Handing out the mirrors …

What has come over the Fairfax Press … ?

Paul Shehan in the Sydney Morning Herald

After sending out two attack dogs, Gutter and Sewer, to do the dirty work, after hiding behind two political zombies, Insufferable and Unspeakable, to stay in power, after using the Minister for Innuendo and the Compromise-General to play the gender card, the mask has finally dropped away to reveal the driver of the politics of hate in Australia.

The mask fell at exactly 2.42pm in the House of Representatives. Looking on were the member for Gutter, Anthony Albanese, the member for Sewer, Wayne Swan, the Minister for Innuendo, Tanya Plibersek, and the Compromise-General, Nicola Roxon, and the independents who will do anything to avoid facing their electorates, Mr Insufferable, Robert Oakeshott, and his fellow regional zombie, Mr Unspeakable, Tony Windsor.

Someone had to set Gutter and Sewer loose. Someone directed Innuendo and Compromise to play the gender card. Someone paid the bill for Insufferable and Unspeakable. Someone’s authority still rests on the vote of Craig Thomson. And someone had to approve making Peter Slipper the Speaker despite his being manifestly disrespected by either side of the house, a low point of political opportunism.

At 2.42 pm on Tuesday that someone rose to speak. The mask fell away. Julia Gillard came out snarling. The Parliament had before it a great issue, the dignity of the house itself, which had been traduced by the scandal that had attached itself to Slipper.

Instead of directly addressing the issue of a discredited speakership which had become engulfed in an expensive and degrading legal action that did no credit to anyone involved, least of all the Attorney-General, the Prime Minister wasted no timing in using misdirection and personal abuse.

She even invoked the name of dead father: “My father did not die of shame!” she thundered across the dispatch box.

No one in the Parliament ever said he did. Tony Abbott had said exactly the opposite when he spoke of her father.

Why tip a bucket of bilgewater into a fierce wind? Why invoke the accusation of misogyny, hatred of women, against an Opposition Leader whose chief of staff, Peta Credlin, is famously one of the most formidable woman in politics, whose mostly female staff is devoted to their boss and who has raised three daughters?

But then why did she mislead the Australian people before the last election on the carbon tax? Why did she leave her law firm under a cloud? Why did she shaft her own leader? Why did she depose a prime minister who had a mandate from the people? Why has she methodically deployed the politics of personal abuse?

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