Now Julie Bishop has been jettisoned from the deputy leadership of the Liberal Party, and from the Foreign Ministership, she is free to wreck, undermine and snipe, just like Abbott said he wouldn’t when he was given the bum’s rush in 20151. Just for starters, she has now spoken out about the appalling behaviour in Parliament, saying that the standard of behaviour prevalent there, is something that would not be accepted in any other workplace in Australia. She has also complained about the lack of women among Liberal representatives and senators. She said it was not acceptable for the Liberal Party to ‘contribute’ to the fall in Australia’s ratings from 15th to 50th in the world, in terms of parliamentary representation of women3. This speech was at a Women’s Weekly awards event.
Given her complaint now that she has been dumped, the contrast with her behaviour when then Prime Minister Julia Gillard was subjected to the disgraceful opprobrium from the likes of Alan Jones, is stark. It was Jones who said Gillard should be tied in a chaff bag and dumped out at sea. At a rally fronted by opposition leader Tony Abbott, he stood in front of placards calling Gillard “Bob Brown’s bitch” and to “ditch the witch”4. Gillard was slandered in a menu at a Liberal National Party dinner, with one item being “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail, Small Breasts, Huge Thighs, and a Big Red Box”5. Did Bishop ever publicly say anything against this? Not that I could find. In addition, when Gillard made her superb misogyny speech in parliament (over 3 million views on Youtube)6, did Bishop say anything? Yes, she did, but not what you would hope. Firstly, Bishop stated that calling Abbott a misogynist was “a vile slur” and that “she should apologise to the women in Tony Abbott’s life and she should withdraw it”. She then defended Abbott’s personal and political record on women, describing him as a loving son, husband, brother and father of three daughters. She left out ‘boyfriend’ because now Abbott has been kicked out of the family home for doing the extramarital horizontal folkdance, supposedly with Peta Credlin7.
Anyone who has followed politics in recent years knows that Tony Abbott is a misogynist; not in the formal sense of hatred, but in the sense of ‘I have nothing against women but…’. Some of his quotes include:
- “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”8
- “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially, it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up.”9
- “Abortion is the easy way out” of an awkward situation.”10
- The Prime Minister Julia Gillard should “make an honest woman of herself.”10
- Women are “physiologically unsuited to leadership.”10
- “The right of women to withhold sex…needs to be moderated.”10
So, for Julie Bishop to now complain about misogyny and bullying in parliament is the ultimate hypocrisy, but it is true to form, as it seems to be her stock in trade11. Still, that’s what you’d expect from a politician.