This piece was going to start with how Julia Gillard had lost the plot with her remarks about gender and abortion yesterday, that it was a desperate effort to return to the misogyny debate that had served her well last year in the hope that she could shift talk away from ex-PM Kevin Rudd and return the focus to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's weakness on gender issues.

That piece is rather harder to write after former Queensland MP Mal Brough's menu emerged with its grossly sexist and offensive description of the Prime Minister, as if to demonstrate that a contempt for women indeed lurks among some on the conservative side of politics.