Queensland politicians call for end to insults, but how long will the civility last?
Julia Gillard pioneered the ‘misogyny’ shield in politics but the female politicians of Queensland have perfected the art. When they’re not being nasty, they’re on a chair screaming about murine ‘insults.’
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was in the cross-hairs of Opposition scrutiny throughout the year, but lodged an official complaint after Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander, likened her to former dictator Saddam Hussein’s propaganda chief.
Mr Mander was criticising the Treasurer about the state’s finances, when he quipped “after hearing the Treasurer’s ministerial statement this morning, I can’t think of anybody else, any other title to call her other than the Comical Ali of the Queensland Parliament.”
Comical Ali was the nickname of Iraq’s spin doctor Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf.
Ms Trad, who is of Middle Eastern origin, labelled the comments as racist and said she found them “deeply alarming and personally offensive.”
Labor has also made some questionable comparisons for elected representatives.
In 2018, Infrastructure Minister Cameron Dick likened Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Ms Frecklington responded to the jibe by saying: “I get comments thrown at me by the Labor Party each and every day, I’ve chosen to rise above it.”
This type of behaviour is, unfortunately, nothing new.
Over the years our state MPs have not dealt with each other in the most respectful of ways.
In 2015, Everton MP Tim Mander (now the Deputy Opposition Leader) had to apologise to Parliament, after calling Kate Jones a “nitwit”.
Politics in the Sunshine State has become as oestrogen-drenched and bitchy as a girls’ boarding school. More seriously, holding female politicians accountable – when they jump up on that chair and start yelling “racist” and “sexist” (while waiting for the media to manfully chase away, not ask, the questions) – is becoming rare. Unless, of course, the female politicians are members of the LNP.