Australian Politics & Current Affairs
Recently, the Sydney Morning Herald published a ridiculous feminist article by Clementine Ford. If you’re not familiar with Ford’s work, suffice to say she is yet another social justice warrior who is entirely incapable of viewing anything on this planet outside of a male-female power dynamic. You know, that huge “patriarchy” conspiracy that you were never informed about, I was never informed about, no one with an ounce of commonsense was ever informed about, but apparently it is very determined to hold females back in every corner of life, just because it can.
The article is titled “Why the Boys Club Can’t Handle Smart Women” – implying male public figures are mostly a pack of immature brats, a “boys club”, as opposed to their more mature female counterparts, who Ford has the decency to call “women”. In a nutshell, she blames the failures and criticisms of every prominent female in public life on, once again, “the patriarchy”. She claims that Julia Gillard was hounded from office because of her gender, that Peta Credlin is “the scapegoat for all of Abbott’s failings” due to the same, and that Kate Ellis being interrupted 37 times as she sat on a panel with the likes of Piers Akerman and Christopher Pyne is some sort of sexist atrocity.
Excuse me? Piers Akerman and Christopher Pyne acting in an ungentlemanly fashion? I’ve got news for you, Ms Ford, Piers Akerman and Christopher Pyne are vile pigs. Born, bred, and corn-fed pigs. Proud of it, in fact, and they could not give two flying fornications what gender their enemy is.
Ford, and dozens like her, have also been screaming blue murder ever since Tony Abbott stood next to some angry bogan with a sign saying “ditch the witch”. This particular incident has been regurgitated so many times in the media it’s become a rallying point for the online feminist brigade. But this is not a question of gender – this is Australia, where cheap shots and insults are part and parcel of political life. They are torrential, they are merciless, and they do not care what sort of genitals you’ve brought along with you.
If Ford honestly believes men aren’t subject to the same sort of gutter language, cheap shots, and vile insults, then she’s never heard of Paul Keating. Calls like “perfumed gigolo”, “mangy maggot”, “stupid foul-mouthed grub”, and “gutless spiv” were all directed at males without hesitation – “witch” is primary school by comparison.
Anyone running the gauntlet of federal politics knows what they are in for. No matter what age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or whatever, they will be subject to the most heinous of personal attacks, insults, criticism, and gutter tactics. Quite often, even when they’re actually performing well. But when they run a circus as comical as the minority Gillard government, they will cop the worst of the worst, and rightly so. I would also argue these are a part of the screening process – if you can’t handle being called names, you certainly cannot handle running a country.
Interestingly enough, Ms Ford fails to mention the great achievements of women in Australian politics, nor does she explain why their successful track records haven’t been targeted by this huge global conspiracy. For some reason, maybe the fact that these jobs have been done remarkably well, the “patriarchy” seems to have missed them. Let’s do what Ms Ford has failed to do in her role as a self-proclaimed campaigner for the rights of women – let’s actually pay some credit to the women in Australian political life who have earned it.
Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek’s work on behalf of Andrew Chan & Myuran Sukumaran
Transcending the bitter partisanship of this foul 43rd parliament, in this foul year of our Lord, 2015, Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek have shown true grit, committing to a cause that both genuinely believe in. Moving speeches from both, last week and this week, followed by a meeting behind the speaker’s chair and away from the taunts of “those opposite”, clearly with one goal in mind – preventing this injustice. Australians first, politics second – two thumbs up.
Julie Bishop & Tanya Plibersek’s work, period.
At $7.50 to one, I have money riding on Julie Bishop to lead the Coalition into the 2016 election. Turnbull is clearly the most likely to roll Abbott, but Bishop is, in my opinion, the best option of bringing the Liberal Party the unity that it needs to fight on (plus those odds are pretty healthy). Abbott has the respect of neither the voters, nor the party. Turnbull has the respect of the voters, but not of a big chunk within the party. Bishop has the respect of both. Definite leadership material.
As for Plibersek, she could be the light on the hill for a party that has been fumbling around for the light switch ever since Paul Keating left office. If and when Labor casts off its ridiculous, incestuous power circle (the one that churns out such lifeless excuses for “leaders” as Mr Sheen and the dwarf from Game of Thrones), then Plibersek ought to be front-and-centre.
Maxine McKew unseating John Howard
This was one of Labor’s greatest fairytale endings. Frustrated four times in a row by a man whom they had written off time and time again, he was the most strategic, shrewd, and relentless politician this country has ever seen, truly earning the title “Lazarus”.
He won the seat of Bennelong from the moment it came into existence, and remained there for an impressive twelve terms, spanning 35 years. His career survived a woeful episode as treasurer, a rookie mistake as opposition leader that cost his party the 1987 election, a near-death experience in the 1998 GST election, and the treacherous opinion polls leading into the “unwinnable election” of 2001. The only person in the country who believed this was possible John Howard, and no one could have imagined a female journalist from one of his old nemeses, the ABC, ending his career. Bravo.
Julia Gillard in every job prior to becoming prime minister
Julia Gillard was an excellent leader – at least, right up until she became becoming prime minister. She was natural, witty, confident, intelligent, and a true asset to the Labor party. After eleven long years in opposition, Gillard became the strongest ace up Rudd’s sleeve, delivered Labor a tonne of support in 2007, then performed in an outstanding manner as both deputy prime minister and caretaker of multiple portfolios. Her career went from strength to strength, off the back of her own skill and talent, before making one fateful decision that would redefine her history. We’ll return to this tragic sequel in part two.
To be continued…