A Queensland Take On Gillard’s “Misogyny And Menus” Agenda

JUST A really quick post tonight to share an article, as I am sometimes wont to do; this time it’s an excellent opinion piece by longtime Courier Mail writer Dennis Atkins, who published a pretty succinct analysis of the past 24 hours — and their attendant issues — in that newspaper today.

Atkins, of course, is the columnist whose insights into last year’s state election in Queensland went closest to the mark; it was he who accurately divined the mood on the ground and foresaw the wipeout about to hit Anna Bligh’s government, at a time most commentators still saw the ALP winning about 20 to 25 of Queensland’s 89 seats.

(For the record, I gave them 15 to 20. They won 7).

It’s been an ugly 24 to 48 hours in politics, with yesterday’s uproar over the menu that wasn’t distributed at an LNP fundraiser in March.

Undeterred by revelations that accusations of senior Liberals Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Mal Brough seeing or conspiring in the thing were incorrect, today has seen the likes of Wayne Swan claim that Brough, at least, is lying.

There have been revelations that senior ALP figures Con Sciacca and Bill Ludwig are “close associates” of the restaurateur in Brisbane involved in the fracas, although it’s unclear whether this is any more relevant than the alleged sins of Abbott, Brough and Hockey or simply an exercise in buck passing.

And the day has also seen Perth shock jock Howard Sattler (who, I’m told, has since been suspended from his 6PR radio gig) accuse Julia Gillard’s boyfriend Tim Mathieson of being gay.

I must just say two things.

One, all this petty, adolescent, puerile, nasty bickering over non-issues — invented, beaten up or presently just irrelevant — simply has to stop; there is nothing naive in that sentiment: the present tone of what passes for “debate” is juvenile, and I know plenty of comment writers aside from myself who groan at having to pick this stuff apart.

It’s an indictment on politics, and it isn’t necessary.

And, two, the only person any of it is going to damage is Julia Gillard: and I say that in reference not to anyone in the Coalition, or the media, or entrepreneurs like the owner of the Brisbane restaurant which hit the headlines yesterday and his staff, but in a direct glance at Gillard herself.

Surely she must realise that once people saw through the farce of her “misogyny” speech — realising it was driven by cynical opportunism, not principle — more and more of them would simply switch off every time she opens her mouth on anything to do with gender.

Some of the issues she raises may have merit, if not context.

But even so, the Prime Minister is now her own worst enemy on these matters, and whilst she may be politically desperate, this is one area that should be a no-go for her as she casts around frantically for a circuit breaker.

Anyway, enough from me tonight — as I said, I simply wanted to share this excellent piece from the Courier Mail today.

I’d welcome the comment of readers on Atkins’ perspective on these matters as presented.