BILL THE CONSENSUS CEPHALOPOD: “I AM NOT AN OCTOPUS SHORT OF AN ARM”

ShortenOctopusKEOGH1000x562

As a CSIRO marine scientist examined a tragic creature, a seven-armed octopus discovered in a load of baloney by an abalone diver just off Dunder Heads, he mused, “Could this be the discovery of a new species, a heptopus, or has this tragic met with foul play?”

Scientist: You appear to be an octopus short of an arm.

Creature: I will admit that I am akin to a sandwich short of a picnic, a can short of a slab and a village short of an idiot when I’m out of town. Yes, I accept that I am an opposition leader short of a policy platform. But, but, but I am not willing to accept that I am an octopus short of an arm.

Scientist: So you are a stupid opposition leader with no policies and you are in a in a state of denial.

Creature: Yes, I’ll go along with that. Just call me Bill.

Scientist: OK Bill, so you agree you are in a state of denial.

Bill: Yes, I will not deny that I am in denial. I deny that I am short of an arm.

Scientist: Stupid with no policies hey? Little wonder the media is having a field day with you.

Bill: Yes, I’m dumber than a bag of hammers and as sharp as a bowling ball. In fact, the press reckon I’m as exciting as drying paint, all froth and no beer, and couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag. And they are right.

Scientist: So, you are a dumb, slow-witted, boring, weak opposition leader with no substance, no self-esteem, let alone policies. You are deeply flawed.

Bill: Yes, I’ll go along with that. But I am not an octopus short of an arm.

Scientist: Why are you so obsessed with this missing arm?

Bill: What missing arm? Listen here! I have always been one to go along with things, to drift with the changing tides popular opinion, to be a consensus cephalopod, to be a majority mollusc. Remember how I got rid of Rudd and Gillard? I went with the flow of Labor’s moods. I’m a numbers octopus.  Can you imagine how a numbers octopus would look with only seven arms? I must have eight arms. I cannot afford to look ridiculous.

Scientist: You are incapable of facing up to reality. You are ridiculous.

Bill: And you, a CSIRO scientist are talking to an octopus. Don’t call me ridiculous!

Tony Abbott the tough guy on boat people: Tow them back!

AbbottBathFixKEOGH1000x667 Link to related article from The Sydney Morning Herald 6 May 2014:

Tony Abbott’s policy a failure as boats keep coming, says Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa

The turn-back of two groups of asylum seekers on Monday has put further strain on the Australia-Indonesia relationship after Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa launched another stinging criticism of the Abbott government’s boats policy. 

Sir Mitchell Johnson? Be warned, knighthoods may come back!

In case you are wondering, the ball has been redesigned to incorporate the Medal of British Knighthood
In case you are wondering, the ball has been redesigned to incorporate the Medal of British Knighthood

 

Boxing Day 2013

Dear Mr Abbott,

I was watching ABC TV’s News Breakfast this morning when presenters Beverley O’Connor and Paul Kennedy suggested that Mitchell Johnson should be knighted. I thought,
“ This idea has great possibilities. I should tell Tony. He’ll love it. He needs someone like me to get back on track.”

I’ve heard you are a royalist and a populist – I think that means you like to be popular – so you will find this idea irresistible. I know you are very good at telling Australians how they should think, but now it’s my turn to give you a dose of your own medicine. Believe me, it’s for your own good. I’ve also heard that you got to be PM by being a populist – guess you really like to be popular!

Seems you are not doing too well in the polls at the moment. Some dare to say you lack fresh ideas. Well, the moment has arrived for you to turn this around. You will be more popular than even I am.

Bring knighthoods back!

Australians, such as myself , want to be recognised with royalty-like status as true-blue, dinky-di, fair-dinkum Australians – not hoity-toity, intellectual, do-gooders. Leave AC’s to those twits – they can just be Companions – not Sirs and Dames.

Do you get it? Sirs and Dames can only be real Aussie icons – past, present and future – even posthumourously – I mean if they are dead.

Australians will love it!

The Queen or King, whoever she or he might be, would be delighted to come over to do the ceremonial honours. I reckon it should be done in the middle of the MCG just before the toss on Boxing Day.

And even better for you – thanks for my brainwave – it would kill off any chance of us ever becoming a republic. Imagine a future Sir Mitchell Johnson having to suffer the indignity of being a mere Mitchell Johnson AC. No future government would be game to drop these knighthoods, or its allegiance – that’s a big word isn’t it! I learnt it yesterday – to Her or His Majesty. Australia would be revolting!

I’ve even got some great suggestions on who should get the nod and why:

SPORT

Sir Shane Warne for services to cricket

Sir Michael Clarke for services to sledging

Sir David Boon for services to beer

Sir Mark Waugh for services to bookmakers

Sir Merv Hughes for services to moustaches

Sir Bill Lawry for services to pigeons … and beaks

Sir Dennis Lillee for services to kickboxing (with Javed Miandad)

Sir Trevor Chappell for services to underarm bowling (and Australia-New Zealand relations)

Sir Kevin Sheedy for services to jacket waving

Sir Mick Malthouse for services to niceness

Sir James Hird for services to the Essendon Football Club

Sir Stephen Bradbury for services to “doing a Bradbury”

Sir Greg Norman for services to the American accent

Sir Lleyton Hewitt for services to “come on!”

Sir Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom for services to nicknames

Sir Ted Whitten for services to ‘sticking it up ‘em”

ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA

Sir Richie Benaud for services to the number “two”

Sir Kerry O’Keefe for services to giggling

Sir Bert Newton for services to the hair loss industry

Sir Peter Garrett for services to hair loss

Sir Molly Meldrum for services to hats

Sir Eddy McGuire for services to the racism debate (and King Kong)

Sir John Elliott for services to pigs’ arses

Sir Kyle Sandilands for services to sexism

Sir Andrew Bolt for services to freedom of speech

Sir Alan Jones for services to the chaff bag industry

Sir Tom Waterhouse for services to overexposure

Sir Sam Newman for services to women’s liberation

Sir Bruce McAvaney for services to “gee!”

Sir Michael Caton for services to Bonnie Doon

Sir Barry Humphries for services to transvestites

Sir John Farnham for services to premature retirement

Sir Derryn Hinch for (prior) services to the wine industry

Sir Paul Hogan for services to the Australian Taxation Office

Sir Reg Grundy for services to underpants

Sir Peter Harvey for services to “Cannbbbeeerrrraaa”

Sir Errol Flynn for services to the unmentionable

Due to your ‘women problem’ I have not included any Dames. I didn’t want to turn you off my idea. But I would like to suggest Dame Cathy Freeman for services to running really fast – which is a big advantage for women in Australia today.

You will notice that I have not included any politicians. They are not Aussie icons in the minds of most Australians. Except for your good self who I would suggest becomes Sir Anthony Abbott for services to the sexism debate.

Yours sincerely,

Shane Warne

 

 

Rupert Murdoch to Kevin Rudd: buzz off!

"Our democracy could be hijacked by an octogenarian American intent on 'regime change'.  "
“Our democracy could be hijacked by an octogenarian American intent on ‘regime change’. “

 

16 August 2013

“It’s as though we don’t want to acknowledge the power of the most dominant newspaper group in the country, because to do so would be to confirm it, or it would be too uncomfortable to consider that our democracy could be hijacked by an octogenarian American intent on ‘regime change’.”

So writes Gay Alcorn in The Age today in her column Murdoch’s voice still reaches voters where she laments “the decision by the Murdoch press to replace news with propaganda during this election campaign”.

Murdoch’s News Corp Australia controls 65 per cent of newspaper circulation in the metropolitan and national daily market. Rupert Murdoch declared on Twitter that the public have had enough of Labor. Such intuition! His key newspapers have obliged by campaigning against the government from day one. One can only speculate on the career prospects of editors who did not oblige.

Expert at gutter journalism, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph can make a King’s Cross gutter at 2 am look like a surgical ward by comparison. Right at the forefront of Murdoch-induced anti-Labor vitriol, this paper, this shining light if of journalistic integrity decided to shine some light on the Kevin Rudd with an in-depth psychological assessment, not for the benefit of our prime minister, but in order to enlighten the electorate. How considerate!

The piece on 10 August 2013, headed Kevin Rudd – hero or psychopath? didn’t bother to address the ‘hero’ aspect, thus making it a rhetorical question with the subtlety of a meat cleaver. However, it magnanimously conceded: “Whether unfairly or resoundingly just, Kevin Rudd’s name has oft been etched beside those traits, by members of his own camp or from across enemy lines.” – those traits being impulsiveness, superficial charm, grandiosity, callousness, manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, propensity to blame others, poor behavioural control and egocentricity.

An ancient invention, still used to this very day, appears to have escaped the attention of the Murdoch empire – the mirror.

Kevin Rudd – hero or psychopath?

A giant ego. A narcissist. A micro-manager. An impulsive control freak. A haphazard and secretive decision maker.

This is not what Kevin Rudd’s political enemies think of him. It’s what many of his colleagues do.

Whether openly or whispered in hushed tones to journalists, this is the picture once painted by his fellow ministers, MPs, public servants and diplomatic associates.

It’s a decent rap sheet – one that easily tops the usual bile directed at colleagues or opponents in the den of iniquity that is politics. But nothing that borders outlandish.

Then, one day, the dam broke. The outspoken and literally outgoing member for Bendigo Steve Gibbons took to Twitter and publicly declared his former leader a “psychopath”. Among other less than genteel terms.

Gibbons is a man who is routinely and rightly pilloried for making crude, stupid and nasty remarks in the name of cheap publicity.

But this time the term took off, which perhaps says more about Rudd than it does about Gibbons.

So is it true? Is the man running this country really a psychopath, given the aforementioned ferocious descriptions appear to tick plenty of the boxes that define such a diagnosis?

Firstly, one has to demystify the term.

Such a designate is no longer deemed by experts to be the exclusive domain of murderers, serial killers and rapists.

No, you could indeed be sitting next to one. Your boss could be one, or, perhaps more likely, your high-flying CEO in his spacious corner office suite.

In fact prominent Australian psychotherapist John Clarke claims that between one and three per cent of the Australian population could be certifiably deemed psychopathic, and he warns not just police to keep a look out but companies and political powerbrokers.

Anthropologist Stephen Juan suggests that one in 10 companies are headed by a corporate psychopath.

It seems psychopaths are everywhere, and they are more likely to wear a suit and tie, than carry a bloodied weapon or be pointing a sawn-off shotgun.

“One of the misconceptions about psychopathy itself is that people think a psychopath goes out and kills people. By definition, they are somebody that is recklessly indifferent to any physical, emotional harm they may cause,” criminal mind expert Steve van Aperen said.

“There are certainly many undiagnosed psychopaths in business and politics.”

Juan says often people get confused between the terms psychopath and psychotic, which makes people less inclined to label someone as the former and thus grouping them with such fiends as Ivan Milat, Charles Manson or Martin Bryant. The distinction is reality, he says. Those suffering from psychosis have lost grip on reality. Those deemed psychopathic are very much aware of it, and are attempting to control it.

They are often easy to spot, Juan says, and follow a defined set of traits that set them apart from normality.

“The corporate psychopath is the type of psychopath that gets into politics because they are usually exceedingly ego-oriented – it is all about them. So even when they get criticism, it is still all about them,” he says.

“They love the centre of attention. Good or bad they see themselves being the centre of the universe.

“They are the great users, the great manipulators, they often have aides and underlings do work for them, and expect blind loyalty but they don’t give loyalty in return. They use everyone for gain.

“Everything is about them. If you talk to them in a conversation about your issues, they will immediately turn it around to their issues. It’s as if no one exists other than them.”

They are always exploiting issues for their own gain, says Dr Juan.

They climb the corporate ladder very effectively, they are often very charming and articulate, often very good looking which they use to their advantage.

It is the only thing they exist for. Themselves. They can’t be trusted, they will lie to your face and deny they have when they are caught. They never own up to their own actions, they are always blaming others. They are polar opposites in public and private, with the former a place for their charm offensive to be exercised, and the latter a dark place of indifference and loathing.

It’s the psychopath’s modus operandi; a persona that they can’t escape from, a disguise that soon becomes arduous to hide.

In a bid to unmask those with psychopathic tendencies and prevent crime, Canadian criminal psychologist and FBI adviser Robert D Hare created the Psychopathy Checklist in the early 1990s that remains the gold standed for reference.

Its defined set of traits include impulsiveness, superficial charm, grandiosity, callousness, manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, propensity to blame others, poor behavioural control, egocentric.

Whether unfairly or resoundingly just, Kevin Rudd’s name has oft been etched beside those traits, by members of his own camp or from across enemy lines.

His impulsiveness is well documented, from rushed decision making done without proper consultation with colleagues or stakeholders, to his “policies on the run” such as the changes to the Fringe Benefit Tax system that

crack down on salary-sacrificed cars, to the detriment of the struggling car industry.

On these rash methods, he is internationally renowned.

 

Bob McCarr-McDonald and the McRefugees

Bob McCarr-McDonald, imposter as Immigration Minister, has  weighed into the delicate asylum seeker debate with the claim that Australia is being duped by imposters – McRefugees
Bob McCarr-McDonald, imposter as Immigration Minister and you know who, has weighed into the delicate asylum seeker debate with the claim that Australia is being duped by imposters – McRefugees.

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11 July 2013

The Mc prefix has crept into modern vernacular to mean an imitation of the real thing. Australia’s pseudo ever-so-erudite Foreign Minister, Bob Carr alias Bob McCarr-McDonald, imposter as Immigration Minister and you know who, has weighed into the delicate asylum seeker debate with the claim that Australia is being duped by imposters – McRefugees – claiming that recent arrivals were not fleeing persecution at all but, rather, were economic migrants.

Fancy that! Refugees duping Australia. Fancy that! Our Foreign Minister duping Australia with hostility-breeding political opportunism based on McBigotry, which is electorally popular in McOz.

Ironic isn’t it? The ultimate McSymbol, Ronald McDonald more than any other single figure epitomises western culture – a clown with no heart … or brain!

Aptly dressed in his Ronald McDonald suit, Bob McCarr-McDonald appeared on Sydney’s 2GB for some McClarification. ”Just to clarify what I said,” he told Sydney radio, ”I said that, in recent boat arrivals, 100 per cent appeared to be economic refugees.”

2GB’s Chris Smith alluded to one of the problems with Carr’s argument: the fact that none of the 22,600 asylum seekers who have arrived since the government announced its ”no advantage” principle last August have been processed. Would it not be an idea to test his claims by actually processing these people, Smith suggested.

Carr had no answer.

* This piece was partly sourced from a recent column by Michael Gordon, The Age 6 July 2013: No advantage in allowing Carr to fan asylum flames

Predictably, the backlash has been severe from many quarters. Refugee advocate Julian Burnside told Fairfax Media that he thought ”Senator Carr is talking through his hat”. The Age heads this article by Jonathon Swan:

Foreign Minister ‘being a bigot’ over asylum seekers

Foreign Minister Bob Carr has been described as behaving like a ”bigot” by a leading human rights lawyer for portraying asylum seekers as economic opportunists.

Refugee advocate Julian Burnside told Fairfax Media on Wednesday that he thought ”Senator Carr is talking through his hat”.

”I think he’s just being a bigot . . . It sounds very much like dog whistle politics in order to make community attitudes harden against people who risk their lives to get here,” he said.

Mr Burnside pointed out that for the past 15 years, 90 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived by boat had turned out to be genuine refugees, and that since August last year no asylum claims had been processed. He said Senator Carr’s claims of a flood of economic migrants, therefore, had no statistical foundation.

”It’s disgraceful that the Minister of the Crown should let fly with ideas like that when he has absolutely no facts at all to support his view,” Mr Burnside said.

In an interview on ABC television on Tuesday night, Senator Carr repeated his argument that an overwhelming number of boat people, mainly from Iran, were faking their claims and coming to Australia to seek economic advantage.

”I think people who burn their passports and repeat what very often is a well-rehearsed story, really ought to be put on the defensive,” Senator Carr said.

”If you’ve got an argument for persecution, there’s no case for burning your passport. There’s no case for being rehearsed in a story of persecution so that everyone on a vessel tells the same story word for word.”

These new boat migrants, overwhelmingly from Iran, were coming to Australia to seek economic advantage, Senator Carr said. It was an ”assault on Australia’s territory”.

But Mr Burnside said he had seen no evidence that this trend was happening.

”Most of the people who come from Iran . . . have been unable to get papers,” he said. ”They’re not allowed to leave Iran and they leave illegally because they are enemies, typically, of the theocracy that runs the place. Those people leave Iran at great risk.”

”They can’t get papers because what happens in repressive states – and maybe Senator Carr hasn’t noticed this – is that the state does not allow its enemy to have papers.”

Mr Burnside said Australians should be reminded of the ”reality . . . that people risk their lives trying to get here”.

When asylum seekers arrive by boat without papers they should be detained as a precaution for health and security checks, Mr Burnside conceded. But if he was in charge of the system he would cap that detention at one month.

After that the government should release the asylum seekers into the community, let them work, and give them access to Centrelink and Medicare benefits.

Then, Mr Burnside argued, until their claims are processed the government should require that the asylum seekers live in specified rural and regional towns, taking their Centrelink money into these towns and be spent on rent, food and clothing.

Their money would be injected into these communities and create jobs, he said.

Mr Carr has been contacted for comment.

The proverbial Joe Hockey

Let’s sing along: Roll out the barrel, ?We'll have a barrel of twaddle
Let’s sing along: Roll out the barrel, We’ll have a barrel of twaddle

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Thursday 4 July 2013

He is big, he is loud and he has a lot to say, but the substance of what Joe Hockey says has a deafeningly empty resonance. ‘Empty barrels make the most noise’ as the old proverb goes.

At 7.10 on Tuesday evening , knowing that Joe Hockey was going to be interviewed on 7.30, I grabbed a stiff whisky. At 7.20 I decided I needed another one. At 7.30, I felt fortified enough to face 7.30.

And I was not disappointed – well I was disappointed and I expected to be disappointed, so I was not disappointed. It was painful.

I often wish canned laughter could be inserted into these inane interviews where questions are dodged, answers are non-answers, alternative policies are not espoused and twaddle rules with negativity, rhetoric, spin, slogans and gross exaggeration – no substance – just denigration of the other side – rarely backed up rational argument, let alone facts. And that becomes irresponsible, particularly when talking about the economy, which is ultra-sensitive to pessimism.

The question is not whether Joe should become Australia’s next Treasurer, it is whether to laugh, cry or get angry.

If you are brave enough, click here for the ABC 7.30 post (2 July 2013) headed: Joe Hockey says way to help ‘most vulnerable’ is budget surplus

Frustration has got the better of me, so I will take to the 7.30 transcript with RED CAPITALS.

Pass me the Black Douglas will you please?

Deep breath! Here I go …

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Since Kevin Rudd was restored to the Prime Ministership he spent most of the past six days behind closed doors with his colleagues planning how he will run the country and fight the coming election.

The economy will be front and centre of the campaign as both parties wrestle with how to play for multibillion dollar plans, how to restore the budget to surplus and how to dump or rework the carbon tax without plunging the Budget deeper into the red. Today the Reserve Bank kept interest rates on hold in response to volatility in the stock market and lower levels of mining investment.

The Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey, is the man in the hot seat for the Coalition, and he joined me tonight from Canberra.

Mr Hockey, the new Treasurer Chris Bowen, today called out the Opposition for its use of the term ‘fiscal emergency’ to describe Australia’s economic position. And he pointed out that Australia has low interest rates, low inflation and unemployment, solid economic growth and a triple A credit rating. Do you agree that overstating your argument undermines it?

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: Not at all, Leigh. If everything was going so swimmingly why isn’t Labor delivering a much promised surplus? It is because they don’t know how to live within their means. And that means that we are facing greater challenges in a weakened position. A weakened position because Labor is leaving a legacy of deficits, ongoing deficits and over $340 billion of debt. JOE, YOU “SAID NOT AT ALL” THEN EFFECTIVELY AGREED WITH THE PREMISE OF THE QUESTION BY IRRESPONSIBLY UNDERMINING THE ECONOMY AGAIN. BESIDES, LEADING ECONOMISTS AGREE THAT A BUDGET SURPLUS IS NOT THE BE ALL AND END ALL.

LEIGH SALES: Prime Minister Rudd has invited the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to debate him at the National Press Club on debt and deficit. Why are you scared to do that?

JOE HOCKEY: We’re not scared.

LEIGH SALES: Why don’t you do it?

JOE HOCKEY: This is the same old Kevin. This is the same old Kevin Rudd. A leopard doesn’t change his spots, he won’t tell us what the debt is, he won’t tell us what the deficit is. BUT …

LEIGH SALES: You’ve seen the Budget papers.

JOE HOCKEY: And last Thursday in Parliament, Leigh, Kevin Rudd wouldn’t stand by the Budget. BUT HANG ON …

LEIGH SALES: Well today Chris Bowen, the new Treasurer, has said, “I stand by the Budget predictions that were put out in May, that is the Government’s Budget and all the forecasts in there are the forecasts that we stand by.” ISN’T THAT ENOUGH PROOF FOR YOU, JOE?

JOE HOCKEY: That’s right, it’s taken seven days for them to stand by the Budget. SO WHAT IF IT TOOK SEVEN DAYS? QUICK GET-OUT-OF- GAOL THERE, JOE! But even so Kevin Rudd has not done it himself. BUT YOU SAID “THEM” WHICH WOULD, BY DEFINITION, INCLUDE RUDD. Yet he wants to have a debate about deficit and debt. Well bring it on. He is the master of deficit and debt. CHEAP SHOT. SOUNDS LIKE JOE IS SCARED OF A DEBATE ON DEFICIT AND DEBT – KEVIN MIGHT TAKE THE WIND OUT OF THE OPPOSITION’S BUDGET DEFICIT SCARE CAMPAIGN.

LEIGH SALES: But he has brought it on, so why don’t you go and meet him? If you’re on such strong ground as you say, you must be loving the opportunity to debate him.

JOE HOCKEY: We look forward to it.

LEIGH SALES: In the National Press Club you accept that invitation?

JOE HOCKEY: I’m happy to debate anyone, any time.

LEIGH SALES: Is Tony Abbott happy to lead this debate? So yes that debate’s going to happen?

JOE HOCKEY: Yeah it will happen, HOWEVER, TODAY IT WAS REPORTED THAT TONY ABBOTT HAS REJECTED CALLS FROM LABOR TO HOLD A DEBATE NEXT WEEK AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB, CLAIMING KEVIN RUDD WAS INDULGING IN A STUNT BECAUSE HE HAD NO POLICY PLATFORM. BLACK KETTLES ABOUND! but they’ve got to call the election. They’ve got to call the election. COP OUT! HOWEVER, KEVIN RUDD IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH AFR WEEKEND SAID THAT HE WAS NOT AVERSE TO DEBATING HIM [ABBOTT] MORE THAN ONCE WHEN THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN PROPER BEGAN. Labor is creating uncertainty by not giving Australia an election date. We had one a week ago, apparently now we do not have an election date and as the head of the Business Council, Tony Shepherd said today, this uncertainty is destabilising business. It’s undermining business and consumer confidence and I say to Kevin Rudd “if you care for Australia more than you care for yourself call an election now.” AND JUST WHO IS UNDERMINING BUSINESS WITH THE RECKLESS GROSS EXAGGERATION OF ‘FISCAL EMERGENCY”?

Then Leigh Sales went on to “explore some of your policies.”

And the excruciation continued, per se the 7.30 post heading, Joe Hockey says way to help ‘most vulnerable’ is budget surplus, which highlights Joe’s furphy that, “You can only do it by having a surplus and having excess capacity to help those most vulnerable in the community.”

Furphy! That superbly appropriate term was used by Alan Austin in an Independent Australia article back in May, in which Austin lamented that, “it is hoped he who would be Treasurer would display some grasp of economics”.

Click here for Alan Austin’s piece titled: Sloppy Joe Hockey’s 15 biggest Press Club furphies

Written by Bruce Keogh

Julia Gillard – trial by gender. Verdict – exile!

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1000 times more scrutinising of women.

It is as if the metaphorical media lens is a microscope, 1,000 times more scrutinising of women — indeed, less critical of men. If Julia Gillard had bat ears, it is unlikely she would have made it to the prime ministership in the first place.

A word of caution: If you happen to be a highly intelligent woman with deep philosophical convictions and passion for the future of Australia, and have aspirations to become prime minister, go for it. But only if you do not have any physical imperfections that make you lesser in appearance to Elle McPherson. But then again, if you are blond, the media will destroy you anyway.

As if looking back on the demise of Julia Gillard, Marilyn Lake wrote a piece for The Age, just one day before Australia’s first female prime minister was ousted by the Labor caucus, in favour of a … you guessed it … a male … who will, odds on, not be sexualised by Australia’s media and wider culture. By Bruce Keogh

An excerpt from Marilyn Lake’s article 25 June 2013:

How could we have foreseen what would befall her? The relentless persecution by senior male journalists, the vilification, the sexist mockery, the personal abuse and the contempt with which she would be treated. Between 2010 and 2013, the full force of Australia’s masculinist political culture would be brought to bear on this path-breaking woman.

It is now a truism that history will prove more sympathetic to Gillard’s prime ministership – and the policies she introduced – than contemporary commentators have been.

What will mostly attract historians’ attention, however, will be how she was treated, the rabid misogyny, the hysteria of men who could not abide the spectacle of a woman in power, who labelled her a bitch, a witch, a liar, a usurper, an illegitimate claimant who refused to bow down before her male rivals.

She has been sexualised in a way no previous prime minister has been sexualised.

In the past three years, obscenity has become a favourite mode of prime ministerial denigration.

Full column by Marilyn Lake who is Professor in History at the University of Melbourne researching the international history of Australian democracy.