Oct 10, 2012

Gillard fires up, Slipper fired: the pundits’ verdict

Julia Gillard's impassioned attack on Tony Abbott and Peter Slipper's resignation fired up political pundits. Who won the politics on a dramatic parliamentary day?

Yesterday was a day like no other in parliament, with Julia Gillard's impassioned attack on Tony Abbott and finally Peter Slipper's resignation from the speaker's chair. So who won the politics? The nation's opinion writers have their say ...
Jennifer Hewett, The Australian Financial Review:
"This is dangerous and desperate territory for Labor and Gillard as much as it is for the Liberals and Abbott. There is already a bizarre new emphasis on sexual politics in Australia, with Margie Abbott belatedly coming out last week to defend her husband's attitude to women and condemn Labor for playing the gender card to shut down policy debate. Relief over Slipper's resignation will be temporary."
Geoff Kitney, The Australian Financial Review:
"Yesterday Gillard made a terrible error: she made a passionate and angry speech attacking Abbott for double standards and misogyny. But then she offered a weak and dissembling explanation as to why it was not the time to take any action to deal with Slipper despite his appalling language, which reflected attitudes beyond anything Abbott has ever indicated ... Despite Slipper's resignation last night, yesterday Gillard's judgement failed her."
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian:
"Gillard's parliamentary presentation was brilliantly ferocious, emotionally stirring and evocative of a wronged and injured party. But the substance and argument fell well short of an acceptable political strategy and risked only alienating more voters disenchanted with the grubby, hypocritical and personal abuse from both sides of parliament."
Peter van Onselen, The Australian:
"Is it possible for a political party and a prime minister to have more egg on their collective faces than Labor and Julia Gillard do right now? ... The Greens and the independents who sided with the government to defend Slipper's right to retain the speakership should also be embarrassed.We are in for an extremely brutal period in Australian politics between now and the next election if yesterday's question time was anything to go by. "
Phillip Coorey, The Sydney Morning Herald:
"With Labor's Anna Burke to replace Mr Slipper as the Speaker, the government will need the support of five of the seven crossbenchers to win a vote by 75 to 74. The Coalition needs just three."
Peter Hartcher, The Sydney Morning Herald:
"The moment Gillard rose to defend Slipper and keep him in office, she chose to defend the indefensible, to excuse the inexcusable. The government had spent a month vilifying Tony Abbott for having 'a problem with women'. But when one of the bulwarks of the government was exposed as having a problem with women, it was suddenly acceptable."
Michelle Grattan, The Age:
"The government is well rid of Mr Slipper, but the sequence of yesterday's events was a bad look for it. Julia Gillard and other government speakers were forced to defend on dubious grounds Mr Slipper continuing in his job, when his situation had become indefensible.The Prime Minister threw everything into her argument, which revolved around trying to pin the 'misogynist' label on the Opposition Leader. It was perhaps the only weapon available to her, but it sounded more desperate than convincing."
Tony Wright, The Age:
"The screeching of the most senior members of the Gillard government and the Abbott opposition yesterday was the sound of Australia's Parliament scraping the bottom of its barrel ... Mr Slipper, of course, wasn't there to see the vote or to hear the Parliament scraping its barrel. But he heard it from a distance, and ended up making it all a ghastly mistake."

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24 thoughts on “Gillard fires up, Slipper fired: the pundits’ verdict

  1. Hamis Hill

    How many more Slippers are there hiding in the conservative ranks?
    While the MSM prefer to screech about governmemt screeching Slippers Mark I, II,III etc will continue to escape scrutiny.
    All the way into government seems to be the plan.
    Oh the hypocrisy!

  2. Holden Back

    Well I reckon . . . .

    Independent of any facts of the matter, or any nuance of resignation versus being forced from an office,our glorious fourth estate at work.

    Only Jennifer Hewitt seems to get what has been wrought in this. Now no private utteranaces – which the text messages were- is now off limits to judge ‘character’. The quotes are because it’s not about fitness for office any more, it’s about playing on personalities and foibles for political points. This means anyone with any kind of past (or character or charisma) will now think longer and harder about running for elected office.

    At least it clears the way for the party hacks – we defenitely need more of them in parliament.


    The media have lost any standard of objectivity when they compare some private badinage with the relentless public sexism that Abbott has unleashed with the aid of the Murdoch stable.

    Slipper’s salty language did not ridicule any woman or question her legitimacy, and yet journalists have all suddenly been ‘shocked’ by his private ‘front bar’ comments, and happily trumpeted the cynical and opportunistic line of the Opposition.

    Die MSM, die, die of shame, as Tony Abbott and his parrot would say.


    Ok, rephrase that: the MSM just ignore the unrelenting sexism (which they amplify daily) of the Opposition but go feral over a couple off ‘off colour’ remarks by Slipper.

    Really, we have reached peak stupid in our media, and time for the dinosaurs to crawl off and die.

  5. drmick

    Funny how the MSM commentators are the only ones trumpeting Abbots brilliant tactics again. Normal, real people are talking about someone else getting what they deserved.
    Ironic how the same trash parading as churnalists created, wrote the scripts for and then sold the unspeakable disgrace that is the loto. Talk about defending the indefensible; Still, with their head up their Abbotts and Joneses, they are not going to be able to see what is going on in the real world.
    The hypocrisy is definitely breathtaking

  6. Stephen Paul

    gee, the australian MSM barracking for the Liberal opposition, that’s unusual. The issue is about misogynism, abusive language and the growing vitriolic & personal attacks that occupies the social and political spaces of our society, not the alledged hypocricy of the women’s movement and the left. I suggest people look at the international take on PM Gillard’s put down of Abbott.

  7. paddy

    I’m actually wondering if the ‘Slipper text message fallout’, might just give the Govt pause for thought re: The data retention act.
    When *all* your electronic communications are available for future scrutiny, and they *will* be hacked at some point. No one is safe.
    Not politicians, journalists, celebrities, police officers or just plain ordinary folks, who’s lives, for what ever reason, come to the attention of any of the above.
    We are increasingly living in a fishbowl and there are endless ‘helpful’ types polishing the glass.
    I’m sure there are plenty of pollies who sat in parliament yesterday, thinking ‘will I be next?’

  8. jennatilz mckrackin

    Very disappointing to see the ABC’s Emma Alberici, Sabra Lane, Latika Bourke and Fairfax Rags going so hard at Ms Gillard. The speech was so devastating and historically important and all the MSM can focus on is the private messages of a 20year long liberal MP. Regardless of their offensiveness (Sophie Mirabella insults the intelligence of most people on a daily basis), the link that they are the fault of the PM is absurd and the let off Abbott received for calling for the government to die because of it really shows how pathetic the media in this country are.

  9. gloria bennett

    interesting to hear pyne try and rationlise why slippers vote isn’t “tainted”. the difference is, mr pyne, that you can secure slippers vote easier than you can thomson’s. if anyone can’t see through this then they’re a fool, plain and simple.

  10. Savonrepus

    Why does Julia have such a problem with men? Not so long ago it was gentle Kevin she was roasting. My heart goes out for poor ol Tim. One can only imagine.

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