The disgraceful Murdoch rag, Brisbane’s Courier Mail has done an attempted character assassination of Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk by printing a story about state Liberal National Party Deb Frecklington’s attack on the premier. Frecklington undertook an interview with Brisbane’s Sunday Mail, and seemed miffed that she had been mistaken for Palaszczuk in public. She maintained that they are “such different people…she has deliberately changed her image – the whole ‘Princess Palaszczuk’ is pretty obvious – but I haven’t changed mine. Frecklington, in a snide swipe at Palaszczuk’s childlessness, said she had to remain grounded, because of [husband] Jason and the girls. I can have a tough day but then I’ll get a call from one of my kids and you’ve got to deal with whatever’s going on in their lives. She, on the other hand, has had a complete makeover – all the makeup, the designer labels, it’s too much, when there are bigger issues to focus on.”2. To understand how despicable this attack is, you need to know that Frecklington has three daughters between the ages of 17 and 21, while Palaszczuk has spoken openly about having had a miscarriage, several unsuccessful attempts at in-vitro fertilisation and a painful history of endometriosis which often affects fertility3. While this attack from Frecklington reeks of political desperation, as the Queensland election is approaching, it is true to form for the conservative side of politics. It is also true to form for the Murdoch media. They will do and print anything to support the side of politics they own. They have lied for Frecklington before4.
A similar type of attempted character assassination was perpetrated on Julia Gillard by a monumentally stupid coalition senator, Bill Heffernan, who stated that she, then deputy Labor Party leader, was unfit for leadership because she was “deliberately barren”5. His statement won him the 15th Annual Ernie award for the most appalling thing to be said about a woman publicly in 20076. It was richly deserved.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is single, and has no children7, but, to my knowledge, she has never been attacked by the Labor opposition in the way that other ‘childless’ women have been attacked by the Coalition. That may say something about the ethos of the Coalition; or their desperation.
- McElroy, N., 2019. Qld oppn leader calls premier a princess. Courier Mail, December 29.