This is how Peter Smith starts his article, “Loud, low and thoroughly loathsome”, which you may find at Quadrant Online:
I hadn’t seen Julia Gillard’s ‘misogyny’ speech, just read about it. I thought I better see it for myself. You have to actually see it to understand the bile that she spewed out. It was vituperative; it personified the ugliest face of human nature. I felt strangely diminished and degraded when it was finished. It was beyond disgraceful, even taking into account the grossest of insults and invective that have been hurled in the past across the parliamentary chambers. It had no redeeming feature, no moment of common humanity. She demeaned the high office of prime minister.
Well, to be honest, I hadn’t seen it either but I have now. I would put it up for anyone in the fortunate position of also never having heard this rant before but if you’ve read about it that should be plenty good enough. But it was extraordinary and if people in her vicinity are found looking at their watch, I am not surprised. My approach is to dive for the remote as soon as the PM comes on the set, but obviously if you are in Parliament or sitting with her at dinner these are options not open at the time. But as I think of this government, so they think of sitting and listening to her. Will this never end?
So here it is, Prime Minister. We need your help. Please lay out for the rest of us exactly in what way it is appropriate to say to you that we think you are wrecking the country with your economic policies, wasteful public expenditure, rising levels of debt, absence of border protection, carbon and mining taxes and everything else. Since you appear to take these criticisms as a reflection of our dyed-in-the-wool misogyny, please provide instructions for us so that we can do it in a way that:
(a) makes it clear why we think your government is the worst government in Australian history
(b) does it in a way that does not make you think we are saying it because you are a woman.
A tricky one, I can see, since you never seem to be able to make this distinction. But if you put together an impartial committee of some sort – let me suggest Plibersek, Roxon and Milne – we could get to the bottom of this. Here is something you could actually do that might assist us out here in getting through to you why we think in the way we do.