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Oct 8, 2012

Jane Caro: why Margie Abbott is bloody revolutionary

Margie and Tony Abbott are more than welcome to join the ranks of the feminists. And the fact that they want to do so speaks volumes for the comeback of a movement written off by John Howard.


I believe that feminism is a broad church (I have occasionally joked it is a broad’s church) and that almost any political, religious or world view is compatible with feminism, except a belief in restricting reproductive rights for women. That, to me, given that it hands agency over a woman’s body to others, is a bridge too far. It’s the equivalent of saying you are a Christian but don’t believe in God.

But, apart from that proviso, in the spirit of the more the merrier, I will cheerfully accept anyone who claims to be a feminist as a feminist.

So I was delighted to read that Margie Abbott has publicly declared her husband to be a feminist. A result, she says, of raising three daughters and being surrounded by strong women. All of whom have dutifully trotted around in his wake in the last few days touting his previously well-hidden feminist credentials.

To give him his due, I was impressed to hear from Margie that he recently raised $140,000 for the Manly Women’s Shelter by cycling some absurd number of kilometres. (Can’t help wondering if anyone has thought hard about the name “Manly Women’s Shelter”. It is hilarious.)

I do not intend to debate here whether Margie Abbott’s worse half — he called her his better half, after all — actually is a feminist or not. To me, that’s not what’s important. What has rocked the world on its axis, as far as this old feminism-watcher is concerned, is the claim should be made at all about an avowedly right-wing prime ministerial hopeful and, moreover, claimed proudly. Quite frankly, that’s bloody revolutionary.

Only 10 years ago members of the last Liberal government, including PM John Howard, claimed feminism was done and that we were in a post-feminist era. (The first time the word post-feminism was used, I believe, was in 1911. Women are always being told that feminism is past its use-by date.) Feminism was the movement that dare not speak its name. Women’s conferences died in the bum in the ’90s — I know, because I make a considerable part of my income speaking at them and the work dried up — and hardly any women were prepared to identify publicly as feminists, let alone men. Departments for women, ministers for women were shut down or absorbed into other portfolios. Women were equal, damn it, and anything they did or didn’t get was their own fault.

How the world has changed. Politically, it began with the election of the Rudd government, but it really ramped up when Julia Gillard became our first female PM. After the initial euphoria, however, it started to look rather depressing. Expectations were so high that Gillard could do little but fall short of them. There was also the whiff of illegitimacy about her government given her failure to secure a parliamentary majority in her own right and the deals she was therefore forced to do (Abbott would have done them too, given the opportunity).

For a good two years, we saw a level of political invective and scorn that — while Australian political debate has always been robust — seemed somehow more personal than before. For the first time, largely because it was the first time we’d had a woman leading the country, many of the most vitriolic comments were focused on Gillard’s gender. Jockeying for power is always about amplifying perceived weak spots and being a woman was quickly seen by her opponents as a weakness to be exploited; just as it commonly is in business. And for a while, it looked as if her critics had found a seam of gold.

Hubris, however, is always risky and the tactic of unremitting and nasty pressure on Gillard started to get out of hand. For every legitimate scandal — Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, etc — there was an equal amount of plain misogyny. Women, in particular, began to feel uncomfortable with the level of abuse that seemed to be based around our Prime Minister not being a man. She may not have been any great shakes as PM, but the “worst Prime Minister we’ve ever had”? That always sounded shrill and hysterical, particularly to female ears.

The extreme fearmongering around the carbon tax also — eventually — played into Gillard’s hands. That strategy must originally have been predicated on the Gillard government falling long before the tax was implemented, but the gamble did not pay off. The sky having failed to fall in as predicted, the Liberals and the doom-laden anti-carbon taxers now not only look a bit silly, but all their other fearmongering, including dog whistling to anti-women prejudices, has been called into question.

As a result, the tables have turned a little more in Gillard’s favour. She’d still lose an election held today, but no longer would it be a wipe-out. The very fact that the Abbott females have been wheeled out proves she’s got her opponents rattled.

But there is something else that may be the most powerful and uncontrollable element in the revolution we are seeing in the growth of women’s political power and influence. After all, this isn’t just an Australian phenomenon. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also has a problem with women voters (again, probably due to his views about reproductive rights) and has also wheeled out his wife to try to woo them.

Social media is giving all sorts of people access to the public square in a way that they have never had before, but women — just because of their numbers — are benefiting disproportionately. Men are still overwhelmingly the gatekeepers of traditional media, bricks and mortar business and the powerful end of town, but the conversation is rapidly moving elsewhere. Women have flocked to the internet and they are making their presence felt. They no longer have to seek male approval to get the job, the article published, their face on the telly or their voices heard. They just need to attract readers, customers, purchasers, friends, followers and views. And they are.

If feminism is about women’s equality of opportunity and right to participate in every aspect of life, and I think that it is, then it is not surprising that as women have found a vehicle which gives them equal access to the public space, feminism has correspondingly risen from what some may have fondly hoped was the dead.

If Tony Abbott needs to be seen as a feminist before he can have a shot at being our next prime minister, then we’re winning.


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54 thoughts on “Jane Caro: why Margie Abbott is bloody revolutionary

  1. Karen

    Jane, this is a fantastic article and contains an astute analysis of current politics and of the changing political dynamics in this country. One thing I don’t agree with is your assertion that JG is no “great shakes” PM. I think she is very good PM and has the opportunity to be a great PM, particularly if she wins a second term to pave and cement the way for her policy agenda. I think the few political (political not policy) stumbles that she has made earlier on in Rudds and in her own term are beginning to be negated by her policy achievements. She’s a domestic doer, in a truly progressive sense. What other leader can compare to what she has actually done in a policy sense, with a hung parliament, no less. There is no way that Abbott would have been able to do that. JG is also scoring runs on the board as a better saleswoman for the govt’s policies (which is needed in her role as PM) as well as a more politically astute communicator and media performer more generally. Her communication strategies, including when to remain silent and when to come in, is beginning to pay dividends. She is not ‘personal’ and she handles herself with grace, unlike Abbott who can’t seem to be anything other than be personal (not a good look as an opposition leader, let alone leader of this country). Don’t write JG off, she is a force to be reckoned with.

  2. seriously?

    Jane – I’m inclined to agree with pretty much everything you’ve written. I’d like to think of something to add – but I think you’ve nailed it. PS i’m a bloke.

  3. klewso

    Is this what happens when one side lists too much to the Right, “for votes”?

  4. paddy

    Excellent piece Jane. The fact that women are benefiting disproportionately from the growing power of social media, is one of the things that make this particular revolution so much fun.
    I haven’t enjoyed watching heads explode like this since the late 60’s and early 70’s.
    Long may it continue.

  5. tripper

    ummm….”no great shakes as PM..? Really? Says who? The MSM? pfffffft

  6. Phen

    Surely the author is entitled to her view that the PM is “no great shakes”.

    You’d have to have pretty low expectations to disagree in my view.

  7. Karen

    @Phen – Jane Caro is entitled to her view that the PM is “no great shakes”. No quibble there. I simply don’t think the evidence supports her contentions, however, for the reasons expressed in my first post.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “low expectations”. I have high expectations of a PM, very high in fact. JG has pretty well met them, except for a few important areas in my view, including gay marriage, whole-scale pokies reform and boat arrivals. But, then, Abbott will be no better and, on top of it, we’ll also have to cope with regressive social policies and shocking transfer payments to the wealthy. Of course, I don’t need to say that we need those policies like a hole in the head – look at what’s happening in North America and Europe. The wealthy take their money off-shore and stick in tax havens where they pay no tax (and governments let them take it out), while the jobless poor and middle-classes are left to fight it out on the streets without money and public services.

  8. Venise Alstergren

    JANE CARO: First class article, thank you.

    I’m interested in your argument that the huge coverage of Ms Margie Abbott’s rant shows that Julia Gillard has got Tony Abbott rattled. Whereas I thought it was another of Rupert Murdoch’s well known political agenda’s broadsides.

    Thanks, once again.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    And Karen, she is a dreadful PM.

  10. Harry1951

    I think Julia Gillard has been on a steep learning curve and probably was not really ready for the job of PM when she moved into the top job. I think that she has gradually grown into the job and has faced many extremely difficult challenges and given more time should evolve into an increasingly effective PM.

  11. paul walter

    I think Mrs Abbott’s intervention is based on far more mundane reasoning than that attributed by Jane Caro.

  12. Venise Alstergren

    HARRY1951: You have made a good point. Also, it would be interesting to know how many previous Prime Ministers could have survived the outrageous treatment handed out to Gillard- without buckling at the knees?

  13. David Fyfe

    Is there another person writing to blogs these days, blogs where she hasn’t been banned, with so much hatred in her being, as shepherdmarilyn has for Prime Minister Gillard. It is like an attack from a venomous snake, strikes as often as possible, regardless of the topic being discussed. Like A Jones, it’s become predicatable, boring and rubbish.
    Jane you say, “She’d still lose an election held today, but no longer would it be a wipe-out.” You are obviously going on current polling. Those results are trending to a close call at his stage, no certain thing. Tonights Newspoll will tell the tale and insiders are saying the odds on Labor are shortening, appears some in the know, are talking.

  14. Sprague Brett

    Personally I welcome any variation of feminism that welcomes the family. Any variation that doesn’t erase the role of males in families is a welcome form of feminism. Of course this will be seen as bigoted, but a husband and a wife, a male and a female bringing up children of either sex, hoping and striving for the best for all is the ideal. Margie is bang on the money when she says they have achieved amazing things for their daughters, one doesn’t have to personally know them not to want the same for one’s own daughters if you have them.
    However feminism still struggles with nature in my opinion, because it doesn’t give the family unit primacy. It is perfectly right to let sons and daughters make their own choices, including staying single or same-sex relationships- but it should never detract from the primacy of the family of the male-female husband-wife variety. And that primacy means dealing with the differences between the sexes and women’s limited fertility time-span.
    Also, feminism tends to go backwards when you have the likes of Nicola Roxon maligning males with pejorative terms such as misogynist because they don’t pay her enough attention. Surely males still have the right to choose who they pay attention to, especially in political combat, the future of our nation demands it.

  15. hyumentaya jesse

    i’m quickly becoming post-interested in tony abbott’s “women’s problems”.

  16. Henry Starr

    Hey guys! Whatsup? Just a friendly reminder when something is in ‘quotations’, this means it’s quoting someone, and not the words of the author.
    Have a nice day, everyone!:)

  17. JMNO

    I must confess, I hadn’t thought of Margie Abbott’s involvement in the way you have – that it is a win for feminism in that Abbott needs to position himself as a feminist with all the policy implications of that. But you’re right
    However I think he has misconstrued the reason women don’t like him. It’s not just his right-wing Catholic views on the place of women and reproductive rights.

    What I don’t like about Abbott is his intense competitiveness which leads to such destructive and aggressive negativity. Men are more used to the metaphorical wrestling to be top dog which is the way Australian federal politics have normally been conducted and so they are more tolerant of his way of being Opposition leader. Whereas I find it repellent and, I think, so do a lot of other women.

    The thing is, Abbott is supposed to be quite a decent human being in person and his wife’s defence of him attests to that. Why can’t he behave this way in the political sphere as well? He’d be a lot more popular.
    As for his bike ride for charity, he’s a compulsive exerciser and bikerider. Is it about the bike ride or the charity?

  18. joanjett

    Ummmm, as far as I know, Craig Thomson still hasn’t been charged with anything, is still an MP and is therefore not a ‘legitimate scandal’, no matter how hard Kathy Jackson has tried to implicate him. Try substituting his name with Michael Williamson and you might be more on the money.

  19. zut alors

    Very well articulated.

    When a political leader wheels out a spouse to laud them they automatically lose significant points with me.

  20. Boerwar

    So, Mr Abbott does the barbecue and ducks out for the Indian take away and we are talking feminism?

    Oh, sister!

  21. Karen

    @ Marilyn – are you ‘anti’ JG because of her policy on refugees and her elevation to the PM’ship over Rudd? Or is it something else besides? Just wondering…

  22. Ian

    and the sooner she gets the Malaysian solution through the Parliament and stops illegal, economic and so-called refugees arriving on boats, the better.

  23. Kevin Herbert

    David Fyfe:

    would you care to provide evidence in support of your claim that Marilyn Shepherd has been banned from numerous blogs?

  24. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Brett Sprague, I don’t quite get how “…hoping and striving for the best for all”, is a concept that demonstrates bigotry? You seem to think idealism is wrong. That feminism is idealistic. And therefore feminism is probably wrong, or wrong-headed. Most people I know who are parents “..let sons and daughters make their own choices, including staying single or [pursuing] same-sex relationships”. If your children choose to lead those lives (which I presume you are presuming will mean they will not bear children or bring them into ‘proper’ family situations), do you mean you should try to change their minds, to change the outcome, to effect a ‘proper’ family relationship? That could be challenging. That could lead to (or come from) bigotry. That might not be ‘proper’ family-friendly behaviour. For family reasons, I’d think twice about that.

  25. Liz45

    The era of feminism is not over, or should I say, the need for feminism. And even the idea that it may be no longer necessary by some only leads me to look at their credentials. Howard for instance! He had a 50’s view of women. He used the left overs from a program about domestic violence on fridge magnets – the ‘be alert not alarmed’ message. What an insult? He should’ve re-invested in another educational program about this issue!

    On a world scale, millions of people, about 27 from memory are living in slave like conditions – mostly women and their children. Women walk something like 200 million miles per day just to get water. A woman dies somewhere in the world every 12 minutes from child birth, abortion, and other gynecological/obstetric causes. Women in many countries do NOT have access to medical treatment, contraception etc when pregnant – too many either end up with fistulas or death. Rape is increasing as a weapon in war, and while always involving women and girls, recently men and boys?

    In Australia, a woman dies every 7-10 days via murder by her husband/partner. The greatest threat to the lives and health of women under 40 is via their intimate partner. More appearances at A&E by women are for these injuries? One in 3-4 women will be sexually abused by the age of 16; one in 3 will experience domestic violence in their lives, and one in 4 sexual violence. An alarming number of aged people, mainly women are also subject to violence – usually by their adult family members – children! the cost of DV to the Australian economy is now $13 BILLION this year! Hardly evidence of women no longer having to cringe in fear in their homes. Every fourth house in the street on average?

    Australian women have to work an extra 65 days per year to be paid the same as men. In her working lifetime, a woman will earn $1 million less than her male compatriot!

    There are other examples. These are just some that came readily to mind. There are still sexist jokes told in too many quarters. I’d like a $100 for every time I’ve been classified as having no sense of humour because I refuse to laugh at them – I include racist, ageist and other jokes that demean people!

    Jane, I don’t agree with some policies of the Labor Party/Govt, such as asylum seeker policy, but I believe Julia Gillard is a good PM; and the more garbage she cops, the more I’m determined to support her. The latest act of savagery by Alan Jones, plus the fact that Abbott will continue to ‘sup with the devil’ only makes me more determined to do so. So much for his ‘feminist’ side! Non-existent! What about RU486; or the Howard years that saw no foreign aide to countries that had educational programs re women’s sexual and reproductive health. Just a hint of anything to do with a woman’s right to choose was sufficient to deny aid – this to some of the most underprivileged women in the world, and of course their children. The Rudd Govt reversed this – to their credit!

    As I’ve said on another post. Abbott and the Liberal Party are insulting the intelligence of women by trotting out his wife, mother and daughters to campaign on his behalf! What a wimp! I’ve experienced first hand the behaviour of a house bastard and street angel – they can be ‘courageous’ in their double life. I’ve seen the nasty face of Abbott too many times when he’s challenged; caught out lying, or just not prepared to give due account of his stance on certain issues, to think he doesn’t behave equally as bad or worse at home! I agree with Bob Carr – ‘I think she doth protest too much’!

    I look forward to your next appearance on Q&A Jane! I wish you were on tonight against Christopher Pyne! I think you’d wipe the floor with him. Incidentally, another little catholic boy who hasn’t grown up and speaks in an appalling manner inside the Parlt about or to the PM. Refers to JG as “she”! I don’t mean in a second sentence, I mean straight up. ‘Madam Deputy Speaker, she refuses to abide by your ruling …..” He reminds me of one of those little white poodles – all yap and no bark! No brain either!

    There are thousands of women in Australia who are working as sex workers against their will. Australian men are using these women – hardly the actions of men who don’t think of women as sex objects to use and abuse at will!

    No, sadly, we’ve got a very long way to go. Sadly, life for a woman who’s a rape victim is still traumatic if she seeks justice. Things are/have improved, but sadly the legal profession is still way behind! Some judges are still of the ‘old school’ and we hear from them occasionally! And, as shown in some jury decisions lately, re the use of provocation in NSW murder trials, many in our community have further to go! I’m waiting for provocation to be removed in NSW as it has been in other States!

  26. shepherdmarilyn

    Try almost everything Karen, unlike many who claim she is wonderful I have actually met and spent time with her and she is as dumb as a post and just as ignorant of reality.

    She has no agenda of her own but is using Rudd’s to make a name for herself.

    But if you think no PM has been treated this badly before try and read the bio. of Gough Whitlam and how he was treated by the liberal/national parties.

    What he suffered was 100 times worse than Gillard has faced.

    AFter all she had an agenda already agreed with the indies and Greens and the kindest senate in decades.

    She has though sold the country out on the mining tax and stuff.

    And Ian, you jackass, they still have to get here before they can be sent illegally to Malaysia.

    What is it that operates in your lizard brain that can possibly believe that we can treat our fellow human beings in this way?

  27. shepherdmarilyn

    I have the great honour of being banned from Andrew Bolt’s blog.

  28. Venise Alstergren

    MARILYN: Give over. If the woman was as dumb as you say she would never have made it to the top. You say she’s had no agenda. When did she get a chance to express one? She has spent the time as PM fighting to accommodate the Greens, and/or attempting to fend off the vitriol put out by the useless Tony Abbott and his band of cutthroats. And all the filth put out by the Rupert Murdoch owned media.

    Gough Whitlam didn’t have it easy but, don’t forget he had the stability of knowing, throughout the election, the Party actually remained fairly united.

    Please tell me the name of a Federal politician who does have any knowledge of reality. The Nashos, those pub owning, pub drinking he-men and women are merely ignorant ‘share-croppers’and bullying fools.

    The Liberal Party is being led by a fundamentalist Catholic who gets all of his knowledge from God, and his ambition to deny women the right over their reproductive activities.

    In short, how could you trust a man whose hero is the late Bob Santamaria?

    Julia Gillard should have been much harsher with the mining industry. I will never forget the sight of the richest woman on the planet, one Gina Reinhardt-Rinehart-whatever, solemnly involved in a protest movement. A protest that would quadruple her income.

    For a person fighting to treat fellow human beings as we would like to be treated, you have some amazingly conservative views. I despair, I really do.

  29. Easel

    Shepherdmarilyn, I love it when you jump in and say what most of us are thinking.

    It’s got me beat why Venise and David Fyfe are so besotted with JG. I bet you their favourite all time actress/actor was Elizabeth Montgomery, with Dick York a close second.

    Gough had no hand in the land of Plymouth
    but did dig deep in the north to Exmouth
    and finding that he took a peek to that Pine gap
    to realize even more no begging with hand and cap
    to tell us why, when and indeed the truth
    almost the same that sent Harold to that yond booth.

  30. Ian

    Good fishing here……it doesn’t take the blind zealot long to bite.

    Natural reaction though….it’s about as smart as a blind mullet.

  31. shepherdmarilyn

    Ian, your problem is you have not a thing to say.

  32. Person Ordinary

    Abbott is a goner. To read anything else into his wheeling out the women is tantamount to willful self deception. The stunt was surely directed at traditional Liberal voters who really don’t like Abbott, but need some convenient rationalisation to vote him in. It seems more likely it will have the effect of driving undecided voters away from him. To see Abbott as a feminist requires closing your eyes, and your mind, and wishing in an alternative reality. Malcolm Turnbull is trying to use the Alan Jones affair as one more chance at the leadership, and while it may not get him over the line just yet, a switch seems inevitable.

  33. Jara22

    Jane, excellent article.

    Karen, excellent comment.

  34. Jara22

    Liz45 – my feelings exactly re Julia Gillard and the way Abbott and his front bench have behaved. I am equally as determined to support JG and speak out very strongly about her strengths. And yes, I don’t agree with all her policies but overall I believe she has an excellent vision for the future of Australia.

  35. Easel

    (“Manly Women’s Shelter”. It is hilarious.)

    Actually, it is, damn hilarious..LOL!!!

    (It’s the equivalent of saying you are a Christian but don’t believe in God.)

    That would account for an unsurprising large percentage, no doubt at all for a state religion.

  36. SBH

    ‘shrill and hysterical’

    Love your work

  37. Loot On CTable

    “..Prime Ministers could have survived the outrageous treatment handed out to Gillard- without buckling at the knees?..”

    Every action has a reaction, Venise. Karma does n’t distinguish between individuals whether they be Prime Ministers or more common folk like you and me.

    Do you think her policies like keeping Australian troops in Afghanistan and the complicity in the maiming and killing of innocent women, children and men, would go unnoticed?

    The only validity on a vote for Gillard would be a vote by default. A vote that would perhaps help to keep that other mob from gaining office. That’s all!

  38. Venise Alstergren

    Should my comment escape the moderator the final para, line one. Australian elections are always won by default.

  39. Venise Alstergren

    EASEL: If you had read my comments on other posts you would realise it isn’t my love of Julia Gillard, it’s my abiding hatred for Tony Abbott that motivates me.

  40. Venise Alstergren

    LOOT ON CTABLE:To put it gently, I don’t give a flying eff about karma, common folk or PMs. I was comparing two Prime Ministers only.

    Para 3: This question is beyond silly; I shan’t dignify it with a reply.

    Para 4: Are you completely without wits? Australian elections are ALWAYS won by default. People seldom vote for the person they want. So they vote for the candidates who appear the least likely to to them harm.

  41. Venise Alstergren

    MODERATOR: I’ve laundered my comment-after waiting three hours for it to pass the moderation traction machine.

  42. Easel

    “..MODERATOR: I’ve laundered my comment-after waiting three hours for it to pass the moderation traction machine…”

    I have heard that’s not all you launder..ha ha ha!:-)

  43. Loot On CTable


    I was n’t talking about elections or election results. I was referring to the act of voting, not the outcome.

    If you don’t give an eff about common folk or PM’s then that does n’t leave much else. It’s a bit like saying i know a woman who only does it for two types of people..ie..Servicemen and Civilians…like helloooo! ..I am sorry for lacking wit.

  44. Loot On CTable

    Actually, it was n’t wit. You said “wits”…that’s a completely different meaning. So, I am not sorry for anything.

  45. Broad Brush

    What a great article from Jane Caro. I drove down a dusty country road last week and it’s name was Caro Rd. Can you believe that? Seriously! If there is no such thing as chance, and only predetermined circumstances, then what’s it all mean?

    @LOCT – Be more direct, spell it out. Stop beating around the brush.

  46. Aliar Jones

    And yet Marylin, do you think a vote for Tony Abbott (or for argument’s sake..lets say Malcolm – but with the same ‘team’?) would get us any closer to a better place?

    Yeh the LNP is a grotesque congaline…but it wouldn’t hurt if the left tried a little bit of ‘bigger picture’ comprimising..

  47. Venise Alstergren

    BROAD BRUSH: I once read an article by a screen writer who calls a moment like that a ‘movie moment.’

  48. Liz45

    Congratulations Marilyn on being banned from Andrew Bolt’s blog. I don’t think I’d even read it – too depressing. Anyone who’s commented on some posts on YouTube re aboriginal people will know how gross and depressing some of these comments are. With that in mind – I’m no masochist! I can imagine!

  49. Venise Alstergren

    LIZ: This is very funny re Andrew Bolt and his blog. One night I was working late and suddenly the house shook. I sent out a tweet wondering if anyone else had noticed a bit of movement? Of all people, Andrew Bolt was the person who tweeted back to me confirming that he’d felt it too.

    Tactfully, as tactful as I can be, ie not very, I let it be known what I thought of him. ‘Night, V.

  50. Liz45

    @Loot on Ctable – Did you march against the illegal war in Iraq? Do you protest to Howard for starting the damn wars in the first place? I marched against the war in Iraq, I wrote to Howard (and received a waffle in reply – the usual?). I don’t think we should be in Afghanistan in the first place. Not one Afghani was responsible for 9/11! Shameful! Now all we’re doing is piling more dead bodies on top of those already dead! Shameful indeed!

    The nonsense about JG and no policy, or the bs of the Opposition that Labor is just dodging discussion on other issues is a bit rich. For over two years we’ve had Abbott focusing/obsessing/boring us with his nonsense about the price on carbon. No policies; no questions in Parlt about all most anything else. You’d think by his behaviour that nothing else is of any import? NOW, they accuse Labor of avoiding other issues? Give me a break!

    Do you ever watch Question Time? Anthony Albanese often comments on the lack of questions on education, foreign policy, aged care, health in general etc from the Opposition. Watch it next time and observe very closely!

    The lack of basic courtesy to women politicians or others in high profile positions was evidenced on Q&A last Monday. Lindsay Tanner and Christopher Pyne started their own conversation on Downton Abbey while Kate Ellis was answering a question from the audience! So damned rude. Near the end of the hour the three male visitors did a similar thing – each one adding suggestions? to her answer! It was so marked, and showed such disrespect?

    The fact is that the atmosphere in federal parlt changes when a woman stands up to speak at the Dispatch Box? If Abbott only does half of what the PM accused him of, it proves his rudeness. Telling her to ‘shut up’, using ‘cat calls’ etc. Some Leader????NOT!

    I’d hazard a guess that Kate Ellis has plenty of practice dealing with rude men who behave in this sexist manner. Christopher Pyne’s objectivity even found him praising Lindsay Tanner at least twice? Interesting to observe the contrast? He is just plain rude!

    @Venise – The image of you and Bolt having your ‘earth moving’ moment is not a pretty one! (sorry-couldn’t resist!)

  51. Loot On CTable


    hehehe, you are too perceptive for your own good. The “movie” is slowly squeezing itself out of me. Lets hope it’s better than my “poetry”..hehe.

  52. Loot On CTable

    Oooop! another clanger. that should have been from Broad Brush.

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