Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Rant to Raise the Dead



IS IT that great minds think alike or fools seldom differ? On Tuesday afternoon, as Labor’s “offended” offensive rolled toward Question Time and Julia Gillard’s show-stopper, it was very hard to tell. An hour earlier, Leader of the House Anthony Albanese had played the day’s overture for reporters in the Parliamentary courtyard, using the disgraced Peter Slipper’s appalled fascination with salty bivalves to indict Tony Abbott on all the standard charges of sexism and machismo bullying.

Then came Gillard’s hysterics in the House, a spontaneous display by a woman – a strong woman, of course – pushed to the limits of endurance, as the ever-sympathetic Anne Summers wrote on boyfriend Chip Rolley’s taxpayer–funded opinion site, The Drum. Other commentators were less sanguine, with even the normally reliable Michelle Grattan and Peter Hartcher catching the twin aromas of distraction and desperation. Summers would have none of that. What she had witnessed was inspirational, “exhilarating” even, “a powerful woman speaking out against the sexism and misogyny that so many of us have to deal with.” Her fellow  commentators’ refusal to recognise Gillard’s magnificence was not merely irksome, it demanded a full explanation:

“The reportage and commentary this morning out of Canberra was so startlingly at odds with the reactions of such vast numbers of people both here and abroad that you have to ask: why and how could this be the case?...

… [political reporters] are, after all, seemingly so out of kilter with how so many of the rest of us reacted that they need to provide some explanation for us to have any reason to take at all seriously anything they write in future.” *

Strong words indeed from Miss Summers, whose racing heart must have blinded her to the scripted, stage-managed and fully rehearsed spectacle Labor took on the road. The proof is in the cookie-cutter indignance displayed by both Albanese and his leader. Not only do they use the almost the same words, they list their charges against Abbott in identical sequence.

Albanese kicks off by quoting and referencing a 1998 Abbott round table with Michael Costa. So does Gillard.

Next, each mentions the “abortion is the easy way out” line.

Then comes the “ironing” remark in doplered stereo, followed by a re-capping of Abbott’s hope that the Prime Minister, “politically speaking, make an honest woman of herself.”

At this point, Albanese and Gillard both do a little high-dudgeon vamping before slipping back to the talking points, which amount in total to the allegation that Abbott likes to make girls cry.

It should come as no surprise that political ringmasters feed their monkeys standard lines and expect them to throw the poo on cue, but there is something especially off-putting, and quite damning, about the personal embroidery Gillard added to the whole cloth of her supplied slanders. That would be her reference in the House to her late father. Remember, she has spent the past two weeks fuming about Alan Jones' quip that he died of shame, demanding in her own voice and those of proxies that he be banished from his microphone in order that such thoughts never be uttered again, ever.

So what did the grieving daughter do on Tuesday? She is the one who mentioned poor old dad, seizing as her slight excuse to exhume John Gillard and drag him back into the spotlight Abbott’s use of the word “shame” – a term he has used many, many times before in relation to her government and its record.

Up until that moment it was just possible to conceive of Gillard being genuinely upset about Jones’ tactlessness. But no longer. The theatricality, her emotional opportunism, the glee dressed as outrage that she produced during Question Time for the benefit of the news and talk shows, it was cynicism on stilts. Even from the woman who has made lies her ladder and bodyguard it was a new low.

Jones was wrong on the facts when he said that John Gillard died of shame. He’ll never really pass away, not with a daughter so eager to extract shameless advantage from his corpse.

* Could this be Summers' bid for a seat on Gillard's press watchdog? 

26 comments:

  1. mojo, Unrepentant YankOctober 11, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    "Lady, your husband's not dead - he's hiding."
    -- The Ref

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  2. Well said, Prof. Summers and other members of the Cliterati are crowing about how bravely The Yabbie in losing the battle, by being drawn into defending the indefensible. Sort of a reverse Verdun, really! They don't seem to realise that the Yabbie has also gone a long way towards losing them the war. Any future claim of sexism, or similarly over-egged 'misogynist' pudding will now likely draw scoffs and hoots of derision.

    Already, people are making references to the overt sexism of looking at one's watch. Oh! The misogyny!

    Another word debased by being too frequently in circulation. Just shows her grasp of economics - certainly that branch of the Dismal Science related to inflation.

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    1. Oops! 'how bravely The Yabbie spoke in losing....'

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  3. Thanks Professor,

    I previously sat down and read a transcript of the speech and noted the way that Abbott's "quotes" were used and came away convinced that this was researched and rehearsed.

    But noticed this:
    "He has said, and I quote, in a discussion about women being under-represented in institutions of power in Australia, the interviewer was a man called Stavros. The Leader of the Opposition says “If it's true, Stavros, that men have more power generally speaking than women, is that a bad thing?”

    And then a discussion ensues, and another person says “I want my daughter to have as much opportunity as my son.” To which the Leader of the Opposition says “Yeah, I completely agree, but what if men are by physiology or temperament, more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?”

    Then ensues another discussion about women's role in modern society, and the other person participating in the discussion says “I think it's very hard to deny that there is an underrepresentation of women,” to which the Leader of the Opposition says, “But now, there's an assumption that this is a bad thing.”"

    Does any one have the full transcript of this discussion?

    I'd like to see the "discussion ensues" sections that seem to be being glossed over.

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    1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      It is not sexist to believe that there are differences between the sexes. Indeed, it is sexist to try to believe otherwise, because that really does denigrate women per se as women, and try to turn us into something else. Tony Abbott is doing no more than recognising this.

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  4. Gillard has set a new low for women. It has her decision to bring up the death of her father knowing full well not Opposition member could then say anything for fear of being labeled offensive. Not even a Carribean limbo dancer could make it under the gillard low bar.

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  5. Side bet.
    She will make sure she is "caught" on film in Bali feigning empathy with one of the relatives of the victims, working in a reference to dear old dad.

    The Irish Lion

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    1. You are right, and possibly a risky situation in which she bravely asks that the welfare of another is also considered. (Just caught on camera).

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    2. ....and of course there will be no footage of TA who actually was on the ground during the aftermath of the bombings helping out the victims in the hospitals, organizing evacuations, contacting relatives. This is never mentioned by the MSM Presstitutes.
      W154

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  6. Off topic Prof. I tried to post the full entry, but failed. It refers to a textbook entry for the Slipper Shell (Crepidula fornicata) which begins life as a male and turns into female. Maybe you could research it and in your inimitable style, lighten up our days with further observations on this salty mollusc.

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  7. I think this matter can be addressed by declaring the following words as unparliamentary, because they are clearly allusions to her dear departed father:
    John; Gillard; dead; death; died; shame; Welsh; coal-miner; male nurse; Adelaide; daughter; funeral. We might add 'misandry' to the list, because surely someone will accuse Roxoff or Wrong of this, and that would be sexist of them.

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    1. You forot "worked two jobs"

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  8. '..startlingly at odds with the reactions of such vast numbers of people both here and abroad'

    This reminds me of the famous quote attributed to Pauline Kael after the 1972 Presidential election, who "couldn't believe Nixon had won", since no one she knew had voted for him

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  9. In order for an issue to become a leftwing narrative -- misogyny/Emily's List, global warming/carbon tax, it must do one thing more than anything else: treat people like catatonically stupid idiots. That's where this will end up. Gillard may as well have poured her credibility -- and the ALP primary vote -- straight down the toilet. The most influential political issue in Australia this past week has been Julia Gillard's catastrophically poor judgement, which will return her and her whiny femininist boosters back to the oppositionist ghetto sooner rather than later. We will also see a local backlash like that which has followed the US left's sliming of Mitt Romney: turns out he's a smart bloke and people liked him once the media hate campaign was short-circuited by the presidential debate. The media has been telling people Abbott is the devil incarnate. Turns out the devil incarnate is Gillard's chief hired hater, John McTernan.

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    1. She would be wise to despatch McTernan from whence he came. We've all seen the Brit comedy where the potty-mouthed svengali purportedly based on him is almost more scary than funny - almost. The real one is not at all funny - just a blight on political discourse. Go home, McTernan - back to the Gorbals or whatever swamp you emerged from.

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  10. Sexism is the new raaaacist.

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    1. As Ali G satirised so well: 'Is it because I is black?' For Julia: 'Is it because I is woman?' No - its because you are the worst PM in living memory!

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  11. "scripted, stage-managed and fully rehearsed"

    Spot on Professor. They were so obviously ready to go with it on Tuesday.

    When Tony Abbott first started speaking in Tuesday's Question Time he was interrupted by Albanese, who said: "Yes, we'll take the debate, there will be four speakers on each side."


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  12. Julia's rant has her being described as "one badass motherf...er" by some US womens website.Surely that should be "one bigass fatherf...er", given her lust for married men with families?

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  13. IMO it is an act for the UN for the new gig she picked up in one of the UN junkets she has been on this year, something to do with Gender equality..
    But why are we paying someone to pick up any quotes "taken out of context, that could be construed as sexist" from old hansards since TA has been in government/or even his uni days.

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  14. "Then came Gillard’s hysterics in the House, a spontaneous display by a woman – a strong woman, of course"

    ... and CAPABLE Professor, you forgot CAPABLE.

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  15. I enjoyed the article and all the comments. Thanks, Menzies House.

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  16. Good pick up about Albanese using the same points in his press conference as Gillard... and it seems that conference happened *before* Gillard's speech in Parliament denouncing Abbott, so there's no question about it being prepared beforehand and not spontaneous. (And the examples used in the speech are rather lame and weak anyway).

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  17. IS IT that great minds think alike or fools seldom differ?

    More like minds run together in the gutter.

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  18. Albo's taken his transcript down by the looks of it; in any case, link broken.

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  19. Two 'p's in doppler Prof.

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