Julia Gillard: Rather More than Just a Man's "Bitch" - Spectator Blogs

9 October 2012

I have little to say on the subject of the, er, colourful scandal that has been entertaining Australians lately. The Speaker, one Peter Slipper, has been pushed to resignation following accusations of sexual harassment and, well, much else besides.

However – and no matter what you think of her politics – there’s much to admire in the manner in which Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, sets about Tony Abbott, the leader of the opposition. Anyone who admires the cut and thrust of parliamentary theatre and debate will enjoy these 15 minutes. Mr Abbott does not look best amused. But then he’s just been carved to pieces so he wouldn’t would he?

Watch the video here. (Apologies: technical problems are preventing me from embedding video in the Spectator’s site. This will be solved eventually. I hope.)

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  • rndtechnologies786

    Good view.

  • edjc

    Gillard is the most dishonest, power hungry, narcissistic pm that Australia has ever had. She has destroyed the fabric of our parliament and is systematically destroying the AUstralian way of life with her class wars and divide and conquer plays. She lies. She is a liar. Slipper should never have been appointed speaker. Slipper had a blemished reputation for sleaze and shiftiness even before the sexual harassment claims.

    The problem for Abbott is that is a genuinely good person. He is not power hungry, he is a team player. He does not seek to blow his own trumpet. He is a policy man who prefers to work with a team. HIs ability was demonstrated when he united a very beaten down Liberal party to almost win the last election, against massive odds.

    Do we Australians really want a liar and a thief leading our country or do we want an honest person with integrity and passion ?

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    There is much to admire about the way a mendacious leftie abuses opposition viewpoints to wiggle out of a scandal where her own bitch man had been caught speaking like the worst sexist swine in Herat province would not. Well, sir,if these are your heroines, you’re easy to please. There’s a dozen of them in any debating chamber.

  • Simon Morgan

    Peter Slipper resembles, in every respect, that part of the female gender’s anatomy he so derides. To put it mildly – with friends like him, you don’t need any enemies. He has resigned from the position of Speaker and no one will be sorry to see the back of him.

  • Mark

    She has to go the waste of money

  • Meri Australia

    lol @ the lefties on this site

  • PG

    For the record, it was Ashby who called Mirabella an “ignorant botch” = auto correct.
    Secondly, the Parliament should never abuse the separation of powers, ie.
    Executive, Legislature. Judiacary,
    The Parliament should never be used as a kangaroo court, which is why the government did not vote to please Tony Abbott.

    The texts in discussion pre-date Mr. Slipper leaving the Liberal Party and would never have come to light if there was no Minority government with very tight numbers.

    Lastly, why did Mr. Ashby need so much advice from Mr. Pyne and Mr. Brough and other Liberal elders, when he should have gone through the proper processes with his complaint. Mr. Pyne is the Manager of Opposition Business and would know the proper procedures. He lied about having spent two hours “having a drink” with Mr. Ashby, abd Mr. Brough lied about spending three hours with Mr. Ashby.

    Maybe it was because a Court case and every attempt to bankrupt Mr. Slipper looks so much more appealing to the Coalition.

    • Lucy

      Let’s assume that Pyne (in charge of Opposition business) was telling the truth about dropping in to Slipper’s office at around 9 pm at night (while the House was still sitting and Slipper would be in the Speaker’s Chair until about 10 pm), because he wanted to have a convivial drink with Slipper’s staffer James Ashby and another staffer.
      When Slipper returned to his office, Pyne left, so Pyne had not come to meet and chat with Slipper, only to chat with Ashby.
      After leaving, within a minute, Pyne texted and asked for Ashby’s phone number. Perhaps Pyne felt that he would enjoy swapping some convivial, social text messages with Ashby, and this had nothing to do with Ashby’s proposed legal action against Slipper. Let’s believe Pyne’s version.
      Birds of a feather, they do say, flock together..

  • Vicko of Brisbane

    Is it still mysogeny if I only hate one woman?

  • EndGame

    Julia Gillard lashes out because Tony Abbott doesn’t react to her. This has been going on for months and the screaming rant we witnessed is a result of frustration because she baits him and he doesn’t react to her. You readers should read Piers Akerman, Andrew Bolt, Pickering Post, Michael Smith blogs to see what is really going on.

    • proud pru

      Juliar Gillard baiting Tony Abbot?? It’s sad that there isn’t a link here or even in Australia of the whole speech Mr Abbot gave prior to Ms Gillard’s response as we would see an example of what has been the continuous baiting ,disrespect and misuse of parliamentary process for political gain demonstrated by Mr Abbot . You must have been watching very different question time videos, over the last 2 years, to myself and many others . Also, when recommending these blogs your really should warn people that; the American Tea Party are socialist puppies compared to these men, Mr Pickering has the most foulest, and disgusting cartoons of the Prime Minister on his website and, that Pickering is in fact a poster child for misogynist . It is my opinion that suggesting these blogs has just taken all credibility out of your comment and laid bare your bias

    • Lucy

      Do you ever read anything other than those four extreme right wing propagandists? These four do the Liberal Party no service. If it is to win government, and retain it, the Liberal Party cannot afford to be closely identified with these four.

  • Win

    So Alex Massie is in cahoots with John McTernan Gilards political adviser.I am about to cancel my long time Spectator subscription. How nice of the Spectator to provide a forum for two Scotts and to assist in the assassination of an Australian opposition leader doing his job.

  • michael

    Gillard and her stooges defend her disgraceful
    hand picked misogynist speaker and stands by him, a shameless act even P Slipper
    said he did not fit the speaker roll, so Gillard rants on about a man that has
    done more for women’s charity than Gillard ever did ( she has done nothing but
    show contempt to the Australian people) and slanders him, she has slept with the
    union men in Labor even when they were married, she showed no respect for their
    wives, just because Abbott said that he told his daughters not to be whores
    Gillard labels him as a women hater, never has Australia had such a hypocrite as
    PM ever, she defends a misogynist defends corrupt union buddies then attacks a
    decent family, those that defend this shameless lire are nothing more than
    stooges of a despicable women that has shamed most of the women here in
    Australia, she certainly does not speak for all women most women distance them
    selves from here she is a disgrace.

  • Simon Morgan

    Northside is absolutely right. The only reason Gillard would not act under any circumstances against Slipper is to do with Parliamentary numbers and nothing else.
    It was for the same reason she did not make a move against Craig Thompson.

    Her attack on Abbott was to cover her own lack of morality – and you and the half the world seem to have fallen for it, hook line and sinker.

    Some have even compared her to Maggie Thatcher! One had prinicples and stuck by them – the other doesn’t even know the meaning of the word. I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which, but as for Australians who know Gillard, there is not the slightest doubt.
    BTW I’m British but living in Australia (call me a whinging POM!!)

  • MarkV

    Julia Gillard: an absolute joke. Nothing more than a stooge for Uncle Sam. The Yanks are in the war, so Australian troops must remain in the Middle East and Afghanistan, no matter how many die. That’s the way she “thinks”. PM Gillard, big tough crusader for women’s rights, but she’s quite happy to send MEN overseas to die in the trenches and across the battlefields of some far away foreign country. She can stand up to a lowly moron like Abbott, but she is too GUTLESS to tell the Obamas to take a long walk off a short pier. All this big talk about the carbon tax and the ecology, but she doesn’t say Bo Peep about Australia’s disgraceful indulgence in uranium mining, one of the highest in the world. She is all about protecting big business, regardless of the cost to Australia’s environment and land rights considerations. Remember that clip where the elderly woman caused Gillard to lose her composure by asking why the PM lied about the carbon tax? PM Gillard’s biggest opponent is not idiots like Abbott, it’s THE VOTERS. And given her horrendous track record, she’ll be gone at the next election. The margin shall be too wide for her friends in the Greens and the independents to save her hide this time around. And do you really think Tony Abbott is scared of Julia? It’s called a poker face, and I bet you he and his “old boys club” had a good laugh about it over some drinks. Yes, Tony Abbott is a moron, but what separates Julia from the rest of the pack? She doesn’t walk on water, she’s just pro-war, pro-uranium mining, an ignorant puppet for the US…oh, wait, she sounds a lot like Bronwyn Bishop!

  • Eddie

    Julia Gillard’s Welsh.
    Nuff said!
    Have you ever heard a Welsh mother letting rip?
    Hiroshima had it easy compared to that really!!!

  • Blower

    Ju-liar forgto to mention, that she supported a “Misogynist” speaker by voting against his dismissal, which shows contradiction, bias and hypocrisy. Fact is that she lied to the Australian People and did not tell them about her controversial past before the election. Is the catchword “Misogynist’ the new defence for the feminst KGB to lie and to be controversial, if not criminal. To get a brighter picture to this you should read:

  • Gillian

    The speech by Julia Gillard was superb. It was a passionate, evidence. Based retort to Tony Abbott who has relied upon vicious sound bytes and the unfamiliarity of the Australian public to what is in effect a hung parliament. That means that the ALP has to negotiate to get a range of legislation passed.

    Tony has himself made a number of pacts with the National Party, as the Liberal Party’s coalition party. The combination of Tony Abbott, nationals red faced and blustering senator Barnaby Joyce, plus a collection of mediocre but rabble rousing colleagues such as Senator Bernardi, Chris Pyne and the immigration spokesmen, has seen the coalition lur to the right and adopt the type of tactics and arguments put forward by George W Bush and the emergent loud, retro and lamentably stupid tea party movement.

    The government is not popular, but Australian voters should be wary of voting for Abbottt, given the recent record of State labour governments recently voted in. Campbell Newman in Queensland is a cautionary tale of uber right tacticsts, old fashioned arguments and plain dumb arguments. They sadly look to a pastiche of last century England for their ideas.

  • Erasmus

    Sadly this issue has degenerated into a battle of prior positions. The government’s defence that the issue arose during a legal dispute which is still before the courts, and therefore does not warrant parliamentary action, is a specious one. The motion to dismiss him as speaker was about text messages he sent, and he has acknowledged that he sent them, in which he referred to female genitalia as “shell-less mussels”, “salty c***s”, and other offensive and derisory terms.These texts are evidence in the court case, but the motion to dismiss was about his attitude to women, not about the possible outcome of litigation brought by a former male staffer alleging sexual harassment. The government appointed the strange Slipper (an Opposition MP) to the speaker’s role to shore up its numbers in the House, and is now embarrassed by revelations about his character. The possible outcome of the litigation is irrelevant to the character issue illustrated by his text messages.

    • Lucy

      I guess Erasmus you can be excused for lacking a sense of time and sequence, as you always knew what was going to happen before it had happened.
      The motion to dismiss Slipper came before Slipper had spoken in the House, that is before he had acknowledged that he had sent the text messages.

      Now, just an example for you of what has been going on in the Australian Parliament.
      400 bills have been passed by the Government including world breaking plain packaging of cigarettes, a price on carbon emissions, a national disabilities insurance scheme, improvements in education reporting, despite a minority government and the most hostile and negative Opposition ever seen in Australia and a 70% Murdoch owned press.
      What interest does Abbott’s Opposition have in the real issues.
      The Australian Minister for Trade, Emerson, was at the Conference in Vladivostok with Putin where a New University is being established; he has just returned from Mongolia.
      One of Australia’s major exports is education, particularly in relation to Asia and the Pacific Rim.

      The Abbott Party (Opposition) spokesperson, Shadow Minister for Trade, is an MP named Bishop (Julie Bishop). Do you know how many questions Bishop has asked Emerson about Trade in the life of this Parliament? Answer, none, zero, zilch.
      What does Bishop spend her time fussing about? At the moment all she can talk about is whether Gillard was defending Slipper and demanding apologies for defending Slipper, and demanding apologies from Gillard because Abbott’s wife might be offended by Gillard’s speech. Apart from that and misrepresenting what Gillard said about putting a price on carbon emissions, Ms Bishop, Mr Abbott’s “loyal girl” as he described her, is out and about defending Mr Abbott whenever he is unwilling to defend himself, which is often because he is afraid of being interviewed by any one who is not a light infotainment Yes man.

      • Andrew Dixon

        You seriously dont have a clue do you lucy. Slipper admitted long before parliament sat that he sent the messages so what the %^$# are u talking about, he didnt need to talk to parliament to make it official because he admitted it. So you mean all those 400 bills have been passed without any help from the coalition, what aload of BS. 70% owned murdoch press, what a load of crap they do not own 70%, its illegal to own that much. They have 70% of the circulation, in other words 70% of the australian population who buy these type ofs publications buy murdoch publication’s, why? because they are a dam site more balanced and offer both sides unlike fairfax etc. Abbott afraid of been interviewed by hostile media, he goes on every TV station and radio station, maybe some more then others but that is normal for any MP. The labor party has banned its members from going on many stations and appear on the ABC 90% of the time because they know they will get cosy interviews.

        • Lucy

          You know perfectly well that Abbott has problems with unexpected questions and tries to avoid interviewers who persistently ask them.
          It is a worry for us, and it must be for his colleagues when he behaves, for instance as he did in this interview,

          I don’t know what the head wobble is a symptom of but the inability to come up on the words, without a script, does not bode well for the putative Leader of our Nation.

  • Paula Anthony

    The only reason Julia Gillard attacked Tony Abbott was so she didn’t have to defend the fact that she was protecting her power by defending Peter Slipper. This was nasty grubby politics and Julia Gillard played it beautifully. I am not a Tony Abbott fan but I really object to the PM using the argument of sexism to protect herself from any form of genuine criticism. I don’t think playing these games does anyone any favours.

    • Lucy

      I think that Julia Gillard attacked Tony Abbott because she is Leader of the Government and Abbott is Leader of the Opposition.
      Abbott, and Abbott’s supporters, have been claiming for two years that the Opposition’s duty is to oppose.
      In opposing they have employed some innovative and successful tactics, like predicting rioting in the streets. You will find some of them listed in Gillard’s speech. For example, with the help of demagogue radio broadcaster, Alan Jones, they arranged a demonstration against the Gillard Government’s Carbon pricing emissions policy with placards calling Gillard a witch and a bitch. They have renamed Julia, “Ju-liar” and constantly accuse her of lying. They talk down the Australian economy and repeat, ad nauseum, that Gillard is Australia’s worst Prime Minister.
      So that is Abbott’s style of Opposition. This time Gillard called him on it.
      My granddaughter’s comment was “Tell Abbott – don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.”

      The Speaker can be dismissed, on a vote of the House, for fraud, negligence, bad behaviour. He can sue for damages for wrongful dismissal. Whether some crudities in private texts swapped with a staffer are bad enough behaviour might be a test case best avoided. Dismissing a Speaker is an unprecedented and risky business. It was avoided by some diplomatic negotiating by two Independent members of Parliament advising the Speaker to resign. Gillard, in her speech, did not condone the crudities of the Speaker in his texts, nor did she support him.

      • Simon Morgan

        But now, when Abbott attacks gillard, he’s a sexist misogynist???? That’s really good for our politics isn’t it?

        • Lucy

          If Abbott attacks Government policies with reasoned arguments he will not be called a sexist misogynist. He will be called a rational person and, if his facts and arguments are correct, he will be honoured.
          When Abbott stands up in Parliament waving a bill for electricity and does not notice that a doubling of usage is the reason that the charge has doubled, he will be called innumerate, lazy and careless.
          When he supports climate change deniers who call the Prime Minister a witch and a bitch and he himself predicts rioting in the streets and the total wiping out of Australian towns he will be called a fool.
          As for misogynist, the record speaks for itself, and since the cap fits he must wear it. For Abbot has always thought that women are less capable than men, for “physiological” reasons.
          He voiced such opinions in his student political days and repeated them in 1998 when a Cabinet Minister in Parliament and in the Press, as Gillard quoted accurately in her speech.
          Sexism is not recognisable by sexists, just as racism is not recognised by racists..
          Someone here has just asked that if a woman were called a wizard instead of being called a witch would that be sexist, or non-sexist?
          Merlin was a wizard. He was the kingmaker for King Arthur. A respected man of power.
          The witches of Salem and elsewhere were females and were burnt at the stake.
          Which would you rather be, a wizard or a witch?
          I suggest that “You are a wizard” is a compliment whilst “You are a witch” is an insult.

          • Simon Morgan

            Gillard stabs Rudd in the back. Gillard lies to the public about the carbon tax (I know, she didn’t have much choice, but an honorable PM would have taken it to the country). Gillard retires Harry Jenkins and puts Slipper in his place. Gillard would not sack Craig Thompson under any circumstances.

            -Do you consider these actions to be worthy of a witch or a wizard?
            -As to the legislation passed, no-one in their right minds wants the carbon tax (apart from a few tree-hugging hippies living in Tasmania). And you forgot to mention the other legislation the Labor government is now infamous for – the dismantling of the Pacific Solution. Gillard is a liar and a cheat, there’s no two ways about it.

            • Lucy

              No Simon Morgan. You are not living in the real world but in a dimension of your own viewed through a distorting lens, and describing it with partisan language.
              “Gillard” is one of 70+ members of Labor Parliamentarians all of whom are equals. Gillard may be “Prime Minister” but that is only “first amongst equals”. They all have a vote, and all have opinions.
              A number of these Parliamentarians looked at the polls for Rudd, discussed the Rudd mode of Leadership, and decided that Rudd had to go. Julia Gillard was one of them (as far as we know), but she carried only one vote.
              Rudd was told that a “spill was on” and overnight, having canvassed his possible supporters presumably, realised that he would not win enough votes in the Caucus and did not contest the Leadership. He has tried again and still does not have the numbers amongst his Parliamentary colleagues to vote him back in as Leader.
              Gillard told the public that she would, if elected to lead the Government, not introduce a tax on carbon but they should have no doubt that she would put a price on carbon dioxide emissions. I heard her say that she would get committees to discuss and educate the public on climate change, but regardless of what these committees did, she would, after twelve months put a price on carbon. The ALP did not win an outright majority in the election and she leads a hung parliament.
              She did not “retire” Harry Jenkins, no one could do that. Harry Jenkins retired. He does not intend to stand at the next election so there was no undue influence that could be used to make him retire.
              Slipper was already Deputy Speaker, and has been a good Speaker. He was put there by a vote of the Parliament. The Prime Minister does not appoint the Speaker.
              Craig Thomson is the elected representative of the voters in the electorate of Dobell. He has not been charged with, nor found guilty of, any criminal offence warranting a twelve month jail sentence. The Prime Minister does not have the power to dismiss Craig Thomson from Parliament. She has had him dismissed from the Labor Party and that is as much as she has power to recommend.
              We have yet to see how the re-opening of the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Islands play out. Abbott and team are supposed to be talking to the President of Indonesia at the moment about “towing back” the boats. Let’s see what happens there.
              There is a consensus of scientific opinion far beyond the “tree-huggers” of Tasmania that Climate Change is a problem (Tony Abbott even claims to have a solution).
              There are two ways about many things that you think are “black and white” lay down misere.

              • Simon Morgan

                “of your own viewed through a distorting lens,+ -Pot calling the kettle black?

                If you really think Harry Jenkins retired of his own free will, right in the middle of a session of parliament, and thereby depriving the LNP of one more vote, then you really need to wake and smell the coffee.

                With both the Craig Thompson affair and the asylum seeker issues Gillard in the end had no choice. The Australian people simply wouldn’t put up with the nonsense a second longer.

                The Party or Caucus (those faceless men) knew this and forced her to act against the wishes of the Greens. That is what started the spat between the two.

                I agree Climate change is an issue for us, but to go it alone in the Pacific region, where we compete with China & India, is foolish in the extreme. Don’t go by what I say, ask any economist.

                All the above is completely verifiable – you just have to look it up if don’t remember the gory details.

          • Andrew Dixon

            Lucy, he didnt say they were less capable, what he said that some many woman arnt capable of doing the jobs that men do because they are different. That doesnt mean a woman sholdnt be allowed to do these jobs if capable it just means that many jobs will be dominated by males because of there differences. Tell me lucy how is this wrong or havent you noticed that men and woman are built differently.

            • Lucy

              These days some men are not strong enough to “Tote that barge! and Lift that bale! ” and some women are strong enough to do so, and as we know, in Stalinist Russia dad to.
              But heavy manual work was not what Tony Abbott was talking about in 1998.
              He was asked about the under-representation of women in Parliament and in executive roles and he answered that this under-representation was not necessarily a bad thing because women were physiologically unable to take such positions.
              Why should executive positions be dominated by males?
              In the past there were differences in education – girls in Australian schools were not offered the chance to study Physics for instance, even in the high school which I attended that had an entrance requirement of an IQ of 120+ and from which I graduated with third place in the state in Mathematics Honours list.
              Now, in this state girls regularly perform better than boys in the matriculation examination.
              In the past the man was the “breadwinner” and it was feared that working women would put men out of work. This is no longer the case because men are now glad to have an extra income helping to pay the mortgage.
              In the past the female rate of pay, even in tertiary teaching, was set at 80% of the male rate. This is now better but not entirely fixed, the inequality being maintained by “glass ceilings”.
              Just think about what you have said – “Many jobs will be dominated by males because of these differences.” Now tell me what differences you are talking about, and what jobs.

  • Meri Australia

    Sadly this isn’t whatt it looks like. A stand for women… It’s another,
    they’re almost daily, attack on the Opposition Leader PM Tony Abbott.
    In this particular example Abbott had asked that the speaker be sacked for
    referring to vaginas as mussels and some of the female pollies in really off
    PM Gillard needs the speakers vote to stay in power in this hung parliament
    here in Australia and with the Labor party voted to keep this speaker in and yet calls
    the opposition sexist.
    Australian news shows, even ones that leaned to her now are even unable to
    defend the misuse of feminism.
    I, as are many, am a woman and Australian citizens and are furious. she
    really DOES not speak for us.

    • Stacey Shipton

      Didn’t you already post this on the Telegraph UK, “aussiemeri”? The same tired old Abbott loyalists are reposting over and over – they are old school and they really don’t represent Australia’s women. Onya Julia, it was a stellar speech, and on the money x

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Unpopular views have a short shelf life on the Daily Telegraph, aka the Capitalist Lackey.

    • Kess

      I am a woman and an Australian citizen, and for the first time in a long time, I’m proud of an Australian PM. I’m furious that it took her so long to stand up to Tony Abbott and his digs, and I’m furious that he was elected as leader of a political party. Bring on Malcolm Turnbull!

      It’s not a misuse of feminism. The leader of the opposition is sexist, and I don’t want a government led by a man who has never apologised for his past behaviour, just denies it ever happened.

      If you don’t understand why the government voted to keep Slipper on, I suggest you read up on parliamentary procedure. They didn’t really have a choice. Abbott and co may well have voted to remove him if they were in government, but then they’ve never really been big on basic human rights, democracy, or even parliamentary procedure, have they?

      • Grant

        great comment…spot on

      • Andrew Dixon

        So kess, when is gillard going to apologise for her pass behavior, FFS some people are so hyprocritical its sad.

    • David Somerfield

      And you obviously do not understand the legal situation wonderfully explained by Lucy as above. Please at least have the decency to respect the laws of the land Meri Australia.

      • Andrew Dixon

        David, you and lucy dont have a clue, there was no legal situation at all, the parliament selects the speaker and the parliament can sack the speaker, these text messages had nothing to do with the court case. Funny how labor supporters are all worried about the lw except when there own attorney general interfers and makes statements about a ongoing court case.

        • Lucy

          Judging by the illiteracy of Andrew Dixon, Meri, Michael and Blower they are all devotees of the Alan Jones radio program.
          Come on, confess.
          Are you or aren’t you Alan Jones liteners?

    • Jackie Ryan

      There have been some challenges to Tony Abbott, Meri. He’s the opposition leader. These challenges have not been anywhere near as vicious, ugly and sustained as the misogynistic words written and spoken about the Prime Minister. I don’t think the Prime Minister is attempting to speak for ‘Australian women’ in this instance. But I’d rather you didn’t speak for me either.

    • Lloyd Lacey

      Um, no – Slipper’s vote is not necessary for Labor to remain as the government. At least not alone. There are five independents in the parliament. Yesterday one voted with the Opposition, one abstained, and the Government won the vote to reject the immediate (and very exceptional) dismissal of the Speaker by one vote. The very same margin that won Abbott the leadership of the Liberal (read Conservative) Party. The rejection of the dismissal was based on two key factors. The procedural issue was that the basis for the dismissal rested on evidence supplied to a court case where the judge has reserved his judgement. A decision by the Parliament may have seen the Parliament appearing to direct the Federal Court – a conflict of powers. Additionally, the mechanism was a sudden and unadvised motion moved by the Opposition during Question Time. To move such a motion – the first dismissal of a Speaker ever – without notice to the government is quite exceptional. The Opposition was offered the possibility of the motion lying on the table until the court case was declared or until the Speaker had come to his own decision. That was rejected. The government had no choice but to vote to defeat the dismissal. They were supported by sufficient independents to carry the vote and the Speaker subsequently resigned. Purpose achieved without tearing to shreds the fabric of parliamentary process and constitutional principles.

    • Kate

      She never said Slipper’s remarks weren’t sexist – she said she found them personally offensive. She was pointing out the double standards evident in Abbott pretending to be some defender of women’s rights when his track record shows some disgracefully anti-woman behaviour.

    • Julie Hayes

      Speak for yourself. I’m not furious at Ms Gillard nor is any woman I know apart from my step mother who is somewhere to the right of Alan Jones in her views.

    • Julie Hayes

      Speak for yourself. I’m not furious at Ms Gillard nor is any woman I know apart from my step mother who is somewhere to the right of Alan Jones in her views.

    • Lucy

      Meri, I am sorry but you are lacking in some essential knowledge.
      The Speaker does not have a vote when a Motion of No Confidence in the Government is being decided. It is the passing of only such a Motion that could bring down the present Labor Government and lead the Governor General to ask Tony Abbott if he could form a Government.
      To be able to govern (become Prime Minister) Abbott would have to get enough Independents to give the Governor General a written assurance that they would support Abbott in any future vote of No Confidence in him.
      It is very possible that enough Independents would accept the Liberal Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister. Unfortunately Malcolm Turnbull is not (yet) acceptable by his own Liberal colleagues.
      So, Abbott would most likely have (and want) to tell the Governor General that he could not form a Government, and an early election would ensue.
      There is a problem for Abbott with an early election. An early election will be a half Senate election. Even if Abbott gains a majority in the Lower House, the House of Representatives, he may not gain control of the Upper House, the Senate. Consequently Abbott will not be able to get any of his legislation through, such as repealing the Climate Control Bill.
      He will need another election. For that he needs time to trigger a Double Dissolution.
      The longer it is until an ordinary 2013 election or DD election, the narrower the gap between the Coalition and Labor will be.
      Make no mistake, Abbott did not want Slipper to resign. Abbott wanted to be able to rant against Slipper, for political gain, as long as possible. Now Slipper is off the Chess Board, and so is the “Carbon Tax”, so almost is “Tow back the Boats”, so is the economy “Stop the Waste”. All that Abbott can now cling to is the not convicted Craig Thomson.
      Do not make the mistake of thinking that the Australian populace all think like you and Alan Jones.

  • shamed

    You have absolutely no idea how much Julia gillard is hated in Australia. One speech does not make her a prime minister of any worth or morals.

    • Plucka

      Well that’s about as democratic a statement as the naming of the
      “Democratic Christian Party”, which does not in any way represent the
      majority of christian minded voters. There are haters for sure, and they
      like to hate because they only know how to engage with their most
      debased emotions. There would be a vast number more of people who approve of The Honorable Julia Gillard than those that actively dislike.

    • Kate

      Actually, most people I know would vote for Julia Gillard any day of the week if the alternative is Tony Abbott. Neither you nor I speak for all Australians.

    • Julie Hayes

      Why do people like you insist on speaking for other Australians? And what is this crap about morals?

      • Andrew Dixon

        Ok Kate and Julia he was wrong, she is loved by everyone, must be nice living in that bubble of yours.

        • Lucy

          Andrew Dixon, neither Kate nor Julie Hayes said that Gillard is loved by all Australians. Tony Abbott certainly isn’t.

          Apparently, Andrew Dixon, you cannot understand simple two sentence paragraphs.

          Abbott has shown that if he can’t be Prime Minister he is prepared to make Parliament chaotic – put a wrecking ball through it as he might say.
          Interestingly that is what he tried to do to the Sydney University Students’ Representative Council when he was a twenty year old student.

          Since the Coalition and its supporters are so keen to investigate Julia Gillard’s departure from the Law firm, Slater and Gordon, 17 or 18 years ago, perhaps we should ask about Abbott’s departure, (at age 30 – twenty-five years ago), from the St Patrick’s Catholic Seminary where he was studying to be a priest. Surely we could dig up one fellow student there who didn’t like him. Just joking.

  • jl

    If the spectator thinks she is so great please take her; Gillard and her government have turned our country into a basket case. She is not respected or wanted by most voters in australia. Her speech was presented solely to distract as after all SHE appointed slipper as speaker when she knew full well of his background and of the allegations against him. she does not have the best interest of the country but rather is hanging on to power by any mean possible. when an election is called please report to your readers of the landslide loss suffered by her party.

    • Downton Abbey

      Seems this “Lucy” is not the @Lucy from below. Notice the change in grammar and structure. Nice try Abbott supporters

      • Lucy

        Which Lucy are you talking about? I can only see my own comments of which there are now quite number.
        The grammar and structure may change if I am in the middle of cooking dinner or actually doing the work which I am paid (which is not posting on blogs).

    • Amy

      jl, what a load of rubbish! Sorry, which Opposition Spokesperson do you work for? Or are you one of those Alan Jones’ listeners, one of those haters? Julia Gillard is doing a fine job, especially in the difficult circumstances of a minority Government. Her speech was spot on, and many Australians are glad she is finally fully standing up for herself against Abbott, a sexist, misogynist man who really belongs in the 1950s, along with his mentor John Howard. Everything she said, she backed up with facts, evidence, and you can’t refute facts. He did say everything she quoted him as saying. Is that the kind of leader we want for this country? I don’t think so. Do we want someone with vision, who is willing to tackle climate change, even in the face of so many well-funded special interest groups that would much rather continue to pollute our atmosphere and our future, free of charge? Yes I think so. I think she was brave to say what she did and I applaud her and I am proud of her as the Prime Minister of this great country.

    • Mick L

      jl, exactly what planet do you live on, or have you been into the ‘substances’? In exactly what sense do you see Australia as a basket case? As the ONLY developed nation in the world to actually grow it’s economy during the GFC we seem to be doing OK. Let me guess, you vote Liberal and listen to AJ on 2GB.

    • somon

      Yeah, a basket case with unemployment ~5, inflation ~2%, GDP growth ~3.5%.
      Basket case I tell you! I want to move to Spain, no Ireland, no wait Britain, no USA, damn. Ghana, yes I will move to Ghana. It’s economy is literally outperforming Australia’s.

    • Lucy

      The Speaker is elected on the majority vote of the House, not appointed by the Prime Minister, just as the Speaker can be dismissed by the vote of the House.
      This is unlike the Governor General who is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.
      Strangely, the Australian electorate was quite happy for the GG to go on being chosen by the lone voice of the PM, but wouldn’t have a bar of the wider and more democratic suggestion that the GG (or President – figure head, powerless, ceremonial) be appointed on a two thirds vote of both Houses of Parliament.
      I wonder if we should in future have the Speaker chosen by popular vote of the whole Australian electorate.
      In Australia we, the ordinary voters, do not elect the Prime Minister. Essentially the Prime Minister is elected by a majority, within a majority of Members.
      Firstly the more numerous Party (or coalition of Parties, or the group of like-minded members) chooses by majority vote in its caucus the person who will be their Leader and hence Prime Minister.
      I think it is correct to say that Australians do not want to copy the way that America elects its Presidents. America has an older Constitution than Australia and in getting rid of King George of England they replaced him with something akin to a King.
      Australia gave its King-equivalent the Governor General virtually no executive powers and made its President-equivalent, the Prime Minister, only “the first amongst equals” who can be toppled at any time that he/she loses the confidence of all elected members.
      So Australia is a more modern democracy than America and in many ways was ahead of the UK in widening democracy.

  • Lucy

    There is a problem with Australian Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott.
    There is a disconnect between his mouth and his brain, and I mean that quite seriously and not as a cheap jibe. It is important that this be recognised if he wins the next (2013) election and moves onto the World Stage as the Leader of Australia – which is a voice for democracy and stability in a troubled World.

    Abbott has admitted in an interview with Australia’s most experienced and respected TV presenter, Kerry O’Brien, that when under pressure, and speaking off the cuff, that he tends to exaggerate and should not be believed or held to his word. He said that he was only to be believed when he was reading from a written, prepared script.
    This was exemplified in Parliament yesterday when Abbott inadvertently (on his own admission) echoed the words “died of shame” which broadcaster Alan Jones uttered and which have cost Alan Jones’s radio network 70 000 advertisers, including Mercedes Benz. Abbott agreed that he did not even know what he had said in his 15 minute address to the Parliament in support of his motion.
    Abbott is well known for his gaffes. (“Shit happens” when speaking about the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan, “I’m no tech head”, when asked about rolling out broadband. “No, I haven’t read the press release that I’ve called this TV interview to discuss.” etc”). His wife and daughters love him and, although ambitious, he is probably well-meaning. But he was a boxer and he avoids in depths intervieaws because he can’t take pressure.

    • Barbara Little

      I’m in Australia…thank you for this comment….very astute indeed. I am a Labor voter and extremely proud of our gallant PM after yesterday’s effort in Question Time. It was certainly about time Julia gave it back to the vile Abbott.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Labour or Labor?

    • Grant

      Abbot is a total disgrace…hes a bully…sooner the Liberal Party wakes up and runs with Turnbull the better…

      • Andrew Dixon

        Turnball is a labor party man in aliberal suit thats why labor votrers like you want him to lead.

    • napalmnacey

      Of course Mr. Abbott is good to his wife and daughters. He considers them his chattell, they’re the women he “owns”. They’re a part of his image, his psyche, how the world views him, they’re connected to him rather than being their own people in his head. If someone says or does anything untoward to them, they’re doing it to him. That’s how the Patriarchy works. So his wife saying, “He’s nice to ME” doesn’t mean diddly.

    • Endgame

      Kerry O’Brien is called Red Kerry for his leftist views. I don’t this he is all that much respected by a lot of Australians. If you are quoting the “shit happens” please quote the whole story. A boxer, wasn’t that a boxing blue at Oxford, Rhodes Scholar etc. etc.

    • Andrew Dixon

      What aload of crap lucy, how about you actually listen to the full story and stop taking things out of context like the shit happens remark, he said the government was dying of shame, something he has said numerous times before the Jones comment, he never mentioned gillards father, she was the one who bought him into it, talk about looking for sympathy.

  • Claire

    Yay Julia fight for woman’s rights!!! Unless of course those woman are in a same sex relationship wanting to opportunity to wed their partner. In that department she’s very much against both woman and mens rights.

    • bigeetah

      …and Abbott’s a REAL champion of THOSE rights, isn’t he? They are both as bad as each other, but if Abbott ever gets elected, then it really WILL be ‘God help us all’…

  • Lucy

    First listen to what Julia Gillard says in support of her claim that Abbott is anti-women in power, particularly the words that he spoke in 1998.
    I’m an 80+ year old Australian, living in Sydney, who has been a politics watcher starting in 1939, with a father who in his younger days was the Chairman at a rally where Winston Churchill spoke in the late 19th Century. I am not a member of a political party, though I was once a Young Liberal.
    Yesterday Abbott brought a Motion in the Australian Parliament to dismiss the Speaker based on lewd text messages exchanged between Speaker Slipper and a staffer, produced in an as yet unresolved action before the Federal Court.
    To have dismissed Slipper based on these unresolved matters would create a precedent for anyone in the future to sue another Speaker for defamation and produce similar, as yet untested, evidence, in the expectation that Parliament ( despite the separation of powers) would dismiss the Speaker. Parliament would be acting as a Star Chamber or a Kangaroo Court.
    Had Abbott waited until the Federal Court judge found against Slipper there would have been a unanimous vote asking for his resignation.
    As it was, the Speaker Slipper, admitted that his text messages were disgraceful and resigned, immediately following Abbott losing his Motion.
    The PM, Julia Gillard, in her speech deplored the sexism of the text messages.
    Abbott’s Motion was a wedge to make it look as if Gillard was a hypocrite for not voting to dismiss Slipper. It was a stunt.

    • PjN

      Absolutely spot on – what a pity the Australian media do not have the intelligence or is it the fortitude to write as you have done Lucy. After two years of provocation, Julia Gillard, PM of Austrralia responsded. We are all applauding and have labelled her speech a #Truthbomb

    • Ben Blower

      Star Chamber or Kangaroo Court or wedge, she supported a “Misogynist” speaker for voting against his dismissal. Why waiting for a judge, when the speaker was already dismissed by the Australian public. The court-case put already pressure onto the victim. So why not make it short and easy. Fact is that jU-LIAR lied to the Australian people and did not reveal her controversial past to the Australian people before the election. Is the catchword “Missogymist” the new defence for the feminist KGB to lie and to be controversial, if not criminal. Find out on:

      • Grant

        she did not support…her hands where tied…the case is pending…!! what part dont you understand…have you no idea due course legal..? the only way out was resignation..(which Slipper did) or run through legal process…

        • Chris

          There is no legal requirement for the parliament to wait on the courts to pass judgement before removing the speaker. Julia had no problem removing the last speaker for no reason at all. Your argument is BS. Thanks to Peter Slipper the PM’s hysterical attack on Abbot has been shown for what they truly are, hypocrisy on a grand scale. When will we be rid of this deceitful woman?

          • Lucy

            Yes, the Constitution says that the Speaker is in or out on the vote of the House.
            The Remuneration Tribunal rules say that the Speaker may be dismissed for Fraud, for bad behaviour or for neglect of duties. The Remuneration Tribunal may decide that a dismissed Speaker who has not committed fraud, has not misbehaved in the House (been drunk and disorderly say), and has not been negligent in his duties, is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal.
            Slipper’s texts to his equally lewd correspondent is hardly misbehaviour in the House. It would be unparliamentary to call a female Member a “bitch” (or “botch) in the House, but it is not unparliamentary to do so in a private text message.
            Slipper had to go because half of the Members wanted him to go, and all of them were disgusted by his lewd comments. He could not command respect, even though he had been a good Speaker.
            What is in dispute is the manner of his going.
            It was one of those cases where not only does justice have to be done, but it has to be seen to be done. We might also quote Portia’s speech, “The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
            … mercy is above this sceptred sway,
            It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
            It is an attribute to God himself;
            And earthly power doth then show likest God’s,
            When mercy seasons justice. ”
            Allowing Slipper, a broken man, to resign showed mercy, not only to him but also to his wife and children.

      • napalmnacey

        I think you blew any chance of credibility by using the moniker “Ju-Liar” and the phrase “Feminist KGB”. I love it, that’s a new one. I’ve been accused of being a nazi, being in a cabal, having an agenda, all of those for standing up for my rights as a feminist. Never have I been accused of being in the KGB. I should dust off my fluffy hat and pour myself some vodka in celebration of Julia’s international attention for speaking up for once.

    • Grant

      Fantastic Comment…clear and concise ..stating the facts…regardless of political persuasion…this was the situation…think so many have missed the point…Lucy…you are spot on…and saying that.. the leader of the Liberal Party is an absolute disgrace …

    • Kate

      Great comment, Lucy. I don’t think Gillard’s speech was attempting to defend Slipper’s conduct – far from it. I think the Liberals would have been relieved when he switched parties, because he appears to have a long history of enjoying the spoils of political power without actually contributing much. Rather, Gillard was arguing against setting a dangerous precedent. We will see what happens with the Federal Court with regards to Slipper’s position in Parliament.

    • Grant
      • Andrew Dixon

        Your quoting crikey FFS get some proper facts.

    • Northside

      What rubbish!

      Section 35 of Part lll of the Australian Constitution provides for the Parliament to vote the Speaker out of office.

      The Australian Parliament was on notice that the Speaker was not fit to hold office following publication of text messages between the Speaker and his staffer containing lewd references to the female anatomy.

      The Opposition Leader did what the Prime Minister would not; he moved pursuant to the Constitution that on the evidence of his text messages the Speaker was not a fit and proper person to hold office and should be removed.

      In the course of debate the Prime Minister, Ministers, and members of the government all earnestly deplored the contents of the text messages. Yet they voted for him to remain in office.

      As a prominent journalist rued in the pro-government Sydney Morning Herald:

      “JULIA GILLARD confronted a stark choice yesterday – the political
      defence of her parliamentary numbers, or the defence of the principle
      of respect for women.

      “She chose to defend her numbers. She chose power over principle. It was
      the wrong choice. It was an unprincipled decision and turned out not to
      be pragmatic either. The Prime Minister gained nothing and lost a great

      “The moment Gillard rose to defend Slipper and keep him in office, she
      chose to defend the indefensible, to excuse the inexcusable.

      Abbott’s motion was no stunt. It was he took the lead in maintaining the dignity of the Australian Parliament.

      • Julie Hayes

        Abbott maintains the dignity of parliament? You are surely a master of irony or Tony Abbott himself.

        • Northside

          Fact always trumps emotion. The big test of your judgement will be Gillard leading Labor to the next election!

    • Barry Metz

      having read the Hansard of the day an actually following the pretrial shennanigans of Slipper, the SMS of Slippers denigration of women generally and specifically became public record immediate upon being read into the court papers, from that point Slipper was putrifying the Office Of Speaker and should have been removed immediately. The matter before the Court had no relevance to the debate. The debate and motion to dismiss SLIPPER came from the side issue of Slippers private statements and musings on the purpose and nature of women becoming public record.
      The nearest Gillard came to a moral highground was drowning in the quicksand of trying to defend SLIPPERS factual character which is in essance the character she has been trying to attribute to Tony ABBOTT for some weeks. So this is GILLARDS Triumph she defends the misogynist deviate slipper from facts that were provided to the Court by his own legal team which are in Essence what she has ben accusing Abbott of for weeks.
      This Prime Miister of Ours is a Farce looking for the Main Chance, Not letting the truth get in the way of a quote. The only thing that she can be trusted on now in 2012 is that she will no longer use the pathetic excuse that “I was youg and naive

    • shamed

      The text messages were real . Do you really want a person like that representing Australia to overseas dignitaries. I certainly don’t and he should have been voted out. The only stunt was Julia’s rant with no foundation.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      “It was a stunt”. And the PM’s entirely off-the-point rant was what?

  • Deni

    Alex, I don’t agree, Julia Gillard is just trying to distract, she is covering for her mistakes. Please don’t be sucked in by her speach. She is seen by most Australians as the worst Prime Minister we have had, we are embarressed by her and cringe every time she opens her mouth. our grand children will be struggling to fix the problems she has created in our country. She is in power through stealth and dishonoursty. We did’nt vote her in, we don’t want her leading us, and are angry that she is doing as much damage as she can before we get the chance to remove her and the corupt group of spin doctors and drones that hold her up as “Queen Bee”.

    • Alan

      Surprised you feel in a position to speak for the majority of us Deni !

      I do not concur with your view…

      • Andrew Dixon

        So your in the minority then Alan, doesnt mean she doesnt speak for the majority.

        • Alan

          Andrew, again assumptions and a statement of opinion masquerading as fact…
          You could get a job in the politics.
          She is still well ahead in the preferred PM polls, irksome for some I am sure !

    • Downton Abbey

      @Deni, as many people who supposedly didn’t vote for Gillard also did not vote for Tony Abbott. Hence we have a coalition government (Labor+Independents+Greens) just as a coalition opposition (Liberals+Nationals). That’s politics and it works fine!!!

    • Jenny Mackinnon

      Uh. Actually, we did vote her in. I voted in it, so I remember. There was this election, and it was really close, but Gillard was able to negotiate to form government where the Opposition couldn’t.

    • Kerry Brown

      I also am not one of ‘most Australians’ and if this group was indeed the majority, then Tony Abbott would have won the last election. It would not have been a draw.

    • Mikey

      Not only do I vote for her, I am a member of her party.

      She has led a minority government since 2010 and put through around 200 pieces of legislation in spite of Abbott’s constant attempts to bring her government down through parliamentary process.
      Her b*tch slap of Abbott echoes around the world with good cause. Abbott, and his party, have run the GOP model of total obstruction since the last election and have lost almost every single fight they picked.
      But their obstruction and negativity, as well as the buffer of a single seat against loss of government, led the Gillard government to putting Slipper—booted out of his own party—in the Speaker’s chair.
      And as Lucy above noted to sack the speaker before any court matters concluded would have been both a horrid precedent and a a denial of natural justice to Peter Slipper.
      As for me I didn’t find slipper’s texts “misogynistic”; they didn’t express hated of women or denial of them as a gender. It was blokey private talk between two then friends. The only reason this is in the public space is because those messages in their entirety have been entered into evidence.
      As Gillard pointed out in devastating detail the greatest misogynist in parliament is Tony Abbott. Who, I might point out, as Health Minister attempted to force women to only obtain surgical abortions because he blocked RU486 from being available. It took a combined debate in parliament to strip him of the ability to place that block.
      Let alone a-l-l-l-l-l the other examples of his misogyny over the years.
      He may be married with three adult daughters but he treats women in parliament, and in life, poorly. And she called him out on it.
      It was a joy to see.

      • Rorie Jackson

        Mikey couldn’t agree more – Go Gillard!

    • somon

      In the 2010 election, the Labor party received a higher primary vote than the Liberal party. Gillard has the support of the lower house of parliament and has won every single confidence motion since the election. So how did we not vote her in? How exactly does your allegation power by stealth work?

    • Plucka

      Interesting that you think you know how I voted, luckily, you are wrong about that.

    • David Somerfield

      it’s a pity you Liberal stooges can’t spell ( it is Speech, embarrassed, dishonesty, didn’t and finally corrupt)
      Can’t the Liberal party employ a spell checker?

  • Tinkerbell

    Julia Gillard HAS BEEN EVERY LABOR MAN’S BITCH. Julia Gillard fucked her way to the top and she is Australia’s biggest whore. Go and do your homework and look at how many Labor men she fucked and at how many marriages she destroyed. Australian women hate her.

    • caprica67

      Fly away, Tinkerhell.

  • jones

    What many outside Australia don’t know is that her political party is hanging on to power by a thread so what people will come to realize is that her rant was that of a desperate person. Rather than standing up for women’s rights, the Australian PM was deflecting attention away from the real sexist and misogynist inside her own party. The most blatant hypocrisy. Shameful that the country’s first woman PM chose power over principle by not standing up for women’s rights.

    • caprica67

      Umm, jonesy, if you are referring to “the real sexist and misogynist” as Peter Slipper, the man was NEVER in her own party. On the contrary, he was elected multiple times as the LIBERAL member, and has very close ties to the Opposition Leader.

      • Downton Abbey

        Watch the video and you’ll note Gillard states Tony Abbott went to Peter Slipper’s wedding, best of mates they are. The rusted on conservative backers of Abbott seem to have tunnel vision and have overlooked Abbott’s friendship with Slipper.

        • Andrew Dixon

          Rudd also went to the wedding, so what is your point.

      • Not a pretty face

        Agreed with you Caprica67 today Mr Abbot is saying he is happy to have Mr Slipper’s vote. So yesterday Mr Slipper was unfit to hold his job but this morning is OK for him if he wants to vote with the Coalition. I call that blantant hypocrisy but again what can you expect of a bully.

        • Andrew Dixon

          What he done disqualifies him from being speaker, not a member of parliament so why wouldnt he take his vote especially when his constituants elected him as a liberal member. If he is found guilty in his court case then it may be time to reconsider.

          • Lucy

            Then why won’t Abbott accept the vote of the elected Member for Dobell, Craig Thomson. Thomson is not facing a Court Case.
            Why should the voters of Dobell be disenfranchised?

    • Julie Hayes

      ‘Jones’ – is that you Alan?

    • Lucy

      Slipper has never been a member of Gillard’s Party.

  • SM

    She can say whatever she likes about Abbott but at the end of the day she chose to support Slipper. She chose power over principle. I completely and utterly lost faith in her and the Labor party when they did that.

    • SD

      So you’ve utterly lost faith in “innocent until proven guilty” as well?

      • David Somerfield

        Well said SD, the ignorance of law in some of these comments is breathtaking…kid of reminds me of 1975 and the destruction of every rule in the book in order to attain power….methinks many here are liberal stooges posting from headquarters.

        • Andrew Dixon

          Again you idiots, the court case has nothing I repeat nothing to do with this, it was about if he was fit to be speaker not guilty of sexual harrassment, the parliament elects him, they can fire him. FFS David what F*(&^% rulebook is it that you use, obviously the made up one in your head that corresponds with everything you believe. You must think your the smartest person in the world David because you know all the rules right.

          • Lucy

            Temper, temper! Shouting and swearing never wins arguments.
            Let’s again get this clear. Slipper has not committed fraud, was not negligent in his duties as Speaker, has not misbehaved in the House of Representatives. These are the acceptable reasons spelled out by the remuneration Tribunal. Other than these a dismissed Speaker may have a claim for damages.
            Outside Parliament Slipper sent some lewd texts, by his now own admission, in reply to a staffer who sent similar texts to him. The sending of these texts does not constitute a crime. Some of these date from a time when he was an Abbott colleague, a Coalition MP (as he had been for more than 20 years) representing Tony Abbott’s party. One sms, sent while he was Speaker, agreed that MP Sophie Mirabella was a bitch (botch). He was found out. As Abbott said about the death of an Australian soldier, “Shit happens”. As Abbott said about wanting power, he, Abbott, was “prepared to do anything short of selling his arse”. Some Honourable Members of Parliament use indelicate language in their private moments.
            All members of Parliament (possibly with the exception of independent Bob Katter) have consequently lost respect for Slipper.
            Now who gains politically from the Slipper demotion?

            With Slipper as an Independent back in the House, Gillard gains a vote (since Slipper is unlikely to be enamoured of Abbott and Co.), but loses the vote of the new Speaker Anna Burke (whose vote Gillard has been without ever since Burke began acting as Deputy Speaker anyway).

            With Slipper out of the Speaker’s Chair Abbott has lost a stalking horse that he has used to berate Gillard whilst pretending to stand on high moral ground. Abbott lost Slipper’s vote months ago.

            Letting Slipper resign makes no difference to his entitlements, prevents an unprecedented dismissal whose legality might be challenged, is kinder to his wife and children and possibly saves Slipper’s sanity. It also is a highly unwanted result for Abbott – hence his squeals of outrage.

    • Plucka

      Julia Gillard did not support Slipper, but as has been explained by a number of well qualified observers, worldwide, that the integrity of the Australia Parliament was not something to be compromised in a political game by the acting on evidence that was sub judice

  • randomsausage

    What this video shows, more than anything, is that Team Oz — whether your are of the left or of the right — have the most annoying accent on the planet! Scottish-Indian comic Danny Bhoy does a great riff on the Oz Parliament here. Starts at around 2:50.

    • hunter

      Try listening to a New Zealander some of those English accents.

    • somon

      Gillard has a welshstralian accent.

    • ChrisB

      As an Australian, I’ve always been glad for the existence of South Africans. They give us competition for last place.

      • Lucy

        It is quite strange but vowel sounds become more clipped as one travels west from New Zealand to South Africa.
        What is a doyte cike in New Zealand, a dayte cayke in Australia is a “dete ceke” in South Africa.
        Randomsausage has introduced accentism into this debate, something one might have thought went out with Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, particularly since the BBC has allowed its announcers and presenters to have regional accents.
        I suggest that randomsausage starts listening to the voices of all members of parliament, both male and female. I think he will find some irritating voices in both genders, but that the males don’t get commented on. Men are never shrieking harridans.

  • EAS

    Gillard’s speech was looking more like a psychotic episode than anything else. There
    was no substance, no dignity, no truth in anything what she said. It was the
    same as her leadership, hopelessly incompetent. Julia Gillard attacked Tony
    Abbott, one of the most articulated Australian politicians, about the sexism,
    only to give her vote of support to Peter Slipper, the Speaker in the Australian
    Parliament who created those horrible sexist messages tabled in the court. How
    someone can give support to what Julia Gillard has done yesterday in the Australian
    Parliament? (Please consider I am a woman and I have always been a Labor voter.)

    • Kate

      Are you just rushing from comment board to comment board with this angle posting the same thing? I just read this comment on the Telegraphs article about the video? Are you being paid for this?

      • jones

        So what. The real message about this person needs to be told. So far the media has represented populist propaganda over the truth of the situation. Research the background and you see how she betrayed women’s rights by protecting Peter Slipper.

        • Lucy

          Let us wait and see how Mr Justice Rares views this sorry story of two men, Slipper and Ashby, being destroyed by some foolish text messages and other people’s actions and motivations.

          Whatever political ambitions James Ashby may have had are just as much dashed (and at an earlier age) as Slipper’s.

          Mal Brough claimed, that by advising Ashby to get legal advice, he was only helping a “troubled young man”. Julie Bishop was wiser. She advised Ashby to take the matter up with his employer, the Commonwealth.
          Well, Brough has got his pre-selection for Slipper’s seat and Ashby has a nightmare to cope with.
          Mr Justice Rares has already told Ashby that even if the case were decided in his favour, the damages payout would be very small.
          Slipper, of course, unlike Ashby who is pro-bono, will have a massive legal bill and may well be bankrupted if he loses.
          Does the punishment fit the crime?

      • David Somerfield

        Yes he is..another Liberal stooge getting his jollies..and Tony probably gives EAS a lolly after.

    • Downton Abbey

      Hahahaha…..Tony Abbott “articulate”. That is close to the dumbest comment I’ve ever heard.

    • Mick L

      Thank you for the good laugh. What you say about Mista Rabbit being “articulated” is so spot on, he bends in the middle to negotiate sharp changes of direction. Classic!

    • Mick L

      Thanks for the good laugh. Your statement that Mista Rabbit is “the most articulated” Australian politician is so spot on, he bends in the middle to negotiate sharp changes of direction. Classic!

      • bigeetah

        You got it in one, Mick L… I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing! If Rabbit ever DOES get elected, then I hope there is room in the budget for education, because most of his supporters (especially on this comments board) sound like they need it.

    • somon

      hahaha. Tony Abbot is articulated?! REALLY??
      that is gold.

    • bigeetah

      Ummm…I think you actually mean ‘articulate?’ (Even though I would never mention ‘Tony Abbott’ and ‘articulate’ in a sentence…unless it was a joke.) Another illiterate Abbott supporter. They’re coming out of the woodwork!

    • Lucy

      According to a Thesaurus “articulated” means “hinged, jointed, segmented; coupled, attached, interlocked”
      I think that you wanted the adjective “articulate”.

      You probably did not understand that Gillard was not supporting Slipper. She was opposing Abbott.

      Nor did Abbott expect to win the vote for his Motion of Dismissal. These things are never as simple as they seem.

  • Australias Finest

    Your missing one point she calls him a misogynist (a myth) during the debate about her and her party protecting Peter Slipper “the misogynist”. While using her own Fathers Death to score points. If you admire her, your admiring a coward a hipocrite and one very low lowlife. She is nothing to admire and the polls reflect that. Today bit her big time as after her and her party endosed Peter Slipper he turned around and resigned stating his behaviour did not allow him to continue.

    • K.

      you fail to mention that the Prime Minister had been under constant attack for years and this is the first time she has addressed it. You fail to mention that shortly before she delivered her smackdown, Abbott was silly enough to allude to the vulgar comments made by his friend Alan Jones regarding the Prime Ministers very recently deceased father. You fail to acknowledge she is just as disgusted by Slipper as she is by Abbott, but wishes to allow the courts to go through their due process.

      Forget the polls; have a good hard look at social media and what people really think rather than what Murdoch’s media is reporting.

      Gillard is a rare politician who will do what is right for her country before what is right for herself. Can’t say that for the other guy.

      Incidentally, Slipper resigned as Speaker, not from Parliament. He remains as an Independent.

      • Geoffrey Ennis

        Yet we all know that when she gets voted out at the next election, she will go straight to the UN looking for a job.

        • Not a pretty face

          So what is wrong with that, or is it that a UN job is only for the bloke.

          • Andrew Dixon

            Wow. Just Wow.

        • Lucy

          And so Geoffrey Ennis what else do “we all know”?
          With your flair for omnipresence you might like to tell us what Abbott and Dr Yudhoyono said to each other in that 30 minute meeting.
          And what do the Indonesians think about Abbot’s plan to tow back the boats?
          I am sure that Abbott would have told us if it was to his advantage.

      • Cynic

        gillard is a pm that will do anything to keep power, that is all. nothing nice about her in the slightest, same can be said for abbot. the only decent one is turnbull.

        • Plucka

          Be careful what you wish for……… remember how he delivered us the “Republic”………

      • jones

        “… first time she has addressed it.” Wrong, maybe first time in the last week but the PM has certainly addressed the matter before. FInd it yourself in Hansard.

        “…Abbott was silly enough to allude to the vulgar comments made by his
        friend Alan Jones regarding the Prime Ministers very recently deceased
        father.” The Leader of the Opposition has been using the “Shame, shame”, condemnation of the PM for months previous to the Alan Jones episode. Therefore is not out of order and cannot be used for an argument.

        “Gillard is a rare politician who will do what is right for her country before what is right for herself.” Like how she protected Peter Slipper, publicly exposed for his misogyny and sexism in addition to other matters that are currently before the courts, to hang on to power at all costs. Where is the principle in that? Where was standing up for women’s rights then?

        Blatant hypocrisy.

        • somon

          “Die of shame” is a direct quote from Alan Jones’ widely condemned obnoxious comments from just a few days prior. Abott’s idiocy in using those words was breathtaking. Really my mouth dropped open as I heard him say it. Did he really just say that? Any dispassionate observer can see that as political incompetence at its highest, regardless of what you think of Gillard.

          • Wilma

            The quote should be “probably died of shame”.The word probably has always been omitted but listen to the tape.

          • Andrew Dixon

            He said the government was dying of shame somethinhg he has said numerous times in the past, he didnt bring her father into it at all, she did, looking for the sympathy vote.

      • Barbara Maxtone-Graham

        Thank you for sane words. 😀

      • Andrew Dixon

        She will do what is right for the country not herself, f%^$ she really has you fooled you poor bastard, every single thing she does ids because it will benefit her and only her.

    • George Bludger

      Yeah, “Australian Finest” you’re not. And the “myth” is anything but. Tony Abbott has been shown to be a misogynist, a sexist, an anti-woman campaigner during his time in politics, both in his early university days and throughout his time as a Howard-Government minister. He has stood underneath banners at rallies that depicted our PM as a “witch” with the words “ditch the witch” and “Bob Brown’s Bitch” written on them, has continued vitriolic attacks within and outside of Parliament, and has endured the combined cries from right-wing radio shock-jocks and Murdoch-run newspapers, calling for her to literally be overthrown (treason anyone?).

      She has been a magnificent first female PM for this country, and our economy and society as a whole is a stand-out when compared to countries around the world.

      I suggest you take your offensive and vile insults back to the Liberal-National Party sewer you obviously came from

      • Geoffrey Ennis

        You are kidding aren’t you?

        • Sarah

          No I think George has pretty much nailed it.

          She doesnt need to be vindicated on comments boards though – shes a solid reformer and will be remembered as such. I don’t mind whether she goes out fighting in the next election, she has dealt with one of the dumbest political chapters in Australia’s history brilliantly. If I were a younger girl there would be incredibly important lessons about dignity, resolve and respect for the complexity of Australian life in her Prime Ministership.

          She has held negotiation in good faith as a core of her leadership and achieved much with it in trying circumstances. Something that will become more, not less important.

          • jones

            She will be remembered as the first female PM who displayed ultimate hypocrisy by putting her party’s tenuous position of power ahead of principle by defending the real misogynist and not standing up for women’s rights.

            • caprica67

              Oh please. You’re echoing Peter Hartcher’s bit of mansplaining right there – “I know what’s best for women, shame on this woman for thinking otherwise!”

              Gillard wasn’t obliged to let the Opposition railroad her, and she didn’t. None of that constitutes “hypocrisy”. Otherwise it’s the old game of “you have to condemn x or else you support it”.

            • Not a pretty face

              Get real Sarah, what planet do you live on!! She has finally stand up to that bully and she did it brilliantly. The Liberal of course do not like it. Are you telling me that Abbot does not put his own interest first. Come on get real!!!

      • Barbara Maxtone-Graham

        Our PM is smart, hard working, tough, funny and most offensive of all of course….a Woman!!!! I’ve got your back Prime Minister.

    • Matt

      The polls reflect nothing of the sort. Julia Gillard, as bad as you claim her to be, has consistently out-polled Abbott as preferred Prime Minster since the last election. And yesterday’s performance clearly demonstrated why.

      • Anigirl

        Wrong Matt, get up to date. As a mature woman I was appalled and disgusted by our PM – her rant was self indulgent and very well scripted by her sleezy colleagues. It has nothing to do with feminism, look up the meaning of misogynist you ignoramus. Abbot is many things but not a woman hater.

    • David Somerfield

      I repeat as per my post above to meri, although the similarity of your names suggests to me that you are both Liberal stooges who as in 1975 will break every rule in the book to attain power.

    • Plucka

      What a distorted view, of course The Honorable Julia Gillard had a right to reply to the repetition by T. Abbott of A. Jone’s extremely offensive comments about her father’s recent death. Abbott did not in any way “allude”, he repeated the comments verbatum, that leaves no room for doubt. Nice try at minimising an issue!

    • bigeetah

      Why is it that all the people on Abbott’s side can’t spell? Oh wait….

    • proud pru

      In addition to what K has pointed out you so fail to mention that in his speech prior to the PM’s response,Abbot “opened the door to those two terms being used by basically accusing the government and PM of supporting sexism and misogyny if they did not sack Slipper.Also in attacking Slipper’s character and unfitness for high office he suggested that by not sacking slipper the PM ‘s character was in question.So yes she told him she would not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by him who has showed traits of both of these to her .Fair call I think and such a shame he can’t take it as well as give it .

  • Bob

    er no video?

    • Alex Massie

      Bob: er, yeah, so I see. Some site problems. Will try and sort it out quickly.

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