THIS CARTOON, DRAWN AT THE END OF JULIA GILLARD’S TENURE AS PRIME MINISTER, WAS ON DISPLAY IN THE MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY AT THE OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN CANBERRA. THE EXHIBITION, KNOWN AS ‘WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT’, COMMENCED IN LATE AUGUST 2018 AND RAN FOR 12 MONTHS.
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.
Original version December 2013– Updated March 2023
This essay discusses the AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL IDENTITY and concludes it has gone astray
“We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars”. (YouTube) So went the famous 1970’s Holden advertising jingle. A patronisingly corny attempt to beholden Australians to their remarkably unsophisticated sense of national identity. Holden was after all ‘Australia’s own car’.
Sadly, for thinking Australians, it was an extraordinarily successful campaign, which served to demonstrate our collective gullibility for national identity gibberish. The advertising ‘geniuses’ behind this campaign clearly recognised that Australia’s sense of itself was so shallow that it could be capitalised on. And that, they did with zeal.
What is one human life worth? What is more important, human life or economics? Scott Morrison and world leaders face these and more dilemmas. They are required to ‘play God’ in matters of life or death.
SHOCK JOCK: Tony Abbott, great to have you on the show again, mate.
ABBOTT: Thanks mate, always a pleasure to
do interviews with intelligent, like-minded people of the right, like your good
SHOCK JOCK: I see you had a party room stoush with
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg over the National Energy Guarantee.
ABBOTT: Josh is cranky because I am
leading an internal party revolt against his plan. My pro-coal Monash Forum is
a faction that opposes action on climate change and wants new coal power
stations. Craig Kelly and I have flagged we will cross the floor to oppose the
JOURNALIST: Ms Hanson, your old familiar smile has returned after your recent tearful meltdown on Sky News. You were upset, claiming your One Nation Senator Brian Burston had stabbed you “in the back” for supporting the Coalition Government’s company tax cut policy.
HANSON: Yes, I am ecstatic over that performance. It was cameo Hollywood material wasn’t it? Brian had betrayed me despite his claims to the contrary. He maintains I had been contrary on the issue. Contrariness is my prerogative.
JOURNALIST: You are ecstatic. Why?
HANSON: Since that appearance, my staff phones have been running hot in sympathy and support of me.
JOURNALIST: Mr Turnbull, you are now staring at 33 consecutive Coalition Newspoll losses in a row. This surpasses Abbott’s 30 losses you used as a benchmark trigger for your successful leadership coup in 2015, does it not?
TURNBULL: Yes that’s true, but I recently expressed regret for leveraging that number 30. I won the spill and got to be Prime Minister — that’s all I care about. If you in the media think the number 30 is to be my nemesis, you are sadly delusional. I, on the other hand, am happily delusional.
JOURNALIST: Oh my God!
TURNBULL: Indeed. God willing, the Coalition would win the next Newspoll if only the public would start listening to me. Maybe they get distracted by my charisma and tune out in stunned awe of me?
Edward Gough Whitlam AC QC – 11 July 1916 to 21 October 2014
AS PUBLISHED IN INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA
Outrage was palpable on the steps of Parliament House on 11 November 1975 as Gough Whitlam supporters flanked the media scrum to witness the sacked Prime Minister’s famous speech:
Well may we say ‘God save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor-General. The Proclamation which you have just heard read by the Governor-General’s Official Secretary was countersigned by Malcolm Fraser, who will undoubtedly go down in Australian history from Remembrance Day 1975 as Kerr’s cur.
The man Whitlam appointed as the Queen’s representative in Australia, Governor-General Sir John Kerr, had axed his benefactor. The Dismissal of Whitlam and his Labor Government was always shrouded in mystery and intrigue. The real truth of the machinations leading up to this unprecedented coup remain cloaked in secrecy and that is because Australia is not yet a republic.
Displacement looms for our wombat population as countless Australians seek out their holes to crawl into.
It is so hopeless that extrication from society seems the only option for anyone with a social conscience. Trust has bitten the dust and politicians are the major culprits.
One could have wistfully hoped that with the start of a new year, 2018 would bring just a modicum of improvement in the standard of federal government. Senator Michaelia Cash put an end to that and now we pessimistically await the next exercise in trashing our Parliamentary system.
Yes, it is a given, but the scandal surrounding Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and his pregnant extramarital partner Vikki Campion is about far more than trust. It encapsulates what is so wrong with our political and media modus operandi.
It is a minefield of personal failings on the part of the Nationals leader. It is a mainstream media disgrace.
Terms that have been bandied about in relation to Joyce’s conduct include inflated ego, betrayal, hypocrisy, deception, disingenuousness, cynicism, self-interest and poor self-control. We would expect that with high office comes a heightened cognisance of personal accountability. We might as well expect fairies at the bottom of the garden.
Australian Federal Police have raided the parliament house gift shop. The raid followed a call to 2UE’s whisper line by an anonymous tipster citing inside knowledge and details of a plan by a group of “face-covered Moslems” to disrupt parliament. The call was heard by Channel 9, whose film crew promptly notified the AFP, then made a beeline for Capital Hill. Sound familiar? Deja vu? Read about it!
Shop manager Flossie Fairweather politely informed the heavily armed anti-terrorist squad that she had sold out of the offending face coverings. “I sold the last 60 to that charming group of young people barely 30 minutes ago. They said they were Moslem but they did not look like terrorists to me. I think they were heading for the public gallery in that big green room.”
Every morning, Campbell Cane Toad awoke, headed for the bathroom and kissed himself in the mirror. He then transformed into a besuited political being with the title: Premier of Queensland.
All was going well for Campbell until the 2015 landslide election when he lost his own seat, and with it his magic spell. Alas he could be humanoid no more. He was doomed, through the sorcery of the insidious LNP Panel of Evil, to become a squelched toad, with insidious consequences for the whole state. Dubbed ‘Campbell the Martyr’ by the panel, he was destined for sacrificial notoriety. The Panel of Evil was out for revenge in the wake the LNP’s statewide drubbing.
And so, on election night, stunned Queenslanders witnessed a concession speech delivered by a dying toad.