ABC’s Media Watch bullies Northern Rivers newspaper into changing its headline

 

The Northern Star has been in the business of bringing news to the people of the Northern Rivers since 1876. It’s about us  page informs that it focuses strongly on readers, with stories told through the eyes, ears and mouths of local people. And that’s what it did when it ran ‘Teen left in wheelchair after Gardasil HPV vaccine ‘reaction’. However the story about teenager Olivia Odey now has a new headline ‘Teen’s nightmare battle with mystery illness’.

Some Background:

Olivia Odey became ill three years ago complaining of joint pain, along with tingling and numbness. She also suffered light sensitivity and heart palpitations. The young teenager couldn’t stand up and needed a wheelchair to get around. After 8 months of seeking help from our medical system which as usual in the case of vaccine injury was devoid of any clues, Olivia upon referral to a specialised pain doctor was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome and central neural sensitisation syndrome. Reporter  Alina Rylkor described the syndrome as ‘Her nervous system interpreted signals sent through her body as pain messages.’ After months of rehabilitation and pain management the teenager has now recovered.  Odey believes that her ill-health began shortly after she was given her Gardasil shot. “I definitely think there was a link, but there’s no way to prove it, Odey told The Northern Star, ” acknowledging that her reality was denied by her doctors.

This week Media Watch upheld the censorship that has seen the media continually ignore the suffering of thousands of girls and now boys who have become ill with similar symptoms to those experienced by Olivia. The Northern Star was doing its job of informing the public that all is not well in regard to Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix.

Media Watch‘s segment was called Northern Star HPV headline wrong.   Presenter Paul Barry called the headline ‘scary and damaging’. The story of HPV vaccines is very scary and there’s plenty of damage but I don’t think that is what Barry meant. For that we have to fast forward to the statements made by Melbourne University virologist Dr David Hawkes who was asked his opinion of The Northern Star headline. It puts people at risk. Because what it does it puts them off vaccinations. It’s actually hurting our healthcare system,” said Hawkes.

We should not be surprised by the virologist’s position – that’s his job and the way he sees the world but I am surprised and alarmed at  the heavy handedness of Media Watch who approached The Northern Star with its criticism resulting in the paper agreeing to change the headline of the story to ‘Teen’s nightmare battle with mystery illness’.

How does the program get away with this? And why did The Northern Star agree? I wasn’t alone in my fury at what Media Watch had done. A comment from Jenna Finch from the Media Watch website summed it up:

Do some further research on HPV adverse events and you will see it’s not fabricated. Look at Colombia High Court’s recent decision and what’s going on in Denmark. A little broader view in this story would have restored my faith in your program but I’m back to realising you are simply a government puppet.

Dr Judy Wilyman author A critical analysis of the Australian Government’s rationale for its vaccination policy.’ puts out a rallying cry to us all that we cannot ignore:

It is time for all Australians to get involved in the vaccination debate as mandatory vaccination is now being forced on many adults in employment situations. The government has also implemented the Adult Immunisation Register to monitor and enforce adult compliance with the recommended schedule of 16 plus vaccines.   

Don’t expect Media Watch to cover this though.

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Daddy, what did you do in the war?

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Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?

Taken from Chiaroscuro, Melbourne award-winning poet Sandy Jeff’s new book in which she explores the tension of a world that is a place full of dark and light and where humour and sadness intermingle in a show that must go on.

 

 

 

jeffsc-cover-thumbThe Sergeant

Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War

Well, darling, I saw the young men come into bootcamp

and being their sergeant

it was my duty to turn boys into men

into fighting men, you know

so me and some mates initiated them by

shoving a broom handle up their arse

forced slops down their throat

made them drink their own semen chucked them into a shower

and scrubbed them with a wire brush

rubbed their dick and balls and arse with boot polish

sodomised a young bloke

this is the way it is, you know, it’s a boys club

gotta let them know who’s in charge

hell it happened to me and I’m ok

yeah, I’m serving my country and doing me best to turn out real fighting men

you should be proud of me.

 

The Recruit

Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?

Well, darling, first I went to bootcamp

I was taught how to kill

then I was bastardised by me superiors

they shoved a broom handle up my arse

forced slops down me throat

and made me drink semen

they chucked me into the shower and scrubbed me with a wire brush

then rubbed me dick and balls and arse with boot polish

and the sergeant sodomised me

so to get me mind off it

I gave the sheila recruits a hard time

I even secretly filmed meself banging one of them

yep, I was there to serve me country

so I went to war

and killed a lot of men

some women and children too

and ya gotta let the shitheads know who’s boss

so I raped a few of their women

it’s what happens in war

but when me mates got killed

jeeze, that was the hardest

I’m telling ya, I was shit-scared all the time

and being away from me family was hard

jeeze I was lonely

but I’m home now and I feel lousy

I think about topping meself all the time

lots of me mates have done it

jeeze I miss them

I feel so rotten

I’m telling ya tomorrow’s tragedy

from yesterday’s war

yeah, war’s a bloody bugger…a real bugger.

 

 

Men in the great war did many things that we don’t want to talk about, we’d rather see the diggers as heroes, as brave Anzacs. But there’s another untold story and that’s the story of venereal disease in the Australian Army.

Screen shot 2015-06-10 at 7.41.08 PM  The Secrets of the Anzacs: The Untold Story of Venereal Disease in the Australian Army, 1914-1919 written by Raden Dunbar reveals secrets and astonishing statistics such as the fact that during World War 1, about 60,000 soldiers in the Australian army were treated by army doctors in Egypt, Europe and Australia for venereal diseases – almost the same number of diggers who were killed during the war. Janet McCalman, author of Sex and Suffering described Dunbar’s story as  ‘a timely and necessary contribution to the centenary of Anzac.’ 

Most of these men had been infected with venereal disease in the brothels of Egypt. In the 1880s 40,000 British soldiers landed in Egypt and stayed and were the customers of the numerous bars, brothels and sex shows. In 1914, AIF forces from Australia that were headed for England via the Suez Canal were ordered to disembark and to set up their camps close to Cairo with the result that thousands of cashed-up Australians were living very close to the infamous brothels of Cairo and very far from their families at home.

Dunbar writes that the boys had money and freedom and regularly frequented the ‘Wozza’, an irresistible and fabulous place that was really a collection of squalid run-down apartment buildings known for venereal diseases: gonorrhoea, syphilis and chancroid. Condoms were not in common use in 1915 and the healing power of antibiotics was yet to be discovered. Abstinence from sex was the only sure way of avoiding the disease with prophylactic treatments such as antiseptic ointments to be applied to the genitals proving unpopular and rubber condoms extremely uncomfortable. In 1915 gonorrhoea, syphilis and chancroid were treated with drugs made from mercury, arsenic and silver and other toxic materials.

Claire Wright, author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka writes:

 The Secrets of the Anzacs is a full-frontal assault on our senses and our historical sensibilities. Deeply researched and always fascinating, Dunbar helps restore the Anzac legend to something more tangible, more complex, and, oddly, more heroic.’

In this interesting book, Raden Dunbar, retired schoolteacher, principal and university lecturer and author rarely mentions the prostituted women and only briefly acknowledges the wives, girl friends and mothers of the men. His concern and interest is for the infected soldiers of whom one in ten were married. But what of the prostituted women? Why were they forced to prostitute themselves? What do we know about the sex industry in WW1? Were the women in the brothels treated for their venereal disease? What about the wives and girlfriends? Were they infected also?

I would have hoped that researcher and author Claire Wright winner of the 2014 Stella Prize would have commented on the obvious omission in Raden Dunbar’s untold story of venereal disease in the Australian Army, 1914-1919- the women’s story.  In The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, Wright researches the history of Victoria’s gold rushes and the Eureka Stockade – addressing the recording of this episode which has largely ignored the presence and influence of women on the gold fields.

Little is known about what happened to the women who worked in the wartime brothels, especially after the war ended. If it is known that 60,000 Australian soldiers got either gonorrhea or syphilis while serving, then a great many of these women also suffered these diseases.

Their story remains untold.

Anzac Day, Propaganda, and the Making of Endless Wars

 

Screen shot 2015-04-15 at 5.42.51 PMAnzac Day will soon be upon us and publicity surrounding the centenary has reached fever pitch. But what is really going on?

Last wednesday, I attended a forum Anzac Day: Past, Present and Future   held at the Camberwell Civic Centre where Professors Joe Camilleri and Marilyn Lake were joined by Ted Baillieu, Serdar Baycan, Neil Smith and Claire Chisholm in an ABC-style Q&A discussion on the history and future of Anzac Day. (more…)

Free speech – not on vaccination it seems!

A SOCIAL media campaign is in progress to stop an American anti-vaccination campaigner running a series of lectures in Australia in March. Following on from the success of a campaign which resulted in the cancellation of the misogynist Julien Blanc’s visa, pro-vaccination activists are calling on the immigration department to have Dr Sherri Tenpenny’s visa cancelled because she speaks about the harms associated with vaccines.

Screen shot 2015-01-11 at 11.44.26 AMDr Sherri Tenpenny has planned to deliver six seminars around Australia in March and to be joined by Norma Erickson who runs Sanevax an organisation which promotes only Safe, Affordable, Necessary & Effective vaccines and vaccination practices through education and information. A homoeopathic practitioner from Victoria, Isaac Golden, who promotes the use of natural medicines to prevent disease is also scheduled to speak at the seminars. Unfortunately the seminars are now in jeopardy as most of the venues where her presentations were to be held have cancelled.

Tenpenny, who runs an alternative medicines clinic in Ohio, has written a book called Saying No To Vaccines and regularly lectures on the dangers of immunisation. Tenpenny says that she wrote her book because parents needed a tool that did their homework for them. She says that the evidence is there to support their decision to not vaccinate; you just have to do a little work to find it. ‘Everyone seems to be so afraid of “bugs” and their potential ability to make us sick. But the reality is that we swim in “bugs” every day and we are not dropping over like flies.. The only “bugs” we seem to obsess over are associated with vaccines. Only two generations ago, measles, mumps and chickenpox were normal experiences of childhood. Why we have complete fear of these infections is media and money driven and unfounded.’

And the Australian mainstream media perpetuates this fear and supports the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccines when it fails to support Dr Tenpenny’s tour.  Her ideas are so sensible:

If the focus of Public Health was on sleep, exercise, clean water and safe, non-GMO food, we would have a healthy society without vaccines but we would not have billion dollar industries employing millions of people to keep us “healthy.” The fact is, we are a very UNhealthy society with vaccines, so the Public health and argument that we must vaccinate ‘for greater good’ is a failure.

Our hospitals are full of unhealthy adults and children despite all the vaccines, antibiotics and other medical interventions. Many people are living longer yet more debilitated lives, needing expensive medical management. Sherri Tenpenny and her fellow speakers just might be able to teach us how to live healthier lives and they should be given their right to speak.

 

Raw milk madness!

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The Herald Sun has reported that a three-year-old Mornington Peninsula child has died and four other young children have become seriously ill in recent weeks after drinking unpasteurised milk  sold in Victoria. The reports of this death and injuries were accompanied by screaming headlines in both large font and capital letters KILLER MILK, and the next day Cosmetic milk controversy: State in grip of toxic milk madness.

Let’s put this death into perspective. Was it the consumption of the raw milk that caused the child’s death? Was this a healthy child or was the child already unwell? Where are the mainstream stories that question this assertion?

Raw milk is sold in health food shops across the country as bath milk for cosmetic purposes although everyone knows that it’s really being bought to be consumed, not bathed in. The Herald Sun found the raw milk in health stores in Malvern, Carlton, Fitzroy, Balaclava, Thornbury, Elsternwick, Albert Park, Box Hill and Belgrave. As to the benefits of drinking raw milk: A new study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, has found that raw milk can actually help prevent colds, viruses and respiratory tract infections from forming in kids, as opposed to commercially processed milk which provides little or no health benefits.

The reporting of this story is a great example of over reacting, a classic case of media sensationalism done in the pathetic endeavour to sell more copy. And there are major ramifications: Already there are calls to ban the sale of raw milk. Even the Federal Government has weighed in and is saying it’ll crack down on the ‘killer’ bath milk and Daniel Andrews, the new Premier of Victoria says he’s not satisfied with the regulations surrounding the sale of raw milk.

Fortunately large numbers of raw milk drinkers have contacted the Herald Sun saying that they will continue to drink it because they believe that raw milk is healthier. And it is! Raw milk is unpasteurised milk straight from the organically pasture fed cow. Raw milk contains the delicate enzymes and essential bacteria which are destroyed with pasteurisation. It is the lack of these natural enzymes in pasteurised milk which makes it indigestible for many people.

For thousands of years, raw milk nourished and produced generations of strong, healthy humans. But now it’s illegal to sell nature’s real milk, the raw product and that is why raw milk  is being sold under pseudonyms such as Aphrodite’s bath milk or Cosmetic milk and found in health food stores  all over the country.

The story of why raw milk became illegal has its origins in the early years of the 19th century in USA which saw a rapid growth in the population with immigrants making their way to the cities. These new arrivals wished to access milk but with the cities a long way from the farms and lacking the transport and refrigeration this was no easy task. So they made do with the milk that was produced in the cities – a far from healthy product. Around this time the whisky industry was booming and the waste product of the distillery was swill or slop which was fed to cows that were conveniently housed next to the whisky distilleries. This waste product of the distilleries was obviously not a food that cows generally ate but it made the cows produce a lot of milk. These cows were sick, crowded, dirty, poorly nourished and forced to spend their short lives chained in one place, handled and milked by, often, very unwell people who poured the milk into dirty containers and sold it to the unsuspecting public. Very soon and not surprisingly the death rates of infants and children soared and it was generally recognised that there was a “milk problem”.

At this time microbiology was in its infancy. The belief in this new science which recognised germs and microbes as the cause of all illness, led to the call for pasteurisation, or heating, of milk to make it free of any potentially harmful bacteria, regardless of how it changed the quality of the milk. As the media and governmental spin continued, dairies found it easier to go with pasteurisation than to clean up their acts.

The mainstream media are once again negligent in their reporting of this young death and the alleged link to raw milk. Was this child healthy? Did he die from the consumption of raw milk? According to the vendors of raw milk in the municipality of Darebin there is no evidence that the very unwell child who died, died as a direct result of raw (bath) milk consumption.The milk that was tested found a toxin, not a bacteria. This toxin can be found in lots of other places.

Our food is increasingly processed and devoid of essential minerals and trace elements – goodness really. Pasteurisation of milk destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamin B12, and vitamin B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

A ban on raw milk is a knee- jerk reaction to media hype and shouldn’t take place!

 

 

 

Write what you need to write!

P.D. James on writing:
Screen shot 2014-11-28 at 4.39.11 PM“Write what you need to write, not what is currently popular or what you think will sell.” (more…)

I am feminist: Hear me roar!

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Show

 If you hear that word one more time, you will definitely cringe. You may exhale pointedly. And you might even seek out the nearest the pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids. What word is this? You tell us, Katy Steinmetz wrote, urging readers of Time Magazine to vote in the 2015 annual word banishment poll.

‘Feminist’ along with words such  as ‘disrupt’ and ‘kale’ and internet slang words such as ‘yaaasssss’, and ‘turnt ‘ is on Time Magazine’s list for banning.

Julie Bishop, Australia’s only female cabinet minister also has a problem with the word feminist. Bishop doesn’t describe herself as such, saying she doesn’t find the term useful today. “I’m a female politician, I’m a female foreign minister … get over it.”

feminism_is_evilJulie Bishop’s a very successful woman. She’s the Foreign Minister and the only woman in Cabinet. She was class captain, school captain, managing partner, completer of a short course at Harvard Business School, deputy leader of the opposition under Brendan Nelson. Bishop may not call herself a feminist but much of her success must surely come as a result of the work of feminists who fought for women’s rights to study and work, for suffrage, and the opportunity to be elected to political office. Bishop has also been fortunate to have been born at a time when marriage and motherhood were not crucial to a woman’s survival- again the work of feminists who fought for women to have independent incomes and lives.

So how do we account for Julie Bishop’s stance on feminism? Raewyn Connell, now a professor emerita but for decades a professor of sociology at the University of Sydney explains Bishop this way: She is the product of fifty years of neoliberalism . . . and in this environment, there is a much more insistent individualism than there was even in the same class, a generation or two ago. Jenna Price suggests there are other reasons not to call yourself a feminist  such as: the fear your male colleagues already feel when your ambition is just like theirs. The word feminist might further terrify the strikingly incompetent.

While Julie Bishop and Michaelia Cash, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister Tony Abbott on women’s affairs are unwilling to embrace their inner feminist, it is reassuring to read that Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek  is proud to be a feminist and understands how fortunate she’s been. Plibersek points out the many pertinent reasons for believing in the relevance of feminism today such as: The existence of the 18 per cent gender pay gap and the fact that there are many older women who will retire on much less superannuation than men. Then there’s the truly deplorable fact that one in every five Australian women will experience sexual assault and one in every three Australian women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. It is also important to the deputy opposition leader that her sons get to experience a truly equal relationship with their life partner, and the satisfaction of being a hands-on father along with the rejection of unhealthy stereotypes.

I_Hate_Feminists!_300_450_90Fear and hatred toward feminists exists. On December 6, 1989, a man walked into the engineering school École Polytechnique de Montréal, armed with a semi-automatic rifle. Declaring I hate feminists! Marc Lépine killed fourteen young women.

And in February this year, in the Melbourne suburb of Tyabb, Greg Anderson,  killed his 11-year-old son after cricket training, in front of dozens of other parents and children. At the recent inquest into her son’s murder Rosie Batty began the conversation when she said: “It was to get at you… someone wants to make you suffer the rest of your life.” Similarly in his suicide letter Marc Lépine wrote “I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their Maker. For seven years life has brought me no joy…I have decided to put an end to those viragos.”

Male violence towards women persists . All the more reason that Time Magazine‘s call for banning of the word Feminist is surely premature.

 

 

 

 

 

It was to get at you

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Last week Rosie Batty took to the witness stand at the inquest being held for her son Luke’s death. In February this year her ex-partner Greg Anderson killed their 11-year-old son after training at the Tyabb cricket ground, in front of dozens of other parents and children.

How can anyone explain the murder of a child by his own father? How difficult it must be for a woman to believe that the man she once loved and shared a child with, could commit such an atrocity? But this is the reality and one that takes some time coming to terms with. It is also an important conversation that the community has not been encouraged to embrace.

Following Luke’s murder the media spent much valuable time discussing Greg Anderson’s mental health. After such cases of filicide it is common for the perpetrator’s state of mind to be rigorously examined and mighty effort made to explain why mental health treatment may have prevented the killing. And if a gun has been used as the murder weapon then the issue of gun control will also be a major focus of the media.

An ABC article featuring the story of Luke’s death told of Greg Anderson’s long history of mental illness with Batty stating: “He was in a homelessness situation for many years. His life was failing. Everything was becoming worse in his life and Luke was the only bright light in his life.” Excuses were made for his deplorable behaviour but still no-one asked why this man wanted to hurt the mother of his child so badly and make her suffer for the rest of her life by taking the life of her child. This is the issue that we should be discussing and I was pleased to hear Rosie began the discussion at the inquest into Luke’s death this week when she said: “It was to get at you… someone wants to make you suffer the rest of your life.” Forget about the mental illness and the homelessness – there is no excuse for this crime.

I_Hate_Feminists!_300_450_90

 

Similarly when on December 6, 1989, a man walked into the engineering school École Polytechnique de Montreal, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, declaring “I hate feminists,” killing fourteen young women, we take a look at how the media dealt with the issue. In I Hate Feminists, originally published in French in 2009, Melissa Blais examines the collective memory that emerged in the immediate aftermath and years following the massacre as Canadians struggled to make sense of this tragic event and understand the motivations of the killer. Blais explored the stories and editorials in Montreal and Toronto newspapers, texts distributed within anti-feminist “masculinist” networks, discourses about memorials in major Canadian cities and the film Polytechnique, which was released on the twentieth anniversary of the massacre. Mélissa Blais argues that feminist analyses and the killer’s own statements have been set aside in favour of interpretations that absolve the killer of responsibility or even shift that blame onto women and feminists. Blais concludes that the feminist analysis that views the massacre as a spectacular expression of everyday male violence towards women is dismissed with the emphasis on male suffering.

And once again the truth is less acceptable and even less discussed. In his suicide letter the gunman Marc Lepine  wrote that he was committing suicide “for political reasons.”He stated that he had decided “to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to meet their maker.” He had decided to “stop those viragos.”  He reiterated that “feminists have always enraged me. They want to keep the advantages of women (e.g., cheaper insurance, extended maternity leave preceded by a preventive leave, etc.) while seizing those of men.”

There are no excuses for the murders committed by Lepine and Anderson. Their actions were premeditated and were those of men who couldn’t abide women getting on with their lives. Marc Lepine hated feminists so he murdered 14  young students; Greg Anderson sought to punish Rosie Batty for making a good life without him.

 I Hate Feminists by Mélissa Blais will be published in Australia by Spinifex Press this month.

 

 

 

 

Frightened of Ebola?

On the ABC’s Q&A program last night, one of the viewers tweeted ‘there is no oil in ebola’. At this time the panel was debating why Australia wasn’t sending over teams of doctors and nurses to help West Africa cope with ebola. This tweet wasn’t as inane as it first appeared. (more…)

The ‘mother’ and the ‘witch’

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 5.53.04 PMAngela Merkel, the German Chancellor is highly regarded by her public – indeed she’s very popular and is referred to as  ‘sister, aunt, even mother’.

She embodies what the German soul wants now according to Barrie Kosky, the former Australian artistic and theatre director,  now based in Berlin.

Merkel is a former chemist, he adds, and describes her as ‘boring’, even ‘staid’. Even so, few people dislike her, and even his left-wing friends approve of their conservative leader. He claims that this fondness for Merkel is to do with the history of the country, and with the point at which Germany finds itself now, and that these particular attributes of the leader make the Germans comfortable. Kosky says the Germans have come to terms with their past. They are not trying to prove anything.

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Whereas Angela Merkel is regarded as ‘mother’ to the nation, during her short time as Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard was frequently called a ‘witch’ and ‘smeared as Lady Macbeth, the woman who had plotted to bring down a prime minister’, writes Mary Delahunty in Gravity : Inside the PM’s office during her last year and final days. 

 

 

 

Screen shot 2014-07-21 at 4.55.54 PMDelahunty recalls the cold night in June 2010 when Julia Gillard came to power. When, as an admired deputy, it became increasingly apparent that the Rudd governance was dysfunctional, Gillard was urged by Kim Carr, Mark Arbib, Bill Shorten and David Feeney to challenge Rudd. This was no planned coup for when Tim Mathieson, Julia Gillard’s partner arrived in Canberra for the morning vote it was obvious he had left in a mighty hurry for he was wearing one black shoe and one dark brown.

Nevertheless the muck stuck: Long-time press gallery journalist Michelle Grattan summed up Gillard’s promotion from deputy to PM : ‘Her colleagues and the media saw her as the next big thing. Now she’s seen as the executioner’. Liberal Christopher Pyne was even more insulting  when he declared to the parliament that to compare Gillard to Lady Macbeth was unfair to Lady Macbeth as she had only had one victim to her name; this prime minister has a list of victims longer than Richard 111. He did not name victims but carried on about her failed policies.

Australians are not comfortable with women in power. Although we were one of the first countries to grant women full political rights we were one of the last to elect women to federal parliament. By 2007 the picture for women in politics had improved with Julia Gillard the first female deputy prime minister, Anna Bligh the first elected female state premier, and Julie Bishop the first female deputy of the Liberal Party. And in 2012 Julia Gillard became the first female PM, and Nicola Roxon, the country’s first attorney general. But the situation has now taken a turn for the worst and in 2014 women hold less than 30 percent of Australian parliamentary seats.

The frightful abuse hurled at Julia Gillard came mostly from older very conservative males, those in the mold of Alan Jones who said on radio that Gillard should be chucked in a chaff bag and sunk at sea. How dare he or anyone say this to anyone least of all our prime minister. Delahunty describes this hatred of Gillard as emanating from these old men’s fear of ‘declining influence and potency’.

As I read this book I find myself recalling Barrie Kosky‘s wise words explaining how the Germans regard Merkel with such fondness, and wonder if the desperate state of our politics is really because we haven’t grown up, we haven’t faced our past, maybe we don’t know who we are. Australians just weren’t mature enough to appreciate a female Prime Minister.

While Germany has come to terms with its history, Australia has not yet dealt with its indigenous history or its convict past. ‘The wound is so enormous, so dark’. Kosky says. For him, ‘Australian politics is just a reflection of convicts and prison guards’. Power, pettiness and meanness are the words he uses to describe our politics. He is right in his assessment.

 

 

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