Friday, December 12, 2014
Every day in every way, things get funnier and funnier ...
Every day, there's a new twist...
Abbott in his long career as the nattering master of negativity planted all sorts of little bomblets along the way, but stepping on the gender card is just such a remarkable twist that the pond was sent into a laughing fit ...
It was The World Today that pointed out the bleeding obvious:
LOUISE YAXLEY: At first the grumbles about Peta Credlin's handling of her role as chief of staff were coming from a few frustrated backbenchers, but in the last few weeks newspaper articles have focussed on the gripes about her and they appear to be coming from senior figures in the Government. Mister Abbott seems to think they are well sourced and this morning he told ABC 24's Lyndal Curtis he wanted to tackle it head on.
TONY ABBOTT: If people have a problem with my office, obviously they can tell me because what my office does is what I ask my office to do. But the point I want to make, Lyndal, is first of all, this is the same office which ran a very effective opposition; it's the same office which has got an enormous amount done this year, sometimes under very difficult circumstances. The other point I make - do you really think, Lyndal, that my chief of staff would be under this kind of criticism if her name was P-E-T-E-R as opposed to P-E-T-A?
LYNDAL CURTIS: That's a message to your colleagues, isn't it, because that's where the criticism's coming from?
TONY ABBOTT: Well look, Lyndal, as I said, I think people need to take a long, hard look at themselves with some of these criticisms.
LOUISE YAXLEY: But when Julia Gillard gave her so-called misogyny speech in October 2012, Mr Abbott was much less sympathetic to the view that criticism could be linked to gender.
TONY ABBOTT (October, 2012): The prime minister should be prepared to accept fair criticism and, just because the prime minister has sometimes been the victim of unfair criticism, doesn't mean that she can dismiss any criticism as sexism, that she can dismiss any criticism on gender grounds and I think what we've seen from the government over the last few days, as Julie Bishop has pointed out, is this attempt to say that criticism of the prime minister is off limits.
LOUISE YAXLEY: It's a bad sign for a Government when the focus is on a senior staff member and also when Cabinet ministers like the Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews are fielding questions about the way the PM's office is working. (There's more at the program's site here).
Now the pond is quite prepared to believe that Credlin might be copping hard time from a bunch of misogynistic Liberals.
The Cabinet make up shows what the majority of Liberals think of working women in positions of power - get them back behind the ironing board where they might pick up a few tips from Tony.
Indeed, the pond's not the only one to think the current crop of Liberals show every sign of being masters of misogyny.
But here's the thing.
Abbott, in his very own words, ruled out the gender card. Cut it down and tore it up.
If you played the game, you just had to suck it up, tough it out, and not bleat about gender.
It dawns on the pond anew each day - slow learner, the pond - that Abbott is slightly thick, and can't remember what he said or did even a few years ago.
So when he thought he was coming out with a witticism in defence of Peta not being Peter, he really didn't have the first clue what a half-arsed, disremembering clown he sounded like ...
Even the reptiles allowed the story to stray outside the paywall, in Tony Abbott accuses chief-of-staff Peta Credlin's critics of sexism.
The reptiles even dug up a Julie Bishop quote to rub salt into the gender wound:
When Julia Gillard in 2012 claimed she was treated differently to her male predecessors, Ms Bishop said: “If she plays the gender card, she is wallowing in self-pity over her own performance (and) that’s what it appeared to me.”
Uh huh. Reptile writer Jared Owens then proceeded to recycle assorted rumours and issues, as if to highlight how Abbott might be wallowing in self-pity.
As for the Fairfaxians, Stephanie Peating seized on the situation to make additional demands, in Now Tony Abbott has called out sexism against Peta Credlin, there's plenty more he can call out (forced video at end of link):
Mr Abbott called Ms Gillard out for playing the gender card as has Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on more than one occasion.
But people can change.
Perhaps Mr Abbott has now discovered there is such a thing as everyday sexism that women routinely face.
I, for one, applaud this change of heart.
I look forward to Mr Abbott calling out people who concentrate on the appearance of his female colleagues or ask how they combine their career in politics with a family.
I look forward to a broader campaign on the gender pay gap, the discrepancy between the superannuation accrued by men and women and sexual harassment in the workplace.
I particularly look forward to the number of women in cabinet being addressed.
Irony doesn't get more thick or lathered than that, but the real comedy comes with reading the comments in the lizard Oz, where the kool aid drinkers do their best to explain how it's right for Abbott to play the gender card, but wrong of Gillard to have done so ...
It doesn't get any richer than this, and frankly the pond is exhausted.
Abbott will now have to ditch the witch.
It's the only solution ... though maybe he still can't read the signs all around him ...
Posted by dorothy parker at 12/12/2014 03:51:00 PM