Delahunty on Gillard – how she really felt about 'Ditch the Witch'
Something dirty happened in Australian politics in March, 2011: a line was crossed that stained our political culture. Public decency in public debate was trashed that autumn day in Canberra when sexually demeaning signs about the nation’s Prime Minister were held high and prominent before the cameras - Ditch the Witch, JuLiar, Bob Brown’s Bitch. The then opposition leader Tony Abbott and two senior female Liberal MPs stood on the dais in front of the crude placards. In a new book, Gravity, by Gold Walkley award-winning journalist and former Victorian government minister Mary Delahunty, Julia Gillard speaks frankly for the first time about the significance of these gendered attacks on her authority as PM, and reveals her hurt and surprise that so many commentators and citizens stayed silent. This extract gives an insight into how the scenario impacted her.