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In the end, it was Slipper who was decent and Gillard who was not

Posted by: Neil Mitchell | 10 October, 2012 - 9:13 AM
Peter Slipper tenders his resignation as Speaker of the parliament, despite Julia Gillard voting against a motion for his removal. (Photo: A Ellinghausen)

This is how I see what happened last night. Agree or not – tell me what you think.

It was a very dramatic few hours in the parliament, and it shows me just why we are sick of all of them.

This is my interpretation: the ‘super sleaze’ Speaker, Peter Slipper, in the end acted decently and properly. He resigned to save the parliament embarrassment.

He know he had to go, he knew it was the right thing.

But while the super sleaze did the right thing, that defender of women, that attacker of sexism and that crusader for decency, Julia Gillard, did not.

Slipper knew for the sake of decency that once his vulgar and vile text messages had emerged, once he has been caught talking about women is disposable objects, he knew he had to go.

Julia Gillard did not – she continued to support him. This is extraordinary hypocrisy

Slipper is a sleaze. He has demeaned women in a way I have no seen before, and the Prime Minister defended him.

In the end, her defence was this: the allegation is Peter Slipper is a sleaze, but Tony Abbott is anti-women.

Hey, where’s the logic there? Tony Abbott may or may not be a misogynist, but what has that got to do with the issue of whether Peter Slipper was a fit and proper person for the job? Nothing.

And she knew it. This was the worst form of political expediency and hypocrisy.

It was indecent and in the end, the super sleaze understood that. Julia Gillard did not.

It baffles me. Julia Gillard will not stand up for decency towards women. What does she believe in? What does she stand for?

The Prime Minister won’t talk to me today, and various Ministers have agreed and then pulled out.

But who do you think was right: Gillard or Abbott? Or was it just Slipper who was right in the end.

This is an issue because it goes to the heart of dignity and decency of our parliament.

The Speaker is one of the top jobs in the country. You can’t have a sleaze like this in there, a publicly exposed sleaze.

Anna Burke, the new Speaker, will do a great job. I have enormous respect for her, and she’s a Victorian!

The Prime Minister went after Abbott in her defence of Slipper:

”I will not be lectured about sexism and miscopy by this man, I will not. And 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 and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office.

"Well I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he’s writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern, he doesn’t need a motion in the house of representatives, he needs a mirror."

She said Slipper must stay because Abbott is a grub; dodgy logic to a grade three clear-thinker.

And then of course when he is on a winner, Tony Abbott tries to turn it into a loser.

This he said about the Government, inadvertently I am sure returning to the Alan Jones theme. Inadvertent but silly, very silly.

”Every day the Prime Minister stands in this Parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame," Tony Abbott said.

A silly and unnecessary slip. Not crucial in all things, but giving the Government an opening he should not have given them.

Then there’s Peter Slipper. His grubby ways had finally caught up with him. He was emotional and had been convinced to do this, I suspect.

”I wish to advise that with great sadness, I have decided that I should not continue as your speaker,” Peter Slipper said.

”Accordingly, I am having arrangements made to tender my resignation to her excellency, the Governor-General.

”I do understand the arguments of those who argued against me. I look at the Leader of the Opposition who’s been a friend of mine for a very long time, he came to my wedding.

”When he was overlooked, we sat and we talked through the difficulties.

”I don’t hold anything against the Leader of the Opposition, who I think is a person of fine character. And I think we are singularly privileged to have a lady of the amazing stamina that we have as Prime Minister.

”So I leave this position without rancour, with a great deal of sadness.”

His case is still before the Court, but this doesn’t go to that issue. This is about text messages which revealed his character. They are not in dispute, they are nothing to do with the decision in the case and the Government argument about letting the case end was nonsense.

And they knew it. After all, they’ve been prejudging it all along, attacking Slipper’s accuser.

This Government is without morality, that is exposed today.

It is a fixer. It will do anything to hold power. It seems to believe in nothing.

If the Prime Minister can’t stand up for decency, if she can’t stand up for women, what on Earth will she stand for?

I believe the past 24 hours will confirm her defeat. The polls have looked better, briefly. That is false. We are sick of all of them. But Julia Gillard and her government are finished.

The Independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, who promised to bring back decency, they voted to support Slipper and then privately lobbied him to stand down. The Financial Review reports that.

So they voted in the parliament for something they didn’t believe. They supported him in parliament to save the government and then they privately convinced him to resign.

Lot of decency there too, isn’t it?

We have been conned all along here. They all promised a new paradigm, a new era of decency and accountability in politics.

I have never seen it so grubby.


'We must change attitudes to women'

Neil Mitchell says the Prime Minister is taking votes from 'two grubs', Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson.NEIL MITCHELL: Two men sitting in parliament with offensive attitudes toward women are propping up the Government, and more than half of Australian women have suffered some form of sexual or physical violence since the age of 16.

Motion to remove Slipper voted down

Coalition moves for Peter Slipper MP to be removed as Speaker following release of lurid text messages. (Photo: Andrew Meares)UPDATE: The motion to remove Peter Slipper has been voted down in Federal Parliament 69 -70 after the Opposition called for the Speaker to be immediately removed as following the release of lurid text messages.

Slipper's stain continues to spread

Peter Slipper (FFX)DERRYN HINCH: I have long thought that Peter Slipper must be one of the most self-centred, narcissistic, snout-in-the-trough mainchancers in the whole Federal Parliament. He must never be allowed to sit in the Speaker’s Chair again.

Blog comments Your Say

  • Neil, Slipper did not resign admirably and decently. He was forced to after another sleazy deal between Labor and the independents. He resigned as a coward and an idiot.

    The Sunday 11 November, 2012 - 6:09 PM
  • Some here are using the word 'shame' rightly and to an extent wrongly but quite expected from a society like ours which elected that disgrace to run our country. Remember our most famous bird is called the Emu, sort of ostrich and is famous for something ya know. Proof? Check the polls , she is still highly popular and specially with her similar. Revolting but Real. Whose fault is that is not a rocket science question. Some get what they deserve , conversely others endure what they don't.

    Lana Friday 12 October, 2012 - 11:12 AM
  • Given the admiration of Gillard Roxon Plebsick Pond and all the Labor hide for that man who describes their private parts with such eloquence something has to be congruent, or that the sun rises in the relative West is just a myth.
    Not always is conniving that comforting, unless light is and may be not darkness you know what I mean.

    Nadal Friday 12 October, 2012 - 11:02 AM
  • The last glimmer of hope that our PM is the person to represent us and our fine country has just oozed out of Canberra.

    wayne fry Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 1:38 PM
  • This woman hating, sexism line is just a smoke and mirrors effort by Labor. It's simply not only embarrassing for women in general, it's embarrassing for any half descent Australian who has to put up with Gillard wailing and howling like a banshee and trying to echo the ALP's unethical mudslinging campaign to an equally embarrassing depth on the world stage. Good god, what a bunch of clowns. Although I suppose the opposition should be thanking her, for the fact they won't get back into power for the next 100 years.

    Elbee Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 12:08 PM
  • Neil, Julia Gillard is playing this gender sexism game for all its worth,also now using the "SHAME" word with the death of her father. I am disguised with Gillard & all the female politicians supporting Slipper. On Q & A ABC last Monday night the reporter mention how Gillard had in the past call all married women Prostotutes. What a disgrace remark by the P.M.

    Marnie Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 11:22 AM

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