertion.
    Another? Slimy? Really, SB – look at you entire last paragraph if you want slime. You’ve never called anyone a bitch huh? You’ve never called anyone a wanker? Are these sexist terms now or just insults?*

    Abbott ONLY put forth the motion because Slipper wasn’t going to vote in his favour. Gillard did no condone Slipper’s actions, she did however point out that if we were to sack the speaker for such conduct then we should be applying that standard to everyone, including Abbott, Pyne, et al

    The reason there was such a strong response in support of that speech wasn’t the ‘Jezebel’ set. It was because Abbott had it coming a long time. Someone needed to tell him his conduct was entirely unacceptable – but how does he and his party respond? Using sexist tags.

    *Noting that there is a HUGE distinction between calling someone a bitch and calling someone “X’s bitch”. While I don’t approve of either usage, one it a vulgar insult (much like douchebag is a vulgar insult, as is wanker and some of your colorful clitoris based versions of wanker), the other (X’s bitch) is symbolic of being dominated. You were all for defending this not so long ago, that it wasn’t a big deal. But now suddenly, just calling someone a bitch is grounds to be sacked when it helps Abbott’s cause (or harms Gillards). So given YOU don’t meet that standard, are you suggesting you should be publicly flogged or lose your job over calling someone a bitch in private?

    This all stems from Abbott’s refusal to admit the legitimacy of this Government – he’s a sore loser who doesn’t like having a woman in a job above him.

  40. While obviously appealing to the Jezebel set, to anyone with the capacity for rational thought it was just more contemptible personal abuse from someone who has not a shred of integrity about her

    It certainly played that way among people who already hated her, such as yourself (not that they were in any position to make an objective assessment), and particularly among the subset of that group comprised by ageing men. Though why anyone should care what ageing, male Gillard-haters thought about what she said is beyond me.

  41. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “she did however point out that if we were to sack the speaker for such conduct then we should be applying that standard to everyone, including Abbott, Pyne, et al”

    What a stupid, dishonest argument. Gillard is clutching at straws to justify her unprincipled position. The role of the Speaker is different.to that of members of the House. The Speaker is in charge of the conduct of the House and makes hundreds of judgments each sitting day on the conduct of the members. How can women in the House have confidence that a rank sexist like Slipper will give them a fair go?

    “So given YOU don’t meet that standard, are you suggesting you should be publicly flogged or lose your job over calling someone a bitch in private?”

    I’ll take the public flogging. Madame Lash charges far too much for her services these days. And as I noted earlier the position of Speaker, much like judicial office, brings with it an expectation of impartiality and high standards. I, on the other hand, do not hold public office.

    Buns: ” Though why anyone should care what ageing, male Gillard-haters thought about what she said is beyond me.”

    Its beyond me too, Buns. I don’t know why you bother reading and responding to my comments. Perhaps you fancy me!

  42. Wisdom Like Silence

    Laura Norder has lunch time specials SB, and her cat-o-nine tails are plush genuine leather.

  43. narcoticmusing

    The role of the Speaker is different.to that of members of the House
    Yes, what the Speaker does/says/thinks does not have a risk of being translated into policy and/or blocking policy. So it is no where near as important that the Speaker is/isn’t sexist vis-a-vis a member of the House who can and do vote based on their prejudices and thus form or block legislation based on those prejudices.

    How can women in the House have confidence that a rank sexist like Slipper will give them a fair go?
    In your previous post you claimed there was no evidence Slipper ever in his innocent life ever said a single sexist remark about a woman, and now, after a private conversation, he’s a ‘rank sexist’. The reality is that in the exercise of his duties of public office, he has not demonstrated the sexism you equate him with. Meanwhile, Abbott and many of other members of the House have. I don’t care so much about the insults thrown back and forth (albeit they are completely unnecessary but both parties are equally guilty of such poor conduct). What I care about is having a fundamental position that is sexist and harmful to woman. Those text messages do not, in my humble view, equate to that. Abbott’s behaviour does.

    To return this back to the topic of the post, I’d like you to point out at which point in Gillard’s speech she defended Slipper’s remarks. She did not, she condemned them. As I said, she objected to the rationale of the motion. The speech was applauded by many (albeit not those that already hate Gillard so will find evil in anything she does) because it pointed out the hypocrisy in the rationale.

    Furthermore, as the Speaker holds, as you point out, a quasi-judicial type role, it is also important that the House do not remove him for convenience – which is why the rationale of any motion to remove the Speaker is very important. It is important, like all judicial officers, that the Speaker is not removed due to making decisions some members of the House don’t like (such as not giving his vote to Abbott). It is important that a precedent is not set of sacking the speaker over private affairs.

    It is disingenuous for commentators to brae about freedom of speech and freedom of the press in one breath and then talk about sacking a person for private comments. These same people defend others who say things while acting in their office with all their responsibilities, yet wish for private comments to be given a higher standing. It shows that their motives are simply because they dislike Gillard. This is demonstrated by these commentators having to exaggerate the texts, rather than considering that they have said worse themselves.

    I don’t particularly like Gillard, but I agreed with every word of her speech. I agreed with objecting to Abbott’s awful rationale and I agree that our Parliament has serious issues with sexism. I agree that Slipper’s comments were vulgar, however, when one actually reads them (rather than simply seeking means to attack Gillard) I don’t think you’d conclude they were sexist any more than calling someone a wanker is sexist.

  44. Wisdom Like Silence

    From my understanding our parliament doesn’t have issues with sexism, it is really good at sexism.

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