THIS CARTOON, DRAWN AT THE END OF JULIA GILLARD’S TENURE AS PRIME MINISTER, WILL BE ON DISPLAY IN THE MUSEUM OF AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRACY AT THE OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSE IN CANBERRA.
THE EXHIBITION, TO BE KNOWN AS ‘WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT’ WILL COMMENCE IN LATE AUGUST 2018 AND WILL RUN FOR APPROXIMATELY 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.
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?
JOURNALIST: Maybe your credibility is already ruined?
TURNBULL: I have apologised. For a prime minister to be so humbly apologetic is so refreshing in the public eye. So, my credibility has benefited from my brilliant bleeding-heart expression of remorse.
JOURNALIST: Are you surprised at your poor performance?
TURNBULL: Worse than surprised, I would say shocked. I did not expect to lose even one poll. By the way, how dare you call my performance “poor”?
Good evening and thanks for joining us. You look ridiculous.
You need all the joining you can get. You at the ABC are falling apart. Funding cuts must be taking their toll if they employ cheap shots like you to throw cheap shots at people like me.
You are making a mockery of your role as opposition leader.
I did not come here to be insulted.
Why? Where do you normally go?
I have come here for a serious political interview, not a Marx Brothers routine. And by the way, I’ll do the gags.
With due respect Mr Shorten, it was you who started this fiasco in Marxism.
Are you accusing me of being a Marxist?
I think I am losing the will to live.
Don’t be ridiculous, let’s get down to some serious business, like why I am being cast as the least inspiring opposition leader since Alexander Downer.
Gladly, but why are you wearing those fishnet stockings and high-heels?
I am making the point that Alexander was not uninspiring, and I am just as good as him at making a complete dork of myself.
You call that inspiring do you?
And why are you exposing your bare chest and belly?
Because I want to be seen as a real man with guts.
Speaking of guts, can I get to the guts of this so-called interview?
Why are you so focused on the support of rusted-on Labor supporters and not appealing to the wider population with a fresh narrative and new ideas?
I can assure you that I’ve given those rusty Labor remnants more than the occasional spray of WD40. They have to wake up to themselves and move with the times or they can get stuffed. We need to find a new base of Labor support.
Like people who don’t watch the ABC. People who think politicians are a joke. People who think Labor is about having babies. People who don’t think. These are the people we need to attract.
And how do you propose to do that?
I’m sorry but we seem to be out of time.
Mr Shorten, that is my call, not yours.
Thank you coming. I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.