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Oct 1, 2013

At the Opera House, a Gillard curtain call to a cacophony of love

She hit out at the haters and a sell-out crowd went wild. Julia Gillard emerged from exile to talk to Anne Summers in front of a packed Sydney Opera House audience. Crikey was there.


The first chapter of ex-prime minister Julia Gillard’s first post-politics public love-in kicked off in rapturous fashion at the Sydney Opera House last night.

Before a sold-out crowd of 2600 true believers clamouring to cleanse the nation’s conscience of the sexism meted out to Australia’s first woman prime minister, Gillard barely managed to get a word in as waves of deafening applause, assisted by Jørn Utzon’s superb acoustics, seeped across the harbour on a magical spring evening.

It was like the former member for Lalor had never failed to communicate Labor’s successes to the Australian people, had never agitated to abandon carbon trading, weaken the mining tax and cut welfare for single mothers — that the party was never sleepwalking to disaster under her watch. None of that was more important than Gillard’s appalling treatment at the hands of misogynist nutjobs on the internet.

At the outset, MC Catriona was on hand to remind everyone that:

“… this is a very significant event, it is the launch of Anne Summers Conversation Event Series where Anne will interview live in an environment like this, extremely important people … I have the great pleasure to introduce your host for this evening, and the publisher and editor of Anne Summers Reports, the host of Anne Summers Conversations, well-known journalist and commentator Anne Summers!”

In a scene straight from the set of Oprah, Gillard strode on stage to the strains of Aretha Franklin’s version of Otis Redding’s Respect and the crowd went totally apeshit. At times she seemed embarrassed by the reaction that included a shout-out to the Altona fans in the house.

Lindsay Tanner’s long-term Melbourne University student union sparring partner, 52 on Sunday, had just returned from New York City with partner Tim Mathieson and seized the opportunity inside the first five minutes to sledge Australian Financial Review gossip columnist Joe Aston for penning an erroneous Woman’s Day pick-up last week claiming she and Tim were on the rocks. Aston, Gillard alleged, should have known when he called spokesperson Bruce Wolpe for comment it was 1am on the east coast and that she replied at the first available opportunity of 6am (8pm AEST) — too late for the Fin’s crushing deadline.

The “night of June 26” was repeatedly raised in hushed tones, Gillard explaining that the difference between her takedown of Kevin Rudd in 2010 and his revenge attack three years later was that “to ask your leader to have a leadership ballot that’s legitimate, to do things continuously that undermine the Labor Party and the Labor government then of course that shouldn’t be done by anyone.”

Summers: “So the difference is you asked for a ballot?”

Gillard: “The difference is every day that I was deputy prime Minister I spent all of my time doing everything I could to help the Labor government prosper.” [sustained hooting and applause]

The media was a repeated focus, especially the decision by editors to grant oxygen to the slightest off-the-record muttering from the Rudd cardinals. Social media and bloggers had played a damaging role in disseminating the hatred of Larry Pickering and other crazies (Gillard said she’d seen his infamous “dildo” cartoon but had tried to ignore it). But luckily there are independent media proprietors on the case:

“Maybe I’m just a starry-eyed optimist, but in some ways I actually think we are seeing the death throes of this kind of business model in the newspapers and we are going to emerge into a media landscape of trusted voices where it will be about trusted voices giving you the facts.”

Gillard was at her best when riffing about her suburban roots and the world of day-to-day beltway manoeuvring. She talked about how her brick veneer features on the official Hobsons Bay walking tour and “30 or 40 tourists” routinely turn up to take photos of the weeds in her front yard. And how every day in the Lodge she would pore over “the four newspapers you can get in Canberra early in the morning” (The Australian Financial Review, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph?) arranged by a staffer, Margaret, in order of positivity. She would then convene with Wayne Swan and Anthony Albanese at Parliament House to commiserate. Other anecdotes about calling Barack Obama “mad” for liking question time and revelations about Christopher Pyne’s spiteful niggling across the despatch box also played well.

Most of the questions from the floor were of the Lisa Simpson “why are you so popular?” variety. Like:

Question: “Tony Abbott is the new Minister for Women. What advice do you have for him?”

Answer: “I think the advice I would have for Prime Minister Abbott is to reach across the partisan divide and ask Tanya [Plibersek]!”

But that wasn’t really the point — the palpable legacy of the Gillard era is the huge boost it gave to young women who could see, on the TV news each night, a strong female leader in a position of power. Primary school-aged girls queued at the microphones last night to pay their respects. How’s this from 11-year-old Grace, the daughter of Global Mail journalist Bernie Lagan and Global Mail CEO Jane Nicholls:

Grace: “Throughout all that horrible sexism, is there anything you said to yourself to keep yourself motivated?”

Gillard: “When I was getting myself together to go out and give my final speech as prime minister I certainly did say to myself that I wouldn’t give those people the satisfaction of seeing me shed a tear, I wouldn’t do that.”

There was some harder probing over gay marriage (Gillard explained that her “perplexing” take was nothing to do with the views of western Sydney focus groups but a hangover from fighting the patriarchy as a student activist) and cuts to mental health funding (she would have to ask Nicola Roxon to check the detail).

Gillard anointed local Sydney MP Plibersek — “one of the most gifted communicators in Australian politics” — as her woman successor and declined to back either Bill Shorten or Anthony Albanese in the current leadership ballot. Whatever the outcome, Tanya should be the next female Labor leader, she said, whipping the home crowd into a rapture Peter Baldwin could’ve only dreamt about.

The State Circle celebrity sightings were a bit thin on the ground, with ex-Gillard staffers led by media consigliere Eamonn Fitzpatrick rocking up and newly engaged power couple Olivia Wirth and Paul Howes perched in the “Australian Workers Union row” alongside Swan (the event was sponsored by Wirth’s Qantas). Plibersek was to their right. Global Mail snapper Mike Bowers turned up, seemingly in a personal capacity. Retired Tasmanian senator Nick Sherry was apparently there but Crikey never properly eyeballed him.

Befitting her focus on the media, Gillard did find time to slip one scoop in — she will soon take up a position with the Brookings Institution as a senior fellow working on global education after her move to Adelaide in November, necessitating very frequent commutes to Washington (prompting the biggest applause of the night).

Oh, and she’s kept the misogyny speech notes.

The red carpet will roll out again tonight in Melbourne at the Town Hall in Swanston Street. It is, of course, totally sold out.


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52 thoughts on “At the Opera House, a Gillard curtain call to a cacophony of love

  1. Karen

    I knew history would judge Julia well, although I could never have predicted how quickly. IndeedAssociate Prof at Adelaide Uni, Brookings Institute advisor, roving ambassador and VIP guest on the world public speaking circuit (starting with sell out tours in Australia), Julia has MOVED on!!

    She leaves behind diminished men and one narky Bishop, fighting over the spoils of a diminished prime ministership and polity. It must surely taste like ash because it certainly looks like that at the moment…

  2. Patricia Rego

    Yes, Gillard made mistakes which she readily admitted. However, she was under unrelenting and often unfair criticism during her tenure as PM. We’re all well aware of where JG might have done better. However, value of last night was to allow JG the woman – the first woman PM – to be seen and to respond in a way that was impossible as PM.

  3. Brigid Tancred

    What a pleasant change it would have been if Crikey had given a woman journalist the job of commenting on Juiia’s interview. Maybe then we would have been able to avoid the mocking tone so characteristic of male journos{even those who write for Crikey)in their attitudes to our first woman Prime Minister.

  4. paddy

    Touché Brgid. Perhaps Crikey could provide (or commission) a woman journalist to cover round 2 at the Melb town hall tonight.

  5. Juno

    I think the Crikey journalist must have seen a different interview to me. His somewhat snide review just demonstrates to me that we really do have a long way to go.

  6. drmick

    Spot on Brigid. They just didn’t get it, they don’t get it and wont get it because they cant. She was the first and she has done the hard yards. The haters papers have already become bird cage liners and fish and chip wrappers & the fleas & parasites can look for another host.

  7. Anne

    It seems to me that Andrew Crook’s comment on the event is as biased as he claims the audience, the MC, Anne Summers and Julia Gillard to have been.
    It misses the point that this was the first time that the other Australians who have been on the receiving end of both deliberate and unconscious sexism for all of their lives and all of their working lives because they are female have had the opportunity to show some respect to the former Prime Minister. It was an acknowledgement of the grace and dignity she showed under fire, and the admiration many women and men feel for her for the way she handled appalling behaviour and what has been an appalling period in Australian political history. There was a collective sigh of relief that her feelings at the time were expressed as ‘murderous rage’ rather than having succumbed to self-doubt – another example of her guts and determination.
    It misses the point that the people who were there acknowledge her mistakes – I heard other members of the audience citing their lists – but the achievements of the Gillard government are on the record, and there are many.
    The naysayers and Gillard haters have taken advantage of the many opportunities to lash out at Gillard personally and at her government: this was the first time many people have had the opportunity to show their support, and they took it.

  8. Mark from Melbourne

    Pretty ordinary reporting padded out with lots of gratuitous opinion – “that the party was never sleepwalking to disaster under her watch.”

  9. drmick

    She has more class than any of her detractors, has inspired more people than any “hack churnalist” & will make a brilliant first Australian President.

  10. Joe Magill

    I wasn’t there, just watched it on ABC and I admit I’m a Gillard fan. I totally agree with Andrea and Anne. If this is the best Crikey’s “senior journalist” can do, I’d better redirect my interest elsewhere.

  11. puddleduck

    Disappointed that the Sydney do was telecast on TV and radio. I’m going tonight, and had to turn off in case the Melbourne show is just a repeat.

  12. Kevin Herbert

    Gillard is complete & utter failure as PM, by any measure.

    I don’t, and have never, judged her as a woman..only her performance…again, what a monumental failure she is.

    Talk about sexism in politics from rusted on Gillard no matter what supporters….get real folks…maybe some of the above Gillard acolytes could educate me as to her greatness…

  13. Kevin Herbert

    Good analysis Andrew Crook…nice to see someone taking a dispassionate view of the proceedings.

    I must admit I expected more from Anne Summers whom I’ve admired for many years.

  14. robinw

    ‘Gillard’s appalling treatment at the hands of misogynist nutjobs on the internet’

    I don’t know what sites you visited Andrew but I thought the main misogyny came from the old media and the Opposition. Jones, Ackerman, Bolt, Pyne, Abbott and Hadley just to name a few. I for one heard enough from them not to want to find hate filled right wing nutters on the net just to add to the burden. And it was those that everyone concentrated on, not the sad and lonely loons like Pickering who really does have personal issues that need addressing.

  15. Matt

    This piece is a nasty, piss-anty effort on your part young Andrew.

  16. Aphra

    I agree with nearly everyone here. I didn’t enjoy reading this review, either.

    However, I don’t cavil at a male journalist’s reporting the interview; I only require a fair and well balanced commentary. JG, after all, was Prime Minister for all Australians, irrespective of race or gender. I’ve also read many female journalists’ reports and comments on male ex-PMs, I’m sure.

    I eagerly look forward to Julia Gillard’s participation in public life again in future.

  17. Daly

    Andrew, this piece should have been written by a woman who might have ‘got’ what Julia’s PMship meant to over half of Australians. Not all of them women.
    Sometimes journalists, including Crikey’s excellent bunch, are too cynical to get the goodwill that can extend from the voting public to some politicians.
    As an Australian woman I spent the last three years cringing at the truly despicable behaviour of many journalists/editors ranging from the obscene through to the simply patronising.
    Where were the editors/ journalists who should have written the facts about her and her government’s achievements as well as the mistakes which every government makes? Where are their apologies??
    Having shown why most of us never buy MSM anymore, I hoped that you would have all learnt a lesson. But here we go again… I haven’t read this sort of put down about the John Howard cheer team.
    Disappointing Crikey.

  18. Michelle Hallett

    You must be very grateful you don’t have to deal with misogynist nut jobs, Andrew. Or perhaps you don’t realise that some of us have to get passed that before our legacy in life is assessed

  19. Bill Smith

    What is it with Journalists? Every time someone criticises the media, no matter how justified, every so called Journalist takes it personally and comes out swinging. And so it is with this piece. Snide and nasty, spinning every comment Julia Gillard made in the worst possible way and no attempt whatsoever to be objective about the event.

    I just signed up for a free trial. If this is the standard of Journalism at Crikey, I wont be giving it any of my hard earned that’s for sure. This piece reads like any of the attack dog pieces in the Murdoch rags, so what sort of alternative is Crikey. Simply pathetic.

  20. Brigid Tancred

    Well Mr Herbert, one thing I’ve learned in a long life and during my career as a commercial lawyer, is that the more intelligent and cultivated a man is, the less likely he is to denigrate the insights and intelligence of women. Sensible really, because men can learn a lot from women. And the smart men know that.

  21. Mark out West

    +1000 Well done on the review of this trite interview piece reminiscent of Alan Jones sycophantic interviews of John Howard. I applaud you for calling it for what it was a girls from the Blue tie haters brigade which incidentally cemented her eventual outcome.

    Gillard explains away her stance on Gay marriage as being underpinned by her personal stance of not wanting to be married – totally ignoring the fact that she is able to change her stance when she see fit while others are not afforded that luxury.

    Gillard is self absorbed and tin eared

  22. Gratton Wilson

    Does Andrew Crook suck lemons for breakfast? I’m saddened that so many journalists have not accepted that Julia Gillard was treated disgracefully by the Australian media. The media has consistently claimed that she “knifed Kevin Rudd in the back” (described by Andrew as a “takedown”) when he lost the support of the party but she was “dumped” when he outvoted her. Can you not see that she was treated differently? The Australian media condemned her “misogynist” speech as in pretty poor taste even after the international media seized it and acclaimed its brilliant recognition of the treatment of women all over the world.

  23. Karen

    @ Kevin Herbert: “Gillard is complete & utter failure as PM, by any measure”.

    On what basis do you say this? – keeping Australia out of recession and people in jobs, NDIS, NBN, dental services for children, school kids bonuses, health funding, education funding, carbon tax/price which has seen a decrease in emissions by big emitters. Her social achievements are major and outweigh all of her predecessors achievements, with the possible exception of Whitlam who introduced the enlightened policy of free education.

    What has any tory government achieved? Apart from stuffing money in company pockets and kicking the racist can with our tax money, using boat people as the tool in which to do so.

    Your comments are unenlightened and disgraceful.

  24. Kevin

    I thought I was reading Limited News or Fairfax or some half smart Crabb like effort.

  25. Wallace Margaret Lea

    The tone and mindset of this article is an art-form example of the low-minded, sarcasm and grubby cynicism – a sort of nihilism that is proud and ‘superior’ in its tone – that is killing any decency and genuine ethical attempts to interpret and inform the public/electorate. The assumption is that nothing said or done or held by public figures could possibly be genuine or real (except the ones that aren’t), and the real thing is just some sort of embarrassing fluff that must be hiding some base motive. This needs to stop (or at least become a far less dominant current in the media and public affairs)

  26. shepherdmarilyn

    The revisionist mind of this woman is astounding and the rusted on dingbats who let her get away with it even worse.

    Those saying she was a marvel need to flit off to the islands and interview the men, women and kids she trafficked out there on a secret 20 year dirty trafficking deal, the women who miscarried thanks to her, the thousands of children jailed and so on.

    They should ask Assange and others how they feel about Gillard who called him a criminal.

    The Palestinians she abused while spying for the Zionists, undermining Rudd from 2009 onwards and so on.

    How about the single parents sleeping in cars with hungry kids? The halting of the schools computer program to save money to build refugee prisons.

    Take you blinkers off you silly little people.

    Not one person hurt Gillard, she savaged innocent children by the thousands, a few sexist remarks, who cares.

  27. HB

    We’ve talked about this before, crikey. Too much snark, too little content

  28. AR

    Adequate Andrew Crook. Whatever the chromosomal mix, good reportage conveys information, possible a little colour and the odd epithet. Not banalities… like,”It was like the former member..”. Try ‘as if’, ‘as though’ or rewrite a crappy intro.

  29. Julie Tammo

    Are you serious Crikey? This is the work of your senior journalist? I would very impolitely for a 71 year old say that he is an incompetent, jumped up smart arse.

  30. The Quiet One

    4/10 could do better

  31. CML

    Despite the outrage expressed in many comments above, Julia Gillard started all this in June 2010. I do not accept her version of events, and never will. Even John Howard has said that Kevin Rudd would have won the 2010 election easily.
    Therefore, no hung parliament, no Labor/Green ‘alliance’, probably no Tony Abbott (the LNP would have duck-shoved him quick-smart after his loss to Kevin Rudd) and no first female PM from 2010-2013. Not to mention the extreme damage all this cr+p has done to the Labor Party!
    All Gillard had to do was wait until 2013 or 2016 and I believe she would have been well received by the Australian people.
    To anyone who knows the internal machinations of the Labor Party, it is obvious that Kevin Rudd was far too popular in 2010, and the right-wing faction were sh+t scared he would become powerful enough to start reforming the Labor Party. That would disadvantage all those right-wing union officials and pollies who are drunk on power. Think about the comments from the likes of Conroy, Richardson and others over the past few weeks regarding the ballot for the Labor leadership – screaming like stuck pigs!
    So, in June 2010 they prevail upon Ms. Gillard to challenge Kevin Rudd, in the hope of removing him from parliament. Despite being from the left faction in the Labor Party, she becomes a puppet of the right wing, and in doing so, creates mayhem for the party and herself.
    Well it turns out that Kevin Rudd has the last laugh – he returned to the PM’s position, began the reform agenda and won 10-15 more seats than Gillard would have done (29% primary vote remember?). All her own work!!
    Just so you all get this straight – I am a FEMALE senior citizen and long time Labor supporter who was a feminist before most of you were even born. And long before it was fashionable! That does not mean I have to support ALL women in everything they do. Stupidity is not confined to men only, unfortunately.
    So, reflect on that lot and be a little more discerning with your support for the sisterhood!

  32. Bill Smith

    So what do you have to say in reply to these comments Mr Senior Journalist?

    No one seems to like this piece of Murdoch like crap.

  33. Kevin Herbert

    Robin W:

    I’m interested to find your sources for your labeling of Abbott & Pyne, and any other Opposition MP’s as misogynist.
    Of course, if you can’t supply them I’ll understand.

  34. Kevin Herbert

    Karen: you claim that Gillard’s major achievement are:
    1. keeping Australia out of recession and people in jobs: hardly Gillard’s doing as it was Cabinet policy under Rudd’s leadership. However, Gillard would not lift a finger to help those few thousand hard working Aussies who lost their life savings due to the calamitous Home Insulation Program…nothing. Same with the BER…oceans of waste due to inept planning by Rudd/Gillard/Swan
    2. NDIS: nice work…long overdue, but its launch was amateur hour politically, and emblematic of a PM who could not effectively control the roll out government policy.
    3. NBN: dental services for children: I haven’t heard of it.
    4. school kids bonuses: this is Howard era middle class welfare & should have been means tested at say $90K family income.
    5. health funding: what health funding?
    6.education funding: what education funding?…do you mean Gonski?
    7. carbon tax/price: she was railroaded into this by the Greens…definitely not her idea..and her handling of it after the election was amateurish as she lost all credibility on the issue…her support staff deserve nothing but contempt over this bungle…Koko the Clown could’ve given her better advice.

    How about her fawning support for the apartheid, ethnic cleansing Israeli government, which to this day maintains its blockade of Gaza following its murder of 1300 Gazans including 300 kids under 10, in 2009? Check out the Goldstone Report. This is pewkworthy, particularly when she started talking about her visit to the Shoah memorial in Israel…her remarks were straight out of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s talking points

    Face it..she was a very ordinary performer as PM..some of her political decisions beggar belief…the always going to fail Media Regulation review debacle killed off any credibility she may have had left…I mean News Ltd doesn’t need any help in killing itself off, as its done fine job over the past decade or so.
    My local MP Tanya Plibersek is a first class local member whom I hope will consider running for the top job at some stage….I expect that based on her performance to date, she’d make a first class PM..however, that’s what most of us thought about Rudd…you never know how they’ll handle it until they’re in the job.

  35. Kevin Herbert

    Brigid Tancred:

    The sexist nature of your comments are most revealing.

    I should be offended, but am not.

    However, may I respectfully suggest that your commercial law career choice was the right one, as it’s clear that a career in litigation would have been well beyond your abilities.

  36. drmick

    Typical troll. Cant argue the subject so changes it to suit ignorant self. Boring. Go back to Blot; or is his circulation that low now you need a change of toilet to spread your crap in?

  37. Brigid Tancred

    Thanks for your defence, drmick. However, when I’m attacked personally, I prefer to maintain the dignified silence that characterised Julia until she was driven to make the misogyny speech by the conduct of her many detractors.

  38. Brangwyn

    People should know that the rant by “shepherdmarilyn” is not by marilynshepherd of Adelaide fame, he has got to be a looney.

  39. David Coles

    Kevin Herbert I agree that Julia Gillard made mistakes. A number of the decisions she made frustrated and disappointed me. I have been particularly concerned at her movement to the right over time.

    At the same time I have been very impressed at the way, as Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister, she has conducted herself in the face of the most ignorant and disgusting attack I have witnessed against a politician in my 60 odd years. That she achieved anything of note in the face of such attacks is laudable but to achieve as much as she did puts her up with the best of our leaders – in spite of the undoubted mistakes.

  40. Kevin Herbert

    David Coles:

    Apart from the net trolls whom I agree give everything & everybody an unnecessary shellacking,I do struggle to find material in support of the infamous ‘misogyny’ rant, which for mine was a grave error of political judgement for which her staff must take a major share of the responsibility.
    I’ve on occasion when asking for such references, been referred to a page which summarises Abbott’s personal views on aspects of women in society, some of with which I agree.
    e.g. I don’t agree with abortion, but I fully support a woman’s right to choose…does that make me anti women?

  41. Kevin Herbert


    Well argued…..I note they’ve gone silent in the face of some cold hard facts about the gross failure of Julia’s Gillard’s Prime Ministership.

    Finally, are you the Marilyn Shepherd of Adelaide? you certainly sound like you are that person!!!!

  42. Brangwyn

    No kevin I am not. You have a lot to say Kevin, Mr Abbott is not starting off too well but we expected nothing more. Maybe you could put the boot into him for a bit and leave the Julia admiration society pages to us.

  43. klewso

    Personally I have nothing against Gillard. Just wrong person, wrong time – I don’t think the Australian electorate is mature enough yet for a female PM, and I think that “doubt” was exploited to perfection by a partisan media in particular, quite happy to attack her, including personally (Murdoch’s troll-op-eds in particular – her dress, her looks even the way she talked).
    She didn’t help herself, with some pretty ordinary decisions – that’s probably more the fault of those she chose to take advice from?
    She’s more a symptom of what’s wrong at the heart of Labor at the moment – the egocentric sort of driving forces at the wheel, steering – more interested in their own personal advancement and of their ideas of how thing should be done, dismissing anyone who disagrees with their infallibility. A lack of interest in consensus from those wielding power within their Inner Magic Circle Club.

  44. drmick

    No problems Brigid. I was just enunciating the difference between tunnel vision and Colon vision. You cant see or hear much with your head there but you are very reassured in your own private echo chanmber

  45. Kevin Herbert


    so let’s get this straight….what is your relationship to shepherdmarilyn who has posted above?

  46. Sophie Benjamin

    Sophie Benjamin here, Crikey website producer.

    There is some robust debate in this thread but can I please ask people to move the tone of the discussion to something less personal. At Crikey we endorse the technique “play the ball and not the person.” In other words, please don’t attack each other. Please keep this in mind and consult our code of conduct for more info.

  47. amanda scott

    Why in hell does every commentary about Julia Gillard have to include a reference to her having made some mistakes but……. She put through some great legislation while leading a minority government, was white anted by that grandiose narrcarcist Rudd (the liberals got that one right) and his chronies and had to put up with the hostile and manipulative Murdoch press, as well as the just generally boyo stuff that is so entrenched in our media that it represents the norm. Andrew Crook’s piece fits into the latter. I’m so sick of the attitude to women in Australia, it’s shameful and appalling

  48. Kevin Herbert

    amanda acott;

    are you able to direct me to the Federal parliamentary misogynysts so often mentioned in the above thread?

    Everyone I’ve asked have not replied.

  49. Kevin Herbert

    drmick: do you have any comments on the evidence of Gillard’s failure as presented by shepherdmarilyn, CML or myself.

    Also, can you detail for me the Federal Parliamentarians who are the misogynists, and the statements they made…I can’t find any

    Please..not more cheap, pointless ad hominem shots, as per Crikey’s Sophie Benjamin’s above post.

  50. Bill Smith

    Perhaps Sophie Benjamin should have a word with Crikey’s Senior Journalist when it comes to setting the tone for discussion. It seems to me his deliberately provocative piece set the ground rules. That’s the tactic employed at the Murdoch rags, style your piece to encourage comments to be as vile as possible towards the intended target.
    I’m just glad I didn’t pay to read Andrew Cook’s gutter sniping.

  51. drmick

    I will apply the same exhaustive effort you have K Herbert; to not giving a rats about what you think.

  52. Kevin Herbert

    Thanks drmick.

    Your response is most illuminating.

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