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Get Used To It Girls

By Ad Astra

The Liberal Party has a disastrous affliction.

It affects many of its male members. It seems to be incurable. Those that suffer it are unaware of its presence.

In the Party’s official diagnostic nomenclature it is designated: ‘Tin Ear’.

There are two versions of this male condition:
Familial Tin Ear that afflicts those from a privileged background where unawareness of how the rest of the world lives has always prevailed, and
Acquired Tin Ear that afflicts lesser mortals who battle to survive the slings and arrows of daily life. Tired, they find it easier to be deaf to what they prefer not to hear.

There are two dominant symptoms:
Deafness to changing societal attitudes, and
Deafness to the behaviour of their male colleagues.

Sufferers yearn for the good old days when ‘the boys’ club’ held sway.

The condition was starkly exposed when Julia Banks, Liberal member for the marginal seat of Chisholm, announced that she would not be a Liberal candidate at the next election because she was fed up with “vindictive, mean-spirited grudges” and a culture of “bullying and intimidation” in the Party, so barefacedly exhibited during the hostile removal of Malcolm Turnbull in an attempt to install Peter Dutton.

Not only was she appalled by the removal of a sitting prime minister, she was dismayed by the bullying tactics of the Dutton camp trying to solicit her vote. Having given up a promising career in law and business to enter politics, she prepares now to leave – bitterly disappointed with politics and her colleagues.

But what was the response of her male counterparts?

Backbencher Craig Kelly told Sky News: “I think that you’ve got to roll with the punches in this game. We’re political parties. It’s a rough-and-tumble game.”

Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger denied claims of bullying within the party. Describing politics as “a rough business”, he insisted that neither the party’s state director nor chief government whip had received any official complaints of bullying or intimidation. His Tin Ear had heard nothing.

In other words girls, this notion of bullying is nonsense, a figment of your female imagination. And what’s more, if you really want to play in a man’s world, to engage in the rough and tumble of politics, get used to the punches, and learn to roll with them. Don’t complain. If it’s too hot in the political kitchen, quit. Leave it to the men! At least they know how to handle roughhouse tactics!

Women MPs might have expected some support from their female colleagues, but Liberal senator Helen Kroger, who now chairs the party’s women’s committee, sided with the men, insisting that ’while leadership crises were “unique” and “difficult” events, the party did not have a bullying problem.’ She said that some females were ‘not suited to politics’, but conceded that intimidation or verbal harassment should not occur in any workplace. But speaking with Stan Grant on the ABC’s Matter of Fact, past Liberal Senator Judith Troeth contradicted Kroger. She confirmed the bullying: she had received phone calls from Liberal females about it.

Too many politicians are trapped in the self-centred bubble of Canberra politics with tin ears that will not hear, indeed cannot hear what so many in our society are saying: bullying and intimidation are no longer acceptable in any workplace. Moreover, they seem unwilling to accept that the Canberra parliamentary hothouse is indeed a workplace, where the same rules of conduct ought to apply.

Female politicians must despair. Despair that they are still being treated like they always have been – as second rate; and despair that the men who share responsibilities with them are so deaf, so insensitive, so uncaring, so accepting of bully-boy tactics, so sure of the dominance of their gender, so alpha male.

They have put up with overbearing male behaviour without complaint until now. What tipped the balance was the Dutton insurgency, redolent with self-interest, nastiness, overbearing behaviour, bullying, and determination to kill off the party leader and replace him with their favourite, odious though he was to all but his supplicants. Enough was enough for the women. They were not prepared to take it any more.

But where did the protests get them? Julia Banks got nothing but insults from senior colleagues. No understanding, no reassurance.

Scott Morrison, realising that even more damage was being inflicted on his deeply traumatised party, lying buried and bleeding under the rubble of the demolition it had brought about, intervened with what he hoped would be reassuring words“I have no truck with bullying or intimidation in whatever form it is…I am the father of two young daughters and I have no truck with that sort of behaviour. One of the things we are moving quickly to do is restore the strong culture in the Liberal Party and bring the party together and show the stability and unity that is necessary.”

Will the girls be convinced? Why should they be? Bullying behaviour has been endemic within the party for years. They know Morrison’s tub-thumping words of reassurance will fall limply on the tin ears of his alpha male colleagues. They know the entrenched behavioural pattern of their male colleagues will not change. They know the nature and persistent behaviour of the usual suspects: Abbott, Abetz, Andrews, Dutton, Joyce, even Morrison himself. They are too smart to be deceived by claptrap.

They witnessed ‘Ditch the Witch’ abuse hurled at Julia Gillard by Tony Abbott; they remember Alan Jones’ advice that she should be ‘tied in a chaff bag, taken to sea and dumped’Liberal males have form in the bullying stakes.

So where are the Liberal women left?

It seems pretty obvious. There will be no apology, no compromise from their male counterparts, certainly no rapprochement.

All they can expect from macho Liberal males is: ‘Get used to it girls’.

This article by Ad Astra was originally published on The Political Sword.

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42 comments

  1. Ill fares the land

    I would like to know why the fact Scomo is the “father of two young daughters” somehow heightens his otherwise dulled appreciation of bullying within his party. Surely even if he were childless, or his children were young boys, his responsibility as the nominated “leader” is exactly the same. For his statement to be reasonable, he would already have brought his party into line because his parenting responsibilities would have made him acutely aware of the presence of bullying and that it is unacceptable. For him to be making his statement “after the fact” indicates that as usual, he managed to have his head ** *** a*** until his party’s appalling culture and behaviours became public. Since Dutton is a rather awful individual and he is a product of the Queensland Police Force, which has a history of corruption, it seems illogical to think his rise to a position of power is anything but the result of bullying and chicanery by his faction.

  2. Matters Not

    Ill fares the land, Scomo operates only from narrow ‘self-interest’ and never from principles that can be universalised. But he’s not alone. Indeed, it’s a feature of the broader, current political life.

    Witness what Labor (and Libs) will do as the next election approaches. It will be about political deals, promises and the like in an effort to win votes. Principles will rarely get a mention. It’s this lack of principles that degrades Australian political life.

    What would political life look like if we banned ‘pork barreling’ and substituted ‘need’ in its stead?

  3. wam

    I miss lord for a pleasant giggle to start the day but what a laugh at the image of ‘male members’ of the liberal party. ie the brains moving to bully women rather moving because the women are impressive.
    Sadly ‘worthiness of women as leaders this is the one area where the boys of the lnp represent the majority of Australian society.
    but that laugh became a guffaw at “So where are the Liberal women left”
    Those that are exceptional remain those that aren’t are leaving.
    ps love the token women’s ploy to abort porter?

  4. helvityni

    Alan Jones , a dinky -di Aussie bloke, not from Belgium, or from Africa , not a practicing Muslim, told on Q&A tonight that the bullied women ought to take a spoonful of concrete to toughen up…

    Has Michaelia taken Allan’s advise, or is she just naturally one of those bullying types, albeit a female one.

  5. Terence Mills

    Interesting that Lucy Gichuhi has said that when parliament returns she will name those responsible for bullying her to vote for the overturn of Malcolm Turnbull (that she was opposed to).

    Now she is being bullied not to name and shame those responsible.

    They can’t help themselves !

  6. New England Cocky

    Women supporting Adulterers support National$.

    @helvityni: Have you noticed the wonderful masquerade of a brothel madam that is done by Michaelia Cash?

    Then you may not be aware that Alan Jones was arrested by an under cover police operation at a public toilet at Bondi Beach well known as a gay pick-up location. The locals renamed the toilet the “Alan Jones Memorial Dunny”. Waverley Council bricked the toilet entrance. The police action failed to occur.

  7. Matters Not

    Re The Parrot (a name Jones shares with Kevin Donnelly):

    London incident:

    On 6 December 1988, Jones was arrested in an underground public toilet on Broadwick Street in the Soho area of London. He was taken to the Mayfair police station and charged with ‘outraging public decency’ and ‘committing an indecent act’. Jones’ friends rushed to his support, and when the case was heard in the Marlborough Street Magistrates’ Court the next day The Crown withdrew the more serious charge, with Jones pleading not guilty to the lesser charge of committing an indecent act. The authorities ultimately did not present any evidence to support either charge, and the second charge was also later dropped, with Jones’ lawyers winning ₤70 in costs. Jones read a prepared statement when he first appeared back on his radio show on 16 January 1989, saying “I am and always was innocent of the charges levelled against me”.[4][72] Jones has avoided talking about the incident ever since, although it is frequently raised by his opponents or those looking to highlight alleged hypocrisy in his comments

    Hadn’t heard about the Bondi incident. Is there a link?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Jones_(radio_broadcaster)

  8. Frank Smith

    It would be interesting to hear from Jane Prentice, Member for Ryan, who has been rolled for preselection by a young male Liberal “staffer”. No doubt Prentice would have some interesting views on this topic but I have not noted any MSM journalists lining up to interview her.

  9. helvityni

    New England Cocky,I mentioned the Jones incident to hubby, he had forgotten about it…

    I also think that Michaelia tries to emulate Ms Thatcher, not very successfully.

  10. corvus boreus

    Lucy Gichuhi has my qualified support for her stated intention to use parliamentary privilege to ‘name & shame’ those who colleagues claim used ‘bullying and intimidation’ during the Liberal party power squabble.
    However, when I look back at the good senator’s record, I see another just another bible-thumping coal-humping ship-jumping neo-con politician (who whinges about the hardship of a $200,000 p/a salary).
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-18/lucy-gichuhi-says-salary-not-that-much-money/9880168

    Lucy Gihuchi voted for
    Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine
    Changing the wording of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
    Decreasing ABC and SBS funding
    Decreasing availability of welfare payments
    Imprisoning immigration detention workers who record or reveal information from their work
    Increasing investment in the coal industry
    Maintaining or increasing defence spending
    Making more water from Murray-Darling Basin available to use
    Privatising government assets
    Privatising the ABC
    Putting welfare payments onto restricted debit cards
    Reducing the corporate tax rate

    Lucy Gichuhi voted against
    A Royal Commission into banking
    Allocating 0.7% of Gross National Income to foreign aid
    An inquiry into the Iraq War
    Buffer zones around abortion clinics
    Creating a federal Anti-Corruption Commission
    Encouraging Australian-based industry
    Ending illegal logging
    Expanding Medicare-funded dental care
    Federal action on public housing
    Government action on animal & plant extinctions
    Increasing Aboriginal land rights
    Increasing federal government support for child care
    Increasing freedom of political communication
    Increasing housing affordability
    Increasing marine conservation
    Increasing protection of Australia’s fresh water
    Increasing scrutiny of asylum seeker management
    Increasing the Newstart Allowance rate
    More scrutiny of intelligence services & police
    Outsourcing government services
    Protecting citizens’ privacy
    Protecting threatened forest and bushland habitats
    Protecting whales within Australian waters
    Requiring a warrant to access citizens’ telecommunications records
    Requiring every native title claimant to sign land use agreements
    Restricting donations to political parties
    Same-sex marriage equality
    The right to protest
    The use of strong encryption technologies
    Universal access to abortion services.
    https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/sa/lucy_gichuhi

  11. Jexpat

    @Corvus:

    Gichuchi may have another axe to grind:

    “South Australian Liberal Lucy Gichuhi has been relegated to an unwinnable spot on the party’s Senate ticket, all but confirming her exit from parliament at the next election. The senator joined the Liberals in February after entering parliament as an independent to replace disqualified Family First senator Bob Day last year.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/lucy-gichuhi-faces-senate-dumping

  12. SteveFitz

    Women of voting age outnumber men – That’s power. Send a message, at the next federal election, that bullying, intimidation, harassment and abuse of women will not be tolerated in any way, shape or form. Starting at the top.

    Please, do not let the way women have been treated, in federal parliament, filter out into the community – Don’t let the Liberal Party, or the likes of Allan Jones, normalise beating woman into submission. It’s another form of horrendous social oppression and something we must all stand against.

  13. corvus boreus

    Jexpat,
    I can see that the Family First turned Independent turned Liberal party senator being shunted down to number 4 on the SA senate ticket may have helped to sour her grapes.
    However, I will also admit the possibility that Mz Gichuhi, although opposing Indigenous rights and equality for non-hetero couples, displaying complete indifference to both species extinctions and the dangers of climate change, and seeking to place further burdens upon vulnerable welfare recipients whilst simultaneously bemoaning her own 6-figure-per-year ‘penury’, is morally opposed to bullying when it occurs within her own parliamentary party.

  14. eefteeuu

    It is a pity to see people using Morrisons pathetic nickname when referring to him

    It gives nicknames a bad name.

  15. SteveFitz

    That’s true – A nickname is a term of endearment. I think ScoMo sticks because it sounds a bit like Scumbo leading to Scumbag leading to Scoliosis leading to disintegration of the spine.

  16. king1394

    There used to be an idea that as more women entered politics, there would be an improvement in civility, and a less domineering quality to interactions within the parties. However, the Liberals have not managed the transition to anything like an equal number of women in the Parliamentary party, and are clearly revolting against any increase in civility and politeness. Why argue intelligently for a cause, when you can just make people behave by threatening their security and sidelining their issues. (Remembering that bullying does not necessarily mean physical attack)

  17. New England Cocky

    @SteveFitz: Send a message: “Women supporting Adulterers support National$.”

    @MN: No link, check out SMH library or achieve.

    @cv: Do you have a fact check for the voting pattern of Barnyard Joke, the former Minister for MDB Water Theft and Agriculture and sometime representative of the National$ preferring Adulterers?

  18. Diannaart

    An article which has needed airing at AIM … about time.

    ===========================

    @SteveFitz

    Please, do not let the way women have been treated, in federal parliament, filter out into the community – Don’t let the Liberal Party, or the likes of Allan Jones, normalise beating woman into submission. It’s another form of horrendous social oppression and something we must all stand against.

    Horse bolted millenia ago.

    @helvityni

    Yes, there are female bullies.

    @corvus boreus

    Ms Gichuhi’s is a big “C” conservative which often carries the baggage of opportunism, does that mean she is invalidated from speaking out against bullying?

    While I’m on a roll …

    @New England Cocky

    WTF is Women supporting Adulterers support National$.?

  19. Diannaart

    @SteveFitz

    You were being ironic …. please?

  20. metadatalata

    Is it just me that sees a parliament that is so removed from reality, that it has become normal to:
    Lie in speeches in parliament on the record (recent cases are Dutton and Cash)
    Commit acts of treason (Abbott and Turnbull destroying the NBN and smashing the Australia’s automobile industry)
    Commit acts of fraud (virtually every LNP member with their travel and accommodation rorts that never result in any change)
    Commit acts of sexual misconduct (Joyce having an affair with his subordinate and then giving her a job in another department to hide it.)
    Commit acts of torture and illegal detention against innocent asylum seekers in offshore gulags run under the control of parliament.
    Commit acts of bullying against women within their own party and of their opposition,
    Enacting policies that enable destruction of the environment which accelerate the onset of climate change while their coal sponsors get financial support off the Australian public.

    Even the mafia as an organisation is more honest than the LNP. If you lie, you lose a body part. Just imagine the pile of digits and limbs that would be on the floor of parliament if politicians were at least as honest as the mafia?

    But they aren’t. We need a new form of governance. They cannot operate above the laws they create for the rest of us.

  21. corvus boreus

    diannaart,
    Lucy Giruchi, as an indi, voted for changes to 18c that would have raised the bar at which racial discrimination could be deemed actionable, which many people would see as an active encouragement to race-based bullying.
    This, especially viewed amongst her other consistent voting patterns, somewhat diminishes her credibility on the subject.
    As I previously said, senator Guchuhi has my qualified support for using her privilege to speak out against the alleged misconduct of her colleagues, but I am not about to start weaving a gold shroud for the impending martyrdom of St Lucy.

    New England Cocky,
    Here is your local member Barnaby Joyce’s voting track record in the HoR, which is mostly unsurprising.
    https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/new_england/barnaby_joyce
    The main difference (apart from obvious ones of gender, dermal melanin and sheer scale of rorting hypocrisy) being that, as a Nationals member, Joyce was bound to vote along party lines, whereas with Lucy Gichuhi, the votes I listed were made when she was an Independent, and thus free to vote howsoever she chose.

  22. Diannaart

    Corvus boreus

    Point taken regarding Lucy Gichuhi‘s Independent status (she remains on the right hand side of the spectrum).

    Conservative women have created a difficult conundrum, to remain loyal to their male peers and, somehow, stand up for their own self respect.

    Nonetheless, misogyny remains a blight across our world.

  23. Ad Astra

    Folks
    May I thank you all for the comprehensive comments you have added that have enriched my article. They portray the great depth of feeling that exists in the community about this matter, which has a long while yet to play. Watch for the fireworks when parliament resumes on 10 September.

    helvityni , you have pointed to Alan Jones’ outburst on Q&A last night where he offered gratuitous advice to the female MPs that had accused their male colleagues of bullying. Similar to his Liberal mates, he suggested that they should “take a teaspoon of cement and toughen up”. ‘Toughening-up’ seems to be the universal remedy that Liberal males prefer for their female counterparts. What hope for any understanding from their male colleagues have the women got?

    Any of you who missed Q&A can read about it here: https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/current-affairs/qa-recap-alan-jones-says-bullied-female-mps-should-take-a-teaspoon-of-cement-and-toughen-up/news-story/a3b92c54849f6099ee22251fb90dab27

  24. corvus boreus

    Diannart,
    Globally, over 50% of Homo sapiens are thoroughly indoctrinated into religious beliefs stating that being a human in possession of external genitalia (pizzle + scrote-sac) is to be the ultimate reflection of creative divinity (beit called JHWH or Allah).
    That factor alone probably prejudices and pollutes societal attitudes somewhat, even without touching on any of the other socio-political influences that play and prey upon attitudes to gender.

    Ps, to refute any absolutism within my own statements, I would also add that in India, where the Hindi majority bow to a pantheon containing deities of both sexes, females often continue to cop a very raw deal indeed.
    .
    .

  25. Diannaart

    You needed to ‘splain that to me? Because? I needed reminding? I came down with the last shower?

    Or were you simply engaging in banter with yours truly, with the intention of informing others, who remain oblivious to the “evidence” of male superiority.

    😛

  26. corvus boreus

    Diannaart,
    Merely responding to, and expanding upon, your equally bleeding obvious statement that ‘misogyny remains a blight’, admittedly including a touch of your third option (a loudly spoken private conversation being conducted in a very public setting) .
    To illustrate further, and going beyond the bindings of religion, many/most atheists I know will, even in expressing their disbelief, still automatically play the game of ‘pin the dick on the (denial of) deity’.
    “God’? I don’t believe in Him”.
    For myself, whilst I remain agnostic about the possibility of a metaphysical IT (or Them), I am principally a life-science focused individual, thus I also think that the doctrine of a solo masculine creator is about as theologically solid as the biological idea that a man masturbating onto the dusty ground is a viable means of human procreation.

    All of which is increasingly tangential from Mr Astra’s original topic, which was the culture of bullying bloke-ism that seems to be entrenched within the Liberal Party of Australia.

    Tanya Plibersek said there appeared to be quite different cultures among women in the Liberal and Labor parties, pointing out the Opposition had almost 50 per cent women in parliament.
    “I’m not sure whether it’s because there are more women we have less of this toxic culture, or because we have less of the toxic culture, we’ve got more women,”

  27. SteveFitz

    @Diannaart – You were being ironic …. please?

    Ironic you should say that – It suggests you were beaten into submission long ago and somewhat resigned although, you do acknowledge the blight of misogyny. Let’s hope the women who represent you and me in government, stand up to be counted, in the days ahead, and tear another chunk out of the Liberal Party.

    Keep in mind that this played out in the public arena, for the whole world to see, and the stance taken by the wider community, in relation to the way women are treated, will become evident soon enough. I don’t think the majority will be saying of women “put up and shut up” or “eat cement and get over it.”

  28. Harry

    I hope Lucy Gichuhi and/or Julia Banks follow through on their threats to name and shame the bullies in parliament and not be further intimidated by either the bullies or Morrison (who may successfully dissuade them from carrying out their threats “for the good of the party”).

  29. Matters Not

    Re the headline: Get Used To It Girls.

    What’s with the Girls moniker one may well ask? And there’s been no outcry. No protests. No ripple on the intellectual waters..

    Been out of the workforce for nigh on 20 years, but way back then it was considered patronising, condescending, disrespectful and the like to refer to grown women as girls. But then again the women in question were well versed in all aspects of feminist theory, in elected positions of power, and weren’t in the business of entertaining slights – real or imagined.

    How things change.

  30. SteveFitz

    Julia Gillard says “gender bias fed into Liberals’ decision to ignore Julie Bishop”.

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/julia-gillard-says-gender-bias-fed-into-liberals’-decision-to-ignore-julie-bishop/ar-BBMSCw7?ocid=spartandhp

    But, she also thinks there is cause for optimism that there is a public discussion about bullying and intimidation inside the Liberal party, with senior Coalition women leading the conversation. “The fact such matters are being raised at all, and taken seriously when they are, is progress,” Gillard said.

    Delegating the LIberal Party to the political wilderness, at the next federal election, may go some way towards modifying the vicious alpha dog behaviour and the male domination mentality prevelant in the neoliberal handbook.

  31. Diannaart

    Corvus boreus

    I do owe you an apology, I know from your posting history you are far from being a knuckle dragger. I was feeling more reactionary than usual, as in “tell me something I don’t know”.

    I despair our current “leaders” – both federal and state (here in so-called progressive state of Victoria the lead up to the impending election is nothing less than vicious) will stop this spiral of misery and start doing their freakin’ jobs.

    SteveFitz

    I’m cynical rather than “beaten into submission”. Agree that it is better for abuse and bullying be observed on a public platform, which begs the question, will LNP women (I don’t believe the Nats are any more enlightened) name the bullies?

  32. Jexpat

    @Harry

    Given her track record, as corvus lays out above- as well as her preselection demotion, one suspects that Lucy Gichuhi is engaging in crude posturing, rather than an earnest attempt to rectify any sort of wrongdoing.

  33. Ad Astra

    Folks
    Thank you for your further comments. As some of you have hinted, nothing is likely to change until the Coalition is ejected from power forcibly by the people. Then and only then might we witness women playing a more central role in their affairs. Then again, pigs might fly!

  34. corvus boreus

    Diannaart,
    Apology unnecessary but appreciated nonetheless.
    I think we have all posted internet missives that, in hindsight, we might wish to have phrased differently.

    Ps, thank you for the compliment.
    My knuckles are oft wont to pound the ground in sheer frustration, but I do try not to habitually drag them.

  35. Ad Astra

    Folks

    The bullying saga exacerbates. Julie Bishop, now a back bencher, has let fly: Here’s how news.com.au reported her outburst:

    “Julie Bishop has delivered her first public address since resigning as foreign minister, blasting the “appalling behaviour” in Canberra in the lead-up to the leadership spill.

    “Speaking at the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future awards on Wednesday night, Ms Bishop said the events that led to the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister “would not be tolerated in any other workplace in Australia,” the Australian Financial Review reports.

    “The most powerful woman in Australian politics slammed the party’s actions, saying it calls for a “much broader debate about workplace culture” including “allegations of bullying, harassment and coercion and the unequal treatment of women.”

    “She also took aim at the party’s lack of female representation, saying: “I say to my party, it is not accep for us to have in 2018 to have less than 25 per cent of our parliamentarians as female.”

    “It’s not accep for our party to contribute to the fall in Australia’s ratings from 15th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representation in 1999 to 50th today. There’s a lot to be done,” Ms Bishop said. “Our party, in fact all parties, recognise they have a problem in attracting and maintaining women, diversity in general. “When a feisty, amazing woman Julia Banks says this environment is not for me, don’t say ‘toughen up princess’, say ‘enough is enough’,” she added, referring to the concerns of other female Liberal MPs who claim that they suffered intimidation and received threats during the leadership spill.

    “Politics is robust, the very nature of it, it’s not for the faint hearted,” Ms Bishop said. “I have seen and witnessed and experienced some appalling behaviour in Parliament, the kind of behaviour that 20 years ago when I was managing partner of a law firm of 200 employees I would never have accepted. “Yet in Parliament it’s the norm. “We must defend and strengthen our institutions, and we must treat our Parliament with more respect.

    “Unaccep workplace practices are the responsibility of us all to identify, to stop it, to fix it.”

    https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/julie-bishop-slams-appalling-behaviour-in-parliament/news-story/bc448776c5490660892ebd8210c5545d?utm_source=news.com.au20—20Australia’s20

  36. helvityni

    Ex- PM of NZ, John Key, once famously quipped he was always excited to meet his Australian counterpart because he never knew who would show up….

    We might have lots of fast runners, and we change our PM’s at the drop of the hat…

    Yet improvements to education, building a second International airport , fast trains and other progressive undertakings can wait…

    The biggest burden for our healthcare system, obesity, hardly gets a mention these days…

  37. SteveFitz

    Obesity, I’ll eat to that – A combination of being turned into sugar zombies by corporates and the need for comfort food explains itself.

  38. johno

    Helvityni, why is a second international airport so important. So we can burn more fossil fuels ?

  39. DrakeN

    Actually, johno, a second, less aerially conjested airport will save quite a lot of fuel for the same passenger miles.
    With less motorcar traffic congestion and shorter road journeys, the savings add up.
    Whether or not a second airport will encourage more long distance travel is a moot point, but I doubt it.

  40. helvityni

    johno
    …so can all go to NZ to see that wonder woman, Jacinda. I can understand Julie’s fury for not been taken seriously because she is a mere woman…
    SteveFitz, please don’t, even the honey has been sweetened…

  41. SteveFitz

    Yeah – 7 kinds of fake milk and now plastic honey? So much for the land of milk and honey – Just had to get corporates in on the act and there goes the garden of Eden.

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