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Tony Abbot: misogynist and hypocrite

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, October 10th, 2012 - 159 comments
Categories: australian politics, International, Politics, youtube - Tags: , ,

It really was a pleasure last night watching the most obnoxious weasel in aussie politics, Tony Abbott, getting done over by a fired up Julia Gillard. She was pointing out that his sudden calls against sexism and misogyny could be better applied to himself. Then she spent glorious minutes detailing exactly why Tony Abbott was the last politician in Austrailia who could throw dirt using these charges.

It certainly was the top of the line entertainment for Lyn and myself last night as we hung on every new description of Tony Abbott’s misogynist sins and blatant sexism detailed with places, times, and opinion. It is pretty slow up until the 3rd minute with the weasel smiling and joking. After that it was like watching someone see their political career descend far further than it already is. It is hard to see how many women in aussie would bring themselves to vote for this dickhead after this denunciation.

The Herald-Sun described overseas reaction which has been astonished and largely admiring. I rather suspect that this demonstration in political castration may start setting a trend and a standard for dealing with misogynists in politics from this point on.

Such a defence for Peter Slipper, the subject of this debate, appears to have done what he needed to do earlier based on evidence from the court that got released into the public domain of his personal thoughts. He resigned as Federal Speaker shortly after the speech

In the UK, the conservative Telegraph described the speech as a “brilliant political pivot”, saying she had turned “defending the indefensible” (the Peter Slipper scandal) into a speech that cleverly shifted the focus of the entire news story.

“Watching a female Prime Minister tear apart the male leader of the Opposition with such aplomb, composure – but most importantly armed with a brilliantly impressive set of insults – backed up with dates and times of when each shocking comment was said – was the best card Gillard, ever the political animal, could have played in such a situation,” the reporter said.

A blogger at the influential Business Insider linked to the video, with the headline “An Australian politician shrinks in embarrassment, as the prime minister destroys him for being a misogynist”. The article became a social media hit, spreading across Twitter and Facebook.

Social media helped spread news of the speech, with “Gillard” hitting the top ten Twitter trends in Australia and also trending internationally.

159 comments on “Tony Abbot: misogynist and hypocrite”

  1. karol 1

    felix is probably talking about when the Greens ended up NOT signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with National, as reported here in April 2012.
     

    The National Government’s lurch to the right has scuppered prospects of a new policy deal between it and the Greens, the smaller party says, but National claims the Greens wanted policies that were unaffordable.

     
    Depends what you mean about “Greens” here.  I have voted  Green Party in the last few elections, because they same further left than Labour of late.  I’m not really a greenie first, but primarily am left wing. I would vote Labour if they were a more left wing party.  I probably spend more time criticising the NActgovernment than Labour.

  2. karol 2

    Yes, it is an excellent demolition of Abbott.  Also it was really good to see a woman PM publicly call out the opposition for using sexism and misogyny to try to undermine her. 
     
    In NZ the NActs and their unacknowledged propaganda wing, on and off-line used similar tactics of misogynistic whispering and sexist snearing against Clark when she was PM.  Clark always tried to stay above it by not publicly acknowledging it.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah. It was a bit irritating in some ways for me.

      Personally I’m far more inclined to verbally gut hypocrites and other such arseholes and to drag them out into full view to have a public viewing of their entrails. I find that it is good for them (and it certainly amuses me). I particularly like doing it for the small minded dicks like Whaleoil, Henry and Farrar who Stephen Joyce and other National strategists were using to peddle their vile forms of misogny to the kiwiblog and talkback crowds in 2004-2008.

      It’d have been far easier to do them over if Helen had ripped them one. Unfortunately she was more concerned with running the country than playing in their sewer. It was probably the only reason that she didn’t win a 4th term – which was somewhat unfortunate as the National MP’s have been proving for 4 years that the only thing that they’re good at is running the country down.

      But what else do you expect from people who seem to think that males are the only ones biologically enhanced to lead – as Abbott has suggested…

      • King Kong 2.1.1

        I’m sorry but this has to be said…Fuck you are a dick.

        The fact that you truly believe you rode around the intenet slaying right wing hate speech with your acerbic wit and devastating put downs is priceless.

        What’s even funnier is the implication that you were doing this by royal appointment of “Helen”, who was too busy to crush these untermensch for herself so left it to the true knight of the left.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          And I think that you are more than a bit stupid, probably misogynist, and generally a bit of a wanker based on your comments here. It does make your opinion of no particular interest.

          As usual, you didn’t bother responding to any of the points in my comment or my post.

          My personal guess is that you are simply incapable of doing anything more than pathetically blustering or whining about how misunderstood you are – which do seem to be your usual modes of operation.

          How does it feel to be such a pathetic debater?

          • King Kong 2.1.1.1.1

            It feels exactly the opposite to being a brilliant one, if you can imagine that.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh I can imagine. I have been there frequently. The difference I suspect is that I try to make an effort to do better next time. Whereas in my opinion you seem to regard stupid failures as being a reason to do the same damn thing over and over again.

              And in this vein, since you are in my view simply trying to divert my post without contributing to the discussion, you will not put any more comments in it. If I see you back here again then I will give you a long holiday from the site. If you want to respond to this comment, then you can do so in OpenMike.

  3. It’s an astonishing speech. Abbott looks shocked, and then at times, he seems to be seething with anger that anyone would dare call him out on his misogyny.

    This bit comes early on in the speech, and I think it’s the moment when Abbott realised that he was going to lose this one.

    I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not.
    The government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man.
    Not now, not ever.
    The leader of the opposition says that people who hold sexist views & who are misogynist are not appropriate for high office.
    Well I hope the leader of the opposition has got a piece of paper and is writing out his resignation. If he wants to see what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn’t need a motion in the house of representatives. He needs a mirror.

    And from non-political friends in Australia, I hear that Abbott’s treatment of women is now being discussed very widely. I think this could be a turning point for him. Malcolm Turnball waiting in the wings?

    • lprent 3.1

      …I hear that Abbott’s treatment of women is now being discussed very widely

      It is going to be interesting looking at the political fallout from this speech.

      The reporting of the Jones gaffe with the dickheads at the young liberals including senior members of the liberals soaking it up really opened up this political dimension. With the revelations in court about Spinner coming so hard on the heels of that, it made this just a perfect way to slice and dice Abbott.

      Aussie politics is as hard as nails as it is. But Abbott really did bring it to a new low in my opinion by taking up the nastiest parts of divide and rule strategies from around the world. Bearing in mind his dropping poll numbers, it wouldn’t surprise me if he gets rolled in the next couple of months. I hope he doesn’t. I think he will be the liability that keeps giving for Labour and the Greens after this.

  4. tc 4

    Abbott is nasty and the Liberals should lose with him at the helm. He stabbed Turnbull in the back and malcolm’s not one to forget and he’s quite simply a toxic fitness freak born again nut job whose only strategy is capitalise on the gov’t weaknesses.

    His time at Sydney uni’s been redacted to protect him by his mates as he allegedly punched a wall next to the woman who he lost a student council election to.

    If we had an MSM half as persistent with some amount of integrity like Oz’s shonky and co would have been viscerated in their first term. Recent survey’s show the value of a proper public broadcaster with their high %’s in the trusted stakes.

    • Jokerman 4.1

      Spoils to the Victors

      Always, when the conquerors come
      with their strange urgent tongues,
      it is the women who know what they say.

      It is the women who know the language
      of the tongue in the head, and the angrier
      tongue in the hips that compels its

      bitter alphabet to be uttered
      in every conquered household.

      Ross Clark-Australia

  5. captain hook 5

    It was a dreadful shame the way whaleshit and his crummy gang pilloried Helen Clark but the blame for that must go fairly and squarely on the shoulders of Brian Edwards.
    He let his personal battle with the Boagey completely overwhelm his sensibilities and allowed Joyce and his organisation to flood the airwaves with rightwing nonsense and no one did a damm thing.

    • tc 5.1

      +1 Yes I think brain edwards is highly overated and yesterdays man by some distance but also Clark’s weakness was also her strength. Close allies like king/mallard also made them look very tired and old school with trevor to this day being a liability.

  6. Kotahi Tāne Huna 6

    What a treat!

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    In the run up to the last Aussie election there was a scene of Tony Abbot exiting the surf wearing brief yellow togs, one commenter remarked that he “was all smuggler and no budgie” confirmed by the distinct lack of bulge typically present with this garment.

    Peoples physical appearance should not matter but ask any female politician about their experiences!

    Well done Julia.

  8. vto 8

    Going against the grain for a mo…..

    Do men and women have an equal physiological, temperamental, characterial, etc predisposition to power and leadership?

    I would maintain that they do not but would be interested to hear how and why they do. After all the sexes seem to differ in physiology, temperament, character, etc on many other features of humanwoman existence, so why would this particular feature be any different?

    Vive la difference!

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.1

      Not all men have “an equal physiological, temperamental, characterial, etc predisposition to power and leadership”; why would women be expected to?

    • Deborah 8.2

      No, they don’t. The great majority of studies show that there is far more variation within gender than between genders, and that many of the character traits associated with leadership etc. are learned, not innate.

      • vto 8.2.1

        Fair enough, happy to hear so, if that is the case. But further, why then does history appear to indicate that men do have such a predisposition – evidenced by men being in power and leadership most of the time?

        And a bit more further. I understand the within-gender compared to between-gender, but that does in fact indicate also that there is a between-gender difference, which would seem to support my initial contention.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.2.1.1

          Yawn. Men are just the tops in everything, and born to rule. Especially the white ones.

          • vto 8.2.1.1.1

            Yawn alright mr kotahi… It is impossible to ask questions on this site that don’t fit with the norms. If you do step outside the bounds you just get labelled and assumptioned and poked at.

            And who said anything about being on top? That just reflects on your own outlook about the positioning of things in society and what is top. And as for white? Why do you suggest that? What has that got to do with my question? You come across as a bigot.

            As far as I am concerned it is an entirely legitimate question. There are countless physiological differences between the world’s peoples and it confounds me as to why, on some issues, the differences are simply ignored. Seemingly to fit the political settings of the day.

            Is ignorance bliss kotahi?

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Oh, was I being too subtle?

              See if this helps: “why then does history appear to indicate that [white] men do have such a predisposition – evidenced by [white] men being in power and leadership most of the time.”

              You see what I did there, extending your own argument to its logical (and plainly nonsensical) conclusion? Does that help?

              • vto

                “”See if this helps: “why then does history appear to indicate that [white] men do have such a predisposition – evidenced by [white] men being in power and leadership most of the time.””

                You have not answered my question.

                As to your own question, that is clearly complete and utter bullshit and you need to get your head out of its small white paradigm. Last time I looked back through history white men had no such position of power and leadership most of the time. Get your facts right dumbarse.

                Now, care to answer mine?

                • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                  Your question is bullshit, based on the false and self-serving assumption that the old status quo is evidence of some sort of natural order.

                  That is my answer.

                  • vto

                    “Your question is bullshit, based on the false and self-serving assumption that the old status quo is evidence of some sort of natural order.”

                    I have asked if it is some sort of natural order, not stated that it is some sort of natural order.

                    And not only are you are a dumbarse for thinking that the white man has ruled the world forever but you also seem incapable of reading. I made no such assumption – it was a suggestion that that has been the status quo. You can see that if you read the words “… history appear to indicate …” leaving ample room for that particular statement to be disputed.

                    Instead of just blurting out like the reactionary bigot you are, try reading and thinking sometimes.

                    Out

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      I don’t think that white men have ruled the world forever, fool – that was a rhetorical device (which you failed to grasp until I had to explain it to you). It is amusing to be described as a bigot by you of all people though, especially under a post about a bigot having his hypocrisy destroy him.

                      You’ve stated your position (that men are born to rule), advocated for it, advanced anecdotal evidence that you think supports it. When Deborah explained the facts of the matter to you, you simply dismissed her remarks and went back to your advocacy. This is also amusing in this context.

                    • vto

                      “You’ve stated your position (that men are born to rule)” No I didn’t.

                      “, advocated for it” No I didn’t

                      “, advanced anecdotal evidence that you think supports it.” No I didn’t

                      “When Deborah explained the facts of the matter to you, you simply dismissed her remarks and went back to your advocacy.” No I didn’t.

                      I asked a simple question but it was just so utterly predictable that some small-brained self-appointed censor on this site would get their knickers in a twist at such a question being asked.

                      You just don’t like certain questions. You can’t handle them. You have a small mind bounded by race and gender issues defined for you by others. Try thinking for yourself. And reading what people post.

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      No I didn’t.

                      “I would maintain that they do”

                      QED.

                  • + 1 Vto why don’t you do some reading about these ideas you struggle with. The irony of your crap on this post is lost on you I’m sure.

                    As for the speech – watched the video last night and went to bed with a smile on my face. Absolutely loved it.

                    • vto

                      Just like kotahi there is no answer to my question. It was simple. Deborah is the only one who has been good enough to offer an answer, which I acknowledged and expanded on. You and kotahi just attack the person. As always alway always.

                      You are as bound up as Kotahi on all sorts of issues. You lot seem utterly incapable of even contemplating that your set-in-concrete views may not stand the test of time. You are over-confident that your views are correct.

                      Does it ever occur to you that maybe your views are not right or balanced?

                    • vto

                      I’ll post it again for you marty mars. Here it is…

                      “Do men and women have an equal physiological, temperamental, characterial, etc predisposition to power and leadership? I would maintain that they do not but would be interested to hear how and why they do. After all the sexes seem to differ in physiology, temperament, character, etc on many other features of humanwoman existence, so why would this particular feature be any different?”

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      “…attack the person.”

                      lol – I suggest that you take your own advice and read my remarks, note that my comments address your “argument” – although not in the way you’d like, and then reflect on who exactly is the one making personal remarks (“You have a small mind..”)

                      Oh, and the irony of double standards being displayed in a thread about double standards? Thanks for that 🙂

        • weka 8.2.1.2

          “But further, why then does history appear to indicate that men do have such a predisposition – evidenced by men being in power and leadership most of the time?”
           
          It’s called the patriarchy. We live in systems that reward (white) men for certain kinds of behaviours by giving them more power than everyone else. One those systems are established, they are hard to undo because the people that benefit the most from them have the most to lose if things change.
           
          It’s social, not biological. Other systems have and do exist.
           
          Women and men naturally have different leaderships styles (even allowing for the variation within each gender). I’m sure this is true for other genders too. But within our patriarchal system it is hard to see. Women going into parliament for instance will do better if they learn to play with the boys, rather than exhibiting other kinds of leadership behaviour. Some women will find this easier and be better adapted to it, other women won’t survive or will be corrupted by it. You can see this played out in the women that choose to get out of parliament before it is too late, and those that stay.
           
           
          The reason that Kotahi is ridiculing you, as far as I can tell (although I got bored and didn’t read all of the interchange, and tend to agree with you that his posts are not helpful), is because the idea that men are naturally better at leadership is ridiculous. 
           
          I agree with marty, there are lots of things to read and learn about this. You make a very basic mistake with the assumption that because men have for part of history of some cultures been the dominant leaders that this is natural (ie biological). But a wider view of history (and other disciplines) tells us otherwise.
           

          • vto 8.2.1.2.1

            Noted weka. Social bounds are surely as relevant as biological.

            But I need to correct something – I did not (I think) state that because it has existed historically then it is natural, I asked whether because it has existed historically it is natural. I asked the question, I did not state the fact. It may not have been presented clearly although a careful reading will note the specific.

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Social bounds are surely as relevant as biological.

              No. It has been explained to you, ad nauseam, that the differences within genders are larger than the differences between them, and that leadership is a learned trait.

              Where do you think this leaves room for your biological determinism?

              • vto

                “No. It has been explained to you, ad nauseam, that the differences within genders are larger than the differences between them, and that leadership is a learned trait.

                I was asking about the differences between. There is a difference between. If the differences within are so great as to neutralise the differences between then the differences between would surely be immeasureable, but this is not the case (see Deborah’s original answer).

                Also, leadership is not a learned trait, leadership, according the great authority Deborah, is both learned and inate (see Deborah’s original answer).

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.2.1.2.2

            Yeah thanks for that Weta, you have the reason for the ridicule spot on.

            “Not helpful” – I have room for improvement like we all do, but ridicule can be a lot more effective than earnest engagement, no matter how verbose.

            • vto 8.2.1.2.2.1

              Explain how some factor within each gender is relevant to an issue that is between genders.

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Simple – the former dwarfs the latter, especially in the light of the fact that leadership is a learned trait, which if you think clearly, has the potential to negate the biologically determined gender differences altogether.

                • vto

                  Oh, “potential”….

                  And, looky there …. an acknowledgement of “biologically determined gender differences”. This was my very specific question. Thanks. At long last.

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    looky there …. an acknowledgement of “biologically determined gender differences”

                    Nope, and that is my bad for poor expression. By “negate” I meant “call into serious question the whole notion of”.

                    An undetectable effect dependent on advocacy is oft proved fictional.

        • QoT 8.2.1.3

          But further, why then does history appear to indicate that men do have such a predisposition – evidenced by men being in power and leadership most of the time?

          Well, Kotahi already tried, but let’s put it in simple terms for you, vto:

          At school there’s a bully. He and his friends are always at the front of the queue. When he leaves school, his little sister and her friends always get to be at the front of the queue and coincidentally her big brother is known to loiter around the school gates to beat the shit out of anyone who picks on his little sister.

          This could tell you something about entrenched systems of power and privilege, or we could just assume that front-of-queuing ran in their family.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.2.1.3.1

            “Kotahi already tried”

            Deborah provided all the facts – I just rode shotgun.

    • lprent 8.3

      Do men and women have an equal physiological, temperamental, characterial, etc predisposition to power and leadership?

      You obviously haven’t met too many members of my extended family. The woman tend towards leadership positions just as much as the men do. They usually operate in a different style, but well within the range of styles that the men do. Over the generations the limiting factor appears to have been more their access to training and opportunity.

      I suspect that most of the ‘power and leadership’ skills are simply learnt skills. You learn them initially off family and enhance them with training and experiences.

      • vto 8.3.1

        I can imagine – one half of us is similarly led.

        I just wonder how equal these predispositions are though because from what I can see back through history and across other features of humankind the evidence seems to indicate otherwise.

        We do seem to get terribly concerned that everybody must be exactly the same these days. And that just doesn’t sit squarely. As the French say … vive la difference

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.3.1.1

          “We do seem to get terribly concerned that everybody must be exactly the same these days.”

          No, we don’t. Hope that clarifies things for you.

        • lprent 8.3.1.2

          A lot of the social differences in the past have to do with reproductive constraints and simple body mass in a much less sophisticated social environs. In the absence of effective contraceptive prevention, young women either had to be celibate or infertile to not spend an awful amount of time either pregnant or nursing (when they didn’t die in childbirth). This is quite clear in any ancient history that you read.

          And whenever the dispute of leadership got down to simple body mass, then even given equal skills in fighting the person with the most body mass would usually win. Since there are relatively few young women with body masses greater than young men especially in days with more limited diets during adolescence (ie during the period when women’s reproductive organs chew so much of their diet), it was never a level playing field.

          These days in most western societies we have better diets, control on contraception, and legal structures that tend to treat assault as being punishable and not the mark of leadership. The historical constraints have largely been lifted. So we’re finding more women moving into leadership roles. They seem to be not that much different from males in the roles. Just a different distribution in the range of styles in my experience.

          But that has pretty much only happened from just prior to my generation onwards where you find them in general leadership roles. The women I worked with in my generation or who went through the MBA with me were still repeatably hitting glass ceilings of various types.

      • vto 8.3.2

        Deborah’s answer from above…

        “The great majority of studies show that there is far more variation within gender than between genders, and that many of the character traits associated with leadership etc. are learned, not innate.”

        That answer has four relevant components;

        1. A great majority of studies.
        2. There is variation within genders.
        3. There is variation between genders.
        4. Leadership is both learned and innate.

        Seems like an answer, with point 3 being the most relevant to my question.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.3.2.1

          …and point 4 being the elephant in that little dark room.

          • Lanthanide 8.3.2.1.1

            I never knew vto was so out of touch.

            • vto 8.3.2.1.1.1

              oh you clever thing

              in case you missed it i asked if there was a difference between the genders and deborah’s answer said there was

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                If you ignore most of her answer, that is.

              • Lanthanide

                Wow, talk about hearing only what you want to hear.

                No better than National.

                • vto

                  wow, talk about missing the point.

                  Perhaps you could explain how the factors contained solely within each gender are relevant to a measure between each gender mr cleverpants. I have a pin here for you to do a wee dance on.

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    Can I? Please let me. Oh what the hell I’m gonna do it anyway.

                    Since the differences between genders are minor compared to the differences between them, and leadership is a learned trait, that gives rise to the possibility that the measured differences between the genders can be fully explained by these two factors.

                    Especially in light of experience – to whit – now some of the barriers have been removed, and the playing field has been levelled somewhat (but not much, and there’s room for it to be levelled more), we have a new status quo. Whats the problem again?

                    • vto

                      “the measured differences between the genders can be fully explained by these two factors. ”

                      That makes no sense. See my other post.

                    • vto

                      This problem concerns a difference in our understandings of logic, etc.

                      If the differences within one group range from +50 to -50
                      and the differences within the second groups range from +55 to -45
                      and there is a measured difference between the groups of +5

                      ……… thinking

                      there is still a difference.

                      Now it may be that a within of +500 to -500 may statistically swamp and negate a between of +5. But that is not the case (see Deborah’s original answer).

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      “this makes no sense” – that’s because you truncated it, missing out “the possibility”

                      “statistically swamp and negate.”

                      Or make impossible to detect – or to put it another way – a matter of opinion.

    • Deborah 8.4

      Some reading for you, vto, since you have expressed your interest in just exploring these ideas and just learning a little bit about it. There’s quite a lot of reading here, but given your comemnts above, I’m sure you will be reading every word of it, and reflecting on it before coming back to this comment thread.

      But men and women are born different! Isn’t that obvious?

      Long story short: gender essentialism is crap.

      Also, I’m not at all impressed by your recasting of my answer.

      That answer has four relevant components;

      1. A great majority of studies.
      2. There is variation within genders.
      3. There is variation between genders.
      4. Leadership is both learned and innate.

      You’ve left out the most important bit, that the great majority of research shows that “there is far more variation within gender than between genders….” That is by no means the same as your 2. and 3. Your gloss on my words is disingenuous at best.

      • vto 8.4.1

        Calm down. You are apparently an expert so I’ll have a look. It is quite clear that I am not an expert and that is why I asked the question.

        Why is it so difficult for people to accept questions? It points to something doesn’t it ……………..

        Or maybe we just shouldn’t question

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.4.1.1

          Yeah, lol, everyone who “questions” meets with the same tone, or is it just you, much?

        • Urban Rascal 8.4.1.2

          Nowhere did you ask “why are white men historically leaders?” and I don’t know what purpose Kotahi’s racial addition serve except to divert the question and possibly label you misogynist by proxy for asking a simple question.

          Why have men historically been leaders? This would include Mongols like Khan and Mesopotamians like Alexander the Great. Far from white men. Perhaps your feelings on colonialism overshadowed the preceding 1000’s of years of roman, greek, asian, african leaders etc.

          But the answer is obvious as to why they were leaders historically. They were groomed, oldest son etc in a time where physical dominance and conquer were the mode of ascension to leadership. You had to lead on the battlefield to earn the respect and trust of your people. A system not even a couple 100 years past and a system that heavily favoured males. It’s understandable that we are still working ourselves out of over 3,000 years of male dominated ruling.

          But regardless the actual abilities to lead are surely personality based not gender based. Just because someone can run a battle plan doesn’t make them quality leaders.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.4.1.2.1

            “…and I don’t know what purpose Kotahi’s racial addition serve…”

            Merely an attempt (poorly executed? Perhaps) to demonstrate the false assumption behind the question: ie: that because something is historically so, that is evidence that it is “natural”.

            The original question was comprehensively answered by Deborah at 9:00am.

            • Urban Rascal 8.4.1.2.1.1

              It just particularly irked me.
              But in the context of showing the false assumption you are right, it doesn’t make it natural.
              I see it as “you can train a dog to sit with treats, but it’s only been “trained” into it, it’s nature is not to follow your order”.
              Likewise, men have been “trained” since those early days into thinking they are natural leaders. Really the leadership is a combination of cultural handme downs from father to son.

              It would be interesting whether long held “training” like this over generations and 100’s of years does change our very nature though? I’d think not

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Hmm – interesting – if there is a genetic component to leadership traits, or natural selection favours such traits, how can we explain Charles Windsor? Or any number of leader spawn?

                It’s another example of the dominant culture being unaware of its own good fortune.

        • terryg 8.4.1.3

          Vto, telling Deborah to “calm down” is about half-a-step from “stop being hysterical” which is a common silencing technique. Reading the entire thread, I think you are on the verge of seeing the partiarchy and sexism for what it really is; keep going! Deborahs link is excellent, and whilst there you should also read these:

          FAQ: what is male privilege, and
          FAQ: Isn’t the patriarchy…..

          and then plow on through the rest of Feminism 101. Follow that with Schrodingers Rapist.

          We are so steeped in a virulently misogynistic culture that we aren’t even aware of most of it. Especially (but by no means limited to) the half of “we” that have male privilege.

          UTurn – that is a fantastic post. nicely done.

      • vto 8.4.2

        Deborah, Urban Rascal and Lprent…

        Fair points made and acknowledged. Deborah, unfortunately I didn’t have time to read it all however if I could distinguish particularly as to my point that there appears to be a difference between the genders on this issue. I acknowledge your point that there is a greater difference within the sexes and that this may, as you suggest, be more important in a bigger picture. However you acknowledge that there is a difference between the sexes, which was all my question concerned.

        Urban Rascal and Lprent, you similarly acknowledge that history indicates more positions of power and leadership for men but that this stems from physical size and also reproduction. Is this not physiological, as I asked?

        It seems my initial assumption stands, in a form of sorts.

        Taking the issue a little wider – why is this such a concern? (aside from any negatives such as oppression that may arise from it). Who really wants to be a powerful leader? Not many. Those of you lusting after such can keep it. Being a bit flippant I know but I guess this wider point is, to borrow from the French again, a little bit c’est la vie …

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 8.4.2.1

          To sum up, you find your own arguments completely convincing, despite the facts that flatly contradict them, which you haven’t time to read.

        • lprent 8.4.2.2

          Is this not physiological, as I asked?

          We don’t live in an era where physical power has been a major determinative factor in who won leadership battles, nor do women spend much of their life and energy birthing and nursing children where most of them die as they did in my great grandparents times (or many in my grandparents). Physiological differences mean bugger all these days.

          Your assumption is crap.

          Your same implied logic would indicate that there was something strange about the abolition of slavery. Over the last thousand years we have massively changed the way our societies work because of how we can exert energy and made a similarly massive change in the way that humans enslaved other humans.

          Inventing the horse collar started the shift from the widespread economic slavery of humans to using draft animals. It became much more economically feasible to use horses and oxen to do the work of many human slaves while costing a lot less to feed than previously. Within a relatively short few centuries most of the human slavery and even the serfdom variants disappeared as we moved from human energy to animal energy (and then to machine energy).

          Technology even killed off the few places where slavery survived as devices to farm and mine got deployed.

          Of course you could insist that change also didn’t happen. In which case I have this nice iron collar for you. I will be happy to afix it around your throat … 😈

          • vto 8.4.2.2.1

            lprent, I realise that those same societal operational systems don’t apply today. Perhaps the two components of history and today got confused…

            It will be interesting to see where society ends up on this issue when those specific historical physiological determinants have been inapplicable for, say, a good couploe hundred years or more. Perhaps there are other physiological determinants that still exist and not noticed yet? Or perhaps the current imbalance in gender leadership and power is a result of a lack of passing of time since those historic ones disappeared and that the imbalance will completely disappear…

            Wouldn’t mind living for 500 years to see. As for the iron throat collar that would be no problema – the calluses are well toughened…

            • lprent 8.4.2.2.1.1

              How society deals with the shifts is still evolving pretty rapidly. But the evolving changes regarding gender are barely a century and a half old resulting firstly from the rise of the machine and latterly from effective contraception. You don’t have to look far into the 19th century to when women in most “western” countries were legally regarded as part of the estate of their male protector, were not allowed to legally own property in their own name, not allowed to get an useful education, and weren’t allowed to vote.

              Hell, my mother went to night school and subsequently university as an adult student in the 1970’s. That was because in the 50’s her parents couldn’t see the sense of sending a girl, even a bright one, to school past 5th form when her younger and dumber brother might need more schooling. She was the first in any of our families to get a university education.

              Now our families have female operations managers, lawyers, biochemists, army officers, programmers, a few heading off to become professional company directors and god knows what else (why would I keep up?). That has all happened within the last 40 years. The proportion of women in my family heading directly for leadership positions is at least as much and probably more than the men.

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Gott im himmel! We removed the barriers, and now they are walking all over the place with their quaint notions of equality! Exciting isn’t it!

  9. Jackal 9

    LOL! Gillard hands Abbott his arse!

    What made me not like him was when he criticized Gillard concerning the Aboriginal Protest on Australia Day. Just before they left the building, Gillard organized the police rescue to ensure Abbott was safe. Abbott then turned around and blamed Gillard for the protest, after it was his remarks earlier in the day that had caused an escalation. What a dickhead! It’s how people act under pressure that often shows if they’re competent leaders or not.

    Having Abbott as PM of Australia would be nearly as bad as having Romney as President of the US.

  10. marsman 10

    A Brilliant speech by Gillard, a joy to watch. Makes wish someone, anyone would rip into smarmy John Key like that.

  11. ak 11

    Having Abbott as PM of Australia would be nearly as bad as having Romney as President of the US.

    Top point Jack. Along with Abbott’s arse on a platter, Julia’s delivered a resounding message to the global left.

    The entire modern Natz machine is based on the twin filths of Brash’s racism and the Helenhate campaign. The current Bennybash pus is more of the same.

    Faith in kiwi decency to see through lies and deliberate hatemongering is simply not enough in the face of the media onslaught available to Money. Julia has made the crucial breakthrough with vim – and the net.

    Comes a time, even on the higher moral plain, to deal to vermin with force. Watch Julia again: then pick up that whip, Labour and Greens, and drive those moneychangers out.

  12. Blue 12

    Of course, Fearfacts in Australia just had to have a piece slamming Julia Gillard right up the top on their front page this morning:

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/we-expected-more-of-gillard-20121009-27bd6.html

    No ability to comment on it, either. Just take your dose of anti-Gillard propaganda and shut up.

  13. Kevin Welsh 13

    Abbott politically emasculated. Was a pleasure to watch 🙂

  14. Akldnut 14

    I hope Shearer was watching and learning how it’s done.
    This was an inspirational speech for us lefties – long may it resound in the halls of parliament, hopefully it will inspire our Labour Party and kick them into gear.

  15. NickS 15

    It was a thing of beauty to watch on the news, and hopefully will start a public backlash against the vile shit that’s been direct at Gillard over the years.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    None of this matters. It seems that Gillard’s support for Slipper has fucked her in public opinion as just another pollie who will do what it takes to get the numbers.

    And because Slipper resigned anyway, she has burnt away a huge amount of political capital for nothing. The ALP is still a large 8 pts behind the Coalition.

    Her Government’s chances of losing votes in the House now that Slipper is history has increased.

  17. red blooded 17

    I don’t know. I think depending on how it is spun, we could see the resignation as Gillard et al allowing some dignity to Slipper and showing that the coalition can/will make appropriate decisions rather than buying into what was clearly a politically motivated, double standard based move on behalf of the opposition.

    After all, they will want his vote from this point on; they couldn’t afford to publicly alienate and shame him. Besides, Gillard was right – Abbott is clearly a sexist a-hole and was jumping on a bandwagon rather than on a point of principle.

  18. dan1 18

    I loved the passion, and the directness.

  19. muzza 19

    Julia Gillard = Hypocrite

    The irony of the excitment in some of the comments here!

  20. kiwi_prometheus 20

    Just more dog whistling for the Lifestyle Liberal and Coffee table fembot voters. And her groupies have certainly rushed in , lprent, Kotahi Tāne Huna et al, with your obsequious fawning and cooing.

    Pilger sums it up nicely:

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/julia-gillards-rise-marks-the-triumph-of-machine-politics-over-feminism

    “the rise of Julia Gillard as Australia’s first female prime minister, so celebrated by leading feminists such as writer Anne Summers and Germaine Greer. Both are unstinting in their applause of Gillard, the “remarkable woman” who on 27 February saw off a challenge from Kevin Rudd, the former Labor prime minister she deposed in a secretive, essentially macho backroom coup in 2010…

    …Omitting entirely Gillard’s politics, [ Greer ] asked, “What’s not to like? That she’s a woman, that’s what. An unmarried, middle-aged woman in power – any man’s and many women’s nightmare”…

    …That Gillard might be a nightmare to the Aboriginal women, men and children whom this quintessential machine politician has abused and blamed for their impoverishment, while implementing punitive and racist measures against their communities in defiance of international law, is apparently not relevant…

    …That Gillard has pledged to keep Australian soldiers in Afghanistan indefinitely and that the overwhelming majority of those killed or wounded has happened during her period as prime minister, is beside the point…

    …Gillard’s feminist distinction, perversely, is her removal of gender discrimination in combat roles in the Australian army. Thanks to her, women are now liberated to kill Afghans and others who offer no threat to Australia, just like their comrades in “hunter-killer” units currently accused of massacring civilians…

    …Who spoke out against Julia Gillard’s junket to Israel in the wake of the massacre of 1400 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, and her unctuous support for their killers?…

    …Hillary Clinton was applauded by famous feminists for her support for the west’s invasion of Afghanistan to “liberate women from the Taliban”. No matter that this was never the reason; no matter that tens of thousands were killed and maimed as a consequence. In her 2008 campaign for the White House, Clinton, supported by feminists such as Anne Summers, boasted that she was prepared to “annihilate” Iran…”

    And I see the heroic Julian Assange ( feared and loathed by the rape culture fantasy fembots, felix, Queen of Manhaters et al ) is looking to press charges against your girl pal Gillard for lying about him.

    What a pathetic bunch you are, behaving like teenage girl fans, I wouldn’t be surprised if you scrawled “I ‘heart’ Julia” in lipstick on your foreheads. 🙄

    • lprent 20.1

      Unlike Pilger (and you as far as I can see), I’m far less interested in doctrines than I am in effective politics. After all almost the entirety of Pilgers statements could have as easily been applied to any female (or male) politician – which does beg the question of if Planet Pilger is a more remote universe than Planet Key key.

      In fact if you substituted the name Clark in there and shifted from Aboriginal to Maori then I suspect that he’d could have written exactly the same thing about Helen Clark or any actual female politician that has ever existed.

      I take Pilger with the large grain of scepticism, just as I do for any religious fanatic chasing illusions. In my opinion, you fit that category pretty well yourself. As does Assange

      None of that means that such nuts are not useful. I like reading Pilger because of his depth of knowledge about the topics that he writes on. While Assange was doing a pretty good job of increasing governmental transparency and although I find that the accusations in Sweden and the subsequent weirdo legal procedures are about as convincing as the US denying that they tortured prisoners, I treat anything that he says as being more ego driven than sensible. And irritating mosquito’s like yourself have to be useful for something – keeping us awake perhaps?

      What I was pointing out was that while her speech was vastly amusing, it was also how politically effective it was. That appears to have been a point that completely escaped your attention. Probably because it requires you to think about your opinion at a depth that is deeper than simply cutting and pasting others people’s words without understanding.

      • muzza 20.1.1

        Appreciate that you are not “TS”, but I will say reading how many insults/anger/abuse you manage to insert into some of your comments, for me at least does not reflect well, generally speaking.

        • grumpy 20.1.1.1

          Good speech or not (and you can’t judge it without seeing Abbott’s beforehand), unfortunately the stench of corruption around Gillard means she will be replaced by Rudd before the next election.

          Hiring the ex New Labour McTernan to run a hit campaign on Abbott has not gone down well in Australia.

          Rave reviews by foreign activists who only saw an edited highlights package put together by McTernan are meaningless – they don’t vote – and the voters of Australia don’t want her, in increasing numbers.

        • lprent 20.1.1.2

          *sigh* It is called administering an education and it is almost a traditional way of bringing large numbers of newbies up to speed on what happens when they game play on sysop’s systems.

          If you ever look at it carefully (and so few ever do), I typically respond in exactly the same or very similar vein as the person making the comment I am replying to – except I can do it better because of the decades I have been either reading or making comments. Sometimes I will respond in a antithesis mode to demonstrate what they should have done. I also have a big club – so the people I am responding to in the manner that you describe tend to take notice.

          If they say something dickish that makes vast presumptions about others, then I will do exactly the same thing back to them – except usually somewhat nastier. If they are deliberately nasty or inflammatory, then I demonstrate how to really do it in a more nasty and obnoxious manner straight back at them. If they make vague hand-waving assertions then I often do the anti-thesis and specifically point out how they are wrong.

          Sure I’m as opinionated as hell – especially about my opinions on people that I have to read every day. And I like making my points with a rock splitting chisel – but that is just my nature.

          However there is a deliberate method and purpose in the techniques that I use. I prefer sticking the needle in to people who are acting like dicks to train them in why they should avoid certain practices. If not me, then eventually some old hand will come along and tear them a spare rectum – probably one larger than they require. It seems like a better technique than exerting effort simply banning people – which ultimately doesn’t teach much and is bad for wide ranging robust discussion.

          The technique in comments I make tend to be directly targeted at the people I am responding to. Which is why you’ll find many people have never had any “insults/anger/abuse” and some get rather a lot when they are newbies like KP, or deliberately baiting like KK.

          You should learn to observe somewhat more deeply, learning to manage something like this site is an artform. If you want to see what we have come from and what we’re trying to correct, then go back and look at the archives in late 2007 and early 2008. Boring and largely uninformative discussion that looks like a trademe political forum. Having myself or Irish or some of the other moderators around being really obnoxious is the penalty cost to having debates like the one above.

        • Plastic Tolstoy 20.1.1.3

          “Appreciate that you are not “TS”, but I will say reading how many insults/anger/abuse you manage to insert into some of your comments, for me at least does not reflect well, generally speaking.”

          Wholeheartedly agree, and that is one of the reasons I don’t often bother commenting. The childish behaviour and intolerance of opposing views ruins what is otherwise a reasonable alternative to the mainstream media.

          • lprent 20.1.1.3.1

            My brief is pretty well listed in the policy where it says:-

            We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

            etc….

            What “robust debate” means is that moderators don’t try to keep more than a minor lid on people of opposing views, and as the rest of the policy explains this means discouraging behaviour that will affect the actual operation of the site. But we are interested in hearing from a wide range of viewpoints and letting them argue. If they go at it hammer and tongs, then we encourage them to not do it so stupidly that it bores the hell out of other readers – especially the moderators.

            We seldom ever see any real agreement. Mostly what we see is people occasionally agreeing to disagree, sometimes fighting each other to sodden heap on the OpenMike floor where they have nothing left to say, and that usually takes a while. But with having a pretty open system complete with absolutely no need to register then you will get tempers flaring. Generally it works for what this site was set up to foster – disagreement between dissenting viewpoints being expressed and argued about in public.

            If people want quieter environments then there are many of them around the local net. But they often wind up as being somewhat less interesting simply because people argue a lot more politely and don’t say what they really think.

            • Plastic Tolstoy 20.1.1.3.1.1

              There’s a big difference between robust debate and insults/abuse/anger. One encourages both parties to openly discuss their opinions in a logical and factual manner, the other is used to try and shame people into shutting up, and actually shuts down reasonable discussion, or escalates it to the point where it becomes nonsensical.

              I wouldn’t expect people to agree all the time, and many people for some reason enjoy sparring with people on the net (suppressed aggression that cant be taken out on actual people around them I guess), but there is such a thing as respect, and the odd thing I see in the comments on here from some of those who enjoy insulting others, is that they demand respect but have no idea how to show respect to others.

              I don’t often read the comments anyway, I mainly visit for the actual articles (amazing I know but not everybody wants to be an internet warrior), so I won’t be looking for a “quieter environment” with less interesting, but “polite” people to engage with. If you want to allow the insults/abuse/anger to continue that is your business but please don’t try to pass it off as “robust debate”.

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                I know this will come across as self-serving, but the fact is that anger – even abuse – have a place in debate – even if only to denote failure of argument.

                I believe that Aristotle described the value of comedy in argument, the power of laughter, and if he did so he was certainly right. But consider the intent of that comedy – no-one likes to be laughed at (especially people who cannot tell the difference between laughter at their argument and their person), and in the event that an argument cannot be found in the moment, this gives rise to anger, or further thought, a better argument, or sometimes acquiescence.

                Is the anger the fault of the comedian? It nonetheless is a vital part of debate.

                PS: all our reason is rooted in emotion.

              • lprent

                Well the difference in attitude probably comes from the fact that the moderators would have to do the work required to hit your preferred standard – not you. To do the social engineering required to hit something that you’d find acceptable will involve a lot more work for something that we don’t feel is particularly useful.

                We decided what type of debate was wanted 5 years ago just after the site was set up and that is what we decided was defined as “robust”. There really hasn’t been much of a change or even discussion on that particular point over the years. That is despite having replaced virtually all of the authors and moderators during that time and having had several arguments over other topics and shifts of format.

                And of course this is all volunteer work and done in our ‘spare’ time (in my case right now while I wait for boost and Qt to recompile for a arm system), so I suspect that the 40 authors are quite aware of how much work would be required to achieve it and unwilling to undertake the task. We only ever seem to get that particular criticism from people who don’t think about it too much and don’t do anything similar.

                I don’t often read the comments anyway, I mainly visit for the actual articles (amazing I know but not everybody wants to be an internet warrior),

                Less than a 20th of the human readers actually write comments at all. Umm… your 19 comments now ranks you at 1171 amongst the 2272 ‘people’ who have commented here in our 5 year history. And since we routinely get more 30 thousand people (measured by googles cookies) reading the site each month (not counting RSS or machines), you are already a “internet warrior” compared to any normal reader, let alone a normal person.

                Just saying… 😈

                • Plastic Tolstoy

                  “you are already a “internet warrior” compared to any normal reader, let alone a normal person.”

                  Yes, and compared to Bill Gates, John Key is a pauper. Just saying…….

                  This is the kind of petty diversion I am talking about, it distracts from the real issues and leads to people chasing their own tails trying to explain themselves. While many people find it entertaining, it is frustrating for a lot of us who just want to read the more intelligent contributions, and I know there are plenty of those because I used to wade through to find them. I guess it really depends on what type of person you want to attract to the site, people who want to discuss relevant issues like adults or people who want to behave like politicians.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 20.1.2

        I want “I heart Lprent” scrawled in lipstick on my forehead.

      • kiwi_prometheus 20.1.3

        “I’m far less interested in doctrines than I am in effective politics. ”

        “What I was pointing out was that while her speech was vastly amusing, it was also how politically effective it was. That appears to have been a point that completely escaped your attention.”

        So? You gleefully post about how Feminist heroine Gillard stuck it to the sexist pig opposition leader.

        I pointed out the hypocrisy of the woman and her groupies like you.

        As Pilger points out, the likes of Gillard have betrayed the Left.

        That is of far more importance.

        “I take Pilger with the large grain of scepticism, just as I do for any religious fanatic chasing illusions.”

        What’s the illusion he’s chasing? He has identified the propaganda of our elites and their atrocities, he has revealed their illusion they have created for us the public.

        • McFlock 20.1.3.1

          Pilger is almost the Fox News of “the left”. While he has a lot right, his assertions need to be double checked. Not so much in fact, but interpretation (the difference between him and Fox). Just IMO, of course.

        • lprent 20.1.3.2

          You gleefully post about how Feminist heroine Gillard stuck it to the sexist pig opposition leader.

          Ah no. Re-read it and drop your strange presumptions this time. Read what is on the page ratehr than what you think I said.

          In fact I mentioned Julia Gilard exactly once, twice if you count the word ‘she’. I mentioned Tony Abbott many of times both by name and as weasel and as ‘he’. Some of the peices that I quoted mentioned both of them.

          What I was talking about was mostly the damage that had been done to Tony Abbott and that it had been done by pointing out his hypocrisy and misogyny. In fact that was the title of the post…

          He has identified the propaganda of our elites and their atrocities, he has revealed their illusion they have created for us the public.

          There is a big difference between straight facts (which Pilger is good at extracting) and the spin that is put on it (which shows through in everything that Pilger writes). I trust Pilger to have his facts correct, however he usually only presents one explanation for most things that he writes and I usually feel that he started with the conclusion he wanted and worked backwards to the facts. It makes for good simple story telling, but usually makes me feel that there is a good conspiracy fanatic beneath it. A really good analyst would present the alternate theories even as they demolish them.

          But you are currently not even up to that standard based on your comments. In my opinion you display all of the mindless devotion of frogs eyes. When detached from a frog they will not fire signals along the nerves when a dead fly is swung in front of them ‘flying’ backwards, but will when it is swung forwards. In other words you are seeing what you expect/want to see, not what is actually there.

          This is a pretty amazing example of signal processing. If you looked at how few neurons and processing power that produce that result you’d realize that our DSP’s are crude by comparision. But the mindless automata seeing what it expects to see is good enough for frogs. However it doesn’t exactly cut it when reading political blogs.

  21. Uturn 21

    VTO asks,

    “Do men and women have an equal physiological, temperamental, characterial, etc predisposition to power and leadership? I would maintain that they do not but would be interested to hear how and why they do. After all the sexes seem to differ in physiology, temperament, character, etc on many other features of humanwoman existence, so why would this particular feature be any different?”

    So do men and women have an …. equal predisposition to power? Does one want to rule more than the other? Is one more capable of ruling than the other? It should be obvious that they both want to rule the same amount, though often in different styles.

    Pick the influence of your female god of choice, or female historical leader of choice and compare it to a male god or a male historical leader. See how Matriarchs are leaders and Patriarchs are leaders, both demanding that they are served. It’s all just an element of power. One of the sexes isn’t immune from wanting power, abusing it or using it wisely.

    Just like gods, some people have the idea that because they are male or female they have a right to rule. That’s a different question concerning the awareness of the individual. No leader can stop the shift from one pole to the other in the mind of the group – neither has a right to power or divine influence.

    Diana could not defend herself against the Christian god – which disciple was more devoted?

    Kings follow Queens and vice versa. England’s Queen Elizabeth was succeeded by King James – which does history consider the more capable, the more powerful?

    Now that they have a Queen again, what does that prove?

    Modern democratic PMs cannot decide if their successor is male or female.

    Eras have a story to them. Right now, the story we hear the most about is defined as happening within a Patriarchy. This does not mean women have vanished from the face of the Earth or that they have no power. Check the video and see how much power a woman can have within a modern Patriarchal reality. In all the stories of how women are oppressed, imagine a world where men could not oppress women. With no external easy target to suppress, and under the sudden shock of having to face themselves without a filter, men would tear each other and our world apart in an afternoon. Despite Henry the VIII killing Queen Elizabeth’s mother and removing Elizabeth from her rightful place, he could not foresee that his actions helped to place her as a monarch. There is no way humans can think they are manipulating the way things will be. Though they tried, ancient Kings could not decide the fate of humanity or stop the ascent of the next female monarch. At the time, I imagine the urge held some great importance to them.

    Even in being oppressed, the victim has an equal power that maintains a tentative balance, even if our perspective calls it an undesirable one when measured in terms of human suffering. Eradicate the influence of women, you have a problem. Eradicate the influence of men, you have a problem. Gender politics exists somewhere between the all and nothing of what level of influence is best and includes the impossible question of who decides what is best, ignoring the idea that there is such a thing as best.

    The problem is easier to confront – but does not go away – when people are face to face and know each other and live together in some form of interdependent social organisation that is not entirely focussed on materialism, but has not completely devolved into the animalistic and unconscious urges of ancient civilisation. As far as constructing a theoretical solution goes, there are three choices: use politics, use religion or use a bit of both.

    Politics can’t measure the specific, or pass judgement on personal issues so none of us need think – though some would try. It’s a blunt tool. Pointing at people in Australia and arguing abstracts denies the specifics of the individual and the concrete. It’s like standing on the moon and describing the activities of people on earth; or watching shadows on the wall of Plato’s Cave: you’ll get the general picture, but nothing near the truth.

    The closer you personally get, the clearer your picture will be.

    How do you want to treat your girlfriend, wife, daughter, niece, neighbour, friend? Who are they? How do you treat them? Why? Does it upset you, sit well with you or is there no emotional connection at all? What do they think about your treatment? When you act, do you do so honestly? Are you acting out of memory, love, tradition, duty, revenge, out of an image of who you think you are, or acting out a culture? Do the police turn up or do things go well? Do you know how these people and things relate to you?

    No one can tell you who or what you are. If thinking is your favourite tool, you can ask yourself questions to reach your own answers. It won’t matter much in on a human scale, just to you during your lifetime.

    • vto 21.1

      Much to think on there uturn, well done. You can certainly pull out all the stops at times.

    • just saying 21.2

      …Though they tried, ancient Kings could not decide the fate of humanity or stop the ascent of the next female monarch….

      Actually they could, and in many cultures the rulers did prevent women gaining power. They could have changed the legal loophole which allowed women to rule in very limited circumstances.

      Even in being oppressed, the victim has an equal power that maintains a tentative balance, even if our perspective calls it an undesirable one when measured in terms of human suffering.

      Would you care to elaborate?
      Because it sounds very much like a variation of ‘I’m alright Jack’.

  22. captain hook 22

    hey LPrent.
    sorry I ‘m late but it looks like you pulled king klutz’s wienie.
    do it again.
    Hopefully he might just burst his foo foo valve and disappear in a cloud of foul smelling smoke!

  23. Hilary 24

    Wonderful speech – decades of collective anger and hurt behind it. Also example of great public speaking.

  24. Observer 25

    @Lprent

    Gillard’s short speech will remain within world consciousness long after the ramblings of Pilger, Abbot and our own, apparently impaired VTO, have sunk without trace.

    Assange, by any Anzac definition is not a man – for he refuses to face accusations of serious crime, and take the opportunity of clearing his name. While at the same time, people and traitors who leaked for him are in detention.

    Note the power of Gillard’s opening line: “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not!”

    Julia Gillard has armed women with a set of “stop your abuse” words that they have long needed. She has demonstrated courage and defiance. Her strength is colossal. Her male foes are a joke and look like pretentious fools.

    Thankyou for making us aware of her stand Lprint.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 25.1

      ‘kinoath!

    • Colonial Viper 25.2

      Assange, by any Anzac definition is not a man – for he refuses to face accusations of serious crime, and take the opportunity of clearing his name.

      yeah good point its really important to prove yourself a man.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 25.2.1

        (with apologies to QoT) Do you have the balls to be a man?

        Do we have to watch our metaphors so closely even when our meaning is clear? Does it make more sense to say that Assange cannot consider himself a “person”, or a citizen, or free, until he confronts his accusers?

        • RedLogix 25.2.1.1

          Which he has done. He was interviewed over three weeks and then released.

          It was the subsequent dubious and politically compromised circus that he has quite understandably been reluctant to engage with. Besides as you well know, if Sweden was genuine about the allegations and extradition then a simple declaration would have resolved the matter ages ago.

          We’ve been over this ground a thousand times. You have no answer.

          • Te Reo Putake 25.2.1.1.1

            You chipping in to pay the bills for the friends he ripped off, RL?

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 25.2.1.1.2

            Yes I do – I think he should go to Sweden even if that means being kidnapped and taken to the USA.

            • Colonial Viper 25.2.1.1.2.1

              You know if the US snatch him those women will not get justice? Is that really OK?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m sure they’d be fine with it, CV. Last I heard they were part of the conspiracy, remember?

                • Colonial Viper

                  So facing the rape allegations and giving these women their day in court isn’t that important? I mean, so long as Assange gets screwed over?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Um, I suspect he’ll have his day in court before the extradition. The yanks aren’t actually going to kidnap him from the duty free shop in Stockholm airport, eh.

            • RedLogix 25.2.1.1.2.2

              Frankly I find that argument disgustingly self-serving and hypocritical.

              I’m damn sure you wouldn’t stick your own neck in such a noose if you could possibly avoid it.

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                RL what you are sure of is hardly pertinent. In the unlikely event that I find myself in Assange’s situation, I’ll get back to you; brave gestures come cheap.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yes. Best to recommend martyrdom. To others.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Martydom? Like Assange recommended to Manning?

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    Akshully, I haven’t “recommended” anything to anyone – I have simply expressed my personal opinion on the “right” course of action.

                    Still, I look forward to your new-found reluctance to offer recommendations to others manifesting itself in your comments.

                • kiwi_prometheus

                  “In the unlikely event that I find myself in Assange’s situation”

                  True enough, it is almost certain you will never be identified as a threat by the rich, powerful sociopaths demolishing our democracies.

  25. Observer 26

    @Kotahi Tāne Huna

    It takes more than readily emptied balls to avoid facing your accusers. It takes long lasting inner character.

    It is also the sad hall mark of a traitor to release military secrets when your brother soldiers are putting their lives on the line – dying a bloody death – for their country. Nations do not like traitors – never have and never will.

    @Planet Orphan

    I agree. Alpha males are the femme fatales of the manly world.

    They invariably believe in themselves to the point of self absorbed certainty. I avoid them Orphan

    • Good call Observer, they are worth avoiding.

      They steal the words of others and sell them vehemently.
      All the while knowing they are morons that never had an inspirational thought past “I can steal that”, in their entire lives.
      They use emotion and anger as shields for their stupidity, and should be liable for prison when they use the “Stand Over” tactics they invariably employ to compensate/cover said stupidity.

      Nip it in the Bud I say.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 26.2

      “release military secrets when your brother soldiers are putting their lives on the line”

      This is an accusation that can be levelled at Manning, not Assange.

      • Colonial Viper 26.2.1

        Its US politicians in faraway Washington who are putting those soldiers lives on the line.

      • Observer 26.2.2

        Hi Kotahi Tane Huna

        I was under the impression that Wikileaks, an organisation headed and managed by Julian Assange, assisted Manning by releasing military documents.

        Assange at the very least should have returned the documents to the rightful owners – unpublished.

        If Assange was not invloved – then I apologise unreservedly Kotahi.

        • Colonial Viper 26.2.2.1

          Assange at the very least should have returned the documents to the rightful owners – unpublished.

          Rightful owners? Fuck off, the light of transparency and democracy needed to be shone on to those documents.

          • kiwi_prometheus 26.2.2.1.1

            Finally, someone hit the nail on the head.

            Manning did exactly what he should have as a democratic citizen, he acted on his individual conscience.

            He helped blow apart the lies of a government trying to keep the public “onside” in its war crimes against the 3rd World.

            • Colonial Viper 26.2.2.1.1.1

              Yep. And how that government deals with and treats its supposed “allies”.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 26.2.2.2

          CV is right, Observer: I would add to that the fact that it’s quite clear these documents were available to far too many people to be considered “secure” – the responsibility for that lies further up the chain of command.

          David Leigh and The Guardian, along with Daniel Domscheit-Berg, also must take responsibility for the publication of the unredacted cables.

          If, as is claimed, the Manning leak was partly responsible for the “Arab Spring” – they may have helped more than they hindered, especially those whose lives were already being put at risk by despots. That remains to be seen.

    • kiwi_prometheus 26.3

      “your brother soldiers are putting their lives on the line – dying a bloody death – for their country. ”

      No, dying for a bunch of power crazed fanatics in Washington who lied to the public in order to get their war.

      Manning is a hero, he has helped expose the lies and corruption that are killing of democracy, freedom and justice.

      “a traitor to release military secrets”

      No, you are the traitor of democracy, Observer. You would help cover up war crimes and protect war criminals. You want to hide the truth from the public, to help maintain the propaganda.

      • Observer 26.3.1

        Hi Kiwi Prometheus

        Congratulations on your lofty name!

        You are probably a young guy Prometheus and do not realise that the ” ….bunch of power crazed fanatics in Washington ….” saved the world for free people at great cost, as recently as 1943 – to late 1945. The vast British Empire was on its knees and gasping.

        The same “bunch of power crazed fanatics in Washington” stared down the horrendously cruel and totally inhuman communists who had much of Europe and Asia by the throat between 1946 and the late 1990s. You are too young to know anything about these facts.

        Speech is cheap Kiwi. Have a go at action sometime and learn that freedom and democracy are really very costly items … Then laugh at the men and women who gave their blood for your personal freedom – then and now mate.

        Okay?

        • muzza 26.3.1.1

          Hi Observer..

          Your comment indicates a set view of what war is, who wanted it, and why it continues to happen.

          It’s not for freedom or democracy, that much has become patently clear, nor was it back in WW1/2

          “The power crazed fanatics”, control both London and Washington completely, have done for eons – FACT!

          Banking, bullets and bombs – Who controls that stuff are the real crazies!

          Why is it people still see the USA as the “freedom fighters” of the world, when obviously that is untrue!

          America, not controlled by Americans!

          • Observer 26.3.1.1.1

            Hi Muzza

            I realise at least some of the faults of the English speaking world – Britain and America in particular.

            I agree that trade and resources motivate those two countries excessively at times.

            But I find it hard to concede that Hitler and Mussolini were a better alternative to Churchill and Roosevelt. Neither do I think the comrades as represented by Stalin and his fellow travellers offered humanity very much – other than barbaric conformity, pain, constant threat and lots of gulag.

            I am not sure either that I wish to be under the tender hands of Taliban or other theocratic monsters.

            Democracy in the modern world is the gift of America, France and to some extent Britain. Isn’t it? They fought for it bravely long before you were born, and I am glad they did.

            But Muzza, your choices are your perogative.

  26. captain hook 27

    these rightwingers have a very hard job calling a spade a spade.
    is it just because they are congenital liars or what?
    i think pondscum like kingklutz are actually alfalfa androgynes.
    they are not really men at all.
    thy are like black holes and lampreys.
    all they can do is suck.

  27. captain hook 28

    as for tony abbot he should get some loose fitting underpants.
    too much blood rushing to the head at the moment.
    cough!
    hmmmmmm.
    he hasnt relly got any.

  28. Observer 29

    @ The Captain Hook

    The right wingers – you are not supposed to make us laugh – Hookie

    Is hard to know why the guy Abbot is so involved with his underpants. Maybe something went wrong in his infancy – perhaps.

    There is no doubt that his brain failed to develop. It is a spectacular failure. He told the voters that he lies and lies.

    I don’t think alfalfa should be blamed though Hookie.

    But Abbot is one of the smarter of the hard right wingers. In Australia and in the world.

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      But Abbot is one of the smarter of the hard right wingers. In Australia and in the world.

      Smarter than most Right Wingers, just as twisted inside.

  29. captain hook 30

    well he cant be “THAT” smart.

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  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
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  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
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  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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  • Further measures to support businesses
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  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    2 weeks ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago